Isn’t God Awesome?

bringing people to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 797: Isn’t God Awesome?

God’s Kind Of Kingdom Service.

Yesterday was a dozy of a day. I got ready for the school visit to church, set-up the OHP ready for a powerpoint presentation on the miracles of Jesus. Only to find out after setting it all up that they were not going to show. Ahh Well, that was a good test-run ūüôā LOL.

So I visited a lady in the parish who wanted a thanksgiving for her granddaughter. Then following a long¬†conversation, in which she said, “I’ve been coming to that church longer than you”. ¬†Which made me smile¬†inside¬† because I’ve only met her once before. I’ve been at St Luke’s for just over eight years now. However, our conversation ended with one of the best Gospel encounters I’ve ever had. She was ripe and ready for the Good News. God’s timing or what? Please pray, because she wants me to share the Gospel with her daughter this morning.

Then when I was just putting my feet up for the evening I got a call from a distressed lady who was upset because a man, crippled down one side of his body, had been locked out of his apartment by the Landlord. He was sitting outside in the cold. I telephoned a few of the Emergency services, who all said they couldn’t help him. I even phoned the police, but they couldn’t legally do anything either. So in the end, we rang our resident lock-smith who came to the rescue. God sends his angels in all sorts of disguises. We got the man into his flat and he was happy, because now he could get his much needed medications. Then I got a lift back home from the locksmith and we had a little prayer…

Yesterday reminds me that serving Lord Jesus is not always going to be easy or convenient, but it always turns out to be AWESOME.

Kingdom Service:

Mark 7:32 (NIV) “There some people brought to him (Jesus) a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.

That verse today gives us some really helpful instruction about God’s Kind of Kingdom Service: Because you’ll notice in our text five things; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and Scout.

SWEAT: “They brought.” The bringing of that deaf man couldn’t have been easy, it required some effort. “They” That indicates to me we are not always to work alone in God’s Kingdom. We need our brothers and sisters to help too. But bringing him to Jesus was not easy to do, but they did it. Service for God is not always an easy task, it might require some sweat at times. However, when you sweat in Kingdom Service there’s always, always God’s rewards; in this life and in the life to come. Praise the Lord for the privilege of sweating for Him.

SACRIFICE: “They brought.” Kingdom Service often requires a price is paid by the servant. “They” had to give up their own time for this man. Time today is such a hard thing for busy people to find. It might not even be convenient, but it’s always time well spent if you are bringing someone to Jesus. The time and effort to get this deaf and dumb man to Jesus Christ, yielded a miracle for that man. You won’t really be serving very well if you are not willing to pay some kind of price and make a few sacrifices of time and effort and anything else that might be necessary in order to serve in Jesus Kingdom.

SYMPATHY: “They¬†brought¬†that man to Jesus.” Those who brought the deaf and dumb man to Jesus that day had to have compassion for him. They must have known what life was like for that poor man, felt his agony, not being able to communicate. Any kind of Kingdom Service means we’ll soon begin to feel God’s Compassion for the needs of others. We all know that it was God’s compassion for us, his love and mercy that moved him to send Jesus to die. No one has ever had more sympathy or compassion for anyone than God, “for God so loved the world that He sent His One and Only Son” (John 3:16). So it shouldn’t ¬†surprise us that we’ve got to share in that same kind of sympathy and compassion for others to serve Him.

SKILL: “They brought and begged.” Not everyone has the same skills, talents or abilities. We’ve all got different natural and spiritual gifts, so because we’re not the same, we’ll be able to use the skills that He’s given to us. Your Skill might not be that of an Evangelist, but in your service for Jesus you might simply be able to bring people to church to hear about Christ, letting someone else use their gifts and skills to bring them to faith. My friends, just because you’ve got different skills don’t despise them or get jealous of others. Just use the gifts and skills, passion and compassion He’s given to you. Each and every skill is required in building God’s Kingdom Family.

SCOUT: However, even though you might have different skills, it’s important that you know where Jesus is and how to bring people to Him. Can you be a good Scout to lead people to Jesus? The deaf and dumb man was brought to Jesus Christ. Those people BEGGED Jesus to just touch the man. We can come to Jesus and beg Him to touch those we want to be saved by Jesus. Those Scouts did a good job that day, because only Jesus Christ could help the deaf and dumb man.

