A Spirit Filled Christian

What does it mean to be Spirit Filled

Daily Spirit & Word: 822: A Spirit Filled Christian

“But be filled with the Spirit” Eph. 5:18

Now you wouldn’t go out without charging your mobile phone today, would you? Yet so many Christians are going out into the world without seeking the fullness of Holy Spirit.

People who know me well will know that I’m a man who’s possessed. Possessed by God’s Holy Spirit, but one of the mistakes I’ve made in the past is to seek Holy Spirit anointing, filling and empowerment for what I can get out of it. He does bring wonderful feelings, however it makes me cringe now to think of how foolish I’ve been.

But what does it mean to be “filled with the Spirit”?

There are many today who want to be filled with the Holy Spirit just for the kick, the experience, the feelings that they get when the Holy Spirit comes upon them and in them. Some want the Holy Spirit for the POWER He gives to believers. These things are all wonderful and amazing and awesome. However, as we’ll see from the whole counsel of God’s Word, when a person is filled with Holy Spirit, their whole life is transformed and turned up-side-down to make them into Divine, Holy and powerful witnesses for God, who will in turn transform their own world and those around about them. WHY? Because,

1) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WORSHIP IN THE SPIRIT

When you get filled with Holy Spirit your worship takes on NEW and Exciting aspects.

     “Worship him in Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

Spirit-filled Christians are not in bondage to a form of godliness; they don’t follow religious rules and regulations, but at the same time, they are not fanatics or daydreamers. They are not bound by social pressures or by the spirit of the age. Their mind is renewed and changed to live a self-sacrificial life of loving service to Jesus Christ and His Mission.

Spirit-filled Christians worship with the anointing of God and the witness of the Holy Spirit. When you are filled afresh and anointed in Holy Spirit you’ll change inwardly and express it outwardly. HOW? because,

2) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

              WILL WORK TOGETHER IN UNITY

     “Continuing daily with one accord” (Acts 2:46).

Spirit-filled Christians do not work against one another. They are working in harmony—no resentments, frictions, factions or divisions. Because they recognise that EVERY true believer in Jesus Christ has the SAME Holy Spirit within them too. They know He’ll be working for unity and there is no competition.

They are concerned about getting God’s work accomplished. Christians work together in unity when they love God and one another. (Eph. 4:3). They’ll be working to BUILD the body of Christ (His Church). They’ll be using HOLY SPIRIT GIFTS to BUILD the body of Christ to make it strong, and to enable the immature to grow towards maturity in the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NIV) HOW HOLY SPIRIT GIFTS BUILD UNITY.
11  It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12  to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13  until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.
14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

 

3) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL BE WILLING TO FORGIVE OTHERS

“Forbearing… and forgiving one another” (Col. 3:13).

Spirit-filled Christians make mistakes, errors and blunders just like everyone else, but they possess a forgiving spirit. They do not hold resentments. As God forgave them, so they forgive others.

Forgiveness lifts burdens, brings joy and peace to mind and soul (Matt. 6:14-15).

From a human stand-point, forgiveness is hard, but when Holy Spirit comes, He’ll ENABLE you to walk in forgiveness. He’ll so fill you with love that you’ll not want to withhold forgiveness. Forgiveness releases more than just the person needing forgiveness, it releases you too. You’ll experience NEW freedom when you truly forgive others.

4) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WALK IN DIVINE LOVE

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us (Eph. 5:2).

Romans 5:5 (NIV) “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

Walking in LOVE is not like walking around with a dream-like-look on your face.

You know that you are in Christ Jesus if you LOVE others. (Read 1 John 1 and 2)

God’s love is implanted and poured out into the heart of the follower of Jesus Christ by God Himself and it works its way out to bless others. You will overflow with God’s Holy, Gentle, LOVE…

When Christians surrender themselves to God, they are cleansed of sinful attitudes, bitterness is washed away, sinful desires turned into Holy desires, malice, hatred, envy and strife are washed away, and are replaced with Holy Spirit of love.

If you are struggling in any of these areas of life today, then you KNOW you need MORE of God The Holy Spirit in your soul. Turn to Jesus Christ afresh today, ask to be filled afresh with Holy Spirit, do it right now, because you KNOW you need Him inside you… Perhaps just reading this you can feel the Holy Spirit’s LOVE filling your heart. I can feel Him right now. Praise God!

 

5) A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN:

             WILL WITNESS TO THE LOST

“And ye shall be witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8).

Spirit-filled Christians welcome opportunities to share what Christ means to them with others. Witnessing is a natural consequence of this infilling of the Holy Spirit of God. YOU WILL BE MY WITNESSES… It’s not an option. Some people imagine that ONLY evangelists are anointed to witness. Only an evangelist can share the Good News and bring others to Christ. This is a perversion of God’s Word and a convenient excuse that is given for not doing what should come super-naturally to every believer. The Evangelists purpose is to EQUIP others to EVANGELISE, not to be “The EXPERT”… (Romans 4:11-16)

When we WITNESS: We get a GREATER REVELATION of what it means to be IN CHRIST:

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.

TOO MUCH ATTENTION:

Far too much attention and focus has been given to GETTING instead of seeing God’s primary purpose in giving and gifting believers for BUILDING and GIVING AWAY.

Though there are many more things A SPIRIT FILLED CHRISTIAN will do; Prophesy, Healing, Speaking in Tongues, Getting Words of Knowledge, etc… LOVE is the overarching, the highest point and the seal, mark and engraving of what it means to be FILLED WITH GOD, THE HOLY SPIRIT.

TOO LITTLE ATTENTION:

In some fellowships, too little attention or focus is given to being filled with Holy Spirit, instead, like many good Evangelical churches, their primary attention is given to acquiring knowledge of God’s Word. There’s nothing wrong with that, but to the exclusion of Holy Spirit empowerment and anointing it’s a grave error. We all NEED Holy Spirit as much today as ever before. If we’re not seeking the filling of Holy Spirit we’ll be POWERLESS. Now you wouldn’t go out without charging your mobile phone today would you? Yet so many Christians are going out into the world without seeking the fullness of Holy Spirit.

WHAT NEXT?

So what? What am I supposed to do now?

I hear myself asking that question and you might be too.

The answer is crystal clear by now, I hope;  Ephesians 5:18 (KJV) “And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;”

Cry out to the LORD: Ask your Heavenly Father and The Lord Jesus Christ to send the Holy Spirit into your being right now. When you ask, don’t doubt it, because He is PLEASED, HAPPY and WILLING to give Holy Spirit anointing to you.

Luke 11:11-13 (NIV)
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

BE FILLED: And;

  • You will worship in Spirit and Truth.
  • You will work together in unity.
  • You will be willing to forgive.
  • You will Walk in Love.
  • You will Want to Witness to the LOST and LEAD them to Jesus Christ.
  • You will RECEIVE; Holy Spirit Gifts to BUILD the Body of Christ….

Now do you still want to be FILLED with Holy Spirit?

PRAYER: Heavenly Father I can see that I need to be filled with Holy Spirit today. Please LORD send the Holy Spirit afresh into my being today, I know I need You. Come Holy Spirit and fill me to overflowing. Let me worship, walk in unity and love, enable me to forgive and anoint me so that I’ll want to witness and lead others to Jesus Christ. Please give me all the Spiritual gifts that I’ll need today to be the person you want me to be. Amen.

