Love Always Perseveres

Love from God's perspective.

Daily Spirit & Word: 824.

Love Always Perseveres.

Sermon Series on LOVE (Understanding LOVE from God’s Perspective 1 Corinthians 13).

Good morning, we’re back with 1 Corinthians 13: The Great Love Chapter in God’s Word. Here we’ve been discovering some of the secrets of TRUE LOVE:

TRUE LOVE: Agape: Sacrificial / Devotional / Charitable Love.

1) That love is not at first an emotion to give into, but an act of the will, with principles and precepts to live by.

2) We will want to act these ways, because we’ve first of all experienced God’s; Love, Forgiveness, Kindness and Mercy. He’s given us a New Start, New Heart, New Life, New Relationship of Love through His Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

3) When we act in God’s love, great feelings of LOVE will follow… i.e. attraction in relationships can be restored.

Some People think their marriage is over, because they don’t feel the love any-longer  It’s not over just because you don’t feel “IN LOVE” any more. Love and feelings of being in love will follow and flow afresh into your heart and your relationship once you begin LOVING God’s Ways.

LOVE ALWAYS: (Sermon Series).

We’ve been looking over the last few weeks at: Verse 7: Love Always:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) It (LOVE) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Today It Is: Love Always Perseveres.

To see how LOVE ALWAYS Perseveres: We can look though God’s Word to see if this is a principle / precept that is TRUE.

  • Then we’ll KNOW: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
  • Then we’ll KNOW: That Always Persevering in LOVE… (LOVE NEVER FAILS)…

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (That’s Perseverance).

Part of Jacob’s reward for working for Laban was to have Rachel, Laban’s beautiful daughter, given to Jacob as his wife. Our verse for today sums up the details of this arrangement and shows the great effects of love how we’ll be persevering because of it…

  • Love Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Prolonged Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Produced Pleasure in Jacob’s Toil.

1) LOVE Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance:

Perseverance’s Prerequisite: Is LOVE:  “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.” (Prerequisite = Essential Condition. Needed Requirement: LOVE).

It was love that caused Jacob to serve here. He was very much in love with Rachel and so agreed to serve Laban for her. Love is essential if we are going to persevere.

Remember what Paul said;

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
14  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Paul was motivated (compelled) to serve his Lord Jesus by his love for Christ. (First LOVE).

When Christ called Peter to feed His flock, He asked Peter, “Do you love me?” or in KJV “Lovest thou me” (John 21:15,16,17 {three times}).

If your perseverance draining, if you feel everything to do with church is a drag, maybe you are getting a bit like the church at Ephesus which was rebuked by the Lord because they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4).

If Jacob had just had a passing FANCY for Rachel, he would not have served or persevered to get her hand in marriage.

It wasn’t a passing fancy, but true love that enabled Jacob to persevere for those seven long years.

 

2) Prolonging of Perseverance. “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.”

Love caused Jacob to serve for a long time.

Later when Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah instead of Rachel at the end of those seven years, Jacob was prepared, because of his love for Rachel, to agree to serve another seven years for her. That’s awesome! We need to understand this today 14 Years to get a wife… who today would be prepared to do that? Would you wait? That’s how much he longed for and loved Rachel.

Because of his LOVE he was prepared to persevere for Rachel’s hand.

  • Love Caused Jacob: To continually work for Rachel.
  • Love Cause Jacob: To Never Give up on Rachel.
  • Love Caused Jacob: To have longevity (No matter how long it would take, he’d get his Rachel)…
  • Love Cause Jacob: To keep Going, not quit after a few days, weeks, months or years… 14 years it took to get his Rachel as his wife.
  • LOVE MADE JACOB: Persevere until….

 

QUESTION: Why do so many Christians fall away from the faith?

Why do so many Christians grow luke-warm in their devotion to Jesus?

Why do so many not persevere and keep following Jesus?

ANSWER: NOT IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

Some have a PASSING FANCY for the CHRISTIAN FAITH. Dabble their toes in the water of Christian Experience, but when the going gets tough, the feeble, fickle, feeling based Christians = leg it. They’ve had a passing fancy for Jesus, not TRUE LOVE… If Jesus was ever their FIRST LOVE, then no matter what, they’d stick at it come what may.

The reason so many folks do not last long in persevering faith in Christ is because they do not love Christ as they need.

If you truly love Christ, you will stay at your work continually: Like Jacob (Joseph, David, Moses, Abraham). Some didn’t see their PROMISED LAND (HOPE)… However, because of their LOVE they were able to PERSEVERE.

  • Love causes us to have longevity in our persevering for Christ.
  • Love does not serve Jesus a few days then quit when it gets tough; no it KEEPS GOING (Digging In Deeper onto the foundation bedrock of Jesus).
  • Love keeps us going in serving the LORD.
  • When we LOVE Jesus, we will PERSEVERE in the FAITH…

3) PLEASURE in PERSEVERING (Perseverance’s Rewards).

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

When you are truly in LOVE with Jesus, then no matter what happens; good or bad, plenty or want, you’ll LONG to SERVE HIM: Persevering won’t seem like a chore or a burden, it’s a pleasure.

  • When Jacob got Rachel: He said, “It seems like I’ve only served a few days” because of his love for her.
  • When you get to Heaven: You’ll be thinking it only seemed like a few days that I served Jesus. Because of your LOVE for Him.
  • Love for Rachel made long-days seem short.
  • Love for Rachel brought much pleasure to Jacob’s service. (The sweat of looking after sheep was a JOY)…
  • Love for Rachel sweetened the difficult times and made them delightful times.

 

Question: Why do so many followers of Jesus find serving Jesus a chore or a burden or a difficulty?

Why do so many Christians get resentful in their service?

  • They’re not looking at Jesus. Taken their eyes off HIM…
  • They’ve forgotten the Prize.
  • They’ve wandered away from their first LOVE…

 

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) (Don’t Loose Heart: Run With Perseverance: Fix Eyes on Jesus)…
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV) PRESS ONWARDS to WIN PRIZE…
14  I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) RUN (Persevere) to GET YOUR PRIZE.
24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.
26  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

If you are not in love with Jesus, you will not persevere: Not Run, Fix Eyes, Aim, Walk or Limp towards your Prize. You will loose heart and possibly fall away from the faith…

If you are in love with Jesus, you will persevere: Run, Walk, Keep Going, PERSEVERE.

 

How to get back in LOVE? {with your first-love}

  • LOVE as the Bible tells you: be patient, be kind, be forgiving, be gentle, don’t be proud, selfish, rude… etc (1 Cor 13). PRACTISING CHRISTIAN… Practice LOVE… Try it.
  • Repent: Of your lack of love for Jesus. Ask for His forgiveness. He’ll then MOTIVATE you to PERSEVERE once you are back IN LOVE with Him.

