Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Drought, Dryness, Thirst, Hunger,

Daily Spirit & Word 558:

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Good morning my friends, I’ve had a wonderful week so far and I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend. The School came to church yesterday for their end of term assembly, it was so good hearing all the children singing and watching their dance before the Lord. You can learn a LOT from children: out of the mouths of babes.

I’ve shared with folks a few time how a few days ago, I ventured into my garden and was horrified. It strange when you’ve set your mind to relax and enjoy a break from your labours then disaster strikes. Well it was only a little disaster, but well worth sharing, because the LORD has been speaking to me about it since.

I was just sitting down when I glanced over to my tomato plants, they’d all began to wither, their leaves were curled-up and the tops drooping terribly. What had happened? I’d not watered them for a day, it was a HOT day, and though I’d planed to water them, as usual, in the evening, they’d already begun to wilt in the heat of the sun. So I quickly got my garden hose and sprayed them, then soaked each plant in turn, the soil in their pots was so dry and hard that the water just floated and would not sink into the soil. I kept soaking them for over an hour. Then I returned to my labour in another part of the garden, fearing the worse that the tomatoes had been withered beyond salvation. They gotten so dried up they’d never be able to soak in the life-giving water.

However, after another hour, I glanced at my plants again, and though their leaves were still much softer than normal, they’d begun to lift and their heads were standing up again. Another hour passed, I’d watered them again and then they were standing tall, firm and ready to face the heat of the sun again.

Well, since then the LORD has been showing me from His Word in so many places that we NEED to come to HIM every single day if we’re going to prosper and live as Christians. If you truly want to be known by God as a Follower of Jesus Christ, then you need to stay connected to Christ or you too will wither and die. It will be as if you are just like a non-Christian, you will be so dried-up Spiritually that your head will droop, your desire for spiritual things will not be there, you’ll be hardened against instruction and correction. Just like the plant that had gotten so hard that it couldn’t drink-in the very thing it needed to survive.

CURSED: Cursed is the man (person).

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Let’s read that again in another translation:

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

  • Whenever we’re tempted to BE independent of God.
  • Whenever we’re fooled into THINKING “I can do it by myself”.
  • Whenever we’re tricked into doing things in WORLDLY ways.

Then we’re CURSED. (Be shocked my friends, because it’s introduced to us like this, “This IS what the LORD says”, i,e. it’s not a man saying it to you, it’s not a book saying it to you, it’s the LORD Himself. It’s a warning from Heaven; “Don’t trust in yourself, don’t trust in man’s cunning, man’s wisdom, man’s strength or anything else MANKIND tells you how to be, how to live and how to succeed in this world. TRUST ONLY IN GOD. (He’s revealed HIS will in HIS Word).

Let’s see it unpacked just a little more for today: On Sunday I’m going to be opening up God’s WORD on this subject a little more.

BLESSED: Blessed is the man (person).

Now just sit and soak in God’s WORD (Like my tomato plant; and BE revived, be renewed, have your thirst quenched, feel the goodness surge through your veins, let Him lift your head).

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Notice in the KJV “Her leaf shall be green” That’s awesome, I hadn’t noticed that before. AWESOME! This really does apply to both men and women my friends.

 

BLESSED by the LORD is the person who trusts in HIM.

 

But NOTICE: The reason why?????

The reason God doesn’t want you or me or anyone to TRUST in their flesh or the advice of other men or women in their ‘worldly’ wisdom, is this:

Jeremiah 17:9 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Why? Because your HEART is: DECEITFUL (it will trick, fool and lie to us).

Because our HEART is: DESPERATELY WICKED: the heart will lead you away from God into wicked and foolish things. It will be desperate for the things that God has said are NOT GOOD for you. Your Heart will lead you away from God because in our natural un-redeemed condition our HEART is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Even for Christian’s who’ve begun to walk in the flesh, the heart will lead you further away from God if you trust it’s inclinations).

It’s like my tomato plant, it desperately needed water, but was rejecting the water at first. Even though I was soaking it, it had gotten so HARD, it would not and couldn not drink in the precious life-giving fluid.

Oh my friends, is the LORD shouting out to you this Friday? Stop, stop trusting in your flesh, the arm of your strength, your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, it’s telling you things that are lies about God, lies about how to be a great success in this life. STOP listening to your flesh and the wisdom of the men of the world. STOP trusting in your own desperately wicked heart and trust the LORD.

BE BLESSED: You will always have what you NEED from the LORD, even when disaster strikes, you will continue to flourish.

Have an awesome weekend and SOAK in God.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

It’s funny how the ordinary things in life, like my withered tomato plant can teach us God’s TRUTH so that we can remember it forever.

When we turn away from the LORD (or neglect to do or be in His presence daily), we’re beginning to trust in the flesh for our Spiritual survival, we’re going to get dry, thirsty, parched. It will be like we’re all alone in a desert place, away from all that’s good. Don’t trust in the flesh or the strength of human wisdom, but turn again and trust in the LORD.

I need YOU LORD JESUS, every single day. Fill me up Lord. Amen.

Don.

Read: John 4: John 15, Luke 15, 1 John 3:16,

Especially the Woman at the Well:

 

 

The Christian’s Call To Holiness Today

The Christians's Call To Holiness

Daily Spirit & Word: 551: The Christian’s Holiness Today.

“There will come a time when the love of most will grow cold.”

Good morning my friends, I’m so sad that I couldn’t post yesterday. However, I’m re-assured by some of you who’ve been telling me that’s it’s given you a chance to catch-up on some of my writings. I know it’s HARD to follow, when someone writes as I do, sooooooo much 🙂 You’ll find countless, hundreds of other daily devotionals that are much shorter, more pithy and pointed. You’ll get a truth from them that will sustain you for a day or a whole week. Praise the LORD for them! I also read some of them too. However, I’m not called by the LORD to be short or concise. Sometimes, I’ll be short, but mostly, I just share what the LORD has put upon my heart to share.

 Matthew 24:9-14
9   “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
12  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD

Today, the Lord Jesus is speaking to me (personally) about Holiness. How He called me and every Christian to be Holy. Now holiness is NOT easy, especially as we live in a fallen world, where the love of most for the things of God has gone completely cold, even amongst the churches. It seems to me that the world and the church have fallen away from the high calling of Jesus Christ in the new testament to be a holy people. However, there are a few faithful left, but the world and the worldly church hate them, because we stand out like a sore thumb. It’s evident to the world today who the true followers of Jesus Christ are; because they will not go along with the ways of the world, they love the Lord and His Word too much for that. But in doing so, in being committed to living according to Jesus teachings, they’ve become targets. Nobody likes to be singled out or viewed as different or odd, yet that’s exactly what Jesus warned His own disciples they would become or be to the world and the worldly church.

FOR INSTANCE: Reverend Melvin Tinker:

He is a Minister in the province of York who protested about the blessing and prayers offered by the staff of York Minster for the ‘Gay Pride Parade’. His public protest hit the headlines and even reached Parliament. He was ridiculed on the BBC and by the Prime Minister, because he dared to stand up for God’s standards revealed in the Bible about morality. The world really does hate the saints when we declare boldly God’s standards of holiness and life.

The LOVE (Holiness, Devotion, Dedication and Faithfulness) of MOST will grow cold.

If Jesus was physically upon the earth today, I’m convinced that He would shout loudly and say, “The End IS Near: Repent and turn to God and walk in Holiness: Judgement is imminent”.

His call has always included a sacrifice from those who respond; the sacrifice for sins is finished with in His own blood upon the Cross, but the sacrifice He expects in return is death to self (selfishness, self-determination, self-will). Jesus’ call is for ALL His followers (Disciples) is to BE Holy. Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Holiness of LIFE:

It’s living a separated life. That’s what HOLY means:

The word translated ‘Holy’ in the Greek of the New Testament is ‘Hagios’ (Scottish Christians love that, because it reminds them of their favourite food ‘Haggis’).

