The Great Faith of a Canaanite Woman

The Canaanite Woman Begging Jesus for her daughter's healing and deliverance from Demon possession

The Great Faith of The Canaanite Woman.

Daily Spirit & Word: 824: The Great Faith of the Canaanite Woman.

Yesterday, in St Luke’s we had the following Gospel reading about a Canaanite woman who came running after Jesus.

 

Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV)
21  Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon.
22  A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
23  Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24  He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25  The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26  He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
27  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28  Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

Tyre & Sidon: Canaanite Territory.

When Jesus sent His disciples out, he told them not to go to the Canaanites or anyone else, but only to the LOST SHEEP of Israel (Matthew 10:5-6). What was Jesus doing in Canaanite territory? We know from Mark’s Gospel that Jesus had withdrawn to be alone with His disciples, moving away from the busy shedule of Gallilee and the surrounding towns, the hustle of the crowds and the persecution of the Sadducees and Pharisees. But was that His only reason for going?

Matthew 10:5-6 (NIV) Disciple’s Instructions.
5  These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6  Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.

What or Who are the Lost Sheep of Israel?

1) We must keep in mind Jesus’ mission: He came to redeem Israel. He was Israel’s Messiah. He was born of the house of King David, He was from the tribe of Judah, Jesus was very much a Jew with a mission to the Jews FIRST…

2) Jesus mission: To call sinners to REPENTANCE: The Jews at that time were the only ones who’d been given God’s revelation of His Holy Standards of Goodness: Through their Laws and the Ten Commandments. They still taught that law, but didn’t live according to it. They knew their lives were in breach of God’s Law… Jesus was calling God’s Chosen people, the Israelites, to come BACK to God in humility and repentance… They were the Lost Sheep of Israel.

But, Isn’t Jesus The Saviour of the World?

Of course He is, but whilst He was on the Earth, His mission was for the Jews. Only after Jesus mission had been completed, did He send the Church (Empowered by the Holy Spirit) on it’s Mission: To go into all the world and proclaim the Good News of the Gospel.

We can say one thing with certainty about our Lord Jesus: He was focused… He was fixed on His own mission from His Father… He knew why He’d come and was heaven-set on completing that mission. Jesus had a Divinely Fixed Compass, knowing His Father’s will and doing His Father’s will way Jesus highest priority in life. (Our’s is knowing and doing the Saviour’s will, after all we’re Jesus’ Disciples too).

The FAITH of the Canaanite Woman:

She kept up calling after Jesus. So much so that the Disciples complained to Jesus to send her away (Verse 23). They knew, their mission as well as that of Jesus was to the LOST SHEEP of Israel. But the Woman kept calling out to Jesus, until she got a response…

So How DID Jesus Respond to the Canaanite Woman?

1) He ignored her: Verse 23 tells us, “Jesus did not answer a word”…

My friends, the SILENCE of the SAVIOUR in this passage is DEAFENING.

It tells us so much: There are times when Jesus seems NOT to answer our prayers too. It’s as if Jesus is not speaking to us. He seems silent or unresponsive to our cries for help or assistance. But did Jesus hear the woman?

Was Jesus ignoring the woman? I don’t think so. Jesus could hear just as much as His own disciples the woman’s constant cry for help… She was desperate… And when you are desperate and the cure is right in front of you, for you or your relatives, you will NOT STOP until you get the treatment needed.

Does Jesus ignore you? NEVER! He hears our prayers, even before they come out of our mouth. He knows your thoughts (Psalm 139), but He still wants you to ask. But HOW to ask?

Why didn’t Jesus respond? 

Well, we already saw that He’d come for the Lost Sheep of Israel: And she was not a Jew. However, was that it? Was anyone who was not a Jew healed by Jesus?  Of course they were, because we’ve already seen Jesus going beyond that boundary; He healed the Centurion’s Servant: Matthew 8…

Matthew 8:5-13 (NIV) Centurion’s Humility…
5  When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.
6  “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralysed and in terrible suffering.”
7  Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”
8  The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
9  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10  When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
11  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13  Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

Again: We see in Jesus response to the Centurion’s Humility and Faith: brought about Jesus’ compassion. He knew he didn’t deserve it, He knew Jesus could do it, He had faith enough to ASK for it in humility. However, notice the difference; the woman was almost demanding Jesus do something, the Centurion was asking humbly. We’ll see that’s exactly what happened to the woman too.

