All About That Bass, No Treble

call down fire from Heaven

Daily Spirit & Word: 802: Bless Those Who Curse You.

LOVE YOUR ENEMIES.

Do Good to Those Who Hate You.

Speak Gently To Your Children.

Good morning friends, I love having my grandchildren over, because they are full of life and song. Sometimes, it’s good to see them go again, because they are SOOOO FULL OF LIFE! Exhausting ūüôā However, they just love singing songs and dancing. I’ll get my Kingdom Speaker out (a little bluetooth speaker that I use for worship when I do home visits or in small group worship). One song they love dancing to is “All About That Bass, No Treble”. by Meghan Trainor. That song on YouTube has over 1,500,000,000 hits. No kidding, 1500 Million hits and rising. It’s a song about prejudice and attitudes towards people of different sizes.

The LORD Just gave me: “It’s ALL about my PEACE, No TROUBLE”.

“It’s All About My PEACE, No TROUBLE”

 

We worry about all kinds of things in life, and sometimes we get a zeal for them.

  • Some people hate eating meat and get so zealous they want everybody to become vegetarians. However, I love Bacon, Lamb and sometimes Beef. ūüôā¬†
  • Some people get a zeal for different size people and put people down if they are not the same; size, colour, shape as they are. So many are nervous to even go outside, because they think people are looking at them.¬†
  • Some people get a zeal that’s just wrong.

My friends, we’ve got to check our ZEAL to know if we’re operating in a different kind of Spirit than that of the Holy Spirit. ¬†On Sunday we heard all about James and John wanting positions on the left and right of Jesus, today, here they are wanting to call down fire from Heaven to consume some Samaritans, just because they turned them away from their Village.

Luke 9:51-56 (NKJV)
51  Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem,
52  and sent messengers before His face. And as they went, they entered a village of the Samaritans, to prepare for Him.
53  But they did not receive Him, because His face was set for the journey to Jerusalem.
54 ¬†And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?”
55 ¬†But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
56 ¬†For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Now we all know, I think, that the Samaritans and Jews in Jesus time, didn’t mix or associate with one another. It’s a bit like Catholics and Protestants wouldn’t mix or associate with each other in Scotland when I was a kid. For very similar reasons, they had a different theology. So the Disciples had a natural dislike for Samaritans, an¬†inbred prejudice against them. Today we’d call it¬†Racism or Sectarianism.¬†¬†So when those Samaritans didn’t do something the Disciples (Jews) wanted them to do, that inbred hatred rose quickly to the surface, “Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did?” They felt justified in reacting in such a spiteful way.

This request was met with an equally immediate rebuke from Jesus lips, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of” or What kind of spirit you are operating out of.

You see my friends, Jesus Christ did not come to destroy men, but to save them. This is awesome, because Jesus is putting into practice his own teaching from Sermon on the Mount. Where he told his followers very clearly; “Love your enemies, do good to those that hate you, bless those who curse you”…

Call fire down from Heaven? No my friends, that was a ZEAL too far.

They were getting too zealous. They were not thinking about Jesus, but that natural hatred for Samaritans, that’s what was driving their zeal.

My friends, if people don’t accept you, or even reject you, or even resent your presence, then don’t let your natural dislikes dictate your responses to them. Instead, bless them. I’m serious, it’s amazing what can happen when you actually respond in gentle ways. Bless those who curse you.

In Proverbs¬†God reveals and tells us this awesome truth: “A gentle answer turns away wrath”… I’ve seen this TRUTH of God’s Word in action my friends, many times.

Proverbs 15:1 (NIV) “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Now, we don’t know what would have happened if the Disciples had said to those Samaritans “OK, so you don’t want us in your village, well may the LORD of Heaven richly bless you in every way. Have a good evening my friends”… Imagine, if they’d learned Jesus’ lesson on the Mount?

We know that rejection hurts, but as Jesus’ followers we can turn even rejection into an opportunity to BLESS PEOPLE. That’s the Spirit we should endeavour to operate in. That’s What God would do an does do. He did not reject you did He? He didn’t turn away from you, just because you’d sinned. No instead, God blessed you and me, by sending His Son Jesus Christ into this world to SAVE sinners.

Endeavour Means: 

Noun: endeavour
1. A purposeful or industrious undertaking (especially one that requires effort or boldness)
2. Earnest and conscientious activity intended to do or accomplish something

Verb: endeavour
1. Attempt by employing effort

What a wonderful world we could see if we put as much ZEAL into our reactions as Jesus demonstrated to His followers that day.

Listen again to Jesus response to them that day;

Luke 9:55-56.
55 ¬†But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.
56 ¬†For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.

Now they are heading off to another village having been rebuked. It could have been so different. They could be skipping along to the next village full of joy with the Lord, if only they’d learned Jesus’ lessons from the Sermon on the Mount.

So my friends, when you are getting a bit angry, annoyed, upset with people; let’s just slow down, listen carefully to the Holy Spirit, because He wants to guide you. And check your motives and your feelings and your prejudices, before you react, before you speak, before you respond.

The Apostle James learned that lesson well from Jesus that day, because later on he wrote;

James 1:19 (NIV)¬†“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

i.e. SLOW DOWN: Don’t get all het-up, don’t get heated too quickly.

How many times have you said something hurtful in response to someone, only to regret it later? I know I have, many times, but the LORD is teaching me again today; “Donald, you must slow down, don’t speak too quickly, don’t respond in anger or haste. Don’t listen to your prejudices or petty hates or dislikes. These are real people who NEED the LOVE of God in their lives. Jesus didn’t come to destroy, but to SAVE” Amen!

This just came to me:

A moment on the lips,
A lifetime on the hips.¬† ūüôā¬†

It’s the SAME with our WORDS: “A word¬†from the lips, a lifetime on someone’s heart”

“A word from our lips, a lifetime on someone’s heart”

It’s half-term, the kids are off school, mums and dads, be patient with them. Love them! Speak GENTLE words to your kids, they won’t be kids for long. They’ll soon be off into the world. How you love them now will be carried into their adult lives. BE SLOW to become angry with everyone.

Have an awesome day with Jesus, grow in your knowledge and love of the Saviour.

Worship Him now, then go out on your mission in the world, to show His love. Amen!

Don.

“It’s All About My PEACE, No TROUBLE”

All About That Bass No Treble. Meghan Trainor.

 

A little bit of faith goes a long way

Jesus is only a prayer away.

Daily Spirit & Word: 793: A Little Bit Of Faith Goes A Long Way.

ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN

Psalm 139:13-14 (NIV)
13 ¬†For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.¬†14 ¬†I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Good morning my friends, over the last few days my family has been through a bit of a wringer. My son Joe’s little baby girl Millie, who is just four weeks old, suddenly took ill. Laura (his wife) took her to the Doctor who immediately called for an ambulance to take her to hospital. We got a call almost immediately in London, Joe was in tears asking us to pray for Millie. My son is a big tough Royal Marine, he’s served in Afghanistan and been shot at by the Taliban, but when his daughter was at death’s door he wept bitterly. Joe cried his eyes out in front of everyone in the hospital. Millie was rushed into the intensive care unit at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, but when they could not¬†stabilise¬†Millie, they called for the specialist unit at Bristol. Another ambulance was sent down with a trained specialist unit and cot with hundreds of wires and tubes. Millie was sedated and another rush ensued. However, just before they departed from Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, Julie and I arrived just after 4.00am. It was just in time to pray before Millie was¬†whisked¬†away to Bristol Children’s Hospital and the PICU (Paediatric¬†Intensive Care Unit).

I shared with some groups on WATSAPP what was happening and got some of our Prayer Group to Pray (And many from our Church and Christian friends and family).  What a wonderful family the LORD has given to us. Thanks so much for all your wonderful words of comfort and prayers. You will never know fully this side of Heaven what that means to us and to the LORD!

Julie, my wife, stayed in Plymouth to look after their other three children, whilst I went to Bristol with Joe in his car, because only one parent could travel in the ambulance with the baby. Of course Laura couldn’t let Millie out of her sight. By the time Joe and I arrived the baby was in the PICU all wired-up and looking so vulnerable. I’ll tell you, you can’t look at a little baby in PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) and not feel how fragile life is. That room was filled with babies in all sorts of conditions and so many nurses and doctors and parents with sad and serious faces. Little Millie’s life was hanging by a thin thread. She looked so small, so vulnerable and fragile.

“DID HE KNOCK THE WIRE?”

The nurse was lovely, she explained about all the tubes and what they were doing, the wires and what they were monitoring. One little line was her oxygen levels, and it was a green trace on the screen. Every time Millie took a breath for herself, the line turned a little bit red. There were very few red bits in the trace. So I put one finger on her tiny chest and prayed, “Lord Jesus, give little Millie the breath of life, let Millie’s life return to her body. In Your Name I pray Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!”… Immediately, the trace turned from green to red. Laura asked the nurse, “Did he knock the wire?” No, there were no wires where I touched Millie. We all looked at each other and just smiled. I knew it was the LORD.

From that moment on, Millie slowly began to recover. There were moments when things took a turn for the worse. We got shocked again when we heard they were going to sedate her. She stopped breathing, had mini-strokes, but slowly Millie began to get better. She’s now been returned to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth to continue her recovery with¬†Laura¬†and Joe at her side. I’ve just returned to London. Julie stayed on with Joe and Laura for a few more days till things settled down and they don’t feel they need her¬†any-more. Millie was finally diagnosed with viral¬†meningitis.

I want to praise my wife Julie: Because she won’t do it herself. She’s a real ROCK in times of trouble. Ready at a moments notice to rush to her children’s side. Whenever they call, she’s there in a moment without hesitation. Not only that, but she’s practical too, helping to take care of the Grandchildren and slowly make the whole house ready for Millie’s return. Abigail our other daughter in Plymouth, came around to help too and both of them were looking after the kids, washing, cleaning and ironing so that Joe and Laura will return to a gleaming palace, with little to bother them so they can relax and just look after little Millie. That’s my Julie ūüôā

It’s amazing what God can do.

Every life is so precious to Him. Our friends and family were all marvellous. One verse stuck in my mind the whole time; from Psalm 139:13-14, about how fearfully and wonderfully we are all formed by the LORD. Even the Doctors were stumped to know what was wrong with Millie initially. They just didn’t know what went wrong with her little body. It’s such a frightening experience. All the tests they carried out came back negative. So they took some more, a¬†lumber-punch.¬† They thought it was¬†Meningitis, Strep B or some other virus, but they couldn’t be sure.

However, we know, those who LOVE Jesus, that God KNOWS EVERYTHING. It was He who formed Millie’s body, He who put her heartbeat into her little chest, He who put breath into her nostrils. Oh my friends, those Doctors and Nurses were marvellous, they did care, they tried their best, they worked so hard to bring Millie back, we can’t fault their dedication. Some even stayed beyond their shift many hours to give their time and skill, but in the end, when all is said and done, our life hangs by a thin thread and ONLY GOD can give life, because His Word tells us; “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away”… Praise Him, because He chose this time not to take away.

We’ve had so many wonderful Christian friends, who’ve lost infants, some who’ve lost their babies in the womb and others, like Millie, who’ve experienced a wonderful miracle of recovery. We don’t know God’s plans for every life, but my friends, we’ve simply got to trust Him. It’s the hardest thing to do, when someone we love is going through it, but it’s the only thing we can do.

If it were not for the Doctors and Nurses, I’m sure Millie wouldn’t be here now or if Laura had neglected to take her to the Doctor when she did. Thank the LORD for Mother’s Instinct: she knew in her heart something was seriously wrong with her little baby girl and did the right thing. The Doctor immediately recognised something was seriously wrong and the staff at the hospital reacted immediately.¬†Praise¬†the LORD for the National Health Service (NHS), they were there when we needed them most. However, Joe, my son knew, he needed to call in the BIG GUNS: The LORD the Giver of Life. Joe prayed and cried to the LORD.

PANIC STATIONS, PANIC STATIONS:

In the Navy we had a term for when we needed to be ready for action at all times. A broadcast would be made; “ACTION STATIONS, ACTION STATIONS”. Everyone would then rush to their place of duty during action with an enemy. However, sometimes, some men just panicked. Some lost their heads during action stations. So we used to say instead, “Panic Stations, Panic Stations”… It’s Navy humour at it’s best. ūüôā

But seriously¬†friends¬† when the proverbial hits the fan, there is no need to PANIC, because the LORD knows all things. He’s in control of this ship called CREATION, because He made it all. He’s at the wheel and our Captain knows what’s coming before it ever hits us. So when trouble comes trust the Captain of your soul.

