When the TV gets in the way of LIFE

seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness

Daily Word & Spirit: 724: Does God Get What He Wants?

Good morning my friends, it was such a privilege to conduct two funerals this week, one on Monday and the other yesterday. The first was for a wonderful Christian lady, the church was packed with friends and relatives from all over the world. I proclaimed the Gospel freely and called for a decision for Jesus Christ. Yesterday, an equally lovely lady, but who’s faith I knew very little about, the family said, “She was not a religious lady”… her family, as far as I knew, never attended church. What could I say to those grieving folks?

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28  “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin.
29  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
30  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The second group of mourners were all giving wonderful stories about the woman’s life; she was full of fun, knew how to laugh at herself and loved people, she was generous to a fault, giving so much sometimes that she was in need herself, but just thinking of others. As I read the above passage,I believe the Lord guided me to say, “Just like …. we can all learn from this, she obviously didn’t WORRY about her life”.

The world we live in encourages us to WORRY: i.e. adverts about your weight, style, looks, have you got the right tools, is your home looking like a palace, have you got the right garden furniture, are you eating the right foods, etc, etc,,, You’d be excused if you walked to your bed so worried after watching TV for just one evening. I’m sure you’d dream and they’d be full of worries about life. But thankfully Jesus tells us DO NOT WORRY. Why? Because who of us by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

The Gospel of Luke covers the same teaching of Jesus, but gives us a little more details: Luke 12:25-26 (NIV) “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

I love the Bible (God’s) logic here, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

We may or may not have a long life, but worrying about it’s duration won’t guarantee it. I’m sure we can shorten it though, through folly, but we can’t extend it longer than God intends it to be. “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away”… Sometimes, like when you mum or dad confiscated a precious toy when you were a child, that confiscation really hurts. When the LORD takes someone we love, no matter how old they are, it HURTS us, but we can’t lengthen the duration of our lives by worrying about them.

So what are we to do?

Thankfully the Bible gives us the answers:

Matthew 6:33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

1) Seek First The KINGDOM of God.

(Remember that’s same priority in the Lord’s Prayer?)…

When we seek first the Kingdom of God, we’re putting God’s priorities at the TOP of the agenda of our lives.

The woman being buried yesterday loved to play CARDS: Have you ever played Patience? Patience is a game in which you are looking to line-up all your cards on the King, once you get the whole suit; i.e. hearts, spades, clubs or diamonds, onto your King, then that row is won.

My friends, God wants us to line-up our life along the lines of His KINGDOM. i.e. He wants to be our KING. Every aspect of our lives in-line with His Kingdom priorities. How’s your KINGDOM living going?

2) Seek His Righteousness:

Many (most) people already think they are “Good Enough For Heaven” i.e. ‘Righteous’). But the Bible clearly teaches there are “NONE righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10.

Psalm 53:2-3 (KJV)
2  God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3  Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We do good things, but the GOOD the Bible is talking about here is “Seeking AFTER God” i.e. Putting His Kingdom agenda first. He looks down from Heaven and sees that there is “NONE” who do that. There are none who seek Him the way He wants to be sought.

So we NEED God’s Righteousness more than anything else in our lives, because we don’t have a righteousness of our own. It’s HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS we need. Yes we do good things for other people, sometimes we do magnificent acts of great kindness and self-sacrifice, but God’s idea of goodness and righteousness is to seek after Him. Apart from God every act of kindness is tinged with the flesh, i.e. there are fleshly reasons for acting in the ways that we do: To look good in the eyes of others, to be well thought about in society, but what really matters in Eternity is not what others think about us, but what God thinks. If we’re seeking a kind of self-righteousness, thinking that our good deeds will outweigh our bad ones, then we need to think again. The GREATEST SIN is living life without putting God first… i.e. Commandments 1 and 2. If we live without God or seeking after Him, we’re guilty of making ourselves into our own god, which is idolatry.

Imagine how God must feel when those He created and gave the gift of life worship everything else apart from Him?

The Gift Of A TV Set:

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

It’s like the loving father who bought a TV for his kids. Before he got the TV, they’d come running up to him for kisses and cuddles when he got home from work. Overjoyed just to see their daddy home. After he got the TV, he was hurt when they sat in front of it and paid him no attention at all when he got home. Even if he shouted out to them, they’d just sit there glued to the TV set. He missed the cuddles and kisses of his children. So he walked right in front of the TV and turned it off. The kids moaned and groaned, but he said, “I’m so upset that you love that TV I gave you more than me now”… My friends, have you ever thought how God feels when we love life more than the one who gave us life? When we love this beautiful Creation more than the Creator? When we’re so enamoured with the things in this world, rather than the one who gave us them all to richly enjoy?

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:

Remember the Bible called King David, “A man after God’s own heart”… i.e. King David sought the Lord. He looked for God. He wanted God’s priorities to be first in his life. King David did many horrible things in his lifetime, but the Bible accords him “Righteous”, not because of what he did or didn’t do in life, but because he sought the LORD with all his heart, mind, will and strength.

So, do you seek His Righteousness? We become righteous in God’s sight, when we respond to the Gospel invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Lord by faith. When we see that Jesus died in our place upon the Cross for all our sins and wickedness, he died for us. When we see that Jesus rose from the dead three days later and ascended into Heaven. Jesus is calling all people in the world to REPENT and turn away from life without God. To turn in repentance, letting go of our old way of ignoring God and turning to Him in faith to be forgiven, cleansed and renewed.

God wants to GIVE US THE KINGDOM: However, for Him to do so, it was very costly indeed. Jesus gave his life.

All we need to do to receive God’s Kingdom and life is turn in repentance and faith and receive Him as our KING: Then we’ll want to live our lives seeking first the Kingdom of God and we’ll want to live a holy and righteous life with Him.

When we seek first His Kingdom and when we seek first His Righteousness, then He, our Heavenly Father, will give us His Kingdom, He will give us what we NEED in life and we needn’t worry about how long we’re going to live, because ETERNITY is in our hearts, we’re going to LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM. Your needs will be met by God once you seek His Kingdom and His righteousness in all things.

Being ‘good’ in our own eyes, is good and right, but when it comes down to it, God will be looking to see if we’ve been good from His perspective. It’s a matter of righteousness not religiousness. He won’t look to see if you’ve been attending church, reading your Bible, doing good to others and praying. His priority is righteousness, are you good enough for Him? The honest answer He’ll be looking for is “NO!” I’m not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, because I’ve sinned and broken Your Commandments. However, Father in Heaven, I’ve put my faith and trust in Jesus, Your Son, and I know that His death upon the Cross was for my sins. I’ve asked for His forgiveness and turned in repentance and faith, I’ve received Him as my King. I know that I’m a member of His Kingdom Family.”

He’ll say, “Welcome, I’m PLEASED to give you the Kingdom”…

Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

How To SAVE The World

Good Works and Gospel Proclamation

Daily Spirit & Word: 718: How To SAVE The World?

Let Your Light Shine & Proclaim The Gospel.

Good morning my friends, Way back in 2014, I did some teaching on the Tabernacle and the Lampstand (DS&W:187: Let Your Light Shine). Today, I’m adding a little more light upon that teaching.

Jesus wants your light to shine, first before Him, but then BEFORE MEN. I’ve been sharing how when Christians are in the world, with people who don’t know Jesus as Lord yet, they are taking those people to CHURCH. Not the Church building, but because they are the Church, the Holy Spirit is in them. Well my friends Jesus wants you to let His Holy Light SHINE so that they can see God is real, alive and to bring them to the point of conversion so they will be able to glorify the LORD too.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)
14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD:

My friends, Christians were never meant to be hiding their light in a ‘church building’. We have always been commanded by our Lord Jesus to GO! Go into the WORLD: We’re meant to be both SALT and LIGHT to the people of the world who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord. However, we’ve been contented to SHINE our little light only in church gatherings. How on earth are the people of the world going to get saved if we’re hiding our light in church buildings? “You don’t light a lamp and put it under a bowl” My friends, Jesus didn’t set you on fire to hide that light, so GO. Go into your world today and LET THE LIGHT SHINE…

YBH: Yes but HOW? 

Verse 16 gives us the answer: “let your light so shine before men (people of the world), that they may see you GOOD DEEDS and PRAISE your Father in Heaven”… Awesome! So by just doing GOOD DEEDS people will see the light and come to the point of praising Father God.

Of course it’s not as simple as that, it never is. We’re also to “Give a reason for the hope that is in us”…

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,…”

How can they be SAVED unless someone preaches / shares the Good News with them?

Romans 10:14 (NIV)
14  How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

My friends, there will be many a soul in Hell, who saw your good deeds and thought, “Mary is a really good and nice lady, but I never knew why, I wish she’d told me about Jesus and how I could be saved.”… We’re not to shine our light so that people will see how good we are, we’re to shine that light in such a way that people will KNOW how good God is. So that they will begin to Praise our Father in Heaven, not us.

It has always meant to be Good Works: Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and self-control, but accompanied with and by the GOOD NEWS: How Jesus took us and cleaned us up, forgave us our sins and rescued us from sin, Satan and Hell. How Jesus has commanded all men everywhere to repent and believe the Good News.

