Love Always Perseveres

Love from God's perspective.

Daily Spirit & Word: 824.

Love Always Perseveres.

Sermon Series on LOVE (Understanding LOVE from God’s Perspective 1 Corinthians 13).

Good morning, we’re back with 1 Corinthians 13: The Great Love Chapter in God’s Word. Here we’ve been discovering some of the secrets of TRUE LOVE:

TRUE LOVE: Agape: Sacrificial / Devotional / Charitable Love.

1) That love is not at first an emotion to give into, but an act of the will, with principles and precepts to live by.

2) We will want to act these ways, because we’ve first of all experienced God’s; Love, Forgiveness, Kindness and Mercy. He’s given us a New Start, New Heart, New Life, New Relationship of Love through His Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit.

3) When we act in God’s love, great feelings of LOVE will follow… i.e. attraction in relationships can be restored.

Some People think their marriage is over, because they don’t feel the love any-longer  It’s not over just because you don’t feel “IN LOVE” any more. Love and feelings of being in love will follow and flow afresh into your heart and your relationship once you begin LOVING God’s Ways.

LOVE ALWAYS: (Sermon Series).

We’ve been looking over the last few weeks at: Verse 7: Love Always:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) It (LOVE) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Today It Is: Love Always Perseveres.

To see how LOVE ALWAYS Perseveres: We can look though God’s Word to see if this is a principle / precept that is TRUE.

  • Then we’ll KNOW: Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.
  • Then we’ll KNOW: That Always Persevering in LOVE… (LOVE NEVER FAILS)…

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” (That’s Perseverance).

Part of Jacob’s reward for working for Laban was to have Rachel, Laban’s beautiful daughter, given to Jacob as his wife. Our verse for today sums up the details of this arrangement and shows the great effects of love how we’ll be persevering because of it…

  • Love Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Prolonged Jacob’s Perseverance.
  • Love Produced Pleasure in Jacob’s Toil.

1) LOVE Prompted Jacob’s Perseverance:

Perseverance’s Prerequisite: Is LOVE:  “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.” (Prerequisite = Essential Condition. Needed Requirement: LOVE).

It was love that caused Jacob to serve here. He was very much in love with Rachel and so agreed to serve Laban for her. Love is essential if we are going to persevere.

Remember what Paul said;

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (NIV)
14  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
15  And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Paul was motivated (compelled) to serve his Lord Jesus by his love for Christ. (First LOVE).

When Christ called Peter to feed His flock, He asked Peter, “Do you love me?” or in KJV “Lovest thou me” (John 21:15,16,17 {three times}).

If your perseverance draining, if you feel everything to do with church is a drag, maybe you are getting a bit like the church at Ephesus which was rebuked by the Lord because they had “left their first love” (Revelation 2:4).

If Jacob had just had a passing FANCY for Rachel, he would not have served or persevered to get her hand in marriage.

It wasn’t a passing fancy, but true love that enabled Jacob to persevere for those seven long years.

 

2) Prolonging of Perseverance. “Jacob served seven years to get Rachel.”

Love caused Jacob to serve for a long time.

Later when Laban deceived Jacob and gave him Leah instead of Rachel at the end of those seven years, Jacob was prepared, because of his love for Rachel, to agree to serve another seven years for her. That’s awesome! We need to understand this today 14 Years to get a wife… who today would be prepared to do that? Would you wait? That’s how much he longed for and loved Rachel.

Because of his LOVE he was prepared to persevere for Rachel’s hand.

  • Love Caused Jacob: To continually work for Rachel.
  • Love Cause Jacob: To Never Give up on Rachel.
  • Love Caused Jacob: To have longevity (No matter how long it would take, he’d get his Rachel)…
  • Love Cause Jacob: To keep Going, not quit after a few days, weeks, months or years… 14 years it took to get his Rachel as his wife.
  • LOVE MADE JACOB: Persevere until….

 

QUESTION: Why do so many Christians fall away from the faith?

Why do so many Christians grow luke-warm in their devotion to Jesus?

Why do so many not persevere and keep following Jesus?

ANSWER: NOT IN LOVE WITH JESUS.

Some have a PASSING FANCY for the CHRISTIAN FAITH. Dabble their toes in the water of Christian Experience, but when the going gets tough, the feeble, fickle, feeling based Christians = leg it. They’ve had a passing fancy for Jesus, not TRUE LOVE… If Jesus was ever their FIRST LOVE, then no matter what, they’d stick at it come what may.

The reason so many folks do not last long in persevering faith in Christ is because they do not love Christ as they need.

If you truly love Christ, you will stay at your work continually: Like Jacob (Joseph, David, Moses, Abraham). Some didn’t see their PROMISED LAND (HOPE)… However, because of their LOVE they were able to PERSEVERE.

  • Love causes us to have longevity in our persevering for Christ.
  • Love does not serve Jesus a few days then quit when it gets tough; no it KEEPS GOING (Digging In Deeper onto the foundation bedrock of Jesus).
  • Love keeps us going in serving the LORD.
  • When we LOVE Jesus, we will PERSEVERE in the FAITH…

3) PLEASURE in PERSEVERING (Perseverance’s Rewards).

Genesis 29:20 (NIV) “So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.”

When you are truly in LOVE with Jesus, then no matter what happens; good or bad, plenty or want, you’ll LONG to SERVE HIM: Persevering won’t seem like a chore or a burden, it’s a pleasure.

  • When Jacob got Rachel: He said, “It seems like I’ve only served a few days” because of his love for her.
  • When you get to Heaven: You’ll be thinking it only seemed like a few days that I served Jesus. Because of your LOVE for Him.
  • Love for Rachel made long-days seem short.
  • Love for Rachel brought much pleasure to Jacob’s service. (The sweat of looking after sheep was a JOY)…
  • Love for Rachel sweetened the difficult times and made them delightful times.

 

Question: Why do so many followers of Jesus find serving Jesus a chore or a burden or a difficulty?

Why do so many Christians get resentful in their service?

  • They’re not looking at Jesus. Taken their eyes off HIM…
  • They’ve forgotten the Prize.
  • They’ve wandered away from their first LOVE…

 

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES:

Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV) (Don’t Loose Heart: Run With Perseverance: Fix Eyes on Jesus)…
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.

Philippians 3:14 (NIV) PRESS ONWARDS to WIN PRIZE…
14  I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV) RUN (Persevere) to GET YOUR PRIZE.
24  Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.
26  Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

If you are not in love with Jesus, you will not persevere: Not Run, Fix Eyes, Aim, Walk or Limp towards your Prize. You will loose heart and possibly fall away from the faith…

If you are in love with Jesus, you will persevere: Run, Walk, Keep Going, PERSEVERE.

 

How to get back in LOVE? {with your first-love}

  • LOVE as the Bible tells you: be patient, be kind, be forgiving, be gentle, don’t be proud, selfish, rude… etc (1 Cor 13). PRACTISING CHRISTIAN… Practice LOVE… Try it.
  • Repent: Of your lack of love for Jesus. Ask for His forgiveness. He’ll then MOTIVATE you to PERSEVERE once you are back IN LOVE with Him.

