Helping The BLIND to SEE and The Deaf to HEAR

The Blind and Deaf need our Compassion and Kindness, a miracle so they can see and hear their NEED of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 734: The FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE.

When The Fish Jump INTO the Boat.

 

How does SIN Separate Mankind from God?

People are BLIND = Cannot immediately see their need of Jesus.

People are DEAF = Cannot HEAR when you tell them the Good News.

Need to be shown HOW they’ve become SEPARATED from God.

Good morning my friends, we’ve got a wonderful thing happens once a month in West Norwood: The West Norwood Feast. It’s a GOLDEN Opportunity for us as Christians, to build significant and purposeful relationships with our community. We’ve been commanded by the LORD himself to GO into the world to share the good news, that’s brilliant and so many of us are being obedient to that command here in St Luke’s, in many different ways. However, once a month we don’t really need to go out and go fishing, because it’s like the FISHERMAN’S MIRACLE, the fish are jumping into the boat, i.e. The Community is coming to us.

When we don't need to go fishing
Fish Jump into The Boat

 

THE FISH ARE JUMPING INTO THE BOAT

A TRUTH We’ve Discovered:

94% of people want to go to Heaven.

How have we discovered this TRUTH? Because every week we go out into the streets and engage with people who don’t go to church, and we ask this question: “Do you believe in Heaven?”

Another TRUTH:

They want to go to Heaven on their own terms, i.e. without the NEED of being religious.

How do we know? Because we ask them, “Do you think you’ll get into Heaven when you die?”

Again 100% of people, who believe in heaven, HOPE they’ll get in, and 94% think they’ll be good enough for heaven.

Most say things like this:

  • “You don’t need to go to church to be a “good” person.”
  • “You don’t need to be a religious person to get into Heaven, you just need to be good”.
  • “If there is a God, then He’d be a good God and let people into Heaven”.

This my friends, is the ‘religion’ of the vast majority of people in the world.

They believe in a god that will let anyone into heaven, regardless of how they’ve lived their lives, because most of the time, they’ve been good, i.e. Their good deeds outweigh their bad deeds. So they’ll be good enough for heaven when they die.

They don’t know it, but in believing this, they’ve broken the Second Commandment: They’ve made a god to suit themselves, which is Idolatry. Because their god is not the God of the Bible: It’s a world-wide man-made god. Their god is tollerant of sin and will allow the sinful to get into Heaven. However, we know that they don’t know or understand that God is Holy, Righteous and Good.

WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW OR UNDERSTAND:

My friends, most people don’t know or understand this truth; “How sin actually separates mankind from God”. (or more pointedly, how their own sin has separated them from God forever and forfeited all hope of heaven).

They are convinced of their own goodness in God’s sight. It’s like they are wearing: Dark Glasses and Sound Excluding Headphones. (i.e. they won’t see and can’t hear: The Bible says, they are BLIND and DEAF: DEAD in their transgressions and sins).

So like the miracle of the BLIND man being healed and the DEAF man being able to hear, we need a way to ENABLE them to see and hear this truth.

First: Let’s Check Your Own Compassion Level:

You are out having a picnic at Beachy Head: (Beautiful White Cliffs & Lovely Green Grass): You are sitting eating your sandwiches and drinking your juice. You notice a BLIND MAN: He’s walking along towards the edge of the cliff tops, tapping his white stick. Oh and by the way, he’s wearing PINK Headphones.

If you were watching a Blind Man walking along with big pink headphones on his head, tapping his way with a white-stick towards a three hundred foot cliff, blissfully unaware of where he’s heading, what would you do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO? You know that if he keeps going he’s going to tumble over the edge and die. What would you do?

(BTW: Josie Nystrom: Thank’s for being prepared to act this out in church on Sunday: You are a STAR).

That’s right, YOU’VE GOT COMPASSION, you would run as fast as you could and grab hold of the blind man and stop him in his tracks.

  • Shouting at him wouldn’t work, because he can’t hear you.
  • Showing him the cliff won’t work, because he can’t see the danger. 

So you’d just grab hold of him.

Your NORMAL human compassion kicks-in and you act automatically to stop anyone from falling to their death: right?

Firstly: For you to be able to LEAD people to Jesus from today onwards, I’m going to explain what happened in the Garden of Eden. How mankind, because of Adam’s sin, got separated from God, and remained separated until God came down to the Earth in Jesus and made it possible for us to come back into Heaven (Paradise, The Garden of Eden)  and be with Him again.

Secondly, God has given us a WAY to GRAB PEOPLE: Hold them and show them their DANGER.

Thirdly: Have COMPASSION: Remember, they are BLIND and DEAF: The People of this World who don’t know Jesus Christ as Lord: They can’t see and they can’t hear so they don’t KNOW the Danger they are in.

We KNOW that if they were to die in their sins, they’d face God on Judgement day and be sent to Hell.

Surely we’ve got the same kind of COMPASSION for the lost souls of this world as we have for a blind man walking towards the edge of a cliff?

Listen to your NORMAL Human Compassion and think about their ETERNAL Destiny.

The GARDEN of Eden Explained:

(How SIN Separates Mankind from God). 

To Demonstrate: I need: an Adam, an Eve, God and the Serpent (Devil). (Demonstrate Physically). A fruit tree and an apple (piece of fruit). Light Sabre: Flaming Sword. & Jesus. An Cherub and someone to be Jesus.

Read Genesis Chapter 3. Genesis 3.

(Act it out: Demonstrate HOW Mankind Got Separated From God).

  • God said, “Don’t touch or eat or you will die”:
  • Eve was tempted first, then gave some to Adam.
  • They hid themselves, because they KNEW they were NAKED.
  • God came looking for them. (He knew what they’d done, but wanted to confront them with the truth).
  • Eve blamed the Serpent (Satan).
  • Adam blamed both God and his wife.
  • God banished them all from the Garden of Eden.
  • Put flaming swords in the way… (Question: Why did God put a flaming sword between mankind and Eden? Answer: Because man wants to get Eternal Life without going to God).

What is SIN?

1 John 3:4 (NIV) “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

Another translation of the Greek says; “Sin is TRANSGRESSION of The Law”…

The LAW spoken of in the verse above is The Commandments of God. When we sin we break God’s Law. The punishment for breaking God’s law is DEATH and Banishment from God’s presence or access to the tree of life. (Example: See Adam and Eve in Genesis 3)…

What Is The Punishment For SIN?

The Bible tells us: “The soul that sins it shall die” Ezekiel 18:20.

And: “The Wages of sin is DEATH”… Romans 6:23.

A person who sins is acting as if there are no commandments, i.e. without any laws. Or as if God has not said that it’s wrong.

This is a perfect picture of what life is getting like in our world today, people doing whatever they like, as if there is no moral law against it or as if God had not declared in the Commandments: You shall not steal, you shall not lie, you shall not covet, you shall not….

