How to follow Jesus Daily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Romans 12:1 (NIV)¬†“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God‚ÄĒthis is your spiritual act of worship.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

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

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

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

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

Falling In LOVE with Jesus:

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

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

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

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

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

 

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

Foolishness of D.I.Y. Faith

Boast ONLY in the Cross of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 698: Boast Only About Jesus.

What a DAY of D.I.Y. Taught me.

Good morning my friends, I had a wonderful day-off yesterday. Over at my daughter’s house, I was put to work on DIY. I don’t know how you feel about DIY, but I don’t relish the thought. However once I get started it’s quite good fun. Of course I was shadowed by my two year old grandson, Karamoko. He¬†had his tools all ready too, but once he saw my new electric screwdriver, he wanted to play with that. I’ve never seen a kid so enthusiastic about helping with DIY, he loves toolboxes, tools, carrying, lifting heavy things and putting screws in. He also loves to watch “Bob the Builder”… He’s going to be absolutely brilliant at DIY one day soon. He helped me; put up a curtain rail, take apart a huge table, put together a new table, take apart his old cot and put together his brand new big-boy’s bed. He learned about taking care of the small packages of screws, following instructions, being careful with sharp things and how two are better than one.

DIY: Means “Do It Yourself”… As is my weakness or strength, I followed a rabbit trail yesterday and again this morning. The rabbit trail I’m talking about is Bible Study. Yesterday I wrote about us not being able to pull-the-wool over God’s eyes and how “God cannot be mocked” from Galatians 6. Well, I kept on reading and this little verse jumped out at me. It’s a bit like Karamoko going through the toolbox and finding an interesting item that he’s never seen before. You know what question he always asks don’t you? “What’s this Papa?” next “What’s it for Papa?”… Then I’ll have to say, “Here Moko, let me show you”…

Here’s what the LORD gave me to share from His Toolbox with you today.

Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

“May I never boast”: Truth is we all LOVE boasting. We long for others to know how brilliant we are, don’t we? Paul is not talking about the normal things in life here, he’s talking about boasting about how morally good he is or isn’t. The young Church in Galatia had been infested with Judaizers, Christians who wanted to keep the Jewish ceremonial laws and to belong to Christ at the same time. They were known for their boasting about it too and there was a real danger that some of the believers, who were young Christians, might be influenced to emulate their folly. That why Paul exclaimed, “Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” Galatians 3:1.

NOTE: Judaizers is a term for Christians who insist that their co-religionists should follow the Law of Moses as well as being committed to Jesus Christ.

Their thinking was that because they kept the Jewish laws, they were like a kind of elevated Christian, a super Christian, better than ordinary Christians who merely trusted in the Grace, Mercy and Love of Jesus Christ. They boasted about the fact of how ‘religious’ they were and how observant of Jewish customs, traditions and laws.

You know my friends,¬†religiosity¬†counts for NOTHING in practical Christianity. It’s foolish to try and be ‘more’ religious. If you want to be a better Christian, and to be honest we all need to be better at following Jesus, don’t get more religious, get closer to Christ Himself.

That verse from;¬†Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” reminded me of another similar teaching the LORD has already given to us.

Jeremiah 9:23-25 (NIV)
23 ¬†This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches,¬†24 ¬†but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
25 ¬†“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh‚ÄĒ

WOWzer! Did you know that verse from the Lord’s toolbox? Now we can see what Paul was talking about can’t we? No wonder he declared:¬†Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

You see my friends, Paul had been very ‘religious’ and he now counts all his religious knowledge, experience and understanding as rubbish, dross, empty and foolishness in comparison with knowing Christ Jesus as His Lord. That’s why he only wanted to boast about the Cross of Jesus. Not only that but, he couldn’t boast about Himself or his religious observance, because it didn’t bring him closer to God, it pulled him further and further away from God. Why? Because religion is DIY faith in Jesus and His Cross means “He did it for me”… It’s not our goodness that we’re trusting in, but the goodness of Jesus Christ.

Here’s is Paul’s argument about this in full, this is what he said to the young Christians in Philippi who were being troubled by Judaizers too.

Philippians 3:1-11 (NIV)
1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
2  Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.
3 ¬†For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh‚ÄĒ¬†4 ¬†though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more:¬†5 ¬†circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee;¬†6 ¬†as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7  But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
8 ¬†What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ¬†9 ¬†and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ‚ÄĒthe righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.¬†10 ¬†I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,¬†11 ¬†and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Question: Why would anyone who’s been saved by God’s Grace, Mercy and Kindness go back to being religious? Answer: They wouldn’t, couldn’t, but only FALSE Converts would think there is anything in being ‘religious’. Once you KNOW Jesus personally, it’s like being an unfaithful husband or wife to try ‘religion’ again to make you righteous in God’s sight. It’s DIY religion.

Going back to Judaism or the Law of Moses is a DIFFERENT faith entirely from that of following the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a DIY religion, you will be depending upon your own goodness not Christ’s. The reason it’s foolishness is because NO ONE, nobody will be declared righteous by observing the LAW. Romans 3:20. Because we all fall short, we all break God’s law and when we do, we’re contaminated with SIN.

So it’s no wonder Paul and the LORD got so upset when the Galatians, Philippians and many others began to practice ‘religiosity’ all over again.

Empty ritualistic religion will never save anyone, it’s a DIY faith.

  • Let’s be very careful that we boast ONLY in the Cross of Christ.
  • Let’s be JOY filled as we remind others that we’re NOT GOOD, because we’ve broken God’s Laws.
  • Let’s be EXCITED by the fact that Jesus alone is GOOD and He is the only way for mankind to be SAVED.

Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I can see that there are times when I think I’m better than others at keeping the faith, help me always only to boast in the Cross of Jesus, His goodness, His love, His strength and the fact that I’m only saved by Your Grace, kindness and goodness and that You’ve drawn me to Yourself so that I can know You, the true and living God. Forgive me¬†Lord¬†for the times when I’ve been tempted to DIY my faith instead of relying upon the Holy Spirit to keep me from falling. Amen! Thank you so much for practical D.I.Y for when we’re doing the ordinary things in life, we can learn so much about the Spiritual aspects of life with You. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends.

You can learn a lot from¬†grand-kids¬†and DIY can’t you ūüôā

Don.

 

Keep Going In The Spirit

Sowing and Reaping, God cannot be mocked

Daily Spirit & Word: 697:

Keep Going In The Spirit

Sowing and Reaping.