SHE CAME AND KNELT: The Woman was Humble: She knelt before Jesus (KJV says, “She worshipped Him”… (You’d think then, that this humility was enough, surely the Lord would see her kneeling and give her what she wants)…

Jesus did respond to the Canaanite woman, but it was not a positive response.

He said to her, these most shocking words. Can you imagine someone saying something like this to someone today? Verse 26  He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”

So, even though she’s been crying, now kneeling, begging, crying and pleading, “Please Lord”… Jesus still said “NO”… 

When something’s not right, Jesus will not be MOVED… Remember how Esau begged for his birthright with tears when he sold it for a pot of stew? He didn’t get it, because what he’d done was wrong. Jesus knew why he’d come and wouldn’t be diverted, unless, unless something else was mixed with the CRIES and the PLEADING…. What was the CRITICAL INGREDIENT that got the ANSWER she needed from Jesus?: FAITH.

The Canaanite woman, like the Centurion, eventually got Jesus message, she now KNEW that she didn’t deserve it. However, that knowledge of not deserving, didn’t stop her. But now she’s pleading from the perspective of; A DOG to It’s Master.

I know so many people who are PUT OFF coming to Jesus, because they KNOW they are not right, they don’t deserve it… However, this woman, she knew she didn’t deserve it, but she still came, fell at Jesus feet and begged….

PLEADING DOG: I always remember my mum and dad’s voice when I read this part of the Bible: “Donald, don’t feed the dog at dinner”… I couldn’t look into my dog’s big, round and sad eyes and say no… He had a cold wet nose… he always managed to look so sad… he made funny noises… He stayed by me with his eyes fixed on my hands, watching, waiting, longing… He knew that I was the only one who’d give in and give him what he wanted. Even though my mum and dad had said, “NO!” I couldn’t resist those big sad eyes…

That Canaanite Woman: Was like a Dog who knew her Master’s heart.

Listen to her words, Verse 27 “27  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”

She knew about Dogs too, and about their Masters: Dogs eat the falling food… The scraps that people either toss or drop by accident… No matter what, a dog is determined to stay there until they get what they want….

Her Faith was Doggedely Determined: She knew Jesus could do it. She was going to stay around like a DOG and keep begging until she could get what she needed from Her Master… Not for herself, but for her daughter.

HER FAITH WAS DOGGEDLY DETERMINED

The CANAANITE WOMAN’S RESPONSE:

Verse 27:
27  “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28  Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

What was it that REVEALED to Jesus the woman’s faith?

She knew that a DOG knows its MASTER’S HEART…

Nobody who owns a dog would let it go hungry.

Nobody who owns a dog would never respond… A DOG is a man’s best friend…

The secret of GREAT FAITH my friends, is KNOWING the MASTER’S HEART…

  • Knowing what God wants.
  • Knowing what God is like.
  • Knowing What God does.

Do you know the Master’s Heart? Father God loves to; heal, deliver, forgive, cleanse, refresh and renew. He’s not stopped doing that since the Creation of Mankind; He’s the SAME: Yesterday, today and forever…

MOSES PLEADS THE FATHER’S HEART;

Moses knew that too, and SAVED the Israelites from being struck down with a deadly disease… He KNEW God’s Heart: How He was, “Slow to anger, abounding in love and who forgives sins”… Moses pleaded with God’s own Heart:

The Refusal To Believe in the LORD: Meant they Forfeited The Promised Land:

Numbers 14:17-23 (NIV)
17  “Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared:
18  ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.’
19  In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
20  The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked.
21  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth,
22  not one of the men who saw my glory and the miraculous signs I performed in Egypt and in the desert but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times—
23  not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their forefathers. No-one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it.

When you know God’s HEART my friends, and you believe it, trust it, and plead according to it, you can MOVE God with your prayers; just like Moses, the Centurion and this Canaanite woman. So Don’t you dare give up on the LORD! He’ll never give up on you.

Still, in your knowledge of the Father’s Heart: how are you going to respond to this message today?

Like the Canaanite woman, we too can;

  • Be Humble: She knelt before Jesus. Know this; “God lifts up the humble…”
  • Be Sincere: She worshipped Jesus… “True worshippers, will worship the Father in Spirit and Truth”.
  • Be Honest: She knew she didn’t deserve it… We too don’t DESERVE anything from God, in fact, it’s only by His grace we’re not destoryed”. Recognise God’s GRACE, Mercy and Kindness towards you.
  • Be Polite: She called Him her Master. Is Jesus our Master? Let’s really seek to serve Him and honour Him with our lives.
  • Be Persistent: She didn’t stop PLEADING until she got what she needed. She did so, because she knew the Master’s Heart. We too can be persistent with God, knowing the Father’s Heart. How he’s sent us, those who follow Jesus to go into all the world; preach the Gospel, Heal the Sick and Disciple those who respond to the message. Making them into followers and disciples of Jesus, who will also go on to show others the way.

