Preaching True Repentance

The ingredients of true repentance

Daily Spirit & Word: 725:

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

True Repentance Is NOT Just Saying “Sorry”…

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

KNOW THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What is TRUE REPENTANCE? (SEE BELOW).

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

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

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

Don.

 

THE INGREDIENTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE:

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

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

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

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

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

Watson identified six ingredients necessary for true repentance.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

When the TV gets in the way of LIFE

seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what are we to do?

Thankfully the Bible gives us the answers:

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

1) Seek First The KINGDOM of God.

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

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

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

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

2) Seek His Righteousness:

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

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

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

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

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

The Gift Of A TV Set:

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

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

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

A Man After God’s Own Heart:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

The Atheist’s Nightmare

Atheist's Nightmare, Muslim Nightmare,

Daily Spirit & Word: 723: The Atheists’ Nightmare.

Is a Believer and Follower of Jesus, who knows the Truth and believes it enough to begin to share it.

Ephesians 4:18 (NIV) “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.”

Last Wednesday evening we met an Atheist, he was one of the most intelligent and polite men I’ve met in a very long time. We have a little intelligence test, David went through all our trick questions and the Atheist got them ALL correct. There was no way we were going to fool this man. But it brought a smile to his face and warmed his heart. He loved debating.

On Sunday evening we attended a little session on putting on the Gospel Armour: You know the song, “Each Piece Put ON With Prayer”… i.e. we’re not to mechanically or ritualistically put the armour on. Ephesians 6:10-20.

We were reminded that our greatest BATTLE is not against flesh and blood: look what our battle is against: Whenever you open your mouth for Jesus there the battle rages. Once you decide in you heart “I’m going to share Jesus with this person, in this situation, right now” Then the missiles of the enemy begin to fly… but why? It’s because,  Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) “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.”

This DARK WORLD: the rulers, authorities and powers of this dark world: These are the people empowered by SATAN: The battle is not against those people, but the SPIRIT and EVIL that’s empowering them. They don’t even know it, they are unaware of it, they are DARKENED in their understanding. Ephesians 4:18 and BLIND to their condition, 2 Corinthians 4:4.

AND: The Spiritual Forces of EVIL in the HEAVENLY REALMS:  i.e. Satan and all his demonic army.

We can have ‘nice’ debates with people, we could get into logical arguments, but in the end it’s the LIGHT of Jesus Christ they need, not to be won over by argument. I keep repeating this little phrase to myself when engaged in debate, “Win an argument and you loose a friend”… We’ve just taken time to build friendship with that man or woman (be it only for a few minutes), so why ruin that hard won friendship by winning an argument? Let him win, let her win, then move onto the Gospel. I’d much rather loose a debate and win a soul for Jesus Christ. WHY? Because they’ve been blinded by Satan. They’re darkened in their understanding (they just don’t KNOW they are in the darkness, they a also Blindly Unaware) so just give them some awesome, bright, shining light. Let them see again, we can SOFTEN any heart with Jesus POWER. And we can bring LIGHT of understanding to any soul.

Take them by the hand and lead them out of their dreadful darkness, guide them into the light, usher them into the presence of Jesus Christ. 

YBH: “Yes, but HOW?” There is POWER in Gospel Words.

How does an Ardent Atheist get faith? The same way anybody else gets faith: Faith comes by hearing God’s Word…

Romans 10:17 (NIV) “Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

The message is heard through the WORD OF CHRIST. (THE WORD OF GOD).

AND: FAITH comes by hearing that message.

Sometimes it is almost physically observable when I see a person getting the LIGHT: When sharing the good news every week, we’ll observe the moment when the LIGHT goes on in a person’s soul. Suddenly they get it! I’ve been watching the physical reactions when we go through God’s LAW: A man suddenly puts his hand over his mouth. It’s like he’s got to stop trying to justify himself. A woman’s eyes well up with tears and she just goes silent for a few moments, then declares, “So we’re all sinners, we’re all doomed”… It’s such a wonderful moment when someone is brought into the light of understanding and knowing.

SEPARATED FROM THE LIFE OF GOD.

They are not just DARKENED and BLINDED, they are SEPARATED from the life of God.

Ephesians 4:18 (NIV) “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.”

They are also SEPARATED because of the ignorance in them, due to the hardening of their hearts.

So what does a HARDENED HEART need? It needs to be SOFTENED…

  • We got some dried mushrooms the other day, to be able to use them, we had to soak them for hours in water. It’s amazing watching those mushrooms go from dried up crisps and return to the fattened shape and form again.

A hardened heart must be marinated in the WATER of The Word of God: It takes time to allow the WORD to penetrate a hard heart. Sometimes as long as five minutes 🙂

I’ve heard some people say “My husband’s heart must be like granite (Granite has unyielding firmness, it’s impervious to water)” Granite can’t be penetrated by water that’s why so many people choose granite for worktops in their kitchens. However, no human heart is so hard that it cannot be penetrated with the WORD of God. It goes past the outer surface and penetrates right to the core of the soul.

My friends, it’s not that they have hearts that are too tough or hard, but it’s US (Believers and Followers of Jesus) who don’t have enough faith in the POWER of God’s Word to do it’s WORK. Just believe in the power of God’s Word. Accept that when you are sharing Jesus, He’s already beginning to draw that soul from darkness into His marvellous light. We are never working alone, the POWER of Jesus is working right with you the moment you open your mouth to share the Good News with someone, Jesus is beginning to work on their hearts.

KNOW THE TRUTH (Jesus) AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.

It’s not just the Darkened, Blinded and Separated sinner who needs to know the TRUTH, but we Christians also need to BELIEVE and TRUST the TRUTH (Jesus). He’s with you! Do you believe and trust in that? I mean really believe it and trust it. If you begin to accept this truth, then I’m certain you are going to see many more of your friends, family, neighbours and workmates come to faith in Jesus Christ. It’s an Atheist’s nightmare when an Believer not only KNOWS the TRUTH, but BELIEVES him enough to share it.

Why is it a NIGHTMARE for them?

Because an Ardent Honest Atheist believes he knows there is NO GOD… He’s looked at all the available evidence and can’t find God. It’s not surprising to someone who knows God though, because we know they can’t see or know God for the simple reason they a BLIND and a blinded person cannot see. They are DARKENED in their understanding, because of their HARD HEARTS, so they cannot understand either. They are separated from the LIFE of God, so they are DEAD in their transgressions and sins.

