Unleash the Power of Prayer

The POWER of Prayer in not the prayer but the PERSON to whom we Pray. Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 823:

The Power of Praying to the LORD.

Unleash The Power of Prayer

Genesis 25:21 (NIV)  Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

Good morning my friends, I’m back again. Praise the LORD! It’s so good when we have the POWER of Heaven. God’s NOT DEAD: He’s Alive! He’s waiting to answer your prayers. However, we need to know how to unleash the POWER of HEAVEN into our lives afresh today.

Prayer played an important part in a crisis in Isaac’s life. Today we’re going to see how he solved that crisis by going to the Lord in prayer.

If you’ve got a PROBLEM today: Even if you’ve had it a long time, take it to the ONE who can break EVERY CHAIN.

 

1) The Person Isaac Prayed About:

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife.”

Isaac’s wife had a serious problem: She was barren.

When a woman was barren in those days, people thought they’d been cursed or were under God’s judgement. It was a shameful thing not to be able to conceive.  Isaac, unlike many husbands in those days, did not criticise Rebekah or reject her because she was barren. He loved Rebecca so instead he prayed to the LORD for her.

I think we can all learn a lesson from this verse today: If couples prayed to the LORD for each other when things are not going well, instead of criticising each other or blaming one another, then we unleash the power of Heaven into our family life. You’ll be surprised how your own attitude will change when you pray instead of moan. So my friends, let’s make prayer a big part of our home and family life. You’ll discover The Lord can improve every area of your home and the family atmosphere can change.

When was the last time you spent time with Jesus praying for your wife or husband?

The Film: The War Room: The Prayer Closet: Loved that film.

Let’s get to praying regularly for our closest family members.

2) What Prompted Isaac to Pray?

The Prompter of his Prayer was a PROBLEM:

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren”

It was a problem that prompted Isaac to pray. That is not what most people do with their problems. Generally when problems come, people fuss and fume, some swear and shout, and many resort to drugs or drink when serious problems come.

Fussing, Fuming, Swearing, Shouting or Drugs and Drink: But we all know that PROBLEMS cannot be solved like that, these things only tend to make the problem seem like an insurmountable MOUNTAIN. When we act like that, we begin to even feel bad about ourselves. We had friends who’ve taken their own lives because of what seemed to us like a trivial problem. But they FOCUSED on the STORM instead of the ONE who calmed the raging waves with just a word.

The best way to confront all your problems is to pray about them. Prayer is a problem solver. No matter how big your problem, you can take it to the Lord in prayer.

When you do you’ll get REVELATION: Problems will begin to seem so small when we take them to Jesus.

3) The Power of Isaac’s Prayer:

“The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant”

NOTE: It wasn’t Isaac’s prayer but the PERSON that he prayed to. You are coming to the LIVING God who loves you. He’s your Heavenly Father and He cares for you. He even knows how many hairs you have on your head…

Prayer to the LORD will indeed change things. He can work great wonders, awesome miracles. When you come to the LORD with your issues in life, the problem doesn’t look quite so big as our Lord.

The POWER of PRAYER is the LORD to Whom WE PRAY.

20 YEARS: That’s a LONG TIME: (How LONG have you had your problems?)…

Rebekah had been barren for twenty years; but after Isaac prayed, she conceived and not only bore one child, but she had twins! That’s AWESOME: TWINS. My friends, do not underestimate the power of prayer to the LORD.

Once we had a couple who’d attended Church a few times after getting married: One Sunday I asked if they were OK on the way out of church. The wife said, “I’ve been trying for a baby, but would value prayer” I said “OK, let’s go up to the front of church, kneel at the altar rail and pray to the LORD” She and her husband came and knelt.  After a few weeks, her mother stopped me in the street and said in a loud voice, “Donald, Donald you got my daughter pregnant”… She was pregnant, not with one baby, but twins… (I did cringe a little bit when she said that though, I was wearing my dog collar at the time)… LOL…

Many people dismiss or scoff at prayer, but wise men, wise women, wise children and youngsters know that prayer to the LORD can work wonders.

You know that song, “There is POWER in the Name of Jesus” … there’s a repeated refrain, “BREAK EVERY CHAIN”… No matter how LONG you’ve had your PROBLEM… God can BREAK it’s POWERFUL CHAINS…. Take it to the LORD in prayer and unleash the POWER of Heaven.

Have an AWESOME Sunday with Jesus.

What a friend we have in Jesus

Don.

 

The LORD is my PORTION

a constant friend is He

Daily Spirit & Word: 807: The Lord is my portion.

The Soul’s Satisfaction.

 Good morning, I was awakened early with the rain beating upon my window. So I got up to read the Word of the LORD. I was reading Lamentations this morning, but I’ve not read that book of Bible very much before. I’ve read it through a few times, but never really studied or meditated upon it. As I read this morning, this little verse jumped up into my HEART…
Lamentations 3:24 “The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

What word do you think jumped out a me? The word portion… What is he talking about?

 Then I remembered Aaron’s inheritance in the Promised Land. All the other tribes had been given portions of land to settle into, but not Aaron.

 Numbers 18:20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
 The LORD Himself was to be Aaron’s portion. “I AM your inheritance”.
So what does that mean?
Thankfully Aaron is not alone: Many of the ancient saints knew that the LORD was their Portion, their Inheritance.

Asaph wrote Psalm 73: 

He was meditating upon the prosperity of the wicked people, how they seem to prosper and grow richer and even more wicked. He didn’t think it was very fair, because, he was a devoted man and had so little that this earth seems to offer. In the end though he came to realise a much deeper truth..
Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV)
25  Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
26  My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.
 NOTE: Who was Asaph? He was a Levite who served the LORD in the Temple and wrote Psalm 50, and Psalms 73-83. He was also a skilled musician, singer and poet. The Bible also refers to him as a seer or prophet of the Lord. (As you know the Levites had no land themselves: Because the LORD was their inheritance {portion}  Deuteronomy 18:1-2 (NIV) The priests, who are Levites, indeed the whole tribe of Levi, are to have no allotment or inheritance with Israel. They shall live on the offerings made to the LORD by fire, for that is their inheritance. 2  They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the LORD is their inheritance, as he promised them.).