What was DRIVING The Woman?

Her daughter was under the influence of the Devil.

How many of us, are crying out to Jesus as this Canaanite woman did? She kept up following, crying, begging, pleading for Jesus to do something for her daughter. This speaks to me about PERSISTENCE (Heart of Love for our children)… Keep praying to Jesus, don’t give up. How many of our own children are under Satan’s dominion? How many are living in sin, in rebellion, away from the LORD. How many of us plead to the Lord for our own children as this woman did for her’s?

It’s my hope and prayer that you’ll have an awesome week with Jesus.

Remember to meet up regularly with fellow saints in Christ Jesus for fellowship, Bible study, prayer and praise.

Arrange a coffee time with another member of your church, just to catch-up and encourage one another. Remember Hebrews 4:13. Encourage one another every day…

Be blessed and full of Holy Spirit.

Don.

 

The LORD is my Shepherd

no fear in death when Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Daily Spirit & Word: 765: The LORD is My Shepherd.

The Lord is MY Shepherd:

Good morning my friends, it was such a wonderful privilege to conduct the funeral of one of the oldest saints in St Luke’s Church, June Bailleau. She died in full assurance that Jesus Christ was her Good Shepherd. So we could celebrate her life and be comforted with the assurance she’s gone home to be with her LORD forever. There were awesome testimonies about June, the kind of woman she was, her dedication to the Lord, her love and service in church and community, but most importantly how she longed for everyone she knew to come to the point of knowing Jesus for themselves. She wanted me to proclaim the Good News of Jesus at her funeral. So I did, here’s the message that I gave.

A few days before she died, June couldn’t speak clearly, but she mouthed the words of this Psalm perfectly from memory as I read it out to her.

SCRIPTURE READING: Psalm 23

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters, He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies; Thou anointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

I just love the way that King David has used the imagery of a Shepherd and his flock to describe the CARE and COMFORT which every one of God’s sheep can experience. However, it’s not just a group of sheep, but an individual sheep, my friends, Jesus wants to take the greatest care of your life too.

He begins by describing the comfort and care of His Lord for him in life.

He sums up all of God’s care in one phrase, “I shall not want.”

“I shall not want”

King David LACKS NOTHING, because his Shepherd cares for all of his earthly needs.

Let’s Look at the ways the Shepherd Looks After His Sheep in this LIFE:

  • He Leads me besides still waters: Jesus said, “NEVER THIRST AGAIN” & “Calmed the Storms” & “Walked on Water”…
  • He makes me lie down in green pastures: “NEVER HUNGER”

John 6:35 (NLT) “Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

These two phrases tell me Jesus is concerned about my earthly existence as well as what follows next, my SPIRITUAL life.

  • He leads me in paths of righteousness: “I AM The Way, The Truth and The LIFE: No man comes to the Father except through Me” John 14:6.

How does the Good Shepherd lead us? With His ROD (Rod of correction: A small rod that shepherds would use to prod the sheep and keep them on the right path) With HIS STAFF (The STAFF is a bigger stick that shepherds would use to rescue the sheep when they got into difficulty).

My friends, Jesus is caring so much for those who become His sheep today. He disciplines, prunes (Luke 15, John 15) He guides (John 16-17 by His Holy Spirit).

LOOK AT THE WAY THE GOOD SHEPHERD LOOKS AFTER HIS SHEEP IN DEATH:

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, is not just concerned with our life down here on the earth: When we’re going through the doorway of death, He’s right there with His sheep too.

DEATH: King David’s Shepherd doesn’t ABANDON Him through death, so he goes on to describe the Lord’s presence in death.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

Passing through death, David says, is like walking through dark shadows. That would normally be very frightening indeed. I’ve been called out to people who are just about to die and they are petrified, scared to death of dying. They call on a minister out of FEAR: I always come to them and proclaim the Gospel: When faced with DEATH people always REPENT of their sins.

Going through DEATH for everyone of us  is not pleasant experience, that’s why nobody wants to die.

However, if we are one of God’s Sheep, when we do pass through the dark shadow of death, there is NO FEAR…

Here we are COMFORTED with this TRUTH: That our LORD JESUS Christ, The Good Shepherd, who provided for all our earthly needs in life, is also with us as we pass through the dark doorway into ETERNITY.