Last night, whilst we were waiting for the Locksmith to come, we got chatting with a Cafe owner¬†across¬†the road. Although he was just closing up for the night, he allowed us to sit a wait, he also gave the crippled man some food. It was meant for him, but he had a tooth-ache. I asked if he believed in miracles to which he said he did. I asked, if I could pray. I placed my hand on the side of his face and asked Jesus to take away his toothache. I don’t know if he was cured instantly, but he shook my hand warmly a few times afterwards and helped me across the road with the man.

There’s no one better for you to bring your friends and family. Even complete strangers need you to show Jesus kind of compassion. The Lord Jesus knows the best ways how to meet all their needs. Be a good Scout for Jesus and beg Him to come and touch your friends.

You know my friends, this world will take people everywhere and to every kind of expert, sometimes they can help, but like last night, it’s ONLY Jesus who really knows what is best for them. Be like those people in Mark’s Gospel, who made a decision that day to take a deaf and dumb man to Jesus and begged Him to touch the man. He did, and he got his miracle.

Do all you can to bring your friends to Jesus Christ: it might involve some; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and the ability to Scout out Jesus for them. However, the rewards of Kingdom Service are totally awesome.¬†I’m sure we’re going to see so many fantastic¬†miracles in that kind of Kingdom Service. Amen!

Be blessed today, stay close to Jesus and be filled afresh with Holy Spirit for His Kingdom Service.



Jesus Kingdom Increase

Kingdom Increase, from Baskets to Hampers.

Daily Spirit & Word: 772: Jesus Kingdom Increase.

You Need to Get A Kingdom: Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears.

“I’m On Kingdom Business: No Other Agenda”.

Kingdom Increase: Multiplication.

Kingdom Freedom: No Need to Worry.

Good morning my friends, what a FANTASTIC “Oh Happy Day” Community Festival we had. Five Churches committed to an joint event together for Jesus. There were so many Gospel singing groups, dancers, actors, artists, cooks, welcomers, photographers, face-painters, all gathering to make the day HAPPY for everyone. I don’t know how many hundreds came, I’m not a numbers-game-pastor ūüôā However, what I got from Heaven (revelation from Father) was that He was Happy. Happy that we His children were ONE in; Spirit, Purpose and Presentation of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Everything was FREE for those who came, the churches all said, “This event should be free for those who come along, so we’ll commit to paying for everything”… We did, but I’m aware that there are some who’ve not had the opportunity to contribute. If you’d like to you can still do that? We will use it again for our Next “Oh Happy Day” Festival next year, the LORD willing (Get the DATE in your Diary NOW: Saturday July 2017)

Mark 8:14-21 (NIV)
14  The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat.
15 ¬†“Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”
16 ¬†They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”
17 ¬†Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened?
18 ¬†Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember?
19 ¬†When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
20 ¬†“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”
21 ¬†He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”

HOW The “Oh Happy Day” event came about, was because one man had ears to hear what the Father was saying.
He was new to West Norwood, but came with a passion for Jesus and reaching out with God’s love and joy; Pastor David Catarino (Portuguese Fellowship).
He shared the vision and dream with one of our group, Peter Day (from Lansdowne Evangelical fellowship) then Peter asked me, we met with David Catarino and prayed about it, but the vision grew along with the conviction that Father God wanted us to do this thing together. So we shared with Pastors Dennis and Richard from Worldwide Mission Fellowship and Chatsworth Baptist Church. We fixed a date, arranged a prayer meeting and committed to being involved ourselves.

When Jesus was in the Boat with His Disciples:

He’d just had another run-in with the Pharisees and must have been thinking about it because He said to them “Be careful, watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod”…

However, the Disciples, as usual, had their minds fixed on worldly things and didn’t get what Jesus was going on about. They’d moved on to thinking about their own need for BREAD instead of worrying about the spiritual battles that were on-going. “It is because we have no bread”… they reasoned in earthly terms.

Yeast: Yeast to Jewish people is a symbol of evil. Yeast spreads throughout the whole batch of dough, and so evil can infect an individual and a community. It’s the evil teaching and tendencies Jesus wanted His disciples to see, but it went completely over their heads.

Why? Because their minds, hearts, eyes and ears were still on earthly things.

  • It’s like they were worrying about a cup full of water when there’s a large lake full of fresh water in front of them.
  • It’s like worrying when our petrol tank is on empty, when there’s an OIL Well full of petrol right in front of them.
  • Jesus is the fountain of life: Jesus is the light of the world, Jesus is the Good Shepherd, Jesus is the Miracle Makers who turns five loaves into Twelve Baskets full left over… He turns a few loaves into Seven Hampers full left over.

Jesus quite rightly was a bit frustrated with them: “Why are you talking about having no bread?” He asked them.