That the LORD Himself was his PORTION:

With the LORD as our portion we’ll have more than we need.
What the LORD seems to be saying to me today is this, that if we are setting our hopes on anything, they should be completely upon the LORD first, because as Jesus promised, when we do that, we’re going to be so blessed.
Matthew 6:32-33 (NKJV)
32  For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
 Those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as LORD are running after all the glittering things this world has to offer: Money, Fortune, Fame, Fine Clothing, Cars, Gadgets, Houses, Lands, Property, Power, Prestige and Control.
However, those who KNOW Jesus have been set free from worldly desires: Because we know and a satisfied with the Lord Jesus as our portion. Their hearts are consumed with serving the Lord and being satisfied with Heavenly Kingdom Goodies, which are must better by far.
I.E. Go first to the LORD, seek His Kingdom (Thy Kingdom Come), then ALL THESE THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO YOU.
The things of this world don’t really matter, God knows what we need and He’s promised to SUPPLY all our needs. Note, the heart is deceitful above all things. We think we need stuff, we get jealous when the world has lots of stiff and we don’t, but the LORD knows what we need and what we desire and He, like any good parent, gives us just what we need.
The things this world has to offer are tempting. they glitter and shine, and promises joy and happiness, but it’s NOT satisfying and doesn’t last very long. This world doesn’t deliver on its promises. However, in contrast to the world, the LORD always delivers: the JOY of the LORD is your STRENGTH: Like exercising the muscles of your soul, when we go to the LORD first, it will sustain and satisfy you more than anything the world has to offer.
  • Don’t get jealous of what the world has like Asaph.
  • Don’t despise your service and devotion to the LORD as he did.
  • Don’t hanker after the glittering gems of this world.
  • Your PORTION is much more satisfying.
  • Your PORTION is much more secure.
  • Your PORTION is limitless, without end, promised.
  • Your PORTION is the LORD. Amen!

YOUR PORTION IS THE LORD HIMSELF

So my friends, I’m going to keep seeking the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness (not mine), then I know He’ll supply all my needs in this life. He is my portion. Amen!.
I love the song, “His eye is on the sparrow”… See below,

Be blessed and satisfied in Jesus today, Amen!
Don.
“His Eye Is On The Sparrow”
(feat. Tanya Blount)

[Tanya Blount:]
Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and homeWhen Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me[Lauryn Hill:]
I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
His eye is on the sparrowAnd I know he watches
[Tanya:] He watches me
[Lauryn:] His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches
[Tanya:] I know he watches
[Lauryn:] I know he watches me

For those who are interested: Portion In The Bible:

PORTION: In the Bible:

Genesis 14:24 Save only that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.

Genesis 31:14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him, Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father’s house?

Genesis 47:22 Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.

Genesis 48:22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

Leviticus 6:17 It shall not be baken with leaven. I have given it unto them for their portion of my offerings made by fire; it is most holy, as is the sin offering, and as the trespass offering.

Leviticus 7:35 This is the portion of the anointing of Aaron, and of the anointing of his sons, out of the offerings of the LORD made by fire, in the day when he presented them to minister unto the LORD in the priest’s office;

Numbers 31:30 And of the children of Israel’s half, thou shalt take one portion of fifty, of the persons, of the beeves, of the asses, and of the flocks, of all manner of beasts, and give them unto the Levites, which keep the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD.

Numbers 31:36 And the half, which was the portion of them that went out to war, was in number three hundred thousand and seven and thirty thousand and five hundred sheep:

Numbers 31:47 Even of the children of Israel’s half, Moses took one portion of fifty, both of man and of beast, and gave them unto the Levites, which kept the charge of the tabernacle of the LORD; as the LORD commanded Moses.

Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.

Deuteronomy 32:9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

Deuteronomy 33:21 And he provided the first part for himself, because there, in a portion of the lawgiver, was he seated; and he came with the heads of the people, he executed the justice of the LORD, and his judgments with Israel.

Joshua 17:14 And the children of Joseph spake unto Joshua, saying, Why hast thou given me but one lot and one portion to inherit, seeing I am a great people, forasmuch as the LORD hath blessed me hitherto?

Joshua 19:9 Out of the portion of the children of Judah was the inheritance of the children of Simeon: for the part of the children of Judah was too much for them: therefore the children of Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them.

1 Samuel 1:5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

1 Samuel 9:23 And Samuel said unto the cook, Bring the portion which I gave thee, of which I said unto thee, Set it by thee.

1 Kings 12:16 So when all Israel saw that the king hearkened not unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: to your tents, O Israel: now see to thine own house, David. So Israel departed unto their tents.

2 Kings 2:9 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.

2 Kings 9:10 And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And he opened the door, and fled.

2 Kings 9:21 And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziah king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jezreelite.

2 Kings 9:25 Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in the portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the LORD laid this burden upon him;

2 Kings 9:36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:

2 Kings 9:37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel.

2 Chronicles 10:16 And when all Israel saw that the king would not hearken unto them, the people answered the king, saying, What portion have we in David? and we have none inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to your tents, O Israel: and now, David, see to thine own house. So all Israel went to their tents.

2 Chronicles 28:21 For Ahaz took away a portion out of the house of the LORD, and out of the house of the king, and of the princes, and gave it unto the king of Assyria: but he helped him not.

2 Chronicles 31:3 He appointed also the king’s portion of his substance for the burnt offerings, to wit, for the morning and evening burnt offerings, and the burnt offerings for the sabbaths, and for the new moons, and for the set feasts, as it is written in the law of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 31:4 Moreover he commanded the people that dwelt in Jerusalem to give the portion of the priests and the Levites, that they might be encouraged in the law of the LORD.

2 Chronicles 31:16 Beside their genealogy of males, from three years old and upward, even unto every one that entereth into the house of the LORD, his daily portion for their service in their charges according to their courses;

Ezra 4:16 We certify the king that, if this city be builded again, and the walls thereof set up, by this means thou shalt have no portion on this side the river.

Nehemiah 2:20 Then answered I them, and said unto them, The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem.

Nehemiah 11:23 For it was the king’s commandment concerning them, that a certain portion should be for the singers, due for every day.

Nehemiah 12:47 And all Israel in the days of Zerubbabel, and in the days of Nehemiah, gave the portions of the singers and the porters, every day his portion: and they sanctified holy things unto the Levites; and the Levites sanctified them unto the children of Aaron.

Job 20:29 This is the portion of a wicked man from God, and the heritage appointed unto him by God.

Job 24:18 He is swift as the waters; their portion is cursed in the earth: he beholdeth not the way of the vineyards.

Job 26:14 Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? but the thunder of his power who can understand?

Job 27:13 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty.

Job 31:2 For what portion of God is there from above? and what inheritance of the Almighty from on high?

Psalm 11:6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.

Psalm 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

Psalm 17:14 From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

Psalm 63:10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.

Psalm 73:26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Psalm 119:57 CHETH. Thou art my portion, O LORD: I have said that I would keep thy words.

Psalm 142:5 I cried unto thee, O LORD: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Proverbs 31:15 She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Ecclesiastes 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.

Ecclesiastes 2:21 For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

Ecclesiastes 3:22 Wherefore I perceive that there is nothing better, than that a man should rejoice in his own works; for that is his portion: for who shall bring him to see what shall be after him?