Galatians 6:7-10 (NIV)
7  Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
8  The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
9  Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
10  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
¬†Good morning my friends, well what a stormy day yesterday was, I wasn’t looking forward to going out onto the streets sharing the Good News, it was cold and dark and¬†wintry weather. However, we had a good team gathered to go, six of us from St Luke’s, so we split-up into twos; David and Sherrie, Ben and Gemma and Judy and me; after watching the newest video from “A New Reformation”, we were all fired-up to see the Lord at work in people’s lives. You know something, when you go in faith, you will not be disappointed my friends, we had some truly amazing encounters in sharing the Gospel and chatting with people about God’s Kingdom.
When we got back to the Parish Office afterwards and we all shared what happened, we saw that the Lord was with us. I love hearing from others how the Lord has used them and what He does is fantastically good. Even after years of sharing the Gospel I’m always encouraged and refreshed by how faithful Jesus Christ is to His Word.
When we look at those verses above from Galatians, you can be sure that God is serious; “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man (or woman) reaps what he sows”… Galatians 6:7. Now that’s a sobering verse from God’s Word.
Jesus gave us similar teaching in so many different ways: Sowing and Reaping.
In the Old Testament we see this principle illustrated in the lives of ancient forefathers and peoples.

 Jacob: Genesis 27-31.

Did you know that Jacob was a trickster: He pulled a fast-one on his older brother and father. He covered himself in animal hair to look, smell and feel like his older brother. He did so because his father Isaac was getting old and blind and Jacob wanted the blessing due to his older brother. You know the story, but he eventually succeeded and ran away to avoid a clash with his angry brother. REAPING WHAT YOU SOW: Jacob really did get blessed by God, but he also REAPED. He fell in love with Rachel and wanted to marry her. Rachel’s dad made Jacob work for seven years before he would be able to marry her. After those seven long years, he was looking forward to his wedding night. After all the ceremony was over, he removed the veil and lo and behold, he’d not married Rachel, but Leah her older sister. (You can read all about Jacob in Genesis 27-31, you’ll see what a trickster he was and how he REAPED WHAT HE HAD SOWN).
Isn’t that amazing? You reap what you sow. He tricked his father and brother, now his father-in-law had tricked him. He was the younger brother and he tricked his older brother. He wanted the younger sister Rachel, but was tricked into marrying the older sister Leah. You reap what you sow.
  • When you plant tomatoes (as I’m about to do in the next few days), you’ll reap little tomatoes.
  • When you plant potatoes, you’ll not get grapes at the harvest time, but little potatoes.
  • You reap what you sow.
Think Seriously About Mocking God: If we’re sowing to our FLESH then watch out.
Leviticus 26:14-20 (NIV)
14¬†¬†” ‘But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,
15  and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant,
16  then I will do this to you: I will bring upon you sudden terror, wasting diseases and fever that will destroy your sight and drain away your life. You will plant seed in vain, because your enemies will eat it.
17  I will set my face against you so that you will be defeated by your enemies; those who hate you will rule over you, and you will flee even when no-one is pursuing you.
18 ¬†” ‘If after all this you will not listen to me, I will punish you for your sins seven times over.
19  I will break down your stubborn pride and make the sky above you like iron and the ground beneath you like bronze.
20  Your strength will be spent in vain, because your soil will not yield its crops, nor will the trees of the land yield their fruit.

Time Doesn’t Matter:

Did you know that they’ve found wheat seeds in the ancient Egyptian Tombs, they planted those 3000 year old seeds, guess what they got at harvest time? Wheat! Those seeds did not forget what they were after all those years in the tomb. My friends, God keeps a perfect record, and at the judgement throne of Jesus Christ, every believer will REAP WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN. God cannot be mocked.
Galatians 6:8 ¬†“The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”
¬†If we’ve sown to our flesh, then from that flesh we shall reap corruption (diseases and eventually premature death).
If we’ve sown to the Holy Spirit, then we shall reap everlasting life.
A man or woman REAPS WHAT THEY HAVE SOWN.
God cannot be mocked. So many believers are convinced that God will just ‘wink’ at their sins because they’ve repented and put their trust in Jesus Christ. They’ll say, “Jesus died upon the Cross for my sins, past, present and future, so I’m forgiven”… That’s right my friends, you have been forgiven, you are blessed with the gift of eternal life, but God wants to reward us for the good things we’ve done whilst in the body: but His rewards also include REAPING what we have SOWN. If we sow to the fleshly sinful nature, then God will reward us in kind. God cannot be mocked: He will not just wink at your sinful choices on the day when you come face to face with Jesus Christ. Remember God’s chosen, blessed and elected people of old: Jacob, Joseph, King David and Solomon… They were all God’s Chosen and Anointed: but they ALL, every single one of them, REAPED what they had sown to their SINFUL natures. God cannot be mocked.
If ever there was a sobering verse in the Bible it’s this one for every truly born again believer: “God cannot be mocked”… We can’t pull-the-wool over God’s eyes. We can’t trick Him. We can’t hide it from Him. He sees and Knows EVERYTHING we do.
Don’t forget those amazing words of encouragement too: Galatians 6:9 “9 ¬†Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. “
In Britain, we are one of the most watched nations on earth today: CCTV Cameras can see our every move. We walk up the street and little cameras are watching us. We go on a train or tube, or bus, there are little cameras filming us. CCTV is everywhere.
God wants us to KNOW that we are being observed from Heaven too.
Hebrews 12:1-6 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.
5 ¬†And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,¬†6 ¬†because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.”
We’re reminded that we are being watched from Heaven: God disciplines us now, He doesn’t want us to loose our rewards in Heaven, but wants to bless us with so many great and wonderful things, but God cannot be mocked. You will REAP what you have SOWN.
I love the Message Paraphrase of these verses from Galatians:
Galatians 6:7-10 (MSG)
7 ¬†Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others‚ÄĒignoring God!‚ÄĒ 8 ¬†harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
9 ¬†So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. 10 ¬†Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.

Response:

  • Repent and turn again to Jesus.
  • Confess your sins to Him now.
  • Seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit now.
  • God cannot be mocked, you will reap what you have sown.
  • Do it immediately.

Last night we met a young man who played in the worship team in his uncle’s church for years. He knew all about being “Born Again” but was waiting until the time was ‘right’ to get right with Jesus. Imagine that, in the WORSHIP TEAM for years, knowing the Gospel and just waiting until the time is right. He was too young to need Jesus, he thought. He was waiting. My friends, imagine what would have happened if that young man had waited and got knocked over by a bus, where would he be spending his Eternity? We need Jesus NOW. We can’t play at being ‘Church’. God cannot be mocked.