Good Works Accompanied By Good News

So often the ‘church’ has made the mistake of being one or the other: All Good Works or All Good News, but Jesus / God’s intention was that it was always, always meant to be BOTH.

That is HOW we’re to let our light shine: Good WORKS and Gospel Good News.

Remember again how Jesus sent the Demoniac back to his own OIKOS: That word ‘family’ below in the original Greek is OIKOS, it was not limited to just family, but to everyone who knew the man well, his friends, neighbours, those he worked with or for, everyone who knew all about him, that’s what OIKOS means.

Mark 5:18-20 (NIV)
18  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family (OIKOS) and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
20  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Just like that Demon Delivered Man, many of our contemporary Christian brothers and sisters want to STAY with Jesus in the boat of the church buildings. It’s so tempting, comfortable and nice to be just worshipping, praying, praising, but Jesus is still the same, He’s sending US out into the world to shine the light and share the good news. He’s still commanding you and me to go and let your light shine before men, so they will in turn PRAISE your Father in Heaven. This is a REVELATION to many of you I know. Jesus commanded His Disciples to GO into all the world and spread the Good News and make more disciples.

The Delivered Man most certainly did “Let his light shine before men”… Not just in his home town but the whole area. My friends, if you’ve been set free by Jesus, if you’ve been set alight, on fire, ablaze, with His Holy Spirit, then you will be a shining light, people will see your good deeds, but let them know WHY? Why are you such a good person? Why are you doing so much good in the world today? It’s because of your SAVIOUR Jesus Christ and how He’s had mercy upon you. Let them know why and that Jesus wants to SAVE them too with the Good News.

Keep your LIGHT Shining, be continually full of the Holy Spirit my friends, because the most important part of a Christian’s life is the part that only the LORD God Almighty sees. Be filled afresh with the anointing oil of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit today and you’ll be shining for Jesus Christ bringing Him glory by the good things that you do and the way you are sharing the Good News of the Saviour. God’s got so much good planed for you today. Enjoy the day in His mighty power.

You might not SAVE THE WORLD or the whole world, but you’ll be letting Christ’s light shine on your own little part of God’s World. Let it shine! If the whole church is doing that, perhaps we can SAVE many thousands and millions of souls for Him. Amen!

Prayer: I’m praying today for the whole Christian Church in the world. That we’ll all see Christ’s Command to Go OUT, the teaching in the light of all the Scriptures is His desire is that “EVERYONE” comes to repentance, let us not be the ones who’ve failed You LORD by simply worshipping, praying and praising You, when we know we should have been shining Your light and sharing the Good News in the world before men. O Lord Jesus we know You didn’t save the church to hide the light in a building, but to shine Your light in the world. O LORD! The harvest is plentiful and the labourers are few, send out Your Labourers into the Harvest Field of this world. Lord we want to see so many people that we know a love saved, please Lord, let them see the light and respond to the Gospel. Father, watch over Your chosen people and remind us often that we’re to do good works and speak out the Gospel with words too. Amen!

Don.

P.S. HOLY SPIRIT: Someone asked me the other day; “Don, you keep saying be filled with the Holy Spirit, I get that, but can you please tell me how to do it?”

That HOW is so important:

Oh my friends, God’s longing to give you the Holy Spirit, we just need to claim what He longs to give us.

First, we must be certain that we’re SAVED: I say this, because from experience many people have simply come to ‘Church’ thinking they are saved by being a worshipper every week and doing the things that the ‘real’ saints in Christ do. We’re not a Bus simply because we sleep in a bus-garage every night. Neither are we Christians just because we attend church regularly. Many people want the Holy Spirit, but don’t want to submit their lives to Jesus Christ as LORD.

So please my friends, first  CHECK (Examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition): you are in the Family of God: Have you genuinely;

  1. A) BELIEVED and TRUSTED in Christ’s DEATH upon the Cross for your sins?
  2. B) Have you REPENTED, which means letting go of all sin and begun to walk in His ways?
  3. C) and finally have you actually RECEIVED Jesus Christ as Lord?:

(If you are not sure you have, read the full Gospel CLICK Here and discover why you NEED Jesus as your Saviour).

That’s what the Bible calls full salvation. Once you’ve trusted in Jesus like that, then you’ll be born again of God’s Holy Spirit. You will be filled with Holy Spirit, but we need to keep being filled. In order to be re-filled: All we do need to ASK to be filled. God will not give you anything extra unless you ask Him for it. Here’s how to begin: Pray: “O Heavenly Father, please send the Holy Spirit into my life and fill me up as much as I need, fill me until I overflow with His presence and power. In the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ I ask You my Heavenly Father. Amen” Your Heavenly Father longs to fill you my friend. Receive the Holy Spirit in faith and watch what He does in and through you throughout the day. Keep a journal and make notes of your prayers and petitions and your encounters throughout the day. You’ll be amazed what God will do in and through you. He’s longing to get you all fired up today. So many believers believe that being filled is automatic or a ONCE OFF event, but the LORD wants to give us so much, but so few seek and ask for what He longs to give.

P.P.S. PLEASE PRAY FOR Anya. We met Anya whilst out sharing the Good News on the Streets in West Norwood, and she promised to come to church, which she did for the first time on Easter Sunday, then she came again two days ago on Sunday. Yesterday (Monday), as I was on my way to the Prayer Meeting, I met Anya who’d bumped into my wife, she was crying, as was my wife, Anya’s baby boy Alexander had died in Hospital that morning whilst undergoing a routine scan. Oh my friends, I can’t tell you the shock. I just embraced Anya. My wife and I prayed for her and continued to comfort her for a while. It’s amazing the PEACE the Lord has given to Anya, but it’s still very raw indeed. What amazing timing the LORD has, but we’re going to keep on praying He’ll bring Anya and her husband and extended family closer to Himself. Please also pray for us, the Christian Community and Family of the Lord in St Luke’s, that we can pour out His grace and love towards Anya. Amen.

 

Similar Topics:

Sharing is Caring: Why we shouldn’t hide our light.

The Light Shines in the Darkness: The people walking in Darkness have seen a great light.

Be Active In Sharing Your Faith: What happens in the saint who shares the Good News…

YOU Are the Church: How Christians have always been called to go and be the ‘church’ in the world. OIKOS.

 

 

Jesus’ Trial Gives Hope When Terrorists Murder

Jesus words of truth sustain when terrorists strike

Daily Spirit & Word: 713:

Jesus Trial Gives Hope When Terrorists Murder.

Who Are You Going To Turn To When Tragedy Strikes?

Good morning my friends, what an amazing stormy night we’re experiencing, couldn’t sleep, so got up to read the Bible, God’s Word! 😛
It’s Easter Monday, the day after Resurrection Sunday. What aweful and terrible tragedies await us on the BBC News today? I was deeply saddened by the events last week, and yesterdays attack on Christians in Pakistan. The Archbishop spoke well in his Easter message about “Hope overcoming Fear”… These terrorist murders of innocent people are horrific and our hearts must go out to all the poor people affected. There is only one way that I know to cope when tragedy strikes, for me it’s turning to the Lord Jesus Christ, to prayer and to God’s Word and to worship. When I do that, I’m transported from the temporal to the eternal, to what’s more important / most important: People NEED Jesus, so let us do all we can to introduce as many as we can, whilst we can, to Him. Amen!

But just who is this Jesus?

When Jesus was on trial for his life before Pontius Pilate he didn’t say very much at all in response to the questioning, but I believe that’s because Jesus was innocent, the Scripture’s had already declared “The Sheep before the shearer is silent”, so Jesus didn’t open His mouth in his own defence, if He had, He would not have been Crucified.  However, others should have spoken up for Him, but they didn’t either. Pilate should not have Crucified Jesus, because he knew that Jesus was innocent. Pilate gave into peer pressure big time, but that’s another topic altogether. I want to focus today on what Jesus did say, because what we gain from that will keep us strong in our faith in times of tragedy and terror.

Jesus’ Trial Testimony :

John 18:36-40 (NIV)
36  Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews. But now my kingdom is from another place.”
37  “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
38  “What is truth?” Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.
39  But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release ‘the king of the Jews’?”
40  They shouted back, “No, not him! Give us Barabbas!” Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion.

Our verses today comes from the first crucifixion trial of Jesus Christ in Pilate’s court. Pilate is questioning Jesus about the charge that He is a king. The answer Jesus gave is eye opening for Jesus’ followers today: Because, it speaks about the person of Jesus Christ, the purpose of Jesus Christ, and the people of Jesus Christ.

1) The Person of Jesus Christ.

“My Kingdom is not of this world” i.e. Jesus is indeed a King, but He rules a Kingdom that is not earth based or even universe based, it’s not part of Creation, it’s the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus also said, “for this reason I was born” This speaks to us of His Human Nature.

Jesus also said, “for this I came into the world” This speaks of His Divine Godly Nature.

It’s one of the most strange things for many people to get their heads around. We had it with some young Muslim men whilst out sharing the Gospel last week, they couldn’t understand how Jesus could be God and Man at the same time. “How could God die?” They puzzled. It’s a genuine and perplexing question. However, we cannot get away from the facts of the matter, Jesus was, is and always will be God. Even if he takes human form. Jesus ascended into heaven with his body that could be touched, He’s told us He’ll return in a similar way. We’ll be able to see and touch Jesus, He’ll not be like a ghost.