So often our minds are always on EARTHLY MATTERS; so much so, that we’ll MISS what God wants us to know about.

My friends, God is Speaking: But are we listening, are we looking, are we thinking and meditation on God’s will?

I do believe that we MISS so many of His Golden Opportunities because we’ve got a different set of priorities.

Jesus asked them pointedly: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear?”

Jesus Helps Us Get Our Focus Right:

By Taking them Back: “Don’t You Remember?”

Of course they had; a head to think and a heart to care. They had eyes to see and ears to hear; but they were transfixed on temporal matters.

So, Jesus purposefully takes them back over the last few weeks of ministry:

The Miracle Feedings: 5000 and 4000…

He begins by asking; “And don’t you remember?”

My friends, it’s often very good for us to REMEMBER what God has done for us in the past. Why? Because it stops us ever worrying again. When we think back to God’s miracles of answered prayer, miracle provision, miracle guidance in our lives, then we’ll STOP being completely transfixed by temporal matters. We’ll never again WORRY about worldly things; paying bills, getting out of debt, sorting relationships, Why? Because we’ll REMEMBER how God worked in these areas of our lives in the past and sorted things out for us.

Here, in our reading, Jesus goes over the MIRACLES: To get their minds, hearts, eyes and ears ATTENTIVE TO GOD.

Mark 8:19-20 (NIV)
19 ¬†When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls (small baskets) of pieces did you pick up?” “Twelve,” they replied.
20 ¬†“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls (Hamper sized Baskets) of pieces did you pick up?” They answered, “Seven.”
Then he asked them; “Do you still not understand”…

Mark¬†doesn’t¬†tell us if they did or not. There’s a strange silence in Scripture at the end of Jesus’ questioning His Disciples. However, I think even the MOST DIM person could understand that.

What’s the difference between a small basked and a hamper?

A small basket could fit into a hamper many times.

The Difference between the Miracles of feeding 5000 and 4000 was the Kingdom Increase in what was left over.


My friends. Do you see? Do you have eyes to see? Do you have ears to Hear? Do you have a Heart to understand?

God’s in the KINGDOM INCREASE business. (No other agenda).

When we’re in the world, when we’re doing our stuff, the ordinary stuff; working, shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc etc… How’s our Kingdom Focus?

God wants to get your minds, hearts, eyes and ears OFF of Temporal Matters and onto His KINGDOM MATTERS.

What is it that MATTERS MOST to God? Kingdom Increase.

Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower:

Mark 4:8-9 (NIV) (Go back and REMEMBER).
8 ¬†Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times.”
9 ¬†Then Jesus said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

Jesus also said, “The HARVEST is Plentiful, but the Labourers are FEW”: My friends, that tells me that not many of Jesus followers are getting His Kingdom Agenda.

Multiplying: Multiplication: Baskets / Hampers.

It’s like God is saying to all of us today: Become Kingdom Mathematicians: Think about KINGDOM INCREASE (Kingdom Multiplication)…

Multiplication is very different from Addition… Addition adds ones and twos, multiplication goes from 10s to 10000000 very quickly. (Exponential Thinking).

Do you now have minds to understand, hearts to care, eyes to see and ears to hear?

What happened yesterday at “Oh Happy Day” ¬†when we gave away FREE Kingdom Burgers, Free Photography, Free Face-Painting, Free Music, dance and singing… It was ALL ABOUT KINGDOM INCREASE (Multiplication: NOT Addition)… You do the maths and God will do the increase.

Let’s get our own eyes OFF Temporal Matters (Stop Being Transfixed by the Temporal).

Let’s get our eyes ON Kingdom Business. God’s KINGDOM INCREASE.

David Wilson and I had a coffee in a cafe during the week: Oh we’d met up a few times: Tuesday for Fellowship, Wednesday for Morning Prayer Gathering, Wednesday Evening for Witnessing on the Streets and Friday in a Cafe for Coffee… We talked about KINGDOM Business.

We had a laugh and said, “I think we should have a T’Shirt made up “I’m on Kingdom Business” with a strap line “NO OTHER AGENDA”…

My friends, as Christians that really should become our Motto for Jesus.

“I’m on Kingdom Business” and “No Other Agenda”….

How’s your KINGDOM; mind, heart, eyes and ears today?

Let’s Get:

  • Kingdom Mindset: To Understand.
  • Kingdom Heart: To Care about God’s Agenda.
  • Kingdom Eyes: To See God’s Opportunities.
  • Kingdom Ears: To Hear God’s Calling Today.