NOTES: What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

  1. The Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). 
  2. The Spirit guides us into all truth (John 16:13). 
  3. The Spirit regenerates us (John 3:5-8; Titus 3:5). 
  4. The Spirit glorifies and testifies of Christ (John 15:26; 16:14). 
  5. The Spirit reveals Christ to us and in us (John 16:14-15). 
  6. The Spirit leads us (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:18; Matt. 4:1; Luke 4:1). 
  7. The Spirit sanctifies us (2 Thess. 2:13; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rom. 5:16). 
  8. The Spirit empowers us (Luke 4:14; 24:49; Rom. 15:19; Acts 1:8). 
  9. The Spirit fills us (Eph. 5:18; Acts 2:4; 4:8, 31; 9:17). 
  10. The Spirit teaches us to pray (Rom. 8:26-27; Jude 1:20). 
  11. The Spirit bears witness in us that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16). 
  12. The Spirit produces in us the fruit or evidence of His work and presence (Gal. 5:22-23). 
  13. The Spirit distributes spiritual gifts and manifestations (the outshining) of His presence to and through the body (1 Cor. 12:4, 8-10; Heb. 2:4). 
  14. The Spirit anoints us for ministry (Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38) 
  15. The Spirit washes and renews us (Titus 3:5). 
  16. The Spirit brings unity and oneness to the body (Eph. 4:3; 2:14-18). When the Holy Spirit is operating in a group of people, He unites them in love. Therefore, a sure evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a group is Love and Unity. Not just signs and wonders (those are seasonal and can be counterfeited, I’ve known many who are supposedly filled with Holy).
  17. The Spirit is our guarantee and deposit of the future resurrection (2 Cor. 1:22; 2 Cor. 5:5). 
  18. The Spirit seals us unto the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13; 4:30). 
  19. The Spirit sets us free from the law of sin and death (Rom. 8:2). 
  20. The Spirit quickens our mortal bodies (Rom. 8:11). 
  21. The Spirit reveals the deep things of God to us (1 Cor. 2:10).  
  22. The Spirit reveals what has been given to us from God (1 Cor. 2:12). 
  23. The Spirit dwells in us (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Tim. 1:14; John 14:17).
  24. The Spirit speaks to, in, and through us (1 Cor. 12:3; 1 Tim. 4:1; Rev. 2:11; Heb 3:7; Matt. 10:20; Acts 2:4; 8:29; 10:19; 11:12, 28; 13:2; 16:6,7; 21:4,11).
  25. The Spirit is the agent by which we are baptized into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13).
  26. The Spirit brings liberty (2 Cor. 3:17).
  27. The Spirit transforms us into the image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).
  28. The Spirit cries in our hearts, “Abba, Father” (Gal. 4:6).
  29. The Spirit enables us to wait (Gal. 5:5).
  30. The Spirit supplies us with Christ (Phil. 1:19, KJV).
  31. The Spirit grants everlasting life (Gal. 6:8).
  32. The Spirit gives us access to God the Father (Eph. 2:18).
  33. The Spirit makes us (corporately) God’s habitation (Eph. 2:22).
  34. The Spirit reveals the mystery of God to us (Eph. 3:5).
  35. The Spirit strengthens our spirits (Eph. 3:16).
  36. The Spirit enables us to obey the truth (1 Pet. 1:22).
  37. The Spirit enables us to know that Jesus abides in us (1 John 3:24; 4:13).
  38. The Spirit confesses that Jesus came in the flesh (1 John 4:2).
  39. The Spirit says “Come, Lord Jesus” along with the bride (Rev. 22:17).
  40. The Spirit dispenses God’s love into our hearts (Rom. 5:5).
  41. The Spirit bears witness to the truth in our conscience (Rom. 9:1).
  42. The Spirit teaches us (1 Cor. 2:13; John 14:26).
  43. The Spirit gives us joy (1 Thess. 1:6).
  44. The Spirit enables some to preach the gospel (1 Pet. 1:12).
  45. The Spirit moves us (2 Pet. 1:21).
  46. The Spirit knows the things of God (1 Cor. 2:11).
  47. The Spirit casts out demons (Matt. 12:28).
  48. The Spirit brings things to our remembrance (John 14:26).
  49. The Spirit comforts us (Acts 9:31). 
  50. The Spirit makes some overseers in the church and sends some out to the work of church planting [through the body] (Acts 20:28; 13:2).

The Holy Spirit is God:

Jesus, The Father and the Holy Spirit are ONE:

He’s active in EVERY Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ.

However, we NEED to keep being FILLED….

ASK! ASK! ASK!

And you will RECEIVE… It’s HIS PROMISE…. Believe it, Receive it…

Far too many followers of Jesus Christ today are walking around EMPTY.

Some are half-filled and have gifted anointing, but no LOVE: 1 Corinthians 13… We need LOVE more than anything else… The GREATEST of all Holy Spirit Gifts…

 

Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

When the LORD calls you to do something for Him, expect opposition.

Good morning my friends, when you do a good work for the LORD you can expect opposition. If you are of the world, the world will accept you as one of it’s own, but if you are a Citizen of Heaven, working for another KING, then this world and it’s king (Satan) can never accept you and you are going to be opposed, persecuted and sometimes martyred. However, far from being in a position of weakness and fear, we’re going to be encouraged today to see that we can be God’s awesome power of LOVE in this world.

Opposition comes in many forms, but how can we react to opposition, no matter what form or guise it come in?

Let us take Nehemiah as one of our examples of what to do when opposition comes, and we’ll look at what God’s Word tells us about persecution and opposition for Him and for the Gospel.

First, Nehemiah:

An Example of how to proceed when your work for the LORD is opposed, ridiculed or hindered.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 (NIV)
1  When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
2  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3  Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
4  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
5  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
6  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7  But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
8  They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
9  But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10  Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11  Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12  Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13  Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.
16  From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armour. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18  and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19  Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20  Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21  So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22  At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.”
23  Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

INTRODUCTION:

When you get busy for God, opposition will inevitably raise its ugly head. So no matter how GOOD the thing that you are doing is; be it a service for the poor people of this world or proclaiming the Good News of Jesus or taking a moral stand. Like Nehemiah discovered, when you do something for the LORD, the world (influenced by Satan) hates it with a vengeance, and will oppose you. However, they are not really opposing you, they are coming against your God, who’s called you to that task.

But we must bear in mind what it is that’s driving any form of opposition:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) When Opposition Comes: Be strong in the LORD and STAND.
10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Read the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD Eph 6:14-20).

We must not resort to worldly ways of reacting to opposition:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

Who was Nehemiah? His name means “the comfort of Jehovah.” His purpose and calling by the LORD really was a worthy one; He was instructed by the LORD to reconstruct the walls of the city of Jerusalem and in the process to rebuild the faith of the people of Israel. Yet, as soon as he began, Nehemiah was confronted by the dreaded opposition. So don’t be surprised by opposition, instead; expect it.

1) PRAYER:

When you get busy for God and the expected opposition comes, the first ingredient that will lead to success is PRAYER. “But we prayed to our God,” the Bible says (Nehemiah 4:9). Prayer was a key ingredient in Nehemiah’s spiritual life (1:4). When OPPOSITION came, Nehemiah looked up to Heaven first taking captive those opponents of God’s word with Spiritual weapons, before he persisted in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

2) PERSISTENCE:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the second ingredient that will lead to success is PERSISTENCE. Prayer is not a substitute for working at what you’ve been called to do. So often people will retreat and just pray, but you’ve been called to more than prayer. Instead, know that PRAYER preceeds PERSISTENCE. When opposition comes don’t just carry on regardless, get down to prayer first and then carry on regardless. PRAYER is a PRELUDE to PERSISTENCE. For the God’s Word says; “Nehemiah took their thoughts captive (He used Spiritual Weapons) Nehemiah 4:4.   “…the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6).

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever it was, this thought encapsulates the KEY INGREDIENTS when opposition comes; “I pray as if everything depended on God. Then I work as if everything depended on me.” I love that saying, we’ve got to PRAY and WORK at what we’ve been called to do. (See James Faith and Works).

3) POWER:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the third ingredient that will lead to your spiritual success is THE POWER OF HEAVEN. When confronted by the fear of the people, the fear of man, the fear of looking like a fool, the fear of failure; then Nehemiah 4:14 says that Nehemiah arose and spoke to the people about the power of God, and about the purpose of their work. When we are reminded of the purpose to which God has called us, and the power with which to accomplish that purpose, then we will be encouraged to move on toward the completion of our task.

So simply remind yourself of God’s calling and purposes: To share the Gospel, to help the poor, to cure the sick, to make disciples, to follow the teachings of Jesus, to live by them and if need be to die for them. Remember also the POWER of HEAVEN, the Weapons are not worldly, we take our stand against opposition with the Armour of God in place: Ephesians 6:10-20. And bear in mind; Jesus is with you always. Holy Spirit has filled you and equipped you for this work for the LORD.

When you know and experience the POWER you will keep going at what He’s called you to do.

CONCLUSION:

Yes my friends, you will experience all kinds of opposition to what you’ve been called to do by the LORD: Demonic and Worldly OPPOSITION: Expect it, and react like Nehemiah the prophet and the LORD Jesus Christ.