Hebrews 4:12 (NIV) “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

Oh my friends, if Christians can grasp this TRUTH, they’re going to see so many souls SAVED by Jesus. Those Dehydrated Souls Need The Living Water of God’s Word.

So don’t get alarmed when you encounter an Atheist, get the compassion of Jesus and lead them into the light, let Jesus open their blinded eyes and soften their hardened hearts with the gentle word of the Saviour of the World. Like my dried mushrooms, plunge them into the WORD of God. Soak them in it and watch their understanding be expanded, watch the LIFE of God beginning to take shape and form in their WORD enlightened and softened souls. Amen!

NOTE: I was given this message by the LORD today. I believe there are many Christians who need to know the power that is in them.
So many of our brothers and sisters in Christ need the assurance and confidence to share Jesus. This world’s powers, infected by the Evil forces in the Heavenly realms, don’t want you to be sharing Jesus today. They hate it of course, that’s why a man, training to be a Social Worker, was thrown out of University because of his Christian beliefs, it seems you can’t be a Christian in Public office today in the UK. You can’t share your faith with a Muslim colleague either, a Nurse lost her job because she gave a booklet to a Muslim colleague and invited her to church. Oh my friends, the BATTLE is most definitely on, but don’t be SILENCED or feel threatened. Jesus will give you the words you need when you are dragged before the Magistrates. He will be with you encouraging you and strengthening you in the BATTLE. The souls of those in the darkness are too precious to worry about the personal consequences of leading them into the light. That’s why Jesus said, “Take up your Cross Daily and follow me”… We are to die to self and live for Him.

The Worship Song: “Just One Touch From the King”

In verse 2: I believe that worship song is prophetic of our Nation today.

“There’s a great darkness over this land
A deep darkness on the people
But a light is shining
That the dark can’t understand
The Light of the world King Jesus
Do you know do you know
Do you know do you know”

All they need is JUST ONE, just one touch from the KING, then they’ll KNOW too.
They’ll be set free from the deep darkness, blindness, separation from the life of God.
Just ONE TOUCH FROM THE KING: The Lord Jesus Christ.
His POWER is in YOU!

Be fully blessed today,
Don.
Worship Song: “Just One Touch From the KING”.

 

When Temptation Rears It’s Ugly Head.

flee temptation, run away,

Daily Spirit & Word: 721: When we give in to temptation.

What we’re saying to ourselves is; “Evil, be thou my good.” From Paradise Lost, book 4. Line 110.

Good morning my friends, what a dread-filled statement it is above; “Evil, be thou my good” yet the reality is that when we’re turning from the light towards the darkness, it’s like we are declaring to ourselves, “Evil, be thou my good”… Imagine the turmoil Judas must have been in at that last supper. He was with Jesus, with the other Disciples, eating, drinking, chatting away, but then the LORD brings the DARKNESS within Judas into the LIGHT.

John 13:18-30 (NIV)
18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfil the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’
19  “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.
20  I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
21  After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”
22  His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.
23  One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.
24  Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25  Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26  Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
27  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,
28  but no-one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.
29  Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor.
30  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

Temptation is what Judas caved into when he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ, the desire for other things, things other than the LORD Himself.

However, think about Judas and we’ll not have to look long to see ourselves. He must have followed a downward spiral, one temptation given into, then another, then another. The Bible records that Judas was a thief, he was the trusted treasurer, but he helped himself to the money given for the Lord.

JUDAS WEAKNESS:

Judas was a thief. He was in charge of the group’s money bag and sometimes stole from it. He was disloyal. Even though the other apostles deserted Jesus and Peter denied him, the degree of Judas’ betrayal was much worse, because he lead the soldiers to Jesus, then identified Jesus by kissing him. Imagine, the lips that praised the LORD, the hands that served the LORD, they are now employed in cruel betrayal. It was the LOVE of MONEY that was a root of evil within Judas.

Think how it’s possible to be close to Jesus Christ and yet in your heart be far away from Him.

  • What ‘things’ have gotten such a hold on you?
  • What ‘things’ have more light than the divine light of Christ?
  • What ‘things’ are more appealing than Jesus?
  • What ‘things’ are offering you more; satisfaction, gratification, payment or pleasure?

My friends, Christ has more, offers more, gives more, satisfies more than anything else in all creation.

Once there was a group of teenagers who started heckling us when out preaching the Gospel in St Budeaux Square in Plymouth. One, a very big chappie, with dark sunglasses on his face, walkman-headphones on his head, shouted, “I take drugs over Jesus any day”… Funny, I’ve never forgotten those words uttered over 27 years ago. “I’ll take drugs over Jesus any day”… He was obviously still in the darkness or he would never had said that. But would he? Judas was with Jesus when He performed miracles. Judas witnessed Jesus healing, blessing, teaching… Is it possible to be so close to Jesus and yet be a devil?

John 6:67-71 (NIV)
67  “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70  Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”
71  (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

YOU DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE ME TOO: DO YOU?

What a Question to ask! Would we ever choose to leave Jesus? How can we leave Jesus? Well, it begins with just a thought, “One bite won’t hurt”… “One little taste” … “Just once”… “Only for a little while” You can almost hear Satan whispering in your ears, “God didn’t mean you”.

No wonder the Scriptures, God’s Word, scream out to us: “Take CAPTIVE every thought”… “Take captive EVERY thought” “Take captive every THOUGHT”… 2 Corinthians 10:5.

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.

It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE:

Judas fulfilled Scripture prophesy, that one would betray the Christ, but Judas, like us, was FREE to choose, he choose foolishly, yet without a Judas, Jesus would have been alive, we’d all still be in our sins, and we’d have to face an SIN angry God on Judgement day. Why is God ANGRY: Because God hates sin. So Judas was a part of God’s plan of Salvation. However, though Jesus knew all about Judas, though it must have grieved him, though it obviously hurt him, He allowed Judas the freedom to choose. Amazing to think; so close to Jesus Christ yet so far away.

The hand that dipped the bread and handed it to Judas would soon be pierced with nails.

That’s the PAIN we cause the Christ when we give in to temptation.

It’s like we’re saying “Evil, be thou my good”… We’re choosing something God has forbidden. We’re choosing DARKNESS rather than Walking in the LIGHT.