Hagios: Is translated in three main ways:

  • Holy: 161 times.
    Saints: 61 times.
    Holy One: 4 times.
    Miscellaneous translations 3
  • [Total Count: 229] Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

The Temple Was Holy: (Because of God’s presence in God’s Holy Place).
The Jewish People Were Holy: (Because He made them Holy by selecting them out from among all the people on Earth).
The Christian Is Called To Be Holy: (Because God the Holy Spirit lives in the Believer: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The Christian Is NOW Part of God’s Holy Called-Out People:

1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
10  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
12  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

God’s calling His Church and Jesus calling His Followers (Disciples) to BE HOLY.

William Barclay said; “In the first days of Christianity there was a glory and a splendour, but now Christianity had become a thing of habit, “traditional, half-hearted, nominal.” Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).

William Barclay was not writing about the state of the church today, but the state of the church by the end of the first century. He was commenting upon the state of affairs that the Apostle John was writing to address at the end of his life in his first Epistle ‘1 John’. A ‘nominal’ Christian is one who loves being religious, but his ‘religion’ doesn’t affect his behaviour in the world. He lives like everyone else in society. He’s become a false-convert that Jesus warned about in the Parables; someone who has a form of holiness, but doesn’t live according to his professed belief. John said that a person like that, who “Claims to walk in the light, but continues to sin, cannot have fellowship with God” i.e. He cannot really be converted, the Holy Spirit has never done His work of conversion upon that person’s heart.

What is it that makes many half-hearted, false-believers fall away from their half-hearted ‘nominal’ form of Christianity? Jesus tells us clearly; “Because of the increase of wickedness…” Matthew 24:12. Be sure of this, no true believer will ever fall away from Jesus Christ, only those who were false-converts to begin with.

Romans 8:35-39
35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NOTHING can or will be able to separate the true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ for their Master: NOTHING.

However, there will be a pull, a tugging of the heart-strings and a war of the Saints: Because nobody likes to live at odds with those around them. Compromise and half-hearted responses to worldly ways (just like York Minster’s response to the Gay Pride Parade) will be the condition of MOST, but not all. There will always be few who’ll remain faithful to the Lord, His Word and His Teachings until He returns.

His call to you and me is “BE HOLY”.

But the Christians’ response, because our nature has been transformed by the Holy Spirit, is to welcome holiness as a way of life, it’s not a burden, it’s a strong inward desire to live in accordance to the will of God. Our Spirit, will and desires are in line with His, we want to be walking as Jesus walked. We are daily being transformed into the likeness and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re going to become; more loving, good, pure, holy, happy, joy-filled, peaceful, righteous, forgiving, patient, kind, generous, giving, gentle and self-controlled. What a wonderful full and abundant life we’ve been called to and set-apart for, but it’s not going to be EASY as the world moves further and further away from God’s revealed standards of holiness.

Holiness is NOT a lifestyle choice for Christians, it’s a loving response to His Call upon our lives.

Don’t be surprised that the world hates you because of what you believe and the way that you want to live for Jesus, because Jesus warned us all in advance that this is what it’s going to be like just before He comes back again. There will be an increase of wickedness (sinfulness) in the last days. That’s obvious is we watch the News for just a few moments. However, you, dear brothers and sisters, be strong and of good courage as you live in the last-days.

Praise the LORD because, despite it all, we can be FULL OF THE JOY OF THE LORD.

Be Holy, be ready, be full of the JOY of the Lord.

Don.

 

Taste and SEE that the LORD IS Good

trusting Jesus instead of religion

Daily Spirit & Word, 534: Taste and See That The Lord Is Good.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV) “Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

Have you ever been given something to drink and the person giving it says, “Go on taste it, you’ll see that it’s good”? If you are twenty or older then you’ll not take a person’s word for it, because you’ve heard that statement before, you’ve had bad experiences when someone’s told you “It tastes great” and you’ve tasted it and it’s been horrible, sometimes all you’ve wanted to do is spit it our of your mouth. However, like ‘real’ coffee, once you’ve tried it, you’ll never want to go back to instant coffee again. Or when someone gives you a cup of instant, you’ll say “Oh, thank you very much”, but all your instincts will be to spew it out of your mouth.

When the Bible encourages us to “Taste and See” it’s encouraging us to try the genuine article, the bee-knees of religions, because faith in the LORD is the only genuine faith on the Earth today. All other religions might taste ok for a while, but once you’ve TASTED the LORD, there’s no going back.

So many people have had bad or negative experiences of ‘Christianity’ or ‘religion’, so when we tell people; “Go on try Jesus” It’s no wonder they look at us sceptically. Because they’ve tried ‘religions’ before, they didn’t live up to expectations, they didn’t deliver, so why should this Jesus guy be any different?

Sceptical = Disbelieving, doubting, questioning, unbelieving.

“Why is Jesus different from ‘religion’?”

The Answer:

The answer is in the question; ‘they’ve tried ‘religion’, but Christianity is very different from every other faith on the planet, it’s not about ‘religion’ but about a person, the person of Jesus Christ. Once you’ve tasted the LORD there’s no going back. Why? Because Jesus is the only genuine faith. Following Jesus is the only way to Heaven. Submitting to Jesus as LORD (tasting) is the only way to discover that Christianity is TRUE to all it’s promises. It’s the only religion that cannot be tried before you buy. With Jesus it’s ALL of NOTHING.

You can try, as countless millions all over the world are doing right now, they’re trying the Christian ‘religion’ without coming to Jesus. Religion is empty, even the so called ‘Christian’ religion. That’s why it’s so difficult sometimes to bring people to the Saviour, they’ve tried being ‘religious’, those aspects of the Christian Faith: prayer, confession, belief, communion, baptism, church attendance and religious activities and found (as you rightly would) there’s nothing in it, it’s empty.

That’s because Jesus didn’t call us to a ‘religion’, He called us to Himself. He said, “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28-30).

McDonald’s Without A Burger:

It’s a bit like going to a McDonald’s Drive Through, and after ordering and paying for your burger, you drive to a nice viewpoint to enjoy your Happy Meal, only to discover that when you sink your teeth into your bun, the burger is missing. Everything else is there; the lettuce, the tomato, the gherkin, the mayo and the tomato sauce, but where’s the burger? My friends, that’s exactly what any ‘religion’ is like without the LORD Jesus Christ. It’s empty, it doesn’t taste good, it tastes horrible, it just doesn’t deliver. So no wonder people are twice as hard-hearted when we try and tell them about the Lord Jesus. They’ve tried the so called ‘christian’ religion before, what’s going to be different this time?

LOOK at the results of truly TASTING:

Our verse today contains two promises for those who come and taste the SAVIOUR: The LORD.

The First Promise: “Taste and SEE”. 

When we TASTE Jesus Christ our SIGHT is altered. We’ll actually SEE or KNOW.

What do you SEE? When you taste the LORD: Again go back to our verse and you’ll see that the LORD is “Good“.

He actually delivers upon this promise my friends. God really is GOOD and when we come to Jesus Christ first, before being religious or instead of being religious, then the Christian religion will begin make more sense. You’ll see if you taste the Lord Jesus first.

Until you come to Jesus Christ: You will be blind, you will not see, you will be in total spiritual darkness.  Jesus Christ is the LORD this passage is talking about. He’s the only one who can open your blind eyes and let you see.

Look at this passage from John’s Gospel below, and you’ll begin to see, but you will not see FULLY until you actually come; to trust the WORD, to receive and trust the LIGHT of the world the LORD Jesus:

John 1:1-5
 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was with God in the beginning.
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

What can we ‘SEE’ from the passage above? Jesus Christ is;

  • The WORD of God. (verse 1).
  • He is God (Verse 1)
  • He Created ALL THINGS (The Universe). (Verses 2&3).
  • He is the LIGHT of ALL LIFE. He gives ‘life’ to every creature (created thing). (Verse 4)
  • He wants to give NEW LIFE to mankind, but mankind is in DARKNESS (When you are in darkness you cannot see).