¬†Then,¬†If we sow to the spirit, then from the spirit we shall reap a wonderful harvest in God’s Kingdom. So don’t get weary in doing good my friends, especially to those who are from the household of faith, brothers and sisters in Jesus’ Kingdom Family.
Prayer: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, when I think of the times that I’ve chosen to feed my sinful nature, it fills me with great sadness. When I’ve chosen the flesh over the Spirit, I know that Heaven has been watching, the “Great Cloud of Witnesses” However, I know that when I turn to You in faith and true repentance, I’m forgiven, cleansed and renewed in Spirit. I know that You discipline those who come to You Lord. Help me today in my walk with You, I want to be full of Your Holy Spirit so that I can live the abundant holy life that You have called me for. I want to live in obedience to Your teachings Lord Jesus. Amen!!
¬†It was so good going out last night to share the Gospel with folks on the streets, the LORD was with us then, He’s with us NOW. If you are a believer in Jesus, there’s not a moment in time that He’s not with you. You have been set-apart and sealed with God the Holy Spirit. LIVE like the Prince or Princess that you are. You are an Ambassador for Jesus in this world, let them see Jesus in you.
Don.
P.S. Please pray for the people we chatted with last night. We had brilliant conversations and shared the Gospel with: Ebeneezer, Craig, Ada and and Italian man called Carlos.  Pray also for all those that the other members of the team chatted with and the many who received Gospel tracts but were just too busy or in a rush to get home last night.

Sowing to the Spirit or the Flesh:

Paul puts it like this: For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption (6:8a). Every time we nurse a grudge, spread gossip, linger in bad company whose influence we cannot long resist, every time we watch or read pornographic materials, we are sowing seeds that will reap corruption in our fellowship with God, our families, and our witness.

But he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting (6:8b). What does it mean to sow to the Spirit? It means we allow the Spirit to do things that produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (5:22-23a).

When we sow to the Spirit, we also will reap life everlasting. The word everlasting refers not only to the duration of life but also the quality of life. Therefore, we can experience heaven here and now. How does Jesus express this fact in John 10:10b?
Journey Series – Book Studies – Journey Series – Book Studies.

Will YOU Follow Jesus?

Rejected by the Religious, the Elite and Demons. Jesus called 12 Apostles

Daily Spirit & Word: 670:

Large Crowds Follow Jesus.

Jesus is calling YOU to be ONE of His Followers Today.

Good morning my friends, what an¬†roller-coaster¬†of a week I’ve had: Ups and Downs, but praise the LORD, it’s been going higher and higher, closer to Jesus after each little lull. My walk with Jesus is as if it’s a roller-coaster in reverse, but I know I’ll only reach the TOP when I get to Heaven and be with my Lord Jesus forever.

A funeral on Monday morning, an awesome meeting in the afternoon. A visit to the Dentist Tuesday and a meeting with the Mission’s Committee in the morning, Prep then Discipleship Fellowship in the Evening. Funeral visit in the morning, then Training and Street¬†Evangelism¬†on Wednesday, School Governors Meeting on Thursday and an amazing meeting on Friday with Bill and Judy in Costa. Fitted some family things in and also some shopping with Julie for our Burn’s Night Supper tomorrow. Yesterday we picked up the Grandchildren and it was to the park and hungry hippo cafe for a little drink afterwards. Last night Julie and I watched the film: War Horse (filmed on Dartmoor Devon at a location I know very well: Ditsworthy Warren farm). As well as meeting with Jesus every day and writing and studying God’s Word, my weeks been quite full and exciting. But it’s NOTHING in comparison with what Jesus experienced, that’s what we’re going to see today.

BTW: How’s your week been? Think it through for a few moments, note the highs and lows, those special times and how you’ve been in your walk with Jesus.

Today, Sunday, we’re back with the Gospel of Mark: This week you’ll notice some surprising contrasts. At the end of last week’s reading, Mark 3:1-6 we see the Jewish leaders and Religious elite plotting to kill Jesus, but this week we’ll note that the ordinary folks loved Jesus. So much so, that they thronged him: i.e. thousands of them came from many different towns to get close and possibly even touch Jesus.

Mark 3:7-19 (NIV)
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed.
8  When they heard all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.
9  Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.
10  For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.
11 ¬†Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
12  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him.
14 ¬†He appointed twelve‚ÄĒdesignating them apostles ‚ÄĒthat they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach¬†15 ¬†and to have authority to drive out demons.
16  These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter);
17  James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means Sons of Thunder);
18  Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot
19  and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

What an amazing difference in attitudes. 

  1. The Religious and Social Leaders: Rejected Him. Mark 3:6.
  2. The Crowds of Ordinary folks: thronged Him. Mark 3:7-10.
  3. The Demons: cried out in fear and recognised Him. Mark 3:11-12.
  4. The Disciples: Came to Him when He called them. Mark 3:13-19.

The CROWD:

I watched a Documentary a few weeks ago about Amy Winehouse: Her life was a Roller-Coaster too. So many highs; awesome voice, amazing records and songs, shows and awards. Adored by countless millions all over the world. Yet tragic; she couldn’t cope with life and it¬†spiralled¬†out of control: Drugs and Drink.

However, everywhere she went crowds thronged her; photographers every inch of the way, chronicling her slow decline and ultimate demise. Crowds of adoring fans thronged her every waking moment in life. Even when on holiday on the beach, people wanted to be snapped with their favourite STAR.

Have you ever been part of an huge crowd?

Why was this Crowd following Jesus? Verse 10 gives us the answer “For he had healed many”... The Crowds were coming to Jesus because they were desperate for a healing, for a touch, some to see a miracles performed for others, a few interested in what He had to say. They’d heard about the¬†HEALINGS: News spread quickly and thousands came from all the towns, hamlets and cities around Lake Galilee.

The BOAT:

Jesus, knew he’d likely be thronged so he had a boat prepared.

Music stars and Famous people have great big body-guards to keep the crowds from getting too close and crushing their Celebrity Star. They have a Limousine ready to jump into to get away.

Jesus had a boat made ready to make his escape (The ancient¬†equivalent¬†of a¬†Limousine). We know from other Gospels that it was Peter’s boat Jesus got into, and had to teach the crowds with a water barrier to stop them from pushing in too much and crushing Him to death in their desperation for a touch from the King.

Those crowds would have crushed Jesus if he hadn’t gotten into that boat.

The DEMON POSSESSED:

Read with me Mark 3:11-12 The Demons.
11 ¬†Whenever the evil spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”
12  But he gave them strict orders not to tell who he was.

I’m not going to say too much on the subject of DEMONS here, I’ll cover it in much grater detail in another section of Mark’s Gospel. Mark¬†talks more about the DEMONIC than any other Gospel writer.

However, note this: The Demonic Underworld KNEW who Jesus was. “You are the Son of God”. But Jesus wasn’t interested in them spreading the Great News TOO SOON. So He commanded them to shut-up, keep quiet.