YIELD NOT TO TEMPTATION

I love the old blues hymn sung by Al Green “Yield not to temptation”. To be honest, I’ve sang that song so many times when temptation has reared it’s ugly head.

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each vict’ry will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain:
Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s name hold in rev’rence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown,
Through faith we will conquer, though often cast down;
He who is our Saviour, our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

When faced with TEMPTATION: Run Away: Escape.

2 Timothy 2:19-26 (NIV)
19  Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20  In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.
21  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22  Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue (RUN AFTER) righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23  Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
24  And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
25  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26  and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Look to Jesus Christ. Fix your eyes on Jesus. “Flee the evil desires”

i.e. LOOK AWAY.

Run away, flee, fly, scarper, take to one’s heels, cut and run, escape, leg it, hightail it, head for the hills, avoid, shun, don’t look, think about Jesus, a favourite hymn, open the bible, call a Christian friend, get a brother or sister to pray for you, be honest, be open, don’t give the devil a foothold.

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS… 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Moses and all the others), 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.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Conclusion:

Say out loud “Jesus, be my good” … “Jesus, be my God” … “Jesus IS my God in whom I will trust”…

Think about the Sacrifice: His hands that touched in healing, giving bread, giving life to a dead girl, sight to a blind man, now pierced by nails.

Think about the LOVE of God: “For God so loved the world (YOU), that He gave His ONE and ONLY Son to die upon a Cross, so that you could be forgiven, cleansed, renewed, filled with the Holy Spirit, given the gift of eternal life, filled with God’s love, empowered by Holy Spirit, gifted to serve, anointed and blessed with the powerful presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, who promised, “I’m with you, even to the end of the age”… Jesus is with you right now, turn to Him, who is the LIGHT, shun the DARKNESS and it will flee away.

I am confident that you will overcome every temptation. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 (Commit it to your memory banks).

Have an Awesome Saturday.

Don.

LIKE & FOLLOW ON Facebook: St Luke’s Church Facebook.

Click here to take you to Don’s Facebook PAGE…

 

How To SAVE The World

Good Works and Gospel Proclamation

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

Let Your Light Shine & Proclaim The Gospel.

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

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

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

YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD:

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

YBH: Yes but HOW? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good Works Accompanied By Good News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

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

That HOW is so important:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Similar Topics:

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

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

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

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

 

 

The Power of Jesus to Heal

Just ONE Touch from the King changes everything

Daily Spirit & Word: 717: The Power Of Jesus Word.

There is POWER in Jesus to Heal

We’ve been following through Mark’s Gospel and we’re now on Chapter 5. The last teaching was about Jesus Power and Authority over Satan and The Demonic, today we observe Jesus healing and raising a little girl from the dead.

The Two Twelves: The Two 12s…
The Woman who has been bleeding for 12 years.
The Little Girl was 12 years old when she died.

Mark 5:21-43 (NIV)
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake.
22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ “
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.
33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Jairus Get’s Bad News:
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.
39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”
40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.
41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

12 Years Bleeding: “Just One Touch and I will be healed”.

My friends, that’s real FAITH.

Immediately” Jesus realised POWER had gone out from Him.
That touch of faith brought the POWER of HEAVEN.
My friends, when we approach God with FAITH: The Power of Heaven is OPEN…
FAITH: is believing without doubting. It’s a GIFT from God, so that no one can boast. All faith is a Gift from God.

But remember, our FAITH in what God can and will do will grow the more that we know that we can TRUST Him.
It’s a kind of faith that believes without doubting. Do you have that kind of faith?

Let me illustrate: You already have that kind of faith.

A Chair: How do you know that the SEAT you’re sitting on can hold your weight?

When you came in here today, you didn’t stop to check the chair out, to see if it was wobbly or anything, you just sat right down on it.
If you were a stranger walking into this building today, how would you know you could sit down and the chairs would support your weight?
That’s right, you can see other people sitting down. Lots of them, and they are not falling to the floor with everyone laughing at them.

Also Past Experience of sitting in chairs, they’re pretty dependable aren’t they.

In the same way that you can see others have trusted their chairs and not fallen to the floor, you can also see that in this place, some of the people have put their faith in Jesus Christ. No matter what happens in their lives, they don’t fall down, their faith remains, they keep trusting in Jesus, but why? Why do they keep trusting in Jesus, even when life get tough? It’s because they know Jesus, long years of reaching out and touching the Saviour in faith, have given them the assurance that He’s in complete control and knows what He’s doing.

So if you can see that others have had FAITH in their seats, can you see how impressive it is that others have that same kind of FAITH in Jesus. They have sat in those seats many times, so when they walk in to church they don’t even think about it.

My friends, this Woman who’d been bleeding for 12 Long Years: Must have heard about Jesus’ Miracles and as He passed by in the Crowd that day, she thought to herself, as the Scriptures tell us, “If I just touch the hem of His garments, I will be healed”…

What amazing reasoning: “If this Jesus can heal people of all kinds of diseases and deliver them from Demons, then a little issue of bleeding for 12 years will be nothing for this Miracle worker, all I need to do is reach out and touch Him”.

More about that reaching out to Jesus in a minute, but look what happened next;

NEXT: Jesus Brings LIFE back into a 12 year old dead girl.

The Girls Father: first a word about Jairus.
What encouragement Jesus gave Jairus.
He was a Synagogue Ruler… The Synagogue was a place of worship for Jews. Jairus was a very important man in society.
Mark 5:22-23 “Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.””

“Jairus FELL AT HIS FEET”: Here was a Ruler falling at Jesus feet and begging Him… My friends, if you want Jesus to do something for you, something you are desperate for the King of Kings to do for you, have you gotten to the point of falling to your knees and pleading with Jesus? Sometimes, we don’t get answers to our prayers UNTIL we’ve gotten to our knees in prayer before God.
It’s not the act of kneeling, it the act of recognition of who Jesus is. Jairus knew only that Jesus was a Miracle worker and teacher. We know that Jesus was God on Earth, that He died because of His love for us, so that we could be forgiven and cleansed of all sin. When we kneel before Jesus today, we’re kneeling before God.

KNEELING: can be just a habit: many people kneel in prayer because that’s what they’ve been taught to do.