  • Jesus got hungry whilst on earth, but Jesus also changed water into wine.
  • Jesus got tired whilst on earth, but He also walked on water.
  • Jesus got angry when He saw what they were doing in the Temple, but He also forgave the adulteress caught in the act.
  • Jesus is both God and Man at the same time: It’s a TRUTH about Jesus we need to believe by faith, but it’s not blind faith, but on the evidence of God’s Word.

2) The Purpose Of Jesus Christ: He came as a Witness to Truth.

“and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”

Jesus Christ came as a Divine Witness to God’s TRUTH.

Truth today is in short supply. Truth today is being eroded. People want what they believe to be true to be accepted by everyone, even if it’s a lie.

For instance, a person born a man or a woman, can have their Birth Certificate changed if they have a sex-change operation. Gender re-assortment. A Birth Certificate is meant to be a statement of fact or truth, but now it can be changed to lie and cover-up a fact, that a man can now change his sex if he wishes. What a mess we’re living in, so it’s no wonder people have real difficulty with Divine Truth today. However, God’s WORD never changes, and the facts of TRUTH in Scripture are something we can depend upon, not just for this life, but for all Eternity. Praise the Lord!

Many people today say, “How do you know a politician is lying?” and answer, “Because his lips a moving”…

Is there such a thing as a TRUTH we can TRUST?

So what TRUTH did Jesus Testify about?

He taught us about many things; His main purpose was to give witness of the truth about the most important matters in life, such as: God’s Word, Heaven, Hell, Salvation, God The Father, Holiness, Satan, Temptation, Trust, Healing, Eternal Life, Life after Death, Judgement to come, Faith, Suffering, etc etc…

There is no more important witness for human beings in this world today.

Everyone need to know about these eternal truths revealed to us by Jesus Christ alone. They are unique and outstanding truths that can and will affect every soul ever born into this world.

3) The People of Jesus Christ:

“Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Jesus third Purpose was for the People who will listen to His TRUTH and receive Him as Lord.

Jesus calls people to Himself today by the Holy Spirit, everyone who “Hears the Gospel can receive the GIFT of Faith” Romans 10:17, when we respond to Christ’s Gospel call, we become the people who are “on the side of truth“, then Jesus TRUTH means so much more; it touches our hearts, warms our spirits, keeps our faith alive and encourages us when danger or trouble comes. Jesus Words of Truth have a lasting and life-changing impression upon everyone on the side of truth. The People of Jesus Christ are transformed by His TRUTH, they know Jesus words are meat and bread for life.

Conclusion:

So on this Bank-Holiday Easter Monday, after the beautiful worship of Resurrection Sunday, and the wonderful Good Friday Walk of Witness, and the Easter Eggs are all done and gone, when we see terror and tragedy unfolding on our TV Screens, cling ever more tightly to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who Is; God forever, Testifies to God’s Eternal Truth and Enlists People into His Heavenly Army of Truth. With Jesus by your side throughout your earthly existence we’ll be able to face any storms that come upon us.

Let’s keep praying for PEACE that we know only Jesus Christ can bring into people’s lives.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, today I come before You for my brothers and sisters in Pakistan and Belgium. Many of them have been murdered by terrorists, please send the Holy Spirit Comfort to everyone who has lost a loved one. Give them strength and in time the willingness and ability to forgive those who have torn their lives apart. Move Your people to respond with love, kindness and generosity towards our Kingdom Family members. Today I pray for their continued protection and provision for life. Let those in authority bring those responsible to justice. Let the cries and tears be wiped away with Your love and care. Amen!

Keep sharing the Word of Truth.

Keep trusting in the Words of Truth from Jesus.

Bear witness by Trusting Him afresh today.

Be filled with God’s Holy Spirit and Worship Him in Songs of Praise.

Don.

 

The Fragrance of Life or The Stench of Death

The World hated Jesus, don't be surprised when it hates you too

Daily Spirit & Word: 708: Smell: Life or Death

Dear Christian Don’t Be Surprised.

“If the World Hated Jesus, that it hates you too.”

When you are not surprised or shocked, then you’ll be able to LOVE them and LEAD them to Jesus.

Good morning my friends. On Good Friday (This Friday) we’re going on a Walk of Witness through the streets of London. We’re walking like in Triumphal Procession, because of what Christ Jesus did for us upon the Cross. But don’t be Surprised or Shocked that the World doesn’t like it one little bit, because;

to ONE: We are the Smell of Death.
to Another: We are the FRAGRANCE of LIFE…

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NIV) “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.”

To those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, Master and Friend, then my dear friends, don’t be shocked or surprised that to them, we who do love the Lord are like a bad smell of death under their noses.

Dead Mother’s Day Flowers: Yesterday my wife finally began throwing out some of her Mother’s Day flowers, she just loves to get lots of flowers on Mother’s Day, but the water in one of the containers was reeking really bad. As I took them up to the compost heap, I got some of the liquid on my hands, then inadvertently rubbed my nose, it stank. No I mean it really, really was STINKING. I had to run into the house quickly and wash my face off… Yuckkkkyyyyyy….

To the people of this world who’ve yet to submit their lives over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we Christians are just like that bad smell under my nose. Yesterday, I wanted to get away from that smell as quickly as I could, but I couldn’t because it was right under my nose, right under it… And it’s because followers of Jesus are like a bright shining light, which reminds the world of God’s righteousness, of their sin, of their need to get right with God, that we are that bad smell of death.

I don’t know if you’ve ever smelt a dead animal or person before, but it’s a horrible stink. It’s the kind of smell you’ll never forget and it stays with you for a long time. Even after you’ve had a bath, you’re imagination thinks you can still smell it on you. “The smell of death” what a horrible thing for the Bible to say… The Lord told me the other day, “Donald, you stink”… I said “What do you mean Lord”… then I Googled, stinking people in the Bible… Google is amazing… But so is God’s Word: It’s the TOP ranking Google search every single day. People want to know what the Bible says about stuff. I don’t know if Google will admit that???? But when I searched “Stinking People In The Bible” Google came up with some astonishing things.

When I did that search I came across a sermon by John McArthur about Lazarus: A man in the Bible who’d died and was dead four days, at the end of those four long days, Lazarus body had begun to decay and was stinking…

So my friends, do not be surprised if this world hates you as much as it hated the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the reasons it hates you is because you do not belong to this world.

You are an alien and a stranger in this world, you’re just passing through. Just like those poor Syrian refugees who’re passing through Greece and Macedonia to get to Germany and the rich countries of the North. You are passing through to get to your own rich Homeland, Heaven. So you don’t belong to this world and it hates you because you are not one of it’s citizens. But you are an Ambassador of Heaven: An Ambassador has Diplomatic Immunity in this world. Praise be to God.

Jesus warned us that this world will hate us:

John 15:18-21 (NIV)
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

The reasons why the World Hates Christians are too numerous to mention, but it’s mainly because they’re not ONE with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S GOOD NEWS TOO:
Because, we are also, “THE AROMA OF CHRIST”

Yet to those who are being saved, we are the wonderful aroma of Christ.

Do you like wonderful aromas?

  • Like cooking bread in the morning.
  • Like freshly brewed coffee.
  • Like the smell of cakes baking in the oven, WONDERFUL all over the house.
  • Like the smell of onions on a cold day.
  • Like the smell of roses on a warm Summer’s day,
  • Like the fragrance roasting lamb… (Join with us tomorrow night as we celebrate the Lord’s Last Supper with Roasted Lamb)…
  • Like a bacon sandwich with crispy grilled bacon.

We are the aroma of Christ to those who are on their way to Salvation.

But just a little word of warning, we shouldn’t be surprised when the WORLD hates us, but loves those who tell them they are OK.

CAUTION: THE WORLD LOVES FALSE PROPHETS…

“If you belong to the world, it will love you as it’s own” John 15:19.

It loves pretend ministers who’ll assure them “everything is OK between you and God” when they are really far away from God, cut off because of their sinful condition.
It loves pretend ministers who’ll give false hope, false assurance and a false Gospel. “Just believe in Jesus” Satan loves false converts because He knows they are headed for Hell to be with Him forever. You see my friends, it’s possible to believe in Jesus and not be SAVED.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A21-23&version=NIV

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

I witnessed this, a false prophet, with my own eyes the other day. Deep in my heart I grieved for those to whom false assurance was delivered. Thankfully, I’d shared about the need for; repentance, faith and trust in Jesus beforehand. The TRUTH is always stronger than fiction or false hope. Yet I also noted the nodding heads of people in the crowd who’d been won over by the false messages of “Being OK with God already”… The people of this world, those who belong to the world, LOVE messages that will massage their false hope and foolish thinking that God accepts all people, no matter what they’re like. He will not, because one reading of Jesus words in the Bible will correct that false assumption, i.e. “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven” Matthew 7:21.