 

NOTE: RUNNING FOR THE PRIZE: (Not Down to Self-Effort)…

Personal Testimony: I’d failed, time and time again. Self-Effort wasn’t working. I got a bit depressed, felt a failure, felt God didn’t love me, couldn’t love me, wouldn’t love me. I had almost LOST HEART… Why? Because I was trying to be GOOD in my own strength, my own determination and perseverance and my will-power was failing fast… Who would rescue me? It’s Jesus my friends, I needed to trust in Jesus alone all over again. Submit to Him and confess and let Him do the changing of my heart…. Allow HIM IN: I needed to surrender all over again.

This PERSEVERANCE: Is NOT Self-Effort: It comes from being connected and in-love with Jesus. (OR RE-CONNECTED).

He gives you the DETERMINATION YOU NEED to Keep Persevering against the odds…

People will look at you and wonder: “How on earth does He / She do it?”… It’s NOT you, It’s Jesus in YOU… It’s the Holy Spirit who’s taken up residence and become your own personal President (Lord, Master, Boss, King)… He’ll be motivating you to obedience to what you know is right.

But many do not find that joy in serving. The reason is because they lack that deep heart love for Jesus.

If your love for Christ abounds, you will find much pleasure in serving Him even though the service may be difficult, long, hard, and trying.

LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES: Jacob loved Rachel (A Picture of How the Saint should love His / Her Jesus).

Conclusion:

1) Perseverance’s Prerequisite: LOVE for Jesus (Jacob loved Rachel)…
2) Prolonging of Perseverance: LOVE will make you SERVE for MANY YEARS…
3) Perseverance’s Reward: Those many years of service will seem like only a few days… Because, there is PLEASURE in persevering. {LOVE ALWAYS PERSEVERES}.

You’ll delight in Serving for Jesus, if you LOVE Him… No matter how successful or not… You’re going to keep going because of your LOVE for Him.

Amen!

Hymn:

Oh, How I LOVE Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Oh, How I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me.

Black Friday Freedom

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Black Friday Freedom.

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING.

If you want it, you’ve got it.

But be careful what you are wanting.

BLACK FRIDAY: Darkness….

We live in a world that is full of desire for things. Even the church has been infected by it and has focused much of it’s teachings on meeting the needs of people’s desires. So much so, that they now declare to people, “have faith, just believe it and you will receive it”. This is the name it claim it Gospel.

Of course we’re all meant to be Servants of the Lord ready to respond to one another’s needs, but simply to appeal to our desires begs a few questions, because those things that people desire most, are things God has warned us will lead us into the darkness and farther away from Him. If you desire darkness, then God is going to give it to you, big time: Watch OUT or you will receive your BLACK FRIDAY.

What things then do we desire most that God has forbidden?

1) Riches: To enable us to get lots of STUFF… 

2) Sexual Desires:

3) Power and Control:

If we want these things, then God is going to give us over to these desires, but note this, when we’re given over to our desires, we’ll be in total DARKNESS, the end result being that we’ll be DRIVEN by those desires in an ever increasing measure. Our natural affections will be turned into inordinate affections.

Romans 1:18-32 (NIV)
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.

What a SAD indictment against humanity.

  • Without Christ we are all in this DARKNESS.
  • Without Christ we are given over in various degrees to our desires.
  • Without Christ we have depraved minds.

NOTE THE PROGRESSION IN ROMANS 1:18-32.

  • They Exchanged: The Glory of God: Worshipping Created Things.
  • They Exchanged: The Truth of God: Choosing instead to believe a lie. Verse 24.
  • DARKENED:
    • How? By NOT glorifying God, not giving thanks to Him. Verse 21.
    • How? The TRUTH is Suppressed by Wickedness: Verse 18.
    • How? The TRUTH is Exchanged for a lie: Verse 24. Worshipped and Served Created things instead of the Creator.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To THEIR SINFUL DESIRES. Verse 24.
  • God GAVE THEM OVER: To SHAMEFUL LUSTS. Verse 26.
  • God GAVE Them OVER: To a DEPRAVED MIND. Verse 28.

AND A CONTINUAL LUST FOR MORE:

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)
17  So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18  They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19  Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

SATAN LOVES BLACK FRIDAY

And the great enemy of human beings, who have been Created in the image of the immortal God, loves it.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 (NIV)
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4  The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Who is Jesus? He is the LIGHT who gives the sure and certain HOPE of Freedom.

Prophet, Priest and King:

  • Prophet: He revealed Heaven’s Secrets to men: The WAY, The TRUTH and The LIFE:
  • Priest: He offered his life as a sacrifice for the sins of mankind.
  • King: He rules and we must become subjects of His Kingdom, as we submit to His authority as our King.

Jesus is the LIGHT of the WORLD:

So that the people who are walking, living and bound by the darkness can see the LIGHT and are given hope of being set free from the DARKNESS.

The Good NEWS of Jesus Christ: BRIGHT FRIDAY.

He came to set all mankind free from the darkness and from bondage to sin and Satan. Though God has given us over to be controlled and ruined by our sinful desires, to shameful lusts and to depraved minds, there’s now the HOPE of freedom in Christ Jesus.

That FREEDOM comes as we BELIEVE in Jesus. TRUST in Jesus for forgiveness. REPENT of sin and FORSAKE sin, as we RECEIVE Jesus Christ as Lord. Then we are BORN AGAIN, given a renewed heart, mind, will and desires as we are FILLED with Holy Spirit. He is the one who will enable us to LIVE the abundant life he’s called us to.

When BLACK FRIDAY: Gets Hold Of A Believer:

If ever we get into BONDAGE again, then all we have to do is come back to Jesus Christ to be set free all over again. (I’ve known many Christians who get caught up in this world’s affairs, their desire for Holiness is dimmed, their hearts become dull and hard again to Jesus, to the Gospel, to saving others. All because they’ve chosen the darkness rather than the light. They’ve become bound by Satan again and need the freedom that only Jesus Christ can give them. Thankfully, we’re seeing believers being set free and given renewed hearts again.) It’s like the Gospel needs to be preached to those who already have believed and trusted in Jesus, because they need the NEW LIFE Christ promised to all who would believe and trust in Him. Of course there are many who believe in Jesus, but have never been born of the Spirit, yet there is HOPE of the freedom and the promise.

 

CONCLUSION:

Though there is a GREAT DARKNESS.

Though people are walking in this DARKNESS.

There is HOPE: The LIGHT has come to set us FREE.

Isaiah 9:2 (NIV) The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.

Jesus Christ is the LIGHT: Come, Believe that He died to set you free from your inordinate desires, those things that control your life and lead to death, to judgement and eternal Hell. He endured the Cross for your freedom. All you have to do is TRUST that He died to set you free and enable you to be forgiven of your sins. Once you REPENT by confessing your sins to God and turning from those sins, forsaking them, and receive Jesus by an act of faith. He’ll come and give you the promised NEW LIFE and FREEDOM. Amen!

NOW: Having trusted in Jesus, you can live the NEW LIFE with NEW POWER.

Ephesians 4:20-32 (NIV)
20  You, however, did not come to know Christ that way.
21  Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.
22  You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
24  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
25  Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body.
26  “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,
27  and do not give the devil a foothold.
28  He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.
29  Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31  Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
32  Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

How Jesus can set your free on Black Friday
Black Friday Freedom

BLACK FRIDAY IS COMING:

BE The People of The Light

Black Friday reminds me of the DARKNESS, however we can know that through Jesus, we can be set free to live as the people of the light.