“OK, BUT How do we begin to SEE?”

Just read on a few verses in John and you’ll SEE my friends, our eyes are opened once we obey this next step of faith:

John 1:10-13 “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish people), but his own did not receive him.
12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—
13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

Are you beginning to see? The Promise of being able to SEE comes true when we taste (receive) the LORD Jesus Christ.

The Second Promise: “Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him”. 

You’ll be so blessed by tasting and seeing that the LORD is good.

Blessed beyond your wildest dreams.

Many people will now be asking, OK what’s the difference between ‘religious’ activity or practice and this tasting? Being religious without first coming to Jesus really is like a McDonald’s without a burger in the bun.

  • It’s like having a fire in the winter and not lighting the fuel.
  • It’s like having a rocket without the rocket fuel.
  • It’s like getting an empty burger from McDonald’s.

So my friends, how do you taste the Lord? How do you see? How do you get blessed?

It’s the way we come to the Lord. Instead of being ‘religious’ following the practices of the Christian ‘religion’, we must come to the LORD Jesus Christ Himself first, then we’ll see, then we’ll know, then we’ll be blessed.

What did the first followers see when they trusted, followed and received Jesus Christ?

John 1:14 14  The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

My friends, you’ll see the GLORY (The Goodness) of the Lord.

Again this is Jesus’ own promise to you.

John 17:24-26 24  “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
25  “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me.
26  I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

Once you receive Jesus (John 1:12) then John 17:26 comes to fulfillment “that I myself may be in them”… Jesus is IN you forever, you’ll SEE, you’ll KNOW and you’ll BE blessed. Why? Because you’ll see the glory (goodness) of the LORD. John 1:14, John 17:24.

If you have tried ‘religion’ and found it empty.

If you have tried the Christian ‘religion’ and found it empty.

Then, It’s no wonder, because no ‘religion’ can ever enable you to see and know and be. You must come to Jesus Christ first and receive Him as the LORD of your life, then you see, then you’ll know the goodness of the LORD.

Can I encourage you today to come in repentance and receive Jesus Christ by faith today?

Once you do, you’ll SEE and KNOW and BE blessed.

Psalm 34:8 (NIV) “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”

The Christian ‘religion’ is ALL about Jesus.

If you are ready to give up religion and trust Jesus instead click HERE for the Good NEWS.

You may also need to be Filled with the Holy Spirit, then you can click HERE. to discover the Spirit Filled Life.

Don.

 

Jesus Gives A New Peace

Daily Spirit & Word, 499: Jesus Gives A New Peace.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 15: Jesus Gives A New Peace.

Good morning my friends, as we begin the third week of 40 Days With Jesus, we’re considering His appearing to the Disciples when they are all gathered together in a locked room frightened about what the Jews would do to them. You know my friends, as you walk with Jesus and continue in the faith there will be times when you experience these sudden and unexpected moments when you know that Jesus is specially present. He promised that whenever we’re gathered in His name, He’ll come. Matthew 18:20.

Many shared at last night’s meeting about their struggles to continue, they tried living the Christian life and being a Christian, but they either forgot or didn’t quite understand that the Christian life in not about our labouring or our effort to be a Christian, but of surrender and acceptance and being filled and equipped. Once we know the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, we’ll realise that being a Christian is effortless on our part, because He’s taken complete control. We’re not called to walk by might, nor by power by by the Spirit. Here’s a wonderful verse from the Old Testament that conveys this awesome truth, let it soak into your heart today;

Zechariah 4:6 6  So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

During this third week, we’ll see that truth explained and applied to our lives, it’s when we know the Lord Jesus and receive all His blessings and promises that we’re going to run the race of faith in His fantastic supernatural power.

The Third Week’s Bible Reading: John 20:19-31. Jesus Appears in their Midst.

John 20:19-31 19  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
22  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24  Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30  Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
31  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

When we meet Jesus, He gives ‘A New Peace’.

As stated earlier, Jesus comes when we gather in His name. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this yet or not, but wheter we perceive it or not that’s Jesus promise. Of course we can’t see Him physically, that’s because, apart from the 40 days after the resurrection when Jesus ascended into Heaven, and since the first Pentecost, people get to know about Jesus by His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who revealed Jesus to us, He leads us to faith and trust in Jesus and then indwells every single believer, but there’s an even greater witness when we’re gathered. I believe the Lord has done this on purpose, because He never indended us to be Lone-Ranger Christians. When He called us, He called us into a family, we’ve got brothers and sisters in the faith, like any family, we’ve got family obligations: To LOVE one another and that’s how Jesus has chosen to reveal to the world that we truly belong to Him, if we love each other.

Notice first How the Disciples were Gathered:

They were all together, locked in a room for fear of the Jews. It was fear in their hearts. Fear for their own lives. They must have been thinking, “If they can kill Jesus, who never did anything wrong and who only ever did good things to and for people, surely we’re doomed”

It’s a bit like Private Frazer in Dad’s Army on TV, his favourite saying is, “We’re Doomed Captain Manwarring”.

He’d been through a lot in life, so perhaps he had good reason to come up with that catchphrase, “We’re Doomed”. So the Disciples are locked in, in fear for their lives, when suddenly Jesus appears in their midst.

Oh WOW! Some of them had heard from the others that Jesus tomb was empty, Mary said she’d seen Him and spoken with Him, now these two Disciples claim they met Jesus on the Road to Emmaus and tonight, that same evening, Suddenly Jesus APPEARS IN THEIR MIDST. My friends, I don’t know about you, but that appearing is awesome. His first words to them “PEACE BE WITH YOU”.

Jesus knew what they were going through, He saw their terror and fear and He comes to them and meets their deepest need at that moment. They may have had other needs, hunger, thirst, healing from various aches and pains, but Jesus meets their deepest need and it was for “PEACE”.

When you come to Jesus or when He shows up in your worship services, fellowship groups, house study groups, and fellowship prayer meetings, that’s what Jesus does, He comes to give His PEACE. It’s a new kind of peace. His peace in not like the PEACE that the world can give us. Yes my friends, in this world their is pleasure, joy and peace, but it’s nothing like the Heavenly PEACE that the Lord Jesus can and will give to every true follower. It’s not something we have to work at to get either, it’s not by works of righteousness, it’s Jesus Himself who just give us, by His grace, this PEACE from Heaven.

Jesus had appeared, He didn’t open the door like normal people and let himself in, He just miraculously appeared. That’s the definition of a miracle, it happens beyond the realms of Scientific possibility. I.e. The laws of Physics say, you can’t walk through a solid door, but Jesus did. You can’t just pop out of a wrapped up sheet (grave clothes), but Jesus did. You can’t walk on water, but Jesus and Peter did. You can’t raise the dead, but Jesus did. You can’t heal a blind person, but Jesus did. You see my friends, Jesus resurrected body is totally awesome. he can appear and disappear and yet be touched and known. He’s real, He’s alive, but He’s different. He who does these amazing things, wants to give you REAL PEACE today.

What is this PEACE that Jesus Gives?

In our reading Jesus gives them this blessing of PEACE (Shalom). The full meaning of God’s PEACE is not like the world’s understanding of peace. When we think of peace with think of tranquility or stillness and lack of strife. However, the PEACE of God is far more than that. When Jesus died upon the Cross, He won for us a peace that the world and all our efforts to attain it couldn’t and can’t give us. Jesus death and resurrection proves that God was satisfied with what He did and now the longed for PEACE with God can be had by everyone who trusts in Christ. When you trust Christ as Lord, you get this awesome PEACE within.

Notice that when Jesus came into that room He didn’t criticise the disciples for their failure, for their running away at His greatest moment of need. Jesus know us better than we know ourselves and when you come to Him in faith, He’ll not criticise you for your failures and weaknesses either, because all Jesus wants to give you is a deep PEACE within. Human beings look for peace, there’s a restlessness in every single one of us that cannot be satisfied until we find our peace with God. We do try and satisfy it though, with material wealth, with relationship and love and sex and things, but nothing can give us this peace that’s the kind of PEACE that only knowing Jesus can give. It’s more than tranquility, it’s more than not being anxious or perplexed, it’s an eternal peace with God.