  • Get down to PRAYER,
  • Get up to WORK by being PERSISTENT,
  • Get into the POWER of Heaven.

Through prayer and persistence with the power of Heaven, you will be able to overcome any of those troubling opponents.

As one great preacher has said,

“You’ll be able to turn those stumbling stones into stepping stones”

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees.”

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

For most people it’s a rest day, to be with family and friends, but remember Jesus is your BEST BFF (Best Friend Forever).

So make and appointment and keep it with Him first. Then no matter what happens today, you’ll be ready. Amen!

Don.

 

God’s Secret Service Agents

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

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

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

God’s Secret Service Agents.

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

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

And How can we KNOW we can do it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

True Christian Spirituality:

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

However, if you want to fine PURE Christian Spirituality,

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

 

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

Most notably in Jesus Greatest Sermon:

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

 

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

Matthew 5:3-12 – The Beatitudes: Be Happy Attitudes.

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

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

Matthew 5:21-26 – Anger and Murder: Peace and Harmony.

Matthew 5:27-30 – Lust and Adultery: Love and Faithfulness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Devotion.

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

1) First, Our Giving

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

How’s your heart of GIVING today?

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

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

2) Second, Our PRAYER CONNECTING WITH OUR FATHER:

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

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

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

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

FORGIVENESS: Is Key to the Kingdom Living.

First you are forgiven when you come to Jesus.

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

The LORD’s PRAYER: Song… Our Father…

(To the Jamaican Spiritual Tune)…

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

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

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

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

Connecting with God our Father in Heaven.

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

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

We’ll get His heart of love for others.

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

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

In Your KINGDOM LIVING:

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

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

Don.

 

People say, “God’s Not Fair”

God is Good Always

Daily Spirit & Word: 785: “God’s Not Fair”

That’s what some people say, “God’s not just or fair”

Good morning my friends, you’ve probably all heard non-Christians and atheists say, “How can there be a God when there is so much evil, hatred and injustice in this world?” It’s like they are judging God and therefore reason that they don’t need to bother believing in him.

In our verse today, you’ll note that it was a constant complaint of the Israelites about their own God. “God is not fair”

Listen in to what God is saying in response to them:

Ezekiel 18:25-29 (NKJV)
25  “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair?
26  When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies.
27  Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive.
28  Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die.
29  Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?

In the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written, the actual word for “fair” used in these verses was “unequal” referring to the unequal scales. Scales were used to measure grain and they were balance scales, when they were balanced a trade was fair and sealed, it’s done because we can see the scales are balanced, but what they are accusing God of is using unbalanced or unequal scales.

However, the LORD turns their argument on it’s head and accuses / complains back to the Israelites:

“It’s YOU who are not fair” or “It’s YOU Israelites who are using unbalanced / unequal scales”.

Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.

The People said, “The way of the Lord is not fair”…

God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…

Who’s right?

This verse is repeated three more times in Ezekiel. It is basically God answering Israel’s complaints and setting the record straight.

Complaint about God. “Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair.”

First, it accuses God of being unfair. So the people here are accusing God of being unfair to man, of being unfaithful, untruthful, unjust towards them.

Yet when we look at God’s answer: You’ll note it’s because of the wickedness the Israelites have committed they are suffering.

Do not blame God for all the evil in this world; it is not God’s fault.

Think about Syria, the bombing and destruction, and all those poor people suffering; but when they showed a Christian Minister on the News last night, his church was blown to bit, dust and rubble. Most of the Christians had either been killed or had fled Syria. He remained in the land, but he was not screaming at God or accusing God. All he talked about was PEACE. Christians, Jews and Muslims seemed to get along in Syria for many generations, but now, they are killing the Christians and the Jews, they’ve been driven from the land of Syria or they have been murdered and now the Muslims are bombing each other.

Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!

Sometimes, we do the same things as the Israelites: We may not say it out loud, but we might say it in our attitude or in the ways we serve the Lord.

For example: We know God wants us to live a certain way. We pray and ask God for something. He doesn’t respond as quickly as we’d want Him to. So we drag our feet in our Christian service. We become slack in our worship, praise and adoration of God. Just because He’s not doing things the way we want Him to.

We want God to bless our ways, but He wants us to serve Him always.

Also we cry out to God to bestow financial blessings in our lives, while we are tight and stingy when the offering plate is passed in our gatherings.

One of the ways the LORD has decided to test us is in the way we GIVE: It’s also one of the ways that we can and are encouraged by God to TEST HIM…

My friends, if we are FAIR in the ways we serve the LORD, He will OPEN up Heaven into our lives.

It’s NOT God’s WAYS that are unfair, unjust or unbalanced, but our own.

God doesn’t hate us, He loves us so much, and wants to bless our lives, but; death, destruction, cheating and craftiness are man’s ways; so mankind reaps what he sows.

God Speaking: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”

Let’s determine in our heart today, to be the people God wants us to be.

  • He’s revealed in the Bible: “Love your neighbour as yourself”
  • He’s also revealed: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”…
  • When God looks at your life today, will He see you being fair or unjust? Will He see you being; loving, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, good and self-controlled?

From yesterday’s teaching, we know that these things are the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you are struggling in any of these areas, then God’s got some resourses He’s longing to pour into your life today: The fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I’m praying for all my friends today that God will richly bless you in every way.

I’m also praying you’ll be the joy filled servants of the LORD! That You’ll KNOW God is ALWAYS FAIR.

Psalm 145:17-19 (NIV)
17  The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made.
18  The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
19  He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.

God is ONLY A PRAYER AWAY!

Amen!

Don.

Knowing God Better

The Valley of Dry Bones, Knowing God Better

Daily Spirit & Word: 784: Getting to Know God Better.

How to LIVE Forever, without being ‘RELIGIOUS’…

Ezekiel 37:13-14 (NIV)
13  Then you, my people, will know that I am the LORD, when I open your graves and bring you up from them.
14  I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the LORD have spoken, and I have done it, declares the LORD.’ “

Good morning my friends, over the years I’ve met many people who consider themselves to be Christians, but struggle to know God personally. These are lovely genuine and sincere people who’ve done everything, they think, that’s required to get to know God.

  • They’ve repented of their sins, but nothing seems to happen.
  • They’ve asked Jesus to come into their hearts, but nothing seems to have happened.
  • They’ve believed that Jesus has died upon the cross for their sins, but still nothing seems to have happened in their lives, they got no assurance that God is with them and that they are saved from their sins. So what’s missing?

It’s often a case of mistaken beliefs; or misbeliefs.

Some people think they’ve got to do something extra. So they try being even more religious: Praying more, reading their Bible more, attending lots-n-lots of worship. Then they’ll go running around trying all the latest ‘religious’ fads; fasting, all night prayers, revival meetings. They attend courses, and lectures and they’ll even try getting a degree in theology and all because they want to get to know God. They are hungering for the one thing that’s missing, they know something is missing and they know they need it.

My friends, if there was anything you could do to get to know God, then Jesus would not have had to die upon the Cross.

Assurance comes from God: He, Himself, Alone lets you know when you’ve become His child, when the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence in your life; i.e. You’ve been born again of God’s Holy Spirit. From the moment that happens, you won’t need anyone in this world to give you assurance that you are saved, that you are a child of God. You’ll not need to be religious any longer. You’ll be set free from the feeling of or need to be religious to be right with God.

In this little book of Ezekiel the Prophet of God tells us over 30 times: (in different ways) “My People Will KNOW that I AM The LORD” and How will they know it? Because as our verse tells us today: “I will PUT MY SPIRIT IN THEM” When God does that to a person, they KNOW HIM, they KNOW the LORD.

So often we settle for much less than God wants to give us, we stop short at being religious, when God wants us to be filled to overflowing with Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. Once we understand that, then all of Jesus other teachings begin to make more sense. We’ll see that because of and with His indwelling power and help, all things become possible for those who believe and trust in and rely upon the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus, talking about the Holy Spirit, told the woman at the well about the FOUNTAIN within, welling up… LIVING WATER…  Awesome! John 4

So my friends, a word from the LORD today: It’s God who puts His Spirit in you. When He does, you will KNOW Him.

And when you worship, it will be IN SPIRIT and TRUTH… John 4.

