Let Jesus Show You His HEART This Christmas

Christmas Delight with Jesus LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word; 652: This Christmas With Jesus.

He knows, understands and wants to meet all your most basic needs in life today.

To be loved, understood and needed.

At Christmas time there’s a feeling that we’ve just got to be happy. Well yesterday I conducted a wonderful Carol Service at West Norwood Crematorium, it was arranged by Lambeth Crematorium and Cemetery Staff, refreshments were provided by Yeateman’s & Sons and volunteers from St Christopher’s Hospice served the drinks and mince pies. Before the refreshments we gathered in the Crematorium chapel and as I led the Service it struck me deeply that this Christmas there are going to be lots of people who will not feel very happy, but in fact they’ll be deeply grief stricken, because they’ve lost someone who’s very precious and dear to them. Some will feel very lonely, other’s will perhaps be angry that the Lord has taken them away. There will be an emptiness inside someone’s heart this Christmas. There is someone who can fill that emptiness with love and renewed joy.

We all know that human beings have three basic needs in life:

  • The need to feel loved, 
  • The need to feel understood,
  • The need to feel wanted.

The NEED to feel LOVED.

Being lonely at the best of times is horrible, but at Christmas it’s heightened. The need to feel loved is a basic need within each and every human heart. Of course you’ll get hard-hearted individualistic people who’ll say, “I don’t need people, I love my own company”, but that just reveals that somewhere along the road of their life, they’ve been deeply hurt, perhaps as a child, and they’ve got tough to compensate for the lack of love they received. These types of people are not very loving towards others and find it very difficult to sympathise when people struggle with their emotions. If only they’d let their guard down for a moment, admit their hurt and be open to being hurt again, then they’d be ready to feel the LOVE of another person again. But the vast majority of people today, know that they need to feel loved and to express love towards others.

My friends, we have someone who came into this world just to let you, the lonely and those who’re on their own this Christmas, just how much He loves you: The LORD Jesus Christ. He came as a baby, but lived a life of love to the end. On the Cross Jesus was demonstrating just how much He loves us, so that we will never, ever feel lonely again. When we come to Jesus, He comes to us and will NEVER leave us alone again. That’s an awesome thought for the lonely this Christmas. Yes we do need other people as well, but we’ve always got Jesus with us.

The NEED to feel UNDERSTOOD.

Have you ever heard someone say, “You just don’t understand me, you don’t get me”… We all love to be understood by others. We want people to know what life is like for me. So often everybody is only concerned for themselves. However, at Christmas time, we’re forced to think about other people. This is where being alone is an advantage, because you only have to think about yourself. However, God’s given us a mission upon this earth, and it involves the Command to LOVE others, that means we’re going to have to know people well in order to understand them. To get into their life and know what their needs are. Do you understand the folks around you. They have a basic need to be understood.

God understands you my friends. He gets you. He knows all about your life and your needs and desires. However, in order to get those basic needs of being understood met, we’ve got to be delighting in Him. Psalm 37: tells us, “Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart”… To get the one, we’ve got to do the other.

The NEED to feel WANTED:

Imagine going through life without ever being wanted? There’s nothing worse than feeling excluded.

It begins at school when they are choosing people to be on their side in a sport and you get to the point when they choose everybody else but you. Yes there are the popular ones, the ones that are great at football, then the ones who are liked by everybody, then there’s you at the end of the line. The feelings of not being wanted, for some people, begin at a very young age. We ALL love to feel wanted or needed by others. I’ll never forget the feeling a few years ago now, when someone, who I thought of as a friend said to me, in fact it was two people, “You don’t have any friends here”… I did have lots of friends, but what they said hit home and I was shocked into silence “I’m not your friend”…. It hurt deeply, but thanks be to the Lord Jesus, He’s helped me to see that it was just them and I’m now able to love them even though they don’t or won’t love me.

Even though people say and do terrible things to you, there is someone who’ll always love you: Jesus. I know it sounds a bit soppy, but it’s true. He not only loves you and understands you, but He wants you to be on His team. He’s got so many lovely things He wants you to do just for Him. You are NEEDED by Jesus.