In Romans 5:1-8 Paul reminds us about this PEACE that Jesus will give to every follower today:

Romans 5:1-8 1  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4  perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We are justified by our faith and trust in Jesus and then we have peace (or experience peace) with God, through our LORD Jesus Christ. WOWzer!

My friends, have you got that PEACE in your life today?

Once we know this ETERNAL PEACE with God, we also get the INTERNAL PEACE that we are all craving for. There’s more, once we get eternal and internal peace, we’ll also leak peace out into the world. It will come our from inside us to those around about us. They’ll sence the PEACE of God in us, even non-believers will notice this strange phenomenon, this peace that’s almost tangible and touchable, Jesus PEACE is not something that can be manufactured or  worked for, we cannot earn it, it’s by grace that we receive it and reveal it to the world.

Be blessed with the PEACE of God today.

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • In your experience, how do people imagine they’ll find peace?
  • What does it mean for you to be a peace with God? How will that affect the way you live today?
  • Becoming a Christian means knowing God as Father. How does our new status as children of God help bring peace into our lives?
  • Imagine someone who truly was at peace with God. What do you think would strike you about the way they talked and behaved?
  • How well do you manifest this PEACE to those around about you today?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ. You are the Prince of Peace. I thank You for paying for my sins on the Cross so that I can have this eternal peace with God the Father. Lord, it is life’s biggest privilege to know You as Lord and Saviour. Knowing that when you see me, You don’t see my failures and sins, you see me whole, forgiven, cleansed and renewed, I receive this wonderful truth again by faith. Holy Spirit, continue to remind me of this when circumstances around me try to steal my peace and when people around me are living in anxiety. You are my Rock, My fortress, Me Deliverer, in Whom I take refuge (Psalm 18:2). Lord, please fill me afresh with your Heavenly PEACE so that I can bring that peace to those around me. In Jesus wonderful Name. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page:

Jesus Gives A New Peace: Day 15 of 40 Days With Jesus.

Vision Corrected By Revelation

Daily Spirit & Word, 495: Vision Corrected by Revelation.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 11: Vision Corrected by Revelation of the Scriptures.

Luke 24:25-27, 32.

Good morning my friends, well Friday turned out to be a great day. Our Brother from Pakistan shared what’s been happening to the Christian brothers ans sisters, but also what the Lord is doing too. It’s really encouraging to know, that even in the face of severe persecution and brutality often ending in the murder of innocents, people are still prepared to risk everything for the Lord Jesus Christ and they are able to reach out in LOVE and react to this evil violence against them, the way that Jesus did. They are able, in His strength, to forgive and share Jesus in loving ways. Most recently, Christians were being stopped by marauding groups of Muslims and being asked, “Are you Muslim or Christian?” If they responded by saying, “I am Christian” they were either beaten or killed.

Why would anyone want to react like that? Would you be prepared, as some of our brothers and sisters are in Pakistan, to give your life for the Lord Jesus?

Some of the reasons are to do with what we’re going though on 40 Days With Jesus. Today, Day 11: The focus today is upon how Christ is revealed in the Bible (Scriptures). You know my friends, many Muslims are being converted today because even their own Koran mentions that if they have any doubts they should ask the people of the book: Christians and Jews. So what is it that’s happening today? Well, we get an indication from Jesus encounter with the followers on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus, didn’t reveal himself to them, his identiy was kept hidden, the were kept from knowing who Jesus was until He’d taken them through the Scriptures. Jesus was doing that so they’d understand from an already accepted and reliable source that the Messiah must suffer and die and rise to life again after three days in the grave. Jesus did it by taking them carefully through the Scriptures.

Luke 24:25-27 (NIV)
25  He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26  Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:32 (NIV)
32  They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

How awesome, the Scriptures have power to bring REVELATION of who Jesus is, what He came to do and to enable us to believe the testimony of those who witnessed the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ.

I encourage you today, to come afresh to God’s Word and believe it as Jesus did, as the Apostles and early Christians did, then your own faith will grow much stronger. The Holy Spirit will give you revelation and enable you to understand what you are reading.

Keep going with 40 Days With Jesus. Take time today to dwell in His presence and sit in silence and listen to Him. What’s Jesus saying to you today my friends? As you read the Word, meditate upon it, don’t rush off and be too busy to be in the world. Sit with Jesus a little longer and praise Him, worship Him, glorify Him. Jesus LOVE will grow stronger in your heart and your own love for Jesus will enable you to walk and serve Him with your life.

Every blessing for a glorious Saturday with Jesus. I’m praying that your own hearts will burn inside you as you spend time with Jesus and in His Word.

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • Do you read the Scriptures daily? If you do, then how well are you connecting with Jesus during your reading? If you aren’t reading the Bible every day, then what changes can you make to your routine to include a time to be with the Lord Jesus and to feast upon His Word?
  • Perhaps you are reading the Bible regularly, but it has become a bit dry and routine? Why don’t you ask the Holy Spirit to give you fresh revelations, to speak to you before you read and to show you how what you are reading from God’s Word applies to your own life?
  • How are you making sure that you are applying the Bible to your life? What changes to your life have happened recently because God has shown you something from His Word?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, thank you so much for taking the time to open up the Scriptures to those first followers and for the way that You do the same for me today by the Holy Spirit. Oh Lord please correct my own vision by Your revelation from the Scriptures. I’m coming to you this morning Lord and asking that You’ll be with me and open up Your Word to my heart, show me today Lord Jesus how to be Your ambassador and live my life for You. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

40 Days Resources Page:

40 Days With Jesus: Day 11: Vision Corrected by Revelation.

 

 

Relating to God as Father.

God The Father

Daily Spirit & Word, 491: Relationship Redefined.

Relating to God as Father and Jesus as your Brother.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome weekend, you know that even when things go bad, God is ALWAYS GOOD. He’s not lost control as some imagine, He’s always in control, God’s always got a plan and every event or situation is known to Him even before it happens, nothing can take the LORD by surprise. It’s just one of His Divine attributes, KNOWING EVERYTHING. That revelation gives the follower of Jesus great confidence as you go about your daily routines and even when something unexpected happens in your life. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is beyond God’s sphere of influence or knowledge. Today, we discover something about God Almighty that’s crucial for every true believer in the Lord Jesus to grasp hold of and keep holding onto.

Mary Magdalene Touches The Risen Lord Jesus.

John 20:17-18 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ ” 18  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Mary had obviously grabbed hold of her Lord when she recognised that the person she thought was a gardener was actually Jesus. I can’t really imagine how much she would have been relieved and overjoyed to see Jesus alive again can you? But we can try and put ourselves right there in the garden, by Jesus tomb, with Angels in the background and the risen Lord in front of us. Jesus is Alive after dying in front of her eyes, He’s back, He’s risen from the dead. Oh WOWzer or WOWzers. 🙂 Jumping for JOY. She grabs hold of Jesus and is obviously clinging to Him in such a way that says, “I’m never letting go of you, ever again”… Jesus didn’t rebuke her harshly, as some Bible commentators would have you imagine. He’s gently telling her to let go, because He must ascend into Heaven to be with His Father. So if it’s not a rebuke what is Jesus doing? He’s informing Mary that what He promised before He died is about to happen; those who’ve believed and trusted in Him would now relate with Him in a very different way; not physically as they had done before, but ‘Spiritually’. From now on, as soon as Jesus ascends into Heaven, we’ll be relating to God as our FATHER and Jesus as our Brother. God becomes our Father the moment we trust in Jesus Christ. We cannot hold onto Him in a physical way, no matter how much we’d long to touch Jesus, but the new reality, the new way of Knowing God, even though it’s spiritual, is even more tangible than a mere touch or hold or any other physical sensory experience. For the spiritual experience of knowing God enables us to connect in an even more powerful way that our five senses; sight, touch, taste, smell or sound.

