Bean Bag Faith

Spanner, Mulgrips, Faith, Holding Fast

Daily Spirit & Word 684: Bean-Bag Faith & Trust.

Faith that grips the Saviour: It’s Love That Lifted Me.

WOWzer! “I had a dream” I was dreaming last night / this morning about how to live the Christian life in the power of the Spirit trusting in the Love of the Lord Jesus. How we can exercise our faith in such a way that it gets stronger and we cling to Jesus more tightly?

You’ll never guess, in my dream I was back in the Royal Navy. (Perhaps it was because I’d been watching the New Series on RN Basic Training on Monday nights, how things have changed ūüôā ). ¬†For many years I was an Electrical Engineer on HM Submarines. Often working in a hot engine room, with steam and oil. Things get very slippery indeed underneath the Oceans.

Once I had to work on an electrical pump, it was bigger than me, the nuts on this thing were huge and due to it’s location in the damp¬†atmosphere¬†of a Steam Turbine, they were rusted on tight. The spanner kept slipping off. The more pressure I applied the more the spanner slipped. Until I finally gave-up on the spanner and delved in my tool-bag for a pair of Mulgrips. These suckers don’t slip, when you hit them with a hammer, their grip gets tighter around the nut.

Mulgrips or Spanner:

Spanner: A spanner is of a fixed width, fits the nut perfectly and turns the nut, but in some situations, when a lot of force is required, the spanner can slip off the nut. 

Mulgrips: Mulgrips on the other hand, are tightened around the nut, they work in such a way that when force is applied to unscrew the nut, they hold onto the nut tighter and tighter the more force is applied. 

My friends, faith in Jesus is like mulgrips, the more you hang-onto Jesus, the tighter your grip gets. The more pressure that’s applied to your Christian life, the more you’ll just hang onto Jesus Christ.

But some people are exercise faith like a spanner, in an experimental fashion they give Jesus a try, when things are going well they hang onto the Saviour, however, when things get tough or life gets hard, they soon loose their grip and slip-away, they fall-away from faith and trust in Jesus Christ. (Mark 4 Parable of the Sower). True and False Converts.

What kind of faith and trust have you got in Jesus? Spanner that can slip? Or Mulgrips that get tighter when things get tougher? A phrase from a hymn comes to mind now, “We have a hope that is Steadfast and certain”. It’s not a vain hope or a slippery hope we have in Jesus. We hold tighter to the Saviour when things get tougher.

LOVE: Love lifts:

Have you heard that before? “Love lifted me”. One of my favourite hymns.

When a newly-wed couple enter their home for the first time, the husband carries his wife over the threshold of the door. “Love lifted me”… I’ve seen some funny cartoons about that one. However, Jesus LOVE will carry you all the way over the threshold of death into the everlasting arms of the Saviour in Heaven.

Love lifts:

Faith falls / Grips.

BEAN BAG FAITH.

When you flop into a bean-bag it envelopes you. In my dream there was a big red heart-shaped bean bag, and I saw myself falling into it and it¬†lifted¬†me. It held my weight and surrounded me with LOVE. It’s an awesome feeling to be¬†enveloped¬†in a a heart-shaped bean-bag. It was at that point that I woke up this morning, I was somehow wrapped completely in my soft and warm duvet cover. Had to struggle to get out ūüôā But the dream stayed with me: I love it when you can remember dreams after waking up. ¬†Oh WOWzer! “Love lifted me. Love lifted me.” I was singing and praising the Lord.

In faith when you fall into the arms of Jesus, He’s able to lift you up my friends. He’s about to envelope and hold you and surround you with His amazing LOVE. Faith falls in trust, love lifts and surrounds and sustains.

Faith falls in trust, love lifts and surrounds and sustains. 

“It’s not by might¬†nor by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6.

Zechariah 4:6 (NIV) 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.

WOWzer! We don’t need to worry, He’ll never let go of us.

We don’t need to keep a hold tightly to the Saviour, because once we’ve trusted in Him, He’ll never let go of us. Some people imagine that it’s all up to their own strength and ability. However, He’ll hold onto you tighter than you ever could hold onto Him. Faith will grip hold of him, but if we fall into His loving arms, He’ll lift us up and sustain us all the way through life and carry us over death’s threshold into Heaven.

We take a step of faith, we risk everything on Jesus, but my friends, it’s not long before you’ll soon realise that it’s His LOVE that will sustain you. Faith is exercised and must be to get stronger, Jesus tells us He’ll also test our faith, just to make sure it’s genuine, but it’s His LOVE that will keep you, be sure of that dear brother and sister in Jesus.

I was walking with my granddaughter along the busy West Norwood Road in London. Cars fly along that road. I din’t realise, but every time we got to a road-junction, my grip on her little hand got tighter. She complained, “Papa, I know not to run into the road, don’t hold my hand so tight”. ¬†It was my love for my granddaughter that did that. I wasn’t about to let her little hand slip from mine and her walk into the dangerous road.

No my friends, once Jesus has gotten a hold of you, He’ll NEVER let you go. He’s got a Divine pair of Mulgrips in His hands and He’s holding onto yours. Trust that once you TRUST HIM, He’ll NEVER LET YOU GO!

Jesus tells us that NOTHING can snatch us out of His or His Father’s Hands.

John 10:27-30 (NIV)
27  My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
28  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no-one can snatch them out of my hand.
29 ¬†My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no-one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
30 ¬†I and the Father are one.”

My friends,¬†exercise¬†a kind of faith that is strong, like mulgrips instead of a spanner, so that you’ll not slip, but realise that once you grip hold of Jesus, Jesus will envelope you in His love and keep you all the way through this wonderful life and take you over the threshold of death into Heaven. It’s His LOVE that will keep you and He’ll NEVER let you go.

Are you trusting in Jesus today?

Try the Bean-Bag Test: Jump into His everlasting arms and His LOVE will envelope you.

Have an awesome Saturday with Jesus,

Don.

 

The Secret of GREAT Fellowship & Revival.

The Secret of Kingdom Fellowship: Love.

Daily Spirit & Word: 681: Great Fellowship & Revival

The Root of Bitterness.

Don’t Get Bitter; Get Better.

We had a wonderful PCC (Parochial Church Council) Meeting last night. PCCs are not known for being fun, friendly or faith-filled, but you should have been there. Members arrived and were all chatting away with one another, we had coffee / tea and biscuits. People were catching-up. You know something, that’s wonderful, when you know that people are really just glad to be there and to see one another.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord.
15  See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Jesus said that is by our sincere love for one another that people will KNOW we are His disciples. That love was obvious last night.

Secondly, we listened by a short teaching from Adrian Rogers on; “The Root of Bitterness”: How bitterness can creep into a church fellowship. I shared last week how someone in our Evangelism team had gotten upset by another member, it was a mistake, but the hurt and offence were real. If it had been left to fester it would have spoiled the church. Bitterness, hurt or offence must be dealt with quickly. If not, as the verse above tells us “it causes trouble and many are defiled”…

God tells us, “Don’t let the sun go down on your anger”… If we’ve been hurt by someone in fellowship, be it real or imagined, it causes offence and if we don’t sort out our anger quickly it can turn to bitterness. Bitterness reveals it’s ugly head in many different ways. It’s like a deadly snake hiding in the long-grass.

How do you know if you are feeling bitter towards someone in church?

Have you ever wondered why you don’t want to be with someone?

If there is anyone in your fellowship that you don’t want to sit beside, perhaps because you’ve been upset by them in the past, then there’s a danger you are bitter. When you don’t want to talk with someone after the service or when you turn you head pretending you didn’t see them – are you not bitter? Bitter people spoil genuine fellowship. Note that it says “DEFILE MANY”. It¬†doesn’t¬†just affect you or the person who’s upset you, it can infect and defile a whole fellowship over time. It’s like a deadly disease to genuine fellowship.