But there’s another kind of KNEELING: It’s A Humbling yourself before God. It’s recognising that you don’t deserve anything from Him and yet still coming to Him. Pleading for His grace, mercy, kindness… He loves our FAITH… He loves our TRUST… What’s stopping us KNEELING before Jesus?

PEOPLE KNEEL BEFORE THE QUEEN:
When the New Years Honours come around, people kneel before the Queen to be Knighted. They bow the knee in recognition of her Majesty and Authority. She wears a Crown to symbolise her Majestic Authority over her subjects. When she knights someone she says, “Arise Sir Knight”…
Jesus is the KING of Kings and Queens.
Our Queen has famously said, “I bow the knee to only one other KING and that’s KING Jesus Christ”… The Queen bows to Jesus. Jairus, the Ruler of the Synagogue was in good company… But have we actually BOWED before Jesus?

JUST ONE TOUCH OF THE KING:

The Queen Touches with her sword and says “Arise”… But the KING, our LORD Jesus touches and we cannot help but rise to new heights.

Imagine what frustration Jairus must have felt, when his little girl was at home dying, Jesus stopping along the way to ask, “Who touched Me?”… He would have been thinking to himself, “Oh please Master, come as quick as you can or it will be too late”…
What did Jairus ask Jesus to do for him? “PUT YOUR HANDS ON HER”
Jairus knew there was POWER in the touch of Jesus The Miracle Maker. “Put your hand on her so that she will be healed and live”
Just ONE TOUCH of the KING… Changes everything… (I love that song, because it speaks of a TRUTH about my King Jesus).

  • If it’s us reaching out to Jesus in FAITH: Like the Woman bleeding for 12 years. Changed her life forever. POWER of Heaven Opens: By Faith.
    If it’s up Jesus reaching out to us in His MERCY: Like the little girl’s father, Changed her life forever and her family’s life forever. POWER of Heaven Opens: By Faith.

Just ONE TOUCH of the KING: Changes EVERYTHING.

BUT THEY LAUGHED AT HIM:

Notice the CROWD that didn’t believe.

  • Like they laughed at Noah, when He built the ARK of God.
  • Like Sara laughed when the LORD said she would have a baby when she was nearly 100 years old.

My friends, if someone came to you and said, “I’m building an Ark because God is sending a flood to destroy the Earth” you’d probably laugh too.
If someone came to your funeral and said, “Put the boy down, I’m going to bring him back to life” You’d probably laugh too.
If someone came into a hospital today, when the doctors has said, “He’s DEAD” and he said, “He Going to LIVE” those Doctors would probably laugh too.
The CROWD Laughed at Jesus. It’s a laugh of incredulity. It’s a laugh of unbelief. They reason, “We know she’s dead”…

What did Jesus do when they laughed at Him?

That’s right, He put them out of the room. (Mark 5:40).

My friends, it’s a DANGEROUS thing to Laugh at God.
Laughing is Doubting when there’s EVIDENCE that it’s possible.
That kind of laughter is an insult to God.
Jesus put them out of the room.

  • God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, when they doubted God and believed the Devil.
  • God put Abraham’s wife Sara out for a while, when she laughed, when told in her old age she’d have a baby.
  • God put Zechariah, John the Baptist’s Dad out for a while when he laughed, when in their old age he and Sarah would have a baby; He was struck dumb until he wrote what the Angel told him, “His name shall be John”.

Unbelief (Stubborn Doubt) means exclusion from the things of God.
“He put them all out”… For laughing. For their unbelief.
My friends, if you are LAUGHING at the possibilities of what God can do today, be aware that it’s going to be very costly indeed. You might just miss the best Miracles you’ll ever witness in your life; only the parents and Jesus’ disciples; Peter, James and John, observed Jesus touching the little girl and her coming back to life.

Remember what Jesus said to Thomas: “Stop DOUBTING and BELIEVE”…. “It’s ME”….
Jesus response to Thomas’ faith once he’d seen Him: John 20:29 (NIV) “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””

Jairus trusted Jesus, instead of laughing, Jairus was full of hope and expectation and faith, he was with Jesus and His disciples in the room when Jesus touched the little girl and LIFE came back into her dead body. That touch of Jesus would change Jairus’ life forever.

After giving the girl back her life Jesus said, “Give her something to eat”…

He didn’t just give back her life, Jesus took care of her hunger too. That’s how much Jesus cares for that little girl my friends.

Do you know, that’s how much Jesus cares for you too. When you get the NEW LIFE Jesus wants to feed you with Manna from Heaven, The Word of God.

Conclusion:

  • With Just a WORD the 12 year old girl received life.
    With Just a WORD from God, the Universe was formed.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, Demons flew out of a man.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, The Storm was stilled.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, The Crippled man’s hand was restored.
    With Just a WORD from God: Mankind came into this world.
    With Jesus WORD Lazarus came out of the grave.

There is POWER in the WORD of God.

  • With Just a TOUCH: Moses parted the Red Sea.
    With Just a TOUCH: Water poured from a Rock.
    With Just a TOUCH: Jesus opened a Blind Man’s Eyes.
    With Just a TOUCH: Jesus opened a DEAF Man’s Ears.

There is POWER in the TOUCH of the SAVIOUR.

My friends, Do you believe? Do you have faith? Do you TRUST Jesus can do all that He promised He can do?
He will come into your life: If you turn in faith and trust in His death upon the Cross for your sins. When you repent and put your FAITH in Him, He’ll do it. Do you believe that Jesus will come into your life? To give you NEW LIFE… Once you get NEW LIFE, you’ll also get a NEW HUNGER (New Desires) for the WORD of God. NEW DESIRES to live God’s way: His righteous life.