“Peace, Peace, when there is NO PEACE” Jeremiah 6:13-14. The eternal cry of the FALSE Prophet and FALSE Convert… They imagine they are at peace with God, when in reality their sins have cut them off from the Living God. Nobody can enter into Heaven covered in sin, sin contaminates and has the stench of death upon it, “The soul who sins will die” Ezekiel 18:20….. Not speaking of mortal death, but eternal death and confinement in Hell. It’s no wonder that Christians have the fragrance of death to those who refuse to repent and trust the Saviour. If a person’s name is not written in the Lambs book of life, they will be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and all his demons. Revelation 21:27 (NIV) “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

How do we know if we are SAVED? Mark 1:15. Have you; forsaken sin, repented of sin, turned and trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and Salvation from Sin? He died upon the Cross to make your forgiveness possible, but it’s not automatic, we’re not forgiven just because we believe He died for sins of the world. Even Satan believes that, but we are forgiven when we repent of those sins and trust (take) Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Then we can be born of God’s Spirit… When you receive Christ as Lord, the Holy Spirit comes in and takes up residence in your life, giving you new life, new hope and new beginning with God. You’ll KNOW if you’ve been born of the Spirit of God. He really does give you a PEACE that the World cannot understand or accept. John 1:12-13, John 15, John 17.

We live in a world that hates righteousness, it hates God’s standards of goodness and morality, and it hates those people whom the Lord has chosen out of this world to a better life, a life that says, “NO! to the world’s ways of living” Ephesians 5:8. Those who respond to His call to go forth and proclaim the Good News are either; the smell of death or the fragrance of life. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17.

You are the fragrance of LIFE to those whom the Lord is saving.

He’s calling people to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, those people who are going to be saved will smell a sweet fragrance when you proclaim the Good News. You are like their FAVOURITE Scent.

So no matter who you are dear Christian, you STINK, either in a nice way or a bad way, but you STINK all the same.
Be a really good stinky sheep of the Good Shepherd today, and determine in your heart that you’ll be obedient to His Command and share the light, share the Good News that can bring life to the dead. The people of this world are those whom Isaiah talked about, “The People walking in Darkness …” Isaiah 9:2.  They’ll see a GREAT LIGHT when you proclaim the Gospel. Faith comes by hearing the Good News about Jesus. Romans 10:17.

Yes this world will hate you, but there are a few who’ll be SAVED, by the words that can bring life to the dead. You smell of death, not your own stench, but it’s the DEATH that they’ll experience if they were to die in their sins, that’s what the world smells my friends their own stench of death upon their flesh. “He Stinketh Lord” John 11:39 KJV.  No wonder it hated Christ and if it hated Christ, then be sure of this, the world will hate you too, if you belong to Christ. John 15:18-21.

It’s my hope and prayer that we’ll all see many people coming out of the darkness into His wonderful light. It’s always a great joy when a sinner repents and trust the Saviour and we see a transformed life. However, don’t be surprised or shocked if the world hates it when you proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved in the world today. It hates that message with a vengeance. Yet Jesus declared boldly, “I AM the way, and the Truth and the Life, no man can come to the Father but by me”… John 14.

So my friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that the world hates you, it’s because they don’t know the Father or the Son whom He sent upon His rescue mission. Love them into God’s Kingdom. Amen!

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you, and I hope and pray that you have an awesome stinky day 🙂
Don.

P.S. I’ve not posted for a few days, because I needed to rest my hands. On Monday morning I couldn’t grip anything, my hand was in agony. On Tuesday (Yesterday) morning it swelled up and was hot. Today, Wednesday, it’s almost back to normal and I can type again. I thank that Lord for His healing. I thank my brother Matthew, a member of my fellowship whom I asked to pray for healing. From that moment on it started to get better. Praise the Lord! If you have anything wrong with your body today, go to a brother or sister in Christ and get them to pray over you in the Name of Jesus Christ. Believe that the LORD Jesus Christ hears you when you pray in faith.

P.P.S If you are FREE tonight: Come and learn to share the Good News the way that Jesus did. We’re meeting at St Luke’s Church @5.00pm for training and then going out onto the streets of London to share the Good News of the Gospel with folks. It’s always awesome when we see how Jesus is with us as we go.

Don’t Be Surprised:

1 John 3:11-15 (NIV)
11
 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
12  Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
13  Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.
14  We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
15  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

 

Hot Juicy Gossip

What the Bible has to say about Gossip

Daily Spirit & Word: 707: Hot Juicy Gossip.

“When I Gossiped, I Sinned.”

“Oh LORD, help me to stop loving all that juicy hot gossip. Amen.”

Good morning my friends, do you know who the most generous people are? Gossips! Why? Because a gossip’s idea of generosity is to keep nothing to himself. HaHa… but seriously, gossip is not funny.

What is Gossip?

Dictionary Definition:

noun: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true: “he became the subject of much local gossip.”

  • a conversation about other people; an instance of gossiping: “she just comes round here for a gossip”.
  • chiefly derogatory a person who likes talking about other people’s private lives.

verb (gossips, gossiping, gossiped) engage in gossip: “they would start gossiping about her as soon as she left.”

What does the Bible say about Gossip?
Gossiping Hot Juicy Gossip

You know the temptation don’t you?

When you know something about someone and you are just BURNING to share it. That’s OK if it builds another person up and makes them look good in the eyes of others, but what about when it’s harmful, when it’s going to make them look like a fool in the eyes of others?

“When a woman lowers her voice, and her friends eyebrows raise”… You know it’s GOSSIP…

Have you ever been engaged in a conversation about someone and had to stop talking because they walked into the room or close enough to hear?

Proverbs 17:4 (NLT)
Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip;
liars pay close attention to slander.

 

 

Our interest in GOSSIP reveals something dark within our own personality. Something is missing, we’re feeling insecure, we’re angry, we’re holding a grudge… There’s nothing as good as bad news about someone who’s done you a wrong: But there is, because the very fact that you are enjoying it, means you’ve not really forgiven them.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, All the times I’ve been eagerly listening as someone tells me some juicy news about someone else. Oh LORD! Help me to keep my head and be listening out to Your Holy Spirit always. Convicting? I’ll say… Lord You know my heart, and how so many times I’ve been offended by someone or something, then just waited and longed to hear the GOSS about them?…. Oh LORD, forgive my interest in slanderous news. Cleanse my heart from these kind of dark affections. Amen!

  • Gossip: “Usually when the woman who is talking lowers her voice, the woman who is listening raises her eyebrows.”
  • Gossip: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Will Rogers.
  • Gossip: “I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs.”
    Andy Warhol Andy was addicted to Gossip…

But WHY is Gossip So Tempting?

Why do sincere, Jesus loving, Bible believing, Gospel sharing, Christians, love to gossip about others?

The Bible gives us the answer: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs. 26:22)

Read that again:

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs. 26:22)

i.e. Gossip is a bit like the promise of the old Heineken Beer advert, it can reach down into places no other beer can reach… LOL

Gossip, according to God’s Word “goes down into a man’s inmost parts“… It tickles our fancy… It appeals to our flesh… It excites our desires.

1 Peter 4:15 (NIV) “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.”

A Meddler: is a back-seat driver, a busybody, nosey-parker, it’s a person who meddles in the affairs of others.

Did you know?

Did you know that a Gossip / Gossipper cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven?

In God’s Eyes: A Gossip is a MURDERER… (Because you are killing someone else with your words).

“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarrelling, deception, malicious behaviour, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” (Romans 1:28-32 NLT)

Those who do those things; i.e. like GOSSIP, deserve to die… Ouch! Now that’s so serious.

Isn’t it strange? We always think that things like; murder, adultery, fornication etc.. are so serious that someone needs to be punished for doing them, but NOT Gossip… Yet God’s warning us all today about the seriousness of Gossip, Meddling and Slander.

  • Have you ever Gossiped about someone?
  • Have you ever Listened to Gossip? 
  • Have you ever Delighted in Gossip?

When we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll readily admit that we have. Let’s admit it to the Lord too:

Prayer:
Oh LORD! I have to admit that I have listened to gossip, many times, fool that I am, forgive me Lord.
Oh LORD! I also have to admit that there are times that I’ve started gossip, wicked person that I am, forgive me Lord.
Oh LORD! Please fill me to overflowing with your Holy Spirit, help me in the area of Gossip and Slander and Malicious talk. Amen!

Dr Dale A Robbins has a wonderful Biblical insight into the Dangers of Gossip.

(Excerpted from his sight).

Things to Remember about Gossip

  • Gossip is as sinful as murder and will suffer the same consequences unless there is repentance (Rom. 1:32).
  • God holds you accountable to your words (Matt. 12:36-37).
  • The person who gossips to you about others, also gossips to others about you.
  • Gossip & slander disqualifies persons for spiritual leadership (1 Tim. 3:11, Jas. 3:2).
  • Gossip often masks as pretentious concerns for others.
  • Gossip often thrives upon secrecy. Where secrecy is removed, gossip is hampered.
  • Gossip always contributes to a problem and never to a solution.
  • Gossip always distorts and exaggerates, and is never a reliable source of truth.
  • Those who gossip & slander are not in right fellowship with God (Rom. 1:28-32).
  • Those who gossip rarely get answers to prayer, and often face persistent, unexplainable problems (Psalms 66:18, Prov. 21:23, Prov. 6:12-15).