Bitterness Can Come As A Shock:

Just like this new virus in South America; Zika virus, you sometimes don’t know you’ve been bitten.

You know, BITTERNESS is deceptive too. We don’t know our hearts sometimes. It can creep in unawares. Satan loves it when we’re hurt or offended by others in church. However, God hates it, because He wants to BLESS his people, but until we’re UNITED in love and unity, He can’t bestow His blessings. Revival can’t happen in a fellowship where there is division. No wonder Satan loves it when we’re angry, upset, feeling hurt and getting bitter about each other.

Of course there are sometimes wonderful moments when the Holy Spirit shows up in our gatherings, that just His GRACE and MERCY, but imagine what He could do with a fellowship that was totally free from any bitterness? What blessings would flow, what JOY we’d know, how we would love to be with one another as the PCC was last night.

My friends, if you’ve been hurt by someone in church, then don’t try to hide it, deny it or cover it up. It will not go away all by itself. They say that “time is a healer and you’ll feel better in time”. Well let me tell you a Kingdom Secret: Time is not a healer. Time is just something God created for us to live in. It’s NOTHING: It has no powers what-so-ever. No my friends, we’ve got to face-up, own-up, fess-up to our anger, hurts and bitterness.

  • First we do it with the Lord: Ask Him to show us. When He does, don’t try and excuse it or deny it. Instead, confess it, own it and turn from it.
  • Then as far as we can, we are to live at PEACE with everyone. “Make every effort to live in peace”…
  • Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.
  • God wants to bless your fellowship so much. Much more than you can imagine.
  • He wants you to KNOW His presence, power and REVIVAL.

“If a tree is bad, it will produce bad fruit” When the root is rotten, there won’t be much fruit at all. The fruit of course is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. You’ll notice if you are feeling bitter that these fruits are in short supply, you’ll be found wanting. Wondering why you are being so; unloving, unkind, angry, have no patience, are rough in the way you answer people, the peace of God leaves your life and home-life. My friends, you are BITTER: Don’t let the root of¬†bitterness¬†linger too long in your life. It will “DEFILE” many.

Don’t GET Bitter; Get Better.¬†

Of course it may not be within your church you’ve been hurt or offended: It might be; home, work, school, college, out shopping, etc… Check your heart condition with God.

Let the living water (holy Spirit) flow over your soul today, check yourself out to see if there is a ROOT OF BITTERNESS within your heart today. Come afresh to Jesus and be healed. Forgive the one who offended you. Bless them with a gift of kindness. Greet one another with a kiss of friendship.

Hebrews 12:14-15 (NIV)
14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no-one will see the Lord.
15  See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

We all want to see our churches growing, healthy and strong and that REVIVAL will break out amongst us, but it won’t until we deal with the deadly roots of bitterness in our life. Where brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, there the Lord commands His blessings.

Walk in Jesus today. Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

P.S. Back to Revelation tomorrow.

P.S.S. Alpha is starting soon in St Luke’s Church. Who are you going to bring along so they can discover Jesus?

LINK: Adrian Rogers “The Root of Bitterness” Love worth finding.

You can also watch his great teaching here: Adrian Rogers.

 

When ALL Seems LOST: Praise the LORD!

Love lifted me, rock, feet, firm place, stand, set free, freedom, rescue,

Daily Spirit & Word: 669:

When all seems lost, Praise the LORD!

LOVE LIFTED ME

Good morning my friends, last night we had our Governor’s meeting at St Luke’s School. I asked if I could begin with a short Bible reading and a prayer. The reading I choose was from Psalm 40. The psalmist¬†reveals¬†that he was in a muddy pit that was too slippery to escape from, so he cried out to the LORD.

 

Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)
1  I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

When in an impossible position this psalm reveals some amazing principles that we can follow.

Firstly: Wait patiently for the LORD.

Now when we’re going through turmoil that really difficult, but it’s NOT impossible, even in life-threatening situations. However, when we’re in difficulty, hardship or just struggling with something, determine in your heart NOW before it happens, that when it does, you are going to WAIT upon the LORD.

Secondly: God WILL Respond.

“He turned to me and heard my cry”.

As soon as you acknowledge God in: Prayer, Praise, Worship: He inclines his head, his ear and his attention is focused upon you.

He hears your heart’s cry.

Paul & Silas:

We can see this played-out in the book of Acts when Paul and Silas are beaten and thrown into prison. They’d delivered a girl from a Demon that was possessing her, it enabled her to predict things for people, it became a famous business and once she was delivered, she could no longer make them any money. So before they could do any more damage, the whole town made a fuss about Paul and Silas and they were beaten severely and thrown into prison, guarded carefully and their feet in stocks to stop them escaping. What did Paul and Silas do? They praised the LORD!

Acts 16:16-19 (NIV)
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
17 ¬†This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
18 ¬†She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned round and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19  When the owners of the slave girl realised that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market-place to face the authorities.

Now look what happens to Paul and Silas in Prison:

Acts 16:22-33 (NIV)
22  The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.
23  After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
24  Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
26 ¬†Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
27  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
28 ¬†But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29  The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30 ¬†He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 ¬†They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved‚ÄĒyou and your household.”
32  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptised.

When was the last time you praised God when things got really, really tough?
At midnight, with their feet in stocks, locked in prison; they prayed and praised the LORD!.

If you are in a slippery pit or stinking prison: Impossible places to get out of on your own.
What are you going to do? Pray, Praise, Wait Upon the LORD!…

  • The LORD will hear, the LORD will do something for you.
    If you’ve got a debt mountain that’s impossible to climb.
    If you’ve got a disease that can’t be beaten.
    If you’ve got family trouble, relationships that have broken down,
    If you’ve got a problem with a friends or colleagues at work,

Wait upon the LORD
Pray:
Praise the LORD.

No matter what your situation is, even now: Praise the LORD. Try it today.
Take a few moments to spend time with Jesus.
Wait upon Him. READ God’s WORD.
Fill your heart with good things.
Praise Him in song. Even if you are on your own.
Sing your little heart out to Jesus, even if it’s through tears.
He’ll hear your heart’s cry.

He’ll HEAR YOUR HEART’S CRY

You’ll see those chains fall off.
He’ll break those chains.
He’ll lift you up, out of the slimy pit you’ve fallen into.

In St Luke’s School we’ve seen a mighty turn around. We’re being brought out of the pit. A School that was not very good is becoming great. Thank you LORD for your deliverance. Amen!

He’s AWESOME!
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
The jailer who locked Paul and Silas up, knew something weird had happened.
He began to fear and tremble: He asked Paul and Silas
“What must I do to be saved?”
People will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD when He delivers you from trouble.

So don’t forget to praise the LORD for the Deliverance that you are about to experience today.
Keep going for Jesus sake this weekend.
Praise HIM today.
Don.

 

Healing on The Sabbath

Healing on the Sabbath

Daily Spirit & Word: 666:

Religious People Want To Kill Jesus.

Opposition to Jesus is Growing Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s frightful that there are such striking similarities between attitudes towards Jesus and the Christian faith in His time and our own. We’re back with Mark’s Gospel again today, it’s¬†remarkable how much the opposition to Jesus is growing, and today we’ll discover how the plot thickens to such a boiling point that they want to kill the Lord Jesus: To murder Him. ¬†Also, there are growing hostilities towards Christians and Christianity in the world today.

Mark 3:1-6 (NIV)
1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
2  Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
3 ¬†Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4 ¬†Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5 ¬†He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

The Place: It’s a synagogue.¬†

The Temple in Jerusalem was not the only place that Jewish people gathered and worshipped the LORD. Because it was impractical to get to the Temple every week from all over the Land, Synagogues (Places of worship) were established to encourage devotion to God and instruct the Jews in the understanding of the Scriptures.

