The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship

The REAL Lord's Prayer: Forgiveness

Daily Spirit & Word: 746: The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship.

The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Good morning my friends, there’s something I hear from time to time in church gatherings, people feel slighted or left-out of things, so they stop coming to church. They forget that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That ‘flesh and blood’ includes our own flesh and our own blood; our thinking and our feelings.

What needs to be done when we’re feeling left-out?

Get ever closer to Jesus.

I’ve asked countless people who’ve felt miffed by church members, hurt or offended, “How’s your Bible reading going?” “FINE” they’ll say, but it’s the way they answer that I’m listening to, more than what they say. “How close to you feel to Jesus today?” You know what they respond with, “Oh I’ve always loved Jesus”… My friends, let me say this as gently as I can, if you are feeling hurt or offended, then unless you deal with it by taking it to Jesus, you are opening the door of your heart for Satan to come in, when you do that, he will steal from you, kill your passion for fellowship with Jesus and those in His family, and destroy your walk with the LORD.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

  • You’ll know your are loosing the battle for your soul, if you’re desire for close fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ is slipping.
  • You’ll know you are loosing the battle for your soul, if you don’t want to read God’s Word, pray, praise and witness for Jesus.
  • You will feel isolated, hurt, offended, alone.

So what can you do about it?

How can those hurts be healed?

Turn AGAIN to Jesus: Repent of the bitterness you’ve been feeling towards someone.

Satan is a great LIAR, the Bible calls him the father of lies. He’ll want you to be nursing your hurt. He’ll want you to hold onto it for a long time. He knows it will DESTROY you.

He wants you to get upset with your brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves nothing more that a wounded soul festering in their hurt.

What’s needed is FORGIVENESS:

When you get hurt, learn to forgive each other quickly or it will turn to bitter anger and hatred which is MURDER.

  • You can’t forgive someone or a group of people if you are far away from Jesus.
  • You can’t run away from that hurt either, by staying away from church gatherings.
  • You can’t fool God, He knows what’s happening on the inside.
  • Unless you forgive, then neither will your own sins be forgiven.

We’ve been praying the LORD’S PRAYER every day (as part of the lead-up to Pentecost), but as part of that prayer, Jesus taught us to pray about FORGIVENESS, he told us about FORGIVENESS TWICE.

Why did Jesus do that? Because He KNOWS we’re going to be offended and hurt by one another.

LOOK VERY CAREFULLY AT THE LORD’S PRAYER:

It doesn’t finish with “For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, forever and forever Amen”

THAT’S NOT IN THE BIBLE

THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE LORD’S PRAYER AT ALL.

Matthew 6:9-15 (NIV)
9  “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Real LORD’S Prayer is all about forgiveness.

So, let’s pray the LORD’S PRAYER properly, as Jesus taught it. It’s all about forgiveness, letting God’s Kingdom rule and not allowing Satan to get a foothold into our lives by harbouring grudges and not forgiving others.

  • We all want to be forgiven by the LORD.
  • In His Kingdom there isn’t going to be any lingering thoughts of hatred or bitterness any more.
  • Your sins are washed away by Jesus Christ, His blood purifies you from all sin.
  • But that forgiveness can be BLOCKED.

Jesus knew that, that’s why He taught His disciples twice in his prayer about FORGIVENESS.

UNFORGIVENESS OPENS THE DOOR FOR EVIL TO COME INTO YOUR HEART.

“Lead us NOT into temptation” We are tempted NOT to forgive. Especially when we get hurt by someone who’s meant to be following Jesus.

Jesus said it SO CLEARLY: ”

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

When we’re walking around with UNFORGIVENESS in our hearts, we just can’t get close to Jesus.

UNFORGIVENESS is the sin that blocks our access to Him and to our own FORGIVENESS.

You may not think that you’ve got anything to worry about, you are a ‘good’ person, but don’t be deceived my friends. Every one of us SINS every single day, we all need forgiveness, all the time.

If you want to get better fellowship, if you want to feel close to other Christians again, to get closer to your brothers and sisters in Jesus, then you are going to have to face the hurt head-on, take it to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you for holding onto it for too long, then release your friends by forgiving them. You will very quickly discover a NEW JOY comes flooding into your soul. Some people have likened it to their first EXPERIENCE of coming to Jesus. He’ll wash you clean and give you instant fellowship with Himself. He’ll restore your LOVE for each other. He’ll enable you to totally forgive them to such an extent that you’ll want to bless them and see them being blessed by Jesus.

My friends, the LORD’S PRAYER is all about FORGIVENESS.

God’s forgiveness of your sins and your forgiveness of EVERYONE who hurts or offends you in some way.

It IS the LITTLE FOXES that ruin the vine.

When we let little hurts linger, we’re allowing the little foxes to pull the vine to pieces.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Those little thoughts that we nurse, we allow them to ruin the VINE. God wants you to be so full of fruit, but the little FOXES will tear it to pieces.

  • Get right with Jesus by FORGIVING others.
  • Get close to Jesus by RELEASING your friends from their debts, trespasses and sins against you.
  • Get close to Jesus and you will get closer in fellowship with the saints in your church fellowship.