Jesus knew something about PEOPLE: They came in great crowds for healings, think how they’d flock to Him if He declared openly, before He’d had a chance to correct their misunderstanding of the Messiah’s reasons for coming? He would have had a full-scale WAR with the Romans and possibly thousands of people killed in a great war.

The Jews wanted the Messiah to come, they were waiting for deliverance from Roman oppression and conquest. If the Demon’s had their way, Jesus whole Mission could be in jeapordy. He didn’t want a war; He didn’t want people to die, He came to bring God’s Message of Good News and Die for EVERYONE; Jews first, then for everyone in the world who’d believe in Him. That was His mission: Declare Him Messiah too soon and it would be scuppered.

But: The Underworld, the Evil forces of Satan KNEW who Jesus was; “The Divine Son of God”… God on earth.

The DISCIPLES: Mark 3:13-19.

Jesus calls people out of all the people in Israel: He only appoints 12 to be His Apostles.

Think about that: Thousands were following Him. He only chose 12.

Surely He could have chosen many hundreds more, but He only chose 12… Why?

The Crowds were following Jesus for the wrong reasons.¬†They were only following Jesus to get something for themselves: Healings, Miracles, Deliverance…¬†They were not primarily interested in what Jesus had to say or teach them.

Jesus wanted people to KNOW God’s way to live life.

Jesus wanted people to KNOW God’s Mission and Call.

He chose the twelve: Simon (Peter), James, John, Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James, Thaddeus, Simon (Zealot) and Judas.

Only Twelve: Not from the Nobility. Not from the Social Elite in Society. Not from the Religious Leaders; but ordinary folks, fishermen, tax collectors… What an outstanding and surprising choice Jesus made for the twelve Apostles.

They were not particularly good or religious or noteworthy in society, but these were the ones that Jesus called to be His Apostles.

What is an APOSTLE?

Apostle means:¬†An apostle, from Classical Greek ŠľÄŌÄŌĆŌÉŌĄőŅőĽőŅŌā (ap√≥stolos), meaning “one who is sent away”, is a messenger and ambassador. The purpose of such “sending away” is to convey messages, and thus “messenger” is a common alternative translation.

Explained in Mark 3:14-15 ¬†“He appointed twelve‚ÄĒdesignating them apostles ‚ÄĒthat they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach¬†15 ¬†and to have authority to drive out demons.”

Apostles: Sent ones: 

  • Be with HIM: Learn from Jesus. Learn His Teachings / Commands / Instructions…
  • Go for HIM: Go out and tell the Good News of the Gospel: Heal and Deliver.
  • This Mission: The Apostolic Mission began after Jesus resurrection from the dead;

Mark 16:15-20 (NIV) The Great Commission.
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.

The Apostles: Called by Jesus by Name: Taught by Jesus and sent out by Jesus. Given His Authority and sent out on a Mission.

My friends, why are you following Jesus?

  • Are you part of the Crowd?
  • Are you like the Religious Leaders: Rejecting Jesus?
  • Are you like the Deomons, who knew who Jesus was, but enemies of Jesus?
  • Are you being called to be a Disciple: A follower of Jesus?

If you are being called, then He’s also given you a Mission too.

He’s got something He wants you to do for Him in this world today.

The REAL Follower of Jesus: (in contrast to the CROWD).

Won’t be in it for what He / She can get out of Jesus.

If all you want Jesus to do for you is save you from Hell, Judgement and to give you eternal life: You are NOT a true follower of Jesus today. You might be on the way to becoming one, but you are still just part of that CROWD who only wanted Jesus for what He could do for them.

You are a follower of Jesus, when there’s been a dynamic transformation in your attitude towards HIM:

“What can I do for you Jesus?” “I want to serve you Lord Jesus with my life”…

When you get to that point, then you’ll KNOW that you ARE a follower of Jesus Christ today.

The Disciples: The Apostles all died horrific deaths, John died a very old man in exile on the Isle of Patmos in Greece.

St Paul Said, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”… He was beaten, stoned, and finally killed for Jesus and the Gospel.

We “Die to the world and live for Jesus”

Jesus said, “Unless you take up your cross and follow me”

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey my commands”…

How and Why are you following Jesus today?

My friends, He’s calling you, He’s calling you by name, He wants you to be His Disciple, He’s got a mission for you to complete.

Will you come to Him? Will you come and give your life to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus today? Will you follow Him, learn from Him and then begin / continue serve Him with your life?

Respond: Recognise that you too are just like the Disciples He first called: Unworthy, yet called to repent and trust in Him.

Turn: Turn in Repentance: turn away from living your life for yourself. Your sin, your attitudes that are wrong. He died so that you can be forgiven and given a new start in life.

Receive: Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD: Your Saviour.

Be filled: With God’s Holy Spirit. Spiritual equipping for His service: Gifts of Holy Spirit

Be ready to serve Jesus with your life: Live the full life and go on the mission He’s given you.

Conclusion:

The Religious Elite Plotted, The Political Elite colluded, The Crowds wanted, The Demonic shouted, The Apostles were called by name and followed and were transformed, then sent on a Mission for Jesus: Who are you and why are you following Jesus today? Are you following Jesus?

I would say, “Don’t just follow Jesus to be one of the crowd, to see what He can do for you, or to observe a miracle or just to get your miracle or life sorted out for you, don’t just follow Jesus because He can give you forgiveness or a new life and eternal life and peace with God, but go deeper, be the Disciple He’s calling you to be. Only then will you begin to KNOW the fullness of life that Jesus promises when He called you.”

Up to now, you may have had a touch of His Holy Spirit, you might have been healed or seen healings, you might have received wonderful teaching, but NOW Jesus wants you to experience fullness of His life on Mission with Him. You just tell Jesus, “I’m ready to be one of Your Disciples Jesus, I want to go on Mission in this world for You” Be assured, He’ll take you and He’ll equip you for whatever He’s got planned.

Who know what Jesus has planned for you? Only Jesus knows His plans for each and every individual, but just say, like so many countless thousands have done before you, and been used to transform the world: Cadbury, John Newton, John Wesley, John Calvin, Charles finney, D. L. Mooday, Billy Graham, Charles Spurgeon, Nicky Gumbel, J John, John Wimber, Fanny Crosby, Gladdys Ayelward (missions to China), Aimee McPherson (evangelist), J I Packer, John Stott, Rhinhard Bonnke, Ravi Zacharias, Daniel Cozens, David Watson,

From Our Church: Robert Rowe, Val Rowe, Prince, Chief George, David Bulbeck, David Wilson, Isaac, Elizabeth, Cherrie, Mary, John, Celestine, Sarah, Julie, Kofee, Wole, Stuart, Anthony, Theo, Candice, Sara, Maxine, Heron, ….

All I know is when Jesus Calls:¬†It’s going to be so AWESOME and mind blowing.