When Adam sinned the whole human race became infected with SIN. It’s in our blood, our nature and our character. We sin from early years all the way through our life. Every day we sin in some way. In our natural born state as human beings, we are sinful. King David said, “I was sinful from birth”… When was the first time in your own life that you became aware of your own sinful condition? For me it was when my brother and I stole some lead. We both knew we were doing wrong, then it was stealing sweets from Woolworths. When we stole those sweets we blamed Woolworths for making it so tempting, by putting them right next to the exit doors. Just because we were tempted to steal, it was our own greed that was driving us, not Woolworths placement of those sweets. One act of stealing, in God’s eyes, makes me and my brother into thieves. We are guilty of stealing. The punishment for sin: is death, because we’re guilty of offending God, not Woolworths. Whenever we sin, our conscience is crying out to us to STOP: But we ignore our own, God given, Conscience. Over time, with repeated offences the conscience gets quieter and quieter until it becomes almost undetectable by our soul. It’s like our conscience becomes seared or dies. However, a miracle can happen, we can have our conscience re-awakened and revived, by Hearing God’s LAW. Suddenly when we hear the Ten Commandments the Conscience comes back to life again and warns us of the impending dangers of our sinful actions, thoughts and choices.

What’s The Cure For SIN?

God came down in Jesus to rescue us from Satan, Sin and Death, Eternal Separation from God in Hell. (Hell is God’s place of banishment for rebellion against Him. Away from God’s presence for all eternity is going to be terrible, all you need to do to know what it’s like is read or listen to the words of Jesus on the subject).

  • But BECAUSE of HIS LOVE: God so loved everyone in the world, He doesn’t want a single soul to perish forever in Hell. So that’s why Jesus came to die in our place upon the Cross.
  • Forgiveness for our sinful rebellion is possible. It’s free for us, but it cost God dearly.

Question: How can we GRAB HOLD of the Blind and Deaf?

  • They can’t see.
  • They won’t hear.

Satan has both blinded them and made them deaf to the Gospel. (i.e. those who’ve never repented and trusted in Jesus).

2 Corinthians 4:3-5 (NIV) They Can’t SEE.
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. (They are Blind)
4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.

Matthew 13:14-15 (NIV) They Can’t SEE or HEAR.
14  In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15  For this people’s heart has become calloused (hard); they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn (Repent), and I would heal (Forgive and Cleanse) them.’

Thankfully God has given us a WAY:

It is POSSIBLE: To open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears.

With two great tools: To open eyes, unblock ears and in the process to soften hard-hearts.

1) The Conscience: God given moral compass. (Some people’s conscience is dead, but we can bring it back to life again).

2) The Commandments: God has written these upon their hearts. (They KNOW the truth deep down inside their souls).

With these two great Spiritual weapons, we can enable the blind unbeliever to see and the deaf rebel to hear. We can grab hold of them and stop them falling over the deadly cliff of death into the pit of eternal Hell.

Their own Conscience will bear witness to the TRUTH within their hearts. It will do so long after we’ve finished talking with them. Because, with the help of the Holy Spirit (Who’s job it is to bring conviction of sin), they’ll be brought out of the darkness into the light of understanding.

John 16:8 (NIV) “When he (Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:”

Only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction of sin. All we have to do is get people’s hearts ready for the Holy Spirit to do His work. He’s already bringing conviction upon many people in the world today, because you’ll have been praying for them before you even go and speak to them.

God has chosen you and me, those who believe in Jesus Christ, to work with Him (Holy Spirit) in bringing the world to faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

Here’s HOW Jesus did it: It’s called THE WAY OF THE MASTER.

OPENING UP THE COMMANDMENTS:

(Practically Grabbing Hold of the Blind and Deaf Before they fall into Eternity).

Here is explained HOW to use God’s two great tools to bring people out of the darkness into the light.

Start where people are: That’s what Jesus did.

They (most of them) all want to go to Heaven.

Ask them, “Are you or Do you think you are good enough for heaven?”

Most will think they are or hope they are good enough.

Ask, “Have you heard of God’s Ten Commandments?” Even if they haven’t heard them, they are written upon their hearts anyway, so their conscience will remind them.

Ask, “Do you think you’ve kept those Commandments?”… Most think they have.

Begin by asking, “Have you ever told a lie?” Explain that a liar can’t get into Heaven.

Then proceed through all Ten (if you need to). Most times you won’t need to go through all TEN of the Commandments, because you’ll notice that the Holy Spirit is working on their souls, their conscience also bearing witness. When they stop trying to justify themselves, you’ll know they are ready for the GRACE of the Gospel: The Good News of Jesus Christ.

NOTE: The Old Time Preachers: The Apostles, Jesus Christ, George Whitefield, Charles Wesley, Spurgeon, Moody, J.C. Ryle, etc: all called the COMMANDMENTS (The Law) the preparation of a soul for the Gospel. The preaching of the Law opens up a heart, ploughs the hard soil-hearers, and gets ready for the seed of the Gospel to be planted.

Once you’ve explained the Commandments, and God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness, you don’t need to spend very long at all on the Gospel. The GOOD NEWS.

It’s like a good doctor explaining a patient’s need for treatment. He won’t spend very long on the cure, because once he’s explained the symptoms and what will happen if the patient is not treated, they’ll be ready for the cure. “Give it to me, please, Doctor. Give me the cure…”…

When you are like a good doctor and explain the patient’s need for a cure, then I’m sure you are going to see many of those fishes jumping into the boat all by themselves 🙂 Once they know the danger they are in, they’ll jump into the net of Salvation.

The CURE for Sin’s Curse: Death and Hell: New Life and Heaven.

Jesus came and died in their place upon the Cross, so they don’t need to go to their death with their sins still on them, they can be forgiven, cleansed and given a new life, if they will believe in Jesus, trust that His death was for them, turn in repentance (forsaking sin) and receive Him as their Lord and Saviour. (SEE The GOOD NEWS of Jesus Christ).

Conclusion:

Here in West Norwood in London, we’ve been given a Golden Opportunity, when the World comes to us once a month for the FEAST, let’s be focused and be ready to make the most of God’s amazing golden opportunities, and build significant relationships with those He is already drawing into His Kingdom Family. With His help and tools we can open up blind eyes and deaf ears.

Be strategic, look for the people who’s hearts He’s already softening:

  • They’ll be the ones He’s drawing to Himself,
  • They’ll be open to hearing the Good News about Jesus.
  • They’ll be ready to discover a new way of living.
  • They’ll be frustrated with their life so far.
  • They’ll be aware they can’t live-up to their own standards.
  • They’ll be being convicted by the Holy Spirit of their need of Jesus.

They may not be instantly ready to repent, because it may take several times to hear God’s good news and the whole Gospel, but there will be AN OPENNESS. Remember how stubborn you were, before you finally repented and trusted in Jesus Christ? It took a while to convince you of your own need of a Saviour, so don’t ever give up on someone, keep praying for your loved ones every day. God cares more about their eternal welfare than you do, He’s patient, because He doesn’t want a single human soul to perish in Hell. (2 Peter 3:9).

Remember: Adam and Eve, they show us how the great divide happened, how mankind’s relationship with God was broken, and in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, we find the cure for man’s sinful rebellion, sin, wickedness and waywardness. Like the compassion we have for the Blind Man, let’s be filled with the same compassion as our Lord Jesus Christ has and go out and save those He’s calling into His Kingdom family. Amen!

The People of this World need our COMPASSION not our CONDEMNATION.

Have a wonderful week, keep fishing for men and women.

Remember to have compassion because they are blind and deaf; don’t shout at them they can’t hear you, don’t try and show them, because they can’t see their need of Jesus yet, but rescue them and with the tools God has provided to open blind eyes and unblock deaf ears; Their Conscience and His Commandments, and the Holy Spirit working on their souls, together let’s make them aware of their spiritual condition: let’s go fishing for souls in the sea of life. Hopefully, with God’s help, we’ll be able to catch a few fish before we’re taken back into our Eternal dwelling place. Amen!

Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men” Matthew 4:19 and Mark 1:17… i.e. When we come to Jesus, He makes us want to catch fish.

“If you don’t want other people to be saved, then you are NOT saved yourself. Be certain of that.” Charles Spurgeon.

The people of this world need our compassion not our condemnation.

They are Blind and Deaf: But you can, with God’s tools and help, open up their EYES and EARS…

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

The People of this world are BLIND and DEAF: S.O.S….

They need our compassion and kindness, to be shown their need of a Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. They are headed for a fall into Eternity, so let’s get the same kind of compassion as Jesus Christ has, and save some souls. There is an S.O.S. but they don’t know their danger, because if they did they’d cry out “S.O.S” … “Save Our Souls”…

 

The Power of Jesus to Heal

Just ONE Touch from the King changes everything

Daily Spirit & Word: 717: The Power Of Jesus Word.

There is POWER in Jesus to Heal

We’ve been following through Mark’s Gospel and we’re now on Chapter 5. The last teaching was about Jesus Power and Authority over Satan and The Demonic, today we observe Jesus healing and raising a little girl from the dead.

The Two Twelves: The Two 12s…
The Woman who has been bleeding for 12 years.
The Little Girl was 12 years old when she died.

Mark 5:21-43 (NIV)
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered round him while he was by the lake.
22 Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.”
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ “
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.
33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.
34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Jairus Get’s Bad News:
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
36 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.
38 When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.
39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.”
40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.
41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”).
42 Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.
43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

12 Years Bleeding: “Just One Touch and I will be healed”.

My friends, that’s real FAITH.

Immediately” Jesus realised POWER had gone out from Him.
That touch of faith brought the POWER of HEAVEN.
My friends, when we approach God with FAITH: The Power of Heaven is OPEN…
FAITH: is believing without doubting. It’s a GIFT from God, so that no one can boast. All faith is a Gift from God.

But remember, our FAITH in what God can and will do will grow the more that we know that we can TRUST Him.
It’s a kind of faith that believes without doubting. Do you have that kind of faith?

Let me illustrate: You already have that kind of faith.

A Chair: How do you know that the SEAT you’re sitting on can hold your weight?

When you came in here today, you didn’t stop to check the chair out, to see if it was wobbly or anything, you just sat right down on it.
If you were a stranger walking into this building today, how would you know you could sit down and the chairs would support your weight?
That’s right, you can see other people sitting down. Lots of them, and they are not falling to the floor with everyone laughing at them.

Also Past Experience of sitting in chairs, they’re pretty dependable aren’t they.

In the same way that you can see others have trusted their chairs and not fallen to the floor, you can also see that in this place, some of the people have put their faith in Jesus Christ. No matter what happens in their lives, they don’t fall down, their faith remains, they keep trusting in Jesus, but why? Why do they keep trusting in Jesus, even when life get tough? It’s because they know Jesus, long years of reaching out and touching the Saviour in faith, have given them the assurance that He’s in complete control and knows what He’s doing.

So if you can see that others have had FAITH in their seats, can you see how impressive it is that others have that same kind of FAITH in Jesus. They have sat in those seats many times, so when they walk in to church they don’t even think about it.

My friends, this Woman who’d been bleeding for 12 Long Years: Must have heard about Jesus’ Miracles and as He passed by in the Crowd that day, she thought to herself, as the Scriptures tell us, “If I just touch the hem of His garments, I will be healed”…

What amazing reasoning: “If this Jesus can heal people of all kinds of diseases and deliver them from Demons, then a little issue of bleeding for 12 years will be nothing for this Miracle worker, all I need to do is reach out and touch Him”.

More about that reaching out to Jesus in a minute, but look what happened next;

NEXT: Jesus Brings LIFE back into a 12 year old dead girl.

The Girls Father: first a word about Jairus.
What encouragement Jesus gave Jairus.
He was a Synagogue Ruler… The Synagogue was a place of worship for Jews. Jairus was a very important man in society.
Mark 5:22-23 “Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet 23 and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.””

“Jairus FELL AT HIS FEET”: Here was a Ruler falling at Jesus feet and begging Him… My friends, if you want Jesus to do something for you, something you are desperate for the King of Kings to do for you, have you gotten to the point of falling to your knees and pleading with Jesus? Sometimes, we don’t get answers to our prayers UNTIL we’ve gotten to our knees in prayer before God.
It’s not the act of kneeling, it the act of recognition of who Jesus is. Jairus knew only that Jesus was a Miracle worker and teacher. We know that Jesus was God on Earth, that He died because of His love for us, so that we could be forgiven and cleansed of all sin. When we kneel before Jesus today, we’re kneeling before God.

KNEELING: can be just a habit: many people kneel in prayer because that’s what they’ve been taught to do.

But there’s another kind of KNEELING: It’s A Humbling yourself before God. It’s recognising that you don’t deserve anything from Him and yet still coming to Him. Pleading for His grace, mercy, kindness… He loves our FAITH… He loves our TRUST… What’s stopping us KNEELING before Jesus?

PEOPLE KNEEL BEFORE THE QUEEN:
When the New Years Honours come around, people kneel before the Queen to be Knighted. They bow the knee in recognition of her Majesty and Authority. She wears a Crown to symbolise her Majestic Authority over her subjects. When she knights someone she says, “Arise Sir Knight”…
Jesus is the KING of Kings and Queens.
Our Queen has famously said, “I bow the knee to only one other KING and that’s KING Jesus Christ”… The Queen bows to Jesus. Jairus, the Ruler of the Synagogue was in good company… But have we actually BOWED before Jesus?

JUST ONE TOUCH OF THE KING:

The Queen Touches with her sword and says “Arise”… But the KING, our LORD Jesus touches and we cannot help but rise to new heights.

Imagine what frustration Jairus must have felt, when his little girl was at home dying, Jesus stopping along the way to ask, “Who touched Me?”… He would have been thinking to himself, “Oh please Master, come as quick as you can or it will be too late”…
What did Jairus ask Jesus to do for him? “PUT YOUR HANDS ON HER”
Jairus knew there was POWER in the touch of Jesus The Miracle Maker. “Put your hand on her so that she will be healed and live”
Just ONE TOUCH of the KING… Changes everything… (I love that song, because it speaks of a TRUTH about my King Jesus).

  • If it’s us reaching out to Jesus in FAITH: Like the Woman bleeding for 12 years. Changed her life forever. POWER of Heaven Opens: By Faith.
    If it’s up Jesus reaching out to us in His MERCY: Like the little girl’s father, Changed her life forever and her family’s life forever. POWER of Heaven Opens: By Faith.

Just ONE TOUCH of the KING: Changes EVERYTHING.

BUT THEY LAUGHED AT HIM:

Notice the CROWD that didn’t believe.

  • Like they laughed at Noah, when He built the ARK of God.
  • Like Sara laughed when the LORD said she would have a baby when she was nearly 100 years old.

My friends, if someone came to you and said, “I’m building an Ark because God is sending a flood to destroy the Earth” you’d probably laugh too.
If someone came to your funeral and said, “Put the boy down, I’m going to bring him back to life” You’d probably laugh too.
If someone came into a hospital today, when the doctors has said, “He’s DEAD” and he said, “He Going to LIVE” those Doctors would probably laugh too.
The CROWD Laughed at Jesus. It’s a laugh of incredulity. It’s a laugh of unbelief. They reason, “We know she’s dead”…

What did Jesus do when they laughed at Him?