How do I get God’s Holy Spirit?

Ask, Jesus tells us, “Ask and it shall be given unto you”… (Matthew 7:7, Luke 11:9)

Ask, Jesus tells us, “How much more with your Heavenly Father give the HOLY SPIRIT to those who ask HIM”… (Believe and Trust). (Luke 11:13).

If you’ve;

  • believed that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins.
  • that He rose again from the dead,
  • that He ascended into Heaven,
  • that He commands all people to repent and believe that Good News,
  • that He wants you to receive Him as LORD of your life,
  • that you’ve turned from sin in repentance and trusted in His death upon the cross,
  • oh my friends, you are READY: Now ask, receive by faith the Holy Spirit that God the Father wants to give you.

Be assured, He will come: He will make Himself KNOWN in your life, you will KNOW God.

THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

When He comes, He’ll begin to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life;

  • LOVE (For God and others),
  • JOY (much more and deeper than simple happiness, it’s a deep and lasting JOY in the LORD),
  • PEACE (Fear begins to dwindle when you’ve got the Holy Spirit),
  • PATIENCE (You’ll experience a degree of tolerance with other people, with situations, with your own desires and wants, they’ll change and you’ll begin to want what God wants),
  • KINDNESS (You’ll find yourself wanting to be generous with your time, your money, your self),
  • GOODNESS (You’ll want to be morally good, all the old habitual sins will become distasteful for you. You’ll hate what you used to like),
  • FAITHFULNESS (You’ll love being faithful to your promises, and feel bad when you can’t keep them. You’ll be faithful to friends, family, church leaders and brothers and sisters in Christ),
  • GENTLENESS (You’ll discover and NEW gentleness and desire to show mercy to those who don’t even like you),
  • SELF-CONTROL (You’ll experience a NEW degree of POWER to say no to; anger, bitterness, rage, temptation, etc)

 

It’s God who does these things in you, it will be a Super-Natural-Spiritual FREEDOM….

It’s God who puts His Holy Spirit in you: He also gives wonderful amazing SPIRITUAL Gifts… Receive them!

My friends, who doens’t want the FRUIT of the HOLY SPIRIT?

Get to know God Better today, by receiving God, the HOLY SPIRIT by Asking Father God…

It’s not about being more religious, but calling out in FAITH, and believing the PROMISES of God.

Happy, Happy Day,

Don.

 

(NOTE: Go back and re-read Ezekiel chapters 28-39 and you’ll see just how much God wants His chosen people to know Him and how he’s going to do it through many different means, to bring them to the point and realisation; it’s through death to self and rising to new life in Christ Jesus in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.)

 

Fan into Flame The Gift of God

Peter and John, they took note, these men had been with Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 769: Time With Jesus Every Day.

“FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF GOD…” Timothy.

“They Took Note: These Men Had Been With Jesus.” Peter and John.

Good morning my friends, very soon I’m going to begin studying Paul’s Letters to Timothy. These are some of Paul’s warmest and yet most challenging letters in the New Testament. Timothy needed the Apostle’s tender encouragement, we do too. I’ll go through them systematically and you can follow them here at Daily Spirit & Word. However, let’s wet our appetites today with Paul’s encouragement to Timothy, and also Peter and John’s experience of having their GIFT fanned into flame.

2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NIV)
3  I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
4  Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

That “Gift Of God” sometimes called “The Anointing”: is the passion, zeal and desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Each and every Christian needs ENCOURAGEMENT: Because this calling is a tough one, we need it to get our flickering flame glowing from a spark into a burning flame of light for Jesus.

One of the things that keeps me on fire is being with Jesus in Daily Study of the Bible. It’s something I’ve been doing since I started following the LORD. Oh yes there have been times when I’ve stopped for a short while, but I can testify from sometimes bitter experience that I’ve been my weakest when I’m not with Jesus every day in His Word.

Daily Bible Study: Is just ONE of the ways you can “Fan into Flame the Gift of God”. How? Because God’s Word FEEDS your soul and spirit. It moves you to praise, prayer and seeking the power of the Lord. You don’t have to read much of God’s Word to soon realise that you NEED His personal presence with you and in you every day.

There are many wonderful gifts the LORD has given His followers that will ignite our faith; here are the main ones, neglect just one at your peril:

How to FAN into FLAME the Gift of God:

What is the gift you’ve been given? First and most important is the GIFT OF FAITH to believe in the LORD Jesus Christ for Salvation.

Here are some of the ways my FIRE keeps going;

1) Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving…
2) Bible Reading / Study.
3) Fellowship: Gathering in some way with God’s people every day.
4) Worship: Singing, Praising and giving thanks to the Lord.
5) Discipleship: Helping others to grow closer to Jesus with you.
6) Evangelism: This not only brings others into the Kingdom Family, but it also strengthens the faith and gifts that the LORD has given you. Philemon 1:6.
7) Generosity: When you are close to Jesus, you are going to be kind like Jesus. You’ll long to give and give…
8) LOVE: When we’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit daily, we’ll be FULL of His LOVE… This will enable us to LOVE others.
9) ……. I’m open to anything else being added here 🙂

I try and incorporate these things into my life almost every single day, and in that way, the FLAME is ignited and kept burning brightly for Jesus.

Whilst I know and acknowledge that this would be and is very difficult for most people, you have commitments; family, children, work. You have responsibilities; cleaning, caring, cooking. You have hobbies and need time to relax as well. Non-the-less, time spent with Jesus in one of these ways every day will transform your life. You will notice that suddenly you’ve actually got more free time, more energy, more self-control. You’ll notice that your desires will be changing and you’ll begin to love the opportunities that the LORD is bringing to you.

So many people testify to the fact that they get the POWER from the LORD they’ve been looking for for ages, when they follow these simple steps and put into practice some of the teachings of Jesus every day.

Here’s the verse the LORD put on my heart to share with you today. (NOTE it’s verse 13 from the passage below). Peter and John had healed a man and the commotion that followed led to them being arrested and thrown into prison.

Acts 4:5-14 (NIV)
5  The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.
6  Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family.
7  They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!
9  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,
10  then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
11  He is ” ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’
12  Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
14  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

What do I get from this passage?

When you are WITH JESUS EVERY DAY: You’ll soon see miracles happening all around you too. The miracles might seem small to start with, but they’ll encourage you and “FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF FAITH GOD HAS GIVEN YOU”… even more.

When you do things, good things, for Jesus; then it can lead to persecution. Jesus promised this would happen. It’s happening today my friends, to Christians all over the world. In England too; the other day in Bristol a man who was being abused by a large crowd when out preaching the Gospel and was arrested. He was exercising his freedom to speak publicly (something we can do legally here in the UK), but he was arrested instead of the ones abusing him. Don’t be surprised when persecution comes, but still; be gentle, be loving, be kind and compassionate, because it happened to Jesus as well.

We think today that the Methodists are very peaceful people, indeed they are, but when John Wesley visited a town or village in Cornwall, there were riots, he was often chased out of town, with all sorts of things being thrown at him. He noted in his journals, “It was a good day today, only three rotten tomatoes and a dead cat thrown at me”…

John Wesley was a Holy Spirit anointed and gifted preacher, thousands were moved to tears and repentance when he spoke, but his experience in Scotland (Accross the Tweed) needs special note.

“The applications of Wesley’s sermons were never slurred (He strove for simplicity and application). The discourses in the Scotch kirks (churches) struck him as specially defective in this respect. 1 On one occasion he speaks of the excellent truths he there listened to, but adds, “As there was no application, it is likely to do as much good as the singing of a lark.” His own experience in Scotland was not encouraging. Though he never met with people who loved preaching like his friends across the Tweed, he often felt helpless in the presence of those self-contained hearers. “Use the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !” http://wesley.nnu.edu/?id=102

Sometimes, even the most gifted, powerful and Spirit filled preachers can’t break through the hardest hearts. It might be helpful to note that in the Scottish Borders at the time of John Wesley that Freemasonry was taking root. It was growing into a powerful organisation with influence in many spheres of society. It’s no wonder that even Wesley found it hard to break through into their hearts: ““Use the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !”