A Smouldering Wick & A Storm:

A strong wind blows out a candle, but no matter how strong the wind, a little ember keeps burning in the wick. God’s Word tells us; “A smouldering wick I will not snuff out”… In other words, a little bit of faith goes a long way. When the winds of trouble hit your life, keep trusting Jesus in the storm. Cry out to Him and He will lift you up. We all get that sinking feeling in the storm, just as Peter did, but turn your eyes again to Jesus and cry to Him. He WILL LIFE YOU UP AGAIN. You, will be able to walk through the storms holding onto the hands of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 12:20-21 (NIV) Smouldering Wick.
20  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory.
21 ¬†In his name the nations will put their hope.”

Matthew 14:30-31 (NIV)
30 ¬†But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 ¬†Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

My friends, when the storms or winds of trouble come to try and sink you or snuff out your faith, don’t look at the storm, the wind or the trouble, look to Jesus Christ. He is the Author and Perfecter of your FAITH. Faith itself is a gift from Him to you and if you are lacking He can re-supply your need.

The Carpenter From Wales:

I was sitting in the parents waiting room of the Bristol PICU (Paediatric Intensive Care Unit) at Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital. Joe and Laura were in with Millie, so I was in there having a cup of tea. A young man walked into the room, he was a Carpenter from Wales. Their little girl had undergone a heart operation and was about to have her chest¬†closed-up. We’d been chatting a few times. He knew my son Joe was a Royal Marine, and that I’d been a Submariner, but he didn’t know that I was a Minister in the Church of England. I’d asked him all about his life, so he said to me, “What is it that you do now that you’ve left the Royal Navy?” I said, “I’m a minister who serves the Lord Jesus in the Church of England”. There was no response, just silence. His face went RED. I’ve never seen a response like that before. So I asked him, “Do you have a faith background?”. He cleared his throat and said, “I used to go to the Salvation Army when I was a boy, but they tried to force it on me, they were too pushy, so I left at a young age.” He explained that Rugby Football was more appealing than attending the Salvation Army. ¬†I asked him, “And what about now, do you believe now?” He said, “A little bit” I said to him, “You know something, a little bit of faith goes a long way. All the way to Heaven”

I reminded him of a story he knew well. “A smouldering wick, He will not snuff out”… If our faith is all but blown-out by the¬†storms¬†of this life, then God’s just waiting to bring it back into a blazing flame again. I assured him of our prayers. Before I left he returned with the good news, they’d closed his little girl’s chest and she was settling down into recovery.

These last few days have been a tremendous test for many people that we know and love. We’ll all go through times of testing, trials and tribulations and temptations. We jokingly call it the 3Ts. (Trials, Tribulations and Temptations). However, my friends, if you’ve put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ, He proves faithful¬†ALWAYS¬† even in the storm that you are walking through. We do not always get the answers to the prayers the way that we want. But like Peter in the storm, all you can do is; Cry, cry, cry; cry out to Jesus. Weep, weep and weep for what you could loose or have lost. Life is so precious, one moment we’re here and the next is ETERNITY.

You know something, Laura (my daughter-in-law) said something to me. She said, “When we’re going through something like this, it really brings into sharp¬†focus¬†what’s really important in life”. It really does my friends. Children are so precious, work, money, jobs, homes, clothing, etc… even food… but nothing is more important than your LIFE. However, there is one thing much more important than your life down here on this earth; Eternity. Where will we be spending¬†eternity¬†when this life is over? This is much more important than the here and now. God is only a prayer away. He’s waiting for you to turn to Him. He’s longing for you to cry out to Him. He’s a Father who’s waiting to hear your heart’s cry. You might be bitterly disappointed with the way things have turned out. You’d never choose the situation you are in right now, but God’s ways are not our ways. He might just be using this storm to bring you back to Him.

Of course there’s something we need to do: Humble yourself and pray. Return to the Lord. Repent of Sin. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ as both Saviour and Lord.

Then your Eternity will be secured forever. You will have a HOPE in your heart, that no matter what storm might come your way.  You will know the Captain and where you are eventually going to be, so TRUST Him.

2 Chronicles 7:13-15 (NIV) REPENTANCE, RETURN, REVIVAL. 

13 ¬†“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,¬†14 ¬†if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.¬†15 ¬†Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.

I’ve been praying for all my family and friends to come to a living and active faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The battle for their souls is raging. Satan doesn’t want to let them go. He’s blinded some of their eyes so they can’t see the truth of the glorious Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:4). Oh LORD, OPEN their eyes and let them see Jesus for who He is: LORD OF ALL. Amen!

Storms come our way, sometimes, it’s a TEST. Sometimes the LORD allows it to shake us to the core of our being, to get our attention, to open our eyes, to let us see and to get us to ask that question, “What is the most important thing in life?”… LIFE… DEATH … ETERNITY… HEAVEN … HELL???? We all love our lives down here. We all love our precious things; but what’s more important than life? Nothing! Jesus came down from Heaven to earth to bring LIFE to everyone who will turn to Him in faith. Not just eternal life, but the abundant life now… Oh my friends, if you’ve never received Jesus Christ by faith, receive Him now.

The Three T’s will come your way: Even after you’ve trusted Jesus; Trials, Tribulations and Temptations. Stay close to Jesus every day.

We’ve all sinned, we’ve all broken God’s Commandments; lying, stealing, lusting (adultery), coveting, hating (murder), disobedient to parents, not¬†putting¬†God first in all things and even creating a god (idolatry) that we are comfortable with. A god that will allow us to sin and get away with it. Everyone needs forgiveness, everyone needs to be cleansed from sin or we can’t go to God’s Holy place called Heaven. Sin needs to be removed from our souls to purify us for heaven. Only the blood of Jesus Christ can wash away our sins. He died, He gave His precious life, on the Cross, so that everyone who trusts in Him can be cleansed, made ready for Heaven and saved. Hell is real and God’s judgement is waiting on the other side of death. If we die with sin still on our souls, then we’ll be spending eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. God doesn’t want that, that’s why He sent Jesus Christ to save sinners like you and me.

You are being called by Jesus Christ if you are reading this far into my message today: He’s calling you by name; humble yourself, repent of your sin, believe that Jesus died for you,¬†receive¬†Him by faith and be born again of God’s Holy Spirit, then your eternity in Heaven will be secure. Afterwards, read God’s Word, the Bible every day; it’s your daily bread from Heaven. Live the Christian life in the POWER of the Spirit (that’s what being a follower / disciple of Jesus is all about, following and living by the teachings of Jesus), then join with other believers who love the Lord Jesus Christ to worship and serve Him with the rest of your life here on earth. Lead others to trust Jesus Christ too, you’ve been called to be SALT and LIGHT. Let your light so shine before men.

Well, I’m back in London, ready to serve the LORD here. It’s been a horrific and blessed few days in my life, but I’ve seen the hand of the LORD. He’s there in times of emergency my friends, but let’s not wait until an emergency comes. Turn to the LORD in the light, before the darkness descends. If you are going through the darkness my friends, if your wick is just smouldering, turn again to the Lord and let Him kindle it into a roaring flame. He’s alive! He’s alive! My Jesus He is with me, He’s alive.

When trouble comes knocking at the door of your life, trust the Captain of your soul, He sees it before it arrives and knows how to deal with it. Amen!

Have a FANTASTIC Weekend with Jesus.

I’m so looking forward to gathering on Sunday for worship: We’ve got a Thanksgiving for a baby. We’ve got a Wedding Blessing. We’ve got the LORD Jesus Christ.

 

God’s Secret Service Agents

through faith in Jesus you will become His secret change agents in this world

Daily Spirit & Word: 791: Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Fasting

How to Give & How to Pray & How to Fast & Why?

God’s Secret Service Agents.

Core Values in Kingdom Living:¬†As Jesus’ Disciples we’re constantly Learning, we experience many Challenges, we get Curiosity to discover more about Jesus and His Kingdom, we know God wants Excellence, He encourages us to show Love and Respect to Himself and Others, He’s promised to watch our backs and be with us always on the journey through this life that He’s called us into by His Spirit through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

But How are we going to KNOW He’s with us?

And How can we KNOW we can do it?

Two Ways Today: Our Giving & Our Connection. When we get these two right, we’ll be following the Master’s way of Kingdom Living in Love and Security.

Intro: Secret Service: Like MI5 or the SAS and SBS. We’re to follow and serve the LORD from the HEART SECRETLY:

  • How we give: In SECRET
  • How we pray: In SECRET
  • How we fast: In SECRET

All are to be done secretly for Jesus and His Kingdom Glory. Then when we do these things in secret our Heavenly Father has PROMISED (God’s always faithful to all His promises) will REWARD you OPENLY (In public, in front of everyone). However, in Kingdom Living, we’ll see that our motivation won’t be because of His rewards, but because we LOVE Him. That is and will become even more our Kingdom motivation.

Today I want to see if we can come close to the CORE:

Getting to the CORE VALUES of Kingdom Living is essential for every follower of Jesus, you’ll soon see that when you put these into practice, Kingdom Living will become much easier.

 

True Christian Spirituality:

It can be found in some of the traditions of the Church.

However, if you want to fine PURE Christian Spirituality,

then we need to go to the SOURCE: To The Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

 

You’ll find Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Most notably in Jesus Greatest Sermon:

The Sermon (Teaching) On the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5 to 7.

 

In those Chapters you’ll discover most of what Jesus was teaching:

Matthew 5:3-12 РThe Beatitudes: Be Happy Attitudes.

Matthew 5:13-16 РSalt and Light: You are Salt & Light.

Matthew 5:17-20¬†– Jesus fulfilled the Law: God’s LAW (Revealed in Moses first five books of Old Testament (Ten Commandments).

Matthew 5:21-26 РAnger and Murder: Peace and Harmony.

Matthew 5:27-30 РLust and Adultery: Love and Faithfulness.

Matthew 5:31-32 РDivorce and Remarriage: Staying together as husband and wife.

Matthew 5:33-37 РOaths: Promises: Telling the Truth Always.

Matthew 5:38-42 РEye for an Eye: Not getting even with people. Not taking personal revenge, but forgiving others.

Matthew 5:43-48 РLove your enemies: The opposite of what the world teaches. PEACE if we really LOVE our enemies.

Matthew 6:1-4 РGive to the Needy: Not turning you back on anyone. Always being ready to be GENEROUS.

Matthew 6:5-15 РHow to Pray: When you pray, not if you pray.

Matthew 6:16-18 РHow to Fast: Why do you fast?

Matthew 6:19-24 РTreasures in Heaven: Storing up for your Eternal Future. (Not just thinking of your life here on earth).

Matthew 6:25-34 РDo not worry: Trust in the Father who knows all your needs.

Matthew 7:1-6 РDo not judge hypocritically: Use right judgement of others.

Matthew 7:7-12¬†– Ask, Seek, Knock: If you want something, you’ve got to ask for it.

Matthew 7:13-14 РThe Narrow Gate: Finding your way to Heaven: Jesus is the ONLY WAY to Heaven.

Matthew 7:15-23 РFalse Prophets: False messages about God, Religion, Faith. Watch Out!

Matthew 7:24-27 РThe Wise Builder: Getting the foundations of our Faith right.

 

Right in the MIDDLE of the Sermon on the Mount is the REAL MEAT (Just like a McDonald’s Burger has the meat in the middle, so does Jesus teaching on Kingdom Living in the Sermon on the Mount).

  • GIVING: The LORD’S GIVER (Matthew 6:1-4). Secret Service.
  • PRAYER:¬†The LORD’S PRAYER (Matthew 6:1-15) Secret Prayer.
  • FASTING: Getting Even Closer (Matthew 6:16-18) Secret Devotion.

Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Devotion.

Today we’re going to FOCUS on just two, the most important two.

1) First, Our Giving

(Matthew 6:1-4)
1 ¬†“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2 ¬†“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
NOTE: Can you ever give in such a way that your left hand won’t know what your right hand is doing? “No!” You’ll always know, but Jesus is telling us about our WILLINGNESS / READINESS to be GENEROUS (Kind hearted towards others in need).

 

When you see a NEED: Are you ready and willing to help?

When you see a PERSON: Who needs the LORD’S help are you ready to respond?

 

My friends, Jesus has no body on Earth today except your body.

  • He has no hands today, but your hands.
  • He has no feet today, but your feet.
  • He has no eyes today, but your eyes.
  • He has no mouth today, but your mouth.
  • He has no hands to help, but your hands.

He’s called you, lives in you, equips and provides for you and gives you EXTRA in your life so that you can use it to help others.

How’s your heart of GIVING today?

  • We’re collecting for FOODBANK: You can GIVE (Time, Food or and Money).
  • We’re collecting for ROUGH SLEEPERS : You can GIVE (Money, Meals and Time).
  • We’re collecting for St Luke’s Church.: You can GIVE (Service, Time, Money and Love).