That’s right, He put them out of the room. (Mark 5:40).

My friends, it’s a DANGEROUS thing to Laugh at God.
Laughing is Doubting when there’s EVIDENCE that it’s possible.
That kind of laughter is an insult to God.
Jesus put them out of the room.

  • God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, when they doubted God and believed the Devil.
  • God put Abraham’s wife Sara out for a while, when she laughed, when told in her old age she’d have a baby.
  • God put Zechariah, John the Baptist’s Dad out for a while when he laughed, when in their old age he and Sarah would have a baby; He was struck dumb until he wrote what the Angel told him, “His name shall be John”.

Unbelief (Stubborn Doubt) means exclusion from the things of God.
“He put them all out”… For laughing. For their unbelief.
My friends, if you are LAUGHING at the possibilities of what God can do today, be aware that it’s going to be very costly indeed. You might just miss the best Miracles you’ll ever witness in your life; only the parents and Jesus’ disciples; Peter, James and John, observed Jesus touching the little girl and her coming back to life.

Remember what Jesus said to Thomas: “Stop DOUBTING and BELIEVE”…. “It’s ME”….
Jesus response to Thomas’ faith once he’d seen Him: John 20:29 (NIV) “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.””

Jairus trusted Jesus, instead of laughing, Jairus was full of hope and expectation and faith, he was with Jesus and His disciples in the room when Jesus touched the little girl and LIFE came back into her dead body. That touch of Jesus would change Jairus’ life forever.

After giving the girl back her life Jesus said, “Give her something to eat”…

He didn’t just give back her life, Jesus took care of her hunger too. That’s how much Jesus cares for that little girl my friends.

Do you know, that’s how much Jesus cares for you too. When you get the NEW LIFE Jesus wants to feed you with Manna from Heaven, The Word of God.

Conclusion:

  • With Just a WORD the 12 year old girl received life.
    With Just a WORD from God, the Universe was formed.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, Demons flew out of a man.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, The Storm was stilled.
    With Just a WORD from Jesus, The Crippled man’s hand was restored.
    With Just a WORD from God: Mankind came into this world.
    With Jesus WORD Lazarus came out of the grave.

There is POWER in the WORD of God.

  • With Just a TOUCH: Moses parted the Red Sea.
    With Just a TOUCH: Water poured from a Rock.
    With Just a TOUCH: Jesus opened a Blind Man’s Eyes.
    With Just a TOUCH: Jesus opened a DEAF Man’s Ears.

There is POWER in the TOUCH of the SAVIOUR.

My friends, Do you believe? Do you have faith? Do you TRUST Jesus can do all that He promised He can do?
He will come into your life: If you turn in faith and trust in His death upon the Cross for your sins. When you repent and put your FAITH in Him, He’ll do it. Do you believe that Jesus will come into your life? To give you NEW LIFE… Once you get NEW LIFE, you’ll also get a NEW HUNGER (New Desires) for the WORD of God. NEW DESIRES to live God’s way: His righteous life.

Just like you’ve seen others sitting in these chairs and believe they can hold your weight. You have FAITH in your seat.
So you can believe that Jesus will DO ALL He’s Promised: He’ll come into your LIFE today; Give you NEW LIFE, NEW HUNGER, NEW JOY… He may also give you FAITH to believe that He can do anything…

He’ll not only give you NEW LIFE, but a NEW HUNGER too.
How’s your hunger for God’s Word? It’s an indication of your place in God’s Family.
“Like babes in Christ, crave the pure milk of the word of God”…

DILLY & DALLY:
DELAY: When I was 12 Years Old. My mother ran a bath for me. She shouted out to me, “Donald, your bath is ready, the water is warm, come and get your bath before the water gets cold”… I dillied and dallied and by the time I got into that bath, the water was cold.
DON’T Dilly and Don’t Dally, the WATER of FAITH is warm today. Jump in and take the plunge and trust in Jesus.
DON’T Be Like the CROWD who LAUGHED: Jesus coming into your life right now might seem impossible, more than you can possibly dream, but Jesus is real, His promise is real, He’ll come if you just; Believe, Turn from Sin, Accept His Sacrifice of Himself upon the Cross for your sins and Receive Him by Faith… YES! You can do it today!…

What if you’ve done that already? You’ve TRUSTED Jesus.
Have you seen the new James Bond Movie? “Spectre”… James Bond is a Special Secret Agent Number 007.. He’s been selected and trained to infiltrate the enemy, wherever the enemy may be found. My friends, God has chosen you to be His Agents (Ambassadors) in this world. You are like His secret special agents; your number is 777… 🙂

You might still be laughing like the CROWD: What about the Plans God has for you? Have you laughed inside yourself, thinking I couldn’t do that, I don’t have the strength, the power or the personality… What’s God been calling you to do for Him, but you’ve laughed or doubted? Sara (Abraham’s wife got the shock of her life when she listened in on the conversation) an old lady having a baby; impossible. My friends, God might be calling you to do something for Him that at this moment in time might seem beyond your capacity, your ability, your power, but believe Him, recognise His POWER to do all things, even with you. He’s done it before and He can do it again through your life. Is Jesus calling you to use your GIFTS in His Service, in the Service of the Kingdom? Remember the weaklings in the Bible that God chose for great things; Moses, Gideon, Jeremiah, they all thought they were not upto the task or calling, but God transformed them all.

So my friends, I’m going to ASK YOU: Will you TRUST Jesus Christ: The POWER of His Word, The POWER of His Touch?
Believe me and everyone else here today, who’ll tell you, “It’s TRUE: Jesus Christ has done it for me and He’ll do it for you too”.
Take the plunge, jump in whilst the water is warm and the time is right.
Reach out in Faith and FEEL the POWER of God coming into your life again today.

Don.

NOTE: When delivering this sermon at an All Age Service yesterday, I split it into two: The Woman with the Issue and then the 12 Year old dead girl.

I used another illustration to show the little bit of faith we might have and it’s power.
A glass of water held over someone’s head, up-side-down… The water didn’t come out because a flimsy piece of paper stopped it. The paper is thin, sometimes our faith appears weak, but it has a might force behind it.
When we use our faith, exercise the little faith that we have, Heaven’s Power is Available. Amen!

The Kind of Friend We Have In Jesus

Lazarus brought back to life so that we could believe in Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 704:

The Kind of Friend We Have In Jesus.

Jesus The Creator God:

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NKJV).

Good morning my friends, our START Course last night to prepare two children for Baptism with their parents was amazing. The questions children ask are often most honest and very thought provoking. They are not afraid to ask, “Why is there so much suffering, violence, war and hatred or evil in the world?” and “If God is so good, why doesn’t He stop it?”. We had a Swing-o-meter in the Video and in our booklet, this was to show where we are currently in our belief in the existence of God. It’s always an eye-opener for me when that question is asked, because quite often people will be ready to be more honest with a drawing or video than they will be in church. Far too often we respond with what we expect people want to hear, rather than what we actually believe.

Does God Exist? How can He Prove Himself to you?