 

NOTE: RUNNING FOR THE PRIZE: (Not Down to Self-Effort)…

Personal Testimony: I’d failed, time and time again. Self-Effort wasn’t working. I got a bit depressed, felt a failure, felt God didn’t love me, couldn’t love me, wouldn’t love me. I had almost LOST HEART… Why? Because I was trying to be GOOD in my own strength, my own determination and perseverance and my will-power was failing fast… Who would rescue me? It’s Jesus my friends, I needed to trust in Jesus alone all over again. Submit to Him and confess and let Him do the changing of my heart…. Allow HIM IN: I needed to surrender all over again.

This PERSEVERANCE: Is NOT Self-Effort: It comes from being connected and in-love with Jesus. (OR RE-CONNECTED).

He gives you the DETERMINATION YOU NEED to Keep Persevering against the odds…

People will look at you and wonder: “How on earth does He / She do it?”… It’s NOT you, It’s Jesus in YOU… It’s the Holy Spirit who’s taken up residence and become your own personal President (Lord, Master, Boss, King)… He’ll be motivating you to obedience to what you know is right.

But many do not find that joy in serving. The reason is because they lack that deep heart love for Jesus.

If your love for Christ abounds, you will find much pleasure in serving Him even though the service may be difficult, long, hard, and trying.

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES: Jacob loved Rachel (A Picture of How the Saint should love His / Her Jesus).

Conclusion:

1) Perseverance’s Prerequisite: LOVE for Jesus (Jacob loved Rachel)…
2) Prolonging of Perseverance: LOVE will make you SERVE for MANY YEARS…
3) Perseverance’s Reward: Those many years of service will seem like only a few days… Because, there is PLEASURE in persevering. {LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES}.

You’ll delight in Serving for Jesus, if you LOVE Him… No matter how successful or not… You’re going to keep going because of your LOVE for Him.

Amen!

Hymn:

Oh, How I LOVE Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me.

Black Friday Freedom

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Black Friday Freedom.

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING.

If you want it, you’ve got it.

But be careful what you are wanting.

BLACK FRIDAY: Darkness….

We live in a world that is full of desire for things. Even the church has been infected by it and has focused much of it’s teachings on meeting the needs of people’s desires. So much so, that they now declare to people, “have faith, just believe it and you will receive it”. This is the name it claim it Gospel.

Of course we’re all meant to be Servants of the Lord ready to respond to one another’s needs, but simply to appeal to our desires begs a few questions, because those things that people desire most, are things God has warned us will lead us into the darkness and farther away from Him. If you desire darkness, then God is going to give it to you, big time: Watch OUT or you will receive your BLACK FRIDAY.

What things then do we desire most that God has forbidden?

1) Riches: To enable us to get lots of STUFF… 

2) Sexual Desires:

3) Power and Control:

If we want these things, then God is going to give us over to these desires, but note this, when we’re given over to our desires, we’ll be in total DARKNESS, the end result being that we’ll be DRIVEN by those desires in an ever increasing measure. Our natural affections will be turned into inordinate affections.

Romans 1:18-32 (NIV)
18  The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19  since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
23  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
25  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is for ever praised. Amen.
26  Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
27  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.
28  Furthermore, since they did not think it worth while to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
29  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30  slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31  they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practise them.

What a SAD indictment against humanity.

  • Without Christ we are all in this DARKNESS.
  • Without Christ we are given over in various degrees to our desires.
  • Without Christ we have depraved minds.

NOTE THE PROGRESSION IN ROMANS 1:18-32.

  • They Exchanged: The Glory of God: Worshipping Created Things.
  • They Exchanged: The Truth of God: Choosing instead to believe a lie. Verse 24.
  • DARKENED:
    • How? By NOT glorifying God, not giving thanks to Him. Verse 21.
    • How? The TRUTH is Suppressed by Wickedness: Verse 18.
    • How? The TRUTH is Exchanged for a lie: Verse 24. Worshipped and Served Created things instead of the Creator.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To THEIR SINFUL DESIRES. Verse 24.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To SHAMEFUL LUSTS. Verse 26.
  • God GAVE Them OVER: To a DEPRAVED MIND. Verse 28.

AND A CONTINUAL LUST FOR MORE:

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

SATAN LOVES BLACK FRIDAY

And the great enemy of human beings, who have been Created in the image of the immortal God, loves it.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NIV)
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who is Jesus? He is the LIGHT who gives the sure and certain HOPE of Freedom.

Prophet, Priest and King:

  • Prophet: He revealed Heaven’s Secrets to men: The WAY, The TRUTH and The LIFE:
  • Priest: He offered his life as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
  • King: He rules and we must become subjects of His Kingdom, as we submit to His authority as our King.

Jesus is the LIGHT of the WORLD:

So that the people who are walking, living and bound by the darkness can see the LIGHT and are given hope of being set free from the DARKNESS.

The Good NEWS of Jesus Christ: BRIGHT FRIDAY.

He came to set all mankind free from the darkness and from bondage to sin and Satan. Though God has given us over to be controlled and ruined by our sinful desires, to shameful lusts and to depraved minds, there’s now the HOPE of freedom in Christ Jesus.

That FREEDOM comes as we BELIEVE in Jesus. TRUST in Jesus for forgiveness. REPENT of sin and FORSAKE sin, as we RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord. Then we are BORN AGAIN, given a renewed heart, mind, will and desires as we are FILLED with Holy Spirit. He is the one who will enable us to LIVE the abundant life he’s called us to.

When BLACK FRIDAY: Gets Hold Of A Believer:

If ever we get into BONDAGE again, then all we have to do is come back to Jesus Christ to be set free all over again. (I’ve known many Christians who get caught up in this world’s affairs, their desire for Holiness is dimmed, their hearts become dull and hard again to Jesus, to the Gospel, to saving others. All because they’ve chosen the darkness rather than the light. They’ve become bound by Satan again and need the freedom that only Jesus Christ can give them. Thankfully, we’re seeing believers being set free and given renewed hearts again.) It’s like the Gospel needs to be preached to those who already have believed and trusted in Jesus, because they need the NEW LIFE Christ promised to all who would believe and trust in Him. Of course there are many who believe in Jesus, but have never been born of the Spirit, yet there is HOPE of the freedom and the promise.

 

CONCLUSION:

Though there is a GREAT DARKNESS.

Though people are walking in this DARKNESS.

There is HOPE: The LIGHT has come to set us FREE.

Isaiah 9:2 (NIV) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Jesus Christ is the LIGHT: Come, Believe that He died to set you free from your inordinate desires, those things that control your life and lead to death, to judgement and eternal Hell. He endured the Cross for your freedom. All you have to do is TRUST that He died to set you free and enable you to be forgiven of your sins. Once you REPENT by confessing your sins to God and turning from those sins, forsaking them, and receive Jesus by an act of faith. He’ll come and give you the promised NEW LIFE and FREEDOM. Amen!