Oh my friends, let’s all be Jesus SECRET SERVICE AGENTS in the world today; his body, his hands, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his feet, his hands today. Spreading His light, His salt, His goodness, His kindness, His forgiveness, His generosity… Let’s do it starting afresh today. Amen!

2) Second, Our PRAYER CONNECTING WITH OUR FATHER:

HOWEVER: We’ll NEVER Get Jesus Heart for GIVING until we make and maintain our CONNECTION with God our Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew 6:5-6. How We Shouldn’t and How we Should PRAY.
5 ¬†“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (OPENLY).
7  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

NOTE: Our prayer should not be like a performance for others. We’re not praying to impress people, but to connect with God.

HOW: How to MAKE & MAINTAIN your Connection with Father God.
9 ¬†“This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (Recognising / Acknowledging God’s HOLINESS and Fatherly nature: We come into His FAMILY, we’re members of His Kingdom Family when we’ve trusted Jesus for forgiveness and Salvation from Sin)…
10 ¬†Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Your desire to live in OBEDIENCE to God’s will: Living according to His revealed Kingdom Values).
11  Give us today our daily bread. (All your needs).
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Forgiving us our sins as we forgive when others sin against us).
13 ¬†And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Keep us free from overwhelming temptations).
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

FORGIVENESS: Is Key to the Kingdom Living.

First you are forgiven when you come to Jesus.

Because you’ve been forgiven so much, you’ll be ready and willing to forgive others who’ve sinned against and hurt you. (One Christian said to me this week; “It’s amazing, because we become a bit like God when we actually get to the point of being able to really forgive others and let them off the hook or our revenge or punishment”… It really is amazing.

The LORD’s PRAYER: Song… Our Father…

(To the¬†Jamaican Spiritual Tune)…

Get the folks¬†into groups of four at front of Service, and point to them to say their line. (We did this yesterday, and got the congregation to join it. Old but AWESOME). <3 ūüôā

The Golden Nugget of Christian Kingdom Living: SECRET SERVICE for Jesus.

Giving,¬†Prayer and Fasting (we’ve not touched on FASTING yet).

All are to be done in SECRET: Then your Heavenly Father, who sees what’s done in secret will reward you OPENLY.

Connecting with God our Father in Heaven.

Once that connection is made through Faith and Trust in your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we’re in His Kingdom Family Forever. God become our FATHER IN HEAVEN.

So now we maintain that CONNECTION and become his secret change agents in this world. Amen! Amen!

We’ll get His heart of love for others.

Our HEART will be changed and we’ll desire to serve HIM first in all things…

PRAYER: Oh my friends, my prayer this week is; Father God, help us to change to become more like You, like Your Son Jesus Christ; When I look at Jesus I see what You are like Father; Loving, Gentle, Kind, Patient, Forgiving, Good, Full of Joy, Full of Power, Overflowing with awesome FAITH to move any mountain. O Father, I want to be just like Your Son Jesus. So I pray in His Name and ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

In Your KINGDOM LIVING:

Help me to be Giving in secret so that only You can see.
Help me in Praying in secret so that only You know.
Help me in Fasting in secret so that I can came closer to You for sustenance.
I want to be out of my depth in Your Love Lord.
I want to feel you close to me.
I want You to be in me.
I want to worship You Father in Spirit and Truth. Amen! Amen! Amen!

Through faith in Jesus, you will become God’s secret change agents in this world. You’ll be His hands, eyes, ears, head, feet and mouth. You’ll be all that the Sermon on the Mount says; Salt, Lite, Giving, Forgiving and Devoted. You’ll be connected with the POWER of Heaven and people are going to know, because your Father who sees you being His secret change agent will reward you openly. Amen!

Don.

 

Jesus Warns Of The Dangers Of Hell

The reality of Hell

Daily Spirit & Word: 783: Jesus Warns About The Dangers Of Hell.

Some people ask, “How can a loving God send people to Hell?”

Some people say, “It seems like the Bible is contradicting itself. If God is a God of LOVE, how could He send people to Hell?”

Most people will say today, “I don’t believe in a God who sends people to Hell? My God wouldn’t do it”

Well, it begs the question: Will God, who is loving, kind and forgiving send people to Hell?

Those people who say such things are right, their ‘god’ wouldn’t, but the God of the Bible tells us that His angels will.

The Bible’s answer is “YES!”

Jesus answer is “YES, He most certainly will.”

TEARS IN YOUR EYES:

Someone cautioned me once, “Don if you are ever going to teach or preach on the subject of Hell, do it with tears in your eyes”… I’ll never forget that, I didn’t quite fully grasp his meaning at first, but after years of working with people for Jesus, I can see what he means. It’s getting God’s heart for people. Knowing God and His love for people. His desire that He doesn’t want a single soul to end up in Hell and the reality that most people will be going there, because they reject Jesus and the Gospel. It does make me cry.

You see it’s only modern man who has a problem with a¬†judgemental¬†God: The Bible reveals God in fullness; His love, His Justice and His mercy.

Previous generations didn’t seem to struggle with it as much as we do.

In our modern society, we view all forms of PUNISHMENT as evil. We should NEVER hurt another individual, because it’s UNLOVING to do so. (Quite right, there are other ways to help people see the seriousness of their crimes, than merely punishing them). However, God is not like us. His ways are not our ways. He is kind, gentle, loving, forgiving, generous, but He’s also full of rage and anger against sin and rebellion. He hates it when people hurt each other.

And we would most certainly agree that we must be PEACEMAKERS wherever we can be an influence for Good in this world.

However, it was Jesus who said,

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV)
4 ¬†“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5 ¬†But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

It’s a dreadful, fearful, horrible thing to fall into the everlasting arms of God who is angry with your sins. That’s who we should be afraid of seeing with sin still in our lives.

Jesus wanted His Disciples to be serious about their own sin, in this life:

When we look at our passage from the Bible today from Mark’s Gospel: We’ll see just how serious Jesus viewed SIN and it’s consequences.

The SIN Jesus is alluding to is the Sin of Pride in life: Thinking they are better than others, this only leads to strife, competition and rivalry between each other.

Remember the CONTEXT: (Go back just a few verses to see what Jesus is talking about).

Mark 9:33-41 (NIV)
33¬†¬†They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”
34  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 ¬†Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36  He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them,
37 ¬†“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

38¬†¬†“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39 ¬†“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “No-one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me,
40  for whoever is not against us is for us.
41  I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.

The Disciples had been arguing with each other about who was the GREATEST…. Jesus had a little child come into the room, He took the child to himself and said, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

“… John, the beloved Apostle, thought he was doing the right thing, told a man to stop driving out demons in Jesus’ name, He got a rebuke from Jesus…

Unfortunately, if you also read on in Mark’s Gospel, you’ll see they didn’t get this teach or the warning: Because they’re still trying to have the best place Mark 10: Peter and John’s request. (More about that later).

So we come onto our own passage today: SIN, HELL, Danger…

My friends, Jesus is again teaching His own Disciples about: Strife, Rivalry, amongst themselves, He’s not going to be with them forever, so He must get this point home and into their heads in the most serious and pointed way he can… So Jesus warns them of the consequences of this kind of SIN: It’s going to be HELL for you… Unless…. Unless you CUT IT OUT of your life.

Mark 9:42-50 (NIV)
42¬†“And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck.
43  If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.
44
45  And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.
46
47  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell,
48 ¬†where ” ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.’
49  Everyone will be salted with fire.
50 ¬†“Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

(Notice: The NIV leaves verses 44 and 46 blank).

Mark 9:42-50 (NKJV)
42 ¬†“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea.
43 ¬†If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed, rather than having two hands, to go to hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched–
44 ¬†where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’
45 ¬†And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame, rather than having two feet, to be cast into hell, into the fire that shall never be quenched–
46 ¬†where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’
47 ¬†And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire–
48 ¬†where ‘Their worm does not die, And the fire is not quenched.’
49 ¬†“For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
50 ¬†Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

My friends:

“Their worm does not die”: The soul is eternal. Once you are born you will live forever in eternity: Either in Heaven or in Hell.

“The FIRE is NOT Quenched“: The fires of Hell are Eternal.

Some modern¬†theologians¬†are not happy with ETERNAL Punishment in Hell. They, again, believe that their “god” wouldn’t send anyone to hell forever. Perhaps if there is a Hell, then it will only be for a short time of purification. Then the¬†prisoners¬†in hell will be released into Heaven. Well, these ideas sound fine and tolerant and kind, but they are not true or ultimately loving. Because, people are not bothered about death, the love of life is diminished. If hell is not real, then there would be no point in Jesus dying upon the Cross. If there are no consequences for sin, if hell is not real, then Jesus Father must be very cruel indeed… However, if hell is real, and Jesus did die so we could be set free from sin, then God is the most loving being… He is! Hell is real! Jesus did die for the sins of the whole world. However!

That’s not what Jesus thought or taught though: Jesus is God and He clearly warns of the dangers of being thrown into hell. For Jesus, once you are in Hell, there’s no escape, there’s no way out of hell. Hell is forever.

Again Jesus warns us whom we should fear:

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV)
4 ¬†“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5 ¬†But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

The soul is eternal, once you are born into this world, your soul lives on forever. There are two places we will go when we die; one is to be with the Lord forever in Paradise, Heaven. The other is eternal Hell and tormented by Satan.

The reason we’ll get into Heaven: Not because we’re good or have done enough good. Why? Because just ONE sin will be enough to keep us locked up in Hell forever. The only reason anyone will ever end up in Heaven is if they’ve Trusted in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: Having had their sins removed by His death upon the Cross.

The reason we’ll get into Hell: If we die in our sins. We’ll be carrying our sins with us, and the weight of our sins will pull us all the way into Hell forever.

Luke 12:4-5 (NIV)
4 ¬†“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.
5 ¬†But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.”

To those who say, “It’s not loving to talk about Hell” I think Jesus would say, “It’s not loving to not warn people of the Danger of Hell”…

We’d all agree that Jesus was the most loving person who ever walked the earth; yet Jesus had very strong words for His own followers, warning His own Disciples of the Dangers of Hell: Causing one of these little ones, who believe in me, to sin… You’d be better off having a large mill-stone tied around your neck and be cast into the sea, than to face God having caused someone to sin.

Notice the parts of the body Jesus focused upon:

  • Hand:
  • Feet:
  • Eye:

When I preached this yesterday, I pretended to blame my hand for causing me to sin, “You silly hand, why did you make me do that? It’s all your fault hand, you made me do it” No! We can’t blame our hands, that is not what Jesus is saying … He was using a kind of Jewish humour, but the POINT was: Sin is very serious indeed. It will take you all the way to Hell. (I did the same for my feet and eyes)…

Oh how we need to stop blaming other things for the sins we commit; it’s not our environment, our upbringing, our genes, it’s us, it’s me who sins. I do it when I give into temptation, when I’m not being self-controlled, when I’m influenced by Satan or demons. We’re tempted to sin when we give into our desires.

All sin is rebellion against God: It’s going against our conscience: It’s breaking at least one of God’s Ten Commandments. Sin stains our souls and that stain cannot be removed by trying to be good.

Fire & Salt:

Jesus said, at the end of this message:

Mark 9:49-50 (NKJV)
49 ¬†“For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt.
50 ¬†Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

You will experience the fire: Fire is a form of purification: Even though you will go to Heaven if you’ve believed in Jesus and trusted Him as Lord and Saviour: You will experience a judgement:(The Believers Judgement 2 Corinthians 5:10)¬†It will be like one escaping through the flames.

Note: This is not the same judgement as unbelievers: We who’ve trusted in Jesus, will not be judged like that. We have already passed from death (Hell) to life (Heaven). Our place in Heaven is secure, but we will be rewarded for the good we have done and purified from any remaining, un-confessed¬†sin. John 3:13-21.

You will be singed (scorched with fire): the amount you will be singed will be determined by how much sin you are carrying since you came to know Jesus Christ as Lord.

Keep Short Accounts With God:

You must repent of sin right now: you don’t know if you are going to die tomorrow. I don’t want to see lots of people that I know and love, in Heaven with singe marks all over their souls.

When you repent, you will once again be on fire with love for the LORD. It makes me cry so much when I think of all those lovely Christian brothers and sisters who’s lives have been overtaken by sin. Yes they will probably be saved, if they are truly born again of the Holy Spirit, but Jesus didn’t die just to forgive us our sins, He also wants us to experience the abundant life now. You will never experience the fullness of the abundant life as long as you are hanging onto your sinful choices.

You can’t serve God and serve your pleasures: you will hate the one and love the other.

So my friends, get right with Jesus, repent and trust Him again. Turn from sin in your life and return to the LORD.

What happens when SALT looses it’s ability to savour?