Go DEEPER with Jesus today!

[Jesus said,] ‚ÄúIf you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit”. John 15:5

God’s children do His will for His glory.

Jesus is the ONE: Who helps us accomplish everything for His glory.

  • The Religious Leaders and Social Elite: Rejected Him.

  • The Ordinary Folks: Thought they had Him.

  • The Demons: Feared Him.

  • The Disciples: Were called by HIM: Then they were with Him, Commissioned by Him, Sent out on Mission and Accompanied by HIM. What an awesome privilege to be one of those called by Jesus: He’s calling you too.

    • You?

You might be one who’s thinking: I would love to follow Jesus; but I don’t know enough yet. (Come on St Luke’s Alpha Course).

You might be one who’s thinking: I’ve been coming for a while, but now I’d really like to go on Mission for Jesus. (Then come and talk and discover how you can serve Jesus with your gifting).

You might be one who’s NOT willing or ready to respond to Jesus call today. (Keep coming, read God’s Word, ask Him to show you and speak to you through it, learn all you can about Jesus: He’s the ONE who’s calling you and can transform your life).

He’s calling YOU to be ONE of HIS right now!

Amen!

 

Winning In Your Walk With Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 667: Winning In Your Walk With Jesus.

Philippians 2:12-15 (NIV)
12¬†Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed‚ÄĒnot only in my presence, but now much more in my absence‚ÄĒcontinue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
13  for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14  Do everything without complaining or arguing,
15  so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe
Good morning my friends,¬†are there times when you struggle to be good? Times when it’s hard to be the person God has called you to be? We all know times of weakness and failure, however it is possible to win in your battle against; the world, the flesh and the devil: We must realise that it’s “NOT ALL ABOUT YOU” But it’s God who works in you to will and to act.
Will & Act: How According to His good pleasure.
When you avail yourself of God the Holy Spirit, submit to His divine authority in your life, then the way that you think, your desires, your will will be His will, then you will act righteously. Praise the LORD!
What an awesome verse from God’s Word today.
Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose”..
That’s a massive relief: God WORKS IN ME to will and to act…
Rest assured that when God gets you into His family, He intends to keep you and transform you.
Be bless with the fullness today.
Don.

Where will you find Jesus today?

Where will you find Jesus today?

Daily Spirit & Word; 653:

If You Want To Find Jesus This Christmas.

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

Where can we find Jesus today?

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

Jesus was always an OUTSIDER:

He wasn’t born in luxury.

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

He didn’t live in luxury.

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

He didn’t die in luxury.

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

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

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

He didn’t get¬†buried¬†in luxury.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be blessed and be full of JOY in Jesus,

Don.

 

Even ‘good’ people need Jesus

Using God's Law to lead to an awareness of our need for Jesus Christ.

Daily Spirit & Word, 632: Even ‘Good’ People Need Jesus.

Learning To Depend Upon The Holy Spirit.

Good morning my friends, you know something, we can try with all our might to win people for Christ, we can use persuasion, illustration, argument, reason and personal testimony, but without the Holy Spirit all of that is worthless. You see my friends, we need two basic things to win people to Jesus: and they are both the same:

  • First, we need to be praying for the fullness of the Holy Spirit within ourselves.
  • Second, we need to be praying for the Holy Spirit to be at work in the lives of those we want to draw to Jesus.¬†

God’s WORD will do it’s work: Sharing the Good News (Whole Gospel) will bring FAITH to believe in Jesus Christ.

The Holy Spirit will do His work to draw them to put that faith to work and trust in Jesus for Salvation.

Without the Holy Spirit all our work is futile and empty. Jesus said, “Apart from Me, you can do nothing” John 15.

THANKSGIVING VISIT

Last night was a perfect example: A young couple who’d asked for a thanksgiving for their children in church needed to be prepared for the Service (A Thanksgiving is not the same as Baptism). There was an immediate warmth and welcome in the home when I arrived. The children were excited to see me and the mum and dad were very friendly, alert and ready to talk.¬†¬†The wife had attended some school services at church and a thanksgiving service for one of her¬†friend’s¬†children, but other than that she’d never attended church regularly. The husband, though he was baptised as a Roman Catholic, had never gotten into attending church. He had gone to confession as a boy with the Priest and said his prayers occasionally. The couple had four children and had just gotten married a few weeks before last night’s meeting. The children attend the Church of England primary school.

Though they were not ‘religious’, as we chatted it became obvious they were; decent, hard-working, loving and ‘good’ people. They didn’t see the need for going to church or for being religious. I asked if they thought they were good people, of course they did. Then I asked them, “Are you good enough to get into Heaven?” They immediately and enthusiastically replied “Yes!”.

I pulled out one of our wallet tracts; they’re brilliant for this kind of witnessing situation. In the room were mum, dad and the twins. I shared out the tracts and gave one to each of them. There’s a series of good humoured questions. I introduced the tracts like this; “I’ve got a little wallet here, it’s not real, but it looks real. I want you to imagine you’ve just found a fat wallet full of real money and credit cards, let’s see how you would each answer the personality analysis questions”. The giggled when they opened up the wallet and were impressed with it, because it looked real.

BTW: Before going into the house, I had prayed on the way in the car. I asked the Lord to cleanse me, fill me with the Holy Spirit and guide our conversations. I asked the Lord to be working in the lives of these people that I’d never met and by His Holy Spirit to be drawing them to faith and trust in Jesus Christ. As I knocked on the door I asked the Lord to bless the house.

Going through the questions, we listened as they each explained their answers. It’s amazing how God works on people’s conscience. How the right use of God’s Law revealed in His Commandments enables people to see that they’ve offended God. Often in small ways, without even realising it.

Here are the questions on the Wallet Tract:

PERSONALITY ANALYSIS

1. If this was a real wallet, packed with real money, would you: A. Keep it? B. Take it to the police? C. Give some of the money to the poor? ……………………………………….

2. You have been underpaid for years. There’s a BIG mistake in your paycheck to your advantage, would you: A. Tell the boss? B. Keep quiet? C. Give some to a church? ………………………………………….

3. If telling a white lie would save a friend’s job, would you: A. Tell the truth? B. Act dumb? C. Lie? ……………..

4. Do you consider yourself to be a “good” person? A. Yes. B. No. ………………….

5. Have you ever told a lie for any reason (including “fibs” and “white” lies–be honest)? A. Yes. B. No. ………………………

6. Have you ever stolen something–irrespective of its value (listen to your conscience)? A. Yes. B. No. ………………………

7. Would you consider a person who admits that they are a liar and a thief, to be a “good” person? …………………………

8. Who do you think will enter Heaven? A. Those who say they are good when they are not? B. Liars and thieves? C. Those whom God has forgiven and cleansed of sin? …………………………….