NOW: Having trusted in Jesus, you can live the NEW LIFE with NEW POWER.

Ephesians 4:20-32 (NIV)
20  You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
21  Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.
26  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27  and do not give the devil a foothold.
28  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday
Black Friday Freedom

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING:

BE The People of The Light

Black Friday reminds me of the DARKNESS, however we can know that through Jesus, we can be set free to live as the people of the light.

The New Life in Christ is a continual renewal: He will give you HIS HOLY DESIRES. Amen!

Be blessed this coming weekend,

Don.

 

A Change of Mind

Christians preaching Christ Good News in Damascus

Daily Spirit & Word: 774: A Change of Mind.

Good morning my friends, I know many of you have children on holiday from school and find it difficult to find time to read for long periods, so here’s a very short thought for today.

We’ve probably all observed Goldfish in a tank, they swim in one direction, then suddenly all change direction and go another way. I love watching fish, but that’s what we need in this world, to be that one fish that suddenly turns and goes in another direction, perhaps the rest will follow. Decide today to follow Jesus.

Acts 9:20-30 (NIV)
20  At once he (Saul) began to preach in the synagogues that Jesus is the Son of God.
21  All those who heard him were astonished and asked, “Isn’t he the man who caused havoc in Jerusalem among those who call on this name? And hasn’t he come here to take them as prisoners to the chief priests?”
22  Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ.
23  After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,
24  but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.
25  But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.
26  When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
27  But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.
28  So Saul stayed with them and moved about freely in Jerusalem, speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.
29  He talked and debated with the Grecian Jews, but they tried to kill him.
30  When the brothers learned of this, they took him down to Caesarea and sent him off to Tarsus.

WE NEED A NEW MIND…

A change of mind.

We see this supremely in the life of St Paul (Saul) in the passage above.

  • One day he’s spouting murderous thoughts and running around arresting and imprisoning Christians.
  • A few days later he’s preaching the Gospel (The Good News of Jesus Christ FEARLESSLY).
  • What brought about his complete change of mind?
  • An encounter with the risen Lord Jesus Christ.

WE NEED AN ENCOUNTER WITH JESUS.

When we meet with Jesus, just like St Paul, our minds are going to be RENEWED. We’re going to begin to think like Jesus, because we too will receive the mind of Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit. We too will begin to SPEAK UP for Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; his good, pleasing and perfect will.

WE NEED A RENEWED MIND:

Then just like St Paul (Saul of Tarsus) we will be TRANSFORMED.

So God’s Making us into TRANSFORMERS 🙂

Imagine being able to; test and approve what God’s will is?

Imagine being able to know what His; good, pleasing and perfect will is?

“He’s TRANSFORMING ME”

By His Holy Spirit, He’s making me like Jesus.

Could you imagine going to Damascus today and proclaiming the Good News of the LORD Jesus Christ? They’d probably want to kill you too, just as the Jews did St Paul. However, he preached Jesus fearlessly, will we? Will we be so transformed by Jesus that in our place, where we live, we begin to speak up for Jesus? It’s a scary thought for many Christians, but that’s what the Holy Spirit in us will be prompting us to do.

Let our minds be changed, renewed, growing every day, to become more and more like Jesus.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Last night’s (27/7/2016) street evangelism was AWESOME!

In West Norwood London, a few of us went out onto the streets to share Jesus Christ with the crowds; we did it through giving out tracts, sharing the Gospel, praying for folks, and all along the way enjoying singing the song, “I’ve got my mind made up and I won’t turn back, because I’m going to see my Jesus some day”…

P.S. Once Paul was converted, he gained new enemies, they seemed to always want to take his life, to stop him preaching and proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ (Messiah), that Jesus is the Son of God (God), speaking boldly in the name of the Lord.

As long as Paul was belonging to the world, the world loved him as one of it’s own.

John 15:18-27 (NIV)
18  “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
19  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
20  Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
21  They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.
22  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin.
23  He who hates me hates my Father as well.
24  If I had not done among them what no-one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.
25  But this is to fulfil what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’
26  “When the Counsellor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me.
27  And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

My friends, as long as you belong to the world, the world will love you as one of it’s own, however: As soon as you are converted, as Paul was converted, the world hated him and it will hate you too, because you no longer belong to the world, you are not of this world, your new citizenship is in Heaven, you are a member of God’s household, you are His ambassadore to this world, you’ve become a new creature in Christ, you are now a Saint, this world is NOT your home any more.

So you will proclaim Christ, just as Paul did, the Holy Spirit of Truth will motivate you to share Him. Then whenever Christ is proclaimed, the world is judged because of sin, it doesn’t want to hear that message, so it tries to squash the message of the Gospel:

  • By watering it down,
  • By making it into a religion,
  • By killing those who proclaim the true Gospel,

Satan: is the force behind all worldly efforts to silence the true Gospel of Jesus Christ: That men (mankind) are sinful, they’ve broken God’s commandments, without Christ there is no remedy for mankind’s sins, we cannot make ourselves clean and fit for heaven, because sin contaminates our souls, so the only way to be cleansed is by the blood of an innocent and pure sacrifice, something had to die in our place so that we could be saved. Jesus Christ, God’s one and only son is the full and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. So that everyone who believes that He died for their sins, who repents of sin and trusts in Jesus’ death, will be SAVED.

Now it’s no wonder that Satan and the world influenced by him, doesn’t want that message spread about too much. He’ll try and squash it, water it down, pervert and bend that message, so that as many as he can, he’ll take to hell with him.

There’s nothing worse that whole hosts of people calling themselves ‘Christians’ who’ve never been born again or come to Christ, broken and guilty and confessing their sins. Satan loves it when the ‘church’ if filled with false-converts, filled and convinced they’re saved by a false or partial perverted Gospel message. The watered down Gospel is this; “Just believe in Jesus name, and ask him into your heart”; no reasons are given for why a person needs to come to Christ, no sin, no hell, no judgement, no repentance, no receiving Christ as LORD. That’s the false Gospel that many are believing today. They are NOT SAVED yet, but don’t give up, because they can be.

However, my heart breaks at the thought of the countless thousands who’ll end up in hell, having believed and lived by this false Gospel message. Jesus died in order that many would be saved, let’s spread the true Gospel message and save as many as we can whilst there is still some time left before Jesus returns in Judgement. Amen!

 

 

 

Oh Happy Day

The smile on your face lets me know you need me, there's a look in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

Daily Spirit & Word: 771: Oh Happy Day

You Have the POWER to Deliver.

With Jesus ALL THINGS Are Possible.

BUT:

  • No Prayer = No Power.
  • No Fasting = No Feasting.
  • No Faith = Nothing will Happen.

