Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

When Jesus calls us, it's to repentance and faith in Him alone

Daily Spirit & Word: 776: Who’s that knocking at my door.

Good morning friends, I was awakened by a strange noise in the house this morning at 4.30am. It startled me out of a weird dream. In the dream I was back in Plymouth and some kind of strange earthquake was happening, I saw a bus falling over on it’s side and buildings shaking and some falling to the ground. People had their mobile phones out taking pictures to capture the scene and share on social media. Do you know what that noise was that woke me? It was a knocking at my door, but when I got to the door there was no one there. I was up now so decided to read some of God’s Word and this is what I read.

Romans 10:16-21 (NIV)
16  But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
18  But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
19  Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20  And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21  But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

If “faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” then why didn’t the Israelites respond? Who knows, but they didn’t.

Then follows a series of question from Paul: “DID THE ISRAELITES HEAR THE MESSAGE?”

He answers each time with “Of course they did, but they REJECTED it”…

When someone is knocking at your door what do you do?

  • Do you sit there and ignore it?
  • Do you get up and listen at the door to what they have to say?
  • Do you open the door to the one with the message?

It’s The Insurance Man

Years ago my mum and dad had an insurance policy, the man would call around to collect the insurance money every week. There were quite a few times that my mum didn’t have any money to pay the installments, so she’d tell us to hide and stay quiet until the man goes away. The man would be knocking at the door. He’d be shouting through the letterbox “It’s the Insurance Man”… We didn’t dare move a muscle. I’ve been scared of Insurance Men since I was a child 🙂 LOL A few times the man could hear there were obviously people in the house, because you can’t keep seven kids quiet for very long. Or sometimes they’d pretend to go away and then once we’d all started talking the letterbox would fly open and he’d shout, “I can hear you in there, open the door”…

My friends, those Israelites didn’t open the doors of their hearts to God.

He called upon them many times and in so many different ways.

They might have been there listening to the message, but they didn’t respond.

Isaiah tells us, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people”…

God is also holding out his holy hands to you today.

He’s calling you with the Good News of Jesus; “Come to me” said Jesus.

Jesus is not an Insurance Salesman, but He’s offering freely to each and every soul “Eternal Assurance: You can be SAVED from Hell if you’ll just repent and trust in Me”…

When we hear the Good News and don’t respond, it’s like knowing someone is at the door with a message that is so important for us, but we’ve got to open the door to respond to that message.

  • It’s no good knowing Jesus can save you, if you don’t respond in faith and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour.
  • It’s no good knowing Jesus died for sin, if you don’t trust in Him and His death on the cross was for your sins.
  • It’s no good knowing Jesus was raised from the dead and believing it all to be true, if you will not repent of your sins and receive Him into your life.

He’s knocking every day, but have you opened up the door of your heart to Jesus?

Be Earnest And Repent

Revelation 3:19-22 (NIV)
19  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Jesus is knocking my friends, so open up the door of your heart afresh today.

If there’s something in your life at this moment more precious to you than Jesus, you need to let go of it, because there’s NOTHING, nothing, absolutely nothing, that’s more important than your eternal welfare.

Once you open that door to Jesus, then and only then, will all His promises be yours: Abundant life (John 10:10), New Birth (John 1:12, 3:1-22).

Who’s That Knocking At Your Door?

It’s Jesus Christ: Open the door of your heart to Him today: Be earnest (sincere, heartfelt, solemn, clear,) and repent: Turn from living your life your way and begin to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit by turning to Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing and new life. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend.

Don.

 

How to ‘THINK’ God’s Way.

how to think God's Way

Daily Spirit & Word: 619: How To ‘THINK’ God’s Way.

He’s Encouraging You Today: Your Anxiety is Going to Be Removed: Peace will come into your heart and mind today.

 

Philippians 4:6-9
6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Good morning my friends, I hope you remembered to put your clocks back an hour. It’s great to have an extra hour in bed once a year or an extra hour anyway. Imagine if they did it with a whole day? At midnight on a Saturday night, they decided to put the clocks back 24 hours so that it suddenly becomes midnight on a Friday… Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Or perhaps it would be better to do it on a Sunday, then for two days in a row we could gather together to worship the Lord. Which would you prefer? A Saturday shift or a Sunday? It’s never going to happen, but how we answer reveals something to us: How we would long to spend time and what our attractions in life are.

DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING

Following on from the teaching about DISASTER and learning not to WORRY, here, once again, we are reminded in such a loving way by the Lord through Paul not to get all anxious about anything.

I know, it’s easy to say, but so hard to do or to put into practice, but you can do it with the help of Jesus.

ANXIOUS: (Don’t Worry NLT and “Be Careful for nothing” KJV) Anxious in the NIV is a good choice of word.

Paul had already demonstrated to the Philippians exactly HOW to do what he revealing here: (Acts 16:16-40).

When in Philippi he and Silas were arrested, beaten severely and thrown into prison. What did he do? He and his companions began to sing and praise the Lord in the Prison. He could instead have been worried, moaned about his bruises and bleeding, fretted over how long they would keep him in prison, but NO! Instead of being anxious about the situation, Paul begins to praise the LORD. So much praise that the chains fall-off and Prison Guard gets converted. Awesome example!

What are we to do when we’re experiencing PRESSURES IN LIFE?

“in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

The Philippian Christians were experiencing severe pressures at the time; from both those not yet converted and also within the fellowship.

How did Paul want them to learn not to be ANXIOUS?

  • By PRAYER: Talk to God about it.
  • By PETITION: Take all your troubles to Jesus.
  • With THANKSGIVING: Praise the Lord, Sing Hymns / Songs of Praise and Thanks.
  • PRESENT: “present your requests to God”… Lay them all out before the LORD.

What is is that you want God to do for you right now? Then pray, petition and thank Him, laying your requests at the feet of the King. He’ll take those requests to His heart, because you are his precious child and He loves you.

What happens once we do that? The Lord reveals through Paul what happens “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

That phrase ‘transcends all understanding’ jumps RIGHT out at me today. Once you’ve prayed, petitioned and thanked the Lord and presented your requests to Him, then such a peace will come into your heart and mind, that you’ll wonder how it’s possible even in dire straits not to be worried.

What happened to Paul and Silas when they were in Prison and they Praised the Lord? Their chains fell off (Acts 16:26) Notice it wasn’t just the chains of Paul and Silas that fell off that day, but also all the other prisoners chains fell of too and the Guard came to know the Lord Jesus Christ that night as well. AWESOME… You are going to have such a PEACE when you take your troubles to Jesus. It will be a PEACE that will bring comfort to your heart and mind. It will be a PEACE that will also impact the lives of those around about you too.

THE WORLD WORRIES: THE WORLD GETS ANXIOUS.

To the world, we should always be worried, but you’ll experience a DIVINE PEACE in the midst of the storm.

Instead of loosing your head, running around like a headless chicken, flapping and getting into a state, you’ll be in a state of complete PEACE. HOW? Because you’ve taken it all to the LORD and then the floodgates of heaven have opened-up and drenched your heart with His PEACE… JOY UNSPEAKABLE floods your soul. and suddenly; worry, anxiety, drama is removed and you are at PEACE.

It’s such an amazing feeling: I’ve had that so many times in life my friends: When disaster strikes, and it will, every follower of Jesus Christ can sail through the storm, when every other ship would run for a safe harbour, the Christian can ride the storm in PEACE. Yes storms will come, but perhaps the LORD is teaching you in the STORM that you can still be a complete PEACE of heart and mind.

Once you are at PEACE: Your thinking will be transformed: You’ll be able to THINK like a BELIEVER: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:9.

True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent, Praisworthy: Think, dwell upon, meditate, concentrate, ponder about these things.

It’s like when you hear a great piece of news, passing it on to others, thinking deeply about it.

Our society tends to do completely the opposite of this advice the Lord has given us through Paul: It thinks, dwells upon, meditates, concentrates and ponders; disasters, murders, thefts, floods, market crashes, broken toys, who’s leaving who, gossiping, etc… That’s how the world thinks: Watch the BBC News: There’s not much focus upon the TRUTH, NOBLE things in life, Right, Pure, Lovely or Admirable or Praiseworthy things. Normally, they’ll have just ONE feel-good story as a short tag at the end of the news broadcast. It’s as if the STORMS in the world and around about us are more important than ALL the good that’s going on. It’s NOT!