Note: Mark doesn’t tell us anything about what they did in the Synagogue that day, but by saying Synagogue, we know what they will have been doing; Praying, reading from the Jewish Scriptures, Study and sometimes a Rabbi would do some teaching / instruction. It was considered a Holy Place because of the worship of the LORD. It was also a meeting place for the Jewish Community.

The Man With The Shrivelled Hand.

Mark Immediately brings our attention to the subject: The Man with the Shrivelled hand and the fact that the Pharisees were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of being a Sabbath Breaker.

Why? Why were they looking to see if Jesus would heal the man on the Sabbath? By now the Pharisees knew that Jesus was a man of great compassion for people. He’d been healing many people of all kinds of diseases. Perhaps they even planted the man in the Congregation that day. (They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus).

They watched Him closely… This reveals to us their attitude towards Jesus ministry, that they were very intent of finding a reason to get rid of him. However, we need to understand why there was this growing tension.

You’ve probably heard the expression; “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, well, these Jewish religious leaders had also been scorned, they’d been upset by Jesus actions, teaching and public correction.

Some Background: (Shows us WHY they wanted to get rid of Jesus).

  • Remember that Jesus said He had come for “Sinners” not the righteous. Mark 2:17.
  • Remember that Jesus didn’t KEEP their RULES. Mark 2:18, 23.
  • Remember that Jesus had shown them they were wrong; from their own Holy Book: The Scriptures. Their understanding of their own religion was wrong. Mark 2:19-22, 25, 26.
  • Remember that Jesus even dared to say; That HE was LORD of the Sabbath. Mark 2:28.

It’s NO WONDER:¬†It’s not a surprise to us now that they were opposed to Jesus, so the Pharisees began looking for a good reason to ACCUSE Him. A way to bring righteous judgement upon Jesus own head so that they could get rid of this upstart, this troublemaker.

MOST PEOPLE TODAY: The Attitude of People Today.

Most people today don’t hate Jesus nor are they opposed to Him the way that the religious Jews were¬†in this account from Mark. The vast majority who know history and a little bit of the Bible think that Jesus was a very good man,¬†Muslims¬†believe Jesus was a Prophet, but they don’t hate Him. Most people today, know about Jesus teachings, but they just choose not to follow Him or His teachings. It’s as if Jesus is irrelevant to modern day life for most people.¬†However that indifferent attitude changes once people really understand the implications of Jesus teaching and ministry even today.

The truth is: If we really UNDERSTAND Jesus we will either; love Him or hate Him.

  • We will LOVE Him; because He came into this world to be our Saviour: Who saves us as sinners from God’s wrath and judgement and condemnation to Hell.
  • Or we will HATE Him: because He reveals our sinful condition and that we a¬†guilty¬†before God.

RELIGIOUS PEOPLE: The Pharisees of Jesus Time:

We must also remember, it was in a Synagogue: This was a Holy Place, these people were very religious. However, it also shows us (perhaps as a warning today) that it’s possible to be “very religious” and yet be far away from God.

John the Baptist called these¬†Pharisees; Hypocrites (they didn’t live like they should) and “A brood of vipers” (A viper is a poisonous snake) and “Whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones” (Looking pure, clean and good on the outside, but inside they are DEAD). That’s what the Bible reveals about these ‘religious’ Pharisees: But today we’re going to see that they were also Treacherous and Deadly.

HEALING ON THE SABBATH:

They were watching to see if Jesus would HEAL on the SABBATH.

Is it WRONG to heal on the Sabbath day?

According to the Pharisees it was considered WORK.

According to Jesus: It was an opportunity to show COMPASSION. (Verse 4, )

As we discovered last week: it is WRONG to WORK on the Sabbath: However, is doing GOOD deeds for others what God would consider WORK?

Think About It:¬†Exodus 35:2 (NIV)¬†“For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

God has said that we can work in our regular employment for SIX DAYS a WEEK: But the seventh day is to be a day of rest from our LABOURS and a Day to Honour Him….i.e. It’s our NORMAL EMPLOYMENT, our work activity that we’re to rest from.

Remember what Jesus said about the Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man (for man’s benefit), not man for the Sabbath”.

Then we come to Jesus ‘Healing on the Sabbath’. Get this and you’ll get real REVELATION.

THE MAN WITH THE SHRIVELLED HAND.

Note: In those days, there was no welfare state, no disability allowances. If a man had a shrivelled hand, his employment was limited. You can’t use a powerless, useless hand to do anything. He was crippled. No wonder Jesus had compassion upon him. That’s what God is like my friends, He sees our NEED and longs to do something about it. Either through other people, you and me or through a miracle.

HERODIANS:

These were people who supported King Herod: Herod was a vassal Jesus King, a Supporter of Rome. Normally the Pharisees and Herodians hated each other, but now they were joining together in a plot to kill Jesus.

HARD HEARTED PHARISEES:

This section of the Bible is really SAD: Because it shows that we can be very religious and devoted in our religion, but become so hard-hearted that we begin to loose our compassion for people.

  • Every time we see a person in need; it’s God’s appointment to do something good.
  • Every time we see a person with trouble; God’s bringing them to our attention, to be His hands, His voice, His presence for them.

The Pharisees; they looked at this man with a shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do wrong.

The Lord Jesus: viewed the man with the shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do something good; to show compassion, care, love, concern, sympathy. He healed him on the Sabbath (God is ALWAYS willing to do us good, every day).

What does Mark 3:1-6 show us today?

  • In Jesus we observe a willingness to care;
  • That God cares, is interested in the minute of our daily lives.
  • That God Heals and does ‘good’ every single day. He doesn’t consider doing ‘good’ for others work, but a Joy and a Delight.
  • It also shows us how much we should be concerned for our fellow-man; to have fellow feelings. To show and demonstrate LOVE by doing good whenever we can, even on the Sabbath or Holy Day.
  • It also reveals that Jesus Christ¬†considers Healing and Doing Good a joy and delight rather than WORK.¬†
  • Opposition towards Jesus grew the more good that He did; don’t be surprised when you are doing good and the world hates you all the more for it.

Jesus Anger and Distress:

The Verse That Gets Me Today: Jesus feelings revealed:

Mark 3:5 ¬†“He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…”

They would not answer Jesus. He asked them a question and they refused to answer.

“Which is lawful to do on the Sabbath day, to do good or evil, to save life or to kill?” It’s OBVIOUS! The Answer was so obvious, but they remained silent.

My friends, that attitude got Jesus Christ very ANGRY indeed.

Not only angry, but deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be on the receiving end of Jesus’ anger or wrath or to make Him distressed at my stubborn heart. I want to be able to shout out in response to Jesus question;¬†“Oh LORD Jesus, let me be one of your followers today who’ll answer loudly; “To do good and to save life”…. Amen!

It also shows us that it’s possible to be very religious and remain Hard-Hearted and Stubborn. Religious but closed-off towards God.

They were NOT willing to learn from Jesus Christ; they remained STUBBORN HEARTED. He challenged their positions of power, but He also challenged their attitudes to other people in many different ways; the sinners, the outcasts, the sick, the poor, the lame; Jesus was always willing to; CARE, to TOUCH the Untouchables, to have compassion and to DO GOOD. Are we?

We too, like Jesus may become angry and distressed at the stubborn unbelief of people in the world. Also there is growing opposition and tension between Christians and the world under Satan’s blindness. Christians and Christianity are the least tolerated group of people in the world today. It seems to be OK to blaspheme Jesus on TV, Movies and even mainstream media, but not the faith of Islam, Hinduism etc… Have you ever asked yourself why that is? This attitude of indifference, unbelief and hostility will only get worse as time draws ever closer to the return of Jesus in glory. But don’t stay angry too long, get the big picture, the LORD is in control, He’s coming soon.