FORGIVENESS is the KEY to UNLOCKING AWESOME FELLOWSHIP

But what if it’s YOU that has HURT or OFFENDED someone?

They don’t want you to come and say “Sorry”, because that would release you.

What they NEED is HEALING:

G.K. Chesterson said, “A stiff apology is a second insult … the injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged, he wants to be healed because he has been hurt”

They NEED our LOVE: Not our apology.

LOVE: “Love covers over a multitude of sins”… LOVE heals those wounds and hurts.

“Love one another, as I have loved you.” How did Jesus love us? He died so that we could be forgiven. So my friends, we too must be prepared to DIE every day, in order that LOVE may abound within our fellowships. Die to pride, even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong, go and get right with the offended party quickly. In that way you can stop the little foxes tearing the vine to bits.

Amen!

“We take captive EVERY THOUGHT to make it OBEDIENT to Christ”

Even those thoughts of hurt, anger, bitterness, hatret, wounds, feelings. Then we’ll get close to Jesus and our fellowship will be restored.

Forgiveness really is the KEY to Unlocking AWESOME Fellowship.

Don.

 

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.

 

No Room At The Table

No Room At The Table

Daily Spirit & Word: 532: No Seat At The Table.

Tough Times: Jesus KNOWS what it’s like

1) To Feel Rejection.

John 1:10-11 10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. 11  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.

I was watching a BBC News report about the recent G7 or is it G6 or G* 🙂 G Whizzz…

A few of the worlds top leaders were sitting around this great round table, the big cheese was speaking (The President of the United States of America) and all the other leaders were listening. As I watched I noticed that there was a longing upon David Cameron’s face, it seemed to me, perhaps just my imagination, that he wanted to be sitting right next to the President, but he was far away on the other side of the table. Who sits next to who is important at the table, but imagine how poor old Mr Putin must have been feeling, because there was no room for him at that table, not this time anyway.

There’s nothing worse than feeling rejected or cut-off or excluded. Kids know this from a very young age and feel it so badly when their ‘best friend’ makes another ‘best friend’…

No Room At the Inn:

Luke 2:6-7  “While they were there (in Bethlehem), the time came for the baby to be born, 7  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

From the moment of His birth, our Lord Jesus experienced ‘rejection’.

No Room At The Table:

Have you ever been in a situation that you wanted to join a group of people at a table, but there were not enough seats? or you couldn’t sit next to one of your friends? or you had the feeling you were not wanted? I had it recently on a conference. It was later in the evening when the seminars had finished and people had gathered in small groups to chat and have a relaxing drink together. At one table in a large room full of people, there were a few people that I knew, not very well, but a least a little bit and I wanted to join them, but there were no seats, so I found a spare chair and pulled it close to the table. I thought they’d be glad of my company, but I was wrong, they seemed to be a bit put-out having to bunch up a bit closer together. I felt like a bad-smell or something like an refugee trying to push into a country that didn’t want me. I persevered and as time passed I began to feel a little bit more accepted, it wasn’t long before I felt like one who belonged to this table. However, I’ll never forget that momentary, fleeting feeling of not being welcome.

In the Lord Jesus Christ, we have a friend who’s had those experiences too. He’s been rejected and even at the start of His life the Bible tells us; “There was NO ROOM for Jesus at the Inn” His mother Mary was close to giving birth, and they still couldn’t find room for her in that delicate (and at that time, dangerous) situation.

Know the TRUTH:

“What life does to you depends on what life finds in you!”

I didn’t tell you, but when I felt rejected at that table, I offered up an arrow prayer to the Lord Jesus, and I immediately felt completely at ease, it no longer bothered me that those people at the table didn’t want me, because I’ve got a SAVIOUR who loves me. Anyhow, Jesus is the best friend anyone could ever have. Knowing that deeper truth freed me and enabled me to love those who didn’t love me. In the end we had a great little time at that table. In the end, Jesus parents had an most amazing time in the stable with distinguished visitors who came to see their new born baby.

If you ever feel shut-out, neglected, ignored or relegated to a seat at the opposite end of the table from your ‘special’ friend, like David Cameron was from President Obama, then don’t worry, be strong in Jesus, love them and you’ll soon discover that even the greatest person at the table will want to come and be the one who’s longing to sit next to you. When you’ve got the Lord Jesus with you, then you can’t fail to impress with the awesome light that shines from your face. He’ll give you lasting peace in your heart and such a joy that it’s infectious.

I’ve got to do a study on “What life does to you depends on what life finds in you!”

I read that statement in a commentary by Warren Weirsbee: And it’s so true, When we’ve got Jesus Christ IN us, nothing in life will be able to determine our future. The Bible tells us: Know the Truth (Jesus) and the truth shall set you free. Jesus experienced all kinds of troubles and problems in life, so HE KNOWS what it’s like my friends. Being shut out and ignored just two of them, they are painful experiences, but there’s always hope in every situation and He’ll enable you to rise above it and be able to keep on shining the light. I’ll share more later.

Have and awesome Wednesday.

Don.