The New Life in Christ is a continual renewal: He will give you HIS HOLY DESIRES. Amen!

Be blessed this coming weekend,

Don.

 

The Power of Your LOVE

fulfilling the Great Commission requires our faithful obedience to the Greatest Commandment

Daily Spirit & Word: 782: The POWER of Your LOVE.

Don’t Forget To Love God.

Good morning my friends, it’s been a while since I’ve seen this so clearly, but our compassion for others, the way we can really love them like Jesus does, will flow from our relationship of love for God.

Jesus did give us the GREAT COMMISSION, but He also gave us the GREATEST COMMANDMENT:

In the one, the great commission, we’re to go into all the world and share the Gospel (Good News about Jesus) and lead others to faith and trust in Him and become Disciples who are committed to following the teachings of Jesus.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
18  Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

However, long before Jesus gave the Great Commission, he gave us the Greatest Commandment;

Matthew 22:36-40 (NIV) The Greatest Commandment.
36  “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37  Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38  This is the first and greatest commandment.
39  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
40  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

When we love God like that: with all our heart, soul and mind, then we’re ready for the second part of the Greatest Commandment; “Love your neighbour as yourself.”

The one flows from the other; love for God and love for others will enable us to fulfill the Great Commission.

Also it’s a corrective: Because if we’re trying to fulfil the Great Commission from any other motive than that of LOVE (For God first and others second), we’ll be making some big mistakes.

I’ve known some Evangelists who only seemed to be out to win NUMBERS: i.e. large numbers of people to Christ. Of course we should all want to see thousands respond the Gospel message, but if our whole mindset is a numbers game, then something is missing; it’s LOVE that matters most. When we love God and others, we’ll have a passion for God and a deep compassion for others.

LOVE for God and others will enable us to fulfill the Great Commission with the right motives. 

Our reason / motivation for going and sharing the Gospel is that others might be; set free from sin, experience the love of Jesus in their lives, know the gift of faith and be transformed by the Holy Spirit and receive the New Life in Christ: That’s a LOVE motivation. Filled with a compassion for souls we’ll also warn them of the dangers to come at the judgement. Without a deep love for God and others we’ll probably not be moved to share the whole Gospel message.

Last night at the prayer meeting, we couldn’t pray as usual because a soul needed to be ministered to. It was strange because only a very few people had turned up, but in the end I could see that the LORD had a plan in that. If more people had come, we would probably have missed an opportunity to minister to that one soul that needed to hear this message; “God loves you”… “His love for you is unconditional”… It was also strange, because we were reading from Acts 3 when Peter and John went to the Temple at 3.00pm in the afternoon to pray, but on the way they met a man who needed to be ministered to. “Silver and Gold we don’t have”… He was healed and he went jumping and leaping and praising God. They were on their way to pray, but ministered along the way.

My friends, we just don’t know when the LORD is going to provide Ministry opportunities. However, you’ll begin to see them more clearly when you’ve got a passionate love for God and a love for others, then that will fill you with a much deeper compassion for souls.

This world is crying out loud for souls that are set on fire with a passionate love for God and others.

I don’t know about you, but I find this challenging and encouraging: I know that I’ve got to love God and that when I do I’ll be able to love others, now all I need is to draw nearer to the Lord Jesus. However, I’m also aware that many are not aware of just how much Jesus love them. My friends you need to hear this today: “Jesus LOVES you!” I’ll say it again, “Jesus LOVES you!” Once we really know just how much Jesus loves us, we’ll draw near to God in full assurance of faith and pour out our love to Him.

Prayer: O Lord Jesus Christ, I know that you love me, and that you want me to love God completely, wholeheartedly, and love others as much as I love myself. Fill me afresh with you Holy Spirit today, that I might be enabled to LOVE that way. And so fulfil both the Greatest Commandment and the Great Commission.  Amen.

Praise: The POWER of Your LOVE: (I’m moved by the Lord to sing this song this morning: If you can join in with the sining).

The POWER of Your LOVE.

Lord I come to You
Let my heart be changed, renewed
Flowing from the grace
That I’ve found in You
Lord I’ve come to know
The weaknesses I see in me
Will be stripped away
By the power of Your love.

Hold me close
Let Your love surround me
Bring me near
Draw me to Your side
And as I wait
I’ll rise up like the eagle
And I will soar with You
Your Spirit leads me on
By the power of Your love.

Lord unveil my eyes,
Let me see You face to face,
The knowledge of Your love,
As You live in me.
Lord renew my mind,
As Your will unfolds in my life,
In living every day,
By the power of Your love.

Hold me close
Let Your love surround me.
Bring me near,
Draw me to Your side.
And as I wait,
I’ll rise up like the eagle.
And I will soar with You,
Your Spirit leads me on,
By the power of Your love.

The Great Commission and The Greatest Commandment Go Hand-in-Hand: The one without the other is useless. If we LOVE God, then we’ll LOVE others and SHARE the Gospel. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus, full of love and zeal for Him, full of love and compassion for others, Amen.

Don.

 

After Pentecost What’s Next?

After the Pentecost Prayer Week, National Evangelisation, Power to SAVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: After Pentecost: The Power to SAVE Souls.

WOWzer! WOWzer! What an awesome Pentecostal Open Air Baptism Service we had.

IMG_1488 IMG_1490 IMG_1491 IMG_1494

Good morning my friends, it really was awesome. I got up early yesterday so that I could both write and get the Baptism pool ready. I wanted to encourage you before I went out. Oh my friends, I feel so blessed by the Lord. You know, we’ve got an AWESOME family of brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone came together yesterday to make it so special for those taking steps of commitment to Jesus. Thanks so much to David, John and Ben who got up very early and came to help me sweep, clean and build the baptismal pool. It was a sacrifice of pillow time 🙂 Thanks Amanda, who’d prepared song sheets and Bible notices in advance. Thanks to Robert, Celestin, Isaac and the worship team, even Abi and Rebecca joined in…. every one of you are AMAZING. But you all know who I’m most thankful for: The LORD Jesus Christ, He was with us. It was a costly service for us all in terms of time, talents and treasures, but even more so for Him.

Because before PENTECOST, there was a cost: Someone had to die before we could experience heaven in our hearts.

Jesus died upon the Cross for us.

He didn’t stay dead though, Jesus rose again back to life from the dead. He’s alive NOW! Enthroned in Heaven, but you can receive Him into your life today.

He sends the Holy Spirit upon everyone who believes that His death was for their sins, who repents of their sinful rebellion against God and turns in faith towards Jesus Christ to receive Him as Lord, then in faith and obedience gets baptised into the Name of; Father Son and Holy Spirit, to become a Follower of Jesus, a Disciple who seeks to live from that day forward in obedience to Jesus’ Commands and Teachings.

Did you know that Peter explained all this to the Jews and converts to Judaism gathered in Jerusalem that day: He told them HOW TO BE SAVED from their own corrupt generation.

Acts 2:36-41 (NIV)
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.