Just like you’ve seen others sitting in these chairs and believe they can hold your weight. You have FAITH in your seat.
So you can believe that Jesus will DO ALL He’s Promised: He’ll come into your LIFE today; Give you NEW LIFE, NEW HUNGER, NEW JOY… He may also give you FAITH to believe that He can do anything…

He’ll not only give you NEW LIFE, but a NEW HUNGER too.
How’s your hunger for God’s Word? It’s an indication of your place in God’s Family.
“Like babes in Christ, crave the pure milk of the word of God”…

DILLY & DALLY:
DELAY: When I was 12 Years Old. My mother ran a bath for me. She shouted out to me, “Donald, your bath is ready, the water is warm, come and get your bath before the water gets cold”… I dillied and dallied and by the time I got into that bath, the water was cold.
DON’T Dilly and Don’t Dally, the WATER of FAITH is warm today. Jump in and take the plunge and trust in Jesus.
DON’T Be Like the CROWD who LAUGHED: Jesus coming into your life right now might seem impossible, more than you can possibly dream, but Jesus is real, His promise is real, He’ll come if you just; Believe, Turn from Sin, Accept His Sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross for your sins and Receive Him by Faith… YES! You can do it today!…

What if you’ve done that already? You’ve TRUSTED Jesus.
Have you seen the new James Bond Movie? “Spectre”… James Bond is a Special Secret Agent Number 007.. He’s been selected and trained to infiltrate the enemy, wherever the enemy may be found. My friends, God has chosen you to be His Agents (Ambassadors) in this world. You are like His secret special agents; your number is 777… 🙂

You might still be laughing like the CROWD: What about the Plans God has for you? Have you laughed inside yourself, thinking I couldn’t do that, I don’t have the strength, the power or the personality… What’s God been calling you to do for Him, but you’ve laughed or doubted? Sara (Abraham’s wife got the shock of her life when she listened in on the conversation) an old lady having a baby; impossible. My friends, God might be calling you to do something for Him that at this moment in time might seem beyond your capacity, your ability, your power, but believe Him, recognise His POWER to do all things, even with you. He’s done it before and He can do it again through your life. Is Jesus calling you to use your GIFTS in His Service, in the Service of the Kingdom? Remember the weaklings in the Bible that God chose for great things; Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, they all thought they were not upto the task or calling, but God transformed them all.

So my friends, I’m going to ASK YOU: Will you TRUST Jesus Christ: The POWER of His Word, The POWER of His Touch?
Believe me and everyone else here today, who’ll tell you, “It’s TRUE: Jesus Christ has done it for me and He’ll do it for you too”.
Take the plunge, jump in whilst the water is warm and the time is right.
Reach out in Faith and FEEL the POWER of God coming into your life again today.

Don.

NOTE: When delivering this sermon at an All Age Service yesterday, I split it into two: The Woman with the Issue and then the 12 Year old dead girl.

I used another illustration to show the little bit of faith we might have and it’s power.
A glass of water held over someone’s head, up-side-down… The water didn’t come out because a flimsy piece of paper stopped it. The paper is thin, sometimes our faith appears weak, but it has a might force behind it.
When we use our faith, exercise the little faith that we have, Heaven’s Power is Available. Amen!

You ARE The Church

OIKOS is the people you know

Daily Spirit & Word: 716: An Eye Opener Day Off.

“Go AND Tell”

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

Yesterday, on my day off, I attended an Seminar on Equipping Church Members for their Mission.

Eye Opener No 1: Christians Really ARE the Church.

What struck me was what I already knew, but hadn’t fully grasped.

Let me explain: I’ve known ever since I became a Christian and sincerely began following the Lord Jesus that a Church is NOT a building, but the people of Jesus. You know that too right? Every single Christian is a part of the body of Christ and Jesus is the Head. Now I knew that, but here’s what got me yesterday, I’ve been teaching people they are the church, but still treating our buildings as a ‘Church’ to bring people to. I’ve been telling our folks to invite people to church in order for them to be saved, not realising that I’d inadvertently become the CORK in the Neck of the Bottle of God’s Wine of the Kingdom. I was giving my Congregation an excuse not to share the good news with folks without even realising it. It was like I was saying to them, “OK, you don’t like evangelism or talking about Jesus, so why don’t you bring your friends to church so I can talk to them for you”… Sounds great right, but it’s NOT what Jesus wants or expects.

My friends, we were NEVER called to bring people into a Church building so that the Minister or Pastor or Evangelist could save them for us. Our mission from Jesus was always, always, always to bring people to Him, then they will be a part of the church and want to come to worship with you, i.e. once they are part the people belonging to Jesus Christ, then you’ll have to fight to keep them from coming to worship. Because they’ll have received the Holy Spirit and He’s not going to leave a Christian out in the wilderness for very long. The Holy Spirit will drive them into fellowship, worship, Bible study and prayer and move them to share their faith in Christ with others.

So for years, hundreds of years, the Church has been getting it all wrong. We’ve been inviting people to church, they come and then they become members of the church family, they go through all the hoops; baptism, communion, confirmation etc… but do they actually come to Jesus Christ and get incorporated into His body? Well my friends, a harsh reality-check is in order. You see, the more people we interview on the streets of West Norwood in London as we go out weekly sharing the Gospel, when we meet people who attend church regularly, the ones who say they are “Committed Christians”, guess what they don’t know? They don’t know what it means to be a follower of Jesus or how to get SAVED by Him. I can tell you I’m still shocked by how many of these GOOD Church attending folks don’t KNOW Jesus or the Gospel. Now I’m not judging them, but it’s only through one-to-one talking about the Gospel with people who SAY that they are committed Christians we’ve come to realise that most of them just don’t know what it means to be saved. At best they’ll say “I hope to get to heaven if I’m good enough”… Even folks who attend Pentecostal, Evangelical and Charismatic churches, these are the ones that you’d expect would know, right? But they just don’t.

What’s Been Happening?

My friends, we’ve been inviting people to come to church, they’ve come, but instead of actually coming to Jesus Christ, they’ve become members of our church club, they’ve emulated the sheep, copies what the real sheep of Jesus do, but they haven’t come to Jesus Christ and been born again of His Spirit. Some have wonderful worship experiences, sense the Holy Spirit, feel the Spirit, but don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord or Saviour for themselves. They have no assurance of their own salvation. They know all about Jesus, they know the language of Zion, i.e. all the terminology of the church, but they’ve yet to fully entrust their lives to Him.

Eye Opener Number 2: You Are ALREADY bringing them to Church.

We’ve been telling people to invite people to come to the church building, and many have faithfully done so.

But Jesus didn’t tell us to do that, He told the Church to go to the people, share the Gospel (Good News), get them saved, then begin to Disciple them into the Christian way of life. We’re doing it the wrong way around for hundreds of years. Thankfully many have been ‘saved’ in the process, but just think of the potential if we were to do it the way Jesus wants us to?