So what should our attitude be like?

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6 ¬†Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 ¬†but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 ¬†And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death‚ÄĒeven death on a cross!
9  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath Day, but instead of rejoicing and giving thanks to God for a miracle, the opposition increased. To such a point that they eventually took the life of the most Holy man to walk the Earth; the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

When you focus upon the Son of God, and determine in your heart to live His way, then He seems to have a way of drying your tears and easing your fears. He makes your burdens lighter and your pathway brighter. When you decide to honour the King of Kings, He will supply all your needs. When you love Jesus, then your fear melts away as fast as the snow did in London yesterday. Amen.

Finally: One Day EVERYBODY will have to face this Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:7-8 (NIV¬† “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen
8 ¬†“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

These Pharisees and the Herodians with the Romans and Jews eventually succeeded in their plotting and managed to KILL Jesus Christ on the Cross. However; Praise the LORD: He is ALIVE today, because the grave couldn’t keep Him.

Every EYE: will see Him. Those who pierced Him: The Pharisees, The Herodians, The Romans, The Jews, You and Me: We’ll all see Jesus one day. On that day; we’ll either be rejoicing because we’ve turned in repentance and faith or we’ll “mourn because of Him”… But on that Day: Every knee will bow before Him.

Let’s make certain we’re in that number who’ll be rejoicing and not mourning on the Day that Jesus comes. Amen!

  • Have Compassion of Jesus every day.
  • Remember He still cares for you.
  • Respond to Jesus teaching.
  • Repent from your sins and hardness of heart today.
  • Receive¬†Him as your LORD.

Let us pray:

Hope you all have a wonderful week full of the JOY of the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don’t get too perplexed at the opposition towards Christianity, it’s pre-ordained and will grow as the time draws for Jesus return in glory. Remain steadfast and fix your eyes on Jesus. Live joyfully in His abundant life and look forward to being with Him forever. Amen.

 

Are You Groaning For Heaven?

Creation Groans, The Spirit Groans, Are YOU Groaning?

Daily Spirit & Word: 662: Groaning For Heaven.

Good morning my friends, it is good too, because we had a glorious prayer gathering last night. We praised the Lord, danced in His presence and worshipped the Living God in the Power of the Spirit. Had a time of fellowship, catching-up after the Christmas and New Year celebrations; Then we interceded and read some more of God’s Word. And sang songs of praise again. WOWzer!

¬†Have you ever wished for Heaven? I mean really wished that Heaven would come now? That the LORD Jesus Christ would return in all His glory? He’s coming soon, all the signs are with us now that Jesus Christ’s return is¬†imminent. In my heart I’m crying “Come Lord Jesus, this world is suffering and needs You”… But the LORD tarries, He’s waiting until His time is just right, but from the Word of God, we can see that the scene is set for His return. In the meantime, we await in eager expectation, just as God’s Creation does;
Romans 8:18-27 (NIV) Groaning For Heaven:
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
19  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.
20  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
24  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?
25  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
27 ¬†And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
Was there a time when you felt young in the faith, full of energy and excitement that soon you’d meet your LORD? When I first got filled with the Holy Spirit I felt I’d soon be touching the Messiah, because He felt as close as a thick morning mist upon the face. However, that was in 1984, I’ve been filled with and experienced the closeness of the LORD many times since then: last night, for the first time in a few weeks, I felt His wonderful close presence during our prayer meeting. I don’t know why the LORD chooses to make Himself known in power like that sometimes, and yet at others I feel as if there is a Grand Canyon between me and Him. I suppose it’s because the LORD wants me to walk by FAITH not by sight, nor by feeling, nor by touch. But my friends, I do know this, just ONE touch from the LORD changes everything. However, “Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?”
Let us, with all our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the whole world, “wait patiently” upon the LORD. There will be times when, like last night, you’ll feel His close presence, and others that you’ll be waiting for Him in eager expectation, hoping for His coming.
Know this too, the Holy Spirit is helping you in all your weaknesses. There are times when you just don’t know what to pray for; it’s in times like that the Holy Spirit Himself takes the initiative and intercedes for you. Further, He’s praying and¬†interceding¬†for you in accordance with the will of God your Heavenly Father. Knowing that gives me great encouragement.
I’m looking forward to Heaven, more today than when I first came to know the LORD, but I’m also full of JOY in the Spirit as I await His¬†imminent¬†return with eager expectation. In the mean-time I know, He’s got things He wants me and you to be doing; winning the LOST. Reaching out with His love to those in the world today who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. As we take the¬†initiative, make the most of every opportunity that He’s giving us every day, to share Jesus in His POWER, then He’s showing me right now, He’ll be with us. Jesus Christ will be with us. We’ll know His presence as we reach out with His hands to a world that desperately needs His loving touch.
Tomorrow, we begin our weekly Evangelism as a Church, there are only a few who’ve been set on fire with His love to come and share Jesus with us on the streets. The Harvest is truly plentiful, but the Labourers are still so few. I’m praying, that the LORD of the Harvest will send out more labourers into His harvest field. If you are nearby in London, I invite you to come and join with us. You’ll see Jesus at work through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. We don’t go to “bash” people into the Kingdom, we go out in LOVE, filled with compassion. It’s only when we step out in faith, take a risk, do stuff that doesn’t come naturally to us, but out of obedience to His command, we go in faith; then we see. Not only that, but we also get an even greater understanding of all the good things that we have in Jesus. So even if you don’t feel for the LOST, come because you want to experience the LORD’S goodness again.¬† Philemon 1:6 (NIV) “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”
HOPE: It’s a powerful faith filled hope we have. Not an empty hopeless kind of hope, but a joy filled, full of assurance, kind of hope in the LORD. Have you got the HOPE of the LORD in your heart today?
Let’s keep joining with God’s Creation, let’s keep GROANING for His return. Notice I said GROANING not moaning. There’s a vast difference between groaning and moaning.
Moaning:¬†Express complaints, discontent, displeasure, or unhappiness. Show one’s unhappiness or a critical attitude.
Groaning: Express audibly, make sounds (not necessarily with words), in the Spirit.
So let’s get filled with God’s Holy Spirit today, so that we’ll GROAN in accordance with God’s will. Amen!
Come LORD Jesus!
WORSHIP: Last night we sang along with worship songs from Rick Muchow.
I invite you to take a few minutes to soak in the powerful presence of Jesus and worship Him in the Holy Spirit.
PRAY: Oh Lord, the signs in this world are that You are coming soon; come Lord Jesus. If you tarry Lord, Help me to be Your hands of love to a world the desperately needs Your loving touch. Help me to speak for You Lord. Give me courage as I share the Gospel with the folks You bring into my life. Help me to make the most of every opportunity You are giving me today. Lord I’m also praying for brothers and sisters who’ll come and discover the joy of sharing the Good News. Amen!
Have an awesome exciting day with the Lord Jesus,
Don.

Worship Videos



 

Christianity: Relationship NOT Religion.

Christianity is not just another world religion, but the only way to God

Daily Spirit & Word: 661:

Christianity is not a Religion or Rules, but a Relationship.