I’m sure there are many more wholesome things that could be getting far more attention. Imagine if they had a live-broadcast of people helping out at the foodbank? or if they were to be there with a camera when you didn’t respond with road-rage, but let the other driver out or overtake. The Camera always seems to focus upon the STORMS in life instead.

Remember the Song / Hymn: “I Surrender All”?

All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.

Oh my friends, let us take it ALL to Jesus right now.

All our troubles, fears, worries and anxieties in life.

Let’s be different from the World:

Lets dare to be different and even when disaster, hardship or trouble does come our way, then we will be able to sail through the storm in complete peace of heart and mind in Jesus, because we’ve taken them immediately to Jesus: with prayer, petition and thanksgiving. Perhaps, like Paul and Silas, we’ll see those chains fall off ourselves and all those living around about us too.

Prayer: We all know friends, family and neighbours who’re going through storms at the moment. Let’s pray for them now and encourage them to take their troubles to Jesus:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know you want us to bring EVERYTHING we’re going through in life to You. Please help us to learn to let go and let You deal with the storm. It’s hard to take our eyes off the waves Lord, but we know that when we present all our troubles to you, the storms will die down and we will be a peace in our heart and mind today. We know that it will be in such a way that it will transcend all understanding. Help us to pray Lord! Help us all to let go!” In Your Name, Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen!

Have an awesome Sunday, fully rested, praising the Lord.

PEACE in the LORD!

Don.

 

The Power of God’s Word

Spirit and Word: God's Word

Daily Spirit & Word: 616: The Power of God’s Word.

Good morning my friends, it’s been hitting home to me again today just how wonderful and powerful God’s WORD is. He speaks mainly through the Scriptures (Bible), but the power of God’s Word also comes to us in so many other ways, as people share God’s eternal truth. In what ways has He spoken to you?

Hebrews 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13  Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”

These two verses in Hebrews 4 are AWESOME:

God’s WORD: It’s;

  • LIVING
  • ACTIVE
  • DIVIDING
  • PENETRATING
  • JUDGING

“The Word of God”: Bible Commentators are divided as to what this phrase is referring to:

  • Could it be the Whole Bible as some assume?
  • Could it be the Lord Jesus Himself?
  • Could it be the Gospel (Good News)? For we know that it’s the Word of God that gives the gift of faith.
  • Could it be the Law, as some assume? For the Law is a Schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. (An awareness of our need of God’s forgiveness, for we’ve all broken God’s Laws).
  • Could it be when the Scriptures are read or preached? 

Personally I think it is a combination of ALL of the above:

The Power of God’s Word: We’ve probably seen it ourselves in our own experience of walking and trying to live the Christian life.

When we hear a sermon and it cuts right into our daily life, the preacher being completely unaware of what we’ve been doing, but the Power of God’s Word hits home. Making us feel like getting down low and hiding or running out of the room. I’ve had that as the convicting power of God’s Word comes upon me.

We’ve probably all had an experience of chatting with someone about the Lord’s things; answered prayer, what the Bible is saying to us in our daily devotions, and then all of a sudden you become aware that He’s in the room right there with you, speaking through your words or of the conversation of others in the room. The Power of God’s Word comes to life upon the lips of a brother or sister. It’s wonderful when the Lord does that, speaks through your brothers and sisters in Christ.

We’ve probably all had the experience of reading the Bible and suddenly a phrase jumps into our hearts and encourages us and makes us feel secure, strong, bold, humbled. When God’s Word does something to take away our fears or illuminate a problem we’ve been having.

God’s Word: Is LIVING AND ACTIVE: It’s always there, it’s powerful and it can accomplish what God wants it to. Just think for a moment how the Power of God’s Word: Created the Universe and how God’s Word can make Peter walk upon the water with Jesus. WOWzer! It’s mind-blowing, the POWER of God’s Word.

I heard the story of a young boy, he’d just been converted to Jesus and was sitting in the park reading his bible and yelping with delight. An old stuffy Minister was walking past, he asked the boy, “What are you making all that fuss about?” The Boy responded, “It’s awesome how in the Bible the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea when God rescued them from Pharaoh” The Minister was a liberal and didn’t believe in the literal reading of Genesis, he said, “Oh Archaeologists have proven that the Red Sea was probably only about two feed deep at the point they crossed over”

The young boy’s face fell and the Minister walked away smirking to himself, thinking he’d put the boy to right. Then he heard the boy whooping and dancing again, he turned back and asked the boy, “What are you making a fuss about now?” The boy replied, “It fantastic, what a wonderful God we have” Impatient, the Minister said, “What do you mean?” The boy said, “Don’t you think it’s just amazing how God could drown the whole Egyptian Army in just two feet of water?”

The boy walked away praising the Lord Jesus, the Minister’s face fell. LOL.

 

  • God’s WORD has a Power to convict the hardest of hearts. (Penetrating).
  • God’s Word is living and active and will never cease to be. (Alive).
  • God’s WORD: Is a lamp to my feet and light unto my path. (Guides us in life).
  • God’s WORD is TRUE: for ALL time. (Truth for Everyone, Everywhere).
  • God’s WORD is TRUSTWORTHY: ALWAYS.(Believe ALL God’s Promises in His Word).
  • God’s Word is FAITHFUL: Reliable and Encouraging. (Feeds & Nourishes the Soul).
  • God’s WORD: Has the ability to give faith and lead a person to Jesus Christ today!

Let’s let God’s Word do it’s job in our life and the lives of those we love today.

Oh LORD Jesus Christ, I thank You that You are that living WORD, that You’ve given us Your Words to teach, encourage and strengthen us every day. You have revealed Father God to us through the Words that He gave You to speak whilst upon the earth. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks for the ways that You speak to us and show us the truth in our lives. Your Word is amazing. Praise You Lord! Amen. 

Think about it, what ways has God’s Word spoken to you?

What ways has He spoken to you apart from Scripture and you KNEW it was Him?

What ways have you become aware that God was speaking through you?

The POWER of God’s WORD: Let it soak into your soul today, let it feed you and nourish your walk with Jesus.

Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands for ever.”

Have an amazing Tuesday with Jesus.

Don.

The POWER of God’s Word:

Isaiah 40:6-15
6  A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?” “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.
7  The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
8  The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands for ever.”
9  You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”
10  See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him. See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11  He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
12  Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?
13  Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counsellor?
14  Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way? Who was it that taught him knowledge or showed him the path of understanding?
15  Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.

 

The Good News of God: The Gospel.

God calls, Satan Tempts, Jesus Preaches,

Daily Spirit & Word: 610:

Jesus Begins Preaching The Good News.

Good morning my friends, today we’re back in the Gospel of Mark: We’re preaching through the whole of Mark’s Gospel. We’re in Chapter 1:9-15 (Jesus begins His public preaching ministry).

Mark 1:9-15 (NIV)
9 At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptised by John in the Jordan. (Notice: no detail about conversation with John as in Matthew).
10  As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
11  And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
12  At once the Spirit sent him out into the desert,
13  and he was in the desert for forty days, being tempted by Satan. He was with the wild animals, and angels attended him.
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.
15  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

1) GOD SPEAKS TO JESUS.

Before anything AMAZING or Miraculous happens in the Bible, normally God speaks first.

Genesis: Before there was anything, God spoke it into existence.

Before Adam and Eve: God had spoken the plants and animals and all living things into existence.

Before the Fall: God Spoke one word of prohibition: “Don’t touch, don’t eat”

Before Moses went back to Egypt: God spoke to Him from the Burning Bush.

Before Samuel was a Prophet: God spoke to Him.

Before King David was confronted about his adultery and murder, God spoke to the prophet Nathan.

Before Jesus began His Ministry: God spoke to Him and said, ”

Mark 1:11 “And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

My friends, God still speaks today:

He’ll speak to you, through His Word, through dreams, visions and words of knowledge. He’ll speak to you through other people and through circumstances that you are going through.