For those who are passing through DEATH with Christ, there is NOTHING to FEAR: Why? Because Jesus is right there with us.

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou art with me.”

 

HOW DO WE GET JESUS TO BE OUR GOOD SHEPHERD?

WHILE THIS PSALM ASSURES US THAT GOD IS WITH US AS WE PASS THROUGH THE SHADOW OF DEATH, IT DOES NOT TELL US HOW THIS HAPPENS.

King David was specially chosen by God, he was unique and had amazing experiences of God in life and knew and trusted God. But it wasn’t until Jesus came to this world, that ordinary people could also have that same kind of assurance.

One thing I am assured about June Bailleau is this, She KNEW JESUS as her Good Shepherd. She’d repented of her sins and trusted Jesus as her Lord. She loved the LORD, and would be singing His praises until her last breath, which I can testify that she did.

Well, Jesus described Himself as the Good Shepherd:

He said,

John 10:10-11 (NIV)
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11  “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Notice The LINK: The Good Shepherd: The LORD is MY Shepherd.

Jesus died on the CROSS for the Sheep. “The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”…

John 10:14-15 (NIV)
14  “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me, (June KNEW Jesus)
15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father, and I lay down my life for the sheep. (June was assured Jesus had given His life for her).

Jesus is the Good Shepherd: He lays down His LIFE for the Sheep.

But why? Why did Jesus need to give His life for the Sheep? 

It’s because without Jesus DEATH on the CROSS: We would all still be in our sins, we would be frightened on our way through the DARK SHADOWS of DEATH. We most certainly would be frightened.

ALL HAVE SINNED: God’s WORD, The Bible, tells us clearly, “ALL HAVE SINNED”… 

YBH: Yes! But how?

We’ve all broken God’s Commandments: Lied, Stolen, Cheated, Disobeyed Parents, Murdered (Hated), Not kept the Sabbath, Not put God first in our lives.

God’s Commandments reveal just how much we’ve all sinned. NO SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of Heaven: If we were able to creep into Heaven with our sins still on us, we’d contaminate Heaven.

We THINK We’re Good Enough: Most people think they are ‘good enough’.

I’m reminded of a time when as a young Electrical Mechanic recruit waiting to be drafted to my first ship, having finished my courses, I was put to work on the Royal Navy Pig Farm: About 40000 pigs to look after: It’s a very smelly affair. You’d only need to be with those pigs for a few minutes and you’d begin to smell like them. After working with the pigs I’d take a shower, spray myself with deodorant and put on clean clothes. Then going to the Dining Hall with all the other Sailors, we’d line up to get in. There was a Petty Officer at the Door: He was controlling the entrance, letting in a few at a time, there were hundreds of us. I noticed there was something strange happening in the queue, there was a gap in front of me and a gap behind, I didn’t take any notice, but when I eventually got to the front of the queue, the Petty Officer said, “Go and get a shower, you stink, you can’t come into the Dining Hall smelling like that”… I was so embarrassed, I’d had a shower, sprayed myself with deodorant and thought I smelled clean, but the stench of the PIGS was still on my body.

My friends, I thought I was clean enough, I thought I could get in, I’d cleaned myself up: Oh My friends, there are so many people who’re hoping that they’ll be GOOD ENOUGH to get into Heaven when they pass through the dark shadow of death. They’ll be sadly shocked, because, JUST ONE SIN in your life: Will contaminate your SOUL and you’ll be unfit for Heaven for all eternity.

It’s my experience from going out to share the Gospel with folks on the streets every week, people who don’t go to church, people who are not religious, that they do believe in Heaven and they think they are going to be good enough to get in. My friends, we’re encouraged by God’s Word not to fool ourselves: No SINNER can get into HEAVEN.

Listen to what God’s Word tells us: DON’T FOOL YOURSELVES…

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NLT)
9  Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, 10  or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people—none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.
11  Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Don’t FOOL YOURSELVES: We may think we’re ‘good enough’ but the Bible, God’s Word, reveals that JUST ONE SIN will keep us out of Heaven.

Like Adam and Eve, who were banished from God’s presence for ONE SIN, so we too will be sadly shocked and embarrassed to discover, we can’t get in.

Thankfully that same passage that tells us not to FOOL OURSELVES, and lists those who can’t get in, it also reveals who can.

It’s those who’ve made Jesus their Good Shepherd.