¬†Good morning my friends, it’s good to be back into our series going through the Gospel of Mark: We pick up where we left off in Mark 2:18-22. However, we must bear in mind that the Gospel of Mark is not just a selection of stories about Jesus life and teachings, but is carefully put together by God’s inspiration to communicate a message. When we read the Gospel as a letter all in one go, we’ll see that this section of Mark reveals the growing tension and opposition from the ‘religious’ people of Jesus time, because Jesus teaching and practice was stark in it’s contrast between what they both taught and did religiously, it also slowly begins to reveal what they were like on the inside.
  • Religion: Is a way of doing things to please / appease or entreat God:¬†
  • Rules (in religion) are the correct ways of doing these things.
  • Relationship: Christianity is God’s way of getting close to Him.¬†
If you look at the Bible as a whole, you’ll note that the people with whom God was most pleased were those who walked with Him:¬†Noah, Enoch,¬†Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Gideon, Samuel, David and Solomon. There are many, many more, but the reason God was so pleased with them, was not because they kept or followed the Jewish Religion to the letter, but because their hearts were set on being with God. Moses was a “Friend of God” and King David, was¬†renowned¬†as “a man after God’s own heart”. (Christianity: it’s all about relationship).
It was NEVER meant to be about how ‘religious’ you are: Yet even today, people mistake Christianity as a ‘religion’ first and¬†foremost, when right from the time that Jesus walked, talked and taught His own disciples, it was all about how to get into and maintain a relationship with God as your Father in Heaven.
Christianity:¬†Is viewed by the Media, Government and Education system as a “Religion”. Even in Church Schools today Christianity is taught as just ONE of the world’s religions. It’s as if we (the human race) have a¬†smorgasbord (a collection of many different varieties of religion)¬†of different religions that we can choose from; Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Seikism, Catholicism, Mormonism and Christianity. Today they are all labeled as “Faith Communities”, as if they are all different versions of the same thing. They are not the same, there is only ONE valid way of getting to know God today, it’s NOT through ‘religious’ practice, but in a relationship with and through His One and Only Son Jesus Christ.
My friends, at the START of 2016: I believe God wants you to KNOW afresh today, that Christianity, being a Christian: Is NOT a Religion or a Set of Rules and Regulations, but it’s all about your RELATIONSHIP with God through the LORD Jesus Christ.
In this section of Mark’s Gospel: We see that opposition to Jesus teaching of this FACT brought about fierce criticism, to the point that people plotted to murder Him. Mark 3, but let’s just focus today upon this;
Mark 2:18-22 (NIV)
18¬†Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came and asked Jesus, “How is it that John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?”
19 ¬†Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them.
20  But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.
21 ¬†“No-one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse.
22 ¬†And no-one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.”
The Pharisees had been¬†practising¬†their religion for generations, following the traditions and teaching of men. You don’t find much fasting in the Old Testament: It’s only when people needed to get back to God. The Pharisees, of course, wanted to know why Jesus wasn’t following their religious practices. The way they saw it, if Jesus was a good Jew, He’d be even more religious than them or at least as ‘religious’.

Christianity is a totally DIFFERENT way of being with God.

All other religions in the world: Follow, rules and regulations to be right with God. (the Pharisees were no different).
Only Christianity is shown to be a way of faith where God came to make man right with Himself.
The Drowning Man:
It’s like this: A man was drowning in the middle of the wildest ocean on earth; the Atlantic. He began to shout for help;
Moses chirped in first: I’ll give you ten ways to swim in the ocean: follow these instructions and you will be safe: The man tried to follow Moses teachings, but still he was still drowning and shouted again for help.¬†
Mohammed: who was sitting with Moses and the others, chirped in: just find the direction of Mecca, Kneel down and pray five times a day; and you’ll be safe. The man tried, but every time he did so the water went up his nose.¬†
Buddha: shouted, no don’t try and save yourself, be still, accept your karma and just empty your mind.¬†
The man tried to be still, but each time he did so, he began to sink. He cried out for help, his situation was getting serious as he was too weak to carry on.
Then the Lord Jesus: pushed the others aside, saw the man’s predicament, that he was drowning, Jesus dived in to SAVE the man. He lifted him up and they both walked on the water to the shore. The man was SAVED by Jesus.

What use is RELIGION to a drowning man?

What’s the difference: Each and every world religion teaches that we must follow a set of rules and regulations in order to please or¬†appease¬†God, to be right with God, but through the teachings of Jesus Christ, we can see that it’s all about how we RELATE to God. It always was, even in the Old Testament, but the Jews missed it or misunderstood it. But God had made it clear from the outset;

God Chooses to be With People:

Exodus 6:6-8 (NIV) Moses was to tell the Israelites: (Relationship).
6 ¬†“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment.
7  I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians.
8 ¬†And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.’ “
(NOTE: Can you see that this is exactly what God did when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to SAVE mankind? He rescued us from the cruel bondage to sin, satan and the world; set us free and gave us new life in the promised land; the Kingdom of God)
Jeremiah 30:22 (NIV) ” ‘So you will be my people, and I will be your God.’ “
Jeremiah 31:32-34 (NIV) The Promise of the NEW Covenant (Agreement).
32 ¬†It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the LORD.
33 ¬†“This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 ¬†No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
Leviticus 26:11-13 (NIV)
11  I will put my dwelling-place among you, and I will not abhor you.
12  I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.
13  I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
2 Corinthians 6:16 (NIV)
16 ¬†What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
Revelation 21:3-5 (NIV)
3 ¬†And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.
4 ¬†He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
5 ¬†He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
God Makes It Possible for RELATIONSHIP: Between those He chooses and those who respond to His invitation.
In Jesus teaching here in Mark’s Gospel: Mark 2:21 ¬†“No-one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the new piece will pull away from the old, making the tear worse.¬†22 ¬†And no-one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins.” Jesus is NOT giving us a NEW religion, He’s revealing that trying to¬†maintain¬†the OLD religion will NEVER work. It will be like pouring new wine into old wineskin, the wine and the skin will be ruined.
Have you ever had an old pair of jeans with a rip? Did you ever try and repair that rip with NEW denim? If you did, then you’ll know that when you wash it, the NEW denim will shrink and make the tear even worse. I did that myself in the 1970s. I learned the hard way that you need old denim to mend old jeans. No my friends, to repair old jeans you need old denim that’s been washed a few times, but is still OK. Then you’ll be able to wear you jeans until they wear out.
However: Christianity is NOT just sticking a patch of ‘religion’ on an old religion, it’s a totally different way of being right with God. Jesus didn’t come to give us another ‘religion’ but a relationship that lasts forever.
Christianity, the way of being right with God, is TOTALLY different from the Old World Religions: You can’t get right with God by following; rules, religious rules and regulations. There’s no way to pray to be right with God. There’s no way to do right, to get right with God. Because trying your best still leaves you the same inside. You can’t erase sin by doing more good. You cannot become pure by praying more. There is a way to be purified though, to be washed clean and be right with God forever. All you need to do, to get right with God today, is get into the RELATIONSHIP that He’s always wanted with mankind from the beginning of Creation: However, He waited until the time war right to send Jesus Christ, His One and Only Son into the world, to make the way possible.
  • REPENT (turn from sin, trying to live without God, turn to God)
  • Believe (Believe that Jesus Christ died upon the Cross to pay the price for your sins so that you can be forgiven, set free from sin, given new life and be filled with God the Holy Spirit),
  • Receive: receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and Saviour, then Jesus will be your friends, God will be with you, God will walk with you, He will be your God and you will be one of His people.
  • Relate: What do you do after Repenting, Believing and Receiving? Do you follow a religious code or rule of life? NO! It’s all about a continuing relationship, following the teachings of Jesus Christ in which He shows you how to live in such a way that God will continue to be pleased with you and you will be a PEACE. Things like; love your neighbour, enemy, wife, family, the stranger, the alien, the poor, the weak, the widow. Love your fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, love the Lord… It’s all about a RELATIONSHIP of LOVE.
Jesus teaches that once we’re in God’s Family; we’ll want to be holy, honest, righteous, good and true. He’ll change our heart’s desires so that we will not want to sin anymore. He does this or it is accomplished by the indwelling presence of God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, He tells us to be filled afresh with Holy Spirit.