Recently: One of the Evangelism Team said, “I think the Lord is telling us to go to Brixton”… We prayed about it and agreed to go. However, God confirmed it in different ways: I knew I was running out of tracts and coins, but I’d not ordered any on time. So I prayed and asked the Lord: Give us some things to take: Well as I was getting my bag ready to go, guess what, I found two bags of 10 Commandment Coins: Over a hundred: more than enough for one nigh, and lots of other tracts as well.

God leads, God guides and God Speaks my friends.

What was it God said? Who did He say it to?

Mark records that it was to Jesus God was speaking.

Matthew records that John heard God speaking to Jesus.

“You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

When you know that you are hearing God’s Voice: it give you confidence, comfort, commitment, determination, direction and joy. Jesus went into the wilderness, directed by the HOLY SPIRIT. Today, God calls you to Jesus, He gives you the same HOLY SPIRIT and He’ll guide you into your Ministry. Whatever He determines that is. For it is HIM who gives you gifts. He let’s you KNOW just how much He loves you. How happy He is when we are obedient to His call. He lets us KNOW we are HIS Children.

2) SATAN TEMPTS JESUS:

Just after God spoke, He guides Jesus by His Spirit.

He guides Him into the wilderness to undergo some testing, which He allows the Devil, Satan to tempt Jesus.

Mark is unlike the other Evangelists: He doesn’t go into any detail:

For instance: Mark leaves out the fact that Jesus fasted 40 days, there’s no detail about how Satan tempted Him, or what Jesus did in response to Satan’s tempting. Mark only records the fact of Satan’s tempting Jesus.

When we’re reading Mark’s Gospel: If you’ve read the other Gospels, then you sub-consciously fill in the blanks, you’ve got a mental picture from all the other information the Bible provides about what that TEMPTING meant.

So let’s imagine for a moment; that we’ve never read any of the other Gospels: Why did Mark leave it out. You see the New Testament didn’t come together as one book for a long time after this Gospel was written. His focus was not on the detail, but on the acts that Jesus performed, the things that Jesus did. You’ll notice that again and again in Mark’s Gospel of Jesus. Why? It’s because Mark knew the things that Jesus did, speak loudest about WHO JESUS IS. When we know that, we’ll put our complete trust in Jesus.

He doesn’t go into the detail of things; like Matthew and Luke. (My wife and most women LOVE detail: LOL).

He doesn’t tell us about conversations; like John does.

He merely records the facts of what Jesus did. He paints with powerful picture words: i.e. (Heaven being torn open: Matthew tells us heaven opened and a dove came down, Mark tells us it was TORN OPEN. There’s a FORCE behind the Gentle Dove. We fill in the blanks with our minds.

Application: Satan Tempts Today: When you’ve heard God speaking, Satan will then, quite often come an hassle you too.

It didn’t take long for Satan to come and try and convince Jesus to go his way instead of God’s.

He tried to cause Jesus to doubt God’s Word / God’s Voice. He’ll do the same with you too.

Just after a friend of mine was converted: He had an awesome experience of the Holy Spirit.

A few weeks later, at the Bible study, He was doubting God’s Word: He said, “I can’t believe all these miracles”, but I said, “Pray about it, leave it on the back-burner and just concentrate on what Jesus taught and what the Bible teaches for a while”…

It didn’t take long for my friend to overcome his doubts, the next week he came back, Jesus DOES PERFORM MIRACLES.

It took the miracle of immediate answered prayer to convince him. He believed the Bible 100% after that.

When you’ve heard God speaking, Satan will try and steal it away from you.

  • He’ll try and make you doubt your calling.
  • He’ll try and take you away from God.
  • He’ll do his best to convince you “Life is better without Jesus, God, Church, Fellowship, Bible study, Prayer, Praise, etc etc etc…”
  • All that God calls us to do: He’ll try and convince you to STOP>
  • Why? Because Satan Knows there’s POWER in all the things that God has called us to do. He KNOWS: Once you START obeying God, you’re FAITH will get stronger and it’ll be harder for him to pull you away. He’ll never stop trying though. It’s a Constant Battle for the Saints against our arch-enemy Satan.

On Friday, we met a woman who’d been convinced she didn’t need ‘Church’: However, over time, her faith had dwindled, she’d fallen into sin and an old stammer she had came back to haunt her.

We encouraged her: To know God’s Word concerning gathering together regularly to worship: To get back into fellowship, bible study with others and prayer and praise with brothers and sisters.

Satan had fooled her into thinking, “I don’t need ‘Church'” Oh yes she does my friends. And WE ALL NEED IT TOO.

 

3) Finally, JESUS PREACHES: (The Good News of God).

God Spoke, The Devil Tempted and Jesus Preached.

Jesus had OVERCOME Satan’s attempts to divert Him, to make him walk away from God’s Plan.

Jesus begins to proclaim the Good News.

Notice what Mark tells us:

14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. (Notice again: No detail about why John was put into prison, or how Jesus went about preaching the good news, just the fact that He did).

15  “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!”

What was Jesus “Good News”: Gospel:

The TIME has come, The Kingdom of God is Near:

a) The Time Has Come:

Jew were EXPECTING THE MESSIAH. Jesus is declaring, boldly, loudly and clearly: I’m The Expected One. (The one that John the Baptist was telling you about, telling you to get ready for, I’m here)….

b) Repent and Believe the Good News:

Repentance and Belief: This is a KEY Doctrine that will NEVER be taken away until Jesus returns.

For any person to be SAVED: There must be both: Repentance and Belief.

JESUS GOSPEL: TO THE JEWS.

The Gospel Jesus preached was before any of the events of the Crucifixion or Resurrection and Ascension: These are the KEY elements in any Proclamation of the Gospel today.

But when Jesus was on earth, He was preaching mainly to Jews: His Gospel, Good News, was slightly different.

You see the Jews were God’s Chosen People: They were EXPECTING God to speak, to send messengers, who would usher in God’s Kingdom rule. Jesus is declaring to those who knew this: “NOW IS THE TIME: God’s Kingdom is close at hand, it’s near, it’s right here with you NOW”…. So, Repent (Get back to God, get right with God, turn away from sin and unbelief). Believe.

The Gospel For Us:

We know that Jesus died.

We know that Jesus is alive.

So the Gospel Message is: Believe in what Jesus has done on the Cross, Repent from your sins and Receive Him as your Lord and Saviour.

However, before people who are not like Jews can accept that message, we need to plough up the soil of the heart to get it ready for the seed of the Good News to be planted. We need to help people see their NEED of the SAVIOUR before they’ll be ready to receive Him rightly.

Imagine: A farmer going out to sow his seed in an un-ploughed field? He just would not do it. No farmer in his right mind would sprinkle seed on un-prepared ground. Why? Because He knows; the Birds will steal it away. The seed will be ruined.

It’s like casting your pearls before swine. So it is with giving the Good News before they’re ready to receive it.

The Apostles knew it and proclaimed it, the Preachers of Old knew it, we’re re-learning it’s value again today: With God’s help, we need to bring conviction of sin, the consequences of sin, the judgement to come, eternal destiny of all men without Jesus, and then they’ll be ready; Once they know their NEED of Jesus.

Today: People’s hearts need to be prepared, like a farmer’s field, before they hear and receive the Good News or it will be a waste of time, or a perverted Gospel we’ll be preaching.

BUT: What do we see today? People are being given the Good News, before they’re ready to receive it.

The Church tells the world: God LOVES you and Has a plan for your life: My friends, they’ve got their own plans, they love their lives of sin, they don’t want anyone telling them what to do and how to live. They’re happy in their sin.

So Now people are enticed into ‘church’ with words like: come to Jesus and you’ll be happy, you’ll get peace, joy and lasting fulfilment. So people come to that Jesus. They love that message, it doesn’t talk about: Sin, true Repentance, Judgement or Hell. No wonder those churches are full to overflowing. We NEED a ‘real’ Old Time REVIVAL TODAY.

Once a sick patient knows his need of a cure: He’ll be ready and eager to receive it.