Last night I explained, that God reveals Himself to us in many different ways: Through Creation, through prayer, through praise and worship, through the circumstances we go through in life, through the Bible, but ultimately God has already revealed Himself most fully in the person of His Son He sent to Earth. If you want to see what God is like, then look at the life, teachings and actions of Jesus Christ. These are recorded in the four Gospels, but also prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus was even born in Bethlehem.

You’ve heard that God is good, God is kind and God wants to be your friend, right?

But HOW can we know this is true?

You probably know that famous hymn; “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”… Well, we can clearly see the kind of friend we have in Jesus from the eleventh chapter in the Gospel of John. (Read it in full at bottom of page).

What Kind of a Friend Do We Have in Jesus?. John 11.

Jesus Is The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived.

  1. Jesus is The Listening Friend. “Jesus heard” (John 11:4).
  2. Jesus is The Loving Lord. “Jesus loved” (John 11:5).
  3. Jesus is The Gracious Teacher. “Jesus answered” (John 11:9).
  4. Jesus is The Wonderful Speaker. “Jesus said” and “spoke” (John 11:13, 23).
  5. Jesus Timing is Perfect. “Jesus came” (John 11:17).
  6. Jesus Presence Means Power. “Mary came to Jesus” (John 11:32).
  7. Jesus Sees Our Tears “Jesus saw her tears” (John 11:33).
  8. Jesus is Touched by our troubles. “He was deeply moved in Spirit” (John 11:33, 38).
  9. Jesus is The Weeping Saviour. “Jesus wept” (John 11:35).
  10. Jesus is God, The Son. “Jesus looked up and said, “Father”” (John 11:41). 
  11. Jesus WORDS mean LIFE: The Giver of Life. “He shouted Lazarus come out” (John 11:43). 
  12. Jesus Miracle Works Enable Belief, . “Jesus did… done” (John 11:45, 46). 
  13. The Undisputed Witness. “This Man does many miracles” (John 11:47). 
  14. The Delivering Substitute. “Jesus should die” (John 11:51, 53).

If you’ve ever doubted the existence of God, then take an honest look at yourself in a mirror and ask this question, “Could something as wonderful as me have happened by accident?” 😛  My friends, You are fearfully and wonderfully made, Psalm 139.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Jesus Is The Greatest Person Who Ever Lived Upon The EARTH.

Jesus Christ Is God: He always was, always will be.

The greatest person who ever lived wants to be your friend too: Click Here. What is the Second Death?

The Good News of Jesus Christ

Have and exciting journey of discovery about God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Prayer: O Lord God Almighty, Father will You please let us see Your Glory in the face of Jesus Christ through faith? I’ve seen today that Jesus is the kind of friend I need in my life. I’m coming afresh to you today Lord. I want to love You, Know You, Experience You more today than ever before. Fill me afresh with Holy Spirit. In the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour, Amen!

Don.

Bible Account of Lazarus: John Chapter 11.

John 11:1-16 (NIV)
1 Now a man named Lazarus was sick. He was from Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.
2  This Mary, whose brother Lazarus now lay sick, was the same one who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair.
3  So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
4  When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”
5  Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.
6  Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days.
7  Then he said to his disciples, “Let us go back to Judea.”
8  “But Rabbi,” they said, “a short while ago the Jews tried to stone you, and yet you are going back there?”
9  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? A man who walks by day will not stumble, for he sees by this world’s light.
10  It is when he walks by night that he stumbles, for he has no light.”
11  After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up.”
12  His disciples replied, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better.”
13  Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep.
14  So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead,
15  and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him.”
16  Then Thomas (called Didymus) said to the rest of the disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
So much more is revealed in the above account that simply the death of Lazarus: Jesus knowledge about all things. His Divinity “The Son of God”. How God the Father used bringing someone back from the dead to enable people to have faith in Jesus Christ.

The Grief-Stricken Sisters Are Comforted by Jesus.

John 11:17-37 (NIV)
17  On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18  Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem,
19  and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother.
20  When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.
21  “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22  But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”
23  Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
24  Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;
26  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
27  “Yes, Lord,” she told him, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”
28  And after she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “and is asking for you.”
29  When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to him.
30  Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met him.
31  When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
32  When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.
34  “Where have you laid him?” he asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
35  Jesus wept.
36  Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
37  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”

The Shortest Verse in the Bible reveals Jesus’ compassion: John 11:35 “Jesus wept”… He feels what we are going through deeply in His Spirit, even today. God cares deeply about what you experience in this life.

Verse 25: reveals that Jesus Christ, Himself God, is the source of LIFE on Planet Earth: All things were Created by Him and for Him.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NLT) Jesus Christ Is Creator God.
15  Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, 16  for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. 17  He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.

Jesus Raises Lazarus From The Dead

What a powerful miracle you are about to read.

John 11:38-45 (NIV)
38  Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
39  “Take away the stone,” he said. “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.”
40  Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”
41  So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
42  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43  When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
44  The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
45  Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what Jesus did, put their faith in him.

My friends, Lazarus was brought back to life so that we could see this miracle and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and to enable us to put our faith and trust in Him. Like Lazarus, we are all born Spiritually dead, but Jesus purpose in coming into this world is that we might experience New Birth and see New Life, full life and be “born of the Spirit”. It’s as if Jesus is saying to every single one of us; “Take off the grave clothes and let him go”… He wants to open our eyes and let us see His glory today. Put your faith and trust in the Living God, the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

 

The Wonderful Jesus

Jesus is God, He has Authority to forgive sins

Daily Spirit & Word, 634: The Wonderful Jesus

The Wonderful Friends, The Wonder-Filled Crowd & The Wonderful Words of Jesus.

Jesus Has The Power & Authority to Forgive Sin.

SHOCKING NEWS: I was filled with a deep sickening-feeling when I watched the news that so many people had been killed by those murderous terrorists in Paris. We’re with the French Nation! Grieving with you over your loss of so many young loved ones. It’s a scar that will be painful and will hurt for a long time to come. I couldn’t call them soldiers or that this is a war, because that would elevate them to an army. They are pure merchants of an evil that’s running rampant over the face of the earth. Praying for PEACE and in God’s timing that the good people of France will be enabled to FORGIVE. For when we forgive, then we are set-free. O LORD, please bring the comfort that You alone can give in the face of death. Amen!

Good morning my friends, today we’re back with Mark’s Gospel and chapter 2. The familiar story, recounted in many a Sunday School Class, the famous account of the four friends who brought their friend to Jesus to be healed, but couldn’t get in at the door so the climbed-up, made a hole in the roof and lowered their friends to the feet of Jesus Christ.

 

Mark 2:1-12. The Paralysed Man: Forgiven and Healed. Four Wonderful Friends.
1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
2  So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
3  Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.
4  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.
5  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
6  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7  “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

There are so many wonderful lessons and sermons I’ve personally heard about this account. I’ve preached upon it many times myself, but today I was struck afresh by these four men and Jesus response and the crowds of people in the house that day.

The Three Things That Strike Me Today:

1) The Wonderful Friends.

What amazing friends this paralysed man had.

4  Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.

Some people imagine that when someone is paralysed that they will be that way for the rest of their days.

Imagine, if that man’s friends had thought like that? He may have wanted to be cured, but if they’d argued, “It’s no use mate, you’re paralysed, just get used to it, there’s no hope for you”. (British Home: Used to be called, “The British Home For The Incurables” I first saw that sign and I wept inside. I first visited the Home before I was the Minister here, and my heart sank “Have I got to come to this place and preach to these people who have no hope of ever being cured?”