On that first Day of Pentecost, when  the Holy Spirit fell on all the Followers of Jesus, it was Peter who stood up and preached. What Peter said to them broke their hearts and they were convicted and pleaded with Peter and the other Apostles to tell them what they should do next, how they could be saved from God’s wrath and anger because they had killed the Messiah. Peter explained, and told them how to be saved: they had to repent of their sins and believe on Jesus Christ. They would give proof of the sincerity of their repentance and faith by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, publicly doing so identified them with their Messiah and Lord and Saviour; Jesus Christ. That baptism would signal that their trust in Jesus death was for their sins, their sins would we washed away.

My friends, it was on the first Day of Pentecost that a person could be saved ONLY by repenting and believing on Jesus Christ. Only then could they too receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit for themselves (Gal. 3:2, 14), and this promise was for both the Jews and the “far off” Gentiles (Eph. 2:13-19). For ALL whom the Lord our God will call. He’s calling ALL Peoples, all over the Earth to have faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He’s pulling men to Himself through the Holy Spirit, even before you go out and witness to them. Do you believe that’s the Father’s Heart?

The Promise of the Holy Spirit is FOR ALL:

You, your children, your family, your friends, everybody who knows you: Your OIKOS.

My wife’s getting tired of me going on about OIKOS. She said, “If I hear it once more I’ll OIKOS you”… LOL.

But that’s the Father’s HEART: To save your complete family and bring in the whole company of those who know you follow Jesus, He wants to SAVE Them ALL.

Do you believe it’s the Father’s HEART: To SAVE everyone who knows you are a follower of Jesus? Everyone, you love, your Father in Heaven loves even more than you.

So What’s NEXT?

We’ve finished our Week of Prayer: But please DO NOT STOP praying for all those who’ve yet to trust in Jesus.

Keep praying for your OIKOS List; until they are ALL SAVED. God wants to SAVE your friends and family.

Who’s ON Your OIKOS List?

  • List them again by name before Jesus.
  • Think about their lives: What’s going on with them? What’s their problems? What’s their heart-desires? What’s their deepest need? And talk to the LORD for them.
  • Next: Do something LOVING for your OIKOS: give them a gift, do a good thing they are not expecting, show them Jesus’ LOVE is in your heart.
  • Next: Purposefully bring up something about Jesus, don’t ASK their permission, just share something. Even if they’ve rejected it before, do it again. Shown them that you are NOT going to give up on them, even if they’ve given up on God.
  • Finally: Remember, it’s their ETERNAL wealfare that you are most concerned about, their DESTINY is not looking good if they don’t trust Jesus. Get a handle on Hell and that will motivate you to endure rejection. Remember, anyone who’s not trusted in Jesus yet is BLIND and DEAF, they don’t know what they are rejecting, they can’t hear yet, because Satan has both blinded their eyes and deadened their ears. However, Holy Spirit POWER can break through into their darkness and let them see the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Keep going back for more: You didn’t put your faith in Jesus the first time you heard the Gospel, so give them LOTS of opportunity. Even if they reject it three or four times before they come to faith. Share a little bit more of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be drawing them to faith and trust in Jesus.
  • PRAY: For yourself that you’ll STAY FULL of Pentecostal Power to reach out and SAVE others for Jesus. You need the Holy Spirit every day, you need Jesus presence and power in you, so ask Father God to fill you afresh every day in order that you can live in His will to save others.

Be blessed my friends, and live every day in Pentecostal Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit, knowing that Jesus is with you always. Entreat your Heavenly Father for your friends, family and followers. Be obedient to Jesus commands and tell them HOW to be SAVED in this, their own, corrupt generation.

Don.

P.S. Pray for me, I’m shattered now 🙂 But I want to keep going for Jesus.

I’m also praying for everyone on my own OIKOS.

P.P. S. SEE more of the Baptism pictures here at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page. I’ll be posting some more awesome shots that my wife Julie took as well.

 

 

Motivated by Love

Holy Spirit Empowered by LOVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 739: Motivated By Love.

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 3: How The Holy Spirit Moves You.

If it doesn’t affect your hands, feet, and thinking, it isn’t Christianity.

Good morning my friends, what an AWESOME day we had yesterday. Prayer in the morning and Alpha in the evening. “Why and HOW to share the Good News”…

After you’ve trusted Jesus as Lord and Saviour something happens to your heart, mind, will and emotions. It’s all just a part of the RENEWAL taking place within you as the Holy Spirit takes up residence. However, unlike the UK Government that’s only elected for five years, He’s with you forever. One of the personal PROOFS that you are a Christian is to look for this evidence within yourself; “Am I changing day by day to become more like Jesus?” If not then what might have happened is that you’ve just gotten ‘religious’ rather than saved. Because if it doesn’t affect your hands, feet and thinking, then it isn’t Christianity.

  • The indwelling Holy Spirit produces the fruit of righteousness within every Christian.
  • The indwelling Holy Spirit FILLS you with God’s Love: that love will motivate you. It’s not just so that you can feel good or know that God loves you. You should know that anyway, but His love compels us to do stuff for God daily.
  • The indwelling Holy Spirit MOVES us to obey God’s will.

We should exhibit in increasing measure; Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Righteousness, Gentleness and Self-Control. 1 Corinthians 13 is all about real LOVE and you’ll know if you are loving God and people more. Jesus summary of the Ten Commandments: Love God and Love Others: The Golden Rule: “Love the Lord Thy God with ALL your heart, mind, soul and strength and love your neighbour as yourself”… You can’t do it in your own strength, you need the Holy Spirit within to make this fulfilment of Jesus command possible.

Now, you can put it to the TEST this week.

You’ve got an excuse, because it’s Pentecost Prayer Week. So now you can do or practice some of these things. The Holy Spirit is always prompting us to do it anyway.

Hands: Do some good with your hands: i.e. Be a practical Christian, let it affect your service towards others. Do more, do nice things for people, especially the people you are praying for every day on your OIKOS list. After praying for them, do something nice; make something for them, take them for a coffee, go for a walk with them, talk with them, ask them how things are going in their life. Don’t just have friends for what they can do for you, but be a friend for them too. If we see that they have a NEED in life, then ask God HOW you can help to solve their problems for them. It might mean you’ll just need to pray more for them or it might mean you have to put your hands into your pocket and give them so of your treasures.

Feet: Go the extra mile for others. Go where the Holy Spirit prompts you. Use your feet to avoid areas of temptation by running away. The Bible tells us to flee temptation. We’re praying the Lord’s prayer every day this week and part of that prayer says, “Lead me not into temptation, deliver me from evil”… We can co-operate with the LORD by running away from tempting things. And running towards the areas of His service. Let your feet be fitted with those Gospel shoes mentioned in the Armour Ephesians 6:10-20. i.e. let your feet take you to where you’ll be prompted to share the Good News of Jesus.