I told the story of a trip to Southend on Sea: How I walked up and down the seafront with Julie. The smell of salt in the air only enhanced the smell of the fish-n-chips cooking. When someone walked past carrying fish-n-chips in a paper bag and it smelled strongly of vinegar… I just had to have some ūüôā

The man asked me, “Do you want salt and vinegar?” It was a strange question to me, I couldn’t imagine eating fish-n-chips without salt and vinegar… “Oh yes please, lots of salt and vinegar”… However, when I put one of those chips into my mouth, it was bland, no salty taste… I put another in, the same thing. I went back and asked for more salt… Nothing… The salt had lost its ability to savour… I’d never experienced that before… Salt that wasn’t salty…. That’s what we’re like when we purposefully walk away from Jesus and choose to live in sin.

“Have SALT in yourselves”: AND “be a peace with each other”… Jesus didn’t want His followers falling out. He didn’t want us to be in competition with each other… He wants LOVE. He wants UNITY…

How’s your unity and love for your brothers and sisters in Christ?

Have an AWESOME week with Jesus Christ.

  • I don’t want to see any of my friends with a large millstone around their necks and struggling in the deep sea.
  • I don’t want to see you with no hand, feet or eye.
  • I don’t want to see you in Heaven with singe marks on your soul.
  • I don’t want to see you falling out and falling over each other.

Oh my friends, let us get closer to Jesus today. Admit our need for His forgiveness and walk with Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Finally, believe in Hell: It will give you a wake-up-call. It will give you a desire to see others being saved by Jesus. It will enable you to live a life of freedom in Christ Jesus. Hell is real, Jesus believed it, taught about it’s reality and warned His closest and most dearly loved followers about it.

Quotes: In a world of psychic hotlines, horoscopes, Wicca, and alternative spirituality, Christians must be able to share their beliefs effectively. They must proclaim clearly, consistently, gently, and lovingly, the possibility of heaven and the warnings of hell.

Apologist Peter Kreeft addressed the fact that ignorance or denial of the biblical teachings about hell comes often from within the church. “Of all the doctrines of Christianity, hell is probably the most difficult to defend, the most burdensome to believe, and the first to be abandoned.”¬†P. Kreeft and R. K. Tacelli, Handbook of Christian Apologetics (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1994), 282.

 

The LORD is my Shepherd

no fear in death when Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Daily Spirit & Word: 765: The LORD is My Shepherd.

The Lord is MY Shepherd:

Good morning my friends, it was such a wonderful privilege to conduct the¬†funeral of one of the oldest saints in St Luke’s Church, June Bailleau. She died in full assurance that Jesus Christ was her Good Shepherd. So we could celebrate her life and be comforted with the assurance she’s gone home to be with her LORD forever. There were awesome testimonies about June, the kind of woman she was, her dedication to the Lord, her love and service in church and community, but most importantly how she longed for everyone she knew to come to the point of knowing Jesus for themselves. She wanted me to proclaim the Good News of Jesus at her funeral. So I did, here’s the message that I gave.

A few days before she died, June couldn’t speak clearly, but she mouthed the words of this Psalm perfectly from memory as I read it out to her.

SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I just love the way that King David has used the imagery of a Shepherd and his flock to¬†describe¬†the CARE and COMFORT which every one of God’s sheep can experience. However, it’s not just a group of sheep, but an individual sheep, my friends, Jesus wants to take the greatest care of your life too.

He begins by describing the comfort and care of His Lord for him in life.

He sums up all of God’s care in one phrase, “I shall not want.”

“I shall not want”

King David LACKS NOTHING, because his Shepherd cares for all of his earthly needs.

Let’s Look at the ways the Shepherd Looks After His Sheep in this LIFE:

  • He Leads me besides still waters: Jesus said, “NEVER THIRST AGAIN” & “Calmed the Storms” & “Walked on Water”…
  • He makes me lie down in green pastures: “NEVER HUNGER”

John 6:35 (NLT) “Jesus replied, ‚ÄúI am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

These two phrases tell me Jesus is concerned about my earthly existence as well as what follows next, my SPIRITUAL life.

  • He leads me in paths of righteousness: “I AM The Way, The Truth and The LIFE: No man comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

How does the Good Shepherd lead us? With His ROD (Rod of correction: A small rod that shepherds would use to prod the sheep and keep them on the right path) With HIS STAFF (The STAFF is a bigger stick that shepherds would use to rescue the sheep when they got into difficulty).

My friends, Jesus is caring so much for those who become His sheep today. He disciplines, prunes (Luke 15, John 15) He guides (John 16-17 by His Holy Spirit).

LOOK AT THE WAY THE GOOD SHEPHERD LOOKS AFTER HIS SHEEP IN DEATH:

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is not just concerned with our life down here on the earth: When we’re going through the doorway of death, He’s right there with His sheep too.

DEATH: King¬†David’s Shepherd doesn’t ABANDON Him through death, so he goes on to describe the Lord’s presence in death.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

Passing through death, David says, is like walking through dark shadows. That would normally be very frightening indeed. I’ve been called out to people who are just about to die and they are petrified, scared to death of dying. They call on a minister out of FEAR: I always come to them and proclaim the Gospel: When faced with DEATH people always REPENT of their sins.

Going through DEATH for everyone of us ¬†is not pleasant experience, that’s why nobody wants to die.

However, if we are one of God’s Sheep, when we do pass through the dark shadow of death, there is NO FEAR…

Here we are COMFORTED with this TRUTH: That our LORD JESUS Christ, The Good Shepherd, who provided for all our earthly needs in life, is also with us as we pass through the dark doorway into ETERNITY.

For those who are passing through DEATH with Christ, there is NOTHING to FEAR: Why? Because Jesus is right there with us.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

 

HOW DO WE GET JESUS TO BE OUR GOOD SHEPHERD?

WHILE THIS PSALM ASSURES US THAT GOD IS WITH US AS WE PASS THROUGH THE SHADOW OF DEATH, IT DOES NOT TELL US HOW THIS HAPPENS.

King David was specially chosen by God, he was unique and had amazing experiences of God in life and knew and trusted God. But it wasn’t until Jesus came to this world, that ordinary people could also have that same kind of assurance.

One thing I am assured about June Bailleau is this, She KNEW JESUS as her Good Shepherd. She’d repented of her sins and trusted Jesus as her Lord. She loved the LORD, and would be singing His praises until her last breath, which I can testify that she did.

Well, Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd:

He said,

John 10:10-11 (NIV)
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 ¬†“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Notice The LINK: The Good Shepherd: The LORD is MY Shepherd.

Jesus died on the CROSS for the Sheep. “The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”…

John 10:14-15 (NIV)
14 ¬†“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, (June KNEW Jesus)
15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. (June was assured Jesus had given His life for her).

Jesus is the Good Shepherd: He lays down His LIFE for the Sheep.

But why? Why did Jesus need to give His life for the Sheep? 

It’s because without Jesus DEATH on the CROSS: We would all still be in our sins, we would be frightened on our way through the DARK SHADOWS of DEATH. We most certainly would be frightened.

ALL HAVE SINNED: God’s WORD, The Bible, tells us clearly, “ALL HAVE SINNED”…¬†

YBH: Yes! But how?

We’ve all broken God’s Commandments: Lied, Stolen, Cheated, Disobeyed Parents, Murdered (Hated), Not kept the Sabbath, Not put God first in our lives.

God’s Commandments reveal just how much we’ve all sinned. NO SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: If we were able to creep into Heaven with our sins still on us, we’d contaminate Heaven.

We THINK We’re Good Enough: Most people think they are ‘good enough’.

I’m reminded of a time when as a young Electrical Mechanic recruit waiting to be drafted to my first ship, having finished my courses, I was put to work on the Royal Navy Pig Farm: About 40000 pigs to look after: It’s a very smelly affair. You’d only need to be with those pigs for a few minutes and you’d begin to smell like them. After working with the pigs I’d take a shower, spray myself with¬†deodorant¬†and put on clean clothes. Then going to the Dining Hall with all the other Sailors, we’d line up to get in. There was a Petty Officer at the Door: He was¬†controlling¬†the entrance, letting in a few at a time, there were hundreds of us. I noticed there was something strange happening in the¬†queue, there was a gap in front of me and a gap behind, I didn’t take any notice, but when I eventually got to the front of the queue, the Petty Officer said, “Go and get a shower, you stink, you can’t come into the Dining Hall smelling like that”… I was so embarrassed, I’d had a shower, sprayed myself with¬†deodorant¬†and thought I smelled clean, but the stench of the PIGS was still on my body.

My friends, I thought I was clean enough, I thought I could get in, I’d cleaned myself up: Oh My friends, there are so many people who’re hoping that they’ll be GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven when they pass through the dark shadow of death. They’ll be sadly shocked, because, JUST ONE SIN in your life: Will¬†contaminate¬†your SOUL and you’ll be unfit for Heaven for all eternity.

It’s my experience from going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets every week, people who don’t go to church, people who are not religious, that they do believe in Heaven and they think they are going to be good enough to get in. My friends, we’re encouraged by God’s Word not to fool ourselves: No SINNER can get into HEAVEN.

Listen to what God’s Word tells us: DON’T FOOL YOURSELVES…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
9 ¬†Don‚Äôt you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don‚Äôt fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality,¬†10 ¬†or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people‚ÄĒnone of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
11  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Don’t FOOL YOURSELVES: We may think we’re ‘good enough’ but the Bible, God’s Word, reveals that JUST ONE SIN will keep us out of Heaven.

Like Adam and Eve, who were banished from God’s presence for ONE SIN, so we too will be sadly shocked and embarrassed to discover, we can’t get in.

Thankfully that same passage that tells us not to FOOL OURSELVES, and lists those who can’t get in, it also reveals who can.

It’s those who’ve made Jesus their Good Shepherd.

1 Corinthians 6:11 ”¬†Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

  • When you TURN: In Repentance (Turn away from Sin) Confess your sins to Jesus.
  • When you TRUST: In Christ’s DEATH Upon the Cross, paying the price for your sins. (The Good Shepherd can become your Shepherd today).
  • When you RECEIVE Jesus Christ: By and act of Faith you say “Jesus, I believe you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent of those sins (Name them, renounce them, and leave my life of sin) I turn to You Lord and I¬†receive¬†You as my LORD, My Shepherd, Come into my Life and be my Lord today. Amen!”

When you Turn, Trust and Receive Jesus Christ: You will be saved, your sins will be washed away, you’ll be made holy by Jesus Christ’s death and precious blood, you’ll be made right with God and you’ll be free to enter into Heaven. When you die you will not FEAR. When you pass through the Dark Shadows of Death, because Jesus become your Good Shepherd, He will be your Shepherd and He will be with you too.

ALL FEAR IS GONE:

When Jesus Christ is YOUR Good Shepherd.

 

JUNE KNEW Psalm 23 by HEART: June KNEW Jesus as her Good Shepherd: The LORD of her life.

You can cry out with confidence as June Bailleau has done countless times in her life, she knew it by heart, just a few days before she died, she mouthed the words;

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

You’ll have such a confidence that Jesus is your Good Shepherd, that you’ll KNOW you are just going to go through THE DARK SHADOW of DEATH, you won’t be afraid, because Jesus will be with you, and then once you’ve passed through, you’ll be with Him FOREVER.

You will receive the Gift of Eternal Life:

Death has lost it’s sting, when Jesus is your Good Shepherd.

John 3:13-18 (NIV)
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 (Jesus died on the Cross),
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (Those who TRUST that His Death was for their sins).
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.

It’s NOT ENOUGH to KNOW that Jesus died for your sins: We can all believe that easily enough, but we must TRUST IN Jesus Christ. i.e. Trust that He will forgive you, cleanse you and give you new life, by an act of faith.

It’s like a man called Charles Blondin: A World Famous Tight Rope Walker.

He would walk across the Niagara Falls with a wheelbarrow. Back and forth (17 Times: Even Blindfolded). Then He asked the Crowd, “Do you believe that I could push a person in a wheelbarrow across the falls?” The Crowd responded “Yes”.

Charles Blondin asked, “Who’s going to get into the wheelbarrow?”

The Crowd was silent… He famously pushed his own mother across the falls in that wheelbarrow. She trusted in her own Son, enough to get into that wheelbarrow.

My friends, we’ve got to GET Jesus into Us if we are going to be SAVED: Will you TRUST the Son of God? Will you Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD today? He’ll take you across the Dark Shadow of Death all the way to Eternity with Him in Heaven Forever.. Trust Him.

Have you made Jesus your Good Shepherd yet?

Believe, Repent, Receive, LIVE….

Turn, Trust, Receive Him Today: And you will have HIM with you through life and through that doorway of death too. Amen!

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend.