Jesus did TWO MIRACLES feeding Thousands: 5000 and 4000…

We’re going to do TWO “Oh Happy Day Community Festivals”… Next July is going to be TOTALLY AWESOME (God willing). We’ll see Kingdom Increase: But only if we get our own eyes off our agenda and onto God’s agenda. His Kingdom Business…

Now, the next time, if your eyes are still on worldly matters (Disciples in the Boat: Eyes on Bread), I’m going to be a bit cheesed off like Jesus was… LOL.

God NEEDS all of us here at St Luke’s Church to get into HIS KINGDOM BUSINESS: Minds, Hearts, Eyes, Ears… So we can all say with JOY “I’m on Kingdom Business, no other Agenda”…

Will you be on God’s Kingdom Increase Business?

I truly hope so… Praying for Kingdom Increase in all of our lives today. Amen!

Get this today: “We’re on God’s Kingdom Business, with NO Other Agenda.”

Pray the LORD will OPEN Your Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears to what He’s showing you in this world, how He wants you to work for Him and His Kingdom. Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus,


NOTE: Those who’ve been translating the Bibles over the years have made a mistake or at least not given us the full picture. Size Matters to God: Kingdom Increase is a theme running throughout Scripture. Go back to the GREEK TEXT and you’ll see the difference in size of the baskets used in the miracles of feeding 5000 and 4000; it’s in Matthew and Mark and… When we see that Jesus first miracle there was 12 small baskets full of broken pieces left over… In the miracle of the feeding 4000 there were 7 (Seven) Large Hampers of broken pieces left over…. That’s KINGDOM INCREASE: minds, hearts, eyes and ears to see….


5000 (12 Baskets: Kophinos (Kof-ee-nos). = Small Baskets.

4000 (7 Baskets: Spuris (Spoorace) = Hamper Basket… Like the one Paul was lowered down the wall in Acts 9:25.

How many small baskets would fit into just one of those Seven Hampers? Kingdom Increase.

How many people will you, who are the ‘good soil’ hearers, lead to Christ in your life? How much fruit will you produce; 30, 60 or 100 times what was sown?

YEAST: Of the Pharisees and of King Herod:

Remember to the Jewish people, yeast represented evil, and the way yeast spreads it’s influence throughout the whole batch of dough, it can spread it’s influence on the un-suspecting and un-aware, that why Jesus said, “Be on your guard”, “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

Doubt, Suspicion, Hatred, Murder, Distain, Jealousy, Questioning, Plotting, Planning: Evil¬†worldly¬†trans-fixation. Worring about worldly matters instead of God’s Kingdom Agenda: Kingdom Business with no other agenda…

Get this today: “We’re on God’s Kingdom Business, with NO Other Agenda.”

Pray the LORD will OPEN Your Mind, Heart, Eyes and Ears to what He’s showing you in this world, how He wants you to work for Him and His Kingdom. Amen!


God’s Heart to Heal

Do you believe in the God of miracles?

Daily Spirit & Word: 753:

Can The God You Believe In Do Miracles?

“The smile on your face help me know you need me” (Knowing the Father’s Heart).

Good morning my friends, I want to put a huge wide smile on your face today. But not just on your face, on your heart too. The JOY of the LORD is my strength.

All this week we’ve been hearing about those who are sick and dying; friends, good friends, best friends, relatives: But do we actually believe in a God who cares, has compassion, is kind, gentle and loving? These are all attributes of God’s character, yes God is Holy, get’s angry as we heard yesterday, and can be full of wrath and anger against our sins. However, we also serve a God who fully revealed Himself in Jesus and before that in the Old Testament.

Listen with new ears, watch with renewed eyes to see what God is like today:

God Gives LIFE AGAIN¬†to a Widow’s Son.

1 Kings 17:17-24 (NIV)
17  Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.
18 ¬†She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”
19 ¬†“Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.
20 ¬†Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”
21 ¬†Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”
22 ¬†The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.
23 ¬†Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”
24 ¬†Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

Elijah had gone to a widow’s house, initially she thought she and her son would starve to death because of a famine. But Elijah arrived and the flour and oil didn’t run out, it was a miracle of God’s provision. Now the woman’s son, her only son, died. Just listen to her, the way she’s talking to Elijah: “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”

Often when tragedy strikes, because we’re hurting we strike out at others. Sometimes the ones who are closest to us, those who’ve been kindest to us, THEY are the ones who get blasted first. It’s both Elijah and God that this woman is shaking her fist at. “Man of God”…

But there’s more: The woman obviously had a past:

Like most of us, she’d not lived a completely righteous life, because somewhere in her past she knew she’d sinned. The knowledge of that sin had not left her, and because of her son’s death, she’d obviously been thinking to herself, “Who’s fault is it that my boy has died? Is it my fault? Did I bring this tragedy upon my son because of the things I did wrong in the past?”