Thinking: We mentioned this yesterday in regards taking others captive for Jesus, but we must also take every thought captive in our own minds and put them in a strong tower of God’s making. Imprison our thoughts and use our minds to think God’s thoughts. Romans 12 begins with an instruction about having our minds being renewed by the Holy Spirit. We’re not to think or react as the world does. So when someone cuts you up whilst driving, bless them. When someone jumps the queue when your shopping, allow them to go before you. When someone forgets to repay a debit or a loan, let them off, forget about it, cancel their debt. When you see them, tell them not to worry about it. Lending money to people makes them your servant, they are bound to you because of the outstanding debit, so release those captives and let them go. You’ll be like God if you can begin to think like this. Jesus came to set the captives free and if we’re filled with the same Holy Spirit so will we. It will be a JOY to our hearts to let people go. If someone offends you in some way, think about it, forgive them, because God has forgiven you so much. In these ways you can practically change your thinking and have your mind renewed. I’m sure there are many more ways our thinking can be transformed by God’s indwelling Holy Spirit. These are not exhaustive, just some examples.

So my friends, today, shall we let the Holy Spirit loose within ourselves and let Him affect our; Hands (service for God and others), Feet (going out for Jesus into this world and fleeing temptation), Thinking (being renewed by what we dwell upon and think about).

Because, if it doesn’t affect my hands, feet, and thinking, it isn’t real Christianity. and I’m not really following Jesus.

Do not merely listen to the WORD, but be obedient to it.

Remember COSTA COFFEE:

COSTA = Christ, Offers, Salvation, To, All.

COFFEE = Christ, Offers, Forgiveness, For, Everyone, Everywhere.

So take someone for a COSTA COFFEE today 🙂

Scriptures to Meditate Upon Today:

Be Protected:

Ephesians 6:10-20 (NLT)
10  A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
13  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.
14  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.
15  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.
16  In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.
17  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18  Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
19  And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.
20  I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

Let God’s LOVE Motivate You Towards REAL Love.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (NIV)
1  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.
2  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4  Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
5  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.
9  For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10  but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears.
11  When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.
12  Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
13  And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

You Were SET FREE to LOVE

Galatians 5:13-15 (NIV)
13  You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
14  The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
15  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

LIVE by the HOLY SPIRIT

Galatians 5:16-26 (NIV)
16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

HOW To LOVE Practically: Sincere Active Love.

Romans 12:9-21 (NIV)
9  Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
10  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honour one another above yourselves.
11  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.
12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
13  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality.
14  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
15  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
16  Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
17  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
20  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

BEING RENEWED IN OUR THOUGHT LIFE:

Romans 12:1-8 (NIV)
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.
2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
3  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
4  Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,
5  so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
6  We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
7  If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;
8  if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

DON’T JUST ASK FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT ONCE; KEEP ASKING TO BE FILLED.

Luke 11:9-13 (NIV) Heavenly Father Is Longing to GIVE you Holy Spirit.
9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Life Through The Holy Spirit

Romans 8:1-17 (ANIV)
1  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
4  in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7  the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
8  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
10  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12  Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
17  Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

CONCLUSION:

As you seek to serve both God and Others, with LOVE and sincerity, you’ll become aware of the NEED to be constantly FILLED with His Holy Spirit. Jesus knew you’d never be able to do it without His help, so He’s encouraging you to KEEP ASKING and to KEEP BEING FILLED with Holy Spirit.

As you PRAY for your OIKOS (Everyone who knows you and that you are a committed Christian who loves following and serving Jesus).

as you pray for them all, be practical today, because LOVE must be sincere.

Remember COSTA COFFEE:

COSTA = Christ, Offers, Salvation, To, All.

COFFEE = Christ, Offers, Forgiveness, For, Everyone, Everywhere.

So take someone for a COSTA COFFEE today 🙂

 

Remove your FAVOURITES and LOVE and SHARE Jesus with EVERYONE. Don’t be put-off by outward appearance, sometimes the softest hearts are inside the hardest exteriors. Jesus is offering SALVATION to everyone.

I’m praying for my own OIKOS today.

LORD fill them with Your LOVE.

Move them by Your Spirit.

Love let me be a practical follower of Jesus.

Let me LOVE in Word, Deed and Thought. Amen.

 

How to follow Jesus Daily

living sacrifices crawl off the altar, but with Jesus all things are possible

Daily Spirit & Word: 732: How To Follow Jesus Daily.

Christian, when you think you can’t, remember, in Jesus you can.

Say out loud today a few times: “In Christ I Can”…

Good morning my friends, It’s my day off today, so I thought I’d reflect upon my week so far.

What a weeks it’s been: hard, good, brilliant, tough, sad, moving, challenging, encouraging; and it’s only Thursday  😎

First, it’s a privilege and a joy to serve the Lord, but do we really get a day off?

As a Christian, we don’t want to spend any time away from Jesus, but we all need time off from our labours. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, it’s better to loose a little bit of money and have a decent amount of time with friends and family, than it is to be rich and exhausted. If we don’t take time to be WITH folks, then our relationship with them will drift apart. We’ve got to MAKE the effort.

Second, it’s a privilege and joy to serve the Lord’s people.

We are more family with them than than our blood family. Out eternal family are closer kin than blood relatives. Why? Because we’ve got the blood of Christ sacrificed for us flowing through our veins. We’re members of God’s holy household and heirs together of His Kingdom. So when we give to our Kingdom Family; time, talents, treasures and loving service, we’re building God’s Kingdom and making those bonds even stronger.

I was reminded about this by our Administrator Amanda, who said, “I’m closer to my Christian family than my earthly family”… Our Christian family will last longer than our earthly family too, because we’ll be together in Heaven.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my earthly family much more now that I’m a Christian than I ever have: How do I love them more? Because I try to demonstrate 1 Corinthian 13 love with them. It’s not always EASY: we need to be patient with ourselves as much as with them.

Third, I’m learning afresh that Sanctification is instant, but transformation takes a lifetime.

We are daily being transformed into the likeness of Christ, but that’s a whole lifetime’s work and we’ll never get there, but should always strive for it, by allowing the Holy Spirit access and inviting His presence to bring it about. We’re made Saints the instant we’re born of the Spirit. Regeneration, like Creation was instant: God spoke and the universe came into being. It was instantaneous. We said “Yes” to Jesus, “I repent of my sins and receive You as my Lord” and instantly we’re born anew of God’s Holy Spirit. However, the old nature dies hard and needs to be put to death every single day.

There is a continual discovery of how we need renewal in our mind: I need my own mind renewed daily, because I can see how my old ways of thinking are not quite put to death.  Romans 12:2 (NIV) “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

There’s STRONG PRESSURE from the world to conform to it’s ways of thinking, to it’s ways of doing, to it’s ways of being. So I need to STAY CLOSE to the LORD Jesus Christ every single day. Only then will I see HOW the world is pulling, tugging, teasing and tempting.

How to stay close to Jesus: Prayer, Word, Praise, Worship, Service, Fellowship, Ministry.

When we get ALL of these in balance in our life, DAILY, then we’ll be able to maintain a close and consistent walk with the LORD. It does take personal effort and daily sacrifice, but it also takes a willingness to allow Holy Spirit access to do the TRANSFORMATION for us, in us and through us.

A wonderful insightful phrase is doing the rounds again. “Living sacrifices crawl off the altar”… i.e. the natural man doesn’t want to die.

Romans 12:1 (NIV) “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.”