9. Did you realise that the Bible warns that thieves, liars, fornicators (those who have had sex out of marriage), idolaters (those who create a god to suit themselves), adulterers, and the covetous (the greedy), will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven?

……………………………………………………………..

10. Did you also realise that the Bible says “whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart”? On Judgment Day God will bring to light “every secret thing, whether good or evil.” When you stand before God on Judgment Day, will you be innocent or guilty? The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. God provided only one way for you to escape His just and holy wrath. Because He is “rich in mercy,” God sent His Son to earth in the person of Jesus Christ — fully God and fully Man. Jesus suffered and died on the cross, taking upon Himself the punishment you deserve for your sins against God. Then He rose from the dead and defeated sin and death. We broke God’s Law, but Jesus paid our fine. That means He can legally dismiss our case. He can commute our death sentence. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Please, repent (turn from your sin) today and place your trust in Jesus alone for your salvation. God will grant you everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it. …………………………………

Once you’ve trusted in Jesus for forgiveness and New Life: Start sharing your Lord with others.

I’ll not go into all the detail of our conversations and their answers. However, the couple and the children answered the questions honestly; and this led to a wonderful presentation of the Good News of Jesus. Afterwards the couple and the children were so amazed, the man of the home said, “When you explained that Jesus died upon the cross for my sin, it was as if a light had been switched on in a dark room.” I asked them all if the Cross made sense to them, they said, they’d never seen it that way before. The woman explained that she was always puzzled by the cross of Jesus and questioned why He had to die, but now it makes complete sense to her. “He took my place upon the Cross, so that I could be forgiven”.

I finished up by encouraging them to turn to Jesus, confess their sins and trust Him as Lord of their life. Giving the kids a Ten Commandment Coin: the parents a little Gospel of John and a tract that explains all about the Christian faith. I asked if they would read it? They assured me they would. I said BIBLE means; Basic, Instructions, Before, Leaving, Earth. So read your BIBLE every day, it’s your Spiritual food, Spiritual Breakfast for your soul.

Witnessing doesn’t get much better than that. Praise the LORD! He opened up the door of their hearts and set them free from Satan’s grip.

Psalm 19:7-14
7  The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8  The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
9  The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring for ever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure and altogether righteous.
10  They are more precious than gold, than much pure gold; they are sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.
11  By them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.
12  Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults.
13  Keep your servant also from wilful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression.
14  May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

I’m sure they’ve got a lot more to discover about Jesus, church, the Bible, the Holy Spirit and walking in faith, but what an amazing beginning.

Please pray for this wonderful family, that they will turn in faith to trust in Jesus Christ and receive Him as Lord.

My friends, never give up on sharing the Good News of Jesus in such a way that you help those who’ve been kept in the dark by Satan from seeing the light of the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ, and with God’s help in the power of the Holy Spirit, enable them to gain a knowledge of their need for forgiveness and for the ONLY Saviour, Jesus Christ.¬†God’s remedy and cure for the treatment of mankind’s sins.¬†Amen!

Keep going for Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Why I use God’s Law (The Ten Commandments) before I share the Good News.

  • The Law of the Lord is perfect converting the soul.
  • The Law is a Schoolmaster to lead us to Christ.
  • By the Law is the Knowledge of Sin.
  • The Law cannot save us, it merely leads us to know that we need a Saviour.
  • The Gospel is God’s remedy for SIN.¬†
  • Jesus is the Saviour who died and rose again to SAVE Sinners.¬†
  • Jesus came into this world to SAVE sinners.

The Commandments just open a person up to an awareness of their need of a Saviour, Jesus is that Saviour who died and rose again from the dead. When a sinner repents and trusts in Him as Lord, they will be cleansed from all sin, forgiven and given New Life (New Birth, Born Again) and their place in Heaven is secure.

He left this world to return to Heaven so that He could send the Holy Spirit to empower His followers to share the Gospel all over the world: Get full of God’s Holy Spirit, share the Good News, make the most of every opportunity to bring one more to Jesus.

 

Remember Jesus Compassion

greater love has no one than this, to lay down his life for his friends

Daily Spirit & Word, 629:

REMEMBER JESUS COMPASSION.

Jesus Has The Power & Authority To; HEAL, TEACH, PREACH, DELIVER & FORGIVE: Because He Is God!

It’s Remembrance Sunday:¬†

Significant: 70 years end of Second World War: 100 Years since the First World War. 2015 Years since the first Universal War: Jesus won that battle: He rose again from the dead.

Today we remember all who have given their lives in service of this country in times of conflict.

It’s always a sad day too, because we must never forget the futility of war.

  • The ones who loose their lives tend to be:
  • The young men with so much potential for life.
  • The young innocent children: who loose parents.
  • The innocent civilians: who get caught up in war.

We, who are Christians must also REMEMBER the ONE who GAVE HIS LIFE.

Not just for a country or for a continent or a group of allied countries, but for the whole world.

Listen to what God is saying to us afresh today:

John 3:13-17 “No-one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven‚ÄĒthe Son of Man.
14  Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,
15  that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.
16 ¬†“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

SAVE THE WORLD: Through His Son.

We know the feeling of sending a Son off to battle. Our own Son Joe served in Afghanistan, where so many Royal Marines lost their lives. It’s NOT easy to send your son to a place that he may need to give his life. Hard though that is, many countless thousands have done it: Thousands of sons have died. Many more wounded.

The sending of the Son of God, from Heaven to Earth: God had it in mind, not for a few years, but right from the beginning of time. God knew that He’d one day have to pay the ultimate sacrifice: death to save the human race.

TODAY: we’re back into Mark’s Gospel:

Mark 1:29-45 ¬† ¬† 1) Jesus Heals Simon’s Mother-in-Law.
29  As soon as they left the synagogue, they went with James and John to the home of Simon and Andrew.
30 ¬†Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told Jesus about her.
31  So he went to her, took her hand and helped her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
32  That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed.
33  The whole town gathered at the door,
34  and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

Notice: Peter had a Mother-in-law: He was married, when he left everything to follow Jesus.
Many people when they are called to go to war are married and have to leave love-hearts behind.
Many people when they are called to go with Jesus are married too.

Notice: Jesus Compassion: “He took her by the hand and helped her up.”
It reminds me of Psalm 40: When Jesus reaches down from heaven, takes us out of the mud and mire, and gives us a firm place to stand. He grabs us by His Divine Outstretched Hands: Outstretched upon the Cross.