My friends, let go of the hurt this Christmas and take Jesus Christ as your friend; You’ll find in Him someone who really does LOVE you for who you are, He understands you and get you, He knows what you need in life and He needs you too. He’s got a great plan for you.

Will you let Jesus show you afresh this Christmas that you are loved?

Will you, in turn and through joyfilled appreciation, love others in response to Jesus love?

Hebrews 13:1-8
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers.
2  Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
3  Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill-treated as if you yourselves were suffering.
4  Marriage should be honoured by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6  So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
7  Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8  Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

What will you do this Christmas with Jesus LOVE?

If you are heart-broken; Jesus came to mend broken hearts.

If you are lonely; Jesus came to give you Himself and be with you forever.

If you are in need of anythings, delight yourself in the LORD and He’ll give your heart’s desires. (Psalm 37).

Love others, Understand others, Show others that they are needed.

Jesus NEVER changes;

He’s the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Jesus loves YOU today.

Jesus wants everyone to know Just how much they are LOVED and WANTED and NEEDED this Christmas.

You can be His means of expressing His love: Be filled with God’s Spirit and really LOVE others this Christmas, go out of your way to make Christmas special for everyone, regardless of who they are.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus.

Don.

 

P.S> Come and join us tonight at St Luke’s. To sing Carols, and get some wonderful Christmas gifts in the Church. Enjoy the lantern parade, because Jesus Christ is the Light of the world.

 

St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, 4-8pm Christmas Lights.

Lights being turned on by a local West Norwood celebrity.

 

Hope and Peace in Times of Despair

Daily Spirit & Word, 457: Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

 

Benefit #3: Bible Memory Training: God Gives Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ: True Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

 

The Blackest Night of My Life:

As I write this morning, I’m reminded of the blackest night of my life, the day whilst at Theological College we were about to attend the Leavers Ball. Someone came running to me and said, “There’s an urgent telephone call for you”. It was the day’s before the advent of Mobile Phones. We, Julie and I, took the call in the little phone booth that students used. My wife had left our children (five of them) in the care of friends in Plymouth, two of them with our Minister and his wife. The call was from his wife, she relayed the devastating news as only a Christian could, “You daughter is OK, but she’s been assaulted” When someone says that about your most precious daughter your mind goes into a whirl. I had to ask her again and again for the details, even then not fully comprehending. She was reluctant to tell us too much, fearing that we’d have an accident as we drove back from London to Plymouth. All I remember asking was; “What happened?”.

The next thing I can recall as clear as light was hugging my sobbing wife, she was inconsolable, but I just hugged her. Then just before we were about to dash off home an brother in the Lord who’d become a great friend over the years of college said, “Let’s kneel down and pray to the Lord”. It was the last thing that I wanted to do at that moment, I wanted to get into the car and head-off as fast as we could. But I knew Charity was right, so we got on our knees before the Lord Jesus and through tears we both prayed. Charity was a strong-tower and declared Jesus peace over Julie and I.

It was on the way home, in the darkness and driving rain that it happened. We were passing a little hillock in Dorset and on the top of the hill I saw a bright light giving of strange beams, like a searchlight, it was hard to make out, but it was there, then it pointed up into the sky; Julie was driving at almost 100 miles per hour. No amount of my telling her, “slow-down” made the slightest bit of a difference. As I looked out of the rain’s tears on my car’s window, I saw that light pointing up into Heaven; then all of a sudden the Lord’s PEACE flooded my soul. In that DARKEST NIGHT of my life, PEACE and CALM like I’d never know before. The light pointing to heaven reminded me of my prayer and Charity’s prayer for peace. It was a miracle.

I knew we were heading home to the tragic news that my precious ten-year-old daughter had been raped at knife-point with many terrible things done to her in that attack. Her childhood stolen and destroyed by a viscous, evil and callous act. That one horrible night led to years of deep heartache and slowly getting back to ‘normal’, but when that PEACE came in the driving rain it stayed with me throughout those years and I was the only one in the family to turn to the Lord and receive His peace, hope, joy and comfort. The Lord was preparing me to be a source of strength for everybody else in my family. My wife blamed hereself and for years couldn’t make decisions, my daughter had night terrors for years, screaming in the night. But the PEACE, it came from above and would not go away.