Looking forward to gathering on Sunday with the Saints in St Luke’s Church,

Don.

 

The Most Shocking News

Heaven or Hell, In or Out, EU Referendum, Debate,

Daily Spirit & Word: 760: The Most Shocking News

In or Out: The EU Referendum?

Good morning my friends, I awoke at 2.00am this morning with this phrase buzzing in my head, “Headed For Hell: The Most Shocking News”… I thought, “You can’t be serious Lord, I can’t have that as a title for my daily Bible share? It would put people off forever”….

However, the most sobering news anyone can ever hear is not: “We’re now IN the EU” or “We’re now OUT of the EU”. Both of these statements are a BIG issues for folks here in the UK right now, but what would be even more shocking than either of those results is: “You Are Headed For Hell”… Imagine being told that upon waking from a good night’s slumber? Shocking isn’t it?

However, it’s TRUE: Because without some things most people are going to end up in Hell. To me that’s the most shocking revelation I’ve ever had and it’s horrible to dwell upon that truth. It’s no wonder that I was startled wide-awake this morning. I just had to get up and pray and get into God’s Word.

So two questions arise from that true statement: “You Are Headed For Hell” the questions are;

  1.  What things will make me miss Heaven and end up in Hell?
  2.  How can I avoid going to Hell?

What are those things?

  • Without Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour: You are headed for Hell.
  • Without Being Born Again of God’s Holy Spirit: You are headed for Hell.
  • If you’ve BROKEN just one of God’s Commandments: You are headed for Hell.
  • If you’ve not REPENTED of your sins: You are headed for Hell.

Now if I said that to people they’d be offended right? And quite rightly so, because they don’t believe they’ve done anything bad¬†enough¬†that would warrant being sent to Hell. They would quite rightly DEMAND PROOF, because it just doesn’t seem reasonable that most people will end up in Hell.

So let’s PROVE IT’S TRUE:

Because of His LOVE for human beings God sent His One and ONLY Son to die upon the Cross. Why did God do that? Because if Jesus hadn’t gone to the Cross, then every human being would die carrying the load of all their sins with them to the gates of Heaven hoping to be allowed in. Only to be greeted by the LORD with the Gates firmly shut in their faces. Why? Because SIN cuts you off from God. (See Isaiah 59:2 at bottom of page) ¬†He cannot bear the sight of sin, He cannot¬†tolerate¬†it in His presence. Sinning just once in your lifetime contaminates your eternal soul with sin. No amount of good deeds will wash that sin away. There is nothing you can do to remove the stain of sin. It’s like a tattoo upon your soul. You know when you get a tattoo it’s with you for the rest of your life, unless you have it removed surgically with a¬†laser¬†gun. So it is with SIN, unless you have it removed by the one thing that can take your sin away, DEATH.

“The Soul that sins, it shall die”… “The wages of sin is DEATH”…

Perhaps it’s time to come back to the OLD FASHIONED PREACHING of our forefathers, for the truth is still just as true today.

What is SIN? Sin is Transgression of God’s Holy Law.

If you Google the question “What is Sin?” It will first give you the secular dictionary definitions of sin:

Noun: Sin.

  1. Estrangement from God.
  2. An act that is regarded by theologians as a transgression of God’s will
  3. Ratio of the length of the side opposite the given angle to the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle
  4. The 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet
  5. Violent and excited activity

Verb: Sin (Sinning, Sinned).

  1. Commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law.
  2. Commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake.

That’s amazing, I’d never looked up SIN in a secular dictionary before, but there it is PROOF for everyone to read. SIN means ESTRANGEMENT FROM GOD. Why, because it’s an act that is a TRANSGRESSION of the will of God. WOWzer!

But there’s an even greater authority than a secular Dictionary; the Bible, God’s Word: What does the Bible say sin is?

Looking down the list of your Google Search: The third search result will be from www.gotquestions.org and they define sin from the Bible as:

Question: “What is the definition of sin?”

Answer: Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). Sin had its beginning with Lucifer, probably the most beautiful and powerful of the angels. Not content with his position, he desired to be higher than God, and that was his downfall, the beginning of sin (Isaiah 14:12-15). Renamed Satan, he brought sin to the human race in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Adam and Eve with the same enticement, ‚Äúyou shall be like God.‚ÄĚ Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve‚Äôs rebellion against God and against His command. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of mankind and we, Adam‚Äôs descendants, have inherited sin from him. Romans 5:12 tells us that through Adam sin entered the world, and so death was passed on to all men because ‚Äúthe wages of sin is death‚ÄĚ (Romans 6:23).

BORN INTO SLAVERY TO SIN:

Through Adam, the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion, bringing to him spiritual death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on depravity is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: ‚ÄúSurely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.‚ÄĚ

We’re not just born with a sin nature, we are also SLAVES to that sin nature, we cannot help but be obedient to our sinful nature.

John 8:31-36 (NIV)
31¬†¬†To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 ¬†Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 ¬†They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 ¬†Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

When you trust in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross, when you Repent of your sins and receive His forgiveness, when you Receive Him as LORD and SAVIOUR: then you too can be SET FREE FROM SIN.

CLARIFYING GOD’S LAW:

Now that we’ve defined sin, and that we are born in sin and are slaves to sin, we need to clarify what God’s LAW is: or The Will of God that we’ve transgressed and rebelled against when we SIN.

What is God’s Law? God’s LAW is revealed in the first five books of the Bible and summarised in the Ten Commandments: If we’ve broken just ONE of those commandments then we’ve become a sinner. We’re guilty of breaking God’s Law.

The Ten Commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Question: Have you ever told a lie? Just one? If you have then it only takes one lie to make you a liar (it’s the same as murder, just one murder makes you a murderer for life). God Word tells us “No liar can enter the Kingdom of Heaven”… Can you see how we need to be cleansed of sin? It contaminates our soul forever until it is washed away.

Is there anyone who hasn’t sinned? Has someone ever been born without a sin nature?

Through Adam (Adam and Eve), the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion against God, bringing to him spiritual and physical death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on sinful condition is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: ‚ÄúSurely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.‚ÄĚ It’s true of all of us, we are sold into slavery to sin by Adam: We are in bondage to sin and Satan…

How can I avoid going to Hell?

Your Personal SIN: Personal sin is that which is committed every day by every human being. Because we have inherited a sin nature from Adam, we commit individual, personal sins, everything from seemingly innocent untruths and lies to hatred and murder. Those who have not placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ must pay the penalty for these personal sins, as well as inherited sin of Adam and Eve. However, believers who’ve trusted in Jesus for Salvation from SIN, have been SET FREE from the eternal penalty of sin: which is Hell and spiritual death, but now we also have the power to resist sinning. Now we can choose whether or not to commit personal sins because we have the power to resist sin through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, sanctifying and convicting us of our sins when we do commit them (Romans 8:9-11). Once we confess our personal sins to God and ask for His forgiveness for them, we are restored to perfect fellowship and communion with Him. ‚ÄúIf we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness‚ÄĚ (1 John 1:9).

We are condemned due to inherited sin from Adam and our personal sin breaking God’s Holy Commandments and Law. The only just penalty for this sin is death (Romans 6:23), not just physical death but eternal death (Revelation 20:11-15). Thankfully, inherited sin and personal sin have been crucified on the cross of Jesus, and now by an act of faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour ‚Äúwe have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace‚ÄĚ (Ephesians 1:7).

The Most Shocking News:

Is not going to be we’re now in the EU or We’re now out of the EU: But it is “You Are Headed For Hell… Unless…”

Trust in Jesus my friends and this most shocking news will never be heard for you. Your place in Heaven is secured the moment you put your fiath and trust in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross for your sins.

Here’s Jesus Promise Again: FREEDOM:

John 8:34-36.
34 ¬†Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, I’m Free at last.”

Have an Awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

 

NOTE: God’s¬†Convicting¬†Charge Against Human Beings:

Isaiah 59:1-20 (NIV)
1  Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
2  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
3  For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4  No-one calls for justice; no-one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5 ¬†They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
6  Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands.
7  Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways.
8  The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no-one who walks in them will know peace.
9  So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10  Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.
11  We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves. We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away.
12  For our offences are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offences are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities:
13  rebellion and treachery against the LORD, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
14  So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
15  Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.
16  He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no-one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.
17  He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18  According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.
19  From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.
20 ¬†“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD.

My friends, the REDEEMER has come, the LORD Jesus Christ, to set you FREE from your sins today. Amen!

 

Desperate For LOVE

no God no Love, Know God, Know Love

Daily Spirit & Word: 759: Desperate For LOVE

Good morning my friends, it’s Fantastic Friday again. Some people say, “Monday to Friday is for work, but the weekends are for LOVE”. Well that’s so true, and so I’m going to give you LOVE today. This world is desperate for love, real love. So many people are living lives where love is in short supply, but they don’t have to my friends, because love is much closer than you think.

God IS Love.

1 John 4:7-21 (NIV)
7  Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
8  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.
9  This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
10  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
11  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
12  No-one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13  We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.
14  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.
16  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
17  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.
18  There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19  We love because he first loved us.
20 ¬†If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.
21  And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

God is LOVE:

Did you know that in the passage above, LOVE is mentioned 27 times, go on, go back and count it. See how many times you can count the word LOVE?

My friends, how we NEED to KNOW God’s LOVE today; because God is LOVE. I don’t know about you, but I want that LOVE. I need that LOVE.

Yesterday we heard the tragic news that Jo Cox, an young mother and wife, an devoted MP, was shot and stabbed to death, murdered in broad-daylight in a quiet town in England. That’s such a horrific thing and our hearts must go out to her children and her husband. But what about the community who knew and loved her too? Jerremy Corbyn said about her, “She was a wonderful woman who stood for many things ‚Äď human rights, peace and justice, who suffered a death that was ‚Äúbeyond appalling‚ÄĚ.

Jo Cox’s family, friends and this whole Country has been robbed of a wonderful, beautiful and vibrant life. Where is LOVE? Remember what she stood for; “human rights, peace and justice”… These are the very things God wants us to know today, we can only truly know them, when we know God’s love and God is LOVE. You can’t hate people if God’s LOVE is in you, all you can do is love them.

In the passage above it tells us TWICE: God is love, but then it goes on to define that love for us as well: “This IS LOVE: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins”. 1 John 4 Verse 10.

We know that right? But do we know it?

God is LOVE, so to demonstrate how much He loves you, He sent His ONE and ONLY Son to DIE for you.

When did He do that? Whilst we were still sinners… So it’s not because we deserve it, it’s not because we are good or because of anything in us to make God do it for us, but it’s because of His LOVE.

Why did He do that? Verse 9 tells us why, “So that we might live”… Live in love, live in God, live forever, live in Heaven and not in Hell. That’s real LOVE.

There’s a reason John is telling us all about God’s LOVE:

It’s that God wants, expects and knows, that when we KNOW Him, we’re going to be so full of His love, that we’re going to want to LOVE everyone. Not just the family, the neighbours or our workmates, but EVERYONE. We’re going to LOVE: the¬†unlovely, the ones the world doesn’t love and wants to shut away. We’re going to love the ones who are hard to love. Why and How? because when we KNOW God, He gives us His LOVE in our hearts and that love will be shown in what we do and how we act towards everyone else in this world. If we’re not loving, then we just don’t know God. If we don’t know God then we are NOT SAVED, because we are still in our sins.

God is LOVE: He loves you no matter what, even when you were still a sinner, God was loving you.

Romans 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

But it’s not a wishy-washy kind of love: You see God is also revealed in John’s Gospel as: Light (Holiness, Righteousness, Justice), Love and Life. (See outline of 1 John at the end).

God couldn’t just let everyone into Heaven because of His love; but Jesus death can. He is always loving, kind and gentle, but He’s also JUST and sin must be punished. What do you think should happen to; murderers, rapists, child molestors, etc? What punishment would you give the murderer of Jo Cox? We, in our human justice, believe they should be punished or made to pay in some way for their crimes, right? Well, God has promised that all SIN will one day be punished. His punishment for sin, all sin, is DEATH. Every liar, thief, adulterer, murderer and rapist will be cast into the lake of fire.

There’s a judgement to Come:

Revelation 20:11-15 (NIV)
11  Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.
12  And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
13  The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done.
14  Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death.
15 ¬†If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

¬†Why? Because sin is going against God. God is fair, just and right to punish sin, because when we sin on purpose we’re saying to God, “I’m not going to live the way you want me to.” It’s like shutting the door on your best friend and slamming it in his face. Or it’s like having a feast and not inviting your loving granny to be a part of it, eating your treats in front of her. That’s cruel right? Nobody would ever do that to their loving granny would they? Well, when we live our life as if God doesn’t exist, that’s what we’re doing to Him, we’re slamming the door in God’s face. Well then my friends, when we shut the door on God’s face then we’re going to live for eternity without Him. Sin brings DEATH of our relationship with God and it’s ETERNAL. There is a price to be paid for sin, it’s going to cost us dearly, unless….. unless your name is found in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

However, in His LOVE, whilst we were still sinning like that, God sent His Son to DIE for us.