Repent; Believe; Receive; Walk; Live; Relate….

Note: None of that is anything to do with a ‘religion’. It’s relationship from beginning to end.
NOTE: It’s ONLY through Jesus Christ that we can have or enter into this relationship with God. He paid the price, we receive the benefits.
So: When you next hear someone saying, “To be a good¬†Christian¬†you must; wear these clothes, practice this form of religion, fast regularly, pray this way, do it like this,,,” You’ll KNOW they are trying to ADD ‘religion’ onto the FREEDOM that Jesus came and won for you on the Cross to bring you into a relationship with God as Father that lasts forever.
It’s no wonder my friends, that Jesus taught those ‘religious’ Pharisees so clearly; you can’t sew a new patch on old cloth, you can’t pour new wine into old wineskins… the tear will get worse, the skin will burst… both the skin and the new wine will be ruined. Jesus way was NOT just a patch on the old way, it was NOT new ‘religion’ into the old religious system.
If you try to be religious after getting saved and set free by Jesus Christ, it’s like pouring your new wine of God’s Kingdom into the old wineskins of religiosity. Don’t be tempted to do it.
Yes: A believer in Jesus will; pray, read God’s Word daily, fast occasionally and live righteously in the world, but He’ll be doing it to be closer to God. A believer will do it because He loves God and wants to serve and give his life for God. He’ll not be doing it to try to earn a place or the favour of God. God LOVES you once you are His child. He’ll be your God, you will be one of His people, He’ll be with you forever. No amount of religious practice will ever add anything to your relationship with God.
1 Peter 2:6-12 (NIV)
6 ¬†For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
7 ¬†Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,”¬†8 ¬†and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message‚ÄĒwhich is also what they were destined for.
9  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.
My friends, Jesus came, not to pour the new wine of the Kingdom of God into the old winskins of ‘religious’ practice, but to give us a NEW WAY of being right with God. You, if you’ve responded to the Gospel, are God’s Chosen People. You are holy because Christ has washed you clean from your sins when you accepted His sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross, not because of religious practice or observance. You are Royal: Because you are a member of the King’s family now. LIVE then as God’s royal, holy, redeemed people. In the freedom from religion that Christ came and died to win, it’s a freedom that will outlast this Earth. Live, walk and love in RELATIONSHIP with Jesus Christ and His holy and redeemed family.
I’ll say it again;¬†My friends, at the START of 2016: I believe God wants us to KNOW afresh today, that Christianity, being a Christian: Is NOT about Religion or a Set of Rules and Regulations, but it’s all about your RELATIONSHIP with God through the LORD Jesus Christ, it lasts forever with God as your Father.
Question: Do you want the New Wine of Jesus Kingdom within you? Do you want Him to forgive you and change you on the inside? Do you want His love to fill you to overflowing, so that you’ll long to follow His ways? Or do you still desire a religion that is HARD like the old wineskin of Judaism, Islam, Hinduism etc, etc? You cannot have both!
Jesus did not come to give us a new religion, it’s not even a patch that you can stick over an old religion, but a relationship with God the Father that will last for all eternity from the moment you make Jesus Christ your Lord and Saviour.
Have an Awesome Sunday with Jesus your LORD. Amen!
Don.

Jesus Birth Brings God to Men

The Blessings of Christmas Jesus is God

Daily Spirit & Word: 658: The Birth of Jesus Christ.

“The Birth Of Christ Brings God To Man.

The Cross Of Christ Brings Man to God.”

Good morning my friends, it’s quiet, dark and cold at last, perhaps we’ll have a white Christmas? Who knows? However, it’s been a wonderful lead-up to Christmas again this year; Sunday was mega-Brilliant; With a Thanksgiving Service for two young boys, Louis and Lamar. One of whom shares a Birthday with Jesus, because Louis was born on Christmas Day. After church my wife Julie had cooked a Turkey Dinner for my sons Richard and Joe, his wife Laura and my daughter Stephanie with six of our grandchildren; only six of them ūüôā Then after dinner it was another Carol Service at the British Home for the residents.¬†Then we had our Annual Christmas Carol Service, with Nativity Scene, Bible Readings and finally a procession of the Christingles. Lifting our lights we sang the wonders and joy of Jesus birth.
Luke 2:11 “Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Jesus Birth Brings GOD to MEN:

You know my friends, I just LOVE Christmas: Lights, Trees, Presents, Family, Friends, Food: but most importantly, what it’s all about FAITH.
My friend Glyn Cotterell from Cornwall has summed it all up very well, and I couldn’t put it better; “The birth of Christ brought God to man; the cross of Christ brings man to God.” The Lord God, through His One and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, has done everything He can to make everything all-right¬†again¬†between Himself and mankind.
  • Christmas: The Saviour Comes.
  • Easter: The Saviour Dies.
  • Easter: The Saviour Rises from the DEAD.
  • Ascension: The Saviour Returns into Heaven.
  • Pentecost: The Power Comes: The Comforter Comes: The Holy Spirit for those who put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He is the one who leads us through the proclamation of the Gospel, to faith in Jesus. Then He enables us to exercise that faith and trust in Jesus for Salvation. He’s not finished yet though, because the Holy Spirit then comes again into the life, heart and soul of every follower of Jesus and gives us the New Birth. When we’re born again of God the Holy Spirit, we can then live in His POWER to bring glory back to Jesus Christ and God the Father.¬†
My friends, God has done everything to lead men, women and children to be able to have faith and to trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation, New Life and Eternal Life. Christmas really IS Awesome.
It my hope and prayer that you will have a great time with family, friends, and fellow believers, but most of all with Jesus Christ this Christmas.

After all is said and done; it’s HIS Birthday.

What present could you give the Saviour? What’s the best present you can give Him?
  • Not your money, though He needs you to be using that to build His Kingdom.
  • Not your time, though He needs you to be serving Him every day.
  • Not your¬†talents, though He needs you to be using them for His glory.
  • No my friends, the BEST Christmas Gift that you can give to Jesus is YOU.
Why? Because that’s why Jesus came: For you.
Why? Because that’s why Jesus died: For you.
Let’s be sure, we’ve responded to the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ this Christmas.
If you’ve wandered away from the faith, then come right back to Jesus today, because He came for you.
If you’re still wondering what all the fuss is about, then take a few moments to read carefully some of the traditional Christmas Carols; you will see clearly the reasons the Saviour had to come: He came for you.
I’ll go back to the great Gospel Christmas Carol: “In the Bleak Mid-Winter”.
The last verse;
“What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet what can I give Him – Give my heart.”
Praise be to the LORD God our Heavenly Father, Who sent His Son Jesus to bring God to men, then by allowing His Son to die upon the Cross, He made a way that is open to bring folks back to Himself.
What a glorious Christmas we can have with Jesus.
Happy, Glorious and Blessed Christmas and New Year to Everyone.
Don.
P.S. I’d like to take this opportunity to say THANKS to everyone who’s helped in the ministry and life of St Luke’s Church. Too many wonderful brothers and sisters in the Lord to name everyone here: You KNOW who you are! Jesus has been lifted up and the Gospel proclaimed. Many have been touched by Heaven and have come to faith and trust in the Saviour throughout the year. I’m looking forward to another year of serving my King Jesus and some wonderful fellowship with you all. Be blessed, stay blessed and keep close to Jesus in the power of the Spirit. Blessings and JOY in the LORD for 2016.
The VERSE from God’s WORD that is speaking to me:¬†2 Corinthians 8:9 “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
May you KNOW the riches of God’s mercy more and more in 2016.
May you KNOW the fullness of the Spirit in 2016.
May you BE filled with His compassion and LOVE.
May you Experience the JOY of leading many to Jesus in 2016.
May you be so full of Him that you SHINE for His glory.
2016 is Going to BE a Blessed Year: You are RICH in Christ Jesus.
Don.