Once a sinner knows his need of forgiveness, cleansing from sin and how to get it, he’ll be ready for the cure: The Gospel, Good News of Jesus Christ. How God loved him enough to send His One and Only Son into the world to die upon the Cross for the sins of every sinner. (John 3:16)… Also he’ll be ready for the warning (John 3:18-21).

Before we can give them either: The Good News or The Warning:

We must be gentle, humble and instruct them about their NEED of a Saviour, by showing them HOW they have offended God. We also have an inward ally who’ll help us: Their Conscience (God’s LAW written upon their hearts).

We have a Heavenly Power who’ll be drawing them: The Holy Spirit, who’ll lead them to a Conviction of Sin. However, our part is to EXPLAIN and PREPARE their Hearts for the Good News of the Gospel.  We need to be like the farmer, getting hearts ready for Good Seed of God’s Gospel Message planted perfectly into their prepared hearts.

My friends, it’s so wonderful when you observe people’s faces as they see their need of Jesus. You can physically see as their eyes are opened and they understand the Gospel, it makes sense to them. Not everyone is ready at that instant to Believe and Repent, but their hearts have been prepared, the ground has been ploughed and the seed sown. God’s WORD: Faith Comes by Hearing. God will do His Work.

Conclusion:

God Speaks, Satan Tempts and Jesus Preached.

God calls you today, fills you with His Spirit, to guide you.

Satan still tempts you today,

and Jesus has commanded you to PREACH: Good News, but prepare hearts for the Gospel first.

Go into ALL THE WORLD… The emphasis of Jesus is for everyone of us to “GO”… Let the world know the Good News of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV)

15  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Mark 16:20 (NIV)

20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Let us PRAY: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank you so much for Mark’s Gospel message. We can see that just like You, we can Hear our Father speaking today. We know the reality of Satan and how he tries to tempt us away from You and Your will for our lives. We believe that You are calling us all to share the Good News. Please give us the will to be obedient, the desire to share and the wisdom to know when we’re being tempted. Keep us from all evil, give us daily bread, Your Kingdom Come. Amen.

Who Wants To Live Forever?

Divine Seed, Gospel Good News, Gives Life,

Daily Spirit & Word: 593: You Were Born Again To LIVE Forever.

Everybody NEEDS to be Born Again IF they are going to LIVE.

Good morning my friends, do you remember the Freddie Mercury (Queen) song “Who wants to live forever?”? Do you know or are you aware, that there are so many Christians who think that they are ‘Born Again’ only so long as they perform well, are obedient and good? However the Bible, which is the WORD of God, declares that when you are Born Again it is not just for a little while, but FOREVER.

1 Peter 1:23-25 (AMP)

23  You have been regenerated (born again), not from a mortal origin (seed, sperm), but from one that is immortal by the ever living and lasting (ETERNAL) Word of God.

24  For all flesh (mankind, humankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower (fall) drops off,

25  But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel, Good News) endures forever. And this Word is the good news (Gospel) which was preached to you. 

HOW THE NEW LIFE BEGAN:

When you: REPENTED (for without repentance you cannot be saved), Believed that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins and Received Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, then you were BORN AGAIN of God’s Holy Spirit. The seed that impregnated is the Gospel (Good News) about Jesus.

Just as a man impregnates a woman’s egg with his sperm and life begins in the egg. (Life begins at conception).

So the WORD of God is Planted in you and Impregnated with the SEED (The Gospel of Jesus Christ). New LIFE (Born Again, Regeneration) begins from that moment on. Praise the LORD.

However, as our text in 1 Peter 1:23-25 declares: This is God’s WORD: The WORD that regenerated you is not the SAME as human sperm. Human sperm is temporal, it will die and so will the egg that it impregnates.

Just like when you go shopping at Tesco, Asda, Iceland or the Co-Op: The things you buy have a sell-by-date stamped upon them, that’s because like human beings, they will deteriorate, they will eventually go-off, go rotten and will need to be thrown out. The sad fact is that EVERY (100%) of human beings will eventually fade away and die. Ten out of Ten DIE.

Just as Peter illustrates from God’s Word in Isaiah 40:6-9 “The flowers fade and fall, the grass withers and dies”

However, the Good News is this: When you come to Christ you are Born Again of an IMPERISHABLE (Eternal, Living, Abiding) seed. You are going to LIVE from that moment on forever. It is the GOSPEL (GOOD NEWS) that was proclaimed, preached, evangelised, shared with you that brought about this NEW LIFE when you received it with faith.

Can you see the NEED to be born again?

If a human being is NOT born again of God’s Word by coming to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He or She will one day die, and that DEATH is eternal. They will be thrown into God’s ETERNAL PRISON CALLED HELL. Because they have not been born again, i.e. they’ve not Repented, Believed in Jesus death upon the Cross for their sins, and Received Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Lord. They will die with their sins upon their own heads instead of upon Christ’s Cross.

Believe me, this is not just Donald writing this, it was Jesus Christ who said, “You must be born again”.

{Please NOTE: It would be most beneficial if you read ALL of the text of John 3:1-21, because it’s all related to the SAME subject of Being Born Again and the NEED to be born again if you want to Enter into God’s Kingdom, Heaven).

John 3:1-21 (ANIV) Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council.

2  He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no-one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
3  In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4  “How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”
5  Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no-one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.
6  Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.
7  You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’
8  The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9  “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10  “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?
11  I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.
12  I have spoken to you of earthly things and you do not believe; how then will you believe if I speak of heavenly things?
13  No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man.
14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

God Wants Everyone To Be SAVED (Born Again).

No ONE (none) need die this eternal death.

God has given us the GOOD NEWS to impregnate every soul on earth.

However, it take something on our part to receive this NEW LIFE: The Bible calls that SAVING FAITH: Do you know how to get or give faith away? FAITH comes by hearing the eternal Word of God. (Romans 10) Awesome!

Question 1: Is there ANYONE you know who’s NOT Born Again? They need to be to be saved. It doesn’t matter how ‘good’ a person thinks they are, unless they’ve been born again they CANNOT enter into the Kingdom of God.

Question 2: Will you do what you can to bring your loved ones into God’s Kingdom? What can you do? Proclaim, preach, declare the Good News (Gospel) of Jesus Christ: That Jesus died upon a Cross, giving His life so that they could be saved from God’s wrath and anger against their sins and His just judgement and hell. (Everyone has broken God’s Commandments).

Question 3: Is anything else more important than a person’s eternal welfare?

Jesus asked that question like this:  Matthew 16:26 (NIV) What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?”

Remember: God so LOVED the world (every single human soul that He created) that He gave His One and ONLY Son to die upon the Cross for their sins. (John 3:16). He did it so EVERYONE could be saved.

Prayer: Oh Heavenly Father, thank you for showing me afresh today through 1 Peter 1:23-25 that we’re born again of a seed that is imperishable and that I’m going to last forever. However, I realise that not everyone I know an love is ‘born again’ or even wants to be, please Lord, help me to be faithful, to know that a person can only be ‘born again’ and saved by hearing the Good News Gospel of Jesus Christ, Your One and Only Son and to proclaim that message with boldness, urgency and gentleness with respect and power. I know that life is in the Word proclaimed. It’s Your Divine Seed that will bring life. I’m praying to you Father in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have a tremendous Thursday, KNOWING that when you come to Christ you are going to LIVE forever.

Amen!

Don.

 

The LORD Grows His Church

Church Growth by Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 586:

The LORD Grows His Church

By; Calling, Guiding and Touching Hearts.

Acts 16 is amazing, it’s fast and furious, moving from one place to the next.

Paul’s Missionary Journey: After The Jerusalem Meeting. Travelling With Timothy and Silas.

Bible Readings: Acts 16:1-15.

1) Timothy Joins Paul and Silas. (Calling)

The Church Grew Daily In Numbers.

Acts 16:1-5 He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.

2  The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
3  Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
4  As they travelled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.

5  So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

NOTE: See Paul’s Letters to Timothy. (1 Timothy and 2 Timothy).

Church Grew Daily In Numbers:

When we go out in the Power of God’s Holy Spirit, to share Jesus, to live the Christian life and witness for Jesus, the Church will grow.

