People say, “God’s Not Fair”

God is Good Always

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.

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

God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…

Who’s right?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God is ONLY A PRAYER AWAY!

Amen!

Don.

Getting Ready For Christmas: Advent.

Getting Ready For Christmas Advent

Daily Spirit & Word: 646:

Getting Ready For Christmas: Advent.

Avoiding The Ways Of The Wicked

Good morning my friends, as Christmas approaches again this year, how can we get ready so that we’ll have JOY when the day arrives and we continue to celebrate on Christmas Morning without regrets?

Thankfully the LORD has provided a way, for the meek to inherit the Earth.

Continuing with Psalm 37: We saw how in Psalm 37:1-11 Believers are to; Trust (not fret), Delight in the Lord to get our heart’s desires, Commit our ways to Him, Wait Patiently for Him (not fretting), Be Still (not struggling in our own strength for things to happen),  Refrain from Anger, (because it only leads to evil).

NOW, today; we’ll see God’s reasons why?

Because when we don’t; trust, delight, commit, wait, be still and refrain from anger: we will become God’s Enemies (wicked).

Anyone who does what they want instead of what God decrees is a wicked person from God’s point of view.

Look at the next few verses of the Psalm and you’ll see; they are doing the opposite of what Believers are directed to do;

Psalm 37:12-17 (The Way of the Wicked).
12  The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them;
13  but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
14  The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright.
15  But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.
16  Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;
17  for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. 

What Do The Wicked Do?

They are plotting evil instead of trusting in, delighting in and committing to the Lord.

They are being violent; instead of refraining from anger.

What Will Happen To The Wicked?

  • Their POWER: Will be BROKEN.
  • The way of the wicked will perish.
  • Their POWER will be broken. 
  • They WILL BE Crushed by the LORD.

Why? Because the LORD upholds, protects and watches out for those who TRUST in HIM>

Why? Because the LORD pays back the wicked.

REALITY CHECK:

Does that mean we won’t experience horrors? NO! Because, the wicked do terrible things that really do hurt the; innocent, the weak, the poor, the vulnerable. However, the LORD is watching and will PAY BACK the wicked for their evil one day.

What Can Believer Do?

Even in the face of trials and tribulations, Christians will; continue to: TRUST in the LORD: Commit to Him: DELIGHT in Him: Wait Patiently for Him, Be Still in His presence, REFRAIN from Anger. Because, He’s got great plans for those who are gentle, humble, patient and meek. (The LORD is a rewarder of those who LOVE Him: Either in this life or the next). (THE MEEK SHALL INHERIT)…

We don’t know when we’ll experience the LORD’S Powerful Hand: Against our enemy or to reward us; it might be in this life or it may be in Eternity, but it’s better to live with His blessing, even if we’re being ill-treated in this life, than to respond in sinful ways; with anger, rage, malice etc… BE God’s Blessed People in this world: He’s got great plans and rewards waiting for you.

WHY? Because the meek shall inherit the Earth.

When do we get an inheritance? When the TIME is right.

In God’s TIMING:

So TRUST in Him, because His Timing is Perfect.

Christians will turn to the LORD, seeking the fullness of the Holy Spirit to live God’s way.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, as Christmas approaches this year, I plead with you to help me to; Not fret, to wait on You and Trust You, Help me to Delight in You Lord, Help me to be still in Your presence, Help me to refrain from anger and reacting in wrong ways, even if I am wronged. Help me to be an influence for good and for Your glory in this world today. Amen.

Every blessing for an awesome day with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

#Advent #Actsofkindness #BibleSociety #Jesus #DoGood

 

Blessed Hope: Heaven’s Value System.

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness

Daily Spirit & Word 579:

Blessed Hope: Heaven’s Value System.

Good morning my friends. I’ve been thinking about the fact that Jesus promised He’d be coming back and the Angels of heaven also gave testimony that we’d one day see Him, but differently, when Jesus comes back next time it won’t be the same as before.

The first time Jesus came to visit the Earth, He came in the form of a man, he came to humble dwellings, he came as a baby, he came and learned at trade at his surrogate father’s side, then he lived a sinless life and suffered at the hands of those He had created.

The next time that Jesus comes back, it will be very different; He’s coming back in GLORY. That glory is not like earthly glory; what we on earth value and glory in is different from Heaven’s GLORY. We value, strength, wealth and the ability to rule and dominate others. Our world is choc-full of ideologies that dictate how we should be living, most of those ideologies and strategies are based upon worldly values that are very different from Heaven’s.