I remember a few months afterwards reading Psalm 23 with my daugher who’d been attacked, and she said, “That was me wasn’t it? I walked through the valley of the shadow of death” I said, “You most certainly did”. Then she asked me, “Why didn’t Jesus rescue me?” I said, “He did, you are here today to tell the horrible story and one day you’ll be able to give strength to many more people who are going through hard times”.

There was a verse that I’d learned on the day we got that horrible telephone call; when we received the tragic news, you know how a verse sticks out sometimes when your reading God’s Word. Well I committed it to memory quickly, not knowing why the Spirit had illuminated it, it came flooding back into my mind after seeing the beam of light on the hill: Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” You know my friends, I can testify to the truth of that verse from God’s Word. He DID keep me in His PEACE. Though there were times when I could easily have turned the other way, Jesus was always there for me and keeping me in His perfect peace.

 Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.

The full meaning of that verse became apparent about a year later when I shared my testimony in Northern Ireland. At the end of a week of Evangelistic mission activity in the small town of Warren Point. In the Town Hall on the last night I shared my story and what had happened to my daughter, but I kept the focus upon how the LORD had given His peace and hope in my heart. In Northern Ireland during the mission, it was the height of ‘The Troubles’, but whilst the mission was going, we only saw one riot in Downpatrick. The Town Hall was full, and so many people were crying that night and when we gave an invitation for people to receive the Lord Jesus, I think everybody in the hall came forward to be prayed with. It was awesome. Even a Minister, who’d been ordained for years, who I’d become friends with during the mission, but through the conversations we’d had, I knew that He’d never trusted in Jesus for Salvation, because Ministry was a job for him a vocation of choice to serve the community. He came forward and through tears made his confession and gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ. The PEACE has been with me in many troubled times since, but I’ve also been reminded, I need to turn and trust in the Lord always.

My friends, tragedy may come into your life, but whenever the Lord gives you a text from His Word, you’ll be wise to commit it to your memory banks. He’ll use it again and again and again and again, to bring strength and comfort and deep knowledge that He’s faithful to all his promises in his word. He KEEP you in Perfect Peace when you fix you mind upon Him.

Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”

Psalm 77:17  “The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.”

Psalm 77:17 (Amp).

Since that Blackest Night of My Life: I’ve had countless scriptures the Lord has given me to remember forever, they come either just before or during the times of despair and need. Psalm 77 (Easy to remember) 7/7 you know the shops that are open 24/7 seven days a week? Well, I remember that Heaven is OPEN 7/7. 24 Hours a Day Every Day. Though we may not be able to sleep sometimes for fretting, when we turn to the LORD, He’ll give us His PEACE and HOPE even in Despair. In the Darkest Nights of your life, He’s with you and is available. Call to Him for He is near.

Also Psalm 40 The whole psalm, but especially Psalm 40:9-10 was given just before the Mission to Northern Ireland, it really did come true in the Town Hall in Warren Point.

Psalm 40:9-10 “I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, as you know, O LORD. 10. I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and salvation. I do not conceal your love and your truth from the great assembly.”

Also Romans 12:28-39 (NIV)

Today, I proclaim AND declare to everybody who’s reading this message; “God’s PEACE be upon you today. May you KNOW and Experience His PERFECT PEACE. AMEN!”

Jesus is ALWAYS faithful.

Have an awesome day with Jesus, be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.

Don.

 

Psalm 77:1-20 (NIV)

  1.  [For the director of music. For Jeduthun. Of Asaph. A psalm.] I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me.
  2.  When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted.
  3.  I remembered you, O God, and I groaned; I mused, and my spirit grew faint. Selah
  4.  You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.
  5.  I thought about the former days, the years of long ago;
  6.  I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit enquired:
  7.  “Will the Lord reject for ever? Will he never show his favour again?
  8.  Has his unfailing love vanished for ever? Has his promise failed for all time?
  9. Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?” Selah
  10.  Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
  11.  I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.
  12.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds.
  13.  Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?
  14.  You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples.
  15.  With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. Selah
  16.  The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.
  17.  The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth.
  18.  Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked.
  19.  Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen.
  20. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalm 40 (NIV).

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:35 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?”

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 

Bible Memory Training: Benefit #3 Hope and Peace in Times of Despair.