Notice: Paul, Silas and Timothy: Travelled from town-to-town delivering decisions: (That’s a reference back to Acts 15 Jerusalem Council: Note what the Council didn’t say: meet every day for Communion, Pray every week, Stand this way or sit that way: There were NO RELIGIOUS RITUALS: NONE!

What did they tell them to do: The Jerusalem Letter: (We actually have it in our Bibles).

Acts 15:23-29 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

24  We have heard that some went out from us without our authorisation and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. (Become Jewish, get circumcised, live by the Jewish traditions).
25  So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul—
26  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27  Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
28  It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

29  You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

NOTHING Else, nothing about rituals or religious rites. They knew that when a person becomes a follower of Jesus, they’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit, will worship and gather together with the saints regularly and serve the risen Lord as He guides them.

As they delivered the message, they encouraged the brothers and sisters and the Church Grew Daily In Numbers. What was it that made the Church Grow? Encouragement & Strengthened Faith.

Gathering Together: Praying, Praising and Listening to God’s Word: Encourages and Strengthens our Faith.

It grows the church. (People spoke well of Timothy, therefore he was selected by Paul to come and what a journey Timothy had). Imagine: Being invited by Paul (the great Apostle) to come with him to share the Gospel from town to town. What a wonderful privilege that would have been. You can go too. (Every Wednesday We Go OUT to share Jesus on the Streets).

The Lord Grows His Church by Calling: Just as Timothy was called to join Paul and Silas, Is the Lord calling you to serve Him today?

2) The Man of Macedonia. (Guiding).

The Lord Grows His Church by Guiding by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 16:6-10 “Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

7  When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
8  So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
9  During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

10  After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

On Friday: I had a meeting with Ministers from other Churches in West Norwood.

It was amazing (Read Yesterday’s Daily Spirit & Word).

But God HIMSELF: Encourages us, when we meet: In Jesus Name: For fellowship, prayer and praise.

He’ll guide us into what it is that He wants us to do.

AND by His Holy Spirit: What He doesn’t want us to do.

Are we listening out for what God wants?

Take a few minutes: to sit and think and pray: Ask God: “Father, what is it that You want me to be doing in my life for you?”

The LORD Grows His Church by Guiding Us by His Holy Spirit: Are we listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit today?

3) Lydia’s Conversion At Philippi (Touching Hearts).

(Note: Read Philippians).

The Lord Grows His Church by Touching Hearts.

Acts 16:11-15 “From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.

12  From there we travelled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
13  On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
14  One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

15  When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.”

When We Come Together: Gathering for Prayer.

Those ladies gathered regularly at the river to pray. The Place of Prayer.

When Jews didn’t have a Synagogue, the met in open places (normally by a river) to pray.

I’m certain they didn’t expect to meet with God in such a way that day, but God’s ways are amazing.

When we come together, to meet with each other, to pray, to praise Jesus and to worship together. We’re going to be: Strengthened, Encouraged, Lifted. The Holy Spirit will draw us to put MORE faith, trust and commitment in Jesus.

Lydia: The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message: The Gospel.

Lydia: Practised Hospitality: Immediately she came to know Jesus. (That’s an indication that Jesus had touched her heart).

She was a wealthy business woman. Dealer in Purple: Purple Thyatira: Purple Cloth: Made from the shells of fish. A purple (indigo) dye that was very expensive. Purple was a very difficult colour to reproduce, it’s rarity made it expensive, but they’d discovered a way to get it. In some places only the very rich could afford the Purple Cloth.

My friends, when we come together, listen to God’s Word (The Teaching) we’re also going to have our hearts touched by the Lord as He did Lydia. “The Lord Opened Her Heart”… He can open up your heart too.

We all get hard-hearted, but just by coming and being in the hearing of God’s Word can and will open up our hearts to the Lord. He’ll do it.

The Lord Grows His Church by; Touching Hearts: Has the Lord been touching your heart today?

Conclusion:

Don’t Neglect The Gathering Together To Praise the LORD.

Hebrews 10:19-25 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21  and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 

23  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.

25  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

When we gather: (Calling) God will send us out into the world: With HIS message. (Timothy: Acts 16:1-5)

People will be encouraged, faith will be strengthened and the Church will grow.

 

When we gather: (Guiding) The Holy Spirit will guide us. (Macedonia: Acts 16:6-10) (Do this, go there, do that or don’t go, don’t do).

We’ll be encouraged and strengthened in our faith: We will grow as Christians, when we grow, the church grows.

 

When we gather: (Touching Hearts) People will hear the message.(Lydia Acts 16:11-15) God will touch hearts. People will be transformed. And the Church will grow.

The Lord Grows His Church by: Calling, Guiding by the Holy Spirit and by Touching Hearts.

I’m Praying: That He’s calling you, guiding you and touching your heart today.

Have an Awesome Week: Don’t neglect the gathering together of the saints, because you’ll be encouraged, you’ll grow in faith and the Church will grow, because The LORD builds His Church.

Don.

NOTES:

Objection: Some people say to us regularly as we go out onto the streets with the Gospel.

“I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to go to church to be a good Christian”

I almost always respond with “Yes you do!”

Why? Because IF you are a Christian, then you’ll want to be obedient to God. He commands that we “Don’t neglect the gathering together”, why? Because when we do, our faith can be shipwrecked.

If you are a real Christian, then you’ll have your “want to” changed, you’ll want to gather together, to; praise, worship, pray, study, listen, encourage, etc… You KNOW that it’s good for you. You KNOW it’s what the LORD wants. You KNOW that you will grow and the Church will grow as you gather with brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Don’t NEGLECT the Gathering Together… The LORD Builds His Church by; Calling, Guiding and Touching Hearts.

 

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Drought, Dryness, Thirst, Hunger,

Daily Spirit & Word 558:

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Good morning my friends, I’ve had a wonderful week so far and I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend. The School came to church yesterday for their end of term assembly, it was so good hearing all the children singing and watching their dance before the Lord. You can learn a LOT from children: out of the mouths of babes.

I’ve shared with folks a few time how a few days ago, I ventured into my garden and was horrified. It strange when you’ve set your mind to relax and enjoy a break from your labours then disaster strikes. Well it was only a little disaster, but well worth sharing, because the LORD has been speaking to me about it since.

I was just sitting down when I glanced over to my tomato plants, they’d all began to wither, their leaves were curled-up and the tops drooping terribly. What had happened? I’d not watered them for a day, it was a HOT day, and though I’d planed to water them, as usual, in the evening, they’d already begun to wilt in the heat of the sun. So I quickly got my garden hose and sprayed them, then soaked each plant in turn, the soil in their pots was so dry and hard that the water just floated and would not sink into the soil. I kept soaking them for over an hour. Then I returned to my labour in another part of the garden, fearing the worse that the tomatoes had been withered beyond salvation. They gotten so dried up they’d never be able to soak in the life-giving water.

However, after another hour, I glanced at my plants again, and though their leaves were still much softer than normal, they’d begun to lift and their heads were standing up again. Another hour passed, I’d watered them again and then they were standing tall, firm and ready to face the heat of the sun again.

Well, since then the LORD has been showing me from His Word in so many places that we NEED to come to HIM every single day if we’re going to prosper and live as Christians. If you truly want to be known by God as a Follower of Jesus Christ, then you need to stay connected to Christ or you too will wither and die. It will be as if you are just like a non-Christian, you will be so dried-up Spiritually that your head will droop, your desire for spiritual things will not be there, you’ll be hardened against instruction and correction. Just like the plant that had gotten so hard that it couldn’t drink-in the very thing it needed to survive.

CURSED: Cursed is the man (person).

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Let’s read that again in another translation:

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

  • Whenever we’re tempted to BE independent of God.
  • Whenever we’re fooled into THINKING “I can do it by myself”.
  • Whenever we’re tricked into doing things in WORLDLY ways.

Then we’re CURSED. (Be shocked my friends, because it’s introduced to us like this, “This IS what the LORD says”, i,e. it’s not a man saying it to you, it’s not a book saying it to you, it’s the LORD Himself. It’s a warning from Heaven; “Don’t trust in yourself, don’t trust in man’s cunning, man’s wisdom, man’s strength or anything else MANKIND tells you how to be, how to live and how to succeed in this world. TRUST ONLY IN GOD. (He’s revealed HIS will in HIS Word).