What to do about Gossip?

  • If you have been a gossiper, confess this as sin and ask Christ to forgive you. “Repent” by turning in a new direction and surrendering your tongue to Christ, not to gossip or bad-mouth again (1 John 1:9, 1 Cor. 7:10).
  • Keep your nose out of other people’s business.
  • If you can’t say something good or encouraging about others, then keep your mouth shut (Eph. 4:29).
  • Never criticize another person, except to their own face with an intent to help. Criticism can never be “constructive” if expressed to anyone else.
  • If your “friends” start bad-mouthing others to you, stop them in their tracks — refuse to be a partaker of their sins (1 Tim 5:22).
  • Avoid association with persons who gossip (Prov. 20:19).
  • Expose works of darkness by reporting gossip to the pastor / minister that he may confront and offer correction. Gossip should be treated as any other vile sin (Eph. 5:11).

“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence” (Psalms 39:1).

It’s my hope and prayer that you’re going to have an awesome weekend full of the joy of the Lord Jesus.

Stay close to Him every day and remember to ask for the filling of Holy Spirit. We all need it every day. Amen!

Don.

 

How To Find Contentment

The Deceitfulness of Wealth

Daily Spirit & Word: 706: How To Find Contentment

Why Doesn’t God Just Make Every Christian Rich?

What was the outcome of The Chancellor’s Budget? George Osborne has achieved so much, but only because so many of the poor in our land have suffered and paid for the rich to become even richer and the poor to become even more poor. It’s the weakest and poorest who have suffered most from yesterday’s budget. Because Osborne’s promising to CUT Benefits AGAIN. What would happen if George Osborne gave everyone a bag of gold today?


BAG OF GOLD

Good morning my friends, Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone had more than enough? If you woke up in the morning, walked to the front door of your house and there on the doorstep was a huge bag of gold. In that bag there was more than enough gold for the day, too much for your own needs. What could you do with all that extra gold?

Why Doesn’t God Do That?

It’s simple really, after a while we’d be worshipping the Gold rather than the Giver of the gold. Gold would become our god.

I remember taking my son into the City Centre of Plymouth. I didn’t tell him, but I was going to get him the Newest Game Machine: I went straight into his favourite shop and bought him the latest Game Machine. He said, “Who’s that for dad?” I said, “It’s for you son” He was over the moon, he said, “I’ll love you forever, I’ll do whatever you want, I’ll be the best from now on”… After a few weeks I called up to him, “Joe can you do the dishes today?” No answer, I went upstairs and he was playing on his game machine, I repeated my request, he said, “Get Steph to do them, I did them last week”… He didn’t even take his eyes off the game machine… I walked over and turned it off, then I had his full attention… He was so angry… I said, “Do you remember what you promised when I got you that game?” He’d forgotten that the game was a gift, a gift without any strings, but a gift that made him PROMISE to do for me whatever I asked. It didn’t take very long for the gift to take over from his affection from me to his machine. He loved that machine and the joy that it gave him more than he loved doing what I wanted him to do.

He had fallen so in love with the gift that the gift-giver didn’t get a second thought anymore.

My friends, that’s what this whole earth is like, most people live their lives as if there isn’t even a giver of life.

He’s given us such a wonderful world to live in,

He’s given us food and shelter and employment,

He’s given us friends and family and people to love,

However, we live out our lives as if the Giver of Life doesn’t even exist.

There’s a very good reason God doesn’t leave bags of gold on your doorstep every day.

“We LIVE as though the GIVER of LIFE doesn’t even exist”.


Proverbs 30:7-9 (NIV)
7  “Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die:
8  Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
9  Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonour the name of my God.


TWO THINGS: (Before He Died).

What TWO THINGS did the Wise Man ask for?

  • That He would be honest.
  • That He would have enough: Not too much & Not too little.

Why?

  • LIFE WITH NOT ENOUGH: Because He knew that if he had too little to live on, then he become dishonest and may need to steal.
  • LIFE WITH TOO MUCH: Most importantly, if he would have TOO MUCH, then he’d never recognise his need of God. He could be completely independent of God.

Give me neither:

  • Poverty: Too little that I might need to become dishonest.
  • Riches: Too much, that I might be tempted to think I don’t need God at all.

Sometimes we’re TEMPTED to want more than we need. Have you ever wished to win the lottery? Imagine untold Millions of £… £££££££££.

What would your life become if you had exceedingly great riches?

Sometimes we DREAM: Oh life would be so much better if I had ….. What do we DREAM life could become with Millions of £…£££££££££?

CONTENTMENT:

Listen as you READ God’s Word aloud now:

1 Timothy 6:3-10 (NIV)
3  If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, 4  he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions 5  and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
8  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9  People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10  For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

GREAT FOR CHRISTIANS

What is GREAT for Followers of The Living Lord Jesus Christ today?

“Godliness with Contentment IS Great Gain”…

“The LOVE of Money is a root of all kinds of evil.”

If we are eager for money, if we love a bag of Gold on our doorstep every day, we’d wander from the faith, walk away from the Lord and be pierced with many different kinds of grief.

 

In other words, if God gave us too much, then we’d soon regret it.

However, the LORD promises, that when we’re ready to be TRUSTED, He will OPEN UP the Floodgates of Heaven.

How’s your giving going?

How’s your generosity towards the poor?

How’s your investing in God’s Kingdom going?

How’s your storing up treasures in Heaven?

With every EXTRA PENNY He entrusts us with, He expects us to INVEST IT in His Eternal Reward Scheme.

So many Christians are simply storing up the EXTRA for themselves.

Instead, Invest in Heaven my friends. Give it to the poor, then TRUST God to provide even more again. When you are trustworthy with the LITTLE He’s giving you, then He’ll give you even more.


THANKSGIVING & PRAISE

Be thankful for what the Lord has given you today.

Praise Him in Songs of Joy!

Say to Him, “Thank you so much Father”.

Say to Him, “Thank You Father for your provision of what I need”…

“If I have food and clothing, I will be content with that”

Will I really be content with so little?

Will I really be content with so much?

SATISFACTION: I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen how the rich people in this world never seem to find true contentment, because they are on a continual quest to have even more. There doesn’t seem to be a time in their life when enough is enough… The TRAP of riches is that it promises so much, but delivers so little. It will never bring true satisfaction in life, it’s empty, it’s like trying to drink out of an empty glass in the desert. When we desire riches we rob ourselves of our relationship with the Lord. He wants us to come to Him every single day. He longs for our friendship and to give us what we need.

God has promised to provide for our needs, not our greeds.

Proverbs 3:5-10 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
7  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
8  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10  then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

Get rich Quick:

There are so many “Get Rich Quick” Schemes out there. They all PROMISE so much.

Christian DON’T BE FOOLED: The LOVE of Money is TRAP: Don’t fall into it.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Trust Him to provide for all your needs in life. One day at a time with Jesus. Invest in Eternity, then you will find Contentment.

Don.

SEE ALSO: “The Dangers of Wealth” What happens when we begin to desire to be rich?

More Links to CONTENTMENT IN GOD’S WORD.

 

What is the Second Death?

The Lake of Fire and The Second Death

Daily Spirit & Word: 699: The Fear Of Death.

The Second Death = The Lake of Fire.

A few days ago I wrote about the second of seven letters to churches in Revelation, the one to Smyrna, present day Izmir in Turkey. At the end of that short letter was the theme “The Second Death” which I didn’t touch upon. The Second Death is the major theme of the whole book of Revelation.

Remember that Jesus has nothing bad to say about that Church in Smyrna, can you imagine Jesus having nothing bad to say about you? Anyway, there is an encouragement to overcome, and if you overcome there is no fear of the ‘Second Death’.

One thing I know for sure is this, “Everybody wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die”… Until death is looming, nobody really gives it a second thought.

Here’s a nice song from Alison Krauss listen as you read.

Questions: What is the “Second Death”? and what does it mean to “Overcome”? “How can I be sure that I will not taste the second death?”

Revelation 2:8-11 (NIV)
8 “To the angel of the church in Smyrna write: These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.
9  I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
10  Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.
11  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

What is the Second Death?

Well the first death is what we all go through. It’s a fact that 10 out of 10 people die. Unless of course Jesus returns before you die. We’re all going to die. Many / most people are quietly getting along with their lives today, not giving their first death a second thought. Most people burry their heads in the sand like the proverbial Ostrich, pretending there is no danger…

“Bury Your Head In The Sand:”

This comes from the supposed habit of ostriches hiding when faced with attack by predators. The story was first recorded by the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, who suggested that ostriches hide their heads in bushes. Ostriches don’t hide, either in bushes or sand, although they do sometimes lie on the ground to make themselves inconspicuous. The ‘burying their head in the sand’ myth is likely to have originated from people observing them lowering their heads when feeding.

The notion is that the supposedly dumb ostrich believes that if it can’t see its attacker then the attacker can’t see it.

I’ve observed that in two year old toddlers, who think that when they hide their face or eyes you can’t see them. My grandson Karamoko loves the game of hiding things and me pretending I don’t know where it is.