Oh yes Lord, “but living sacrifices tend to crawl off the altar”… We make the excuse don’t we? We tell ourselves, “But I’m just human”, well we’re not just human, as Christians we’re both; human and divine, because we’ve been born again into God’s family, that means we’ve got the Holy Spirit living in us, so we are HOLY. We’re not the same as the rest of the people in this world any-longer, we’re transformed into members of God’s own family now and are daily being made new into the likeness of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said it like this; “Take Up your Cross Daily and follow Me”.

Luke 9:23 (ESV) “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

We have a daily choice, even on our day off, to follow Jesus or live for self. It’s a daily denial if selfishness or of living life just for Donald.

A thought, which arose at Alpha this week. “If I die to myself, won’t I be lost, won’t I just be some kind of robot?” No my friends, when we die to self and allow the Holy Spirit to rule and reign in our life today, we’ll become more of the person God created us to be.

When you think you can’t do it, when you can’t make it, then remember Jesus’ cross. He did it for YOU! Because He loves you. He’s got ALL you need and more to be a wonderful, successful and vibrant light for Him in this world today.

So dear brothers and sisters in Jesus’ Kingdom family, when you think you can’t do it, remember Jesus Cross and what He’s provided so that you’ll be able to declare boldly; “I CAN DO ALL THINGS (not in my own strength, but) THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME”…

Come afresh to Jesus every single day and you’ll KNOW this truth my friends, “In Christ, I CAN”…

I’m going to worship Him NOW! Enjoy your day my friends.

Don.

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Ephesians 3:16 (ANIV)
16  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

Falling In LOVE with Jesus:

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

Philippians 4:13 (ESV)
13  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)
9  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Ephesians 3:16 (ANIV)
16  I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,

1 Timothy 1:12 (ESV)
12  I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

 

Encouragement: Seeking The LORD: Falling in Love with Jesus.

Living In The Fountain of Life

Christian living in the power of the Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 728:

Living In The Power of The Holy Spirit.

A Battle Royal: How to live a submitted life.

“When you do what pleases you, does what you do please God?

Good morning my friends, what a wonderful Alpha Experience evening we had last night. Our theme for the evening was all about The HOLY SPIRIT. We looked at the teaching, filling, empowering, seeking and yearning. We all admitted our NEED of God The Holy Spirit.

However, one of the main points of our discussion was what we’d talked about the previous week: How does God guide us? How does the Holy Spirit let us know His will? How can I live in such a way that I know I’m going to be victorious as a Christian?

We will understand and know His guidance the more we SUBMIT ourselves completely to Christ, but what we discovered afresh last night was, the more you submit yourself to God, the more you begin to realise how just un-submitted we really are. And therefore, how much we need God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing, power and presence every single day.

THE WALK OF GENUINE FAITH:

  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WILLS: God’s Will and Our Will. 
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of DESIRES: God’s desires and our own sinful desires.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WANTS: What God wants and what we want.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of PLEASURES: What pleases God and what pleases us. 

Thankfully our wills, desires, wants and pleasures change as we submit ourselves to Jesus and seek the fullness of Holy Spirit, but then as we go on in the walk of faith, they sneak back into our souls, sometimes, undetected.

Thankfully Holy Spirit reveals our condition: He’s a gentle Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, but he’ll not leave you, those who’ve received Him as Lord, in a condition of sin for very long. His heart’s desire is that you become more and more like Him: Holy, righteous, good and faithful.

When we follow our heart’s desires, wills, wants and pleasures instead of or in-spite of God’s revealed will, we become like an Adulterer: Unfaithful to the one who’s loved us.

James 4:4-10 (NIV)
4  You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (We become friends of the world when we do worldly things that God hates).
5  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
6  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
7  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

When Holy Spirit shows you your condition, He does not do it to make you feel guilty, but to bring you back, to stop you falling, to keep you on track with God’s good plan for your life. However, just like Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they sinned against God, our NATURAL tendency is to hide too, we want to cover it up, pretend it never happened, keep it in the darkness. As God looked for and called for Adam and Eve, he’ll be doing the same with you and me by His Spirit. “Adam, where are you?” … “Eve, come out of hiding”…. Notice what happens when we respond to the pull of the Spirit, when we draw near to God, “He draws near to us”. What grace, what love, what amazing mercy.

Encouragement:

  • Submit yourself to God:
  • Resist the devil (the worldly attractions, temptations and pleasures),
  • Come Near to God: When we draw nearer to God (Nearer my God to Thee)… He comes bounding towards us in Spirit. “He will come near to you”…
  • Wash, Purify, Grieve, Mourn, Cry: i.e. feel what God feels because of your sinful wills, desires, wants and pleasures and mourn about it. Decide in your hearts that you want to be cleansed and set-free again.
  • WHEN: When you submit, resist, draw near, wash, grieve and mourn and cry: i.e. HUMBLE yourself towards God: He WILL LIFT YOU UP.
  • WHAT IF?: What if I’ve failed again? What if I keep falling? My friends, if you feel guilty then you are in a good place, because God’s not giving up on you. It’s when you stop feeling guilty and keep sinning you should really start to worry, because “God resists the proud”. However, if you feel the sorrow of a sinner’s heart, then you will receive from the Lord “MORE GRACE” James 4:6.
  • Remember Psalm 103:12. When you come in true confession and contrition (sorrow for sin), then God takes your sins away from you and FORGETS all about them, as if they never happened.

Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV)
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

The Holy Spirit’s Intense Jealousy:

James 4:5 “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”

The Holy Spirit, that God caused to LIVE IN US, “Envies Intensely”: i.e. He’s jealous for God’s Glory and your own goodness in the Christian life. There’s an intense feeling of JOY when we walk in step with the Spirit.

FOUNTAIN OF LIFE:

The Holy Spirit: Becomes in us (Inside Us) a SPRING or FOUNTAIN… i.e. we get filled up with the Holy Spirit from within… It’s not external, but internal filling we need. Some people erroneously, mistakenly, foolishly “Call Down” the Holy Spirit, but how can you call down someone who’s already there? He is in you if you are saved by Jesus. You are full of Holy Spirit, but we leak… All we need is a greater filling, more of His fullness, more LORD!…. “Go on being filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:8-18.

Awesome! Because when God lifts you up, you’re going to have one of those MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCES.

Focus on God’s desires, focus on Jesus, focus on His awesome tender compassion, kindness and love.

  • He give GRACE to the Humble.
  • He RESISTS the Proud.
  • The Spirit’s Presence is like a FOUNTAIN.
  • Go on being filled… i.e. every day. 

Amen!

Don.

Worship: Wonderful Grace.

How’s Your First Love

Revelation Letter to Ephesus forsaken first love

Daily Spirit & Word: 695: Letters to the Churches.

How’s Your First Love?

Good morning my friends, after Sunday comes Monday. Do you sometimes get those Monday Morning Blues? You know the feeling, the weekend has been great, but it is over and it’s back to work as usual. Sometimes life can become repetitive and mundane. We’ve got the endless rounds of politics, elections, and horrible slandering of politicians in the News. European exit or stay campaigning. Who to believe?  Perhaps we’re hungering for something new, something bright, something cheery, some really great NEWS to burst forth into our lives, news that will make the whole world so happy that they’ll just stop in their tracks and get along with one another and seek the common good of everyone. Imagine a world like that, a world without war and rumours of war. A world without disasters or disease or even death. Imagine a world where people really did love and care for each other. Wouldn’t that be outstanding? What would it take for the world to become more like the way the LORD Created it to be?