We often do that too: I know I do. Whenever things go wrong, I think to myself, “Oh Lord, to what are you drawing my attention? Could it be something I’ve done?” It’s a good question. But to move from self-examination to attacking the man of God… as if God would be wrong somehow to exercise judgement at any time.

  • Perhaps the LORD was using her son’s death to get to the heart of her deepest issue in life.
  • Perhaps her son’s death was the only way the LORD would get this woman’s heart back to Himself.
  • Perhaps the LORD just wanted to show this woman most clearly that He is a God who FORGIVES SINS.

The Boy Comes Back To LIFE:

Just like Jesus who died and rose again from the dead; this boy’s life is restored by the LORD. Jesus was God’s ONE and ONLY Son, who died. The boy was the woman’s one and only son.

Elijah gives the boy back to the woman: Now listen to her response:

¬†1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

That “NOW I KNOW”: says a lot to me. because even though she’d been experiencing an ongoing miracle of God’s provision i.e. Her flour and oil never ran out: She’s been cooking with it for ages, but deep inside her heart there is an AVENUE OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF. Those words “NOW I KNOW” shout out to me today.

“Donald, you’ve seen My miracles in the past, so why do you doubt today?”…

Oh LORD! “I have seen your miracles in the past, I know you goodness, kindness, mercy and love, give me a NEW HEART to believe in Your POWER to HEAL today” Amen!

The Oil and Flour Miracles wasn’t enough to move her to repent and trust the LORD completely.

The Resurrection of her son, moved the widow woman to a deeper knowledge and understanding of the LORD.

My friends, the RESURRECTION of God’s ONE and ONLY Son, Jesus Christ, moves me afresh today, to say with the woman, the widow, “NOW I KNOW”….

NOW I KNOW: God can do anything.

  • He can hear our prayer.
  • He can heal our sicknesses, diseases, blindness, deafness, hard-hardheartedness, coldness, stubbornness, sinfulness and rebellion.
  • He can deliver us from DEATH…

BUT: Do YOU Believe He WANTS to do it?

NOW I KNOW: He wants to Heal, Deliver and Forgive… TODAY.

I’m going to be praying much more, much more, for people to experience God’s HEALING touch in their lives. We are going to see miracles my friends.

My friends, doesn’t that put a huge, a massive smile on your face today? Isn’t your HEART warmed and filled with JOY because the LORD is the same, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Last night, we had a meeting in church about “Oh Happy Day” West Norwood, London. A festival of JOY. Saturday 16th July (Put the date in your diary and come and see God move).

The Lord gave me this song, it’s a secular song, but it spoke to me of God’s TRUTH: When you say nothing at all:

The smile on your face
Lets me know
That you need me
There’s a truth
In your eyes
Saying you’ll never leave me
The touch of your hand says
You’ll catch me
Whenever I fall
You say it best
When you say
Nothing at all

My friends, God NEEDS you to be His hands, His feet, His heart to go to this hurting world and bring His HEALING: Will you go and touch, speak and heal today?

Some people argue, God can do it, but my friends, He’s chosen a way to do it; through His people. He’s going to do it through YOU! Have faith in the God who wants to Heal today.

Have a fantastic weekend, full of faith, full of trust and full of the JOY of the LORD.

Knowing the FATHER’S HEART.



A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

Becoming a mighty power faith filled factory producing new believers devoted to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

Will lead to the building up and expansion of God’s Kingdom Family.

Your little fellowship can become a mighty power faith filled factory; producing Devoted followers of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, AFTER PENTECOST what happened in the lives of those who’d committed their lives to Jesus, had been baptised and filled with Holy Spirit? Answer they GOT DEVOTION.

It’s not a word you hear much these days, ‘Devotion’, is it? But just after Pentecost we hear in the book of Acts about what happened with the 3000 who began following Jesus.

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42¬†They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44  All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

From this little passage we can observe at least five things in the lives of the first Christians who trusted in Jesus, were baptised and had received the Holy Spirit.

They Devoted Themselves:

Nobody told them to do it, it was a natural or supernatural new inclination, to do these things. When the Holy Spirit indwells a person they’ll want to do these things too.