People are a bit like that Ostrich though, they pretend to themselves that they are never going to die.

I’ve heard a lot of Pop Songs with that theme in them… “I’m going to live forever…” Most young soldiers don’t believe they are going to die. The Royal Marines believe they are the “Crem-de-la-Crem” of fighting forces, that’s drummed into young recruits, it helps them to believe they are invincible and will not die.

So if people are not scared by the prospect of the first death, why would they ever be afraid of the second death?

Jesus warned people about the Second Death.

Matthew 10:28 (NIV) “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Your soul is eternal, it cannot be killed, it will never die. It’s part of you that lingers from God’s Original Creation: Adam and Eve were made to live forever, God didn’t intend for them to die, ever, but because they sinned against God’s Command, Death came into Creation and Adam and Eve eventually died physically, but their soul lives on to this day. Every human being since Adam and Eve have been infected with the same disease called sin, and it’s because of sin that human beings die. However, that first death is not the end, there is a kind of second death, the death of the soul in Hell. It doesn’t mean that even there we cease to exist, but we are as good a dead eternally in a place that’s been reserved only for Satan and His army of Demons, fallen angels. No human being was ever intended by God to go to Hell forever, in fact that’s why God sent His Son Jesus into this world, to save mankind, so that no one would ever end up in Hell. The only people who will taste the second death in hell are those who die in their sins, those who’s sins have not been washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ.

You see my friends, it’s Sin that brings the first death and sin that brings the second death. If we die still contaminated with sin in our life, then God cannot allow us to contaminate His Holy Heaven.

Rotten Chicken:

I love the illustration of this: You buy some bits of chicken from the Supermarket, six pieces of Chicken breast are ok, but one bit of chicken smells a bit off. You ask your wife to have a sniff and she confrims, “It smells off”… Would you then put that piece of chicken in the fridge with the good pieces of chicken? Of course not! Why? Because it would “CONTAMINATE” the other good bits of chicken. My friends, it just makes sense that God will not allow a contaminated sinner to enter His Holy Heaven, because we’d contaminate Heaven.

Jesus The Just Judge:

Jesus will not allow a sinner into Heaven because He is also a Just Judge.

Most people think that the Second Death is nothing to worry about. They believe they’ll go to Heaven because God is loving and kind and will forgive them in the end. But what does Jesus say? “be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” BE AFRAID… It’s healthy to have such a fear of Jesus / God that we’re ready to repent of our sins. Because one day, Judgement is coming. Be sure of that my friends.  Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement,…”

Jesus is the just judge and He’s not going to allow any sinful person into Heaven. How do we know this?

The Second Death:

It is a scary prospect. Having a healthy fear of death and the second death is good for your eternal soul.

Check to BE SURE: “Are YOU in The Faith”?

My friends, when was the last time you checked to BE SURE, BE CERTAIN, to KNOW that you are in the FAITH of Christ?

2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (NIV) Examine Yourself.
5  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realise that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? 6  And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test.

Recently I had an appointment with the Doctor, it was a routine exam for men over 50. A kind of MOT to examine me to make sure I was fit or not. It’s good for Christians who believe they are saved to check now and again to be SURE and CERTAIN that they are walking with Christ today as they did when they first trusted Him as Lord.

Paul says, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith”… Notice he says it twice: “Examine yourself” then “Test yourselves”… That tells me we can be deceived. We can fool ourselves. Just like those who act like the proverbial ostrich who pretend they are not going to die, some people so love ‘religion’ they’ll fool themselves into believing they are Christians when they are not. They are what the Bible calls “FALSE CONVERTS”… or “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”… They look and act like sheep, like God’s flock, but they are not converted, they are not born again, they are not one with Christ, they don’t have Christ as Lord or as the Good Shepherd of their lives. FALSE CONVERTS sometimes don’t know they are false, that’s why Paul encouraged the Corinthians to check to see if they are in the faith. Are you sure you are in the faith of Jesus Christ?

Here’s HOW to be sure you’ll not taste the SECOND DEATH.

Here’s HOW to be CERTAIN you’ll pass from death to life.

Here’s HOW to be sure and certain you are IN the Faith of Jesus Christ.

A) Acknowledge you have sinned and broken God’s Commandments. This is crucial to beginning a walk of faith with Jesus. Acknowledging that you are a sinner. That you know everyone who has sinned will be condemned to Hell because they’ve broken God’s Commandments and have become contaminated with sin. That God will never allow a contaminated sinner into his holy heaven.

How have we sinned? We’ve broken God’s Commandments.

The Ten Commandments: Exodus 20:2-17.

  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.

1 Corinthians 6:8-11 (NIV)
8  Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.
9  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Acknowledging that you have sinned is the first step to Salvation.

Romans 3:22-24 (NIV)
22  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

B) Repent: Turn away from sin. Sin is rebellion against God. It’s living life your own way (DIY)… Frank Sinatra “I did it my way”… Notice his second name “SINatra”… It’s sinful to live your life as if God doesn’t exist. When you live your life as if God’s not real or as if He’ll just wink at your sin and let you into heaven is only fooling yourself. Every sinner will be punished forever in Hell. But God doesn’t want that, He wants you to turn and be forgiven for every sin.  2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Unless you repent you will perish in Hell.

Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Luke 13:5 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

Jesus said it twice… Repent or Perish in Hell.

The real idea behind REPENTANCE: is to have a strong desire to begin to live God’s way instead of your own way. To live a righteous and holy life from now on. It’s to have a desire to be ‘good’. We don’t have the power yet to be good, but it wanting to live like Jesus that God is looking for. Do you have that desire today?

C) Confess: Confess your sins to Jesus. Don’t just admit you’ve sinned, tell Jesus how you’ve sinned. How you’ve broken His commandments: The lies you’ve told, the things you’ve stolen, the lusts you’ve had, the things you’ve been coveting, how you’ve been disobedient to your parents, how you’ve not put God first in your life. Confess those sins to Jesus.

D) Receive Jesus Christ As Your Lord:

As soon as you believe in Jesus, Admit you’ve sinned, Repent of your sins and Confess your sins to Jesus, then you are ready to RECEIVE Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. He’ll come into your life and make you into a new person. You’ll become a saint: Sanctified and set apart by God the Holy Spirit. You’ll receive the gift of the Holy Spirit and that will enable you to live the full and abundant life that Jesus promised to all who received Him as Lord. John 10:10.

Now receive Jesus by faith: “Lord Jesus Christ, I come to you, I believe that you died upon the cross for all my sins. I acknowledge that I have sinned by breaking your Commandments, I know that if I don’t receive your forgiveness I’m doomed to spend eternity in Hell. I know it would be the just punishment and penalty for all my sins. I repent of all my sin, I turn away from living my life for myself and want to live from this day forward for You. I believe that when you died upon that Cross You died in my place taking my punishment and paid the price for my sins. Today I receive you as my Lord and Saviour. Please come into my life as Lord and send the Holy Spirit to give me the New Birth. Help me to live every day from now on for You Lord Jesus. Amen!

The Second Death:

The Second Death is the Lake of Fire: Reserved for Satan and all who die in their sins.

Revelation 20:14-15 (NIV)
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.

My friends, the Second Death holds no fear for those who have tested themselves to ensure they are in the faith of Jesus Christ, they have crossed over already from Death to Life Eternal.

John 3:36 (NIV) “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”

The Real Danger:

The DANGER is that there are some who say “I believe in Jesus” as if that is enough to ensure Heaven. It’s NOT, because even the Devil believes in Jesus. Simple “Belief” is not the same as SAVING FAITH. You need to also; Repent and Receive Jesus as Lord of your life. You’ll know if you’ve done that if you’ve received the Holy Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit is growing in your life today. i.e. You have more peace today than you did when you first believed in Jesus. More; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruits of a holy life with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2 (NIV) “As God’s fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. 2  For he says, “In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favour, now is the day of salvation.” “Repent or Perish”…

If You’ve Failed The Test:

“What happens if I fail the test, if I’m not in the faith of Jesus Christ?”

If you say you “Believe in Jesus” but your life has not changed, there are no obvious fruits of repentance, then you’ve probably failed the TEST of 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (above). Keep believing in Jesus, but also; confess your sins, turn from sin in repentance and receive Jesus Christ as Lord. Because once your receive Him you will be Born Again:  John 1:12-13 (NIV) “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”

Once you are Born Again you will begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the power of the Holy Spirit will be evident in you as you live for Jesus.

  • Once you KNOW Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.
  • Once you KNOW you’ve been born of the Spirit.

Then (And ONLY then) the Second Death is nothing at all to worry about, because you are ONE of those who have already overcome. Praise the Lord! Your salvation is not dependent upon your own goodness, but the goodness of Jesus Christ living in you. John 15. If you receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour after repenting and believing in Him, then your name will be written in the Lamb’s book of life.

What’s sobering for me on this Monday morning is this: If anyone’s name is NOT in the Lamb’s book of life, then they will be thrown into the lake of fire and experience the second death with Satan and all His Demons forever. That’s a horrific thought, God doesn’t want anyone to perish and no one in their right minds would want anyone to spend eternity in the Lake of fire. Let’s snatch as many as we can from the flames licking at their feet. Who do you know who isn’t SAVED yet? Share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus with them soon.