Ecclesiastes 5:18 Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life, which God giveth him: for it is his portion.

Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.

Ecclesiastes 9:6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 9:9 Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life of thy vanity, which he hath given thee under the sun, all the days of thy vanity: for that is thy portion in this life, and in thy labour which thou takest under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 11:2 Give a portion to seven, and also to eight; for thou knowest not what evil shall be upon the earth.

Isaiah 17:14 And behold at eveningtide trouble; and before the morning he is not. This is the portion of them that spoil us, and the lot of them that rob us.

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 57:6 Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink offering, thou hast offered a meat offering. Should I receive comfort in these?

Isaiah 61:7 For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.

Jeremiah 10:16 The portion of Jacob is not like them: for he is the former of all things; and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: The LORD of hosts is his name.

Jeremiah 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

Jeremiah 13:25 This is thy lot, the portion of thy measures from me, saith the LORD; because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood.

Jeremiah 51:19 The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of his inheritance: the LORD of hosts is his name.

Jeremiah 52:34 And for his diet, there was a continual diet given him of the king of Babylon, every day a portion until the day of his death, all the days of his life.

Lamentations 3:24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Ezekiel 45:1 Moreover, when ye shall divide by lot the land for inheritance, ye shall offer an oblation unto the LORD, an holy portion of the land: the length shall be the length of five and twenty thousand reeds, and the breadth shall be ten thousand. This shall be holy in all the borders thereof round about.

Ezekiel 45:4 The holy portion of the land shall be for the priests the ministers of the sanctuary, which shall come near to minister unto the LORD: and it shall be a place for their houses, and an holy place for the sanctuary.

Ezekiel 45:6 And ye shall appoint the possession of the city five thousand broad, and five and twenty thousand long, over against the oblation of the holy portion: it shall be for the whole house of Israel.

Ezekiel 45:7 And a portion shall be for the prince on the one side and on the other side of the oblation of the holy portion, and of the possession of the city, before the oblation of the holy portion, and before the possession of the city, from the west side westward, and from the east side eastward: and the length shall be over against one of the portions, from the west border unto the east border.

Ezekiel 48:1 Now these are the names of the tribes. From the north end to the coast of the way of Hethlon, as one goeth to Hamath, Hazar-enan, the border of Damascus northward, to the coast of Hamath; for these are his sides east and west; a portion for Dan.

Ezekiel 48:2 And by the border of Dan, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Asher.

Ezekiel 48:3 And by the border of Asher, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Naphtali.

Ezekiel 48:4 And by the border of Naphtali, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Manasseh.

Ezekiel 48:5 And by the border of Manasseh, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Ephraim.

Ezekiel 48:6 And by the border of Ephraim, from the east side even unto the west side, a portion for Reuben.

Ezekiel 48:7 And by the border of Reuben, from the east side unto the west side, a portion for Judah.

Ezekiel 48:18 And the residue in length over against the oblation of the holy portion shall be ten thousand eastward, and ten thousand westward: and it shall be over against the oblation of the holy portion; and the increase thereof shall be for food unto them that serve the city.

Ezekiel 48:23 As for the rest of the tribes, from the east side unto the west side, Benjamin shall have a portion.

Ezekiel 48:24 And by the border of Benjamin, from the east side unto the west side, Simeon shall have a portion.

Ezekiel 48:25 And by the border of Simeon, from the east side unto the west side, Issachar a portion.

Ezekiel 48:26 And by the border of Issachar, from the east side unto the west side, Zebulun a portion.

Ezekiel 48:27 And by the border of Zebulun, from the east side unto the west side, Gad a portion.

Daniel 1:8 But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king’s meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself.

Daniel 1:13 Then let our countenances be looked upon before thee, and the countenance of the children that eat of the portion of the king’s meat: and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.

Daniel 1:15 And at the end of ten days their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king’s meat.

Daniel 1:16 Thus Melzar took away the portion of their meat, and the wine that they should drink; and gave them pulse.

Daniel 4:15 Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth:

Daniel 4:23 And whereas the king saw a watcher and an holy one coming down from heaven, and saying, Hew the tree down, and destroy it; yet leave the stump of the roots thereof in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him;

Daniel 11:26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

Micah 2:4 In that day shall one take up a parable against you, and lament with a doleful lamentation, and say, We be utterly spoiled: he hath changed the portion of my people: how hath he removed it from me! turning away he hath divided our fields.

Habakkuk 1:16 Therefore they sacrifice unto their net, and burn incense unto their drag; because by them their portion is fat, and their meat plenteous.

Zechariah 2:12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.

Matthew 24:51 And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.

Luke 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

Do You Want To Follow Jesus?

The Cost of True Discipleship, Denying Self, Taking Up Cross and Following Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 773: Do You Want To Follow Jesus?

It’s going to be costly.

If you do want to follow Jesus, then there are some things Jesus told us we must do.

Good morning my friends, when we eventually give in and surrender our souls to Jesus Christ, what’s next? Jesus said, “Follow Me”, but there are some requirements for following Jesus; Denying Self, Taking Up Your Cross, Living For Jesus… The Christian life is a purposeful and self-sacrificial one.

Matthew 16:24-25 (NIV)
24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
25  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.

Mark 8:34-35 (NIV)
34  Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
35  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it…”

Luke 9:23-25 (NIV)
23  Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
24  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
25  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?

In three of the Gospels; Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus reveals HOW we are to follow Him by: Denying Self, Taking Up Your Cross and Following Jesus.

Here follows an explanation of Jesus requirements:

In the first few centuries the people we know today as Christians were first called “People of the Way” or “Followers of Jesus”… How they were known by non-Christians reveals a lot about how Jesus had transformed their lives. They were living in such a way that people were impressed by their total dedication to Jesus.

1) Jesus Said You Must Deny SELF:

Denying self requires us to give up anything that we would want, desire or crave that would or could hinder our doing the will of God. Many things we do are not morally wrong, but they might not be what God wants us to be doing. Many things we do are innocent, but perhaps they’re not in God’s plan for our life.

NOTE:

  • Denying Self: What it doesn’t mean: It does not mean that, if we want something, it is necessarily wrong.
  • Denying Self: What it does mean: It means we must take our wants and desires down from off the throne of our life and place The Lord Jesus Christ and His will as the governing power in our lives. When you follow Jesus you make Him your Master, King, Boss, Ruler… Once He’s ruler He’ll set your free to follow His will and guide you into His life and plan by the Holy Spirit.

There is room in your life for only one master (Matthew. 6:19-24). It means it’s either you who’s in charge of your life or Jesus. If God is to rule in your life, then your will, desires, wants, etc, must be made subservient to His. We must be willing to give up anything in life in order to please God. This is the teaching from the whole Bible, not just these few verses in Matthew, Mark and Luke’s Gospel.