Capitalism: The Thriving of the Strongest.

People are busy: Trying with all their might to supply all that they need. Everybody’s time is spent in seeking things to make life better. We all get caught up in the quest for the unreachable dream of a care-free life of luxury.

But the reality is that it is the strongest and most powerful who get the cream and cheese, the best of fare and the gold and silver. The rich within the Capitalist system are getting richer every day, whilst the poor are obviously getting poorer by the minute. The majority, the weak, the feeble, the infirm, those less educated and the poor are left to struggle and scrape-by on the meagre droppings from the rich man’s tables. The poor are begrudgingly given a paltry wage, far below the levels that would allow them to thrive in their society. Whilst governments of all shades of political viewpoints do nothing to alleviate these conditions and everything to exacerbate them. And they dare to call this ‘capitalism’ a model for the world to follow. We live in a pseudo-democratic society, but it’s those who are ‘rich’ and ‘powerful’ who’ll decide who’s going to rule and reign. Political power is purchased, not truly democratically voted for. Just look that the whole campaign from the media and the political powers against Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn: A man who dares to demonstrate God’s values for the poor and lowest in society. That’s the failure of Capitalism and the false models of Democracy the majority of the world’s poor live under today. It’s NOT good, it’s NOT fair and it’s NOT going to last for very long, because, thankfully, Jesus has promised to come back in ALL HIS GLORY and change the way things are forever. But before Jesus comes back, we may have to go through a radical revolution in our thinking about our values.

Heaven’s Values: Matthew 5-7 (Jesus Sermon on the Mount).

You see my friends, Heaven’s values are very different from worldly values: Look at the Beatitudes in Matthew’s Gospel and you’ll glimpse a radical Divine paradigm. Jesus whole sermon on the mount is well worth pondering; it’s not the rich, strong or powerful who’ll be counted on the day of His appearing, but those who CARE for others and for HOLINESS of life.

Sorting Out Differences: AGREE with your Enemy / Adversary before you go to court. That’s so different from our modern world’s way or taking everyone to court to get a judgement and compensation.

Hating Others: We live in a world of extremes and we’re encouraged to HATE those who appear to be radicals: ISIS etc. Yes, their acts are barbaric and horrific. However, Jesus encourages us to LOVE our Enemies not to HATE them. Perhaps if we loved people a lot more than we do, we’d win them over to a new way of living in the world. Perhaps, they’d see the error of their ways and become just as horrified as the majority of right thinking people in the world are. LOVE not war will win them over. War has a tendency to harden your enemies resolve to win at all costs. Just look at Scotland’s football team, we’ve never won the world cup, but the more we’re defeated the harder we try.

Divorce: So many people, when they run into difficulty in their relationships or even before they’ve properly begun to discover what true love is, they resort to divorce and move onto another partner. God HATES divorce. Why? Because when He Created Marriage between a man and a woman, He intended that relationship to reflect His own DIVINE relationship, it’s never meant to be broken. We’re meant to work through our difficulties and hardships.

Adultery: We normally think of adultery as being unfaithful with another person whilst being married. However Jesus reveals the true meaning of adultery. If we look upon another person with lust in our heart (lust is a strong desire to be with and have another person), it’s the same kind of thing as coveting. Though shalt not covet: desire something that belongs to someone else. We may never consider actually committing adultery, but Jesus shows us that even thinking about doing it is the same as actually doing it in God’s eyes. Who can say honestly that they’ve never been guilty of that?

The whole Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew’s Gospel chapters 5-7, you can read it in about 10-15 mins slowly. I’d encourage everyone to read it through at least ten times to get a good handle upon Jesus message. Jesus touches on EVERY ASPECT OF LIFE in that Sermon. Every time I read it through, He highlights an aspect of my life that needs some Divine work, His forgiveness, His grace and His power in my heart.

What I’m endeavouring to demonstrate is that Heaven’s value system is radically different from the world in which we all live and if we were take this message to heart today, allow it to penetrate so that we want to live according to it’s teaching, to prepare ourselves for Christ’s GLORIOUS return, we’re going to be making ourselves ready to be transformed by God’s Holy Spirit, when we’re being transformed and begin living Christ’s ways in the world today, then we’re also going to radically transform the society in which we live. You will be SALT and LIGHT: You’ll be generous with the poor, kind to your neighbours, faithful to your wife and husband, peaceful when persecuted, generous to your enemies, loving to those who hate you, holy in the way you live before God. You’ll be living for Him instead of for yourself. You’ll also be storing up treasures in Heaven instead of upon this earth. That’s Heaven’s Value System and it is totally and radically different from society today.