Because we are still physical beings, we long for these senses to be satisfied, but once we’ve been born of God’s Spirit, as was about to happen to Mary Magdalene and all the other followers, we’d know God differently: As our Father and Jesus would then become our Heavenly Brother. Of course Jesus is still our Lord, God, Saviour, Master, Friend, but He’s become our brother too. We’re going to be relating to God on a completely different level than any other human being has ever done before. That’s the message that Jesus gave Mary Magdalene to give to the Disciples. It’s also the message that we’ve been tasked to deliver to every Human Being on earth today; it’s part of the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that in Believing His message, that He came into the world to deliver sinners from God’s wrath and anger against their sins, to the glorious freedom of becoming a saint with a promise of everlasting life, we also come into a NEW relationship with God: He becomes our Father when we repent of our sins and trust in Jesus death upon the cross. Oh WOWzer of WOWzers… It’s totally awesome!

Once you KNOW this most awesome truth, you’re going to want to tell others about it. This truth and inner knowing is much, much better than anything else that can ever happen in your life.

Think about it for a moment, we all go through things in life that produce a massive YIPPIEEE inside. Things that flood our hearts with immense joy and gladness: A baby being born, falling in love for the first time, meeting that dream person, winning something we’ve longed for in life, getting promoted to a dream position in work, but THIS: KNOWING GOD AS FATHER far, far exceeds ANYTHING else in life. Even if we were to win the whole world, it’s NOTHING in comparison to a fraction of a second with the GLORY of God. Being in God’s presence for even one second is much better than a MOUNTAIN of Gold, Silver, Diamonds and Rubies. Why? Because they can’t RELATE, they’re incapable of knowing, they’re dead things, but being with Father God, the Ultimate REALITY EXPERIENCE: What a total WOWzer! I can’t really find the words to communicate what it’s like: it’s beyond the human capacity to describe what it’s like knowing God as Father: but JOY beyond our happiest wish for JOY is something like it.

Now, through simply coming in faith and trust to Jesus: God IS your Heavenly Father.

Explaining WOWzer!

What does WOWzer mean? You know that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media sights has a button you can press when you really like something: In Instagram it’s a heart, in Twitter it’s a star and on Facebook it’s the famous LIKE button. Well imagine if they had a way of ranking your likes, hearts and stars? It might go like this;

  • For Facebook: Like, Like a lot, Like a whole lot, really really really like and then comes WOWzer! 🙂
  • For Twitter: one Star, two, three, four, five and then WOWzer!
  • For Instagram: One Heart, two, three, four, five and then WOWzer!

Well that’s what it’s like now knowing God as FATHER… But I would give that experience: WOWzer of WOWzers. You see?

Points to Ponder:

What is your own response to the idea that God is your Father?

When you pray or worship God, how do you see yourself approaching Him? Do you see yourself as an undeserving sinner coming to a reluctant God or, as God see you, as a much loved child, coming to a wonderful Father who loves you very much?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you so much for welcoming me into Your Heavenly Family. It’s wonderful that you’ve bridged the chasm that separated me from Father God by giving Your life upon the Cross and dealing with my sin in such a way that’s it’s power has been defeated forever. You’ve brought me freedom and joy and peace because You died in my place. Now I’m in Your family and I know that it’s going to last forever. Because of what You did Lord Jesus, I now Know God as my Father. (John 1:12). I know that I’ve now inherited Heaven with You Lord as my Brother (Romans 8:17). Father Your Word tells me You are perfect (Matthew 5:48). You are therefore, better than my beloved earthly father, You will never disappoint or let me down or let me go. I know and believe your promises that you’ll never leave me alone (Deuteronomy 31:6) You long to lavish Your love upon me as Your beloved child (1 John 3:1). So Father, as Your child I receive Your love afresh today. Thanks You so much for Your faithfulness towards me. Help me Father to be faithful in telling others the Greatest News of the Awesome Joy of Knowing You today and that everyone can come to know you as Father once they’ve trusted in Jesus. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page:

40 Days with Jesus: Day 6: Relationships Redefined: Knowing God as Father.

Relating To God As Father: Relationships Redefined.

 

 

 

 

A Surprising Encounter

40 Days With Jesus: Day 1

Daily Spirit & Word, 486: A Surprising Encounter.

40 Days With Jesus:

Week 1: Day 1.

John 20:1-18. A Surprising Encounter

 Good morning my friends, I had quite a frustrating day yesterday, I tried to post first thing in the morning as normal, but discovered to my horror that Virgin Media still wasn’t working. I contacted them, and got the same message but with different times for it to be fixed. Here’s the message, “There is a problem in your area with Television and Internet, we have identified the problem, an engineer is on the way, the problem should be fixed by 1.00am, …” Then after 1.00am came and went “9.00am”, then “4.09pm”, then “2.06am”, then “16.24” WOWzer, funny how they can be so specific about the times, each time, when the Engineer is still on the way 🙂 Made me laugh and a bit annoyed at the same time. However, it’s NOW up and running again after 48 hours without internet or TV, and I still don’t know why or what the problem was. 

Yesterday, I was going to introduce you to 40 Days With Jesus, a new course we’re running in church for those who, after Easter, were interested in getting to know more about the Christian faith and to help those who’ve yet to discover Fellowship Groups to be part of one for a very short time, and also to prepare those who want to be Baptised this year. It might be quite a large group 🙂 I’m hoping!. The 40 Days with Jesus is all about those people in the Bible who encountered the risen (resurrected) Lord Jesus and what impact that had for their lives and for the community of believers in the first century of the Christian faith. (I’m posting the introduction on the Website). The little booklet we’re using is very cheap and readily available for download, with great questions and also a video to watch every week. “40 Days With Jesus, by Dave Smith”. Also available on Kindle.

 Day 1: A Surprising Encounter.

Over the years I’ve had quite a few memorable and surprising encounters with people. I’ve met the Queen (Queen Elizabeth ll), I’ve met the Queen Mother, Rod Stewart (Pop Singer), Rod Stewart’s Girlfriend, Rick Warren, Billy Graham, Freddie Starr (Funny Comedian). In 1988 I met my soon to be wife, that was a meeting that has changed my life and continues to be a real blessing, but probably my most surprising and life transforming encounter I’ve ever had was when I met the Lord Jesus Christ. I didn’t expect Jesus to be real or alive or knowable or that He’s want anything to do with me. I thought people who were religious were born that way, and I most definitely wasn’t one of them (I’m still not). But when my wife wanted to get our little baby girl, Abigail, baptised we started attending a little church in Plymouth, called St Budeaux Parish Church. In those days 1984, it was packed full of people, young families and lots of teenagers, we felt at home quite quickly, but I didn’t want to keep going or to become like the people there, I just wanted the baptism done then I’d be on my way. However, the minister at the time asked us to attend for three months, he visit us at home and then after preparation he’d baptise the baby. We agreed, then over the next few weeks I discovered Jesus was real. I knew from observing the people in the church, they had something that I didn’t have, I could just tell, and though at that time I didn’t want it, I wondered what it was. Each week the message seemed to be about my life, my questions, my fears, my sins, my everything. It was as if the minister could read my mind. Slowly but surely I began to know that Jesus was real, but I didn’t want to become a Christian. The Minister asked me every week on the way out of Church, “Are you a Christian yet?” I said, “No!” every time. Then one week he asked me something different, he said, “Donald, you do know that Jesus wants you to be a Christian, don’t you?” I walked away saying, “Yea, Yea sure he does”… But it was that question and everyting else playing on my mind, “If Jesus wants me, what does He want me for?”… My friends, Jesus speaks in so many amazing and wonderful ways. I was beginning to read about Jesus in the Bible by then and it jumped out at me: God answered a question and it was amazing, embarrassing and surprising all at the same time. I know Jesus was definitely alive, but I wasn’t ready yet to become a Christian. It took a few more weeks of attending church, joining a Bible Study and the Lord Jesus speaking, challenging and opening me up, until I was ready to repent of my sins and receive Him as my Saviour. However, I knew long before I finally submitted that Jesus was most definitely ALIVE.