Romans 12:1-2; Matthew 6:33; Luke 14:25-33; 2 Corinthians 5:14-15.

2) Take Up Your Cross Daily:

What does Jesus mean? The Jews were quite familiar with the CROSS even before Jesus’ crucifixion. They’d probably all seen people crucified, the Romans deliberately positioned crucified rebels along the roadways so people could see them as they passed by, it was a stark and horrible reminder of who’s on the Throne, who’s in charge, who’s the BOSS.

Many people will say things like “It’s my cross this bad back or arthritus” they think that “Take Up Your Cross” means bearing burdens of illness or suffering hardships for the Lord. I’m sure there are some hardships we will need to go through as Christians (God tells us they are for our character development and to give us faith and hope), but there is a fuller meaning to “Take Up Your Cross Daily” if we consider the context of those passages.

(1) What is a cross for? It was not just a burden to be carried along. Your Cross is far more than that, it was an instrument of death and total sacrifice.

(2) Jesus said take up our cross and follow Him. He carried a cross and we must carry our cross and follow Him. But where was He going with His cross? He had just told His Disciples that He was going to die. Now, if they want to be His followers, they must be prepared to die too.

(3) In the very next verses Jesus said we must give our lives for Him.

(4) Then He asked what good our lives would be to us, if we loose our souls at the judgment throne of God.

So, “taking up your cross” refers to giving your whole life to Jesus, just as Jesus himself was about to do on His Cross, He was going to give His life as a sacrifice for us and for our sins.

Taking Up YOUR Cross: is a total dedication of your life to Jesus Christ. Our whole life is given over into His service in anything He says. This will lead us to willingly, (of our own volition; not being forced or against our own will) purposefully, determinedly,  denying self.

Following the Lord Jesus Christ then requires us to live as He lived His life (1 Peter 2:21; Matthew 10:34,35; 1 Cor 11:1).

Only Luke’s Gospel adds “take up your cross daily” (Luke 9:23). There is a sense in which Christians must give their lives to Jesus every singl day.

NOTE: This doesn’t mean we must commit suicide for Jesus: He’s NOT talking about physical death. This is very important, we’re to LIVE for Jesus, by DYING to self.

There are times when Christians have died for Jesus at the hands of others, such as recently in Iraq and Syria, when they refused to deny Jesus, ISIS murderers killed those Christians. Sometimes Christians do give their lives willingly for Jesus, but in the context of these passages, Jesus is talking about living for Him, following His teachings and it was to be a daily sacrifice of self to do the will of Jesus instead of what we’d want or normally, habitually be doing.

  • Whatever He wants with my life is what must be done with it.
  • Whatever I want does not control my life; be sure you’re not addicted to anything. Is there something you feel you can’t live without?
  • What I want no longer matters, but I give myself for Him, just as He gave Himself willingly for me.

Even Jesus struggled with what was about to happen to Him on the Cross (Remember the sweat of Gethsemane?) despite the fact His human nature did not want to have to do it. Compare Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 2:20; 1 John 3:16-18; Matthew 6:19-33; Galatians 5:24; Romans 6:6-23; 2 Timothy 2:11; 2 Corinthians 4:11; and Ecclesiastes 12:13.

The determination to give our lives to the Lord Jesus Christ in this kind of self-sacrificial, taking up your cross service, is called “repentance”.

When you are REPENTING: You determine to turn away from your own will and live your life to please the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s not possible to be SAVED without this kind of repentance. We cannot be saved until we’ve made Jesus BOSS, KING, RULER of our Life: There’s room for only one master: Is Jesus really the KING in your Heart?

For some people it takes TIME to make Jesus King: Others do it instinctively the moment they know Jesus died upon the Cross for their sins. For most it’s a progressive dying to self and living for Jesus. The Christian life really is a journey, but make sure Jesus is your KING today.

My friends, this is why repentance is so important in coming to Jesus. If you’ve responded to a Gospel message that simply says; “Invite Jesus into your heart” without talking about TRUE repentance from sin and from living for yourself, then there won’t be any salvation. Jesus will say to you on the Day of Judgement: “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… It also explains why so many people are not truly Jesus’ disciples today (whether or not they may claim to be His ‘Christians’): because they are not willing to live this life of total dedication to Jesus Christ as their LORD.

There’s a saying, “If Jesus is not LORD of all, then He’s not Lord at all”…

Is Jesus really your KING? You’ll know if’

  • You are willing to Deny Yourself (Living for Jesus).
  • Are you willing to take up your Cross Daily? (Die to Self).
  • Are you Following Jesus’ teachings? (Daily learning to be obedient to Jesus’ teachings). 

A wonderful lady in our fellowship in St Luke’s Church said, “I love the Hymn ‘I surrender all”, but I want to change it to, “I surrender nearly everything”. What she was telling us was, I want to give my whole life to Jesus, but I’m sure there are some parts I want to hang onto myself. “Lord help me to want to “Surrender All”…

3) Follow Me:

The next few verses then helps us understand Jesus’ point about denying self and taking up our cross and following Him, it also strengthens the application.

Matthew 16:24-28 (NIV)
24  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
25  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.
26  What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
27  For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
28  I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

If someone claims to be a ‘Christian’ but still holds or clings to his old life, if it is so precious to himself that he wants to use it to please himself, to do what he wants, to do his own will, and accomplish his own purposes, rather than denying self, taking up his cross and serving God, then Jesus teaches us that person will, in the end, at the judgement, lose his life for all eternity. WOWzer! That’s a stark and stunning warning from Jesus Christ.

However, if anyone who loses his life for Jesus’ sake; i.e. who gives it in service and self-sacrifice to Jesus Christ by denying himself, as described fully above – then be assured of this my friends, such a person will save their life by gaining the awesome gift of eternal life.

True Repentance: Is coming to Jesus Christ and making Him the KING of your own life.

Is Jesus Your KING?

Who’s your King? Is it you or is it Jesus?

There can be no greater or clearer teaching anywhere in the Bible of the full meaning of being a true disciple or follower of Jesus Christ.

So will you (of your own volition and free will), Deny Yourself, Take Up Your Cross and Follow Jesus Christ as Lord?

 

Crown Him “King Jesus” Today

Checkers King Jesus Crowned

Daily Spirit & Word, 615: Crown Him King.

Good morning my friends, have you ever played the game called Checkers? It’s one of the easiest games in the world to learn and can take a lifetime to master. The idea is to move your pieces and get as many on the opponent’s base-line, then you can say “Crown Him”. Once you get them crowned king, then you’ve got a King (doubler) you can move about the board in any direction. It’s marvellous to teach children, even very young ones get-it quite quickly. A word of caution (do let them win – they love it when they beat you at games).

Who Is this “SON” in this Psalm?