  1. Devotion to Teaching: They became learners of all that Jesus taught.
  2. Devotion to Fellowship: They got closer to each other. Meeting in Temple and Each other’s homes.
  3. Devotion to Breaking of Bread: This is a reference to Holy Communion: Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice and to Eating together.
  4. Devotion to Prayer: When the Holy Spirit is in you, then you’ll automatically want to pray regularly. It’s not an obligation any more it’s a complete change of desire within.

When we’re DEVOTED like this, some things are going to be happening.

e) Many Signs and Wonders: were done by the Apostles. If you are devoted as an ordinary person to Jesus and all of the above, not because you have to but because you want to, then watch out, because WONDERS are going to be normal for your fellowship.

f) Common Concern: In verse 44 we learn that they shared their possessions and even sold some of them to help the needy amongst themselves. When Holy Spirit takes up residence within a person’s heart, there’s a new love for the brothers and sisters in the Lord’s family.

g) MEETING TOGETHER REGULARLY: Since I’ve had the Spirit, I’ve never thought meeting just ONCE a week was enough. Most, the majority of Christians today only want to meet once a week, life’s just too busy the meet up more than that, right? WRONG: when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart, you’ll have a LONGING to be with brothers and sisters on a very regular basis. They did it every day, but in reality that’s not practical, because we’ve all got other things that need to be done: tending sheep, planting corn, digging fields, and that’s just the farming community, what about the City Workers? However, there’s still going to be a STRONG DESIRE for more regular FELLOWSHIP than just once a week. So we learn to be very CREATIVE in how we get fellowship.

h)¬†Worshiping¬†God:¬†With glad and sincere hearts they praised the LORD! Worship is an integral aspect of any gathering together. We’ll want to sing our hearts out to the LORD!

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

SMALL GROUP: Either join of start a small group at work: To meet a lunch times to read God’s Word (Apostles Teaching) and to Pray together. I did this on every ship, establishment and submarine I served on after becoming a Christian in the Royal Navy.

FELLOWSHIP GROUP: There will be fellowship groups in your church, either get the Minister’s¬†permission¬†to start one or join an existing group. The strong desire will never go away, so start as soon as you feel it. Meet up REGULARLY: Once a week is good to start with, but don’t wait to long to add extra meetings for coffee, chats and Evangelism together.

What About Young Mothers: How can they possibly get FELLOWSHIP with young kids running around? I can’t think of a better group to get together even more regularly than those who’ve got toddlers to care for. It’s¬†natural¬†to meet for chats and coffee or tea, but just add the extra dimensions of Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism, Breaking Bread and Ministry…

No matter what you do or where you work, there are good reasons to FORM or JOIN a SMALL GROUP: It keeps you very sharp as a Christian, you’ll be filled with HOLY SPIRIT DESIRES every day: You’ll want to do what He prompts you to do¬†together. It’s much easier to share you faith with someone else. You’ll make excuses to keep inviting your NON-CHRISTIAN friends along to be with you and your friends. Just say, “I’m off during lunch break to read some of the Bible with a few friends, do you want to come along?”… “We’re learning all about Jesus teachings, do you want to come?” Don’t make the mistakes that I did, sometimes I only asked people once, but then I learned a secret, it took a long time before I myself said YES to Jesus invitations. So just keep asking your friends, but in different ways. “I’m meeting up with some Christian brothers, you should meet these guys, they’re filled with Holy Spirit POWER”…

When you get back from lunch, those who didn’t come will be intrigued to discover what you’ve been up to. I had so many questions when news got out on the Submarine that I was having fellowship in the SINS room¬†on-board HMS Tireless. “What do you do in there?” they’d ask or “We heard you singing hymns” they’d say. “What’s that all about?” they’d ask… People are NATURALLY NOSEY: They want to know, they’re interested. So some will ask you when they know you are attending a small group, “What’s that all about?”… Always be prepared to give them an answer and an invitation to come and experience it for themselves.

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

Devotion is not a POPULAR word with the world, but it still is with EVERY person who’s been baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

So a good question to ask right now is: “How is my own DEVOTION going?” and “Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that I have these burning desires to be devoted in these ways?”… If NOT, then there’s a problem. You NEED more of God’s Spirit, because it’s supernaturally natural to want or desire DEVOTION to; Jesus teachings, the Apostles teachings, breaking bread, fellowship, prayer, meeting each other’s needs, meeting together, doing miracles, winning others to Christ. The Holy Spirit replaces our own natural desires with His Supernatural Desires to Build God’s Kingdom Family. IF NOT: You’ll become like the seeds sown on rocky soil or the hard path or among the thistles; your faith will wither and die quite soon. You might keep up the semblance of Christian attendance for a while, but it will never be fire filled or full of faith and fun. Devotion is what Holy Spirit longs for in the life a new follower of Jesus. If your an old follower and you are not devoted like this, why? What’s stopping you doing what God wants you to do? START AGAIN!