Instead of seeking the vaporous trails of wealth and riches, look instead at what the LORD encourages us to pursue in His greatest teaching in the Sermon on the Mount: Seek FIRST THE KINGDOM, when we do that, everything else falls into place.

Matthew 6:31-34  “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the pagans (those not seeking to live God’s ways) 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.”

Why are we NOT to live like the rest of the world? Because God cares much more than we think He does. And Because God KNOWS what we need. He made the whole universe and each and every one of us too, so He knows how to take care of us. Seek HIS KINGDOM  and HIS VALUES (Righteousness) and then He’ll supply everything else that we need in abundance. Just take look at how He cares for the butterfly and how it’s dressed.

God Cares Much More Than We Think He Does

To live for Jesus and according to His teaching is to be living His Kingdom lifestyle. What Jesus Sermon on the mount reveals is that we need Him in order to live in the world today. Yes, He’s coming back soon and it’s going to be such a blessed glorious coming, but He’s also given us everything we need NOW to be able to live according to His ways. Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit and turn to God in repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. He’ll enable you to live the abundant and joy-filled life.

With Heaven’s Value System in Your Heart: Have an AWESOME day with Jesus.

Don.

 

The Wideness of God’s Mercy

The Wideness of God's Mercy

Daily Spirit & Word, 481: The Wideness of God’s Mercy.

Good morning my friends, I hope your Easter Week is going well. Today we’re thinking of God’s mercy towards sinners. He’s just so outstandingly kind, gracious, forgiving, loving, gentle. When we hear of God’s wrath, anger and justice, we must always remember that they are tempered and controlled by every other aspect of His Divine Character.

 “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

My friends there is a wideness in God’s MERCY that I believe we’ve only just touched upon. So many Christians it seems love to hear or talk about God’s wrath and anger against sin (and He is), but there’s also such a breadth to God’s Divine Nature that we miss out on when we simplify our focus too much. It’s not surprising that when we concentrate on just one characteristic that we produce lop-sided followers. It’s like we’re producing Disciples with limps or with a load on one shoulder and we do a real dis-service to God’s Kingdom. Not only that, when your Heavenly Father looks at you, He’s probably wondering why you’re not conveying the whole Good News.

 Mercy triumphs over judgement.

James 2:13 (NIV) “because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgement!”

Can you see that my friends? God’s Justice and Judgement are good and righteous and necessary, but there’s a wideness in God’s mercy, that means because we’ve been forgiven so much, we should also extend that same mercy and forgiveness towards others.

 How is God Merciful?

Well, when we reflect upon the Cross and why it was that Jesus came to die, we discover that it was because of God’s great love for those He had created, He doesn’t want anyone to perish in hell, but everybody to come to repentance. Of course if people refuse God’s mercy, then He’ll have to give them His judgement, anger and wrath against their rebellion and sin. However, the amazing thing is God holds out the olive branch of peace and mercy and forgiveness. He’ll remove all our transgressions, trespasses and sins, “As far as the east if from the west”…

My friends, if you are sincerely desiring to follow after God, become more like Jesus, then you need to discover more about what God is like in His Character, the Holy Spirit will be moulding you into the same shape as Him. There’s no better place to look than to the stories of the Saviour, but the same nature and character are also revealed in the Old Testament.

Let’s look at just one Psalm that shows us God’s great kindnesses and mercies. Psalm 103. Read it and meditate upon it, highlight every word that speaks to you of God’s goodness, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, grace, etc…

Read this Psalm out as loud as you can, get to a lonely place and shout it out, for faith comes by hearing the words of the Lord. My friends, God’s MERCY will become evident when you HEAR God’s Word Today. Let His grace and kindness wash you clean.

Psalm 103:1-22 (NIV)
1  [Of David.] Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2  Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits
3  who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases,
4  who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,
5  who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6  The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.
7  He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel:
8  The LORD is compassionate and graciousslow to angerabounding in love. 
9  He will not always accuse, nor will he harbour his anger for ever;
10  he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
14  for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.
15  As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field;
16  the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.
17  But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’S love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18  with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.
19  The LORD has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.
20  Praise the LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do his bidding, who obey his word.
21  Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts, you his servants who do his will.
22  Praise the LORD, all his works everywhere in his dominion. Praise the LORD, O my soul.