Psalm 2:1-12 
1 Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?
2  The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
3  “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”
4  The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.
5  Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6  “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
7  I will proclaim the decree of the LORD: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.
8  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession.
9  You will rule them with an iron sceptre; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10  Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11  Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling.
12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

The SON is KING Jesus.

Though The World (People who are not yet Saved by Jesus) is king at the moment.
There will come a DAY of reckoning: Psalm 2:4-6.
God just laughs my friends. He’s laughing at a World that thinks it’s King.

  • A world that has little room for Jesus now, will one day have to bow the knee.
  • A world that educates our children away from God’s values and standards.
  • A world that criminalises followers of Jesus for teaching His moral absolutes.
  • A world that gathers against Jerusalem, is a world that’s going to get crushed.
  • A world that grumbles, throws off the chains of righteousness, for they think God’s standards are like a prison.

God Gives Them Over He Let’s them think they are winning (But He’s Laughing at a foolish world that thinks it’s king).

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

(And NOW: They are criminalising those who say anything against these sinful, depraved and wicked practices).

The KING’S DAY: (Soon and Very Soon).

I’m just soooooo sad that my home country Scotland are now out of the Rugby World Cup. You’re probably all aware of yesterday’s controversial decision by the referee in the Scotland V Australia Rugby Union World Cup. Scotland got beaten by ONE POINT and are now out of the competition. However, though we may ALL disagree with the Referee’s decision (Apart from the Australian’s of course, they are over-the-moon) HIS DECISION is the ONLY ONE THAT COUNTS. Though it’s heartbreaking for Scotland and almost cruel in the last minute of a wonderful game, to loose by just one point like that. However, that’s how it is going to be when the Lord Jesus Christ is Crowned KING: His decisions are the only one’s that will ever count. He will be the KING of kings and LORD of all Lords. When? On the KING’S DAY:

Romans 2:16 “This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.”

HIS DECISION & JUDGEMENT ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT WILL COUNT

Though The World (People who are not yet Saved by Jesus) is king at the moment. God is laughing at them, scoffing at them, but one day His wrath will be revealed from Heaven. Watch out when Jesus is CROWNED KING.

There will come a DAY of reckoning. Jesus will be Crowned KING.
So my friends, Don’t give up or give in; stay focused and fixed upon Jesus Christ.

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

Be blessed TODAY: Enjoy Checkers, enjoy Rugby and Sports (even if your team looses), but KEEP your eyes FIXED on KING Jesus.

GET RID: Of everything that hinders you in your walk with Jesus. (Heb 12:1)
“Take refuge in the Son”… “Be found IN Jesus” John 15 “Let HIM be found in you too”…
Crown Jesus Your KING Today.

King over your everything.

King over; your home, finances, work, career, prospects, hobbies, likes and desires, family and friends. Jesus wants to be the KING (LORD, Boss, Master) of your everything. Let Him be your KING and you’ll find COMPLETE FREEDOM.

Don.

 

Do Your Best

Do your best; stay connected to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 604: Do Your Best.

Good morning my friends, how many times have we said or heard said, “I try my best” or “I’m trying my best to be good”. The feeling and thinking behind the statement: We all want THE BEST in our lives. As Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who try and live by the Word of God, we want to be the best we possibly can be and we want others to think or know that we are God’s holy people.

However, the reality is, we’re only as good as our BEST. You see the Lord doesn’t want us to be as good as WE can be, but He wants us to be LIKE Jesus. Why? Because He knows that Jesus standard of goodness far exceeds our own, because Jesus was and is perfect. Hence the reason Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing”… We are only as GOOD as our closeness to Jesus.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

If we are ‘trying our best’ without getting close to Jesus Christ first: then our best means or is worth NOTHING. Even if you’ve got the whole Ten Commandment and are trying to live according to them, and you only fall down at just one point in God’s Commands, perhaps you covet a little. Then we’ve become God’s Law Breakers and we’ll be guilty before God on Judgement Day.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “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.

Jesus wants us instead of trying our best to draw near to Him then we’ll be doing what’s best, to come close, to live our life with Him: When we respond, then we WILL BE FRUITFUL.

You see my friends, it’s not OUR BEST that God is going to be looking for, but how much of Christ is in us, how much we’ve become like Jesus Christ, there’s only ONE WAY to do that: BE WITH Jesus. The more time, the more energy, the more focus you put upon actually being with Jesus as you go about your daily life in this world, the BETTER you will be at being what you know your heart’s desire is.

Sadly, too many Christians get into other things, these good things get in the way of our relationship with Christ, we become like a detached branch, we become like a branch that’s actually been cut off from the Vine. What happens when a good Christian looses his first love, looses his connection with the vine? We begin to wither and die: Our Joy goes: Even our desire for worship and being with other brothers and sisters dries up.

It happens very Slowly of course:

Did you know a vine branch can live for a little while apart from the main branch? You can plant a vine branch in the soil a couple of weeks after it’s been cut off from the vine and it will still begin to put down it’s own roots and grow. I know this, because I’ve done it. We had an uncultivated vine for a while, but it only ever produced tiny little bitter grapes.

However, when a branch begins to grow on it own; apart from the Lord, it’s a wild vine you’ll have, not a cultivated one. It will not have the root-stalk of the old vine and will have it’s own nature. A cultivated root is selected for it’s characteristics of the wine it produces, and the actual vines that are grafted into it will be protected by the cultivated root vine.

Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the Branches: We’ve been grafted into this Heavenly Cultivated Vine. It’s Holy life giving sap flows through our veins. Jesus gives us the NEW WINE of the KINGDOM.

YBH: Yes But How? How do we “Do our Best”?

It’s easy to say something and much harder to actually do it. How do we stay close to the Vine and connected to the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus said it and the Apostles applied it in the rest of the New Testament.

Jesus said: “If you obey my Commands, you ARE my Disciples”: so it’s obedience to Christ’s Commands.

Paul said to Timothy:  2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved (tested and tried), a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Do Your Best: Stop saying “I’m trying my best” start thinking “I’m DOING my best”: The BEST thing you can do is get close to Jesus every single day. You are to strive with all your might to get ready to stand before God: You will already have been; tried and tested by Him. You do your best: to handle correctly the word of truth. This means: To understand and apply God’s Word to your life. To live according to what you know and understand. It’s going to take your own personal effort to draw and remain connected with Jesus Christ and to read, understand and apply God’s Word to your own life.

There are many ways to do it today: Thank God for the internet, the WWW (World, Wide, Web), here you can find so much “Good Teaching” and “Application” of God’s Word: This will help you to understand it. However, don’t just stop at getting an understanding of God’s Word: Stay close to Jesus Christ yourself: pray, be with Him in prayer, and He’ll guide you. Get filled up with God’s Holy Spirit every day. Pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit, I need Him, I’m asking in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Saviour. Amen”….