 Mary Magdalene.

We’ll be taking a look at Mary’s encounter with Jesus this week, but today I want us to consider that Mary, a woman, was the first follower of Jesus to actually meet the risen Lord. This is a surprising encounter in many ways. You’ll notice as you read through John 20:1-18 that the disciples; Peter and John (the closest friends of Jesus whilst he was on earth, the one’s you’d probably expect to see Him first) they ran to the tomb, but they didn’t see the risen Christ. All they saw was an empty tomb and the linen cloths that Jesus dead body had been wrapped in when it was taken down from the cross. No my friends, it was Mary Magdalene who lingered at the tomb, with tears running down her face and kept on asking the question, “What have they done with the body of my Lord?” She was looking for Jesus dead body, but Mary was the first person to discover that He was actually raised from the dead. Mary Magdalene, an prostitute who’d been delivered from seven demons was the first person to encounter the resurrected Jesus. Why?

 Dave Smith doesn’t touch on this in the booklet, but I’ve been thinking about it. Mary had been forgiven and delivered from evil. Remember what Jesus said about a person who knows how much they’ve been forgiven and how grateful they’d be? Luke 7:36-50 Jesus anointed by a sinful woman. Jesus said about her Luke 7:44-47 “Then he turned towards the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45  You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46  You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47  Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.”

“Those who recognise how much they’ve been forgiven love lots, but those who have only been forgiven a little, love little”

 Do you see it my friends, Mary Magdalene had been forgiven so much, we have too, but we don’t often realise the seriousness of our sins, that each sin we commit is enough on it’s own to keep us out of heaven forever, but Mary had been a harlot a very obviously sinful person and she had been delivered from seven demons too. My friends, when you realise just how many sins you’ve been forgiven for, you’d be as devoted to the Lord as Mary Magdalene was, you’d be at the tomb lingering, weeping and crying and determined as she was, to find the body of your Lord and do what needed to be done. She got far more than she bargained for that day, Mary’s surprising encounter was with the Resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. Mary was the first to meet with the risen Lord Jesus.

Points to Ponder:

  1. Are you convinced of the resurrection of Jesus? What difference would it make to your life and to the world at large if it really were true?
  2. What is your response to the idea that the risen Jesus wants to meet with you? In what ways would you like to meet with Jesus over the next 40 Days?
  3. When have you encountered the presence of the Living Lord Jesus before? How did it impact your life?

 

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I realise that by asking about the implications of the resurrection for my life, I must be prepared to hear the answers. I cannot be the same and I don’t want to be. I long to know You and meet with You. Take me on a journey over the next 40 days. Help me to be brave enough to respond to the things that you are whispering to me. Breathe Your life into any part of me that is currently lifeless or lacking in energy and spirit. Then move me forward by the power of Your Spirit in ways that only You can. I pray this in faith. Amen.

 

God bless and I’ll hopefully be back again tomorrow, God willing and Virgin Media keeps up and running 🙂

I’m praying for you all today that you’ll actually meet the resurrected LORD Jesus Christ in a Surprising Encounter of your own. Amen.

Don.

  John 20:1-18

1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.
2  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”
3  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb.
4  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first.
5  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in.
6  Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there,
7  as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen.
8  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.
9  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
10 Then the disciples went back to their homes,
11  but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb
12  and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.
13  They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.”
14  At this, she turned round and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.
15  “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”
16  Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).
17  Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet returned to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’ “
18  Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Study Booklet

Study Video For Week 1:

Resources: Scroll down for the Video.

40 Days With Jesus Week 1 Video: A Surprising Encounter.

I would really encourage you to get hold of the little study booklet for this whole course. We’ve got some in Church for anyone who comes along tonight. If there is any left we’ll make them available to the whole church. But you can get them easily here or at Amazon even cheaper. And you can get a Kindle version to read on your devices and phones. The Kindle version on Amazon is just £5.60.

A Surprising Encounter: Day 1 of 40 Days With Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page: With Course Outline and Links to Daily Readings & Weekly Video.

 

At The Cross, At The Cross

At The Cross, At The Cross of Jesus Christ.

Daily Spirit & Word, 475: At The Cross, At The CROSS.

Now, I AM Happy, All The Day. Every Day.

Jesus knew the Cross was getting nearer, and as it weighed upon His precious soul, so His message of the Kingdom grew more intense. The heart’s desire of the Lord of life is that, not just the Nation of Israel be turned in repentance back to their God, but the whole world come to know the offer of Salvation. The Nations will put their hope in Jesus.

 Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 12:18-21  “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19  He will not quarrel or cry out; no-one will hear his voice in the streets. 20  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

These two passages above show us a definite full-stop, a switch in the message Jesus is giving. Up to this point the Lord Jesus and all God’s messengers had been teaching; “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Having presented His CV as the Messiah and been rejected by the majority of religious leadership of the Nation. These cities which have been mentioned in chapter 11 of Matthew, turned their backs on Him, and so had Jerusalem. Now the Lord turns His back upon the nation of Israel, no longer presenting to them the Kingdom. He is on His way to the cross, and His invitation is to the individual and to the whole world. Listen to Jesus crying out:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

This language is in stark contrast to what Jesus had been proclaiming in the rest of this chapter. And from that point on Jesus is headed for the Cross and instead of focusing upon the Nation, he’s revealing the Kingdom of God to the individual and to the world.

My friends, it’s really windy out this morning, I love it, but I had to hang onto my hat it’s just so strong. When we come into the warm from such a blustery storm, it’s amazing how warm the house seems, how calm when you can’t hear the raging of the wind.

The change in Jesus message is just like that; It is like coming out of a winter blizzard into the warmth of a spring day. Just like passing from a raging storm into a sea of calm. It’s like going from the darkness of night, into brightness of daylight. This is the same message from Jesus, but presented in a radical new way; He’d switched from a National perspective to a new message for the Individual. He changes from speaking to everyone in the Nation of Israel to EVERYONE in the WORLD. It is no longer the national announcement about a Messianic Kingdom but a personal invitation for everybody to find the much needed “rest” of Salvation.

When Jesus speaks of being “heavy laden,” He is referring to the individual being burdened with sin. “I will give you rest” Jesus is the one who will enable you to find rest from your struggle to be good.

This same idea and focus is used by Isaiah and the Psalmist:

Isaiah 1:4 (NLT) “Oh, what a sinful nation they are— loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.”

Look back at chapter 11 of Matthew and you’ll see Jesus crying out to those Cities where He’d performed Miracles and they’d not REPENTED,  they’d not received the Message of the Kingdom.

Psalm 38:4 (NLT) “My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear.”

So when Jesus is crying out to everyone, come to ME ALL you who are weary of carrying your load of sin and I will give you rest from your struggle to try and be good, I will lift your heavy burden of sin.

My friends, sin is way too heavy a burden for you to keep carrying all your life. When you try and lift things that are too heavy for you, you can give yourself a hernia, and trying to live righteously without coming first to Jesus Christ to have the burden lifted is the exact same, you’ll really get a spiritual hernia if you try to carry your load of sin yourself.

The only place in this world to put that heavy unbearable burden of sin is at the Cross of Jesus Christ. When He died there, He bore your sin and took it away from you onto Himself. Now He invites you individually and the whole world to come individually  bringing your burdens of sin to Him. Jesus can forgive you because on the cross He bore the burden of sin for you and for everyone else in the world.

 But we must respond to Jesus Invitation:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” This is referring to the Salvation of the sinner through Jesus Christ. But the next phrase of Jesus, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” is referring to the practical sanctification of the believer.

Oh WOWzer! I’ve just come back into the study after a short break from writing this, and I’ve seen the LIGHT. What a glorious sunrise, great colours in the sky and clouds. The storm is still raging, but the sky is full of light. The LORD spoke to me, “That’s what it’s like for those who follow me, there is a storm still raging, but there’s more light than they can imagine for their souls”.