Notice: The Whole Town Were gathering at the Door to see Jesus. He responds again: with compassion healing many different diseases. Driving out Demons. (Jesus had Authority when He came to the Earth)

MARK 1:35-39:   2) Prayer in Solitary Place:

35  Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

36  Simon and his companions went to look for him,
37 ¬†and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 ¬†Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else‚ÄĒto the nearby villages‚ÄĒso that I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
39  So he travelled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

 

NOTICE: Jesus found lonely places to pray: Places where He could be alone with His Father. My friends, every truly Born Again believer will want to spend time alone with their Heavenly Father. It’s where the POWER for your Mission comes from.

NOTICE: Verse 38: Jesus didn’t only come to heal. He didn’t want to ONLY be known as a HEALER. He had a mission from God: To Teach and Preach and Heal. (But Healing was only a way of letting people know who He was: God on Earth).

MARK 1:40-45:   3) Jesus Compassion For Untouchables:

40¬†¬†A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”
41 ¬†Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”
42  Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured.
43  Jesus sent him away at once with a strong warning:
44 ¬†“See that you don’t tell this to anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.”
45  Instead he went out and began to talk freely, spreading the news. As a result, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly but stayed outside in lonely places. Yet the people still came to him from everywhere.
NOTICE: Jesus Compassion: Jesus reached out and touched the man and said, “I am willing, be clean”
He touched a man with Leprosy. To DELIVER him from separation from society: to acceptance by everyone.

Jesus does the SAME thing for you and me: He’ll deliver you from the DISEASE of SIN: Which keeps you out of Heaven (Even one sin: no liar, no thief, no blasphemer can enter into God’s Kingdom). Jesus came to set you free from sin, to make you acceptable to God. “I AM Willing, be CLEAN”…

Conclusion:

Remember: “Great love has no one than this, to lay his life down for his friends” John 15:13.

Jesus Compassion is still the SAME TODAY.

He has compassion:

To lift us up by His Divine Hand: by His DEATH: We can be SAVED. Because of His LOVE.

To let us know His Healing, Deliverance and Teaching. (His Mission and Battle are NOT over: He Commissioned many more faithful Soldiers to enter the battle for souls; many have given their lives in the cause of Christ, to win souls for Heaven.

To come to us, who are untouchable to God, because of our SIN: Just like the leper: We are unclean, we need God’s Touch before we can be made clean and permitted to enter into Heaven. Jesus Compassion is REVEALED TODAY.

My friends, On this REMEMBRANCE DAY: Let us always REMEMBER and NEVER FORGET: Jesus Compassion.

Let us have the SAME COMPASSION: FOR EVERYONE.

We’re just heard HOW Jesus was God and how that was proved by what He did¬†whilst¬†upon the earth. Jesus and God the Father are ONE.

 

REMEMBER:

Jesus came into this world, sent by the Father, willing and obedient, even unto death upon the Cross, in order that He would save people from their sins, and deliver them from death and judgement. What a wonderful thing to ponder, to meditate and to dwell upon this Remembrance Sunday.

REMEMBER:

Jesus came into this world to SAVE YOU Too.

Just as He said to the man with Leprosy “I am willing, be clean” He has the same compassion on you too.

So Jesus, when we come to trust in Him and receive Him as Lord is saying the same thing to you individually

“He’ll lift us up and help us to our feet, He’ll teach us, He’ll clean us up for Heaven, He’ll give us the gift of Eternal life, He didn’t come to condemn us, but to give His life to SAVE US” Isn’t that too, a wonderful thing to ponder, to meditate and to dwell upon this Remembrance Sunday?

REMEMBER: NEXT WEEK:

Jesus has the POWER and AUTHORITY to FORGIVE SINS:

He has that power and authority because He is God.

Amen!

 

Power Rangers & Redemption

Biblical meaning of redemption,

Daily Spirit & Word: 618: Power Rangers Redemption.

I had to look after my poorly granddaughter during the week and after dropping her sister Leila to school, Aminata turned on the TV at home and changed the channel to the Power Rangers: It was coming to the end of the show, and you’ll never guess the first sentence we heard: “You are not REDEEMED, because redemption is from within and you are not showing any signs of a change of character”¬†Then they all got together and blasted the evil alien creature with a super-mega-blaster.

Talk about out of the mouths of babes or in this case; out of the mouth a kids cartoon on TV. Redemption is demonstrated by a changed character within.

“Redemption is demonstrated by a change of character within.”

 

The Word ‘Redemption’ Is Awesome, because it’s pregnant with meaning and is about to be delivered.

REDEMPTION:

  • What does redemption mean?
  • Where do we see it in the Bible?
  • What are people being redeemed from?¬†
  • What does it mean for us?
  • How do we know if we’ve been redeemed?

1) What does REDEMPTION mean?

Dictionary: Redemption: noun

  1. The action of saving or being saved from; sin, error, or evil.

“God’s plans for the redemption of his world”

synonyms: saving, saving/freeing from sin, vindication, absolution “God’s redemption of his people”

  1. The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.

“the peasants found the terms of redemption unattractive”

synonyms: retrieval, recovery, reclamation, repossession, recoupment, return, rescue;

Biblically: Redemption Means: Jesus Christ came into this world to set mankind free from the slavery of sin, satan and self. He paid the price for mankind’s redemption. How much did redemption cost? It cost Jesus His life to set us free / redeem us from slavery. Why did it need to cost so much? Bible’s Answer: The wages (price) of sin is DEATH… Something had to die to set us free.¬†Ezekiel 18:4 “For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son‚ÄĒboth alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.”¬†Ezekiel 18:20 “The person who sins is the one who will die…” Sin brings DEATH: So Jesus Christ came into this world to pay for the price of our sins. When we respond to God’s call to REPENT, when we Turn in REPENTANCE away from sin (again look at Ezekiel 18 for what true repentance looks like) AND put our trust in the death of Jesus Christ upon the Cross, then we will be set free; redeemed by the Lord. Without that repentance we cannot be saved. Unless you repent, you too will perish (Luke 13:3,5).

2) REDEMPTION IN THE BIBLE:

Answering the question; “Where do we see ‘redemption’ in the Bible?”

On the subject of redemption there are hundreds of related verses in the whole Bible so we’ll concentrate only on the New Testament’s treatment of the subject. Remember All Scripture (The whole Bible) is God breathed (God’s Word).

Verses from the New Testament: With or Related to REDEMPTION.
Mark 10:45
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:28

just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Matthew 26:26-28

While they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and after a blessing, He broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Mark 14:22-25

While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.”

Luke 22:20-22

And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.

1 Corinthians 1:30

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption,

1 Timothy 2:6

who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.

Titus 2:14

who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.

Galatians 3:13

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”–

Acts 20:28

“Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Romans 3:25

whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

1 Corinthians 6:20

For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 7:23

You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.

1 Corinthians 11:23-25

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread;

1 Peter 1:18-19

knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,

Hebrews 9:12

and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Revelation 1:5-6

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood–

Revelation 5:9

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

Colossians 1:13-14

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

Galatians 3:8-10

The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.”