Today is the DAY of Salvation.

Have an AWESOME week with Jesus.

Don’t FEAR the Second Death if you are IN Jesus.

Be sure and certain your own name is written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Trust in Jesus Christ today.

Don.

 

Bean Bag Faith

Spanner, Mulgrips, Faith, Holding Fast

Daily Spirit & Word 684: Bean-Bag Faith & Trust.

Faith that grips the Saviour: It’s Love That Lifted Me.

WOWzer! “I had a dream” I was dreaming last night / this morning about how to live the Christian life in the power of the Spirit trusting in the Love of the Lord Jesus. How we can exercise our faith in such a way that it gets stronger and we cling to Jesus more tightly?

You’ll never guess, in my dream I was back in the Royal Navy. (Perhaps it was because I’d been watching the New Series on RN Basic Training on Monday nights, how things have changed 🙂 ).  For many years I was an Electrical Engineer on HM Submarines. Often working in a hot engine room, with steam and oil. Things get very slippery indeed underneath the Oceans.

Once I had to work on an electrical pump, it was bigger than me, the nuts on this thing were huge and due to it’s location in the damp atmosphere of a Steam Turbine, they were rusted on tight. The spanner kept slipping off. The more pressure I applied the more the spanner slipped. Until I finally gave-up on the spanner and delved in my tool-bag for a pair of Mulgrips. These suckers don’t slip, when you hit them with a hammer, their grip gets tighter around the nut.

Mulgrips or Spanner:

Spanner: A spanner is of a fixed width, fits the nut perfectly and turns the nut, but in some situations, when a lot of force is required, the spanner can slip off the nut. 

Mulgrips: Mulgrips on the other hand, are tightened around the nut, they work in such a way that when force is applied to unscrew the nut, they hold onto the nut tighter and tighter the more force is applied. 

My friends, faith in Jesus is like mulgrips, the more you hang-onto Jesus, the tighter your grip gets. The more pressure that’s applied to your Christian life, the more you’ll just hang onto Jesus Christ.

But some people are exercise faith like a spanner, in an experimental fashion they give Jesus a try, when things are going well they hang onto the Saviour, however, when things get tough or life gets hard, they soon loose their grip and slip-away, they fall-away from faith and trust in Jesus Christ. (Mark 4 Parable of the Sower). True and False Converts.

What kind of faith and trust have you got in Jesus? Spanner that can slip? Or Mulgrips that get tighter when things get tougher? A phrase from a hymn comes to mind now, “We have a hope that is Steadfast and certain”. It’s not a vain hope or a slippery hope we have in Jesus. We hold tighter to the Saviour when things get tougher.

LOVE: Love lifts:

Have you heard that before? “Love lifted me”. One of my favourite hymns.

When a newly-wed couple enter their home for the first time, the husband carries his wife over the threshold of the door. “Love lifted me”… I’ve seen some funny cartoons about that one. However, Jesus LOVE will carry you all the way over the threshold of death into the everlasting arms of the Saviour in Heaven.

Love lifts:

Faith falls / Grips.

BEAN BAG FAITH.

When you flop into a bean-bag it envelopes you. In my dream there was a big red heart-shaped bean bag, and I saw myself falling into it and it lifted me. It held my weight and surrounded me with LOVE. It’s an awesome feeling to be enveloped in a a heart-shaped bean-bag. It was at that point that I woke up this morning, I was somehow wrapped completely in my soft and warm duvet cover. Had to struggle to get out 🙂 But the dream stayed with me: I love it when you can remember dreams after waking up.  Oh WOWzer! “Love lifted me. Love lifted me.” I was singing and praising the Lord.

In faith when you fall into the arms of Jesus, He’s able to lift you up my friends. He’s about to envelope and hold you and surround you with His amazing LOVE. Faith falls in trust, love lifts and surrounds and sustains.

Faith falls in trust, love lifts and surrounds and sustains. 

“It’s not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6.

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

WOWzer! We don’t need to worry, He’ll never let go of us.

We don’t need to keep a hold tightly to the Saviour, because once we’ve trusted in Him, He’ll never let go of us. Some people imagine that it’s all up to their own strength and ability. However, He’ll hold onto you tighter than you ever could hold onto Him. Faith will grip hold of him, but if we fall into His loving arms, He’ll lift us up and sustain us all the way through life and carry us over death’s threshold into Heaven.

We take a step of faith, we risk everything on Jesus, but my friends, it’s not long before you’ll soon realise that it’s His LOVE that will sustain you. Faith is exercised and must be to get stronger, Jesus tells us He’ll also test our faith, just to make sure it’s genuine, but it’s His LOVE that will keep you, be sure of that dear brother and sister in Jesus.

I was walking with my granddaughter along the busy West Norwood Road in London. Cars fly along that road. I din’t realise, but every time we got to a road-junction, my grip on her little hand got tighter. She complained, “Papa, I know not to run into the road, don’t hold my hand so tight”.  It was my love for my granddaughter that did that. I wasn’t about to let her little hand slip from mine and her walk into the dangerous road.

No my friends, once Jesus has gotten a hold of you, He’ll NEVER let you go. He’s got a Divine pair of Mulgrips in His hands and He’s holding onto yours. Trust that once you TRUST HIM, He’ll NEVER LET YOU GO!

Jesus tells us that NOTHING can snatch us out of His or His Father’s Hands.

John 10:27-30 (NIV)
27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.
29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
30  I and the Father are one.”

My friends, exercise a kind of faith that is strong, like mulgrips instead of a spanner, so that you’ll not slip, but realise that once you grip hold of Jesus, Jesus will envelope you in His love and keep you all the way through this wonderful life and take you over the threshold of death into Heaven. It’s His LOVE that will keep you and He’ll NEVER let you go.

Are you trusting in Jesus today?

Try the Bean-Bag Test: Jump into His everlasting arms and His LOVE will envelope you.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus,

Don.

 

Rejoice and Jump for JOY.

Joyful, Jumping for Joy, when persecuted for Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: Rejoice and Jump For JOY.

“We walk by FAITH, not by sight”.

Have you ever been put-off because of what someone said? Have you stopped sharing Jesus with people? Many followers of Jesus today don’t believe in Evangelism. However, it was Jesus who commanded His followers to go into all the world. “Walk by Faith, not by sight”.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
11  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me12  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Good morning my friends, another awesome evening of Evangelism last night on the streets of West Norwood London. We were joined by a new member of the team, a lady who’s just joined our fellowship called Gwyneth, she teamed-up with me as it was her first time. We go out in twos and share the Gospel with anyone who’ll stop and have a chat.

Last night I was so up for it, but the week before, I was dreading going out, because it’s getting quite cold now in London. However, even though it was freezing last night, people did stop and chat; but most just received a little Gospel tract or a Ten Commandment Coin.

Though we had many conversations; ranging in duration from just a few words or seconds, to ten or fifteen minutes. One that stands out from last night was our last encounter, which was just in front of the Church when we were on our way back to meet up with the rest of the team. The man was standing, looking cold, waiting for his bus. Gwyneth offered him a Ticket to Heaven tract; he refused saying he didn’t believe in forcing ‘religion’ on anyone. He said, “I don’t think it’s right to go around trying to force people into any religion”.

In the past, if someone had said that to me, I’d probably have thanked them and moved on. However, the LORD has encouraged me over the years to be cheeky and ask questions about how people have arrived at their convictions. Thankfully, Gwyneth had obviously learned that lesson too.

I listened and Gwyneth explained, “We’re not out forcing the faith of Jesus, we’re sharing the Good News”… He remained steadfast in his conviction that it was wrong, stated that he was a Christian, and “A ‘real’ Christian keeps his faith private, and goes into his closet and prays secretly to his God.”

I’ve heard that many times before in my lifetime, but mainly from the older generation. I was surprised to be hearing it from a man so young. I said to him, “What do you think about the Disciples and followers of Jesus? They went out into all the world and proclaimed Jesus Gospel of Good News wherever they went?” He said, “I don’t agree with that, they mainly went to private places and shared with people who wanted to listen”. I said, “What about St Paul, who went into Market places and debated in public?” I explained, “Market places are pretty busy with lots of people just out doing business”…

Well, we went to and fro in our conversation like that for a while, until I sensed that it was the time to switch from the natural (argument, reasoning and discussion about ordinary things) to the Spiritual (discussing the Gospel of Jesus). I asked the man, “Do you believe in Heaven?” He said, “I don’t think about that too much, I’m a medical scientist”. Another red-herring was approaching 🙂 I kept him on track, “Eternity has been planted by God in your heart”. He looked at me in the strangest way, “It’s real, Heaven is real and God put it in you to know it’s real, that’s why there are so many religions in the world, everybody knows that this life is not all that there is”.

The man wouldn’t engage, so I switched back to the Natural again: “Do you pray for your patients?” He said, “No, I use science to cure them”. He didn’t think that his god would intervene, his god had given him the capacity to cure and know how to fix things for people.