Good morning my friends, just ONE more day and the “Oh Happy Day” Gospel Festival will be here. Praise the LORD! What a Golden Opportunity to share Jesus with the whole of West Norwood.

The idea came from Pastor David of the Portuguese Fellowship meeting at Lansdowne Evangelical Church. He shared with Peter Day and I, then with the two other Ministers we pray with regularly: Richard from Chatsworth Baptist and Dennis from Worldwide Mission Fellowship. His vision was “Reaching out to our community with the Love and Joy of the Lord”, The Lord had given him some Scriptures to back up the vision too and as we shared the vision took on form and substance. Now we’re committed to going ahead in St Luke’s Church and grounds together. We’re giving away free food, free music, free face-painting, free fitness fun, free fun photography, free art activity, free children’s games and activities. It’s going to be AWESOME! (However, we need to PRAY: There’s a gathering tonight at Lansdowne Church: 8.00pm: Come and let’s give this EVENT some POWER).

I was praying and reading God’s word today and this passage jumped out at me;

Luke 9:37-45 (NIV) Disciples Failure To Deliver.
37  The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.
38  A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.
39  A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.
40  I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41  “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42  Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
43  And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marvelling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,
44  “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
45  But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

Verse 40: “I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”

I knew from my reading of the Bible that other passages in Scripture tell us why they couldn’t do it, but hadn’t noticed before that Luke’s account, doesn’t even dwell upon the reasons why the Disciples couldn’t deliver the boy.

Luke’s doesn’t go into the reasons WHY the Nine Disciples couldn’t drive out the Demon when Jesus, Peter, John and James returned down the mountain.

When Jesus was away there was an opportunity to act in faith and continue the word to which they had recently returned from with great joy; Healing, Delivering, Casting out Demons in the name of Jesus. But now they couldn’t do it. WHY?

Thankfully Matthew and Mark give us some more details that fill out this account of Deliverance from Evil Spirits.

They also reveal the reasons WHY they couldn’t set the boy free of the Demon.

Matthew 17:14-21 (NKJV)
14  And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,
15  “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
16  So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17  Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.”
18  And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

21  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Mark 9:14-29 (NKJV)
14  And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them.
15  Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.
16  And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17  Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.
18  And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19  He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”
20  Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21  So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.
22  And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23  Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
26  Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”
27  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28  And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29  So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Both Matthew and Mark reveal to us: It was the Disciples lack of; faith, prayer and fasting.

They both tell us the Disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it. And He tells them. My friends, if there is something you are perplexed about or don’t know why you are not able to do something, learn from Jesus’ Disciples, go to HIM to find the answers. He will guide you and show you any reasons why something is not happening in your life.

Jesus Reveals: It was lack of Faith, of Prayer and of Fasting.

Lack of FAITH: Having a faith that can move mountains: I’ve never moved a mountain, but sometimes the LORD gives me the gift of faith to pray in a certain way that things happen. I do sometimes sense the Spirit’s power in prayer and when that happens, things happen too. It’s not all the time, sometimes I’m praying for someone, and I know in my Spirit, the Lord is not going to give them what they want. He hears all prayers, sometimes He’ll give us faith to move those mountains. But sometimes, it’s not His will or it’s not the right time or He’s going to answer later. He always hears us when we pray in faith.

Lack of PRAYER: Prayer is the vital connection with Jesus in faith. Without prayer we’re powerless to do anything. Perhaps the Disciples were not operating under Jesus’ authority, but out of past experience. They were probably thinking, “We did it before, we can do it easily again”… They didn’t seek the LORD in prayer or even pray to the Father as Jesus would later instruct them… (The Lord’s Prayer Luke 11).

Lack of FASTING: Fasting teaches us to rely upon the LORD more for our daily needs. It brings us closer to Jesus and enables us to see things we’d never see unless we go without. When I fast it’s wonderful. When I get hungry, I turn to Jesus and instead of going to the cupboard or fridge for food to the Bible and Prayer and Praise. It’s totally awesome when you experience Jesus feeding you at these times. And they do equip you for situations that are happening in your life.

So my friends, if you’ve got some little mountain that needs moving, someone that needs some deliverance, a problem that seems un-resolvable in normal ways, then turn first to Jesus and get the Faith you need, turn to prayer and fast regularly. (Fasting is known to be good for us medically too).

MORE DETAILS: Primary Focus:

There are many other details that all the Evangelists bring out of this account; Matthew, Mark and Luke bring to this account of Deliverance: Some highlight the arguments with the Crowd and the Disciples, some highlight the Amazement and Delight of the Crowd at Jesus. Some highlight what Jesus said afterwards to His Disciples (Luke omits that completely). However, what they all tell us is that this BOY was delivered immediately at Jesus’ command.

When we’ve got FAITH and when we pray and fast (regularly) we’re going to have the POWER too.

  • How’s your faith today? Come closer to Jesus.
  • How’s your prayer life? Come closer to Jesus.
  • How’s your fasting going? Come to Jesus to let Him feed you from Heaven.

By all three; Faith, Prayer and Fasting; we’re going to see our NEED to come regularly to Jesus if we want the POWER to live and operate as His Disciples in the world today. Following Jesus is NOT easy, but there’s POWER in the Spirit available for every Christian today. Not only that, but we have the added security and assurance that Jesus will never leave us alone as He did the Nine, He’s with us always to the very end of the age. Amen!

I’m looking forward to an awesome “Oh Happy Day” Festival tomorrow in St Luke’s Gardens. Come and join us if you can, between 1.00pm and 4.00pm. St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. SE27 0HS.

Have some fun and let the smile on your face let the world know that God’s LOVE is in you.

Give them some HOPE in a world that’s devoid of real hope.

Give them some JOY in a world that needs true JOY today.

When the people saw Jesus and his disciples coming down the mountain, the ran to Jesus (Mark 9:15) They ran to Jesus and greeted Him. I’m sure it was the SMILE on Jesus face that drew the crowds to Him that day. It was the JOY in His person. My friends, when we’re full of the glory of the Lord, it will put JOY in other people’s hearts too.

People in the UK and the world have experienced great turmoil, they all need renewed HOPE, renewed JOY in their daily lives. Let’s go out and give them a GREAT BIG SMILE on their faces.

Have an AWESOME Weekend with Jesus, be FULL of Faith in His POWER to Deliver.

Don.

Pastor David’s Scriptures: The Vision for “Oh Happy Day”…

Job 29:23-24 (CEV)
23  My words were eagerly accepted like the showers of spring,
24  and the smile on my face renewed everyone’s hopes.

Proverbs 15:30 (CEV)
30  A friendly smile makes you happy, and good news makes you feel strong.

What the LORD Gave me: “The Smile on Your Face” At a prayer meeting for the event.