The LORD added to their number DAILY those who were being SAVED. Non Christians were attracted to this kind of DEVOTED fellowship. You are going to see this too when you get even more DEVOTED to Jesus Christ, His mission and His teachings. When we follow Jesus teachings, we’re going to see Father God’s Heart is to win thousands into His family. He’ll do it through you’re own little fellowship, which will soon become an awesome mighty power filled faith factory; producing even more DEVOTED followers of Jesus.

I’m praying you’ll get this kind of DEVOTION: Pray for me too: I need to cling to Jesus every day and get fellowship just as regularly as the next Christian, it’s a supernatural natural longing within my heart, but I’ve learned we’ve got to make it happen or it won’t. Nobody else is going to make it happen for you, your inner desire will make it happen: So seek out fellowship and be the devoted follower the Holy Spirit makes you want to be.



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



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.


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.


(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 ūüôā 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).


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,


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?

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?


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.



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.


  • 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”…

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… ūüôā

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.


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‚Äôt see‚ÄĒ 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?” ūüėõ ¬†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‚Äôt see‚ÄĒ 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!


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‚Äôt see‚ÄĒ 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.


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.


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.



Evangelism, Miracles or Both?

Should we preach or perform miracles or both?

Daily Spirit & Word, 620:

Miracles or Evangelism or Both?

Good morning my friends, it’s fantastic when the LORD is speaking to you loud and clear. Yesterday we had a visit from the Gideons in church, it was good for me to listen to another man bringing God’s Word and to be fed in a different way. It was also great that the man speaking was an obvious convert to the Lord Jesus Christ. He loved the Lord and the Lord spoke through Him.

His message was about Cracked Pots: Shining the Light of the Lord. He recounted the story of Gideon’s Battle. His message was that God’s light can only sine out of the cracked pots. I was tempted to make a joke at the end of his sermon: “Let’s all be Crack Pots for Jesus”… It may have raised a smile, but it would have detracted from His brilliant message.

Before the service began I welcomed him and we chatted. He was telling me about his son’s church in Clapham, it’s a new Vineyard Church plant, they are good, Holy Spirit filled people. That church has been out on the streets of Clapham sharing Jesus and healing people. There was one slight difference in what they called their team from our team: They are called the ‘Healing On The Streets Team’, we call ours ‘The Evangelism Team’. But I’m thinking of changing it now!

What team would you be more inclined to join? The Healing On The Streets or The Evangelism Team?

It’s a no-brainer for me, but I know there’s one word that makes the vast majority of the Church quake in their boots and run for cover; it is the word EVANGELISM. Why?

Well my friends, it’s because even just thinking about going out to share Jesus with folks is scary, it’s daunting, and it’s confrontational. (of course it’s not, but that’s what people automatically believe and imagine, because they’ve swallowed the lies of Satan about Evangelism). Whilst on the other hand ‘Healing On The Streets’ sounds much more appealing, less confrontational, more powerful and has much longer lasting and more profound effects. (Of course it doesn’t, but we’re much more comfortable with the ‘miraculous’ than we are with the ordinary).

Adrian Rogers has said; “Miracles normally came in clusters in the Bible. There were miracles, obviously, in the Creation, miracles around the ministries of Moses, Elijah, and Elisha, miracles with Jesus and the apostles, and there will be end-time miracles. I do not know anybody today who has the gift of miracles, but I would certainly not deny God’s ability in that area. He’s proven it too well.¬†However, I would rather have it said of me that many believed on Jesus through my word than that I had the power to do miracles‚ÄĒbecause that is the lasting miracle, the new birth, the greatest miracle of all.” {What Every Christian Ought to Know Day by Day: Essential Truths for Growing Your Faith.}

How About BOTH: Miracles & Conversions:

I’ve been thinking about this my friends, since yesterday ūüėé ¬†and ever since I’ve been saved. ūüėõ ¬† Jesus commanded us to go and proclaim the Good News. He equipped us to do it by giving us the Holy Spirit and Spiritual Gifts. However, it’s also true that He wants us to perform miracles as well as proclaim the Gospel. In Mark’s Gospel the Great Commission is slightly different from Matthew’s.