1 Corinthians 6:11 ” Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God (HOW?) by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

 

  • When you TURN: In Repentance (Turn away from Sin) Confess your sins to Jesus.
  • When you TRUST: In Christ’s DEATH Upon the Cross, paying the price for your sins. (The Good Shepherd can become your Shepherd today).
  • When you RECEIVE Jesus Christ: By and act of Faith you say “Jesus, I believe you died upon the Cross for my sins, I repent of those sins (Name them, renounce them, and leave my life of sin) I turn to You Lord and I receive You as my LORD, My Shepherd, Come into my Life and be my Lord today. Amen!”

When you Turn, Trust and Receive Jesus Christ: You will be saved, your sins will be washed away, you’ll be made holy by Jesus Christ’s death and precious blood, you’ll be made right with God and you’ll be free to enter into Heaven. When you die you will not FEAR. When you pass through the Dark Shadows of Death, because Jesus become your Good Shepherd, He will be your Shepherd and He will be with you too.

ALL FEAR IS GONE:

When Jesus Christ is YOUR Good Shepherd.

 

JUNE KNEW Psalm 23 by HEART: June KNEW Jesus as her Good Shepherd: The LORD of her life.

You can cry out with confidence as June Bailleau has done countless times in her life, she knew it by heart, just a few days before she died, she mouthed the words;

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

You’ll have such a confidence that Jesus is your Good Shepherd, that you’ll KNOW you are just going to go through THE DARK SHADOW of DEATH, you won’t be afraid, because Jesus will be with you, and then once you’ve passed through, you’ll be with Him FOREVER.

You will receive the Gift of Eternal Life:

Death has lost it’s sting, when Jesus is your Good Shepherd.

John 3:13-18 (NIV)
13  No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven, the Son of Man.
14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up (Jesus died on the Cross),
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. (Those who TRUST that His Death was for their sins).
16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
18  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.

It’s NOT ENOUGH to KNOW that Jesus died for your sins: We can all believe that easily enough, but we must TRUST IN Jesus Christ. i.e. Trust that He will forgive you, cleanse you and give you new life, by an act of faith.

It’s like a man called Charles Blondin: A World Famous Tight Rope Walker.

He would walk across the Niagara Falls with a wheelbarrow. Back and forth (17 Times: Even Blindfolded). Then He asked the Crowd, “Do you believe that I could push a person in a wheelbarrow across the falls?” The Crowd responded “Yes”.

Charles Blondin asked, “Who’s going to get into the wheelbarrow?”

The Crowd was silent… He famously pushed his own mother across the falls in that wheelbarrow. She trusted in her own Son, enough to get into that wheelbarrow.

My friends, we’ve got to GET Jesus into Us if we are going to be SAVED: Will you TRUST the Son of God? Will you Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD today? He’ll take you across the Dark Shadow of Death all the way to Eternity with Him in Heaven Forever.. Trust Him.

Have you made Jesus your Good Shepherd yet?

Believe, Repent, Receive, LIVE….

Turn, Trust, Receive Him Today: And you will have HIM with you through life and through that doorway of death too. Amen!

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and wonderful weekend.

Looking forward to gathering on Sunday with the Saints in St Luke’s Church,

Don.

 

Crown Him “King Jesus” Today

Checkers King Jesus Crowned

Daily Spirit & Word, 615: Crown Him King.

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

Who Is this “SON” in this Psalm?

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

The SON is KING Jesus.

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

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

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

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

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

The KING’S DAY: (Soon and Very Soon).

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

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

HIS DECISION & JUDGEMENT ARE THE ONLY ONE THAT WILL COUNT

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

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

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

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

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

King over your everything.

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

Don.

 

When It’s Good to be Salty

Salt and Light for Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word 576:

When it’s GOOD to be SALTY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matthew 5:13-16

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 
14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

You too may be having a hard time, you might be toiling at a meaningless job, you may be experiencing the heat and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get out of the situation. Rejoice, praise, pray and sing to Jesus; His LOVE will lift you up. His presence will come into your heart and soul and you’ll be a shining light for everyone to see. Sing the song, “I delight, greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me in garments of Salvation and arrayed me in a robe of Righteousness” you’ll be coming into the throne room of Heaven. You’ll be transformed and the toil and hardship will seem as nothing.

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

It’s good to be SALTY sometimes.

Don.

 

Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul.

Invictus Unconquorerable

Daily Spirit & Word 560: Awards to Avoid in Achievement.