He said, “I don’t pray, I use science to cure people”

Do you know what he had done? He had made a ‘god’ to suit himself. His god was not the God of the Bible. It was idolatry that He was suffereing from. Whenever you hear someone saying, “My god wouldn’t do this or my ‘god’ wouldn’t do that”, they’ve exchanged the God of the Bible for a convenient god of their own imaginations. It’s the most common form of idolatry that we come across today.

In our conversation, it became so evident that he was worshipping a false god of his own creation, there were so many aspects of Biblical Christianity that were obviously missing from his version of ‘faith’. He’d arrived at convictions and practices that are convenient, easy, un-challenging and unreal. His version of faith meant he could be a secret Christian, who didn’t need to call upon his god, and that Heaven and Hell wasn’t real.

Before we could share the TRUE Gospel with the man, his bus that he was waiting for had arrived. I quickly thanked him for speaking with us and gave him one of our tracts that says, “Thank you for listening”. It’s got a picture of a dog with big ears. It always makes people smile. But on the back it has the Good News of Jesus. I said, “Will you read this when you get home?” He took the tract. I hope and pray that he’ll think deeply about our conversation and that he will read the tract. I believe he will, because he was obviously a deep-thinking man.

The one phrase that I know God planted in his heart last night, that made a deep impact crater upon his soul was, “God has planted eternity in your heart”… His countenance changed when I said that, his mouth stopped for a moment.

The TRUTH has a way of stopping the mouths of unbelievers, but you’ll only see it if you are out doing what Jesus commanded, sharing the Good News.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-11 (NIV) 
10  I have seen the burden God has laid on men. 11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

God has PLANTED ETERNITY: men, mankind, human beings; we all KNOW that this life is not the end.

God Shuts The MOUTH: Of the Self-Righteous.

Romans 3:17-20 (NIV)
17  and the way of peace they do not know.”
18  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.
20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

It’s amazing when you actually see God doing this to someone, when the TRUTH hits home or lands in their soul in such a powerful way that their mouth goes silent. There’s a physical change that takes place in a person. You can see it hitting home. Praise the LORD!

So, my friends, don’t be put-off when someone says something FALSE about what you are doing for Jesus.

Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

That “rejoice and be glad” in the verse above: in the Greek of the New Testament it literally means “Leap and jump for joy”… The KJV says “be exceedingly glad”.. It’s amazing, but the LORD puts His deep joy in your heart when you know an attack is coming because you’re walking in obedience with Jesus.

We’re learning, slowly, not to get angry when someone says something false about what we are doing for Jesus. The man last night said, “You shouldn’t force people into religion”. With every lie of Satan, there’s also an element of truth. Of course we shouldn’t force anyone, we can’t make a convert by force. Only the Holy Spirit brings conviction and converts a person. However, by going out and sharing the Good News of Jesus on the streets with people, we’re NOT ‘forcing’ anyone, we’re just being obedient to Jesus command to go. The man made that statement before we’d barely spoken a word to him about Jesus. Of course it was a ‘false’ statement, a lie from Satan, designed to cause us to doubt what we were doing. Thankfully, Gweneth and I were not put-off or dismayed by it for a moment.

Gwyneth and I, and the rest of the team REJOICED last night.

We’d been out sharing the Good News of Jesus. We know that the LORD’S promises hold true;

Isaiah 55:10-12 (NIV)
10  As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11  so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
12  You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

“It shall not return to me void.” God will use the WORD planted in people’s hearts. He will accomplish what He desires. All He requires of us is that we be willing to be obedient to His Command to GO and to SPEAK the Gospel for Him! Amen.

My friends, keep GOING for Jesus.

  • Don’t give up.
  • Don’t be put off.
  • Don’t feel that you’ve failed.
  • Success is not obvious results, but being and living in the obedience that comes from faith.
  • Success in Evangelism is not measured by the number of converts, but by the fact that you’ve gone out and shared the Good News of Jesus Christ with people.
  • Keep LOVING People: They need Jesus, even if they don’t think they do. Their eternal destiny is what matters most to God, not that they are offended by you sharing the Good News with them.

It’s not by sight but by faith that we walk with Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV) “We live by faith, not by sight.”

You might not see results or expected results when you do things for Jesus, but have faith; when you go out in His power, in His Spirit and on His mission; He’s with you, He will accomplish and achieve His purpose. Jesus IS building His Church, so keep sowing the WORD in people’s hearts.

Have an awesome day with Jesus full of His Spirit.

Amen!

Don.

 

Are You Groaning For Heaven?

Creation Groans, The Spirit Groans, Are YOU Groaning?

Daily Spirit & Word: 662: Groaning For Heaven.

Good morning my friends, it is good too, because we had a glorious prayer gathering last night. We praised the Lord, danced in His presence and worshipped the Living God in the Power of the Spirit. Had a time of fellowship, catching-up after the Christmas and New Year celebrations; Then we interceded and read some more of God’s Word. And sang songs of praise again. WOWzer!

 Have you ever wished for Heaven? I mean really wished that Heaven would come now? That the LORD Jesus Christ would return in all His glory? He’s coming soon, all the signs are with us now that Jesus Christ’s return is imminent. In my heart I’m crying “Come Lord Jesus, this world is suffering and needs You”… But the LORD tarries, He’s waiting until His time is just right, but from the Word of God, we can see that the scene is set for His return. In the meantime, we await in eager expectation, just as God’s Creation does;
Romans 8:18-27 (NIV) Groaning For Heaven:
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
25  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Was there a time when you felt young in the faith, full of energy and excitement that soon you’d meet your LORD? When I first got filled with the Holy Spirit I felt I’d soon be touching the Messiah, because He felt as close as a thick morning mist upon the face. However, that was in 1984, I’ve been filled with and experienced the closeness of the LORD many times since then: last night, for the first time in a few weeks, I felt His wonderful close presence during our prayer meeting. I don’t know why the LORD chooses to make Himself known in power like that sometimes, and yet at others I feel as if there is a Grand Canyon between me and Him. I suppose it’s because the LORD wants me to walk by FAITH not by sight, nor by feeling, nor by touch. But my friends, I do know this, just ONE touch from the LORD changes everything. However, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?”
Let us, with all our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the whole world, “wait patiently” upon the LORD. There will be times when, like last night, you’ll feel His close presence, and others that you’ll be waiting for Him in eager expectation, hoping for His coming.
Know this too, the Holy Spirit is helping you in all your weaknesses. There are times when you just don’t know what to pray for; it’s in times like that the Holy Spirit Himself takes the initiative and intercedes for you. Further, He’s praying and interceding for you in accordance with the will of God your Heavenly Father. Knowing that gives me great encouragement.
I’m looking forward to Heaven, more today than when I first came to know the LORD, but I’m also full of JOY in the Spirit as I await His imminent return with eager expectation. In the mean-time I know, He’s got things He wants me and you to be doing; winning the LOST. Reaching out with His love to those in the world today who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. As we take the initiative, make the most of every opportunity that He’s giving us every day, to share Jesus in His POWER, then He’s showing me right now, He’ll be with us. Jesus Christ will be with us. We’ll know His presence as we reach out with His hands to a world that desperately needs His loving touch.
Tomorrow, we begin our weekly Evangelism as a Church, there are only a few who’ve been set on fire with His love to come and share Jesus with us on the streets. The Harvest is truly plentiful, but the Labourers are still so few. I’m praying, that the LORD of the Harvest will send out more labourers into His harvest field. If you are nearby in London, I invite you to come and join with us. You’ll see Jesus at work through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We don’t go to “bash” people into the Kingdom, we go out in LOVE, filled with compassion. It’s only when we step out in faith, take a risk, do stuff that doesn’t come naturally to us, but out of obedience to His command, we go in faith; then we see. Not only that, but we also get an even greater understanding of all the good things that we have in Jesus. So even if you don’t feel for the LOST, come because you want to experience the LORD’S goodness again.  Philemon 1:6 (NIV) “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”
HOPE: It’s a powerful faith filled hope we have. Not an empty hopeless kind of hope, but a joy filled, full of assurance, kind of hope in the LORD. Have you got the HOPE of the LORD in your heart today?
Let’s keep joining with God’s Creation, let’s keep GROANING for His return. Notice I said GROANING not moaning. There’s a vast difference between groaning and moaning.
Moaning: Express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness. Show one’s unhappiness or a critical attitude.
Groaning: Express audibly, make sounds (not necessarily with words), in the Spirit.
So let’s get filled with God’s Holy Spirit today, so that we’ll GROAN in accordance with God’s will. Amen!
Come LORD Jesus!
WORSHIP: Last night we sang along with worship songs from Rick Muchow.
I invite you to take a few minutes to soak in the powerful presence of Jesus and worship Him in the Holy Spirit.
PRAY: Oh Lord, the signs in this world are that You are coming soon; come Lord Jesus. If you tarry Lord, Help me to be Your hands of love to a world the desperately needs Your loving touch. Help me to speak for You Lord. Give me courage as I share the Gospel with the folks You bring into my life. Help me to make the most of every opportunity You are giving me today. Lord I’m also praying for brothers and sisters who’ll come and discover the joy of sharing the Good News. Amen!
Have an awesome exciting day with the Lord Jesus,
Don.

Worship Videos