PETER & JOHN

Peter and John, now filled with Holy Spirit POWER (Power to heal a man crippled from birth), but like the anointed Wesley, they also couldn’t break through into the hard-hearted high priestly family and the leaders in Jerusalem. Even though they’d witnessed a great and obvious miracle… Sometimes, there are people in this world who are so hard-hearted it seems almost impossible to break through into the soft-flesh of their hearts. That’s when ONLY PRAYER and sometimes FASTING will work. Why? Because every conversion of any soul is a work of the Holy Spirit upon that individual. And often before we see a breakthrough, the LORD wants us, those who love and follow Him, to draw even closer to Himself. When we do, we’ll soon discover that it’s not our anointing or gifting or strength, but His divine moving upon the hearts of men. When we do we’ll have our own FAITH IGNITED “Fan into flame the gift of God”…

I’m going to study Timothy, because I see that he needed encouragement from the Apostle Paul to fan into flame the gift of God, I need that too. We all need encouragement my friends, and as I study Paul’s letters to Timothy I hope we will all be set-ablaze with God’s GLORIOUS GIFTS too. Perhaps as we draw close to Jesus this week, we’ll see awesome miracles like Peter and John did on the way to the temple to pray.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, as I draw close to Jesus every day this coming week, I pray that the gift of faith you’ve given me will become a burning fire. I want to serve you with zeal, love, devotion and power. Help me to make use of those things that will ignite my faith; prayer, praise, worship, Bible reading and study, fellowship, witnessing and love… I’m praying that You will be glorified with my life this week. Come afresh into my life in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour I pray. Amen!

Acts 4:13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…

They took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus, they were just ordinary men, they knew HOW to fan into flame the gift of God. By being with Jesus, so we can do the same things every day.

Haven an awesome week WITH JESUS my friends,

Don.

 

He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

once you come to Jesus, He'll never let you go.

Daily Spirit & Word 762: 

He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

God Is EVERYWHERE.
Part 2: God Is Always With You: You Can’t Get Away From Him (Psalm 139:7-12).
 
Good morning my friends, the title today begs the question, “Why would anyone want to get away from God?”
I don’t know about you, but there have been times in my life since I began following Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, that I’ve wanted to try and hide from God. I know that sounds strange, but bear with me. It has been when I know that I’ve sinned and just like Adam and Eve, I’ve wanted to try and cover it up, not face responsibility for it, deny it, blame someone or something else for doing it. But King David reveals an astonishing truth in these few verses from the 139th Psalm, there is nowhere we can ever go in all Creation to get away and hide from the LORD.

YOU CAN’T GET AWAY FROM GOD

Psalm 139:7-12 (NIV)
7  Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10  even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
 You see my friends, King David has done what we’ve all tried to do, to HIDE his sin from the LORD. He discovered the HARD WAY that nothing is hidden from the eyes of the all seeing, all knowing and ever present LORD of Creation.

However, it is a NATURAL tendency to try and HIDE from God.

God has given every human being a CONSCIENCE: The conscience is like an implant that God has put within the human soul, so that we KNOW when we’re about to do something wrong.
REVERSING SENSORS: Modern Cars have proximity sensors, they tell you with an alarm when you are getting too close to another car or a wall or some obstruction. The beep get louder and more frequent the closer you get to the car behind when you’re parking. It’s an amazing little invention, it’s saved my precious car many times. Those little sensors warn of imminent danger.
So does your CONSCIENCE: Con means with and Science means knowledge. When we sin we do it with knowledge, because our God given con-science is sounding a warning of imminent danger. It’s telling you, “You are about to cross over the line, you are going the wrong way, you are about to SIN”…. It gets louder the closer we get to actually sinning. However, the Conscience can be ignored and once we’ve sinned a few times, it gets even easier to ignore, until the time when we can barely detect it’s alarm. (Note: If you are feeling guilty because of some sin, then there’s no need to worry, because your CONSCIENCE is working fine, just listen to it and obey it).
So, when we SIN we know it. When we SIN we try to hide it from God. But God KNOWS… What’s amazing is that God KNOWS and still LOVES you.
He’s still longing to reach out and save and grab hold of you and guide you back into His best ways.
Every WAY we try to HIDE from God is FUTILE:
Psalm 139:11-12
11  If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12  even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Because He’s EVERYWHERE, can SEE EVERYTHING, even in the deepest darkness, it’s like the bright light of noonday to HIM.  
My friends, God wants to walk with us and talk with us and guide us, because His plans for our lives are the very best. When you begin to walk with Jesus, His promise is that He’ll never loose any of those that He’s saved. He’ll never let go of your hand. He wants to save you and be with you forever.

Why should we want to run away and hide?

  • Adam and Eve tried it and failed, God knew what they had done and came looking for them (Gen 3).
  • Moses tried to get away when he committed murder,
  • Jacob tried to run away from his angry brother and responsibility for stealing and cheating his father, and brother.
  • and so did the prophet Jonah, who only went from bad to worse.
  • King David, tried to cover up; adultery, stealing another man’s wife and murder, but God sent a Prophet to reveal to David that He knew all about it.
 We ALL try and hide and cover over our sins. But God only wants what’s best for us in life, that’s why He gave us His Commandments.

Let’s face the TRUTH: We can’t get away from God. There is nowhere to HIDE from Him.

Know the TRUTH and the TRUTH shall set you FREE…

We need God’s presence with us if we want to enjoy His love and fulfill His purposes.
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.
Repent and Believe the Good News: He’ll NEVER Let You Go.
Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
 
God brought Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden and clothed them in Animal Skin, to cover their shameful nakedness. Something had to die to cover over their SIN. We’ve been covered in the robe of righteousness, but Jesus had to die on the Cross for our sins, before we could be covered in His robe of righteousness.
“He hath clothed me in garments of Salvation,
And arrayed me in a robe of righteousness”

HOW TO GET PEACE WITH GOD?

Romans 5:1-11 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4  perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!
10  For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
11  Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
We cannot HIDE from God: So TURN in Repentance: Trust in Christ’s Death upon the Cross for your sins. Receive His forgiveness, cleansing and covering. Amen!
You Father God wants to walk with you and talk with you and guide you, because His plans for your life are the very best. When you begin to walk with Jesus, His promise is that He’ll never loose any of those that He’s saved. He’ll never let go of your hand. His is with you every step of the way. He wants to save you and be with you forever. Stop running, stop trying to hide, turn and face the music and be with your LORD of LIFE today.
Hope you all have a FANTASTIC week with Jesus.
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.
Don.
P.S. Why not come out and SHARE the Good News of Jesus with us on the Streets of London?
We go out on Wednesdays and tell folks the greatest news they can ever hear; “Whilst they are still sinners, God loves them”…
We promise that when you are training you won’t have to say anything, you just come and watch and learn HOW to Share your Faith. When you are feeling comfortable with it, then you can have a go yourself. It’s fun, it’s easy and you’ll see that Jesus really is ALIVE and wants people to know Him. He’s drawing people to Himself by the Holy Spirit, we’re just out there working with Him. Come and learn to share your faith the way that Jesus taught His own Disciples. We call it “The Way of The Master”… Learn to share you faith the same way that Jesus did.
Wednesdays: Gathering at 5.00pm in St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. SE27 0HS.
We do a little bit of training beforehand, then pray and go out and share Jesus, with Jesus.

Jesus said, “The workers are few” Will you be one of Jesus’ harvesters?

Matthew 9:35-38 (NIV)
35  Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
36  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37  Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
I’m asking Jesus, the LORD of the Harvest, to bring more workers into the Harvest field.
Will you RESPOND to the call of the LORD?
He’ll NEVER Let Go of Your Hand.

When the LIGHT within is DARKNESS

Lust, Pornography, Sexual Sin, Freedom in Christ,

Daily Spirit & Word: 758: The Eye is the Lamp of the Body.

But what happens when the LIGHT within is DARKNESS?

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body”

i.e. what we look at will bring it’s light into our souls. It’s either dark-light (darkness) or goodness (Light).

Good morning my friends, for the last couple of weeks the LORD has placed those words on my heart, I’ve been reading His WORD and praying about what I should share. It may be that now is the time to share it.

LUST OF THE EYES.