“Jesus is the Master of my fate, Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

Good morning my friends, we live in an culture that is driven by success and achievement.

Your youngsters are monitored for and the school is graded by their ACHIEVEMENTS.

People are attracted to schools that consistently ‘perform’ the best, parents look at the records of a school’s achievements before even considering walking through the doors to view the school.

Whilst we all applaud an individual’s successes and achievements; and quite rightly too, because a lot of effort, toil, sweat, dedication and study is exerted to gain those: merits, awards and diplomas. However, there are certain pitfalls, traps and dangers that we need to be aware of in a culture steeped in mindset of success and achievement.

For if we only live for the awards and applauds of men and women in our life, then we’ll be living far below God’s Kingdom Standards of success and achievement.

Just as a proud parents cheers their child on in the School or College Sport’s Day, so we, followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, have a Heavenly Father, who’s watching, cheering, waving, longing and waiting for each and every one of us to win our race that’s been marked our for us.

1) Avoid being totally Self-Sufficient:

In the films; The Dead Poet’s Society and ‘Invictus’.

There is a repeated motto: “I AM THE CAPTAIN OF MY SOUL”

INVICTUS (Unconquerable). (See notes below).

By William Ernest Henley (I885).

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul

Nelson Mandela meditated regularly upon this poem during his incarceration in South Africa and read it to fellow prisoners. Barak Obama read the last two stansas at Nelson Mandela memorial service.

Whilst we all long to see a degree of the ability of individuals to be able to LEARN for themselves, and to INVESTIGATE and to DISCOVER. Because we know that the BIGGEST milestones in life are the ones we’ve made our own BREAKTHROUGHS in learning and discovery.

However, in becoming totally SELF-SUFFICIENT (to be the CAPTAIN of your own soul) there is also a danger: Because there comes a point when an individual becomes reluctant to seek help or ask for advice or able to receive instruction.

Just like solid polished granite is impervious to water, so is the individual to the LORD’S instruction, who’s become totally SELF-Sufficient.

 Why should we avoid being totally self-sufficient?

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

Most Important: One thing that people long for more than anything else in our Success and Achievement driven culture is: POPULARITY. How do we know we’re ‘popular’? Because we have lots of ‘friends’. Friends are marked by ‘LIKES’ or ‘SNAPS’ or ‘STARS’ or “G+s” in SOCIAL MEDIA or HITS on Websites.

However, we must note, that when we’re only driven by being popular in the eyes of the world, we’re in danger of allowing our HEARTS to TURN AWAY FROM THE LORD.

When we’re TRUSTING IN: MAN (FLESHLY STRENGTH) for our STRENGTH (i.e. we measure our strength by fleshly prowess, fleshly skill, fleshly ability, fleshly might) then we’re NOT trusting in or relying upon the LORD.

It’s OK to have a degree of Self-Sufficiency: It’s healthy, but to be TOTALLY Self-Sufficient can lead our hearts away from the LORD.

Jesus is calling you and me today: Instead of being totally self-sufficient to be DEPENDENT: To trust in and rely upon the LORD. Not the strength of the flesh.

READ THIS OUT ALOUD (Remember ‘faith’ comes by hearing God’s Word).

Proverbs 3:1-15

1  My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 
2  for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. 
3  Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. 
4  Then you will win favour and a good name in the sight of God and man. 
5  Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 
6  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 
7  Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. 
8  This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. 
9  Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 
10  then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. 
11  My son, do not despise the LORD’S discipline and do not resent his rebuke
12  because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in. 
13  Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, 
14  for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 
15  She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

It’s HEAVENLY WISDOM followers of Jesus need to strive for, not fleshly success and achievement.

How we look in God’s EYES is much more important than the eyes of others.

Question: Who is the CAPTAIN of your soul? Is it you, yourself (your flesh, will, strength and achievements) or is it Jesus the Lord who created the Universe, who knows time’s beginning and end?

Let Jesus be your Captain today.

2) Avoid Being Outstanding: (Measuring Yourself Against Others).

  • To WOWzer them with your brilliance!
    To DAZZLE them with your results!
  • To BUCKLE them with your beating all records!
  • To BLIND them with your DAZZLING personality!

Listen to what Jesus is calling His followers to be like:

Jesus however, calls you to be “nothing:”

Jeremiah 45:5  “Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not…”

Philippians 2:3  “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.”

This is Jesus calling you to be like HIMSELF: Humble, Gentle, Kind, Generous, Gracious and Loving.