Let’s see it unpacked just a little more for today: On Sunday I’m going to be opening up God’s WORD on this subject a little more.

BLESSED: Blessed is the man (person).

Now just sit and soak in God’s WORD (Like my tomato plant; and BE revived, be renewed, have your thirst quenched, feel the goodness surge through your veins, let Him lift your head).

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Notice in the KJV “Her leaf shall be green” That’s awesome, I hadn’t noticed that before. AWESOME! This really does apply to both men and women my friends.

 

BLESSED by the LORD is the person who trusts in HIM.

 

But NOTICE: The reason why?????

The reason God doesn’t want you or me or anyone to TRUST in their flesh or the advice of other men or women in their ‘worldly’ wisdom, is this:

Jeremiah 17:9 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Why? Because your HEART is: DECEITFUL (it will trick, fool and lie to us).

Because our HEART is: DESPERATELY WICKED: the heart will lead you away from God into wicked and foolish things. It will be desperate for the things that God has said are NOT GOOD for you. Your Heart will lead you away from God because in our natural un-redeemed condition our HEART is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Even for Christian’s who’ve begun to walk in the flesh, the heart will lead you further away from God if you trust it’s inclinations).

It’s like my tomato plant, it desperately needed water, but was rejecting the water at first. Even though I was soaking it, it had gotten so HARD, it would not and couldn not drink in the precious life-giving fluid.

Oh my friends, is the LORD shouting out to you this Friday? Stop, stop trusting in your flesh, the arm of your strength, your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, it’s telling you things that are lies about God, lies about how to be a great success in this life. STOP listening to your flesh and the wisdom of the men of the world. STOP trusting in your own desperately wicked heart and trust the LORD.

BE BLESSED: You will always have what you NEED from the LORD, even when disaster strikes, you will continue to flourish.

Have an awesome weekend and SOAK in God.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

It’s funny how the ordinary things in life, like my withered tomato plant can teach us God’s TRUTH so that we can remember it forever.

When we turn away from the LORD (or neglect to do or be in His presence daily), we’re beginning to trust in the flesh for our Spiritual survival, we’re going to get dry, thirsty, parched. It will be like we’re all alone in a desert place, away from all that’s good. Don’t trust in the flesh or the strength of human wisdom, but turn again and trust in the LORD.

I need YOU LORD JESUS, every single day. Fill me up Lord. Amen.

Don.

Read: John 4: John 15, Luke 15, 1 John 3:16,

Especially the Woman at the Well:

 

 

Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others

Transformation by Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 514: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed to Transform Others.

Good morning my friends. A little confession is good for the soul. Come closer, I’ve got something I need to confess to you today, but don’t tell anyone else.  😳 Since last Sunday I’ve been feeling quite unwell. It began with sciatica, which I’ve suffered with for a while, on and off, but I’ve also had another ache in my back, which won’t go away. So I went to the doctors, Dr Patel gave me anti-inflammation tablets and pain killers. To be honest, they’re not doing much good. So last night after training and prayer, I decided I couldn’t go out with the team. My mind wouldn’t have been on what I was meant to be doing, but on the pain. So they prayed for me and went out quite joyfully to share Jesus with others. You know something, I was hard to watch them go out on their own, but it was also a joy, because my brothers and sisters went out happy to talk with others about Jesus. We were encouraged by our Bible reading: Matthew 28:16-20. “I am with you”. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to see some people in my church who are ready, confident, equipped, expectant and willing to share the Good News with everyone? We’ve been praying for ages, “Lord, the fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers are few, Oh Lord, send us more labourers who’re willing to go out into Your harvest field”. I’m praising Him this morning, because He’s answered that prayer. Oh Yes, my friends, the Labourers are still few in number, but they’re being prepared and sent out by Him.

Today’s focus is upon our NEED to be TRANSFORMED.

We’ll see today, that before we can even begin to contemplate being used to help transform other (from sinners into saints), we need to undergo a transformation ourselves first. That may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Evangelistic Missions when some of our TEAM members came to full faith in Jesus and were transformed by Him, whilst actually on the mission. They knew about Jesus, had gotten to the point of giving their lives to Jesus, but whilst they knew about Him, they didn’t actually KNOW Him. They believed that Jesus could save, but hadn’t actually been saved themselves. As we began to go about witnessing and preaching the Gospel, it then became blindingly evident to them, that they needed something to happen in order to enable them to share. Once they’d RECEIVE Jesus, many times through tears of repentance, and been transformed by Him (born-again) or changed from a sinner into a saint (regenerated), they were then ON FIRE and ready and equipped to enable them to TRANSFORM the lives of others.

Matthew 28:16-17 16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.

It’s getting close to the end of Jesus’ 40 Days, and we don’t really know how many times He appeared to these disciples, but some of them are still having trouble believing completely that Jesus was actually alive. Some of them worshipped, but some doubted. That tells me something my friends. In every church I’ve served the Lord Jesus, there have been those who’re there, they’ve got the faith, they’ve trusted Jesus and been transformed, they’re on fire, they’re ready to do anything for Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit and worship Him at the drop of a hat. But there are various levels of others, who’re not quite there yet. They may have been attending that church for many years, sometimes all their lives, they’ve gotten involved in every kind of church activity and they’ve done everything that needs to be done externally; baptism, confirmation, prayer group, Bible study, Home Group, ministry team, building committee, coffee rota, Sunday School helper, Church Warden and Church Council Member, but they’ve somehow done all of that without being TRANSFORMED by Jesus. It’s such a sad shame, but our fellowships are full of people who don’t actually know the Lord Jesus Christ. They know ALL about Him, but they don’t know Him.

Just like Jesus’ own disciples, who right up until He was about to ascend into Heaven, we can see that some of them were still doubting. Some worshipped Him, but some doubted: These were Jesus closest Disciples. So when we find amongst our numbers people who’ve been to church for years and still they’re not there yet, we shouldn’t be surprised or even (if you’re a minister or born again yourself) shocked, because Jesus Christ and all His Resurrection Appearances couldn’t convince even some of His closest followers, who’d seen and been there when He performed countless others miracles. If they still doubted after all that and with Jesus standing right in front of them and they’re still doubting, don’t be shocked or surprised when people who’ve done everything that needs to be done, and served in every possible way in your church, still don’t fully believe in Jesus. You’ve not failed, Jesus didn’t fail, it’s just human nature. It also highlights how difficult it is to set people free, to open people’s blind eyes and to bring people into God’s Kingdom. The Gospel is so EASY to believe, it’s simple to understand, but the sad things is, and Jesus warned us about it, many are called, but few are chosen.

“Some Worshipped, but some Doubted” 

How can we get people TRANSFORMED? Just like Jesus own Disciples, we NEED to be TRANSFORMED OURSELVES. We need the Holy Spirit birth, that’s what it took to change the others my friends, and that didn’t happen until a few days after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. However, once they’d been BAPTISED with Holy Spirit, they were then ON FIRE and nothing could stop them running out of that Upper Room and Witnessing and Proclaiming the Good News (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once they knew Him on the inside, after they’d been TRANSFORMED then they set about transforming others. It’s a supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit.

If you are still finding that there are some doubts in your heart, then ASK Jesus Christ to send His Holy Spirit into your life today.

If you are already full of the Holy Spirit and your not ready to share Jesus yet, then you need more of Him and a desire to be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go”, because He’s not changed. His Mission for the Church has not altered. He wants every Christian to be on this Mission to Transform the Lives of Others, but to be able to do it, we need a transformation ourselves first.

If your heart’s desire is not to SAVE others, then you’ve not been born again. It’s as simple as that. Charles Spurgeon said it clearly: “”If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.””

“If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.”

In another sermon he said; “”Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that””

“Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that” Charles Spurgeon.

The Condition of Many: Charles Spurgeon said, “I heard about repentance but I never knew repentance until I repented. I heard of faith, but I never knew faith until I believed. I heard of pardon but I never knew pardon until I was washed in the blood of the Lamb. I read about justification by faith but I was never justified till, by faith, I received the Lord Jesus to be my Righteousness. Appropriation by faith gives an apprehension by the understanding—experimental enjoyment creates true acquaintance. Beloved, go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to enable you to take the things which God freely gives and when you possess them, you will “know” them.”