One of the greatest chapters in the Bible to deal with LUST of the EYES is Job 31…

Job 31:1-12 (NIV)
1  “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
2  For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high?
3  Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?
4  Does he not see my ways and count my every step?
5  “If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit—
6  let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless—
7  if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled,
8  then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted.
9  “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbour’s door,
10  then may my wife grind another man’s grain, and may other men sleep with her.
11  For that would have been shameful, a sin to be judged.
12  It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.
Whatever harvest you’ve been working for in your life will be BURNED TO DESTRUCTION if you allow your eyes to contaminate your soul with darkness.

The EYE is the LAMP: It can either allow in darkness or light.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Question: What have you been allowing your eyes to dwell upon?

Darkness or Light?

Confession Time: Newspaper Shop: W. H. Smiths. For a long time I had been witnessing to my friends whilst serving in the Royal Navy on Submarines. I had shared the Gospel with them. One day whilst in a Newspaper shop in the 1980s, I was standing in front of the row of Magazines. It was a large Newspaper shop with lots of customers. On the TOP SHELF in those days you’d have Pornographic Magazines with everything on display (I’ll not go into too much detail). In the Navy, officially pornography was banned, but unofficially, everybody used to have some PORN. We’d see it on a daily basis; on watch, off watch, on duty and off duty. In the mess they’d have pornographic videos playing, before videos came along it was reel-to-reel films. After becoming a Christian, nobody told me, but I knew in my heart I should no-longer indulge in pornographic material. Back to the Newspaper shop: I was standing there looking for a computer magazine, but my eyes drifted upward, until they were glued on the pornographic scene, hundreds of them, all lined up on the Top Shelf for me to enjoy. Just then a man walked in and stood beside me, he was looking upwards as well, he said, “And you a good Christian too”… I turned and it was one of the men I’d been witnessing to for ages. I’d been praying that he would come to know Jesus and here was I, looking at pornography. Immediately my face turned beetroot red, I stammered an excuse, denied it initially, but I’d been caught out big-time. My witness was ruined. At the moment I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.

Consumed with guilt and shame, as soon as I could I got home and fell to my knees in prayer, asking the LORD to forgive me. Why? Because I’d done the opposite of what Job had done, I hadn’t followed God’s Word or God’s Spirit and I’d ignored my own God given Conscience: I’ll never forget it, deliberately ignoring it. You know when smoke alarms get so annoying you take out the battery, from that moment on the smoke-alarm is useless. When we ignore our conscience or go against it, then it’s as if we’ve taken out the battery to silence the alarm.

When we allow our eyes to be tempted, to dwell upon things the Lord, the Holy Spirit and our Conscience are telling us we shouldn’t, then we are inviting the darkness into our lives. We are igniting a fire that cannot be quenched “It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.” I don’t know if that man I’d been witnessing to about Jesus ever became a follower of Jesus, but perhaps my hypocrisy, my weakness and my sin kept him from seeing the light of the Lord. I can’t tell you how much I regretted that day, it even makes me feel ashamed right now. It took such a long time for me to feel NEW again, to feel close to Jesus, to feel the warmth and love and light of the Holy Spirit in my heart again. Praise the LORD I was not exposed at that time to public shame. There were no newspapers with the caption “Royal Navy Christian Gazes Upon Porn”…. However, now that I’ve been SET FREE from shame and guilt, I can share with you my experience of deliberately allowing my eyes to dwell upon an unclean thing, and the consequent shame, guilt and horror that it brought into my life.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

It was a dark time for me, oh my friends, be very careful what you allow your eyes to feast upon. I encourage you to be like Job (make a Covenant with your eyes) and like Joseph who declared when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery, this is how he reasoned in his heart;

Genesis 39:9 (NIV) “No-one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Every SIN we commit is against God: Yes, even when we think lustful thoughts, we’re guilty, as Jesus said, of adultery, it’s against our spouse or partner, but if we’re not married is it wrong to lust? Yes it is my friends, it’s a SIN against God, because we’re being unfaithful to HIM. But what if you are married or committed to someone? Imagine how they’d feel if they knew you’d been unfaithful in your thoughts? It would crush their spirits and tear-trust to shreds.

God has given us, followers of Jesus Christ, the whole world to richly enjoy. He’s not a spoil-sport, that’s why His Creation is so beautiful, but when we allow dark-light into our souls, when the light becomes darkness within, then we’re in danger my friends, “HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS”…

I can tell you this, because I’ve been in the darkness or the darkness has been in me, even after following Jesus, it’s a terrible darkness to be sure. It brings with it FEAR, DREAD, (Dread is a fearful expectation or anticipation that something terrible is about to happen)… It brings GUILT… However, when we’re walking with the LORD Jesus, being guided by His Holy Spirit and listening to our God given conscience then know this my friends, “There is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus”… We’ll experience FREEDOM not to look with lust. We’ll have POWER to walk in the LIGHT and stay in the LIGHT… How does that happen? If we see a lovely figure, that before we were tempted by, we’ll be able to thank God for the beauty and not begin to think lustful thoughts. HOW? Because the Holy Spirit gives us His power and freedom and self-control. It’s a fruit and gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we’ve got a choice to make every day and moment by moment throughout the day. Temptation will never go away, but how we deal with those temptations, that’s what will preserve our hearts and enable us to be full of light, full of goodness.

The Day That FREEDOM Comes:

As many of you know, I used to live in Plymouth, on the way back from a tour on my Submarine, I was driving into Plymouth and noticed this sign on the A38 just outside the City. It had a picture of a Tower with the words in Latin. “Turris Fortissima Est Nomen Jehova”, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower” It wasn’t long afterwards that I regained my freedom in Christ. Through tears of joy and peace, I was back with my Lord Jesus. Oh my friends, I can testify “How GREAT is that DARKNESS” but what’s even more blessed “HOW WONDERFUL IS THE LIGHT”…

Proverbs 18:10 (NIV) “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Jesus Christ will keep you safe from temptation, He’s like a strong tower, a fortress that cannot be broken into, but we need to run to Him. We need to flee temptation and run to Jesus in prayer at that moment. We’ll be SAFE as long as we run to the Saviour.

NO TEMPTATION HAS CAUGHT YOU.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

“Common to man”, means we’re ALL TEMPTED, but how we deal with it, that’s the answer… Run to Jesus, the Strong Fortress that cannot be conquered.

Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also. What are you treasuring in your heart today?

“No one can serve two masters”. If you are trying to serve Jesus and also serving your lusts, then you are only fooling yourself. The Darkness within is GREAT. Walk in the Light.

Amen!

That’s how we can know we need the LORD Jesus every single day.

There will never be a time when you don’t need Jesus.

Stay close to Jesus this week my friends.

If you are tempted or if you’ve allowed the DARKNESS to reign in your heart too long, you may need prayers of deliverance. Go to a trusted brother or sister who’s walking closely with Lord Jesus and get them to pray with you. Confess your sins to one another… Be set free today by the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, help me to love you today, more than I love this world or the beautiful things in this world. There’s so much You’ve given me to be thankful for, please keep my heart close to Your Heart Lord. Let me appreciate and love the things that You love. Let me walk in the Light as You are in the Light. Let me live in Freedom. Give me self-control, the fruit and gift of the Holy Spirit. Fill me with your Spirit right now Jesus, I need you LORD…Amen!

Be blessed and stay close to Jesus today. Amen!

Don.

 

How to LIVE in Kingdom Power

recognising our Spiritual Poverty is Key to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Daily Spirit & Word: 754: How To LIVE in Kingdom Power.

“Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit, For Theirs IS the Kingdom of Heaven”.

Recognising our ‘spiritual’ poverty is Key to unlocking the Kingdom of Heaven.

Good morning my friends, I can honestly say, “Yesterday was AWESOME”. It really was, because we had an amazing time of worship, followed by the Community Feast and time at the British Home. God’s power and presence were evident, but this morning the LORD has taken me back, back to KNOWING that without Him I can’t do anything of value for the Kingdom of Heaven. I can’t even walk an inch without the Spirit of God and feel it’s of any value.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

This verse has been wrongly interpreted to mean those who are POOR: i.e. the poor people in this world. That is not what this verse is talking about, it’s all about Spiritual Poverty.

That “Blessed are” is not something that might be, it’s not something that could be, that blessedness is something which every truly born again Believer and follower of Jesus has… YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. i.e. You are BLESSED when you recognise your Spiritual POVERTY without Christ or the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

We cannot be “Blessed are the poor in Spirit” unless we can see that without Holy Spirit we are really poor.