Jesus REST

There is a REST that Jesus gives, and it is the rest of Redemption and Salvation from the heavy burden of sin.

There is also a REST which the Believer Experiences, and it comes through; conversion, commitment and consecration of our lives to Jesus Christ. You don’t have to struggle to be Holy any more, because Jesus, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, will enable you, but your part is to stay close to the vine, remain in Christ, to remain committed to living for Jesus, to be willing to submit to His burden of obedience to His commands. Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.  Yes you will probably fall from time to time, but Jesus transforms your heart’s desires. Once He’s lifted your heavy load of sin from your shoulders and carried them to the Cross for you, you will not have to struggle ever again when you are in Him and He is in you.

 The VAST Majority Are NOT burdened with sin:

We go out every week and share the Gospel with people on the streets, the vast majority are NOT burdened by their sins, they don’t care, they love sin and don’t want to hear about it. They’re happy to be without church, Jesus or religion. They’ll happily declare and some quite loudly, “I’m NOT religious”, what they’re saying is, “I don’t need someone telling me how to live.” and “I don’t want a God in the sky, who’s trying to control my life”… That’s why they need to hear the LAW of God before we share the GRACE of the Cross of Christ.

 It’s Un-regenerate believers in Jesus who are burdened with sin:

It’s my experience that those who are burdened with sin are those who believe in Jesus, but have not yet been converted, regenerated or born again of God’s Holy Spirit.

Yes they believe all the tenets of the Christian faith, they’ll willingly ascent to the creeds, but it’s all head knowledge, because they’ve not got to the point of letting go of their burden of sin and receiving Jesus as their Lord. It’s a simple transaction, but so many have not taken that step of faith.

How have they come so far and a yet so far away?

Because they may have responded to a ‘false’ gospel. One that says “Simply Believe in Jesus and you are a Christian.” Without REPENTANCE and without RECEIVING Jesus Christ as LORD, we’re still in our sins no matter how much we believe in Him.

They’ll come in with their burden of sin, they’ll say confession in church, recite the creed and even receive Holy Communion, then they’ll walk out with their burden of sin still on their back. They are still trying with all their own strength to be good enough. It’s those un-regenerate believers in Jesus who’ve not been converted my friends, they are the ones who feel the burden of sin. They are like the Nation of Israel who had ‘religion’, but who didn’t know the Saviour and rejected the Messiah.

We must preach, preach and preach again CONVERSION: IT’S the GOSPEL that leads sinners to repent of their sins and trust the Saviour. It’s the Holy Spirit who works on their hearts to enable them to feel the heavy load of sin, and it’s the law that leads people to an awareness of their need of a Saviour. However, until they come to Jesus and finally put their trust in Him for their Salvation, turning away from sin in repentance and from their own efforts to be good enough, realising that they can’t do a thing to shift the heavy load, they’ll finally dump their burden of sin at the cross. At the Cross, At THE CROSS.

I love that old hymn: At the Cross, at the Cross… but we often miss out the most powerful first verse these days and just begin with the chorus, we’re happy to think of the cross, but not the conversion from sin that’s needed. Isaac Watts who wrote the hymn, knew what he needed to do to have the burden of sin lifted by the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Alas! and did my Savior bleed

And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Refrain:
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.

Refrain;

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Author: Isaac Watts (The Scientist and Inventor of the Steam Engine).

My heart’s plea and the LORD’S today, is that you, you who are reading this, you who may believe in Jesus, but are still burdened with sin, will come and be converted, changed, transformed and translated from darkness into the glorious light. Your burden will be lifted once you trust the Saviour and take Him as your Lord.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I shared on Saturday at the Wedding in St Luke’s how people believe that Jesus died for them, but the vast majority of those who believe this, have NEVER been born of God’s Spirit, because they’ve NOT Repented, Trusted and Recieved The Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. All the right belief in the world will count for nothing when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ and He says, “Depart from me, I never knew you”…

Matthew 7:21-23 21  “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

My friends, do you know Christ? Does Christ know you? Do you know Him as your LORD? Is Jesus Christ your Saviour? Come to the Cross of Christ and let Jesus remove your burden of sin, of guilt and of shame, then you’ll be able to enjoy the Son’s Light and “BE HAPPY ALL THE DAY”.

AT THE CROSS, AT THE CROSS.

You believe that Jesus died for you, good and so you should, but Satan also knows this, but he’s not turned in repentance, he’s still a rebel against the cause of Christ. You must believe and repent and trust and take Jesus as your Saviour. Believe, Repent, Receive.

Stay blessed and keep close to Jesus today.

Don.

 

A Simple Prayer:

  • Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you died upon the Cross for my sins.
  • I know that I’ve broken your Holy Law revealed in the Commandments, that you died there so that my heavy burden of sin could be lifted from me and transferred onto You.
  • I turn now from all sin in my life and trust in Your amazing grace and ask for Your forgiveness.
  • I receive You, Lord Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
  • I believe that You will send the Holy Spirit and give me new birth, new life and everlasting life.
  • Please help me now Lord Jesus to live from now on for You and I want to serve in Your Kingdom.
  • Help me to find fellowship with other Christians.
  • I’m going to read and feed upon Your Word every day. Please open up the pages of the Bible by Your Spirit Lord, so that I can understand and apply them to my own life.
  • In your most blessed and Holy Name I pray, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, let us know by leaving a message here or on our Facebook Page, we’d love to be praying for you. It’s good that Christians or those who think they are Christians, re-visit this kind of prayer regularly, to remind ourselves of our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and His commitment to us. Read John’s Gospel today.

At The Cross, At The Cross.

 

Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus

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Daily Spirit & Word, 450: Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

Good morning my friends, as we progress towards Easter we’re probably thinking of lots of different things;

  • Easter Bank Holiday Weekend: Means time with family and friends and perhaps the first trip out of the city in months. 
  • Easter Eggs / Chocolate Bunnies: Children love Easter Time with the shops filling up from February tempting them with chocolate eggs filled with goodies. 
  • Easter Hot Cross Buns: these are little spiced buns that, when I was a child, were only sold on Good Friday, but now you can get them most of the year round.

Christian Focus:

For Christians, who love the Lord Jesus, these Secular Easter focuses can be either an annoyance or a distraction, but we could also embrace them and still focus upon the main object of our Devotion: Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 12:2 “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.”

In St Luke’s Church: We begin our main Easter preparations with;

Palm Sunday: Jesus Triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the joy filled crowds.
The Last Supper: Lord’s Last Supper with the Disciples, where He celebrated Passover with them: We’ll be doing that on Maundy Thursday; We’ll have all the elements of the Passover: Lovely Roasted Lamb, roasted eggs, horseradish, parsley, Charoset (reminding us of the mud and toil of captivity in Egypt), salt (reminding us of the tears and crying out to the Lord in captivity), etc… We don’t follow or focus entirely upon Passover, but on what the Lord was doing at the Passover: With the Bread and Wine. (Come and join us if you’re free).
Good Friday: We don’t have a Good Friday Service, but a Walk of Witness with Christians in West Norwood, London. We gather at 11.45am and walk about 3/4 of a mile to St Luke’s Gardens (We’re blessed that our gardens are already a focus for the town of West Norwood in London and it’s a great witness that there are hundreds of Christians who love Jesus. We sings hymns, songs and praise the Lord, we read from the Bible as we walk, we stop and pray, we bless people along the way and give out Easter Sunday invitations to worship with us. Then we gather to have a warm drink and some lovely Hot Cross Buns.
Easter Sunday: We remember the Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ from the Dead. His death upon the Cross was not the end and His resurrection shows us that Father God was satisfied that the price for sin had been paid in full with Jesus blood and death for everyone who will trust in Him.

How can we fix our eyes upon Jesus today?