In other words, my words 🙂 “We don’t know Jesus, until we KNOW Jesus” we can’t Know Jesus until we’re born of His Holy Spirit. We can know about Jesus, but experiential knowledge of Jesus comes when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives. He comes when we; Believe on Jesus Christ, REPENT of our Sins, seek His forgiveness, trust in His death and receive Him as LORD. If you’ve done all that then you’ll KNOW Jesus.

When you get married, you don’t need someone else to introduce you to your wife again do you? When you take a driving test, you don’t need someome to tell you about it, you’ve done it and you’ve got the certificate to prove it. When you are born of God’s Spirit, the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Children of God. We KNOW because He doesn’t keep quiet, the Holy Spirit reveals it to us and enables us to KNOW: Jesus the Son and God the Father. We KNOW that we KNOW…

Romans 8:13-16 13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body (Repentance), you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

You KNOW because the SPIRIT makes us know. If you don’t know like that then guess what? You need the HOLY SPIRIT.

That’s Good NEWS: Because Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive”. Does it say, “Ask and you might receive”? No! Of course not, Jesus wants every single one of us to be CERTAIN. He gives a sure and certain hope. Once you are born of God’s Spirit, REGENERATED, TRANSFORMED, you’ll know it. A sure sign that it has happened is your desires change and you’ll earnestly, wholeheartedly desire what God wants, to see others being TRANSFORMED and REGENERATED and SAVED as well.

Jesus Transformed us so that we can TRANSFORM others.

We’re TRANSFORMED by Jesus in order that we are to be involved in His Great Commission, to TRANSFORM the lives of others. We’re SAVED to SAVE.

It’s like we’ve been plucked from the sea by the life-boat, but once we’re aboard, we’ll be pulling others aboard as well, so that they can be saved.

Conclusion: Amongst our ranks we’ll have those who’re on fire and ready to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION. We’ll have others who are on thier way to Jesus. We’ll have some, like the Disciples, who’ll be doubting. We’ll have some who are ready to fall down and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t be tempted to give up or give in. Don’t get disheartened, disappointed or downcast. Keep going because men and women don’t always receive the Gospel the first time they hear it. It’s like a wood-splitter’s wedge, thin on one edge and thick on the other, but each swing of his hammer drives the wedge deeper into the wood, until eventually it breaks apart and forms a lovely plank. Keep preaching snippets of the gospel many times with many people and eventually some of their hard-hearts will be broken by God’s Holy Spirit. Sometimes, you are just planting seeds, but some seeds take time in the soil to germinate. But the seed never dies! Praise the Lord.

Be certain that you’ve been TRANSFORMED first, then go out with Jesus and transform the lives of others.

Have an awesome day fulfilling the Great Commission with the Lord Jesus in you and with you always.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Notes: Charles Spurgeon’s Sermons:

Grace for Grace. Charles Spurgeon. Number 2087.

“She Was Not Hid” Sermon Charles Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Sermon: Number 2019.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

 

New Penny Black Stamp

Daily Spirit & Word, 501: New Penny Black Stamp.

Good morning my friends, I’ve not gone mad, I know we’re in a series looking at the disciples reactions to the resurrection appearances of the Lord, and that today the focus is upon JOY and the Title should read: “Jesus Gives A New Joy” Day 17. However, imagine how everybody in the UK would feel today, if the Post Office issued a commemorative Penny Black Stamp. Because it’s 175 Years since the First Penny Black Stamp was issued. You know the old fashioned stamp? You buy it and if you stick it to a letter then the STAMP itself guaranteed delivery of your item. So my friends, the Holy Spirit guarantees delivery of God’s Word to produce great JOY in your heart today.

Penny Black Stamp

It was a magnificent idea, People all over the county could send letters, notes, parcels etc to each other for the first time and the government guaranteed that it would be delivered, all because it carried the official Post Office Stamp: The Penny Black. Can you imagine the sheer joy and delight it must have been to receive the first letter in your life? If you had a relative who’d traveled to find work, they could now keep in contact by letter. Of course letters could take a few days to arrive 175 years ago, everything was very slow back then. Horses were the main means of transportation, it was before the advent of Steam Railways, Cars and Buses. No my friends, it was either horseback or coach and letters and mail were still in their infancy. You had to trust that someone would deliver you letter and you had no way of guaranteeing that it would be delivered. Also it would take a long time to discover if your letter had been delivered or not. The Penny Black Stamp changed all of that.

Now, when we read our lesson today from John’s Gospel, you’ll note that I’ve not gone completely bonkers: We’re thinking about the disciples JOY, now let’s look at the passage together;

John 20:19-21 19  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

Notice what it says in verse 20; “… The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.”

You know my friends, I want you to try and picture the scene and use your imagination, try and think what it must have been like to be one of Jesus disciples at that moment. You are perhaps; Peter, John or Mary and you’ve all gotten together three days after Jesus was tortured and killed upon the cross. You are all frightened to be there together, you imagine all sorts of horrible things happening to you if you are caught by the authorities. You can see them in your minds eyes, torturing you like the shamefully tortured Jesus’ body. You can imagine the sting of thw whip or the pain as they thrust the crown of thorns on your head. You can almost feel it, because you witnessed it just a few days ago, the memory of what they’d done to Jesus and what they could possible do to you, was still very fresh indeed. You’ve all got this dread of being captured and caught, then suddenly out of nowhere, because you’ve made certain the doors are locked anyway, Jesus stands in the midst. First you’d probably be shocked, but then Jesus utters these words; “Peace be with you” You know it’s Jesus’ voice. You recognise the voice of the Master. But your mind is doing summersaults, “it can’t be, He’s dead, but He’s here, how can He be here? He’s alive, no Jesus died, but yet I can hear his voice. Am I dreaming? Is this a ghost or a dream?” I know that my mind would be racing like this: but then slowly it begins to sink in; “This IS Jesus, that was His voice I just heard, He really IS here with us now” Then your surprise and shock give way to a Tsunami of Joy. Wave, after wave or Tsunami like Joy floods you soul.

Now can you see what I meant about the Penny Black? The Joy of having been contacted by a loved one hundreds of milse away, they actually touched this paper and put a pen to it and wrote upon it for you. Oh the Joy of the personal letter from a loved one, addressed to you personally. You’d look at your name, see the marvellous new innovative Queen or King’s Head on the Penny Black Stamp. WOWzer! You’d be over the moon, cock a hoop.

What does Over-the-moon mean? It was a phrase popularised by Private Eye who took-the-micky (made fun of) English football managers and their use of the English language. They would string phrases and words together that don’t make any sense at all. “Cock-a-hoop”, (filled with Joy), “over-the-moon” etc, would be used to express the sheer delight that their team had won a victory. i.e. “We were over-the-moon about the fact that we trounced Manchester 2-0”.

So my friends, the disciples would have been OVER THE MOON about Jesus resurrection. OVERJOYED.

Other Football Manager Quotes:

(You’ll not the funny side in a little while).

Football Manager Quotes:

  • “The Spaniards have been reduced to aiming aimless balls into the box.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “If you can’t stand the heat in the dressing room, get out of the kitchen.” (Terry Venables)
  • “If Glenn Hoddle said one word to his team at half time, it was concentration and focus.” (Ron Atkinson)
  • “I felt a lump in my throat as the ball went in.” (Terry Venables)

These quotes are nonsensical, very funny and humorous, but they’re not intended to be. They’re what we’d call bleepers, bloops or silly mistakes of English grammar. You can just imagine Terry Venables swallowing a huge football down his throat can’t you. LOL.

Over the Moon: Was a phrase like that, it means, really, really happy, full of joy or as the Bible has said today about the Disciples upon seeing the Lord and hearing His voice, “They were OVERJOYED”

Cock a hoop is another phrase to express happiness, I’ll let you look that one up on Google yourself though. Have fun my friends.

OVERJOYED

Dave Smith, In his little book to accompany this series, talks about dogs wagging their tails when they see the master coming with breakfast. Even dogs can be overjoyed my friends.