Of course we do see glimmers of it, real kindness and care from people who don’t hog the limelight. Generous people who give so much of their time and talents to a world that doesn’t even care or notice. Even in the face of blatant ingratitude, there are people who don’t even seem to count the cost to themselves and just keep on giving and giving. My wife’s a bit like that, I’m just so blessed to have a wonderful woman who really knows how to LOVE and not count the cost. Perhaps one day, like the man who was recognised many years after the war for his efforts to get hundreds of Jewish children over to the UK from Europe, away from the threats of Nazi death camps. That story made so many people cry with his selfless dedication and the risks that he took to SAVE those children. I think what moved us all was the children and grandchildren of the ones he’d saved, because without him none of them would be around today. Yes my friends there are glimmers of real HOPE in the world today.

As we reflect upon Jesus’ Letters to the Churches in early first century of Christianity, can you imagine what it must have been like for them receiving a letter from Jesus Christ?

I’m also wondering what Jesus would say to me. What would he say to you? What would He say to your Church or your leadership? Let’s take a little sneaky-peak into what Jesus wanted to say to those first Christians living in Asia all those years ago.

Revelation 2:1-7 (NIV) Jesus Message to the Christians in Ephesus. 
1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands:
2  I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.
3  You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4  Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
5  Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.
6  But you have this in your favour: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7  He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.

Do you remember what the Seven Stars and Seven Lampstands represented? (See the end of Chapter 1 of Revelation).

My friends, Jesus is walking amongst those churches, their leaders and every Christian. He’s not stopped walking amongst us also. Nothing is hidden from His sight. Nothing in all Creation. He knows everything.

Jesus reveals to John that He KNOWS all about those brothers and sisters in Ephesus.

He KNOWS their;

  • Deeds,
  • Hard work,
  • Perseverance,
  • Intolerance of wickedness,
  • Testing the Apostles, to see who’s true or false (We hate it if someone calls someone a ‘false prophet or false convert’ today don’t we, but right judgement of people is obviously a very high priority for our Heavenly Enthroned Risen and Alive Lord Jesus Christ.).
  • Perseverance is mentioned again (Verse 3)
  • Enduring hardships because of Jesus Name (The Christians in Ephesus were persecuted terribly in the first century). But they didn’t grow weary because of it.

Jesus really does KNOW these brothers and sisters in Ephesus. They have a great deal to commend and encourage. However, Jesus goes onto remind them of something critical to their walk with Him: They had forsaken their first LOVE! i.e. their DEVOTION to HIM as LORD. How had they done that? Jesus doesn’t go into the details, isn’t that so like Jesus, He knows but he’s not telling anybody how they’ve fallen, but the fact that He knows they have would have hit them so powerfully, because it’s obvious from everything else that Jesus says that once the really did love Him with all their hearts.

Imagine getting a letter from Jesus today and He said that about you?

You are very religious, you do great works, you even persevere under great trials, but you have FORSAKEN Me… oH WOWzer! How convicting, how terrible… Could it really be true that we can be all those things and yet not be walking with Jesus?

Notice: Jesus’ Compassionate Way:

Have you stopped to consider the gentle and compassionate way that Jesus reveals their spiritual condition and the danger they are in unless they turn once again to Him in true repentance?

He first Commends them with a deep knowledge of their TRIUMPHS, then rebukes them for their FAILINGS, then Encourages them once again for their practical righteousness. Now all they need to do is TURN back to Him and He’s promising them amazing rewards; access to the Tree of Life.

“I have this against you, you have forsaken your first love”.

It’s like Jesus is counselling a young married couple who’ve gone through a real testing time in their relationship. I’ve known many a marriage be tested to the point of breaking because of financial difficulties, unfaithfulness or communication breakdown. It makes one or both of the parties believe that they’d be much better apart, their once burning love for each other has dimmed to a smouldering-wick. Or like a B&Q long-life light bulb, that’s meant to last a life-time, but only last a few months, before it begins to turn on very slowly and then you’ll notice just a little orange glow instead of bright white-hot light. So many marriages are like that because of the way we live our lives at break-neck speed. But so is our walk with Jesus, it suffers because we’re trapped in a lifestyle that demands so much of our time and attention, devotion to Jesus suffers as a result: “I have this against you, you have forsaken your first love”

Just as a married couple can be shown how to re-kindle their passionate love for one another, by getting them in touch with the feeling they once felt for on another at the beginning of their relationship. So Lord Jesus is calling the Ephesian Christians to come back to their FIRST LOVE. He’s encouraging them to REMEMBER. “Remember the height from which you have fallen.” The Christians is Ephesus were once so on fire with Love for Jesus they were ready to give their lives in His service.

What happens when we forsake Jesus?

Our passion for close communion with Him slowly dies.

  • I feel Jesus is asking me today “Donald, do you really love me like you did when you first came to trust me?”
  • It’s like Jesus is saying, “My love for you has not diminished, but where’s your passionate love for Me?”
  • It’s like Jesus is saying to me; “I know ALL that you are doing for Me and I think that’s just great, but where am I in all of it?”

You see my friends, we serve a RISEN Saviour, He’s in the world today, I know that He is LIVING whatever men may say, He’s right beside me, He’s inside me, He’s closer than a brother, He’s kinder than the Auntie who loved you no matter what you did. Jesus wants you back. He wants you to LOVE Him more than anything else in this world.

Prayer: “I want to thank you Lord Jesus for the gentle way you remind me to stay close to You as a first order priority in all that I do. Everything else is dross compared to knowing You Jesus. Amen!” “O Lord Jesus, I’m also praying for all my brothers ans sisters in Your Kingdom Family, that they too will have their FIRST LOVE rekindled, so they’ll want to be close to You always. Amen!”

Sometimes, we Forsake Jesus, because other loves creep into our lives, then slowly but surely we find that we’re not as passionate or on fire about Jesus or His desires or His likes or His wishes.

He’s calling YOU back to Himself. Keep going with the great things you are doing for Jesus, but LOVE Him first, the REWARDS will far exceed any sacrifice you have to make when you forsake this world and the pleasures it offers.

How’s your first love?

Have an awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

 

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

Revelation Beauty Joy Increases

Daily Spirit & Word: 692: Meeting Increases Joy.

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever.

Good morning my friends, when we all heard the joyous news that my grandchild was born, everyone gave a great thumbs-up on Facebook, they liked it. However, even my own heart leaped for joy at hearing she’d been born, but I’ll tell you now, nothing prepares you for that moment when you meet the baby and can hold it in your arms. She’s just soooo cute and cuddly and tiny.

I believe it’s the same with Jesus Christ, it’s so amazing when we finally get it; the Good News of the Gospel, but can you imagine the JOY you are going to experience when you finally get to meet with your Lord Jesus?

John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever, it’s beauty increases; it will never pass into nothingness”.

So it is with God’s Word and the Book of Revelations: It’s gets more glorious and beautiful the more you read, understand and feed upon, because it’s God’s Living Word.