Be Still And Know At Christmas

The Baby Jesus is God

Daily Spirit & Word: 657: Be Still AND Know At Christmas

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I AM God”

Good morning my friends, what a fantastic visit we’ve just had. It was a whirlwind of a joy to see six of our young grandchildren being natural, playing, getting along and enjoying one another’s company. So much so, that when it came time to depart they wanted to STAY longer. When we get to really KNOW God, we’ll long to STAY in His company, to be with Him not just for a visit, but forever. We’ll never want to leave His presence ever again. How would you like to meet someone that you just love being with them? We imagine that’s what it’s going to be like when we meet Mr or Mrs RIGHT. We think that another person will satisfy our every desire and fulfil our every wish in life, but we were designed with that deep hunger inside us, and it will never be fully satisfied until we come and KNOW God.

When God tells you to “BE STILL AND KNOW”

What’s HE telling you to do?

1) He’s NOT telling you to be ‘religious’.

So often we imagine that to know God we’ve got to somehow become a ‘religious’ person. i.e. Be a goody two shoes and go to church or to kneel down and pray. To pray certain prayers in such and such a way. No my friends, I want to dispel that myth immediately, God is NOT telling you to become religious.

2) God wants you to KNOW something.

He wants you to be STILL long enough to KNOW HIMSELF.

When God tells us to do something, you must simply, like a child, TRUST that He’s telling you as a good father would, that this is going to be really GOOD for you. He wants you to know GOD. He wants you to experience Himself. But WHY?

3) When you are STILL in His presence, then you’ll KNOW:

When you are still in God’s presence then you’re going to know:

  • Comfort,
  • Peace,
  • Joy,
  • Satisfaction in life,
  • Happiness,
  • Deep joy,
  • Overjoyed,
  • Did I mention Happy Feelings ūüôā

Oh yes my friends, no matter what’s happening in your life, when you are still for a few moments in the presence of God, the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE: You’ll KNOW all these things, you’ll know what He’s like, His Character, His will, His direction, His plans, His purposes for your existence upon His Earth. Oh WOWzer! All that just from being STILL in the presence of God.

NOT RELIGION: BUT KNOWLEDGE OF HIMSELF

It’s not ‘religion’ that God wants for you, but it is that deep knowledge of Himself. When you get that revelation, you’ll get HOPE, JOY and Assurance that EVERYTHING is going to be OK. Why? Because God can walk on water. God can change water into wine. God can change bad characters into Good Characters. God can do the impossible. God can make crippled people walk, blind people see, deaf people hear. God can make storms completely calm. God can make fish leap into nets. God can make vines grow in a day. God can make the Sun and Moon and Stars of Heaven with just a Word. How do we know God can do that? Because He’s already done all of these things, He can do it again. He will do it again. That’s who God is and what God is like: He’s the CREATOR. The maker of all things, including you.

Who is this God? Be still and KNOW:

God is Jesus, Jesus is God. (John 1)

How to be still and KNOW God?:

Recognise who you are first: A sinner: You’ve broken God’s commandments: AND you Know it. Your conscience bears witness with your mind. You’ve lied, knowing deep down that telling lies is wrong. You’ve coveted (an inordinate desire for the things of this world), that’s just two of God’s Commandments that He’s written upon your heart, but because of His immense LOVE for you, He sent Jesus His SON, the Son of God, God the Son into the world. Recognising that you need God the Son is the first part of Knowing Him. YOU need the forgiveness for your sins that Jesus won for you when He gave His life in your place upon the cross. Jesus died in order that you might truly KNOW God. When you know God, your life is going to be different.

Be still and KNOW Him.

Confess: Confess your sins to God. Confess that you need His forgiveness. Confess the way’s you’ve broken His Commandments. Confess the fact that You’ve NOT put God first in your life (None of us have). When you confess, it’s like you are surrendering to a powerful force, like when a soldier in a battle gets surrounded and all he can do is either die or throw down his weapons and surrender. That’s what you are doing to God. You’re saying “OK God, I give in, I give up, I surrender and admit that I’m defeated in Your presence, I KNOW I’m a sinner, I confess it, I admit it, I want you to know that I KNOW you are God.” That’s true confession of God. One day the Bible tells us, everyone will surrender to God. Every knee will one day bow before Him and¬†acknowledge¬†that Jesus Christ is God, to the glory of God the Father.

Be STILL and KNOW God NOW! Do it today and find total freedom and peace with God.

Accept: Accept the offer of forgiveness and peace.

Most soldiers realise that once they are surrounded and completely defeated, that it makes sense to surrender and save their lives. It’s just futile to give your life once you’ve been beaten. It serves no purpose, the battle has already been lost, why would anyone throw their life away. You’ve been surrounded by God since the time you were born, but you’ve been battling, trying with all your might to live your own way. Now it’s time to surrender and admit that you’ve been defeated. God’s PEACE offer is on the table: Be at PEACE: Be STILL and KNOW HIM: He’s Good, He’s Loving, He’s Kind.

God wants you to know that once you recognise who you are and once you’ve confessed your sinful condition and are ready to turn away from it, that He’s going to forgive and cleanse you from ALL your sins. He’ll wash you clean. You cannot do it yourself, you can’t make sin go away, it needs to be washed out of your soul, it can only be washed out with something totally pure and holy. The holy thing that God has chosen to wash you clean is the life-blood of His Son Jesus. Only the blood of Jesus can wash you clean from your sins. Accept His total forgiveness and be clean in Jesus Christ. Then your soul will be completely at PEACE with God. Nothing, no storm in life can ever disturb that PEACE that forgiveness brings.

The war is over, the battle is won, Jesus is the victor, so surrender to Jesus.

Receive: Receive the Lord Jesus as your LORD.

It’s like taking down your own FLAG and Hoisting HIS FLAG of VICTORY.

Believe in Jesus, that He’s won the Victory: It’s OVER, the Battle is Won.

He wants you to KNOW Himself, but you can only really know God when you are prepared to allow Him to rule in your life. When you are ready to do that, you’ll know, because you are ready to TRUST Him with your everything in life. He’s got such great plans for you and your future, but you can only ever know them when you’re ready to TRUST Him with them. Let go and let God BE your God. He wants you to KNOW total love, freedom, power for life, joy and peace. That’s ALL God wants to give you, but that’s more than enough. It’s better than Gold, Silver or anything this world has to offer. It’s even better than the most expensive things in life. God is able to SATISFY you completely.

Can you see now why God wants you to be still and KNOW.

For me it makes sense to KNOW God.

Be still for a few minutes today and really get to KNOW God.

It’s great to be in the company of family and friends at Christmas, but it’s even more exciting and joyful in God’s presence. We’ve just got to be still and know Him. Don’t be religious, be real, be with God today. He’ll be with you forever. Amen!

So, I’m encouraging you, in the madness and rush of life, to take a few moments and BE STILL and KNOW HIM.

You’ll be GLAD that you did. Have a JOY FILLED Christmas.

Don.

Psalm 46:1-11 The KNOWING God Psalm.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8  Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10 ¬†“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Where will you find Jesus today?

Where will you find Jesus today?

Daily Spirit & Word; 653:

If You Want To Find Jesus This Christmas.

You’ll need to endure the stink and the stench outside.

Where can we find Jesus today?

Well my friends, you will not find Him in the Holiday Inn, no you’ll still only find Jesus outside in the Stables.

Jesus was always an OUTSIDER:

He wasn’t born in luxury.