Picture the poor beggars hands, holding palms upwards towards Heaven: That’s how we need to be in our hearts with God, desiring the fullness of Holy Spirit. However, He’s longing to give us what we need.

Why Do We NEED Holy SPIRIT?

Because to become “Blessed are the poor in Spirit”, we must first recognise our POVERTY without the Spirit of God. Also we must come to realise that we NEED the Holy Spirit all the time or we will be weak, without guidance, powerless to do anything of value in the Kingdom and foolish.

  • We are POOR naturally: The man without the Spirit cannot see OR accept the things of God.
  • We are POOR in our natural state as a human being: Because without the SPIRIT we can’t understand the things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

We really do have a choice as Disciples of Jesus Christ; we can walk in the Spirit or we can walk in the Flesh.

However, when we choose to walk in the flesh, there are dire consequences; DEATH. It’s an experience as though we are dead to the Spiritual realm.

I like what William Barclay said about this verse;

So in verse 14 Paul speaks of the man who is psuchikos. He is the man who lives as if there was nothing beyond physical life and there were no needs other than material needs, whose values are all physical and material. A man like that cannot understand spiritual things. A man who thinks that nothing is more important than the satisfaction of the sex urge cannot understand the meaning of chastity; a man who ranks the amassing of material things as the supreme end of life cannot understand generosity; and a man who has never a thought beyond this world cannot understand the things of God. To him they look mere foolishness (Barclay, Letters to Corinthians, 1975, 28).

We must remember that Paul’s letter is written to Believers, Christians and Followers of Jesus Christ; they had already been ‘born of the Spirit’, but they were living like people who didn’t. They were walking in the power of the Flesh rather than the power of the Spirit and for me the warning comes home, “Donald, you can do that too”… At any moment in time, a true follower of Jesus can walk either in the flesh (human reasoning, desires, feelings, fears, thoughts and imaginations) or we can walk in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • Let’s look at what a walk in the flesh feels like: Romans 7. Condemned (Feeling Condemned / Death).
  • Let’s look at what a walk inthe Spirit feels like: Romans 8. No Condemnation (Feeling Alive / Life).

Which WALK will you choose today?

Almost as soon as we begin walking in the flesh the things of God become foolishness all over again. We won’t want; fellowship, Bible study, prayer, evangelism, teaching of the Apostles (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts or Romans) or serving Jesus. When we walk in the flesh we will be fleshly.

So my friends, can you see why Jesus, as part of His repeated and often told teachings, which are summarised for us in the Sermon on the Mount, would emphasise this in His major teaching that we call; “The Sermon on the Mount”? For without the Holy Spirit nobody can; know, understand, experience, feel, yield, surrender or love God… Our “Blessedness” comes from the fact that we’ve been drawn to faith and trust in Jesus by the Holy Spirit. It comes from that fact that once we begin to come to Him, we realise that we NEED His forgiveness, we understand that without Him (Holy Spirit) we are just like everyone else in this world.

So we truly are blessed when we recognise our need of God and our POVERTY of Spirit.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Why? Because when we KNOW how poor in Spirit we are without God the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, then we will have entered The Kingdom of Heaven.

This promise of the Kingdom of Heaven:

Is not something that happens when we die, it’s our PRESENT CONDITION once we’ve realised our NEED of Holy Spirit.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I hope you can see this, for this teaching in KEY to walking with Jesus, without the Holy Spirit, we’re just walking or trying to live the Christian life in the power of our flesh or human strength and capacity. With the Holy Spirit we very soon realise that we just can’t do it, we are powerless to do anything.

Jesus didn’t just say this once or in one way: It’s the ESSENCE of all of Jesus teaching to His Disciples.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness in Luke’s Gospel we read, “He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” after the temptation of Jesus, “He came out of the wilderness ‘full of the Holy Spirit’… Jesus was showing that to even win just one battle every follower needs to be FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

To show us how much we need HOLY SPIRIT, before He departed John gives us a few chapters fully explaining HOW the Holy Spirit will EMPOWER everyone who comes to the point of receiving Jesus as Lord. From John 14 to the end of 17… Read and re-read those chapters my friends, you’ll soon discover what Matthew and the Holy Spirit are saying to you today. Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is yours today, if you’ve come to recognise your poverty without the Holy Spirit.

You are in the Kingdom of Heaven NOW if you’ve got Holy Spirit indwelling.

Awesome!

How Jesus Walked and Lived by and in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.

  • The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His own baptism. Matthew 3:13-17.
  • The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His temptation. Matthew 4:1 and Luke 4:1.

The Holy Spirit departed Jesus, when the sins of the whole world came upon Him on the Cross… That’s why his cry from the cross is one of abandonment,

Matthew 27:45-46 (NIV)
45  From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
46  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus in those hours upon the Cross, the hours of Darkness between the sixth hour and the ninth hour, He knew the presence of God the Father had gone, the Holy Spirit had at that moment in time had departed Jesus: The Bible tells us “He became SIN for us”… God hates SIN and cannot bear it in His presence… SIN must die, that’s why Jesus died upon the Cross. He took our sins upon Himself and was “FORSAKEN” by God the Father and the Spirit. Sin brings DEATH to our relationship with God. When we walk in the flesh, there is a kind of DEATH feeling that we experience and even as Christians, we can be overcome with a feeling of DREAD. But that’s NOT what the LORD wants my friends, He wants you to experience the full and abundant life, feeling the JOY of the LORD, we’ll get that feeling when we’re walking in the Spirit.

So my friends, the moment we become aware of our NEED (Poverty) of Spirit, then YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. i.e. You are in the Kingdom of Heaven: you’ve become a Citizen of Heaven. From the time I began following Jesus, there have been times when I’ve been POVERTY STRICKEN (Spiritually and Materially). The times I’ve been poverty stricken spiritually, is when I’ve purposefully walked in my flesh instead of in the Spirit.

I’ll never forget the day some of our friends got their UK Passports, they proudly proclaimed, “We are now UK Citizens”…

Oh this is wonderful, for the moment you are in Holy Spirit, your Citizenship has been transferred into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Holy Spirit is your PASSPORT into the Kingdom.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

There are so many times that I’ve found myself walking in the FLESH (Human power and reasoning) rather than the SPIRIT (Holy Spirit empowered walking).

However, when I’ve later realised that I’ve been doing it in my own strength, I’m so thankful, because the Spirit has led me to repentance and to seek His fullness once again. I can walk either as a Citizen of Heaven, The Kingdom of Heaven or as an ordinary Human being, a Citizen of Earth.

There will be times that you too will recognise you’ve been doing it in your own strength and in your own understanding.

We’ve got a choice to make every single day: I can live my life in the Spirit or in the Flesh.

Just because you’ve been born of the Spirit, doesn’t mean you are as full of the Holy Spirit as you can be. There’s always MORE: We need more, we need to be re-filled, refuelled, just like a car that needs to be constantly filled up with petrol, we need to keep going back to the Lord and seeking His fullness again.

Ephesians 5:15-20 (NIV)
15  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Instead, be filled with the Spirit”: This ‘filling’ of the Spirit is not a ONE OFF event, but an ongoing reality.

We are to go on being filled with the Spirit, i.e. all of the time.

Once I held up a sponge that I’d soaked in water, the moment you lift it out of the water, the water pours out of the sponge. So it is with the Spirit, we are to be continually immersed in the Spirit, because the moment we stop being in the Spirit, we’re drained of Holy Spirit power, presence, we’re walking in the flesh.

So can you now see the prime focus of Jesus’ teaching throughout the four Gospels: We NEED the Holy Spirit to do anything of value in the Kingdom, without the Holy Spirit we are POOR (in poverty)… But as soon as we become aware of just how much we need Him; oh how blessed we are.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Prayer: Oh LORD Jesus Christ, I realise that without the Holy Spirit, I’m in POVERTY, because I’m walking in the power of my flesh. Please LORD Jesus, send the Holy Spirit afresh into my being today, fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit, I need You Lord. I realise that without You I can’t do anthing of value in the Kingdom, but with you I am in the Kingdom. Help me this day, to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and to stay full of Holy Spirit. When I am weak help me to recognise that it’s because I am not  as full as I should be or could be. Amen.