To benefit from God’s love and His sacrifice, we simply TRUST in Jesus. Turn in repentance and put our faith and trust in His Son.

When you receive Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOUR; you pass from death to life. God will forgive you and wipe away all your sins.

SIMPLE SALVATION: Know God, Know Life and Love.

When you:

  • Believe in Jesus Death for your sins, (Put your faith and trust in Him alone for your Salvation from Sin).
  • Repent of your sins (turn away from them and turn towards God for forgiveness),
  • Confess your sins to Him,
  • Receive Jesus as LORD: He will not force his way in to your life, you must receive Him by faith.
  • Be born of the Spirit, Be filled with Holy Spirit,
  • Be Baptized:
  • Live the Christian life in the power of the Spirit who will guide you to be obedient to all the commands of Jesus in the Bible.¬†
  • Join in fellowship with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Worshiping the LORD!
  • Your NAME will be written in the Lamb’s Book of LIFE.

We’ll probably never know what drove that man to commit such a terrible act, it is pure EVIL. However, we can KNOW what real love is like, it’s the complete opposite: It’s a life given so that others might live. Jesus died so that we can live, but not just live a life knowing that He loves us so much, but so that we can also live a life of LOVE as well. If we know God, then we’re going to be LOVING towards everyone.

Love is not a feeling, it’s an act of the will.

Love is not a state of being, but it is a wonderful state to be in.

If you want to know if you love someone or if they love you; then … Get closer to God, because God is LOVE.

The Bible tells us God is love: So to know God is to know love.

YBH: “Yes But How?” “How can I love people more?”

So many people we’re told these days are DESPERATE for love. Thankfully God has provided the KEY to loving people, first get God’s love in your heart by trusting in Jesus, then follow the prompts of the Holy Spirit to become more like Jesus; then you will be doing the following:

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NKJV)
1  Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.
2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4  Love suffers long (is patient) and is kind; love does not envy (get jealous); love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
5  does not behave rudely, does not seek its own (not selfish), is not provoked (easily angered), thinks no evil;
6 ¬†does not rejoice in iniquity (doesn’t delight in evil), but rejoices in the truth;
7  bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8  Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part.
10  But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11  When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13  And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

To be honest, we’re all desperate for that kind of love, the problem is we human beings perceive LOVE differently. We tend to think real love is something we need to get from someone else, but the truth is LOVE is something we get into when we’re aware that we ARE loved, and when we’re in LOVE (in God) we’re going to be so full of love, we’ll love EVERYONE. You know something my friends, when we’re loving like Jesus, then the whole world is ripe to receive that love too. Give it away; freely you have received, freely give.

May you experience REAL LOVE this weekend my friends, let’s continue to pray for the family, friends and folks who knew and loved Jo Cox, MP. Amen!

Don.

NOTE: Here’s An Outline of 1 John.

It’s amazing when some people think they can know God without ever reading the Bible, but apart from the person of Jesus Christ, there is no other way to really KNOW what God is like. John¬†reveals¬†three awesome things about God in His letter. God is; light, love and life. Read it, know God, know LOVE and have life.

I. God Is Light ( 1 John 1:5 ), 1 John 1:1 through 1John 2:2

A. Prologue, 1 John 1:1-2

B. How the Little Children May Have Fellowship with God, 1 John 1:3 through 1 John 2:2

1 . By Walking in Light, 1 John 1:3-7
2. By Confessing Sin, 1 John 1:8-10
3. By the Advocacy of Christ, 1 John 2:1-2

II. God Is Love ( 1 John 4:8 ), 1 John 2:3 through 1 John 4:21

A. How the Dear Children May Have Fellowship with Each Other, 1 John 2:3-14
(By Walking in Love)
B. The Dear Children Must Not Love the World, 1 John 2:15-28
C. How the Dear Children May Know Each Other and Live Together, 1 John 2:29
through 1 John 4:21
1. The Father’s Love for His Children, 1 John 2:29 through 1 John 3:3
2. The Two Natures of the Believer in Action, 1 John 3:4-24
3. Warning Against False Teachers, 1 John 4:1-6
4. God Is Love: Little Children Will Love Each Other, 1 John 4:7-21

III. God Is Life ( 1 John 5:12 ), 1 John 5

A. Victory Over the World, 1 John 5:1-5
B. Assurance of Salvation, 1 John 5:6-21

 

You Don’t NEED to get permission to share Jesus

Share Jesus freely, tell your bad man or bad woman story, people love gossip

Daily Spirit & Word: 741:

You Don’t Need To Ask For Permission.

Share the Good News Freely.

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 5.

Good morning my friends, today is FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Ying Kai is coming to vist my home at 1.30pm with some Church Leaders and key members of our Fellowship. And we’ve got a Church Fellowship Curry Night, but first we’re meeting for some powerful prayer at 8.00am. It’s been a busy week, but so full of delights in the LORD.

Though the Pentecost Prayer Week is not quite over, I want to thank our Archbishops for the initiative to call all the Church of England to prayer for the Evangelisation of the Nation. We’ve been busy praying at home, in church, in fellowship groups and in small groups,, we’ve had Alpha on Tuesday: Why and HOW should I share my faith? On Wednesday, we’ve been out sharing the Gospel on the streets. On Tuesday, Emma gave her live to the LORD, on Wednesday she was almost killed by a falling rock, but it fell to the ground just inches from her head. Last night we had an awesome time of simply worship; singing and praising the Lord.

You know something, being a follower of Jesus is exciting, enjoyable, exhausting, but empowering.

When we’re with people, wherever we are, we’ve just taken them to church.

When we’re living with Jesus and His called-out people in this world, then the world has experienced church.

Christianity, following Jesus, is a MOVEMENT, it’s not a condition. We’re moved by Jesus to GO into this world and spread the Gospel, the Good News, but we’re also moved by the HOLY SPIRIT to be church, holy, wherever we are. When people are in your presence they are in church.

I’ve discovered a NEW boldness is available for the saints.

Emma became a Christian on Tuesday and shared her faith with someone the day after, on Wednesday she declared to a stranger, “It’s because I’m now a Christian”… With our heart we believe and are saved, with our mouth we TESTIFY… Romans 10:8-10. We’d normally take people through a TEN WEEK COURSE to get them to that point, but we’ve been discovering that it’s much, much better if someone can share what they do know as quickly as possible. If they’ve repented and trusted in Jesus as Lord, they can share that quickly with others. We’ve been unintentionally¬†holding the church back, because of our TRADITIONS. Instead of following Jesus example and the teaching of the New Testament, we’ve been following man-made traditions. People don’t need lots of head-knowledge to share Jesus, they just need to be willing to be obedient to His Great Commission, to GO and SHARE what they already know in their heart is true: “I was once in darkness, I heard the Good News of Jesus, I repented and trusted in Him, I’m now saved”… When we share how bad we were with people, they love a bad-man story, because people love gossip, they’ll be interested. On the other hand, if we start telling people, “I’ve just been on a 12 Week Course and it’s now time for me to share my faith…” NO! my friends, let’s get a boldness to set the young lambs in the faith free to share Jesus as quickly as they can. Of course they don’t know everything yet, but they don’t need to, they just need to KNOW Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take them where He wants them to be and with¬†encouragement, discipleship training and prayer, they’ll go from strength to strength in obedience to the Lord.

So can you gather that I’m excited and encouraged, it really is a Fantastic Friday and it’s only 5.00am.

Have an awesome Pentecost Weekend: Don’t stop praying though, we’re going to keep praying EVERY DAY for the people the LORD has strategically placed in our lives, those who know that we are Christians who love the LORD, and we’re going to be looking for opportunities to SHARE the Good News with them. They are our OIKOS. (BTW: Josi was out shopping and saw on the supermarket shelf OYKOS¬†yoghurt. She was wondering what OYKOS means?) It’s not quite the same as our OIKOS, by too similar to wonder.

PERMISSION NOT REQUIRED: YOU’VE GOT IT ALREADY.

Oh, BTW, you don’t need to be polite and ask permission to share the Gospel, because Jesus has already given you His permission to share it with EVERYONE.

“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me….” Matthew 28:18…

If you ask a friend, relative, neighbour or stranger, “Can I share with you something about Jesus”… You already KNOW what their reaction is going to be “I’m not ready to hear this yet” or “I’m not religious” or “I’m not interested in religion”. However, if you take the initiative and just share, “You know, I used to be a very bad person, I once told a lie…. they’ll be hooked”… You’ve got them, just share your bad-man / bad-woman story, how before you met Jesus you were a terrible person. Because people love bad-man / bad-woman stories. Just take a look at all the TV shows about BAD people, the world loves to hear bad people stories. St Paul did that many times in the Bible, what an example. You’re probably not as bad as Paul, he persecuted Christians and even took part in stoning some of them. But you have broken some of God’s Commandments, share how you were once bad and how Jesus delivered you from darkness, then share how anyone can come into the Light of Jesus and be saved. So can you see, you don’t need to be polite any-longer, you don’t need their permission, they’ll give it once you begin telling your bad-man / bad-woman story.

A wonderful book that’s selling by the million is “An Atheist Comes to Faith in Jesus”… A woman who was a Professor is telling the world how she once was an Atheist but now believes… The WORLD loves that bad-woman book.

Have an AWESOME Pentecost Weekend: If you’re free, come along to our Baptism service. It’s in the open air in West Norwood London. Just outside St Luke’s Church. People love to stop and watch what we crazy Christians are doing. What a witness for the Glory of the Lord.

Please don’t stop praying for our Baptism Candidates and for Ying as he comes to share at my home today.

Be blessed and be filled afresh with Holy Spirit to share Jesus with your OIKOS.

Don.

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
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.
18 ¬†Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 ¬†and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • Jesus told you to do it, so “GO”
  • Share the Good News of the Gospel Freely.
  • Tell your own bad-man / bad-woman story.
  • Let people HEAR about Jesus offer of NEW LIFE.
  • He’s with you to the very end of the age.¬†
  • Amen!

BTW: There are a FEW people around the world trying to hack into this web page. Why?

Helping The BLIND to SEE and The Deaf to HEAR

The Blind and Deaf need our Compassion and Kindness, a miracle so they can see and hear their NEED of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 734: The FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE.

When The Fish Jump INTO the Boat.

 

How does SIN Separate Mankind from God?

People are BLIND = Cannot immediately see their need of Jesus.

People are DEAF = Cannot HEAR when you tell them the Good News.

Need to be shown HOW they’ve become SEPARATED from God.

Good morning my friends, we’ve got a wonderful thing happens once a month in West Norwood: The West Norwood Feast. It’s a GOLDEN Opportunity for us as Christians, to build significant and purposeful relationships with our community. We’ve been commanded by the LORD himself to GO into the world to share the good news, that’s brilliant and so many of us are being obedient to that command here in St Luke’s, in many different ways. However, once a month we don’t really need to go out and go fishing, because it’s like the FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE, the fish are jumping into the boat, i.e. The Community is coming to us.

When we don't need to go fishing
Fish Jump into The Boat

 

THE FISH ARE JUMPING INTO THE BOAT

A TRUTH We’ve Discovered:

94% of people want to go to Heaven.

How have we discovered this TRUTH? Because every week we go out into the streets and engage with people who don’t go to church, and we ask this question: “Do you believe in Heaven?”

Another TRUTH:

They want to go to Heaven on their own terms, i.e. without the NEED of being religious.

How do we know? Because we ask them, “Do you think you’ll get into Heaven when you die?”

Again 100% of people, who believe in heaven, HOPE they’ll get in, and 94% think they’ll be good enough for heaven.

Most say things like this:

  • “You don’t need to go to church to be a “good” person.”
  • “You don’t need to be a religious person to get into Heaven, you just need to be good”.
  • “If there is a God, then He’d be a good God and let people into Heaven”.

This my friends, is the ‘religion’ of the vast majority of people in the world.

They believe in a god that will let anyone into heaven, regardless of how they’ve lived their lives, because most of the time, they’ve been good, i.e. Their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. So they’ll be good enough for heaven when they die.

They don’t know it, but in believing this, they’ve broken the Second Commandment: They’ve made a god to suit themselves, which is Idolatry. Because their god is not the God of the Bible: It’s a world-wide man-made god. Their god is tollerant of sin and will allow the sinful to get into Heaven. However, we know that they don’t know or understand that God is Holy, Righteous and Good.

WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND:

My friends, most people don’t know or understand this truth; “How sin actually separates mankind from God”. (or more pointedly, how their own sin has separated them from God forever and¬†forfeited¬†all hope of heaven).

They are convinced of their own goodness in God’s sight. It’s like they are wearing: Dark Glasses and Sound Excluding Headphones. (i.e. they won’t see and can’t hear: The Bible says, they are BLIND and DEAF: DEAD in their transgressions and sins).

So like the miracle of the BLIND man being healed and the DEAF man being able to hear, we need a way to ENABLE them to see and hear this truth.

First: Let’s Check Your Own Compassion Level:

You are out having a picnic at Beachy Head: (Beautiful White Cliffs & Lovely Green Grass): You are sitting eating your sandwiches and drinking your juice. You notice a BLIND MAN: He’s walking along towards the edge of the cliff tops, tapping his white stick. Oh and by the way, he’s wearing PINK Headphones.

If you were watching a Blind Man walking along with big pink headphones on his head, tapping his way with a white-stick towards a three hundred foot cliff, blissfully unaware of where he’s heading, what would you do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO? You know that if he keeps going he’s going to tumble over the edge and die. What would you do?

(BTW: Josie Nystrom: Thank’s for being prepared to act this out in church on Sunday: You are a STAR).

That’s right, YOU’VE GOT COMPASSION, you would run as fast as you could and grab hold of the blind man and stop him in his tracks.

  • Shouting at him wouldn’t work, because he can’t hear you.
  • Showing him the cliff won’t work, because he can’t see the danger.¬†

So you’d just grab hold of him.

Your NORMAL human compassion kicks-in and you act automatically to stop anyone from falling to their death: right?

Firstly: For you to be able to LEAD people to Jesus from today onwards, I’m going to explain what happened in the Garden of Eden. How mankind, because of Adam’s sin, got separated from God, and remained separated until God came down to the Earth in Jesus and made it possible for us to come back into Heaven (Paradise, The Garden of Eden) ¬†and be with Him again.

Secondly, God has given us a WAY to GRAB PEOPLE: Hold them and show them their DANGER.

Thirdly: Have COMPASSION: Remember, they are BLIND and DEAF: The People of this World who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord: They can’t see and they can’t hear so they don’t KNOW the Danger they are in.

We KNOW that if they were to die in their sins, they’d face God on Judgement day and be sent to Hell.

Surely we’ve got the same kind of COMPASSION for the lost souls of this world as we have for a blind man walking towards the edge of a cliff?

Listen to your NORMAL Human Compassion and think about their ETERNAL Destiny.

The GARDEN of Eden Explained:

(How SIN Separates Mankind from God). 

To Demonstrate: I need: an Adam, an Eve, God and the Serpent (Devil). (Demonstrate Physically). A fruit tree and an apple (piece of fruit). Light Sabre: Flaming Sword. & Jesus. An Cherub and someone to be Jesus.

Read Genesis Chapter 3. Genesis 3.

(Act it out: Demonstrate HOW Mankind Got Separated From God).

  • God said, “Don’t touch or eat or you will die”:
  • Eve was tempted first, then gave some to Adam.
  • They hid themselves, because they KNEW they were NAKED.
  • God came looking for them. (He knew what they’d done, but wanted to confront them with the truth).
  • Eve blamed the Serpent (Satan).
  • Adam blamed both God and his wife.
  • God banished them all from the Garden of Eden.
  • Put flaming swords in the way… (Question: Why did God put a flaming sword between mankind and Eden? Answer: Because man wants to get Eternal Life without going to God).

What is SIN?

1 John 3:4 (NIV)¬†“Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

Another translation of the Greek says; “Sin is TRANSGRESSION of The Law”…

The LAW spoken of in the verse above is The Commandments of God. When we sin we break God’s Law. The punishment for breaking God’s law is DEATH and Banishment from God’s presence or access to the tree of life. (Example: See Adam and Eve in Genesis 3)…

What Is The Punishment For SIN?

The Bible tells us: “The soul that sins it shall die”¬†Ezekiel¬†18:20.

And: “The Wages of sin is DEATH”… Romans 6:23.

A person who sins is acting as if there are no commandments, i.e. without any laws. Or as if God has not said that it’s wrong.

This is a perfect picture of what life is getting like in our world today, people doing whatever they like, as if there is no moral law against it or as if God had not declared in the Commandments: You shall not steal, you shall not lie, you shall not covet, you shall not….

When Adam sinned the whole human race became infected with SIN. It’s in our blood, our nature and our character. We sin from early years all the way through our life. Every day we sin in some way. In our natural born state as human beings, we are sinful. King David said, “I was sinful from birth”… When was the first time in your own life that you became aware of your own sinful condition? For me it was when my brother and I stole some lead. We both knew we were doing wrong, then it was stealing sweets from Woolworths. When we stole those sweets we blamed Woolworths for making it so tempting, by¬†putting¬†them right next to the exit doors. Just because we were tempted to steal, it was our own greed that was driving us, not Woolworths placement of those sweets. One act of stealing, in God’s eyes, makes me and my brother into¬†thieves. We are guilty of stealing. The¬†punishment¬†for sin: is death, because we’re guilty of offending God, not Woolworths. Whenever we sin, our conscience is crying out to us to STOP: But we ignore our own, God given, Conscience. Over time, with repeated offences the conscience gets quieter and quieter until it becomes almost undetectable by our soul. It’s like our conscience becomes seared or dies. However, a miracle can happen, we can have our¬†conscience¬†re-awakened and revived, by Hearing God’s LAW. Suddenly when we hear the Ten Commandments the Conscience comes back to life again and warns us of the impending dangers of our sinful actions, thoughts and choices.

What’s The Cure For SIN?

God came down in Jesus to¬†rescue¬†us from Satan, Sin and Death, Eternal Separation from God in Hell. (Hell is God’s place of banishment for rebellion against Him. Away from God’s presence for all eternity is going to be terrible, all you need to do to know what it’s like is read or listen to the words of Jesus on the subject).

  • But BECAUSE of HIS LOVE: God so loved everyone in the world, He doesn’t want a single soul to perish forever in Hell. So that’s why Jesus came to die in our place upon the Cross.
  • Forgiveness for our sinful rebellion is possible. It’s free for us, but it cost God dearly.

Question: How can we GRAB HOLD of the Blind and Deaf?

  • They can’t see.
  • They won’t hear.

Satan has both blinded them and made them deaf to the Gospel. (i.e. those who’ve never repented and trusted in Jesus).

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 (NIV) They Can’t SEE.
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. (They are Blind)
4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5 ¬†For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Matthew 13:14-15 (NIV) They Can’t SEE or HEAR.
14 ¬†In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.¬†15 ¬†For this people’s heart has become calloused (hard); they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn (Repent), and I would heal (Forgive and Cleanse) them.’

Thankfully God has given us a WAY:

It is POSSIBLE: To open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears.

With two great tools: To open eyes, unblock ears and in the process to soften hard-hearts.

1) The Conscience: God given moral compass. (Some people’s conscience is dead, but we can bring it back to life again).

2) The Commandments: God has written these upon their hearts. (They KNOW the truth deep down inside their souls).

With these two great Spiritual weapons, we can enable the blind unbeliever to see and the deaf rebel to hear. We can grab hold of them and stop them falling over the deadly cliff of death into the pit of eternal Hell.

Their own Conscience¬†will bear witness to the TRUTH within their hearts. It will do so long after we’ve finished talking with them. Because, with the help of the Holy Spirit (Who’s job it is to bring conviction of sin), they’ll be brought out of the darkness into the light of understanding.

John 16:8 (NIV) “When he (Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:”

Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction of sin. All we have to do is get people’s hearts ready for the Holy Spirit to do His work. He’s already bringing conviction upon many people in the world today, because you’ll have been praying for them before you even go and speak to them.

God has chosen you and me, those who believe in Jesus Christ, to work with Him (Holy Spirit) in bringing the world to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Here’s HOW Jesus did it: It’s called THE WAY OF THE MASTER.

OPENING UP THE COMMANDMENTS:

(Practically Grabbing Hold of the Blind and Deaf Before they fall into Eternity).

Here is explained HOW to use God’s two great tools to bring people out of the darkness into the light.

Start where people are: That’s what Jesus did.

They (most of them) all want to go to Heaven.

Ask them, “Are you or Do you think you are good enough for heaven?”

Most will think they are or hope they are good enough.

Ask, “Have you heard of God’s Ten Commandments?” Even if they haven’t heard them, they are written upon their hearts anyway, so their conscience will remind them.

Ask, “Do you think you’ve kept those Commandments?”… Most think they have.

Begin by asking, “Have you ever told a lie?” Explain that a liar can’t get into Heaven.

Then proceed through all Ten (if you need to). Most times you won’t need to go through all TEN of the Commandments, because you’ll notice that the Holy Spirit is working on their souls, their conscience also bearing witness. When they stop trying to justify themselves, you’ll know they are ready for the GRACE of the Gospel: The Good News of Jesus Christ.

NOTE: The Old Time Preachers: The Apostles, Jesus Christ, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, Spurgeon, Moody, J.C. Ryle, etc: all called the COMMANDMENTS (The Law) the preparation of a soul for the Gospel. The preaching of the Law opens up a heart, ploughs the hard soil-hearers, and gets ready for the seed of the Gospel to be planted.

Once you’ve explained the Commandments, and God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness, you don’t need to spend very long at all on the Gospel. The GOOD NEWS.

It’s like a good doctor explaining a patient’s need for treatment. He won’t spend very long on the cure, because once he’s explained the symptoms and what will happen if the patient is not treated, they’ll be ready for the cure. “Give it to me, please, Doctor. Give me the cure…”…

When you are like a good doctor and explain the patient’s need for a cure, then I’m sure you are going to see many of those fishes jumping into the boat all by themselves ūüôā Once they know the danger they are in, they’ll jump into the net of Salvation.

The CURE for Sin’s Curse: Death and Hell: New Life and Heaven.

Jesus came and died in their place upon the Cross, so they don’t need to go to their death with their sins still on them, they can be forgiven, cleansed and given a new life, if they will believe in Jesus, trust that His death was for them, turn in repentance (forsaking¬†sin) and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour. (SEE The GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ).

Conclusion:

Here in West Norwood in London, we’ve been given a Golden Opportunity, when the World comes to us once a month for the FEAST, let’s be focused and be ready to make the most of God’s amazing golden opportunities, and build significant relationships with those He is already drawing into His Kingdom Family. With His help and tools we can open up blind eyes and deaf ears.

Be¬†strategic, look for the people who’s hearts He’s already softening:

  • They’ll be the ones He’s drawing to Himself,
  • They’ll be open to hearing the Good News about Jesus.
  • They’ll be ready to discover a new way of living.
  • They’ll be frustrated with their life so far.
  • They’ll be aware they can’t live-up to their own standards.
  • They’ll be being convicted by the Holy Spirit of their need of Jesus.

They may not be instantly ready to repent, because it may take several times to hear God’s good news and the whole Gospel, but there will be AN OPENNESS. Remember how stubborn you were, before you finally repented and trusted in Jesus Christ? It took a while to convince you of your own need of a Saviour, so don’t ever give up on someone, keep praying for your loved ones every day. God cares more about their eternal¬†welfare¬†than you do, He’s patient, because He¬†doesn’t¬†want a single human soul to perish in Hell. (2 Peter 3:9).

Remember: Adam and Eve, they show us how the great divide¬†happened, how mankind’s relationship with God was broken, and in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we find the cure for man’s sinful rebellion, sin, wickedness and waywardness. Like the compassion we have for the Blind Man, let’s be filled with the same compassion as our Lord Jesus Christ has and go out and save those He’s calling into His Kingdom family. Amen!

The People of this World need our COMPASSION not our CONDEMNATION.

Have a wonderful week, keep fishing for men and women.

Remember to have compassion because they are blind and deaf; don’t shout at them they can’t hear you, don’t try and show them, because they can’t see their need of Jesus yet, but rescue them and with the tools God has provided to open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears; Their Conscience and His Commandments, and the Holy Spirit working on their souls, together let’s make them aware of their spiritual condition: let’s go fishing for souls in the sea of life. Hopefully, with God’s help, we’ll be able to catch a few fish before we’re taken back into our Eternal dwelling place. Amen!

Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17… i.e. When we come to Jesus, He makes us want to catch fish.

“If you don’t want other people to be saved, then you are NOT saved yourself. Be certain of that.” Charles Spurgeon.

The people of this world need our compassion not our condemnation.

They are Blind and Deaf: But you can, with God’s tools and help, open up their EYES and EARS…

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

The People of this world are BLIND and DEAF: S.O.S….