He’s doesn’t care about nor is He impressed by your; Dazzling results, beating records, brilliant brain.

He’s going to give you an Eternal WOWzer if you are; humble and kind, Loving and Patient, warm and welcoming, faithful and true.

Avoid measuring yourself or comparing yourself to others, what’s more important is how do I compare to Jesus?

Avoid Being Outstanding (at the expense of others).

3) Avoid The Pull Of POWER:

We all want our children, grandchildren, friends and family to be a force for good in the world, to be men and women of renown, to be the People the world will look up to one day.

However; we should be very wary of POWER for power’s sake.

There is a danger in:

  • Desiring to be Powerful
  • Desiring to WIN at all costs
  • Desiring to Manipulate the Circumstances.
  • Desiring to CONTROL the Outcomes.
  • Desiring To Let Everyone KNOW who’s the BOSS. 

Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

My friends, Jesus is calling you to a wonderful life of abundance.

However, in order to do that and to be His SUCCESSFUL, BRILLIANT AND DAZZLING follower.

He wants to set you free from the dangers of fleshly success and achievement.

LIKE ANY GOOD PARENT;

  • He wants you to be more popular than you do.
  • He wants you to be more successful than you do.
  • He wants you to be more powerful than you can imagine.

However, He knows the HEAVENLY PATHWAY is;

Hebrews 12:1-4

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. 
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Jesus is Calling YOU:

  • to shoot your PRIDE: Stop being self-sufficient: Depend upon Him.
  • to kill your ATTITUDE: Stop feeling the need to be OUTSTANDING (from other) but to Shine for His Glory.
  • to die to SELF: Power and Control (Horrible). Powerful and Controlling (Nasty, Evil, Manipulative). Instead; BE FILLED WITH Holy Spirit Power, THIS WILL lead you to desire building up OTHERS UP in Christ’s body.

Can you hear your Heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit? God (in Trinity) is cheering for you to win the race that’s been marked out for you.

WHEN YOU ARE READY TO FOLLOW JESUS’ PATHWAYS; Then you can REALLY BEGIN TO LIVE and LEAVE A LEGACY THAT WILL LAST FOREVER.

I’m going to ask followers of Jesus to declare;

“Jesus is the Master of my fate

Jesus is the Captain of my soul”

 

God bless you, the Lord fill you with His Spirit. NOW: go and get RESULTS for His GLORY THAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME AND ETERNITY.

Don.

NOTES:

In the Poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. Written in 1885, You’ll note that it is a rejection of God.

He recognises that the world is DARK (Needs illumination).

The Darkness is world-wide (from Pole to Pole).

Rejects the ONE God. (whatever gods).

Recognises he’s created with a soul.

He accepts circumstance (chance, destiny).

Doesn’t recognise / rejecting that God is in control.

He thinks this life is all there is,

just darkness (shade) on the other side of life.

Yet, that feeling finds him “unafraid”.

“It matter not how straight the gate”

He knows about the narrow path and the narrow gate,

but he doesn’t care (It matters not).

He knows that God’s Keeping a Record of His life.

“How charged with punishments the scroll”

And that God promises His wrath, anger and punishments

for breaking His commandments.

He’s rejecting the LORD as his final destiny

“I am the master of my fate”

He’s rejecting the LORDSHIP of Christ.

“I am the Captain of my soul”.

Existential Poets.

 

Relating to God as Father.

God The Father

Daily Spirit & Word, 491: Relationship Redefined.

Relating to God as Father and Jesus as your Brother.

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

Mary Magdalene Touches The Risen Lord Jesus.

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Explaining WOWzer!

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

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

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

Points to Ponder:

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

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

Prayer:

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

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page:

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

Relating To God As Father: Relationships Redefined.

 

 

 

 

Kingdom Greatness

Daily Spirit & Word, 463: Kingdom Greatness.

©Daily Spirit & Word. © www.spiritandword.co.uk

Good morning my friends, it’s Wednesday and we’re going to focus today upon being great in God’s Kingdom. I love that old song, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be the servant of all”

We all want to be significant in the eyes of others and competition for recognition is nothing new, even amongst the followers of Jesus Christ, there were those who, before they were born of the Spirit, didn’t quite grasp the true nature of the Kingdom of God. It’s almost amusing that Jesus confounds the wisdom of this world by turning what it values most upon it’s head and saying this is now much better.

It’s like a fashion expert telling us that white is the new black 🙂 Or red is the new green.

Jesus said, that to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom, you must become the servant of ALL (of everyone).