Amen.

Have an awesome week in Jesus and full of Holy Spirit. Amen.

Don.

 

They ALL Need Jesus

They ALL Need Jesus. He's calling all people to himself

Daily Spirit & Word: 747: They ALL Need Jesus.

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

Read to the End Today, there’s a funny story to encourage you.

Good morning my friends, do you remember me telling you about Emma? She became a follower of Jesus last Tuesday, got baptised on Sunday and came out on the streets last night to share the Gospel with us. Emma admits she doesn’t know a lot, but is filled with the desire to lead others to Jesus to experience His promise of what she has received.

When you get to Heaven Jesus is not going to ask if you attended church, worshipped regularly, prayed every day or read your Bible, He’s going to hold you to account for your obedience to His teachings. Emma doesn’t know much, but she knows enough to know that Jesus wants us to bring everyone to Him and last night, fearful, trembling and unsure, she began to really walk in that obedience. You should have seen her face when she came back, she was beaming.

What was great about last night? There was a wonderful TEAM spirit, we split into twos and one group of three. Some went up-town, others went down-town. We’ve been praying slightly differently as I shared a few weeks ago. We’re not asking God to come with us, because we KNOW Jesus is with us, we just thank Him for His PROMISES that when we go in obedience to His Commands that He’ll be with us. We’re not asking for the POWER of the Holy Spirit as much as thanking Him for His PROMISE to empower us and equip us. Oh yes we cry out for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those He’s pulling to Jesus and to lead us to the ones He’s already been tugging at their hearts.

Beverley and I were paired together. The first man Bev and I bumped into, David, it was strange, because he said a few times, “This is deep, I don’t know why I’m pouring my heart out to you, I feel like you are my counsellors”. But we knew, because we’d been praying the LORD would be drawing them.   He said, “I never share this with anyone, but I feel I want to with you” He told us about how he was a bad man, was into trouble all the time, got into fights etc, but when his baby came, he knew his life must change, but it didn’t. Then his baby died at 18 months old. His precious baby’s death broke his heart and David began to changed his ways, it was a wake up call. I said, “David, God’s calling you to himself”. You see, David was already humble, he knew he’d sinned against God, but didn’t know about God’s offer of New Life”…

We had a few short conversations with some other folks, but then we got chatting with another young man, this time he told us; “I used to go to church, got baptised as a baby, attended Sunday School, went to a Church School and got confirmed, but it meant nothing to me”… I said, “Do you think you are good enough to get into Heaven when you die?”… He said, “I hope so”. He believed in Heaven, God and Sin and Hell. We began to go through the Commandments and the surprise on his face was evident, he said, “That means no one is good enough to get into Heaven, because we’ve all fallen short of God’s holy standard”. WOWzer! He got it, but still I pushed his understanding a bit more. “Do you know what God has done so that nobody needs to end up in Hell?” He said, “Yes, Jesus, He died upon the Cross to save us from our sins”… I said, “How do you get that forgiveness?” He said “Ask God to forgive you” I said, “Partially, but the Bible tells us we must; Believe that Jesus died for our own sins, those nails being hammered into his hands were for our lies, theft, lust and hatred of others, then we must repent of those sins and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour”. He said, “That makes sense”… I shared what it means to actually trust in Jesus, i.e. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute would you? No you’d put the parachute on, it’s the same with Jesus, just believing that He can save you is not enough, you’ve got to actually trust in Him and receive Him by faith. I gave him my calling care, and we’re going to meet up for a coffee in Costa (or somewhere 🙂 ) to talk about it a bit more about Jesus.

Ben and Judy have opened my eyes to see that just sharing the Gospel of making Converts is not enough: Jesus didn’t call us to make ‘converts’ but to grow Disciples, followers of Jesus and to see that people begin to be obedient to what they know, as soon as possible after being converted.

But long before Ben and Judy came, the LORD had already been working on my own heart about this, because we’ve been preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I’d already seen that Jesus called people, demonstrated the Kingdom and then sent them out, almost immediately after calling them to follow himself, then when they came back, they were amazed that when they used Jesus’ name, even the Demons submitted to them. However, this surprised me, listen to what Jesus said to them (read it out loud my friends).

Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5  “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7  Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
9  Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
10  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11  ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13  “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14  But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16  “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23  Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Can you see now why we encouraged Emma to come out with us last night?

Emma is not ‘wise or learned’ she was a very recent convert, much like the 72 that Jesus sent out above, but they’d seen enough, they knew enough and they went out in obedience and returned with great JOY. Why?

  • Because all the things that Jesus had told them were TRUE (Jesus only ever spoke the TRUTH, Jesus is “The way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6)
  • Because they’d seen how the KINGDOM of God was near when they shared the Good News about the Kingdom. We’ll see that too, but only when we’re obedient and begin to share the Kingdom, the Good News of Jesus.
  • Because “even the demons submit to us in your name”… They’d seen the battle head-on and the power of the Kingdom to subdue the demonic. You’ll see that too, but only when you go out in obedience to Jesus Kingdom Commands.

We too can rejoice, but we should rejoice much more, that because we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that our names are now written in Heaven.

My friends, Jesus is working in Emma’s life, She’s seeing the Kingdom Power and she’s only one week old as a Christian. God is revealing it to babes in Christ. It’s not about learning more or knowing more about God, the Bible etc, it’s about being obedient to what we know already. That’s what’s been challenging me lately, because I know so much, but I’ve discovered just how disobedient I’ve been to what I know. Let’s get more of a desire to do what Jesus told us to do, to learn His teachings and to do them.

Bev and I paired up last night, and she and I saw the Kingdom Power to bring conviction, encouragement and enlighten people in the darkness. It’s when we share what we know, that we’ll see the Kingdom Come. Let’s get going and see a mighty move of God in London, the UK, the world. Amen! “Thy Kingdom Come”….Amen.

Luke 10:23-24 (NIV) Jesus said “…. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Whoever has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, let them hear. Amen.

Have an awesome day,

Don.

P.S. I must share a funny story: On Tuesday we had a Pastor’s Meeting in West Norwood: Five of us met to discuss the vision for an event in St Luke’s Gardens on Saturday 16th July, we’ve been led to call it; “Oh Happy Day”. But after the meeting I was walking down the road with Dennis, the Pastor of World Wide Mission Fellowship. He was on the phone to a young man. When he finished his call he said to me, “I’m meeting a young man in a minute, will you ask him “How is Jesus the Lord?”” I said, “OK Dennis, I will” but just at that moment I spotted a huge man, he’s massive, built like an OX, I said, “Dennis, you say the same thing to him”… Dennis just looked at me…he said, “No, you share with that one” I did, I said, “Do you know Jesus is Lord?” … The huge man was Dave from our fellowship, Dennis and I laughed and laughed. You see, it’s wanting to be obedient, that’s what counts. Afterwards, we met the young man, his name was David too. Is the LORD calling the DAVIDS in our Community?

Are you prepared to SHARE Jesus with ANYONE? Don’t go by appearances, don’t go by what a person looks like, because the LORD doesn’t look at the outward appearances, He looks at the HEART. He’s calling ALL people to himself. If we just looked at the outward appearance we’d miss the people the Lord wants us to talk with. If someone is dressed in a smart suit, looks nice and clean, they need Jesus just as much as a man dressed in shabby clothing. All have fallen short of God’s Holy Standards. All need to come to repentance. All need a Saviour from Hell. No my friends, don’t look at how big they are or how small they are, how smart or intelligent a person appears to be, God’s calling EVERYONE into His Kingdom family, they all need Jesus.

You can do the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus: Peter walked on water with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING”… i.e. everything we try and do, that doesn’t involve Jesus, is NOTHING.

However, Jesus also said, “You will do even greater things”…. Awesome!

P.P.S. Please pray for our West Norwood: “Oh Happy Day”, it’s coming on Saturday 16th July in St Luke’s Gardens. An event for the whole family, Christians united together to share the GREAT things God is doing in this world today. There will be Bands, Choirs, Dancing, Singing, Stalls with Photography, Face-Painting, Exercise (for every ability Kingdom Stretch), Food stalls, Books, Booklets, etc etc… Come to “Oh Happy Day” St Luke’s Gardens, West Norwood. Saturday 16th July. EVERYONE is WELCOME.