You can be OVERJOYED too my friends. When you see a letter with your name, personally hand-written, it produces and air of expectation. You wonder who it was from, you turn it over to see if they’ve put a return address upon it. Nope, you open it up and you note immediately where it’s addressed from, and who signed it.

Notice that word: OVERJOYED. The disciples were not just joyed by seeing Jesus. It was no ordinary joy or happiness, as if we’re seeing a long lost friend, but imagine the delight you’d experience if you were to meet a dearly loved relative or friend if they came back from the dead? That’s what it means for the Disciples to be OVER-Joyed.

The PENNY BLACK: Guaranteed Delivery.

That’s what it’s like with the Bible: It’s God’s Book, It’s His LOVE LETTER addressed to YOU personally. It can produce the same JOY the disciples felt my friends, It’s like it’s got your own personal PENNY BLACK STAMP of guaranteed delivery, right into your heart today. You see my friends, the Bible’s Penny Black is God The Holy Spirit: who inspired the Bible to be written and who also enables us to understand the words contained within. (Spiritually discerned truth)

1 Corinthians 2:10-14 10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.
13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.
14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

In other words, only the PERSON with the SPIRIT can understand God’s WORD. He’s like the Penny Black Stamp of authority and delivers God’s Word right into your heart today. Have you been filled with and OVERJOYED by the Holy Spirit.

Just as the Disciples were OVERJOYED by the LORD Jesus Presence my friends. So will you be when the Holy Spirit ushers in the presence of the Lord into your life today. Seek Him, seek the fullness and then you too will be OVERJOYED.

For over 2000 years the Bible has been delivering God’s message, with much more certainty than the New Penny Black Stamp ever could, because His message goes right into your heart and produces so much Joy, you’ll be over the moon, cock a hoop, filled with sheer delight. OVERJOYED. Not just happy, but OVER-JOYED. WOWzer! Who ever said that following Jesus would make life boring? It’s full of surprises and sheer delight and joy. Be OVERJOYED today, get the New Penny Black Stamp on your Heart, let it stick there forever by the Holy Spirit and the Lord Jesus will be your seal on your heart, you’ll know Him as Lord and Saviour forever.

Overjoyed when the New Penny Black Stamp was issued! Imagine what it must have been like for the disciples seeing, hearing and touching the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ. WOWzer! OVERJOYED.

My friends, when you call upon Jesus today, you too can experience that same level of JOY. You’ll not have to work it up within yourself though, because you automatic response to the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to be awesome; but eventually it will burst forth in to great JOY.

Have and exciting and JOY-Filled day my friends: The New Penny Black Stamp.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 17: Jesus Gives A New Joy. (As did the Penny Black Stamp), but much, much greater.

God bless and keep you all,

Don.

p.s. Did you notice that the Penny Black Stamp is on Google today?  😎  😎  😎

 

Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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Daily Spirit & Word, 450: Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

Good morning my friends, as we progress towards Easter we’re probably thinking of lots of different things;

  • Easter Bank Holiday Weekend: Means time with family and friends and perhaps the first trip out of the city in months. 
  • Easter Eggs / Chocolate Bunnies: Children love Easter Time with the shops filling up from February tempting them with chocolate eggs filled with goodies. 
  • Easter Hot Cross Buns: these are little spiced buns that, when I was a child, were only sold on Good Friday, but now you can get them most of the year round.

Christian Focus:

For Christians, who love the Lord Jesus, these Secular Easter focuses can be either an annoyance or a distraction, but we could also embrace them and still focus upon the main object of our Devotion: Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

In St Luke’s Church: We begin our main Easter preparations with;

Palm Sunday: Jesus Triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the joy filled crowds.
The Last Supper: Lord’s Last Supper with the Disciples, where He celebrated Passover with them: We’ll be doing that on Maundy Thursday; We’ll have all the elements of the Passover: Lovely Roasted Lamb, roasted eggs, horseradish, parsley, Charoset (reminding us of the mud and toil of captivity in Egypt), salt (reminding us of the tears and crying out to the Lord in captivity), etc… We don’t follow or focus entirely upon Passover, but on what the Lord was doing at the Passover: With the Bread and Wine. (Come and join us if you’re free).
Good Friday: We don’t have a Good Friday Service, but a Walk of Witness with Christians in West Norwood, London. We gather at 11.45am and walk about 3/4 of a mile to St Luke’s Gardens (We’re blessed that our gardens are already a focus for the town of West Norwood in London and it’s a great witness that there are hundreds of Christians who love Jesus. We sings hymns, songs and praise the Lord, we read from the Bible as we walk, we stop and pray, we bless people along the way and give out Easter Sunday invitations to worship with us. Then we gather to have a warm drink and some lovely Hot Cross Buns.
Easter Sunday: We remember the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Dead. His death upon the Cross was not the end and His resurrection shows us that Father God was satisfied that the price for sin had been paid in full with Jesus blood and death for everyone who will trust in Him.

How can we fix our eyes upon Jesus today?

I don’t advocate making a statue of Jesus for the Bible tells us not to make Idols nor to bow down to them or worship them. There’s always a danger in making images and statues of the Lord or Mary or any of the Saints, because people begin to focus upon them. We’re commanded by the Lord not to make statues in the Ten Commandments:

The Second Commandment: Exodus 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  • So how can we, who want to be obedient to the Lord and His Word ‘fix our eyes upon Jesus’?
    We can do it easily: 
  • We’ve got God’s Word: The Gospel accounts of Jesus trial, cricifixion, resurrection and appearances. 
  • We’ve got Worship: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs: Songs about Jesus, what He did for us upon the cross. 
  • We’ve got Christian Gatherings: Regular Fellowship Groups. Outreach Groups. Evangelism Groups. Gathering regularly with those who Love Jesus, it won’t be long before you turn to Him in prayer and praise.
  • We’ve got Worship Services: With Preaching and Teaching about Jesus. 
  • We’ve got Prayer Meetings: Monthly and daily prayer.
  • We’ve got Personal Prayer and Worship and Bible Study / Meditation.

Focusing upon Jesus is easy for the Saints when we put our heart, soul, mind and strength to it. But will we? Will you focus upon Jesus? Will you think about the Cross and all that He endured upon the Cross for you?

I want to encourage those who’ve done this in the past, probably many times, to renew their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. To really FIX your eyes upon Jesus: Think about it, those crowds in Jerusalem; Shouting one week; “Jesus is King” and the next “Crucify”… To dwell upon the LAST SUPPER, the GARDEN of TEARS, the TRIAL of Jesus, the MOCKING He endured, the CRUCIFIXION, the DEATH and the RESURRECTION.

How to Practically FOCUS on Jesus and the Cross: 

When I was a lone-Christian on a Submarine at sea, I used to take a simple wooden cross with me and wear it undeneath my uniform. At times people would see it and sometimes ask, “Ginge (that’s what they called me), why are you wearing a wooden cross?”… It became an amazing stepping stone into conversations about my Lord Jesus. Why a wooden cross? We were not allowed to wear metal crosses. Electricity and metal don’t go well together 🙂 LOL. So with a simple black thread and an two inch cross, I became a witness for Jesus. But it really did help me, because there were times when I was feeling weak, my thoughts would wander, I didn’t have fellowship with other Christians, sometimes just grabbing that cross and feeling it would lead me to pray and worship Jesus in the Engine room or even in the Reactor Compartment. When I fixed my mind on Jesus I’d feel strong again and ready to face the world with renewed conviction and love for those in darkness.

How do you fix your eyes upon Jesus?

Let us do it this year every single day; In prayer, reading God’s Word and gathering and communicating with the saints as much as we can; to encourage and strengthen others in their walk and witness for Him.

What does fixing your eyes upon Jesus do for you? He’ll KEEP you, He’ll nourish you, He’ll wash you clean, He’ll renew your faith and strength and sometimes you’ll experience His awesome miracles, but most of all you’ll have the PEACE of JOY of the Lord in your heart. You’ll know Him and He’ll know you.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.
Don.

Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus.

Hebrews 3:1-6 “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honour than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honour than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”

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