The smile on your face let’s me know that you need me,
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me,
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall,
You say it best, when you say nothing at all…

NOTE: You’ll probably see in your modern versions of the Bible it says, “Some ancient manuscripts don’t have verse 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Some will keep it in with a note and others remove it. However, I do believe that this verse is indeed in the original Greek. Over the years the Church (all be it imperfect) kept the best manuscripts and threw away corrupted or those with mistakes, I believe what modern archeologists are discovering are not the BEST and MOST ACCURATE, no we are not discovering “The Oldest and most original” but those that had been rejected by the church. The people who translated the Bible at the time of King James had access to the most reliable texts the church possessed at the time. These had been preserved and carefully collated and many others, perverse texts discarded. The LORD preserves His Word: Let the Spirit guide you into the Truth.

 

Desperate For LOVE

no God no Love, Know God, Know Love

Daily Spirit & Word: 759: Desperate For LOVE

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

God IS Love.

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

God is LOVE:

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

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

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

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

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

We know that right? But do we know it?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s a judgement to Come:

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

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

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

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

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

SIMPLE SALVATION: Know God, Know Life and Love.

When you:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

NOTE: Here’s An Outline of 1 John.

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

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

A. Prologue, 1 John 1:1-2

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The LAW and The Promises of God.

Christians are set free from sin and the law through faith in Jesus.

Daily Spirit & Word: 756: The Law and The Promise.

The Law was our overseer, instructor and tutor, until FAITH came through Jesus Christ.

FREEDOM IN CHRIST JESUS.

Good morning my friends, today I’ve been reading in the Bible about an Tutor / Instructor / Schoolmaster, a person who’s been “put in charge” of children. Imagine being held captive by a stern guardian. Like being locked up in a School with a Schoolmaster: Telling you to do stuff that’s beyond your ability to do. For most people that would be hell. I’d hate being told to do something, and being shouted at, because I can’t do it. That’s what the LAW of God is like: A stern schoolmaster, shouting out Ten Commandments, that we just can’t keep, because we’re SLAVES to sin. Well, there’s good news. No, I’ll go even further, GREAT NEWS. There’s great news because we can be set free to live according to God’s Holy Standards through FAITH in Christ Jesus. HOW?

But, as we’ll see HOW today, The Schoolmaster the Bible is talking about is God’s LAW (Summarised in the Ten Commandments). The function / purpose of God’s Law was to look after us and show us God’s standard until Christ should come and give us something better to oversee us: Faith in Jesus opens us up to a much better guide than the written law; the indwelling Holy Spirit, who reveals God’s way, through our Conscience. Awesome!

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Galatians 3:19-25 (NIV)
19 What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus Christ) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator (Moses). 20 A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. 21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge (Paidagogos: Tutor, Instructor, Schoolmaster) to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25 Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

Once we get FAITH: To believe and put our trust in Jesus for our Salvation, we are SET FREE from the PRISON of the LAW: from the instruction / oversight of the Law of God. We are under a NEW Tutor: The Holy Spirit. He will guide us and show us God’s ways. He’ll never contradict God’s Law, but will impart the power to live according to it in FREEDOM.

 

Live in the Spirit.

What is the purpose of the Law?

Galatians 3:19-25 (NIV)
19  What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed (Jesus Christ) to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator.
20  A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one.
21  Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. (But it couldn’t impart life, nor did it have any power to make us righteous, it was only added because of transgressions / sin).
22  But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23  Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed.
24  So the law was put in charge (paidagogos: tutor / schoolmaster /instructor) to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.
25  Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

The Key Verse: Galatians 3:22 “But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin…”

What an amazing statement in the Bible: The WHOLE WORLD (Every single soul) is a PRISONER OF SIN, until they are SET FREE by faith in Jesus Christ.

So the reason God has given us the Law (10 Commandments) is so that we can KNOW (Be instructed by the Schoolmaster: the Law) and how we can be SET FREE through FAITH in Jesus Christ.

In Verse 24 “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.”

(We don’t have an equivalent English word for the term translated here, “Put in Charge”. The Greek word is “paidagogos” The KJV translates it as “Schoolmaster”, but the Greek word is referring to a Servant in a rich household who looked after and educated a child until the child was educated enough to go onto further education away from home at a school: Rather than “Put in Charge” NIV, I think “Schoolmaster” is a more accurate translation. In recent history in the UK the very rich had household Schoolmasters / Tutors who’d educate young children until they could attend school). So the LAW was only put in charge of us, until faith came along, that faith is in Christ Jesus, and once we’ve got that faith, we are no longer under the care, supervision and instruction of the Law.

Interestingly we have English words that a so similar to this Greek word:  paidagogos: Paediatrician, Paediatric: The care and treatment by a Specialist “Called a Paediatrician” for infants and children.

WOWzer! The LAW (Summarised in the Ten Commandments) was give because of Sin and Transgression.

Does the Bible tell us that in another place? It’s good to see if this teaching is consistent with the rest of Scripture.

Romans 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

WOW: It does. In Romans 3:19 we see it again, “it says to those who are ‘under’ the law” (Under: Under the Paidagogos (care and supervision) of the Law).

  • We are under the law: Held prisoner by the law: Until FAITH comes to our hearts to set us free.
  • We cannot be SAVED by trying our best.
  • We cannot be SAVED by trying to live according to the Law or the Ten Commandments.
  • All that effort will show us is that we cannot be good enough for God. We can’t stop SINNING until we’re set FREE from the Slavery to sin. Sin is our master until we’re set free by Jesus Christ, through Faith in Jesus Christ.

A MIRROR: When you get up in the morning, you look at your face in the mirror, sometimes to remove any dirt or smears. Make sure you wash the toothpaste off 🙂 The Bible like the Mirror: We look into the Commandments of God and we see that we are dirty sinners, we’ve all broken God’s Holy Standard. However, the mirror can’t clean your face, it only shows you the dirt. The LAW cannot clean away your sins, it only shows you the condition of your heart. The Sin Within. Nothing you can do can remove those stains of sin. No amount of effort will wash your soul clean from sin. No amount of sorrow for sin (we should be sorry), but sorrow itself cannot remove sin. Some people say to me “I say sorry to God for my sin”. That’s good, you should be sorry, but being sorry will not remove your sin. Only DEATH will remove your sin. Jesus died so that you don’t have to.

1 Peter 3:18 (NIV) “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,” i.e. the righteous Jesus died for the unrighteous me / you. We were sinners and Jesus died in our place upon the Cross.

The LAW was given so that we could see our need for Jesus.

Will you put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today? Stop trying to be good enough in your own strength and trust in the goodness / righteousness of Jesus Christ. Once you believe the Gospel, the Good News, you will be SAVED. Put your faith and trust in Jesus alone for your own Salvation from Sin. Nothing else will ever remove the stain of sin, revealed by the Ten Commandments and your guilty conscience can be set free by Jesus. Awesome.