Here’s what got me; EVERY CHRISTIAN is already taking people to Church. How? Because they, themselves, are the church. Whenever you meet another person who doesn’t yet know Jesus as Lord and Saviour, you’ve just taken the church to them.  When they are with you, in your presence, (if you are a Christian) then they are in church. That’s AWESOME! Think for a moment about that, how many non-Christians are in your presence every single day? At the bus stop, in the shopping queue, in the Cafe, in the restaurant, at school, college, work? Well my friends, they’ve just been to Church when they’ve been with you in those places: You are Church.

Eye Opener Number 3: Overcoming Fear of NOT Being A Credible Witness:

Because we ARE the Church, we’d better make sure that we’re being a credible witness always. Now that’s really hard, but because our NON-Christian friends are in Church when they are with us, the Church is a Holy Place right? You are holy because you are the Temple of the Holy Spirit who lives in you. So we’d better up our game, smarten up our witness, live like Jesus lived. In the New Testament, God’s Word tells followers of Jesus Christ, “Be HOLY for I AM Holy”…

Reality Check: One of the Number 1 Excuses for not inviting people to Jesus or to come to church with you: “They’ll see my weaknesses and know I’m not living as I should”… I was really surprised by this one, but it makes sense. We’re not inviting people to Jesus or to Church because we’re not living the Christian life we’re supposed to be living. You don’t want them to know what a genuine Christian is supposed to look like. You’ll be exposed as a fraud or a failure or an hypocrite or a weakling Christian. That’s understandable right? But …

But your non-Christian friends are WATCHING your life anyway, they’re looking to see if what you say you believe, you actually put into practice in this world. How’s your Christian living? Reality Check again: My friends, if they know you profess to be a ‘Christian’ and your not following as you should, they already KNOW that.

Evey Opener Number 4: Who Actually Brings People To Jesus?

You may not be aware of this, but 95% of people come to a genuine faith in Jesus because of; weak Christians who are not following as they should, because of dumb Christians who don’t know as much about the Bible as they should or want to, because of people who are not ministers or evangelists or gifted in evangelism. 95% of you came to Jesus that way. It wasn’t the Pastor who led them or you to Jesus, it was the average failing follower of Jesus just like you who did.

  • Most people don’t respond to the Gospel the first them they hear it.
  • Most people don’t come to church the first time they’re invited, get over it.
  • Most people are just as stubborn and foolish as you were at first.
  • Most people don’t want to be ‘religious’, they’ve not got time for that. Neither have you.

We all want to win thousands of people to Jesus don’t we?

Well if we’re going to do it, then we’d better be sure that when we’ve taken them to Church (i.e. when we’re with them in the world), that we’re living the Christian life as best we can. However, we need to realise that God is much bigger than even our weakest attempts at following Him. He’ll use you because He’s IN YOU.

My friends, YOU are the church of Jesus Christ wherever you are. No matter where you are, then you are on Mission. Because Jesus said, “You are the Light of the world”… “You are the Salt of the Earth”… Let’s be the salt and light He wants us to be when we’re with the people Jesus brings across the pathway of our lives. He is going to use you to bring people to Himself anyway, but let’s enhance the prospect of many more actually coming to Him.

“Church isn’t a place that people can go to, it is a PEOPLE they already KNOW”

Conclusion:

“It’s a New Dawn, It’s a New Day, It’s a New Life and I’m feeling good”…

Church is not a place that people could go to, it’s a PEOPLE that non-Christians already KNOW.

They know you, that you are a Christian, they love you still, even with all your weaknesses and failures, Jesus loves them too.

Now think of all your; friends, family, neighbours, workmates, fellow travellers you see every day, the ones who KNOW that you are or profess to be a Christian. These people are ones who KNOW that you LOVE Jesus: These are the people that God has brought into your life to lead them to Jesus. Now, even though we’re weak, foolish and don’t follow as we should, He’s going to be using you to lead them to Himself.

Remember what Jesus said to the man who was possessed by a Legion of Demons? Mark 5:19 “Go back to your family and tell them what God has done for you, how He has had mercy upon you”

The original Greek didn’t say “FAMILY” it’s a strange word: OIKOS: It lieterally means all the people who know you very well indeed. It’s those in your circle of life who know you best. The ones who’ll say, “I know that ________________ (insert your name) is a Christian”… These are the people who are your very own OIKOS.

My friends, you can do that too with all those people you know. Just like the man delivered from demons. Go back to your own OIKOS, the people who know you well. You can tell them all that Jesus has done for you (Your Testimony)… You can tell them HOW God has had mercy upon you, by forgiving you for all your sins and setting you free. You can share how you know you don’t follow Jesus as you know you should, but that you still love Him anyway, because of all the mercy, grace and faith you receive from Him.

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

My friends, go back to your OIKOS and share with them what Jesus has done for you. You will be His witnesses today… Salt and Light.

But before you Go and Tell your OIKOS and invite them to come to Jesus. It’s very important that you PRAY for them first. Bring them to Jesus in prayer first. Let Him open up their hard hearts. Let the Holy Spirit go to work on their minds… Let God take captive their thought-life and set them on the road to Salvation. Believe that Jesus loves them even more than you do, then you go to them and share Jesus.

In the lead-up to Pentecost we, along with everyone in the Church of England, have been called to a week of prayer for the evangelisation of the Nation. During that week we’re going to see how it’s possible to be WEAK Christians and still lead our own OIKOS to Jesus Christ.

Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends, I’m really looking forward to gathering with my OIKOS again.

Don.

 

You were made to last forever, eternity.

God doesn't believe in Athiests, Eternity in your heart, life after death,

Daily Spirit & Word. 715: Immortality. Eternity.

God Made YOU to Last Forever.

Why did God send a flood to destroy all human beings on the Earth?

“If you were to destroy the belief in immortality in mankind, not only love but every living force on which the continuation of all life in the world depended, would dry up at once.” Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Good morning my friends, I’ve been thinking. Tonight we’re going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets and one of the most common beliefs today is; “This life is all there is”… You know something, I think good old Fyodor has a point. Many people today will proudly proclaim, “I don’t believe in life after death or Heaven or Hell”… They think this life is all there is, there’s nothing after death, you just cease to exist.

However, we can quite clearly see that those who do believe such things, get depressed, commit suicide, have no hope and give up on life. Why? Because if there is no afterlife, then there’s no real point to continuing your existence upon this earth. Love and life itself is just some kind of illusion.