They need our compassion and kindness, to be shown their need of a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. They are headed for a fall into Eternity, so let’s get the same kind of compassion as Jesus Christ has, and save some souls. There is an S.O.S. but they don’t know their danger, because if they did they’d cry out “S.O.S” … “Save Our Souls”…

 

Preaching True Repentance

The ingredients of true repentance

Daily Spirit & Word: 725:

TRUE REPENTANCE: Not Just Saying “Sorry” to God.

True Repentance Is NOT Just Saying “Sorry”…

True Repentance Is A Requirement For: Salvation from,  Forgiveness for and Cleansing From Sin.

KNOW THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

I was so touched last night when out sharing the Good News of Jesus in West Norwood with David and Ben. For a change we ventured just up from our church to West Norwood Train Station and began engaging those returning from a day’s work as they exited the entrance. Of course many people after a day’s toil were tired and just wanted to get home, put their feet up and watch TV or whatever else they planned to do. But we did get into some great conversations. Ben and David talked with a Muslim woman for over half and hour, and all that time I was talking to a couple of young ladies.

It was amazing, because I began by giving them one of our little tracts, The Million Pound Note: I asked them, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” One of them immediately said, “I give half of it away to the poor”… I said, “WOWzer! What a nice lady you are”. I asked her friend, “What would you do with it?” She said, “I’d go on a holiday, then buy a nice house”… then her friend said, “We could go away together”… They were really nice young ladies. I said, “flip it over and look at the Million Pound Question”. One of them did and read it out loud, “Would you sell one of your eyes for ¬£1,000,000?” She said, “No way. My eyes are too valuable”… I said, that’s amazing. Her friend also confirmed she wouldn’t sell one of her eyes either.

Then we moved on to the value of their Eternal Soul.

What followed was a bit of to and fro about; the SOUL, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Sin, etc…

I was able to share the whole Gospel with them and finally led to the question: “If God were to judge you tonight, according to His standards revealed in His Commandments, would you go to heaven or hell?”

Their heads hung low and they went a bit quiet, “Hell” they both answered.

I asked, “Does that concern you?” One said, “Yes” and the other said, “No, because God is a forgiving God”…

I said, “You are right, God is a forgiving God, but it’s not automatic”… “It doens’t just happen, God doesn’t say, “Oh, I know you’ve sinned, but it’s OK, you just come on in anyway”… I explained, “God can’t do that, because as well as being; full of mercy, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and gentleness, He’s also a just Judge and must punish sin. He can’t in His Justice just let sinners off with their sins”.

The Good Earthly Judge: I then gave them an example of a good earthly judge, who with a guilty criminal before him, no matter how sorry he is, must give the punishment or fine that the LAW requires. They agreed, criminals need to be punished for their crimes. I explained that God will also punish our sin. One lie will keep us out of Heaven forever, because sin contaminates the soul, and no sin contaminated soul can enter into Heaven. “Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if it was full or murderers and liars?”

So I asked them again, “Will you go to Heaven or Hell?” They had now stopped trying to justify themselves, but said instead, “Well, that means nobody can go to Heaven”BOOM! “You’ve got it ladies, that’s right, because ALL HAVE SINNED, just ONE sin will keep us out of Heaven forever.”

Then I asked, “Do you know what God has done so that no one need end up in Hell?” They said they didn’t, but I inquired further, “Christians all over the world have just celebrated Easter. Have you heard about Jesus? How He died upon a Cross? How Jesus rose again three days later on the first Easter Sunday?” It was like I just brought them out of a dark dungeon into the full light of the sun, because they both smiled, “It was because of Jesus death”. I said, “That’s right ladies, Jesus died so that we could go to Heaven and be forgiven and cleansed from sin to be made fit for heaven. His blood purifies us from all sin. He died for you and me.”

One of them said, “So does that mean everyone just ends up in heaven then?”

I said, “NO, Not quite, something is required from us, we must first Believe and TRUST in Jesus death in our place for our sin, then we need to Confess (own up and accept we are sinners) and REPENT of our sinful ways of living, then we must RECEIVE Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.” I explained what happens when we do that and how Jesus gives us a NEW HEART and NEW LIFE and NEW DESIRES… i.e. The Commandments are not prohibitions any more “Don’t Do this or Don’t do that”, but they become for those who’ve trusted in Jesus, wonderful promises; “You shall not want to steal, kill, lie, cheat, argue, hate, lust or commit adultery any more”… God changes our desires.

One of them smiled again and said jokingly “So that means no more illegal downloads of music then?”

What followed was an explanation of what life is like from now on as a believer….

  • They wanted to know how I became a follower of Jesus,
  • They wanted to know more about church,
  • They wanted to wait until they were ready,
  • They wanted an excuse to remain in sin,
  • They still had lots of questions they wanted to ask,

It was an amazing conversation, but it ended with me saying, “Look I know you’ve got lots more questions, but do you have a Bible at home?” They both had Bibles at home they had never read… ¬† I said, “Go home and open your own Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and read about Jesus life and His message. Check out if what I’m saying to you is TRUE from what the Bible says. Then remember what I’ve said, “You must turn from your sin to trust in Jesus and¬†receive¬†Him as your King”

Then if you want to, come and join us (I pointed to our Church) you’d be more than welcome any Sunday at 10.30am. It was so encouraging one of the young ladies said, “I’m going to come to your church”… I also encouraged them to come on our Alpha Course to ask all their questions.

But I gave them this final warning, “We don’t know how long we’ve got left on this earth” I told them about Anja who’d come because I’d met her in the street¬†and shared about Jesus,¬†and how her baby had died unexpectedly. We just don’t know how long we’ve got before we can come to God for forgiveness and cleansing to make us fit for heaven. I said the Bible encourages us to think like this, “Today is the Day of Salvation: Repent and Believe the Good News”…. Ladies, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Repent today.

I finished by thanking them, gave them another of our little cards that reads, “Thank you for listening” it’s got a picture of a cute dog with big ears and a summary of the conversation we’d just had on the back.

We shook hands warmly and they thanked me as we parted company.

What is TRUE REPENTANCE? (SEE BELOW).

I was reading all about it this morning and came across an old Puritan teaching the outlines what ‘real’ repentance is like: Read it below and then ask yourself this question: “Have I ‘truly’ repented of my sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord?” Have an AWESOME Thursday with Jesus.

Please Pray: We had many conversations last night, I’ve only shared one of them, please will you pray for everyone who was encouraged, challenged and witnessed with last night? Pray that the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, will continued to draw them to Himself and that they’ll find GRACE to repent and believe the Good News.

Challenge: Keep Witnessing: The Lord’s Followers will be strengthened and encouraged in many ways by taking the initiative to witness for Him with all their family, friends, neighbours and those they come in contact with regularly, those who know you are His followers. Be kind, generous, gentle, bold, passionate and compassionate. May the LORD fill you afresh with Holy Spirit anointing. Amen!

Don.

 

THE INGREDIENTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE:

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

When we make a cake it needs the right ingredients to taste great. We follow recipes for successful and tasty cakes. To discover what true repentance looks, tastes and feels like, there are Biblical recipes to follow too.

These final two verses are from Mark’s account of Jesus sending out The TWELVE (Mark 6:7-13). The two verses summarize the specifics of the 12 Apostles‚Äô mission. It mirrors what they had seen Jesus do. With His authority and enablement, they cast out many demons. They anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them (cf. Jas 5:14-16). They went out and preached repentance, the same message preached by both John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and Jesus ( Mark 1:15). They were to go as servants. They were not to compromise their message even if it brought rejection and persecution. They had to have the courage to tell the truth about Jesus and the gospel.

If ‚Äúrepentance‚ÄĚ was the first word out of the mouth of John the Baptist, The Lord Jesus Christ, and the 12 Apostles (Acts 2:38), then it must be an important component of the true gospel message today and it marks the starting point of the true Christian life.

Thomas Watson, and Old English Puritan (ca. 1620-1686), wrote a helpful treatise on repentance. He stated, ‚ÄúRepentance is a grace of God‚Äôs Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed‚ÄĚ [Watson, Doctrine, 18]….

Watson identified six ingredients necessary for true repentance.

The first is sight of sin, whereby a person comes to themselves (Luke 15:17) and clearly views their lifestyle as sinful. If a disciple fails to see their sin, they are rarely motivated to repent…. (That’s why we take time to show people how they’ve sinned against God by using His Ten Commandments: How we’ve all offended a Holy and Righteous God).

The second ingredient for true repentance is sorrow for sin (Ps 38:18). We need to feel the nails of the cross in our soul as we sin. Repentance includes a godly grief, a holy agony (2 Cor 7:10) i.e. “It’s because of my sin those nails pierced the Saviour’s hands”. The fruits of repentance will be expressed in genuine, anguishing sorrow over the offense itself and not just its consequences. This sorrow for sin is more than just a ‚Äúworldly grief‚ÄĚ; it will be seen in the ongoing actions it produces (the fruit of repentance is a changed life).

The third ingredient is confession of sin. The humble sinner voluntarily passes judgment on themselves as they sincerely admit to the specific sins of their heart…. In the Scriptures, we find at least seven benefits to confession:

  • Confession of sin gives glory to God (Josh 7:19).
  • Confession of sin is a means to humble the soul (2 Chr 26:19).
  • Confession of sin gives release to a troubled heart (Ps 51:11-12).
  • Confession of sin purges out sin (Neh 3:13). Augustine called it ‚Äúthe expeller of vice.‚ÄĚ
  • Confession of sin endears Christ to the soul that needs atoning (Rom 7:25).
  • Confession of sin makes way for forgiveness (2 Sam 12:13; 1 John 1:9).
  • Confession of sin makes way for mercy (Prov 28:13).

The fourth ingredient of true repentance is shame for sin: True¬†Repentance causes a holy bashfulness or embarrassment, i.e. it is the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public. The Prophet Ezra prayed, ‚ÄúO my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens‚ÄĚ (Ezra 9:6). The repenting prodigal was so ashamed of his sin that he did not feel he deserved to be a son anymore (Luke 15:21). It’s like our Sin makes us feel shamefully naked and deformed in God‚Äôs eyes and puts Christ to shame, the one who took the scorn of the cross on himself. I’ve often feelt ashamed when I’ve been confronted by my sinfulness in the presence of God and when I’m will other believers who are walking closely with Jesus.

The fifth ingredient in true repentance is a sincere hatred of sin: We must hate our sin to the core. We hate sin more deeply when we love Jesus more fully.

Repentance begins with the love of God and ends with hatred of sin…. Tolerating sin is a willful leap toward committing it. True repentance loathes sin deeply.

Finally, the sixth progressive ingredient of true repentance is turning from sin and returning to the Lord ‚Äúwith all your heart‚ÄĚ (Joel 2:12).¬†This turning from sin implies a notable change in the ways we live, ‚Äúperforming deeds in keeping with their repentance‚ÄĚ (Acts 26:20).¬†Ezekiel records these words of God to the house of Israel: ‚ÄúRepent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations‚ÄĚ (Ezek 14:6).

We are called to turn away from all our abominations‚ÄĒnot just the obvious ones or the ones that create friction in others. The goal, end, destination or finish-line of true repentance is not to manufacture peace among others with perfunctory repentance, but rather to turn to God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Most importantly, though, this repentance is not just a turning away from sin; it is also a turning ‚Äúof repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus‚ÄĚ (Acts 20:21). [We should repent of our] doubt by believing in the goodness, greatness and graciousness of God, and [turning] in faith to trust in the freedom the Lord Jesus Christ offers to each one of us in the Gospel. Repentance is rooted in a hatred of sin and a joyful awareness of God‚Äôs loving-kindness, which leads to joy: ‚ÄúGod‚Äôs kindness is intended to lead you to repentance‚ÄĚ (Rom 2:4). We rejoice that Christ has done everything for us‚ÄĒall that we need to secure our salvation and our growth in holiness.

Christ’s Warning: Repent or Perish: “Unless you repent, you too will perish”

Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

  • Why do ‘modern’ churches hate to teach on repentance?
  • What’s wrong with preaching repentance?

Answer: NOTHING: Because true repentance is one of the KEYS to unlock HEAVEN. (Only Satan would hate a Christian telling people to REPENT).

The man-pleasing, modern, self-indulgent church has bent God’s KEY out of shape. Let’s straighten it and do what Christ has commanded: Preach Repentance.

PRAYER: ‚ÄúLord, ¬†I am an adopted child, not a slave to sin. I was a sinner by now, by Your Grace and Mercy, I am a Saint. I know the TRUTH and in knowing the truth I have been set free. Thank You LORD Jesus Christ, because I am accepted because of Your sacrifice upon the Cross. Please Lord, help me never to forget how much You have demonstrated Your love for me or how loved, secure, rich and free I am when I put my trust in You, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”