Repent and Believe the Good News.

The PROMISE: The promises of God are better than the Law of God: We are able to be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ, a righteousness that couldn’t ever be possible by trying to keep God’s law. Thank the LORD for His awesome promises. Thank the LORD for Jesus Christ who has set us FREE. Amen.

My friends, have you been set FREE?

Don.

#FantasticFriday #GoodNews #GreatNews #BreakingNews #Faith #Jesus #Christian #Teaching #Law #Commandments #Promise #LawandPromise

 

God’s Heart to Heal

Do you believe in the God of miracles?

Daily Spirit & Word: 753:

Can The God You Believe In Do Miracles?

“The smile on your face help me know you need me” (Knowing the Father’s Heart).

Good morning my friends, I want to put a huge wide smile on your face today. But not just on your face, on your heart too. The JOY of the LORD is my strength.

All this week we’ve been hearing about those who are sick and dying; friends, good friends, best friends, relatives: But do we actually believe in a God who cares, has compassion, is kind, gentle and loving? These are all attributes of God’s character, yes God is Holy, get’s angry as we heard yesterday, and can be full of wrath and anger against our sins. However, we also serve a God who fully revealed Himself in Jesus and before that in the Old Testament.

Listen with new ears, watch with renewed eyes to see what God is like today:

God Gives LIFE AGAIN to a Widow’s Son.

1 Kings 17:17-24 (NIV)
17  Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.
18  She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19  “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.
20  Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”
21  Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22  The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.
23  Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24  Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

Elijah had gone to a widow’s house, initially she thought she and her son would starve to death because of a famine. But Elijah arrived and the flour and oil didn’t run out, it was a miracle of God’s provision. Now the woman’s son, her only son, died. Just listen to her, the way she’s talking to Elijah: “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

Often when tragedy strikes, because we’re hurting we strike out at others. Sometimes the ones who are closest to us, those who’ve been kindest to us, THEY are the ones who get blasted first. It’s both Elijah and God that this woman is shaking her fist at. “Man of God”…

But there’s more: The woman obviously had a past:

Like most of us, she’d not lived a completely righteous life, because somewhere in her past she knew she’d sinned. The knowledge of that sin had not left her, and because of her son’s death, she’d obviously been thinking to herself, “Who’s fault is it that my boy has died? Is it my fault? Did I bring this tragedy upon my son because of the things I did wrong in the past?”

We often do that too: I know I do. Whenever things go wrong, I think to myself, “Oh Lord, to what are you drawing my attention? Could it be something I’ve done?” It’s a good question. But to move from self-examination to attacking the man of God… as if God would be wrong somehow to exercise judgement at any time.

  • Perhaps the LORD was using her son’s death to get to the heart of her deepest issue in life.
  • Perhaps her son’s death was the only way the LORD would get this woman’s heart back to Himself.
  • Perhaps the LORD just wanted to show this woman most clearly that He is a God who FORGIVES SINS.

The Boy Comes Back To LIFE:

Just like Jesus who died and rose again from the dead; this boy’s life is restored by the LORD. Jesus was God’s ONE and ONLY Son, who died. The boy was the woman’s one and only son.

Elijah gives the boy back to the woman: Now listen to her response:

 1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

That “NOW I KNOW”: says a lot to me. because even though she’d been experiencing an ongoing miracle of God’s provision i.e. Her flour and oil never ran out: She’s been cooking with it for ages, but deep inside her heart there is an AVENUE OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF. Those words “NOW I KNOW” shout out to me today.

“Donald, you’ve seen My miracles in the past, so why do you doubt today?”…

Oh LORD! “I have seen your miracles in the past, I know you goodness, kindness, mercy and love, give me a NEW HEART to believe in Your POWER to HEAL today” Amen!

The Oil and Flour Miracles wasn’t enough to move her to repent and trust the LORD completely.

The Resurrection of her son, moved the widow woman to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the LORD.

My friends, the RESURRECTION of God’s ONE and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, moves me afresh today, to say with the woman, the widow, “NOW I KNOW”….

NOW I KNOW: God can do anything.

  • He can hear our prayer.
  • He can heal our sicknesses, diseases, blindness, deafness, hard-hardheartedness, coldness, stubbornness, sinfulness and rebellion.
  • He can deliver us from DEATH…

BUT: Do YOU Believe He WANTS to do it?

NOW I KNOW: He wants to Heal, Deliver and Forgive… TODAY.

I’m going to be praying much more, much more, for people to experience God’s HEALING touch in their lives. We are going to see miracles my friends.

My friends, doesn’t that put a huge, a massive smile on your face today? Isn’t your HEART warmed and filled with JOY because the LORD is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Last night, we had a meeting in church about “Oh Happy Day” West Norwood, London. A festival of JOY. Saturday 16th July (Put the date in your diary and come and see God move).

The Lord gave me this song, it’s a secular song, but it spoke to me of God’s TRUTH: When you say nothing at all:

The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There’s a truth
In your eyes
Saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You’ll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all

My friends, God NEEDS you to be His hands, His feet, His heart to go to this hurting world and bring His HEALING: Will you go and touch, speak and heal today?

Some people argue, God can do it, but my friends, He’s chosen a way to do it; through His people. He’s going to do it through YOU! Have faith in the God who wants to Heal today.

Have a fantastic weekend, full of faith, full of trust and full of the JOY of the LORD.

Knowing the FATHER’S HEART.

Don.

 

Go in PEACE to LOVE and Serve The LORD

don't give in to FEAR, LOVE the Egyptian people, travel with Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 748: Egypt Air Crash.

Go in PEACE to LOVE and SERVE The LORD.

Trust IN the LORD.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Good morning my friends, the day after tragedy strikes is never really a good one, because we can all feel something for those who’ve lost loved ones. We try and put ourselves in their shoes, to think how we’d be feeling right now if someone precious to us was aboard that plane. When you see on the News mothers, husbands and wives waiting anxiously for any sign of hope, then all hopes are dashed. It’s a horrific tragedy. Today I’m asking the LORD to bring comfort, strength and hope into their hearts.

Asked if he could rule out terrorist involvement, the Egyptian premier told reporters: “We cannot exclude anything at this time or confirm anything. All the search operations must be concluded so we can know the cause.”

French President Francois Hollande also said the cause was unknown. “No hypothesis can be ruled out, nor can any be favoured over another.”

At this moment in time, we just don’t know what happened to the plane. Pray for miracles for those who anxiously await news.

One commentator has said, “It’s the end of Egypt’s Tourism industry”… I don’t think so. Egypt is such a special place in the hearts of millions of people all over the world, and no matter what the News says, there are countless millions of nice, ordinary, decent, loving, gentle and humble families living in Egypt. They’ll give you are warm welcome and extend the hand of friendship.