  • Matthew’s Commission concentrates on “The Making of Disciples”
  • Mark’s Commission concentrates on those going out: “The Ability to Preach and Perform”.

Which is right? Since they are both from God’s Word: They are both right my friends, we are to Make Disciples and we are to Perform Miracles. That becomes obvious as we read the rest of the New Testament and discover how the first followers of Jesus lived out His Great Commission. They went out to preach the Gospel and signs and wonders accompanied the Gospel proclamation.

Therefore perhaps I’ll change the name of our outreach team to: “The Healing & Converting Team” or “The Miracle and Evangelism Team”… Whatever!

As I talked with the man about his son’s church in Clapham and listened to what he said, “They also proclaim the Gospel and pray for Healing”. I said, “We do the same, we pray for some people and we proclaim the Gospel too, some people get touched by the Lord”…

It Is Both; Gospel Proclamation & Signs and Wonders.

However, it is also what we are about:

  • Do you just want to see miracles?
  • Do you just want to see people come to Christ?

We should always want both with all our hearts; seeing people healed is AWESOME. We’ve had the privilege of seeing that as we went out to proclaim the Good News and lead people to Jesus. Seeing people come to faith and delivered from darkness, from bondage to sin and on their way to hell, that’s AWESOME too.

What does God want?

That’s the bottom-line question: What does the LORD desire? He wants ALL: He wants people everywhere to REPENT and TRUST in His Son Jesus for Salvation. That’s God’s PRIMARY (Highest agenda). He sent Jesus into this world to rescue men from Hell. He died in order to fulfil His mission. Yes he performed a few (many) miracles along the way, but His primary purpose was to SAVE. He’ll use both, miracles and proclamation of the Gospel to accomplish it. But we should never be tempted to think one is better than the other, they were always meant to accompany one another anyway.

We, both teams, the Healing Team and the Evangelism Team, were actually doing the SAME things anyway. However, what should our primary focus is to be? It’s my belief that our total commitment to Jesus should include; being obedient to His Commands and Serving the Lord with gladness. We’ll all use our gifts and skills to fulfill His Great Commission. Unlike Adrian Rogers who only wanted to be remembered for his proclamation of the Word in effectively leading souls to Jesus, I want that too, but I also want people to experience the miraculous. I’ve seen how one miracle can lead a whole family to the Lord.

It’s my experience that people come to the Lord in so many different ways; sometimes it is through a healing miracle, but other times it’s just a word that impacts their soul and heart. There is a TRUTH in the modern worship song “Just ONE touch of the KING, changes everything”… Just one touch from KING Jesus changes water into wine, cause a deaf person to hear, a blind person to see and a lame person to walk and leap for joy. Just one touch of the KING: Changes¬†EVERYTHING¬†in a person’s life.

Jesus is still in the LIFE TRANSFORMATION BUSINESS: He wants to do both; to HEAL and to DELIVER. With Jesus it was miracles and preaching the Kingdom, with the Apostles after Pentecost it was the same, we need to stay balanced and focused on following Jesus example and his commands.

Notice that in both versions of the great commission the emphasis is not on the miracles first, but on the proclamation of the Gospel. That’s God’s tool for bringing lost souls to Himself. It’s the Gospel that has the power to Salvation. We can heal people and they’ll get healed, but imagine healing someone and then not bringing them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ? That would be a terrible tragedy wouldn’t it?

I’ve seen it happen before, a great miracle whilst on an Evangelistic Mission in Cornwall. A woman who’d been wheelchair bound for years was healed instantly. But she did not come to trust Jesus as her Saviour. As a result of her healing the husband did trust Jesus and began attending church, but she went out dancing and lived a reckless loose life, they eventually divorced because of her adultery. Jesus didn’t take her healing away, but she also didn’t become a follower of Jesus. What a tragedy! Yes, let’s go out and heal, but let us also remember that Jesus called us to make Disciples and to lead people to faith and trust in Him, that’s got to be our PRIMARY focus, purpose, calling and reason for going out: In order that many people will be coming to faith and trust in the Living Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. ¬†Amen!

Have an awesome week with Jesus,


Mark 16:14-20. The Great Commission.
14  Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
15 ¬†He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
16  Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;
18 ¬†they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
19  After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
20  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

Matthew 28:16-20 The Great Commission.
16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
18 ¬†Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 ¬†and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”


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. 


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!



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‚ÄĒand Sarah herself was barren‚ÄĒwas 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‚ÄĒa 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‚ÄĒ¬†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.