Those Wonderful Friends didn’t think like that; they had FAITH that Jesus could heal their friend.

My friends, I do have a hope, I do believe with all my heart that Jesus can and does do miracles today. I’ve seen miracles of healing and I believe, like those four wonderful friends obviously did, that their friend is worth bringing to Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world to SAVE everyone. Not everyone will be SAVED but that’s what Jesus wants, be certain of that my friends.

How were they Wonderful Friends?

They Cared: They didn’t give up when they couldn’t get in through the door.

Some of us give up too easily on those we’re trying to bring to Jesus Christ, but not these friends.

You may have been trying for years to get a loved on SAVED, but they refuse to come to Jesus. Be like those friends, who were not put-off by the crowds at the door.

They Were Creative: They used their heads, “what other way can we get him into see Jesus?”

Some of us, when we’re met with an obstacle, just give-up, just put-off by the obstacles, but instead they got creative.

It might take an unusual approach to save your friends and relatives. It might mean you’ll have to think of another way. A different or novel way.

The must have said amongst themselves that day, “We can’t get in through the door, but look, there’s a roof and we can easily break through the roof and get him into see Jesus”… That’s creative. Not only did they care, they were not going to be put-off and they got very creative.

They Were Commended: Not only did they care and get creative, but they were commended by Jesus for their faith.

Verse 5  “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””

It wasn’t the paralytic’s faith that was commended that day, it was the faith of the friends who struggled to bring him to the feet of Jesus Christ.

Will you be commended by Jesus because of your FAITH?

The faith they demonstrated was obvious; their faith had legs, they didn’t let obstacles get in the way, they tried their hardest all all costs to bring their friend to Jesus. They BELIEVED that Jesus would and could HEAL their friend.  What wonderful faith, what wonderful friends. O my friends, if only we had a church full of people who were longing to bring their friends to faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If only we’d bring our loved ones to Jesus. If our Church was not put-off by obstacles, think how full our church could be.

They may be paralysed:

  • They may not be able to come themselves to Jesus: You Bring Them.
  • They may not want to come to Jesus: You Bring Them whatever way you can. Carry Them.
  • They are paralysed by sin, powerless to save themselves. You show them they can be SAVED by Jesus.
  • They’re not looking to come to Jesus: They are BLIND and cannot see their NEED of Jesus or Church: we must open their blinded eyed and bring them to Jesus.

“When Jesus saw their faith”: The man’s sins got forgiven.

Imagine: You’ve struggled to bring your paralysed friend to Jesus. You’ve heard that He’s a healer and all He does is say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”… What? I mean, “We’ve just dug through a roof, we’ve not been put off by the crowd, we’ve lowered our friend on ropes to your feet and all you do is forgive him his sins?” But Jesus is NOT finished yet.

THEY Cooperated TOGETHER:

One last thing about the Wonderful Friends: The worked together to bring their friend to Jesus.

That tells me afresh today; “Donald, don’t try and do it all alone. Work together to bring people to Jesus.” It’s a TEAM effort. We’ve got to be working together. There’s always something you can be doing: If you can’t be an Evangelist, you can be a prayer. You can be a meal-giver, you can be a host, you can be a helper, you can be a giver, you can be SOMETHING as part of the TEAM Here are St LUKE’S Church to bring people to Jesus. Only four of the group were carrying the man, there were more than four of them. All those people, bringing their friend to Jesus. Think: When we’re joined together in UNITY there the LORD commands His blessing.

 

2) The Wonder-Filled Crowd.

The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They were all crammed into that house to hear Jesus teaching. So many that the sick couldn’t get in. They were filled with wonder, but they’d become a stumbling-block; blocking access to Jesus that day.

The Church Today is FILLED with the WONDERERS: They love wondering at the words of Jesus, they love sermons, they love healings, they love miracles, they love the spectacle of power ministries, but just like the Wonder-Filled Crowd back then, they become a blockage to people coming to Jesus today. They don’t care: Even if they do care, the don’t show their faith, by doing something about it.

How do we know they were a blockage? It’s revealed when Jesus said those amazing words; “Son, your sins are forgiven you”.

That Wonder-Filled Crowd knew that ONLY God can forgive sins.

Mark 2:6-9
6  Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,
7  “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
8  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 

They were right too, these TEACHERS of God’s Law: ONLY God can forgive sins.

My friends, if ever there was a passage in the Bible that shouts-out about the Divinity of Jesus, that Jesus is God, it’s this one (there are many, many more) but they KNEW that Jesus was claiming to be God by saying, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”, because ONLY God can forgive sins.

But instead of praising Jesus Christ as God, they began to accuse Him of Blasphemy in their hearts. Many times these Jewish Teachers of the Law wanted to stone Jesus to death for His blasphemous words. They were there, crowded into the house, listening to the wonderful teaching of Jesus, but they were not all there to praise Jesus. Some of them were there only to be critical and cynical. Not everyone in that house that day was filled with a desire to be a follower of Jesus.

Now, listen afresh to the wonderful words of Jesus;

3) The Wonderful Words of Jesus.

Mark 2:8-12.
8  Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9  Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Before they could utter their thoughts out loud, Jesus took the initiative, by REVEALING THEIR THINKING.

Not only is it ONLY GOD that can forgive sins; but ONLY GOD knows what a man is THINKING.

That alone should have convinced them that this man Jesus before them was God on Earth.

No ONE on Earth or in Heaven can read your thoughts, but God ALONE (Jesus is God).

No ONE on Earth today can say to a Paralysed man, get up and walk and he’s healed and walks. Only God can do that kind of miracle. This again, the third thing that day, proved that Jesus was God.

 

MARK 2:10 To PROVE THAT Jesus, “The Son of Man” (Messiah Title) Has the Authority to FORGIVE SIN: He performs this miracle.

Mark 2:10-12:
10  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11  “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12  He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

These Wonderful Words of Jesus, to Prove He was God on the Earth, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home”… He did and they were all amazed. He did it in full view of them all. The Miracles was to prove to the doubters that day and today that Jesus is God. He has the authority to forgive sins, only God can do that.

Conclusion:

We’ve seen today;

The Wonderful Friends: Who are full of faith, undaunted by obstacles, creative in bringing their friend to Jesus and caring enough to consider that not even a paralytic is beyond the reach of Jesus power.

The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They’d become a blockage to people coming to Jesus. Not everyone was there for right reasons. Be certain that you are not coming to Church just to wowed and to wonder, but to work for Jesus too.

The Wonderful Words of Jesus: “Your Sins are forgiven, Your thinking this, Take up your mat”

Forgiven and Healed: Forgiven and Commanded; Forgiven and Commissioned.

Thoughts: Are you being a Wonderful Friend to someone today? Is there someone you can bring to Christ? Don’t be put-off, deterred, disheartened, disillusioned, by a blockage. They may not be willing to come to Jesus yet: don’t ever give-up on them, what may seem impossible now: Is POSSIBLE (All things, all people, everyone; can come to Jesus). There’s no one beyond the help and hope of Jesus POWER to reach them. Like the Paralytics Wonderful Friends: Be creative, Have faith, Keep going when everyone else gives up.

 

BE AMAZED: Like the Wonder-Filled CROWD: Let these words of Jesus fill you with wonder every day. Let Him come to you afresh. Let Him dazzle you with amazement. Only Jesus knows what they were thinking, ONLY GOD Can Do That: Jesus is God.