P.S. If you are struggling with your Christian walk with Jesus? Check out my NEW PAGE: Discover The Spirit Filled Life.

 

Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

When Feeling Desperate Jesus is Near

Daily Spirit & Word, 489: Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 4. Jesus Presence For Your Despair.

John 20:10-14 (NIV)
10  Then the disciples went back to their homes, 11  but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12  and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14  At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.

Good morning my friends, we live in a world of deep despair. People are going through stuff every day and many are so troubled they give up any hope of ever being free from these desperate feelings. The reasons for our despair are many; for some it’s the daily struggle to make ends meet and provide for the family. For others it’s unhappiness at work or the fear of loosing one’s livelihood. For others it’s the break-up of significant relationships with loved ones and close friends.  Like Mary Magdalene mentioned above you may have also lost a love one. It might be that there’s nothing in your life right now to cause you to despair, but you are feeling as if something is missing, there’s an inner emptiness and restlessness.

The impression we get from reading John 20:10-14 above is that Mary is in deep despair, standing outside the tomb of Jesus weeping, she is so upset, heartbroken and grieving, that in her despair she fails to see or notice that God is showing her something to encourage her. Even the presence of Angelic Beings from Heaven should have indicated to Mary that God had something to do with the disappearance of Jesus’ body. It’s like that for many people in desperate times; no matter how hard you try to encourage them, because they are hurting, their soul focus is upon the hurt.

Try telling a man with toothache that the daffodils or forget-me-nots look lovely and the sunrise was awesome; he’ll not even want to entertain the idea of beauty until he gets relief from the pain in his teeth.

It’s the exact same for those who are suffering emotional pain and torment, sometimes even though there’s lots to be encouraged by, they cannot see it because something else has their complete attention, they are absorbed in their grief. This is hard for those trying to help them, because we cannot see their pain.

My friends, if Angels couldn’t help Mary, then don’t think you are going to be able to lift someone out of deep depression either. It takes a supernatural effort to life them for the deepest pits of despair. Jesus was standing right behind Mary, but she didn’t realise. Many people who’re going through tough times don’t realise that Jesus is right there with them. He’s loving them, because that’s part of His DIVINE NATURE. God is LOVE. Even when she turned around and saw Jesus, her grief was so intense that she didn’t recognise Him. She was still looking for Jesus dead body and even asked Jesus where the his body was. Oh my friends, when we’re desperate, sometimes even though it’s right in front of our face, we don’t perceive that Jesus is with us, that He’s trying to show us something to encourage us and build us up again.

Mary Magdalene really loved Jesus and that’s why she was grieving, her grief had blinded her to the reality of Jesus being right in front of her nose. For everyone who’s in despair today, Jesus is with you by His Holy Spirit. No matter what the cause of your despair is, know that he’s consistent and faithful to His Holy Promises. “He’ll NEVER leave you or forsake you”, “He’s with you and in you”, Jesus said, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age”.

Listen afresh to the Divine promises of God in Isaiah 43:1-3.

Isaiah 43:1-3 (NIV)
1  But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. 3  For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead.

For all of us, no matter what our emotional state at this moment in time, the above passage is medicine for our soul. God want you to know my friends just how much He loves you. His is an everlasting love. We all experience love from people and have been let down when they didn’t love us like we expected, right? Well my friends, God’s NOT like that, He’ll never let you down and when you pass through the troubled waters of grief His Holy Promise is “I WILL BE WITH YOU”.

Mary Magdalene didn’t see it until the Lord Jesus called her name, look at the Isaiah passage above, “I have summoned you by name”. When God called you into a relationship with Jesus, He called you by name, you are His, He chose you, He’s calling your name again this morning and He wants to be with you and heal you and help you.

Points to Ponder

  • Are you in deep despair? Do you believe that God’s love can overcome any pain or hopelessness you are facing? Is there someone you could ask to come and pray with you?
  • Have you noticed any patterns in your life where similar circumstances consistently cause you to feel down or depressed? How can you increase your awareness of the presence of Jesus? I’d suggest some of these things, they work for me every time: Prayer, Praise, Worship, Bible Reading and Study, Fellowship with fellow saints regularly, Fasting, Getting alone with the Lord and talking through my problems with Him.
  • Finally, do you know anyone who is currently in despair? Take some time to pray for them and ask the Lord if He wants you to be His hands and feet to be with them and to show them that Jesus really cares.

Prayers For Day 4 of 40 Days With Jesus.

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to reaffirm my commitment to You. I choose to put my trust in You today despite what I am facing or how I am feeling. You know every broken place in my life. You are immediately aware of my hurts and you keep track of all my sorrows. (Psalm 56:8). Lord Jesus, because you became a human being just like me, fully human in every way (Hebrews 2:17), I know that You identify with what I’m going through. Open my eyes Lord to recognise You in the midst of my brokenness, I’m trusting and believing today that if I seek You with all my heart, I will find You (Jeremiah 29:13). Now, I thank You that You are looking for me too. With Your tender love, so come and lead me from despair into hope, from anxiety into peace and from brokenness into wholeness. Amen. 

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40 Days With Jesus: Day 4: Jesus Presence for Your Despair.