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Monday is magnificent, be with Jesus today, start your week right and keep at it every day.

So;

STOP saying, “I’m trying my best” START saying, “I’m DOING my BEST to stay connected with Jesus Christ” Amen!

Don.

One of the best and most practical ways to Keep Close to Jesus: Is to take captive every thought and bring it into subjection to Jesus Christ’s teachings:

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “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’s our Thought Life: where battles are won and lost. Let’s take captive EVERY thought that’s going against what we KNOW is God’s Word.

Amen.

 

Why Am I Suffering?

Jesus answer to suffering

Daily Spirit & Word 601: Why Am I Suffering?

Good morning my friends, did you see the Blood Moon yesterday? For some strange reason I awoke just as the shadow of the Earth began to cover the moon, so I watched it for a while. The moon looked quite big, they called it a super moon, but I’m sure I’ve seen even bigger moons than that when I was a child 🙂 Overshadow? I’m thinking what the Lord may be saying about that today.

I can’t give a reason for EVERYONE’S suffering, but sometimes the Lord wants to teach us something.

My friends Roy Hutchinson shared this on FB today:

Psalm 73:14-17 (ANIV)
14  All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15  If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children.
16  When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
17  till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

If you read that whole Psalm, you’ll see the Psalmist is complaining to the LORD: Why do ‘good’ people have to suffer?

Suffering:

When we suffer sometimes we ask the question “Why?” Why am I suffering. Sometimes Christians get ashamed about their suffering or the duration of their suffering, because they think it’s the judgement of God. Other brothers and sisters sometimes don’t help, because they say things like; “You should pray about that” or “Perhaps God is disciplining you”… When you are suffering you want people to show some sympathy and empathy.

But it is GOOD to ask the question: “Why am I suffering?” but we should always ask the LORD not other people, because, unless they’ve been given a word of Knowledge from Him, they will not know.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17  For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18  And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19  So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

However, there are some great reasons why we suffer, but it’s good to ask the Lord the question “WHY?” He may reveal something that, unless the suffering had come, you would continue to be unaware of in your character or walk with Him.

Two verses jumped out at me from that passage today (perhaps another speaks to you in a different way), the verses were 15 & 17.

Verse 15 “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or a thief or any other kind of evildoer (criminal), or even as a meddler (someone who interferes in the affairs of others).”

How many ‘good’ Christians do you know, who are meddlers? The Church is rife with people who meddle, we should not do it.

  • If you are a meddler, then you are an obstacle to someone else’s pathway in life.
  • If you are a meddler, you are interfering in an obtrusive, noticeable way.

Verse 17: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

It is so easy for the follower of Jesus to skip over the first part of verse 17 and focus upon the outcome of the sinner who doesn’t respond to the Gospel when they hear it. However, the first part could quite possible be even more enlightening for us; “For it is TIME for judgement to begin with the family of God”. We don’t like to think that Father God will judge us, but it’s good for us if He does.

God disciplines, and judges those who belong to HIM NOW: “God disciplines those He loves”. He’s perfecting, training, shaping and moulding our Characters to become more and more like Jesus Christ, it is far better to KNOW that you belong to God’s family and experience His loving discipline now rather than wait for the judgement to come. We should invite the Lord to show us where we need to be transformed. “What’s next on Your agenda for me Heavenly Father?” Because our earthly nature, though it was put to death when we were baptised and united with Christ, is NOT completely dead, and will try and creep back up onto the throne of our life and kick the Lord Jesus Christ off.

It’s TIME for Judgement to begin with the Household (family) of God.

In other words, it is good for us when the Lord of Heaven disciplines us. So it’s no wonder this passage begins with “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” and continues with “rejoice”… It’s GOOD for us to experience some suffering, so we should never be ashamed or down-hearted or beaten down: Instead Christians should Rejoice! Sing hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Why? Because we are becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

So what should we do when we’re suffering?

First: REJOICE and PRAISE THE LORD: I know how hard that is sometimes, but it is what happens to us when we do it. JOY comes into our hearts when we praise the Lord, even when we’re in pain and suffering all kinds of trials.

Next: Continue to do Good: Verse 19 “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

Continue (even when you are suffering) to do good.

When I had a bad back just recently and found it difficult even to walk, there wasn’t much good I could do, but I prayed, studied God’s Word and shared with people in fellowship and online. It is the CONTINUING: Keep going even when the going gets tough.

Jesus will help you and give you the comfort, encouragement, and strength that you need when you are suffering. There were so many wonderful encouragements I received from the Lord whilst suffering in agony. Praise the LORD!

So it’s good to ASK the Lord, “Why Am I Suffering?”

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

Hope you all have a fantastic, wonderful, tremendous Tuesday with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Please PRAY for us as we gather for Discipleship Fellowship Tonight @ 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church.

 

God Has Planted ETERNITY into EVERY Human Heart.

The Gospel is NOT always good news

Daily Spirit & Word: 599: How is the Gospel Good News?

God Has Planted ETERNITY Into EVERY Human Heart.

It was amazing last night going out into the streets of Brixton in London. After sharing with a few people it became abundantly clear that we were in the right place at the right time, God was leading us to people and many responded. We met up with quite a few ‘Christians’, (note the inverted commas), people who thought they were Christians, but who’s lives were not matching up to their profession of faith.

Also, there were so many ‘weird’ ideas coming from people’s mouths. One man thought that he was god, he determined his own future, his own life, his own feelings. As we talked it became clear that he wasn’t open to the good news, but we shared some things that hopefully were gems to dwell upon. He believed that this life is not all there is, that somehow he’d go on after death. I asked him, “Do you know why you believe that? It’s because God has planted Eternity into the heart of every human being?”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its (His) own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

You know what his response that statement was? “Ahhh so God plants thoughts and I’m just a robot then, I’ve got to respond to His input” he was touched and quite angry that God was the one responsible for his belief in ‘eternity’….. I said “Oh no! God does indeed reveal that this life is not all their is, but He’s definitely not made us His robots, He has given us free will, to either obey or disobey the Commandments which He’s also planted within our hearts, so that we’ll know His ways and be accountable for our life one day”.

We then went through a few of God’s Commandments: but each time, though he admitted his failure, he wasn’t touched nor was his conscience bothering him. Such a terrible condition for a human soul to be in at such a young age. I’m praying that the Lord will continue to use our conversation last night.

We got chatting about photography and things of this world for a while, but I finished with saying, “You know Grant it’s been lovely sharing with you tonight, but let me finish with this, God has planted eternity and His commands in your hearts, He’s also provided a way for man to escape His judgement for not living according to His ways, Jesus died for our sin on the Cross, for all our wrong choices, all you have to do is turn from your ways and trust in Jesus Christ.” He knew the Gospel, because his grandparents were Christians.