Did you shout it out? I’d have woken all the grandchildren, but I shouted it out in my mind 🙂 I’ll be shouting it when they all wake up in about an hour though.

From the start to the finish this Psalm shouts out loudly of the wideness of God’s MERCY.

The themes ringing loudly in your ears today should be: Forgiveness, Healing, Deliverance, Soul-Satisfaction, Redemption, Compassion, Renewal, He Fights For Justice, Gracious, Patience (slow to anger), Love (abounding in love), Cleansing from All sin, Praise the LORD my soul.

 “As a Father has compassion on his children”

One day when I was playing football (soccer) with my brother in the garden, I broke a big window. My mum shouted at me and told me to come into the house, she said, “Wait until your father gets home, he’s going to punish you severely for this”. All the rest of that day I was dreading the moment my dad got home from work. He came in and I thought at first my mum had forgotten to tell him, but then she did and my dad said, “Go into the bedroom, I’ll be in soon to sort you out boy”… I was crying and saying how sorry I was, it was an accident, pleading for forgiveness, but my dad’s eyes said it all. He came in and closed the door, then he said, “Get over my knees”. All the time me pleading, “I didn’t mean it”. Then he whispered in my ear, “make a loud scream and I’ll pretend to whack you” So that’s what we did, I creamed and he made a whacking sound. Then he said, “I know you didn’t mean it, but be very careful, you’ll have to work to pay for the window” I nodded and he said, “Now go in and rub your bum like it hurts”. My brothers and sisters and mother were all looking at me when I went in and I played my part and pretended to be hurt.

“As a Father has compassion on his children” My dad gave me a great lesson that day. I deserved punishment, it was in the days when parents disciplined their children and I knew I was wrong, but he had mercy upon me. Earthly fathers love their kids, but God our Heavenly Father has so much more compassion, He doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve (Verse 10).

Does this remind you of the Lord’s prayer? It should. It ends as the Lord’s prayer begins, but the themes of God’s grace and mercy are as evident. Pray this Psalm, let His Character soak your soul and sing songs about how merciful our Father in Heaven really is. He’s forgiven me so much, and yet He’s calling me to a higher walk with Him. He knows what I’m like, yet He’s crowning me with glory and honour. How can we not PRAISE the LORD, O my soul.

Hymn: There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy:
There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,
like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows
are more felt than up in heaven.
There is no place where earth’s failings
have such kindly judgment given.

For the love of God is broader
than the measures of the mind.
And the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we would gladly trust God’s Word,
and our lives reflect thanksgiving
for the goodness of our Lord.

Turn and again and dust yourself off my friends, get cleaned up and wash your hands to serve the Lord. Let His kindness, mercy and grace wash over your soul today.

Jesus died to set you free from sin. Live in that freedom, knowing the depths and wideness of God’s mercy and how it triumphs over judgement.

Don.

 

Proclaim The Year of the Lord’s Favour

Daily Spirit & Word, 470: PROCLAIM THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR.

The Jubilee Year: Proclaim The Year Of The Lord’s Favour.

Leviticus 25:10 “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.”

I’m not certain if you are aware that 2015 is, according to the Jewish calendar, a JUBILEE year? What happened was a year of LIBERTY was to be proclaimed throughout the land of Israel. All debts were to be cancelled and any of the Jewish people held in bondage were to be set free and allowed to return to their own families.

Imagine that, what must it have been like? Can you imagine if our Governments today did this every 50th year?

You see in God’s thinking, he never wanted his chosen people to live under bondage to anything or anyone, and he doesn’t want it for anyone today either. Listen to the way God’s Word speaks about His desire to set people free from bondages of all kinds.

 The Day of Vengeance:

Isaiah 63:4 (NIV) “For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come.” The LORD wants to pay back all the injustices of His chosen people. In His Holy Justice; He’s longing for the time when the day of vengeance will come and every evil person will get their just deserts, but in His mercy God doesn’t want to have to punish anyone. But it’s coming soon.

 The Resurrection Promise:

Isaiah 26:19 (NIV) “But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust, wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth to her dead.”