Babies today, mostly, are born in the luxury of dedicated and professional care, either at home with trained¬†midwives¬†or in hospital with doctors and nurses, but Jesus was born in a Stable, with the dirt, grime and the filth of the animals in that stable. Have you ever stopped to think of how smelly that stable must have been? He came from the holy odours of Heaven into the stench of a stinky stable. I’ve worked as a¬†stable-boy; cleaning out horses and ponies in Edinburgh for Mr McBride. Those horses really stank, sweeping up the straw was a messy smelly chore. I’ve worked on a pig farm as a young trainee in the Navy, those pigs, though they looked clean and pink, were really smelly. Jesus was born in a whiffy, pongy, minging, stinky stable.

He didn’t live in luxury.

Most people today have warm homes with light, but the Bible tells us that Jesus had nowhere to lay his head. He didn’t have a home that He could call His own (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58).

He didn’t die in luxury.

Most people today, when they die, they die with care and dignity, again with professionals looking after their every need. When painkillers are required, they’re available to make the passing bearable. But the Lord Jesus, when He died, He was taken outside of the city, to the rubbish dump (Golgotha was a place outside the city walls of Jerusalem, it was the place criminals were taken to be executed, but it was also the city rubbish dump. As a boy I used to play on one of the biggest rubbish dumps in Edinburgh, it was STINKY there. But where there’s muck there’s often treasure. We found many items that had been thrown upon the rubbish heap, that was very valuable indeed. My sister Doris once found a whole box full of silver, solid silver, watches. ¬†Jesus compared the fires of hell with the fires that continually burned at the rubbish heaps of Golgotha, burning the rubbish of the city.)

My friends, there is still treasure to be found on the OUTSIDE with Jesus.

Jesus was an outsider my friends, His life ended in the disgrace of a criminals death (the Jews knew that anyone who died upon a cross or tree was cursed by God). So even in His death, Jesus was an outsider.

He didn’t get¬†buried¬†in luxury.

Jesus was an outsider in the burial place too: He didn’t have a¬†tomb¬†of His own. He had to be laid to rest in a borrowed tomb, the tomb of a rich man.

If you want to find Jesus Christ this Christmas, then we must go outside too: Just like a SATNAV tells you where to go, so Hebrews 13 gives us the directions to Jesus.

Hebrews 13:11-14
11  The high priest carries the blood of animals into the Most Holy Place as a sin offering, but the bodies are burned outside the camp. 12  And so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood.
13  Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14  For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.

Just as Jesus HOME was not of this Earth, so this stinky, stench filled Earth is NOT your home, if you are a Christian. You final dwelling place will be the New Jerusalem in the New Heavens and New Earth: Jesus is getting your eternal dwelling place ready for you (John 14:1-6).

Just as Jesus SUFFERED outside the city walls of Jerusalem and from the beginning to end of His life, His was the life of an OUTSIDER, so we must take up our Cross daily and follow the Lord’s example, daring to be an OUTSIDER with Him. He’ll never leave you, but you are called to be different from the people of the Earth who don’t know Jesus as Lord.

How are you called to be different? How are you called to be an outsider?

  • You are to LOVE your enemies. Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27-36.
  • Do GOOD to those that hate you. Matthew 5:44, Luke 6:27.
  • Be GENTLE and as we were reminded on Sunday in worship: “Let your gentleness be evident to all”. Philippians 4:5-7. Matt 10:16.
  • Be FORGIVING: Jesus as Jesus has forgiven you, so you must also forgive those who’ve hurt you. Matthew 6:14-15, Luke 17:3-4, Ephesians 4:32.
  • Be JOYFUL Always: Psalm 35:9, Habakkuk 3:18, Philippians 4:4.

My friends, Jesus sent His Disciples to be OUTSIDERS in this world, so He’s sending you and me out to be outsiders too. We’re called to be different from everyone else in this world. He wants you to be full of love, gentleness, generosity, goodness, self-controlled, demonstrate kindness, be peaceful and peacekeeping, and be full of joy always.

Do you know why people flocked to Jesus? Because He was ALL of these things, the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit were evident to everyone around Jesus Christ and it was attractive. They were drawn to Him like iron filings to a magnet, like a moth to a flame, like a chocolate-treat to the mouth on Christmas Day. ¬†Oh my friends, He’s calling all of us to Be like Jesus, the world may not love you or welcome your King’s message. Just as they eventually rejected Jesus in favour of Barabbas, but don’t let that make you hard towards sinners,¬†don’t let it take your love or kindness away from you towards them. You determine in your heart right now to be like Jesus was, always ready and willing to¬†stretch-out his healing hands, always on the outside with those on the outside. He’s called you to be an outsider too.

Matthew 10:16 (AMP)
16  Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.

If you want to find Jesus this Christmas, you’ll have to join Him on the outside. “Let us therefore, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace that He bore” Hebrews 13:13. He was born with stinky animals, had no place to lay His holy head, borrowed a tomb and died at the rubbish dump. Will you join Jesus on the outside today?

Be blessed and be full of JOY in Jesus,

Don.

 

Has Jesus Promised More Than He Can Deliver?

Power for the Christian Life

Daily Spirit & Word; 648:

Has Jesus Promised More Than He Can Deliver?

Good morning my friends, I want to encourage the Saints in Christ today, those who have surrendered their lives to Him as LORD and Saviour. Why? Well it’s because sometimes, there are brothers and sisters in Christ who seem to be a bit down. They seem to want or need something more, but with shoulders down and arms drooping, they walk in and out of ‘church’ not getting what it is they need. And I’m feeling so sad, because I know there’s POWER waiting for them, if they’ll just tap into it. It’s as if they’re living with this feeling or question, “Has my Lord Jesus promised more than He can deliver for me?”

“Has my Lord Jesus promised more than He can deliver for me?”

  • Perhaps, you¬†came to Jesus expecting life to be a bed of roses.
  • Perhaps it’s because you¬†thought you would¬†always feel powerful and strong in the Spirit.
  • Perhaps it’s because you¬†expected to never have to suffer or go without the good things in life.

Whatever the let-down is, you NEED encouragement today; because Jesus can deliver all things in abundance. His promises are always TRUE and can be found to be true for every truly converted believer.

Jesus Christ CAN and WILL sustain you in everything. Believe it again, believe it afresh today.

Did you get to the verse in your Bible that promises; “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me”… If, like me, you make notes of powerful Bible verses at the front and rear of your Bible, then turning to these often will give encouragement. Especially when you find them to be true when you live them.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT) The Secret Strength For Contentment.
11  Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
12  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
13  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

It’s NOT a Secret my friends. Jesus has revealed it in the experience of the Apostle Paul and countless thousands of other followers of Jesus; we can FACE ANYTHING when we get the strength for our weakness through Jesus Christ.

  • If you have ANY need in your life today; come afresh to Jesus Christ.
  • If you have SOMETHING you need help with today, come to Jesus Christ first.
  • If you want a SITUATION SORTED, then come to Jesus, because He wants to give you His strength.

Avail yourself of the POWER that’s available today: You won’t just be contented, but overflowing.

If you are feeling downcast, disheartened, discouraged today; then bring it to Jesus.

He’ll lift up your soul. He’ll fill you afresh with Holy Spirit. He’ll give you the NEW WINE of the Kingdom. It will be like a fountain within, you will not be able to turn it off. Joy overflowing from within. Do you want that? Come to Jesus NOW in prayer and be strengthened and encouraged.

Has Jesus promised more than He can deliver? No my friends, but there’s more, much more than you can ever imagine stored up for you, tap into the power source of the Universe, come to the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll see.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for those times that I’ve doubted You. I come to you now and trust You afresh in everything. I know Lord that I can do ALL THINGS in the power and strength that You provide through Holy Spirit living in me”. Amen.

Determine in your hearts today; “I’m going to share with Jesus all my desires and longings today.” Amen.

Every blessing in Jesus for a wonderful week,

Don.