Thankfully it is quite easy to correct this false and foolish thinking.

Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 (NIV)
9  What does the worker gain from his toil?
10  I have seen the burden God has laid on men.
11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
12  I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.
13  That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.

God “has set eternity in the hearts of men”: That means everyone knows deep-down in the core of their being that this life is not all there is. We may deny this eternal truth, we may pretend, we may protest, we can argue, but the fact remains that God has Created mankind with a deep knowledge that ETERNITY, life after death, the soul goes on forever.

However, there are good reasons for denying the immortality of the soul. Because if we don’t believe in afterlife then we can just live as we please now, there’s no one or nothing to whom we must give an account of the way we live, and that’s what we’re seeing in the world today. If there is no afterlife, then this life is all that counts and you’ve got to enjoy it as much as possible. People call this kind of thinking “Enlightened” or “The enlightenment”, but in reality is a darkening, a drawing deeper and deeper into the deepest darkness. Without God there is only darkness and oblivion. When people do what they want, they’ll throw off all moral restraints. Not only that, but they want and expect everybody else to do the same as well.

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.

My friends, this kind of thinking is not new or enlightened: People have been doing this since the time of Creation, but when they did, they brought swift judgement from Heaven upon their heads. This kind of thinking and way of living is what brought the first flood upon the Earth.

Genesis 6:5-6 (NIV)
5  The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. 6  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

Genesis 6:5-8 (NJB)
5  Yahweh saw that human wickedness was great on earth and that human hearts contrived nothing but wicked schemes all day long.
6  Yahweh regretted having made human beings on earth and was grieved at heart.
7  And Yahweh said, ‘I shall rid the surface of the earth of the human beings whom I created—human and animal, the creeping things and the birds of heaven—for I regret having made them.’
8  But Noah won Yahweh’s favour.

God’s heart was “filled with pain”, He was “grieved at heart”. It hurts God’s feelings when those He created deny Him or their high calling. When we live like we want and pretend there’s no one to whom we must give an account. That’s why the Lord brought the flood upon the Earth and it’s why He’s going to eventually destroy His Creation and start all over again (one day).

You see my friends, God does not believe in Atheists, He knows they are simply living in denial.

Dictionary Meaning of “Immortality”:

  • 1) The quality or state of being immortal.
  • 2) Perpetual life after death.

Synonyms: Afterlife, Hereafter, Permanence, Permanency,

Antonyms: Mortality (Mortal).

You were made to last forever.
But like those batteries that eventually loose their power, so we too will one day, run out of life. But that’s not the END, your eternal soul will live on and on for all eternity. If you were to die tonight, where would you be spending that Eternity?

Though mankind is not now immortal, because of Adam and Eve’s decision to disobey God’s Command, we’re all infected with the same sin disease and cannot live forever, which was God’s original intent for human beings. However, there is part of our human nature that will live forever and that is our Soul, it goes on beyond the grave. Though our flesh and bones will die and decay, the soul is the part of us that lives forever.

We need to make everyone aware of the fact that they are going to have to face God after they die.

Hebrews 9:27 (NIV) “Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement, …”

“After That” i.e. After death, we come face-to-face with the Living God. He’s going to bring out our records: What we’ve done and what we’ve thought and Judge us.

God sees our inmost thoughts: (Psalm 139)

Psalm 139:1-16 (NIV) For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
1  O LORD, you have searched me and you know me.
2  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4  Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD.
5  You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
6  Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
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.
13  For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15  My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16  your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, there were areas in Cities all over the UK you could go and watch them as they happened on BIG Screens. In shopping areas and town squares town Councils had erected huge screens. Imagine having your life showing on a screen like that for everyone to see. But what could be worse than that? Can you imagine what it would be like to have your thought-life on display for everyone to see, right now? Embarrassing or what? Your thoughts about people on display for everyone to know what you’ve been thinking about them. Well one day it will be, unless you repent and have your records washed / erased away.

When you repent and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour: All your sins are washed away. You are given a brand new start in life. This is why it’s so good to come to Jesus. You can actually feel clean on the inside when Jesus washes your sins away. It’s as if you’ve never sinned. But from the moment you are washed clean, Jesus wants you to live a New Life in His Spirit. A holy life is possible when you come to Jesus every day and received the fullness of the Holy Spirit. We need Jesus every day.

Praise the Lord for the Eternity He’s planted within your heart.

When we compare our life to eternity we can see why the Lord has given us His Word: The Word “BIBLE” = Basic, Instruction, Before, Leaving, Earth… There is life after death, but what kind of life can we expect? With Jesus as our Lord NOW, we’re promised wonders we couldn’t even dream about.

I’ll finish off today with one of the most wonderful promises in God’s Word:

 “However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NIV)

Have a wonderful day with the Lord Jesus,

Don.

P.S. If you are free tonight and around West Norwood in London, you are welcome to come and join us as we go out to share the Gospel with those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord. We’re meeting at 5.00pm at St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. If you can’t come, please commit to praying for us and for those whom we meet, that they’ll come to know Jesus as Lord. Amen!

Ecclesiastes 3:11  He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

ETERNITY

Jesus’ Trial Gives Hope When Terrorists Murder

Jesus words of truth sustain when terrorists strike

Daily Spirit & Word: 713:

Jesus Trial Gives Hope When Terrorists Murder.

Who Are You Going To Turn To When Tragedy Strikes?

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

But just who is this Jesus?

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

Jesus’ Trial Testimony :

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

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

1) The Person of Jesus Christ.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what TRUTH did Jesus Testify about?

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

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

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

3) The People of Jesus Christ:

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

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

Keep sharing the Word of Truth.

Keep trusting in the Words of Truth from Jesus.

Bear witness by Trusting Him afresh today.

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

Don.

 

Jesus Christ Is Alive Today

Why are you looking for the living among the dead, He is not here, He is risen

Daily Spirit & Word: 712: Happy Resurrection Sunday

The Angel said to the Crowd of Ladies who went to the Tomb of Jesus, “Why do you look for the living among the dead, He is not here; He has risen”

I love that song / hymn of praise “Jesus Christ is alive today, I know, I know it’s true” But how can we KNOW for sure? You need to meet the Risen Saviour.