I don’t advocate making a statue of Jesus for the Bible tells us not to make Idols nor to bow down to them or worship them. There’s always a danger in making images and statues of the Lord or Mary or any of the Saints, because people begin to focus upon them. We’re commanded by the Lord not to make statues in the Ten Commandments:

The Second Commandment: Exodus 20:4-6 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

  • So how can we, who want to be obedient to the Lord and His Word ‘fix our eyes upon Jesus’?
    We can do it easily: 
  • We’ve got God’s Word: The Gospel accounts of Jesus trial, cricifixion, resurrection and appearances. 
  • We’ve got Worship: Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs: Songs about Jesus, what He did for us upon the cross. 
  • We’ve got Christian Gatherings: Regular Fellowship Groups. Outreach Groups. Evangelism Groups. Gathering regularly with those who Love Jesus, it won’t be long before you turn to Him in prayer and praise.
  • We’ve got Worship Services: With Preaching and Teaching about Jesus. 
  • We’ve got Prayer Meetings: Monthly and daily prayer.
  • We’ve got Personal Prayer and Worship and Bible Study / Meditation.

Focusing upon Jesus is easy for the Saints when we put our heart, soul, mind and strength to it. But will we? Will you focus upon Jesus? Will you think about the Cross and all that He endured upon the Cross for you?

I want to encourage those who’ve done this in the past, probably many times, to renew their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. To really FIX your eyes upon Jesus: Think about it, those crowds in Jerusalem; Shouting one week; “Jesus is King” and the next “Crucify”… To dwell upon the LAST SUPPER, the GARDEN of TEARS, the TRIAL of Jesus, the MOCKING He endured, the CRUCIFIXION, the DEATH and the RESURRECTION.

How to Practically FOCUS on Jesus and the Cross: 

When I was a lone-Christian on a Submarine at sea, I used to take a simple wooden cross with me and wear it undeneath my uniform. At times people would see it and sometimes ask, “Ginge (that’s what they called me), why are you wearing a wooden cross?”… It became an amazing stepping stone into conversations about my Lord Jesus. Why a wooden cross? We were not allowed to wear metal crosses. Electricity and metal don’t go well together 🙂 LOL. So with a simple black thread and an two inch cross, I became a witness for Jesus. But it really did help me, because there were times when I was feeling weak, my thoughts would wander, I didn’t have fellowship with other Christians, sometimes just grabbing that cross and feeling it would lead me to pray and worship Jesus in the Engine room or even in the Reactor Compartment. When I fixed my mind on Jesus I’d feel strong again and ready to face the world with renewed conviction and love for those in darkness.

How do you fix your eyes upon Jesus?

Let us do it this year every single day; In prayer, reading God’s Word and gathering and communicating with the saints as much as we can; to encourage and strengthen others in their walk and witness for Him.

What does fixing your eyes upon Jesus do for you? He’ll KEEP you, He’ll nourish you, He’ll wash you clean, He’ll renew your faith and strength and sometimes you’ll experience His awesome miracles, but most of all you’ll have the PEACE of JOY of the Lord in your heart. You’ll know Him and He’ll know you.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.
Don.

Let us fix our eyes upon Jesus.

Hebrews 3:1-6 “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. 2 He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. 3 Jesus has been found worthy of greater honour than Moses, just as the builder of a house has greater honour than the house itself. 4 For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. 5 Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. 6 But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”

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Making The MOST of Every Opportunity

Making the Most of Every Opportunity.

Making the MOST of Every Opportunity
Making the MOST of Every Opportunity

Daily Spirit & Word, 449: Making The Most of Every Opportunity.

And WHY? “Because the days are evil”.

Knowing & Understanding what the Lord’s will is.

Good morning my friends, I hope Tuesday finds you well. Last night’s prayer meeting was tremendous. We began as usual with catching up with one another, then prayer to open the meeting, then singing, sharing from God’s Word and listening to what the Lord was saying to us as a Church and as individuals. I had upon my heart Ephesians 5:15-16 and the Holy Spirit seemed to be saying, “Stop making the least of the opportunities I’m giving you”… WOWzer! I thought to myself and shared with everyone, “Are we making the ‘least of God’s opportunities?”

 Here’s what He tells us in Ephesians 5:15-20.

15  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are times when we make half-hearted-responses to the awesome opportunities the Lord sends our way. Reflecting upon that word ‘OPPORTUNITIES’ we could see there ARE some given to us every single day. As Christians we carry the light of Christ into a dark and, as verse 16 tells us, an evil world. We are to make the MOST of these opportunities for a reason, “Because the Days are EVIL”.

However, we’re also to be very careful HOW we live, not as unwise but as wise. It goes on to say that a wise man instead of a foolish man will understand what the Lord’s will is.

When the Lord is giving us an opportunity, we’ll get an impulse, a feeling, a deep knowing, that we must do something; that’s the Holy Spirit nudging you, prodding you and propelling you to act in any given situation. Knowing or listening to the Lord’s will is NOT easy. Women are much better at it than men, because we men tend to think and analyse things too much, where a woman will act more readily on her intuition. I don’t know what that is, we’re all different, but in my own expereince women seem to be the first to take up the torch when the Lord presents it. They carry the torch and then slowly the men get the picture, as if they are saying to themselves, “Ahhh Haaaa, the Lord wants us to do this” then they’ll get it and they’ll run with it. 

I’ll give you an illustration: I was part of a team of people that would visit churches, fellowships and leadership meetings to enthuse them about a forthcoming Evangelistic Mission that was coming their way. In Kent I visited many, many churches and made presentations about how the Mission would go. I always gave a challenge and invitation; “Is God calling you to be a part of this mission? Will you join us?” The Mission was called; “The Walk of 1000 Men”… Do you know my friends, whenever I gave that invitation, it was always and I mean always; WOMEN who responded first and most enthusiastically. Even though it was a mission to reach out to men with the Gospel in our land, it was the women who could see that the LORD was indeed behind this initiative.

 Intuition = Instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes). or “An deep impression and or conviction that something might be the case without an empirical evidence”. 

Holy Spirit Intuition: Deep knowing, impression, instinct, conviction that the Lord wants us to do, say or be something. It’s that “Knowing what the Lord’s will is” … Yes we are NOT to be foolish, but Spiritually wise. To be like that we’ll need to practice certain things regularly; Prayer, Meditating upon God’s Word, Studying God’s Word, Meeting up with other believers regularly to seek the Lord… Our reading today instructs us HOW? to do it; Instead of living like people in the world, we’re to live differently, we’re not to get drunk on wine, but on the Holy Spirit; by singing, making music in our hearts; Hymns, Songs and Spiritual Singing. “Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs”.  As we’re with the Lord in the Spirit He’ll make His ways known to us. We’ll just KNOW… Last night as we sang and prayed and meditated upon God’s Word a woman in our meeting, Doreen said, “I didn’t come here to say this, but I believe this is what the LORD wants, He wants us to get youngsters involved in worship too”… We’ve been talking about that for a long time in our church, it was an opportunity the Lord has been giving us, but we’ve NOT made the MOST of that opportunity. Lord forgive us! Thank you Lord for opening up our understanding and letting us know afresh what your will is for us today.

We’re going to DO something about that deep impression and knowing that was shared last night, we’re going to make the MOST of God’s opportunity.

So I’m giving a challenge today, I know the women will be more than ready to listen and respond, but I want to REACH those men who think deeply first; here it is: “People of God, Men, Women and Youngsters, Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, are WE making the MOST of EVERY Opportunity the LORD is sending our way?” … I’m not talking about this attitude, “Oh I’ll give it a go” or “Well we’ll try and see if it will work” I’m asking and I believe the LORD is asking us today, are we READY, WILLING AND ZEALOUS to make the MOST of those God given opportunities today? We really need to be, because the days ARE evil.

Let us determine in our hearts that we will “Make the MOST of every opportunity the Lord is giving us today”.

It would be great to hear what you’ve been prompted by the Lord to do today????
Have an awesome Tuesdays with Jesus, be filled afresh with Holy Spirit now.
Don.