Pessimism is a general disposition to look on the dark side and to expect the worst in all things. It’s a kind of despair, disposition or temperament and our News reporters tend to dwell too much on this dark side.

Yes our heads might tell us, “It’s dangerous to go to Egypt”, but don’t listen to your head, listen to your heart. Someone said once, “A good rule for going through life is to keep the heart a little softer than the head. ” Be kind-hearted and true; LOVE covers over a multitude of sin.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

My son, Richard, travels to many places in the world, places most ordinary folks would never go; Jordan, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, Mekong River, Belize Jungles, etc… He loves it, he meets the ordinary folks, learns about their cuisine, brings back recipes and shares with his friends his experience of those peoples. We all know there are horrible people who want to do terrible things, but let us be the ones who’ll not be governed by FEAR.

I know from my own travels in the Royal Navy and holidays, that there are always kind-hearted folks in every culture, in fact they are the majority. In Northern Ireland at the height of the ‘troubles’, I went on an evangelistic mission. During that mission we met people from both the Catholic and Protestant communities, they were warm, welcoming, kind, generous and friendly.  So don’t be Pessimistic, don’t give into fear, trust in the LORD, let Him direct your paths and travel with His Heavenly Security.

Let’s pray for those who’ve suffered tragedy and lost loved ones, let’s pray for Egypt and for the PEACE and JUSTICE in that land, but let’s also determine in our hearts that we’ll never cut them off from our friendship and love. Egypt has been and always will be of historical interest to the world, it’s people are just like you and me, most of them, ordinary hard-working, decent folks.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

It’s my hope and prayer that you will all have an AWESOME weekend. Stay close to the Lord Jesus and let His peace rule in your hearts today. Amen.

Don.

 

Prayer Week: Day 1. Read Your SPIRITUAL Bank Statement

Check your Spiritual Bank Account. Check what's already been deposited

Daily Spirit & Word: 737: Pentecostal Prayer Week: Day 1.

Read Your Spiritual Bank Statement.

There are bounteous riches in store for you today.

Pentecostal Prayer Week: Day 1: Read Your Spiritual Bank Statement.

What a joy it is to PRAY in the Spirit, to the Father, through the Son.

Good morning my friends, today I’m going to show that we can come to our FATHER GOD and expect greater things from ourselves. There’s HIDDEN potential and power in you, because of who you are already as a follower of Jesus.

There was once a very wealthy Billionaire.

He was a Newspaper Publisher, William Randolph Hearst, who invested a fortune collecting art treasures from around the world. One day Mr. Hearst found a description of some valuable items that he felt he must own. He made a list and then sent his agent abroad to find them. After months of searching, the agent returned to Mr Hearst and reported that he had finally found the treasures. Mr Hearst was overjoyed. Then immediately shocked, because every single item was already in Mr. Hearst’s own warehouse. Hearst had been searching frantically for treasures he already owned! Had he read his own catalogue of his treasures, he would have saved himself a great deal of money and trouble.

Sometimes we’re a bit like Mr Hearst: We’re not completely aware of the TREASURES that are already ours, we’ve inherited them from our Heavenly Father God. They are already available to us, ready to be tapped into in faith.

To understand, all we need to do is Read Your Spiritual Bank Statements: then you’ll see what’s been deposited into your account.  I know some people who don’t know or understand these things, they’re like secrets to them. However it is possible that there are hidden treasures in your life, but because you’ve not fully understood what has already been deposited within you, you are not accessing them yet. All is about to change. Praise the LORD!

Like Paul’s commendation of the Saints in Ephesus, my church fellowship in St Luke’s are; full of love for God, full of faith and trust in Him, and full of love for the saints and sinners in our area. That’s so obvious whenever we gather together in Christ on Sunday’s, how we welcome strangers too, but there’s so much more that we’re NOT tapping into yet. Listen with your Spiritual Ears open as you read aloud these words again from Paul’s letter to the Ephesian Christians, I’m praying the LORD will give you eyes to see new delights are awaiting you in prayer.

Ephesians 1:15-23 (NIV)
15  For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,
16  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,
20  which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,
21  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.
22  And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church,
23  which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.

First, Paul is giving thanks to the LORD for their obvious faith and love: Having a sincere love for God is a miraculous wonder and we should always give thanks and praise when we see or observe that these are evident in the lives of brothers and sisters the Lord has given us. Paul was obviously overjoyed to discover their faith was still alive and kicking in his absence. However, he didn’t STOP at giving thanks for them, he prayed they’d have even MORE: Or become even more AWARE of the great treasures in store, that have already been deposited in their Spiritual Bank Account: Their Inheritance… It something they can use and invest NOW in building God’s Kingdom.

BUT: and it’s a significant BUT 🙂 He keeps asking for MORE… Yes my friends, there’s a great deal MORE in your Spiritual Bank Account than you are probably aware of.

Ephesians 1:17.

  • – The Spirit of Wisdom.
  • – The Spirit of Revelation.

Both of these are so that we can KNOW GOD BETTER.

Too many of us think we know enough about God, but there’s always more to discover, we’ll never know everything about Father God until we meet Him face to face, then we’ll know Him fully, but in the meantime we’re limited to what He chooses to reveal to us; through His word, through the Spirit and through our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of how Paul knew the LORD, he wants EVERY believer in Jesus to KNOW what’s already available in their account, i.e. what IS available to them. That’s what Paul keeps asking, that they’ll KNOW just how much is available in their walk with Jesus. How we all NEED a much deeper knowledge of God our Heavenly Father.

Then there’s the ENLIGHTENMENT: Our text tells us what the ‘ENLIGHTENMENT’ is for, so that you may KNOW;

– KNOW THE HOPE to which He has called you.

– KNOW THE RICHES OF HIS GLORIOUS INHERITANCE in the saints.

– KNOW HIS INCOMPARABLY GREAT POWER.

Enlightenment: Is what happens to a person who once lived in darkness and is brought out into the light. Like a person who spends all their time in a dark cave, they are blinded by the bright light of the sun and have to hide their eyes. So when we come to Christ we are brought from DARKNESS into the LIGHT. We see things very differently now that we know Jesus: This great HOPE to which He has called you. When you gave into Jesus and trusted Him for Salvation, you were just responding to His call. Then He filled your heart with the HOPE of Heaven. Fear has gone from your life now that you are in Jesus. Praise the LORD!

When we KNOW the HOPE: Then the way we LIVE is going to be different. We’re NOT going to be afraid in difficult situations. Hope shines in our hearts.

It’s not enough just to have a great faith and trust in Jesus or to be full of a love for the saints, because there’s so much MORE in your own spiritual inheritance. It’s already available to you. Be daring today, tap into these hidden resources at your disposal and bring Glory to your Heavenly Father. Amen!

Check The HIDDEN TREASURE: in your heart.