You see my friends, the Gospel is for those who are ready: It’s good news for those who’ve come to believe, understand or know that without a Saviour they are doomed, but for those who want to live life as if they were god, it’s definitely NOT good news, because they hear that one day, they are going to be made to account for their life of rebellion and sin. It would be a waste of time giving them the good news first, that really would be like casting your pearls before swine. So we finished off with a teasing glimpse of what the Lord has done to provide a way for Grant to be saved on judgement day.

The Gospel is NOT ‘good news’ for everyone, because some have already decided in their hearts that God’s ways are NOT for them. The Gospel becomes bad news, because it reveals there’s a consequence for choosing our own ways.

At the end of our conversation Grant thanked us for taking the time to share the things of the Lord. We thanked him for listening and sharing his views with us. Treating people with respect doesn’t cost a penny. We’re not out to win arguments but to bring people to the Saviour.

Other people were much more open to the Good News of the Gospel. There were believers, committed followers of Jesus and they were very encouraged and commended us our efforts in reaching out to the lost. There were also believers who’s lives had slipped and they too said, “This is a wake-up call” One lady said, “You know since we’ve been chatting, I feel my faith has gotten much stronger”… It’s amazing what the Lord does when we go out of our way to share the Gospel with folks. All those fears that we get vanish like the morning mist once we open our mouth for the Lord. He then replaces that fear with a holy boldness, but we become like Jesus, gentle, humble and ready to do the Father’s bidding.

I repeat yesterday’s little gem of a verse to encourage others (YOU) to go out and give it a go: Share the Good News with those who don’t yet Know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour:

Philemon 1:6 “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”

How does that happen? Well the Bible tells us that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”, when you share the Gospel with folks, you’ll be speaking out God’s Word, your own faith will be strengthened, you’ll get an even deeper insight into what it means to be saved, you’ll get a full understanding of every good thing that you have in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s AWESOME!

The Good News IS always great news, the best news that anybody could ever want to hear, IF their hearts are ready.

Today, we’ve got the Blessing of Yeateman’s Funeral Home Chapel. 🙂 It’s Open Day. Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

The Man of Macedonia Beckons

Macedonia Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word 585: The Man Of Macedonia Beckons

The Man of Macedonia:

Fantastic Friday: Yesterday was awesome, because in the morning at 8.30am I met up with two other Pastors from West Norwood in a Cafe for breakfast and later for prayer. Why was that so amazing? It was because just after we’d greeted one another I said, “I’ve been reading about the Holy Spirit and how sometimes He tells us “NO!”, then about the vision of the ‘Man of Macedonia’, it was what I’d been reading in Acts. Well just as I was explaining, Dennis said, “WOW, that’s what we were just talking about in our prayer meeting less than an hour ago” then Peter chipped in, “I was reading about that too last night” It’s amazing how three Church leaders were all reading the same thing from God’s Word and, had the feeling that the Holy Spirit was saying the same things to us: Sometimes God says “NO!” or “Stop!” or “Don’t go”, but He always seems to reveal where He wants us to go.

Acts 16:6-10 “Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

7  When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
8  So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
9  During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

10  After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

I’m preaching upon Acts 16 tomorrow, but isn’t it brilliant when the Lord brings us together and opens up His Word in such a wonderful way? They couldn’t go to Asia or Mysia or Bithynia, but from Troas they had the vision; from the Man of Macedonia, to take the Gospel to Europe.

Could it be that The Man of Macedonia is Beckoning Again?

I wonder, even now, what it is that the Lord is saying to us here in West Norwood?

With all that’s happening in Syria, Greece and Macedonia: Countless thousands of souls passing through on their way to Germany, could it be that He wants us to go to Macedonia to preach the Gospel again?

How those poor people, coming from an Islamic terror need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ and the Freedom that being a member of His Kingdom brings.

I heard yesterday about a man who was recently converted by a dream that he had and a mini-revival has broken out in Macedonia as a result, because he was a man with influence and many listened to him when he declared his conversion to Christ.

Gathering together for fellowship and prayer and to share God’s Word together will keep you strong.

Listen my friends, God still speaks today and He’ll guide us clearly wherever He wants us to go and proclaim Christ. Be free in the Love of God, let His Spirit flow within you.

Don.

 

When It’s Good to be Salty

Salt and Light for Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word 576:

When it’s GOOD to be SALTY.

As many of you know, I served in the Royal Navy for 17 1/2 years. That half year is so important, because the last six months was really difficult. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was leaving, I wanted to leave, but there were things that you just get so used to in the Navy. There are privileges that no one, except another Matelot, would understand. You get an I.D card when you join up and that gives you instant access into any and every Naval base and establishment, but when you leave you’ve got to hand back your I.D. Card and keeping it as souvenir, memento or keepsake is not an option.

As a Christian we’ve also got a kind of I.D. Card too, it gives us instant access into the presence of God. It’s instantly recognisable by Heaven and from the moment we have it God sees us as one of His own. What is it? It’s the robe of righteousness, when we are wearing that robe all Father God can see is His Son Jesus Christ. We are totally righteous in His sight, our sins are covered over in the Love of God, washed away and cleansed, He sees us as we are in Jesus; Holy, Good and Salt and Light. Therefore we’ve got access into His presence and we can come before Him with joy and boldness. No one, but a true Christian, can understand the privilege it is to have this robe of righteousness.

After I left, there was no going back, no getting into the Establishments. No amount of pleading with the gate staff would enable me to gain entrance, without an I.D card I was just like every other civilian. However, when we are given our robe of righteousness, we’ll never have to hand it back again, we can keep it forever.

Isaiah 61:10 “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” 

This was a verse that I sang on many occasions in the depths of the sea on a Submarine. In the heat and sweat of the Engine room or Reactor Compartment, I’d be singing my heart out to the Lord at the top of my voice. You know my friends, when you sing something over and over and over again, instead of the tune getting boring, the truth begins to impact your soul.

  • You can DELIGHT in the LORD!
  • Your Soul will REJOICE!
  • He’s CLOTHED you, you are not naked anymore. You are clothed in righteousness. Think about that one for a moment, Adam hid in the garden to cover his shameful nakedness, but once you are righteous in the LORD you don’t need to hide any longer you can just come out of hiding and boldly come before the LORD, because He has clothed you in His righteousness.
  • He has CLOTHED you with GARMENTS of SALVATION: Once you come to put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, once you’ve REPENTED and RECEIVED Him as Lord and Saviour, you take on His garments of SALVATION and His ROBE of RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Now sing it again: “I delight, greatly, in the LORD. I delight, greatly, in the LORD” Now ask yourself why you are delighting in the LORD? “Because He has clothed me with garments of SALVATION” and “Because He has ARRAYED me in a ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”.