 Worldly Greatness:

Normally, when you think of great people, you think how they are served by a host of servants; they’ll be driven places by a Chauffeur, they’ll be welcomed into their home by a Butler or House Manager. They’ll have a bath run for them by a personal servant, they’ll even have their back scrubbed by another servant. The cook will prepare meals for them, the gardener will look after flowers and the grounds. Personal assistants will ensure you never need to go into shops again. Wherever you go people bow down before you and sometimes tremble in your presence, because of your majestic greatness.

Now imagine, being with Jesus and recognising His GREATNESS, then asking if you can be one of His special people, his right-hand-man. Well that’s what the mother of two of Jesus Disciple wanted for her sons. It’s obvious they wanted it too as you’ll see from the passage below;

Matthew 20:20-28 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favour of him. 21  “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” 22  “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered. 23  Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.” 24  When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25  Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27  and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28  just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Here we see three people seeking greatness in the eyes of others: A mother and her two sons. They wanted to be viewed and thought about as SPECIAL, Important, Selected, Preferred, best-loved, chosen, favoured, favourite, preferable, preferential. Over and above their already privileged calling as Jesus’ Apostles.

 Who were these sons of Zebedee?

This account is repeated almost word for word in Mark’s Gospel, but in his account we’re told expressly who the sons of Zebedee are; James and John. Mark 10:35-45.

What do we know of James and John? They did indeed become great in God’s Kingdom, but they also became two of the most blessed servants the church has ever known. Their greatness didn’t come about by LORDING it over people, but serving the brothers and sisters; James in Jerusalem and John gave us awesome teaching in his Gospel and the 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelation.

John became known as the beloved Disciple, he was the closest friend of Jesus whilst Jesus was on the earth. He took to heart what Jesus said, and this gentle rebuke of the Saviour took hold in his life.

Before James and John, the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus, with their mother as Matthew records, Jesus had already explained that Kingdom Greatness comes from service towards others; Mark 9:33-35 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35  Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

So my friends, it’s true in every sphere of life: At work, in the home and in your community. If you want to be GREAT then we must learn to become the SERVANTS of everyone. No matter who they are.

St Paul’s Service in God’s Kingdom:

  • Acts 20:25-31 25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
    26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
    27  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
    28  Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
    29  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
    30  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
    31  So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

You know, without first coming to Jesus Christ and submitting to His Kingship or Lordship, you’ll never be a servant in His Kingdom. I’ve seen people try and they always end up bitter about others, they’ll try and serve in humility, but without Christ in our hearts we’ll become frustrated, tired and bitter towards others who don’t appreciate what we’re doing for them. We’ll get exhaused and begin to moan about others. My friends, when you are serving Christ, you’ll never get tired of His Kingdom Service, because you know deep down you are not doing it for recognition or greatness, you are serving others out of appreciation for all that Christ has done for you. He’ll fill your heart with His love for people and you’ll just serve, no matter what the response is from others, you’ll keep serving, because you are not trying to win their approval or respect or praise, you’re serving a much higher and more noble calling; You are serving God’s Kingdom.

You’ll serve wherever you are:

  • At HOME: You’ll be the best husband, the most loving, patient, kind and gentle man.
  • At HOME: You’ll be a wife who loves to serve and take care of her family, not counting the cost, because you are serving Jesus.
  •  At WORK: You’ll be the best employee the company has ever had. You’ll try your best, you’ll serve your collegaues rather than climb over them. You’ll make certain that your boss never fails. All because you are not serving the company or for reward, but you are serving Jesus Christ.
  •  In the COMMUNITY: Your neighbours will know they can come to you and ask for help. You’ll be there for everyone and you’ll help them whenever you can. You’ll be generous with your time, your talents and your money for your neighbours. All because you are serving the Kingdom and the King of Kings.  
  • In the WORLD: You’ll look for ways to help people, make peace, fight for justice, promote fairness and look after those who cannot look after themselves. You’ll never look down on anyone and you’ll think of others as better than you.

We’ll do all of this willingly and full of joy and praise and peace, because we’ve learned what it means to be the Servant of All: We’ve become more like Jesus Christ and we’re full of the Holy Spirit and love.

My friends, How is your Kingdom Service?

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

If you need a heart to serve better today, then can I encourage you to come to the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ and learn from Him, for He is gentle and kind and will show you what it means to serve and not count the cost.

Have a blessed day in the Service of the Kingdom. Glorify Jesus with the way you live as a servant of all.

Don.

Kingdom Greatness.