So my friends, Check out your Spiritual Bank Account: Have a look at it in great detail today: KNOW the Spirit of Wisdom, the Spirit of Revelation, the HOPE, the RICHES and the GREAT POWER. When we begin to tap into these Spiritual resources, God is going to be even more glorified by the way we live our lives for Him.

We’ll be more like Jesus and as we’re praying for the Evangelisation of the Nation: Many more people will see for themselves, the evidence of a transformed life. In Jesus you are being made NEW every day.

PRAY: That Christians all over the world, every Christian you know, will move onto and into an even greater understanding and knowledge of ALL that they have inherited when they trusted in Jesus Christ.

Be blessed today, overflowing with Holy Spirit, let His LOVE leak out to everyone around you. Share your HOPE in Jesus with a few people today.

Don.

Remember: I’m Praying for you too: But please PRAY for me.

I’m praying for you;

1) That the LORD will give you a wake-up-call. Every day! And you’ll want to respond.

2) That you’ll experience NOURISHMENT when you get up, read your Bible, Pray and Praise the LORD (every day).

3) That you’ll DESIRE to have times of fellowship with other brothers and sisters. Spending time together in Jesus company.

4) That you’ll GET PERSONAL REVELATION when you pray and read God’s Word.

5) That you’ll SHARE your experiences with at least FIVE other people during the week.

6) That you’ll EXPERIENCE soul satisfaction and encouragement in your life every day with Jesus.

7) That you’ll get the JOY of the LORD: He’ll put an NEW SONG in your heart. (Psalm 40:3)

8) That you’ll begin to SHINE like Moses because you’ve been in the presence of Jesus. Your GLORY GLOW.

9) That you’ll ENJOY seeking His FACE rather than His Hand. It’s so tempting to ask God just to do stuff for us, but what about seeking His FACE and His Glory, so that we can SERVE Him better instead.

10) That you’ll be able to WORSHIP in song and ENJOY extended periods of reflection throughout your days during prayer week.

 

– Pray for our Baptism Candidates: Pray that the LORD will prepare their hearts to be His people, the sheep of His pasture.

– Pray for Discipleship / Evangelism / Personal Growth of Followers of Jesus.

– Pray for Evangelisation of our Nation: That there would be a NATIONAL Revival. Holy Spirit come in POWER on our land.

– Pray for the Renewal and Fire of Holy Spirit for ALL Christians.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Give Up In Prayer

the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge

Daily Spirit & Word: 726: Don’t Give-Up On Seeking The Lord.

The Unjust Judge Gives IN to Persistence.

Good morning my friends, do you know how our Nation is the way it is today? It’s because minorities complain the most. It gets to the point that the one’s they are complaining to just cave-in and give them what they want. I’m sure they do it for good reasons, but one can’t help thinking they’re doing it just so the once complaining will go away and stop grumbling, nagging and hen-pecking . However, once they’ve gotten their way once, they’ll be encouraged and emboldened to come back and push for more.

“I hate to be a kicker,
I always long for peace,
But the wheel that does the squeaking,
Is the one that gets the grease.”

By Josh Billings: An American Humourist.

A ‘kicker’ in Josh’s day was someone who complained a lot.

The ‘wheel’ that does the ‘squeaking’ (i.e. the ones complaining the most) get what they’re asking for.

“The Wheel That Does The Squeaking Gets The Grease”

In the Bible there’s a story about a woman who wants justice, but the unjust judge ignores her please for help, however;

Luke 18:1-8 (NIV)
1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
2  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men.
3  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’
4  “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men,
5  yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!’ “
6  And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says.
7  And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
8  I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

Jesus wanted to show us Father God’s attitude towards justice, i.e. How God wants to see that those He loves will get justice, and quickly. But, do you remember how long it took for Nelson Mandela? 25 YEARS in Prison on Robin Island. In the end, his patience, persistence and fortitude won-out and South Africa is now FREE from Apartheid.

Do you remember Jacob, how he wrestled with God all night? He wouldn’t let go of the LORD until he received his blessing.

Genesis 32:22-32 (NIV)
22  That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok.
23  After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions.
24  So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
25  When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.
26  Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27  The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.
28  Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
29  Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30  So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31  The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.
32  Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

We must bear in mind what was happening with Jacob when he wrestled with God: Jacob’s name means “Deciever”, but a more literal translation of his name is “Grabber” or “Grasper”… He came out of the womb grasping his twin brother Esau’s heel. Later on he deceived his father and grabbed, grasped his brother’s birthright blessing. He was fleeing his father-in-law Leban because he’d sneaked away in the night with all his possessions. Now he was headed home to meet-up with his brother who was hell-bent on revenge and had threatened Jacob’s life. So what did Jacob do? He’d sent everything he owned, including his wife and children and all his precious possessions ahead of him to pacify his brother’s furious anger. He was left with nothing but himself. God came to him and he wrestled with the Angelic presence of the Lord. Jacob grasped, grabbed hold all night until he got his blessing. He also got a name change “One who wrestles with God”.

Has there been a time in your life when you’ve prevailed in prayer, kept going, believing, having faith, not giving up; until the Lord blessed you? There was a lady I knew who couldn’t conceive for over eight years, she’d tried everything, but one day she came forward for prayer in church. A few weeks later her mother (who I didn’t know) came running up to me in the street and shouted, “You got my daughter pregnant”… First I thought about arguing, thinking in my head she was accusing me. How foolish, she was just overjoyed, because the LORD had answered her daughter’s prayer. She didn’t just have one baby, she had twins. The Lord gave her more than she bargained for. Sometimes we don’t get our answers for a long time, because we come to God last. We try everything else, but God. My friends, when you’ve got something going on in your life that you need help with, something your striving or struggling over, come to the Lord with it first.

My friends, Jacob didn’t deserve God’s blessing.

The woman deserved the un-just judge’s justice,

We don’t deserve anything from God,

BUT: In His mercy and grace, He’ll give us what we need.

If it’s justice, as in the case of Nelson Mandela, God gives it quickly (though not our version of quickly).

If it’s seeking; God’s guidance, power, provision, protection, forgiveness, mercy or Justice, then know this my friends, God hears the prayers of those who pray in faith.

Jesus told that story of the Persistent Widow to show us how to KEEP coming to the LORD, so we wouldn’t give up on seeking God.

“The wheel that does the squeaking gets the grease.”

God’s not encouraging us to be ‘grumblers’, in fact the Bible tells us not to grumble, but He’s encouraging us to keep going, to keep coming to Him for everything we need in life.

Have and awesome weekend, keep close to the Lord Jesus, be filled afresh with His Holy Spirit and don’t give up on prayer, because your answer might just be around the corner.

God HEARS you, so keep praying in faith, believing and trusting in Him who loves you.

Don.

P.S. Remember the great old hymn: “What a Friend we have in Jesus”?

What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear,
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to Him in prayer.