We’ve been going through Revelation (slowly), but we’ve just read in chapter 1 about the Vision of Jesus that John saw and how after seeing it he fell down in fear and trembling and worshipped Jesus, but Jesus reached out his hand, put it upon John’s shoulder and gave him this command. “WRITE”… John must have been so overjoyed to meet the RESURRECTED LORD, but Jesus had something He wanted John to do: WRITE about this experience and revelations.

Revelation 1:19-20 (NIV)
19  “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.
20  The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

  • Write: What you have seen.
  • Write: What is happening now.
  • Write: What will take place later.
  • Write: About the Seven Stars and their meaning.
  • Write: About the Lampstands and the Churches they represent.

WRITING: Why is ‘writing’ it down so important to Jesus?

There’s something about writing that’s different from speaking. When you are speaking it’s immediate, but when you write something, it takes a lot more consideration and concentration of the thought processes. Also, writing enables you to plan what you are going to say, how you are going to say it and you can choose your words very carefully.

It seems that Jesus wanted John to get this COMMUNICATION OF HIS REVELATION EXACTLY RIGHT.

But we must bear in mind that John, didn’t only use his natural ability, but was at the same time, filled with and inspired by God the Holy Spirit: Remember, he’s already told us “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit”…

So the Revelation that the Seven Churches and every Christian down through the ages that have had access to God’s Word have received is, very carefully constructed, assembled and communicated Just the way that God wants it. NOW are you ready to receive it?

  • It’s from Jesus whom we can trust.
  • It’s from John, Jesus’ beloved Disciple and ancient, faithful Apostle, whom we can also trust.
  • It’s from the Holy Spirit of God, who had so filled John the Apostle, who’d already written his Gospel, 1, 2 and 3 John. We love those writings because they are filled with encouragement and light. 

So now are you ready to receive, believe and trust-in and respond to Jesus Revelations: in this Book of Revelation?

Once we’ve met Jesus, the beauty touches our soul and the JOY increases every single day. Praise the Lord!

Meet with Jesus, every DAY and your Joy will increase, your light with shine brightly for Him.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

 

Blessed Are The Peacemakers

blessed are the peacemakers

Daily Spirit & Word: 691: A Baby Girl Is Given.

GREAT NEWS

Praise the LORD! Praise The LORD! We’re grandparents again, little Jasmine was born at 4.00am, I was at home and woken at 4.10am by my wife, Julie, who attended my daughter. They must both be completely exhausted, because Stephanie went into hospital (May Day) on Saturday morning. She’s called the baby Jasmine (Jazmin)… I don’t know how she’s spelling it yet 🙂 When my wife phoned they still hadn’t weighed the baby. I’ll let you know later. GREAT NEWS!

It’s always GREAT NEWS when a child is born, it was the same with our Lord Jesus, but did you know my friends, that His Birth was announced hundreds of years before it took place. God had been so excited that He told His Prophets the Good News many years in advance: He told them where and how He’d be born; In Bethlehem, by a Virgin, but God the Father didn’t stop there, He also told us what His SON (The Son of God) would be like.

Isaiah 9:6 (ANIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Christians Will BE Peacemakers.

Do you know my friends, yesterday in our Gathering at St Luke’s was fantastic. Heaven broke out amongst us. A word was given and people began to respond. The message about BEING LIGHT to those who live in DARKNESS touched so many.

Now, I believe the LORD has given me a message in the night, He wants there to be a BREAKTHROUGH for someone in the area of BEING PEACEMAKERS.

Do you know our Lord Jesus Christ is the great PEACEMAKER: Through His life, death, resurrection and ascension He’s bringing PEACE between men, women and children and Father God.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Jesus is; wonderful counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and PRINCE OF PEACE. (KING OF PEACE).

Now Jesus wants YOU to be, with His Holy Spirit within you: PEACEMAKERS.

  • Imagine your HOME: Full of PEACE.
  • Imagine your WORKPLACE: Full of PEACE.
  • Imagine your NEIGHBOURHOOD: Full of PEACE.
  • Imagine your Church of Fellowship: Full of the PEACE of the LORD.

Matthew 5:9 (NIV) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

YOU will be BLESSED if you walk in this my friends: BE A PEACEMAKER.

Someone asked me the other day, “Why doesn’t God just make war cease and people stop killing each other?”… I responded, “Why doesn’t God stop you, lying, stealing, cheating, etc?” He hasn’t made us robots to obey His Commands mindlessly, nor is He going to use force to make us GOOD. He wants us to respond FREELY to live according to His will. However, He’s also promised us great BLESSINGS when we do. Also, why would God do a job He’s called us to do? He also gave us a promise if we do it, we’ll be BLESSED ourselves if we are actively pursuing PEACE in every area of our lives.

If there is any area in your life that you need peace today, broken-down relationships. Is there someone in your life who’s been offended by you? Then as far as possible BE a PEACEMAKER.

I know it’s very difficult, especially if people don’t want to be at PEACE.

Yesterday, we had a man in church who thought he’d been locked-out last Tuesday night. He wasn’t, but the main door of the church was sticking so much that he couldn’t pull it open. He thought that we’d locked him out on purpose. He came into church on Sunday full of anger about it and shouted and raged at the top of his voice, “Why did you lock me out?” After a while he calmed down and I said, “Carl, the door is sticking and it’s difficult to pull open, we did not lock you out”… His whole demeanour changed when I assured him that we’d never lock him out.

He’d been seething in anger since Tuesday night and it was Sunday. I think I might be a little bit upset if I felt someone had locked me out on purpose don’t you? Anyway, as PEACE was restored, he was back to his normal self again. However, can you see why the Word of God tells us “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”? If we do, all we’ll get it bitter.

My friends, I knew I hadn’t locked Carl out of Church, but if I’d not gone to him and explained, he may still be angry today.

Go out of your way to BE A PEACEMAKER. Even if you are being wrongly accused of something.

Jesus is the KING of PEACE:

I know the Bible says PRINCE OF PEACE, but did you know that when the Bible used PRINCE here, it did not mean the next in line to the Throne. Jesus is a Prince like King Henry VIII was Prince of England. Like King Louis the Thirteenth of France: They are often referred to as Princes, but Jesus is the PRINCE: The KING of Kings and PRINCE of Princes.

With Jesus are your PRINCE of PEACE: He’s living in you, then your Spiritual nature will be crying out for you to be like Him. He wants you to do what He did: Bring PEACE everywhere you go. There will be an atmosphere of PEACE in your life.

Isaiah 9:6 (ANIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is the SON of God, but you too are sons and daughters of God: I think what the LORD is saying today is: “If you want to see PEACE in this world, you can be peacemakers, let it start with you, your home, you own life and soon you’ll see PEACE in many different places around this world, because PEACE spreads PEACE”….

Matthew 5:9 (NIV) “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”

Have an AWESOME Peace-filled week my friends.

Praise the LORD!

Don.

 

Thank you all my friends, who’ve been praying for Stephanie and her long wait for the delivery of baby Jasmine. Please continue to pray for her recovery. We’re praising the Lord. Aminata just came into my study and her face was a picture when I told her that baby Jasmine was born… There’s nothing like being the BIG sister… She’s full of it now… JOY!