 

The Wonderful Words of Jesus: He’s saying to you today “Your sins are forgiven, now get up and go for Me into this world and proclaim the Good News”…. That’s the Wonderful Good News Gospel of Jesus. You’ve got it my friends, now go and give it away; Be part of the Wonder-Filled Crowd who were there to listen to every word of Jesus, Be like those Wonderful Friends and let the Wonderful Words of Jesus impact your HEART today. Amen!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Sunday full of JOY in the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don.

 

I’m believing in God for my miracle

True Faith Hebrews 11:6

Daily Spirit & Word 583:

I’m Believing In God For My Miracle.

Good morning my friends, have you ever watched the so called ‘christian’ TV? I’ve put Christian with a small ‘c’ because it’s a strange version of Christianity on most of these shows. They ask people to send in money and believe God for their miracle, they ask people to show their faith by sowing a seed. Normally the seed (money) they are asking for is sown into their ministry: i.e. their luxury; house, car, jet, jewellery, suits, shoes and mansions etc… Am I being too cynical?

They equate faith with the size of the offering.

I feel so sorry for many sincere believers who are duped into thinking this is God’s way of faith.

So what is FAITH? or more importantly God’s WAY of faith?

It’s not so much how BIG your faith is in what you are believing God for, but in how BIG your God is.

Is your God able to do anything? The God of the Bible is.

Is your God able to heal or provide for all your needs? The God of the Bible is.

You see my friends, God is Jesus: We saw that yesterday and He could; walk on water, turn water into wine, raise the dead and come back to life Himself. Jesus is God and He’s AWESOME! He can do anything you could ever imagine, but:

When you’ve GOT FAITH in God: Then NOTHING is impossible.

Matthew 19:26  But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE FOR GOD.

Look through Hebrews and you’ll see what REAL faith is: The whole chapter (printed below) is all about the great heroes of our FAITH who were commended, not by men (though they are), but by God. God recognised that they were not simply trusting in blind faith, but had exercised active faith in HIM.

Remember Hebrews tells us: “Without faith it is impossible to please God” and it tells us why. The reason is not that we lack the ability to ‘believe’ strongly enough for what we want or desire, but we’re NOT trusting completely in HIM. Our vision of God is too small.

Hebrews 11:6  “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

He is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM.

It’s NOT seeking what you want in life: It’s seeking HIM for who He is FIRST.

Remember Jesus ORDER OF PRIORITY: “Seek you first the Kingdom of God”

Seek first God and His Kingdom Priorities: Then you’ll see that God IS are REWARDER of those who diligently seek HIM.

When I hear about poor struggling brothers and sisters holding onto their wishes and not letting go of their own desires, it’s like they are putting their faith in their ability to persuade God to do something He’s reluctant to do. That’s not FAITH, it’s manipulation or as the Bible describes it, witchcraft. To manipulate God is the ultimate sin. To try and manipulate God is foolishness. For the Bible reveals that the God of the Word: is the God of His Word: He is faithful to all His promises and there are so many promises that God has made in His Word: However, each and every one of God’s promises comes with a principle or precept that we need to live by or seek first His Kingdom. When you say the Lord’s Prayer “Thy Kingdom Come” You are asking for God’s priorities, His Kingly desires to be done on earth, in your life. Is that what you are asking and believing God for?

What if it was God’s will that you don’t get what you so earnestly desire? What if He, in His Divine wisdom, knew that it would not be good for you to have what you want? God can and does say NO to our requests: He’s not our servant but our King. We serve Him, not He us. He is not like the gene in the lamp that we rub to get him to appear and do our bidding. He is God Almighty and we make contact with Him by faith in order to seek His will for our lives.

Yes we all want certain things in life: However, is it not better to simply TRUST that God knows what we need, to believe in His Fatherly goodness towards us and that He is a REWARDER of those who diligently seek Him and His Kingdom priorities.

If you find yourself in a position of wanting something; no matter what it is; job, house, baby, husband, girl or success. Then just let go of those things, even if it’s healing, and settle your heart with PEACE by deciding that no matter what, you are going to do all that you can to live according to God’s will. You are going to do everything in your power to live according to His Kingdom priorities and principles and precepts, then see if He’ll not open the floodgates of Heaven. God’s already revealed the way that we should live by faith, but doing what He’s commanded and revealed is His will for every follower of Jesus.

Yes may ask God for things, but then leave Him alone, trust, believe and hope in HIM alone, that He has heard your request and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and His Kingdom. Amen!

So many Christians get STUCK, waiting for God to answer their prayers. Instead of being active about His Kingdom business. He’s heard your request, now say to God your loving heavenly Father; “OK Father, I’ve asked for ………….., now what is it that You want me to be busy doing today for Your Kingdom?” Live every day according to God’s Kingdom priorities, seek first His Kingdom (His Kingly Desires and Will) and you will be REWARDED. We don’t know what His rewards will be, it may be that He’ll grant you your heart’s desires or as I’ve found, more often than not, He’ll enable you to see how He’s already answered those prayers, but in His own ways. He has so much that He wants to give you and reveal to you.

It’s a transformation that we need: A Change of MIND-SET:

We need to change from; “I’m believing God for ‘my’ miracle” to “I’m believing God for ‘His’ miracles”.

Prayer: Yes my friends, I too am believing God for HIS miracles: I want to see sick people being healed, atheists come to faith, the poor being relieved, those who don’t have anyone to love them, being loved, children being taught God’s Kingdom, Christians being fed upon the solid meat of God’s Word; these are the miracles that I’m believing God for. And most importantly I’m believing God for this wonderful Miracle: “The harvest is ripe and plentiful, but the labourers are few” I’m believing God for the Miracle of more Labourers in His Harvest Field. Who’s going to come and do some reaping with me? Father please, send some Labourers, we need them Lord, the Harvest really is plentiful here in London and all over the world. People need to hear about Jesus; Father I know that You want more harvesters. Move them by Your Holy Spirit Lord. Amen!

Let go and let God: He’s in control. He’s never going to leave you. He’s got the whole universe under His power.

Have and Awesome Week: Believing God for His Miracles. Amen!

Don.

 

Bible Reading: Hebrews 11. FAITH.

 

Hebrews 11:1-40 (NIV)
1 Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2  This is what the ancients were commended for. 3  By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4  By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. 5  By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6  And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. 7  By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. 8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9  By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11  By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12  And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. 13  All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14  People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15  If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16  Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. 17  By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, 18  even though God had said to him, “It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.” 19  Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death. 20  By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau in regard to their future. 21  By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of Joseph’s sons, and worshipped as he leaned on the top of his staff. 22  By faith Joseph, when his end was near, spoke about the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt and gave instructions about his bones. 23  By faith Moses’ parents hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw he was no ordinary child, and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24  By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25  He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. 26  He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward. 27  By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible. 28  By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, so that the destroyer of the firstborn would not touch the firstborn of Israel. 29  By faith the people passed through the Red Sea as on dry land; but when the Egyptians tried to do so, they were drowned. 30  By faith the walls of Jericho fell, after the people had marched around them for seven days. 31  By faith the prostitute Rahab, because she welcomed the spies, was not killed with those who were disobedient. 32  And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33  who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34  quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35  Women received back their dead, raised to life again. Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36  Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37  They were stoned; they were sawn in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and ill-treated— 38  the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. 39  These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40  God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

 

Jesus Restores Peter

After denial Peter is restored

Daily Spirit & Word, 510: Jesus Restores Peter.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 26.