Many Christians are not even aware of this, but the Old Testament prophesied about the Resurrection as in the verse above, a time when the dead will live again. The Bible tells us in the New Testament that when the Lord returns, the dead will arise and meet Him in the air. WOWzer! This give us even more confidence and a deep convinced conviction that the whole Bible is the WORD of God. We can believe ALL His promises. He’s even going to set people free from the prison of DEATH.

 Believers Will Meet The LORD First:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV) “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord for ever.”

 How will Jesus come?

  • With a LOUD Command.
  • With the Voice of the Archangel.
  • With the Trumpet Call of God.

In days gone by, Christians who were hard pressed, for whom life was not easy, used to sing and praise the Lord with hymns that focused upon His return and their coming freedom. They looked forward with a great sence of JOY for the Lord’s return. Today, Christians are so in love with the world that they’d hate it if the Lord came back right now, it would be far to inconvenient for them, because they are enjoying the life they have here on earth soo much. They can’t see that life with Jesus is going to be even better than it is here on earth and that we should speed the day of His return. We can only do that by getting more people saved, because when the full number has come in, and we don’t know how many that is, the Lord will return. Let’s get busy filling up heaven with God’s precious, chosen souls.

 A Word of Caution on Freedom (Liberty).

Galatians 5:13 (NIV) “You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.”

So many Christians today are getting into things that they know deep down the LORD hates and detests. We’re so lax in our moral attitudes today, we’re all so into “GRACE” that we forget “HOLINESS of LIFE”. We’re meant to be a living witness that the LORD has transformed our lives… Many are aware of this, but are at a loss to know what to do about it. Seek His wisdom and He’ll gladly and freely give it to you. God wants you not only to know how to live, but He also wants to give you the POWER to be able to live. It’s available in abundance too, so turn quickly and stop using God’s GRACE as a lie to live by and indulge your sinful natures.

 Released from the POWER of the Grave:

Hosea 13:14 (NIV) “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? “I will have no compassion…”

WOWzer! God’s going to set people free from the POWER of the Grave. What’s that? Well DEATH is so powerful that millions are convinced that there is nothing after death. If God had not planted eternity into every human being’s heart, then I’m convinced there would be many more people who don’t believe in life after death. Praise be to the LORD for His great wisdom, planting eternity into everyone’s heart means; we know that his life is not the end. Once day God is going to break that POWER of the grave, oh yes, He’s done it already, “Jesus rose from the grave” He’s the first-fruits of those who will also be raised.

 The YEAR of the LORD’S FAVOUR:

God’s really, really into this business of setting you free my friends;

Jesus proclaimed and fulfilled Isaiah’s prophesy:

Isaiah 61:1-3  “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2  to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favour and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3  and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour.”

Jesus Fulfilled the Prophesy Above:

Luke 4:14-21 ” Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15  He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17  The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” 20  Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21  and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Again this creates in my heart an awesome WOWzer 🙂 Jesus was the YEAR of the LORD’S FAVOUR.

 Jesus is the YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR:

Today there are Believers who are filled with the Lord’s compassion for those who are in bondage, they too want to see people being set free;

Good News to the POOR: i.e. those who are in POVERTY of the Spirit. The man without the spirit is DEAD and Jesus wants to give them LIFE.

Freedom for the Prisoners: Those locked up in the PRISON of SIN, kept locked in by SATAN. Jesus died so that we might be released from SIN and set free from SATAN’S grip.

Those who are blind to their spiritual condition without Jesus, to have their eyes opened.

They are out Proclaiming THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR.

Are you filled with Jesus compassion? Are you alive with the hope of the Gospel, the Good News for the poor, the prisoner, the blind and those needing His favour?

Let’s get on our knees this morning and pray for the Lord’s forgiveness if we’re not filled with His love, compassion and grace for those who don’t know Him yet.

Let’s get out into the world and begin proclaiming loudly and freely with grace, humility and gentleness, that this is THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR. Amen!

Have a great Wednesday, in Jesus and in the POWER of the Spirit.

Live for THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR.

Don.

Today: We’ve got St Luke’s School coming to church for their end of term Easter Service. Pray for us please that the message will leap into young hearts.

Tonight: We’re going out into the streets of West Norwood and we’ll be PROCLAIMING THE YEAR OF THE LORD’S FAVOUR. Hopefully, like last week, leading people to faith and trust in Jesus Christ. (Please pray as we enter the Harvest Field).

Proclaim The Year Of The Lord’s Favour.