Now can you see why I’d emerge from the depths of the heat of the Reactor Compartment energised. No I’d not be contaminated with radiation 🙂 No it’s wasn’t getting those rays into my soul, but the JOY of the Lord came flooding in and when I came out it was obvious to everyone. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces.

Another time, when in the Engine room, we’d been cleaning up and oil spill and it was dirty and hot, but after singing praises to the Lord I emerged onto the platform where everyone gathered for a rest and a cup of tea, and they stopped and looked at me in astonishment. I was full of joy and energy in the LORD and it was obvious to them all.

One Chief, my superior at the time, came and asked me, “Ginge, how can you be so happy with such a (swear-word) job?”

“Everybody else came out of that Engine room moaning and complaining about the heat, the mess and feeling horrible being covered in oil, but you are literally beaming with glee, what gives?”

I said, “Chief, I was singing to Jesus and the job became a delight”. He scratched his head.

There is a saying in the Navy, “Salty old sea dog” it’s used for someone who’s been in the Service for a long time and knows a thing or too about the Navy. My friends, when you get to know Jesus, after years of hardships and service in His Kingdom, you’ll get the title SALTY old Christian. Jesus said, “You are the SALT of the earth” and “You are the LIGHT of the world”

Matthew 5:13-16

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 
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 too may be having a hard time, you might be toiling at a meaningless job, you may be experiencing the heat and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get out of the situation. Rejoice, praise, pray and sing to Jesus; His LOVE will lift you up. His presence will come into your heart and soul and you’ll be a shining light for everyone to see. Sing the song, “I delight, greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me in garments of Salvation and arrayed me in a robe of Righteousness” you’ll be coming into the throne room of Heaven. You’ll be transformed and the toil and hardship will seem as nothing.

Jesus wants you to be SALTY and make a difference in the world, He’s given you access into the throne room of Heaven and when you come before Him, clothed in His Salvation and robed in His Righteousness, you’ll be full of delight and you’ll sing His praises. Let’s be SALTY for Him and let the LIGHT shine from our faces today for Jesus.

It’s good to be SALTY sometimes.

Don.

 

Desiring To Become A Prophet

The Holy Spirit On All People

Daily Spirit & Word 575:

Do you desire to become a Prophet of the LORD?

It’s amazing, you know when you are reading the Bible and come across it’s great characters that were used by the LORD in wonderful ways, do you ever get a hunger or desire to be like them for the LORD today? Think about Moses or Joshua or King David and Solomon, how the LORD used them: Think about Samuel, Elijah and Elisha and how the LORD used them: Think about Deborah, Esther, Elizabeth, Mary, Phoebe, Lydia and Chloe and how the LORD used them. These people are just a few, but think about down through history and how the LORD has powerfully used individuals to influence the times in which they lived. In each era of human history the LORD has chosen and anointed many thousands of people to become an influence for good, in such a way that countless thousands of others have been encouraged and inspired to become more holy, righteous and good themselves. Because of the way they’ve lived, people are hungering and thirsting to get to know the LORD Jesus Christ even long after their death:

Think about modern times, who’s recently been used by the LORD as an influence on a world-wide scale for good, that even non-Christians know about them? Billy Graham, C.S. Lewis, Reinhard Bonnke.

The Bible (God’s Word) reveals that before the advent of the Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, it was only certain individuals who were possessed by the Holy Spirit to prophesy and influence their world for good and for God’s glory, but long before Jesus came, one of those Prophets of the Lord tells us a time will come when everyone will become a prophet.

The Day of The LORD:

Joel 2:28-32 28 “And afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
29  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30  I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

32  And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the LORD has said, among the survivors whom the LORD calls. 

By this prophesy Joel was forthtelling or foretelling the future. Forthtelling = the immediate future and foretelling speaks about the distant future. Joel was doing both in his prophetic utterances. Sometimes the prophet was aware of this and sometimes unaware that he was being used by the LORD.

We can see a two-fold foretelling unfolding from Joel’s prophesy: When he declared that there would be signs in the heavens and on the earth; you would think it’s all to do with the signs that accompanied the arrival and birth of our Saviour in Bethlehem: The Star followed by the wise men from the East. The miraculous pregnancy of Mary and Elizabeth. The Angels appearing to Shepherds and their vision of Heaven. However, we also see it being unfolded in the lives of the Apostles after Jesus returned to Heaven: The Day of Pentecost when Peter and the other disciples began to prophesy and thousands came to trust in the Saviour.

Peter said about that incident: (It’s quite a long reading, but please don’t rush it, take time over the words and ask the LORD to be speaking to you today as you read them again). The PROMISED HOLY SPIRIT.

Acts 2:14-41

14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say.
15  These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16  No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 
17  ” ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 
18  Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 
19  I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 
20  The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 
21  And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ 

22  “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. 23  This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. 24  But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

25  David said about him: ” ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 
26  Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope, 27  because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay. 28  You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.’ 

29  “Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and his tomb is here to this day.
30  But he was a prophet and knew that God had promised him on oath that he would place one of his descendants on his throne. 31  Seeing what was ahead, he spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that he was not abandoned to the grave, nor did his body see decay. 32  God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact. 33  Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. 34  For David did not ascend to heaven, and yet he said, ” ‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand 35  until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” ‘ 

36  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” 
37  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 
38  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
39  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.” 
40  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

The PROMISE:

My friends, this is a promise from the LORD: When you REPENT AND TRUST in the LORD Jesus Christ and get Baptised in His Name for the forgiveness of your sins, then you too will receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit and you too will begin to prophesy (proclaim the Word of the Lord).

We always think that Prophesy is foretelling future events, but sometimes it’s just forthtelling (in a Spirit inspired and gifted way) what’s about to happen immediately or what is already happening. God gives Spiritual insight to those whom He has called, both men and women, young and old, WOWzer!

Like King David, who was probably not fully aware of the significance of his words, he was used by the LORD thousands of years beforehand to proclaim future events. You too may be used by the LORD in that way, but more importantly, you are going to be used by the Holy Spirit to be an influence for good in your own time. He’s going to give you His gift to prophesy and proclaim God’s Word in your own generation.

My friends, if you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ today, then you ARE a prophet of the LORD, just like the prophets of old. Now do you believe that? Do you accept that He’s going to use you? Are you ready and willing to be used by the Lord in such ways?

Prayer:

Have an awesome weekend, I’m praying that many more believers will recognise their high calling and be used by the Lord to be an influence for good in the home, the workplace, school, college, university, offices, streets and in the neighbourhoods. May people look upon your life and see the good that you are doing and glorify your Father in Heaven. When you open your mouth to speak, speak God’s Word in your time, Oh Holy Spirit please use us ALL today. Amen!

Be blessed today,

Don.