Good morning my friends, I’ve just come back into the study after being with the Lord in my garden. It’s beginning to look a lot like summer, the wonderful blue Spring border is starting to be replaced by the warmer red, orange and yellow tones of my new flowers. The Seasons in the garden are awesome, but what’s even more amazing is the way that Jesus gives us new Seasons in life; today we’re going to discover more about Peter’s new life after being restored by the Lord Jesus and indwelt with the Holy Spirit a few days later.

Review; all last week we were thinking about Jesus Resurrection Appearance to His disciples at the Sea of Galilee: He’s watching them from the shore when they decided to go fishing, they’d been fishing all night and had caught nothing for all their efforts. Jesus shouts to them from the shore and asks if they’ve caught any fish, they say, “No!”, then He tells them to let the nets down on the right side of the boat and they’ll catch some. As they do so, John realises that it was Jesus who was speaking. Peter puts on his clothes and jumps into the water and swims ashore. He meets with Jesus and the Lord cooks them breakfast. Now today, we’re going to see Jesus taking Peter aside and interviewing him.

John 21:15-19 15  When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17  The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
18  I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19  Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

As Jesus was cooking the breakfast of fish on the charcoal fire, it would have brought back to Peter’s mind, like a flash-back, the time that he was warming himself by a fire after Jesus had been arrested, and he first denied Jesus:

John 18:15-18 15  Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard,
16  but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in.
17  “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.”
18  It was cold, and the servants and officials stood round a fire they had made to keep warm. Peter also was standing with them, warming himself.

Yes my friends, it’s often strange how the Lord chooses to bring back memories of our slips and failures in our walk with Him. What truly amazes me is how gentle the Lord’s rebuke to Peter is: He asks him three times; “Do you love me?” Each time Peter responds with, “Yes Lord!” until the last time, when he finally blurts out, feeling hurt because of Jesus probing questioning, “The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”

Our English translation of the Greek here doesn’t do the questioning very much justice, because the words for ‘LOVE’ in Jesus questions are different in the Greek language. The Greeks had four words for love; each indicating a different kind of love. If we were to use them properly, we would not simply put the word ‘love’ in their place.

Here Are the Greek Words For LOVE and their Meaning:

GREEK WORD FOR LOVE MEANING
AGAPE This word was used in Greek literature to refer to someone who was generously favoured by a god. It has the idea of a person giving all his or her love or favour to another. It was used to speak of parents giving all of their love to their only child. So in the New Testament it is used to make the same point. God gives each of us all of His love.
PHILEO This Greek word has the idea of emotional love. While AGAPE emphasizes the complete giving of love to another person, PHILEO emphasizes the affection, emotion, a fondness one person has for another.
EROS EROS refers to love between a husband and wife. It is more than sexual ecstasy because it also includes embraces, longing, and caring.
STERGO STERGO primarily refers to love between parents and children. It sometimes refers to love between people and their ruler and to love between a dog and his owner / master.

The first time Jesus asked him “Do you love me?” The Greek word was: Agapao: From which we get Agape: meaning in table above. It’s a sacrificial kind of love. The KJV translates this word not as simple ‘love’, but Charity: Charity is a sacrificial kind of love. It means putting something else before your own affections or desires. It’s like when Jesus said, “Not my will, but Your will be done”… Jesus is asking Peter, “in the order of your affections for other people, do you love ME more than everybody else?” Peter answers, “Yes Lord! You know that I love You.” The word is not the same, Peter said, “You know that I Phileo you” Here Peter is expressing his deep friendship affection for Jesus more than the others. Can you see, simply using love doesn’t do the Greek or the Text of the Bible adequate justice. There’s far more to Greek LOVE than our English language allows.

The next time Jesus asks Peter, “Do you love me?” He’s saying do you Agapao me: Is your love for me sacrificial. Are you dying to yourself to give Me this affection?

Peter responds in the same way: “Yes Lord, You know that I Phileo You”… (Fellowship / Friendship affectionate love).

Then Jesus asks Peter a third time: but this time Jesus uses a different word in the question: Jesus replaces AGAPE with PHILEO… He’s not asking Peter for his sacrificial love, but his affectionate, friendship and fellowship. Peter’s is HURT that Jesus would ask him a third time. But his answer this time, must have brought with it a much deeper conviction and true knowledge that he really did love Jesus more than anything else in the whole world, because Jesus had finished his probing of Peter.

The Lord has restored Peter: “Feed my lambs, look after my sheep, feed my sheep” Each time after the question Jesus is giving Peter a mission and a purpose for those deep and probing questions.

My friends, if Jesus was to ask you that question today how would you respond? If He were to ask you three times: “Am I your Lord? Am I your Lord? Am I your best friend?” How would you respond?

Notice what Jesus doesn’t say:

He didn’t take Peter aside and say, “Peter, do you remember when you denied me?” No! Jesus goes right to the HEART of the matter. He’s telling us all today that it’s a Matter of our HEART AFFECTIONS.

  • Do we love Jesus more than our fellows?
  • Do we love Jesus more than our world?
  • Do we love Jesus as our Best Friend?

When we get our HEART affection for Jesus right, then everything else in our Discipleship makes sense. We’ll automatically want to live in obedience to the Father’s will as well. We’ll LOVE Jesus commands and we’ll walk with Him every single day. Yes my friends, the heart of the matter really is a matter of the heart’s affections.

The HEART of the MATTER really is a matter of your HEART’S affections for the LORD.

The emphasis of Jesus questions about our LOVE for Him, is not that it’s an EXCLUSIVE love, like a husband must love ONLY his wife, but a measure of our love: Quantitative rather than exclusive. He wants us to love Him with our ALL. Heart, Mind, Soul and Strength. All that we can muster must be focused upon serving and loving the Lord. If it was an exclusive love then we’d not be able to LOVE others as we love ourselves. No Jesus point is about our total love, the quality and quantity of how much we LOVE Him and others. We’re called to a sacrificial love for others and a fellowship / friendship and sacrificial love for Him.

Matthew 6:21 21  For where your treasure (Heart’s Affections) is, there your heart will be also.

Where are your HEART’S affections set today?

Remember, Jesus was gentle with Peter, but He’s so good that He can’t just leave Peter to wallow or worry about his past failures and denials. Jesus will also sort us out too, but be assured He’ll do it in a way that He intends to restore us and lift us up and set us upon the right pathway again. Trust Jesus with your whole HEART today. Jesus will restore you my friends.

Points to Ponder:

  • Has the Lord shown you today any areas of your life where you’re affection has been more on the world, other people or other things rather than the Lord Jesus Christ? 
  • It’s so easy to be self-deceived and think we are serving the Lord, when in actuality we’re just self-serving. Let’s be certain today, that in everything we’re doing for Jesus, we’re really doing it for Him and for His GLORY, not our own. 

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to thank you today. You’ve shown me that I need to get my heart priorities right in order to serve you. I know that You are calling me into a deeper and more committed friendship and fellowship with Yourself today. Help me to lay aside all other affections of my heart and enable me to truly love You. Amen.

Have an exciting day loving and serving the Lord Jesus Christ, remember to seek His fullness of the Holy Spirit for your walk.

Don.

Every Day With Jesus: 26: Jesus Restores Peter.

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Jesus Restores Peter.