On this Resurrection Sunday, I want to say, “Happy Easter: i.e. I want all of you to have an enjoyable holiday time with friends, family, children with Easter Eggs and a lovely Easter Sunday Dinner etc, but I’m looking for another word, other than Easter, because it’s not Easter we Christians are celebrating, but the Resurrected LIFE of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. So I’m going to say, “Happy Resurrection Sunday” instead.

Let’s share that with Each other NOW: Say to your friends and family members, “Happy Resurrection Sunday”… Let the world KNOW we’re really celebrating the fact the Jesus Christ has risen from the dead.

GREETING ON Resurrection Sunday:

The Traditional Greeting on Resurrection Sunday is: “Christ is Risen”, and the crowds respond with, “He has Risen indeed, Alleluia”.

THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NIV)
1
 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
2  By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5  and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
6  After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
7  Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
8  and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

He is not here, he has risen
Why are you looking for the living among the dead?

1) Getting Ready For Resurrection Sunday:

Before we came to church today, we washed our faces (I hope 🙂 ). We did this to get ready to meet and greet one another. We did it to come before Jesus in worship. However, the Lord Jesus wants us to get ready in another way, to get ready for Resurrection Sunday.

Luke 23:50-56, 24:1-12 (NIV) Women Get Spices and Perfume Ready.
50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,
51  who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.
52  Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.
53  Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no-one had yet been laid.
54  It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
55  The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.
56  Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

Those women didn’t know that Jesus was alive, they thought they were going to anoint a dead body with spices and perfumes, but what a shock and wonderful surprise they were about to get.

We too can get ourselves ready for Resurrection Sunday: By coming to Jesus and being forgiven and purified from all our sins.

Jesus died upon that Cross so that we can be forgiven: Let’s make sure we’re smelling good for Jesus today. Confess any known sin in your life right now. Take time to do this: Perfumed and Perfect in Christ: Forgiven and Cleansed from all sin. His blood purifies us from ALL SIN.

 

2) Getting Revelation On Resurrection Sunday: Bible Reading.

Easter Eggs: Shape of a Stone: The Stone The Angels Rolled Away.

Luke 24:1-12 (NIV) Revelation For Resurrection Sunday.
1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb.
2  They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3  but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.
4  While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them.
5  In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6  He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7  ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ “
8  Then they remembered his words.
9  When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others.
10  It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles.
11  But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense.
12  Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Did you get your revelation today? I got mine, because I didn’t realise that there were so many women at the tomb that day. I’ve been reading these same passages for over 30 years now, I’ve never noticed it was more than THREE… There was a crowd of ladies, we don’t know how many, but more than three.

I got another revelation: In every encounter with the Resurrected Christ there’s: Revelation (He’s not dead or they meet him, the see him, they can touch him, he eats with them. Then Jesus or the Angels instruct those to whom revelation is given. Then they are commissioned: Go and Tell… WOWzer! That’s the same for you and me.

3) Getting Your Commission On Resurrection Sunday. (GO).

In a few moments I’m going to say “Go” You’ll go and find some Easter Eggs hidden in the Church… But I want to say a bit more about How The Lord Commissioned Us: But I want you to see: That at each encounter with Jesus Resurrection: There’s Revelation, Physical Proof, Explanation / Instruction from the Scriptures and Commission.

After the Road To Emmaus: Luke 24:13-35. Jesus shows up again.

Luke 24:36-49 (NIV) Jesus Appeared, Showed hands and feet, ate, explained the Scriptures, commissioned and blessed.
36  While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37  They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.
38  He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?
39  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
40  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
41  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
42  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43  and he took it and ate it in their presence.
44  He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” (The History, Writings and Poetry of Scripture Reveal Christ).
45  Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
46  He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,
47  and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things. 49  I am going to send you what my Father has promised (The Holy Spirit); but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

What JOY!
What Amazement!

Imagine seeing your beloved Messiah again after He died upon the Cross: Alive? After the beating, the betrayal, the brutality; ALIVE…

NOTICE: At each of the Resurrection Appearances in Luke’s Gospel: there is first Revelation, then Explanation, then Commission.

My friends, when you Come to Faith in Jesus: i.e. You know Him, that He is ALIVE.

Then you get to know more about Him from the Bible, the Scriptures.

Then you get to Go for Him, to tell the world: Beginning in your family, neighbourhood, area, country, world.

Go and be His Witnesses: Tell about the Resurrected Lord, The Crucified Lord, The Ascended Lord, The Power of the Lord through His Holy Spirit. You go and you tell… For when you tell FAITH COMES to those who’s hearts have been prepared by the Holy Spirit. (Rom 10:17)

My friends, we who believe in The Resurrected Living Lord Jesus Christ have been truly blessed; we have received;

  • Revelation: We KNOW Jesus is Alive. We can say, “He’s my Lord”.
  • Explanation: Instruction in the Scriptures / Bible about Jesus and God’s Word / Commands. (Discipleship).
  • Empowerment: New Birth from the Holy Spirit and New Life and New Power (Gifts and presence of Holy Spirit).
  • Commission: Go and tell… Go with Jesus (He’s with you when you go in His Name)… Be obedient Go and Tell… When was the last time you share the Gospel with someone about Jesus?
  • Excitement: When you know the Resurrected Jesus, through faith, belief, repentance and having received Him as your Lord. You’ll experience the Excitement of The Abundant Life (More than happiness, peace and joy)… John 10:10. Philemon 1:6. You’ll get a DEEPER Knowledge of all these good things we have in Christ, through sharing our faith in Him.

Imagine: Charging up your Mobile Phone every day. And never turning it on to talk with someone.

That’s what it’s like if you are a Christian who’s constantly getting filled with the Holy Spirit and NEVER USING your anointing to do anything good with it. When you know the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ and have been discipled for a while, then He’s commission you too, to go and use your Holy Spirit gifts for His Kingdom Service. GO!

Worship is great, but you’ll get much more, much more, much more REVELATION and ANOINTING if you use the GIFTS He’s already given to you. Share Jesus with everyone, be generous with your anointing, be gracious with your anointing. The world needs to know the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

You know the Resurrected LORD? Good, now go and tell someone about Him. Share Jesus… Have an AWESOME Resurrection Sunday.

Pease and Joy in Jesus.

Don.

1 Corinthians 15:55 (NIV) 

“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”