Romans 3:23-25

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Galatians 4:5

so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

Galatians 3:14

in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Hebrews 9:15

For this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that, since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Galatians 4:4-7

But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

1 Corinthians 7:22-24

For he who was called in the Lord while a slave, is the Lord’s freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave.

Colossians 1:13

For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

Hebrews 9:14

how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Revelation 5:9-10

And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

Romans 8:19-23

For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.

Luke 21:28

“But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Acts 3:21

whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Ephesians 1:14

who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Ephesians 4:30

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

POWER RANGERS & Redemption:

You are probably asking,¬†“What’s all that got to do with The Power Rangers and Redemption?”

The cartoon series is about how a group of kids unite to fight against evil forces from space who’re attacking the earth. They are like a secret force. Nobody else on earth is aware that we’re under attack from these¬†malevolent¬†forces of evil, only the kids who’ve been given the knowledge and power to fight them.

We too have been given power and authority to take our stand against all the forces of¬†wickedness¬†and evil in the¬†Heavenly¬†realms by Jesus (Ephesians 5:1517. & Ephesians 6:10-20). We’ve been given the command to go and set all the people on earth free from the control and influence of these dark forces. The people of the earth have been blinded by the evil forces, they are unaware of their spiritual condition (2 Corinthians 4:3-5). We¬†demonstrate¬†that we’ve been redeemed, set free from those forces by our own changed character and the power of Heaven within us and a desire to help those who’re still in bondage.

My friends you’ve been REDEEMED. You are God’s POWER Rangers. You’ve been set free, purchased, redeemed in order that you might save the people of the earth.

Sounds a bit¬†fanciful, but it’s TRUE!

Don.

 

The LORD Grows His Church

Church Growth by Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 586:

The LORD Grows His Church

By; Calling, Guiding and Touching Hearts.

Acts 16 is amazing, it’s fast and furious, moving from one place to the next.

Paul’s Missionary Journey: After The Jerusalem Meeting. Travelling With Timothy and Silas.

Bible Readings: Acts 16:1-15.

1) Timothy Joins Paul and Silas. (Calling)

The Church Grew Daily In Numbers.

Acts 16:1-5 He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.

2  The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
3  Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
4  As they travelled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey.

5  So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

NOTE: See Paul’s Letters to Timothy. (1 Timothy and 2 Timothy).

Church Grew Daily In Numbers:

When we go out in the Power of God’s Holy Spirit, to share Jesus, to live the Christian life and witness for Jesus, the Church will grow.

Notice: Paul, Silas and Timothy: Travelled from town-to-town delivering decisions: (That’s a reference back to Acts 15 Jerusalem Council: Note what the Council didn’t say: meet every day for Communion, Pray every week, Stand this way or sit that way: There were NO RELIGIOUS RITUALS: NONE!

What did they tell them to do: The Jerusalem Letter: (We actually have it in our Bibles).

Acts 15:23-29 With them they sent the following letter: The apostles and elders, your brothers, To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings.

24  We have heard that some went out from us without our authorisation and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. (Become Jewish, get circumcised, live by the Jewish traditions).
25 ¬†So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul‚ÄĒ
26  men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
27  Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing.
28  It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements:

29  You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things. Farewell.

NOTHING Else, nothing about¬†rituals¬†or religious rites. They knew that when a person becomes a follower of Jesus, they’ll be filled with the Holy Spirit, will worship and gather together with the saints regularly and serve the risen Lord as He guides them.

As they delivered the message, they encouraged the brothers and sisters and the Church Grew Daily In Numbers. What was it that made the Church Grow? Encouragement & Strengthened Faith.

Gathering Together: Praying, Praising and Listening to God’s Word: Encourages and Strengthens our Faith.

It grows the church. (People spoke well of Timothy, therefore he was selected by Paul to come and what a journey Timothy had). Imagine: Being invited by Paul (the great Apostle) to come with him to share the Gospel from town to town. What a wonderful privilege that would have been. You can go too. (Every Wednesday We Go OUT to share Jesus on the Streets).

The Lord Grows His Church by Calling: Just as Timothy was called to join Paul and Silas, Is the Lord calling you to serve Him today?

2) The Man of Macedonia. (Guiding).

The Lord Grows His Church by Guiding by the Holy Spirit.

Acts 16:6-10 “Paul and his companions travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia.

7  When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.
8  So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas.
9 ¬†During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

10 ¬†After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.”

On Friday: I had a meeting with Ministers from other Churches in West Norwood.

It was amazing (Read Yesterday’s Daily Spirit & Word).

But God HIMSELF: Encourages us, when we meet: In Jesus Name: For fellowship, prayer and praise.

He’ll guide us into what it is that He wants us to do.

AND by His Holy Spirit: What He doesn’t want us to do.

Are we listening out for what God wants?

Take a few minutes: to sit and think and pray: Ask God: “Father, what is it that You want me to be doing in my life for you?”

The LORD Grows His Church by Guiding Us by His Holy Spirit: Are we listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit today?

3) Lydia’s Conversion At Philippi (Touching Hearts).

(Note: Read Philippians).

The Lord Grows His Church by Touching Hearts.

Acts 16:11-15 “From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.

12  From there we travelled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.
13  On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.
14 ¬†One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

15 ¬†When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.”

When We Come Together: Gathering for Prayer.

Those ladies gathered regularly at the river to pray. The Place of Prayer.

When Jews didn’t have a Synagogue, the met in open places (normally by a river) to pray.

I’m certain they didn’t expect to meet with God in such a way that day, but God’s ways are amazing.

When we come together, to meet with each other, to pray, to praise Jesus and to worship together. We’re going to be: Strengthened, Encouraged, Lifted. The Holy Spirit will draw us to put MORE faith, trust and commitment in Jesus.

Lydia: The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message: The Gospel.

Lydia:¬†Practised¬†Hospitality: Immediately she came to know Jesus. (That’s an indication that Jesus had touched her heart).

She was a wealthy business woman. Dealer in Purple: Purple Thyatira: Purple Cloth: Made from the shells of fish. A purple (indigo) dye that was very expensive. Purple was a very difficult colour to reproduce, it’s rarity made it expensive, but they’d discovered a way to get it. In some places only the very rich could afford the Purple Cloth.

My friends, when we come together, listen to God’s Word (The Teaching) we’re also going to have our hearts touched by the Lord as He did Lydia. “The Lord Opened Her Heart”… He can open up your heart too.

We all get hard-hearted, but just by coming and being in the hearing of God’s Word can and will open up our hearts to the Lord. He’ll do it.

The Lord Grows His Church by; Touching Hearts: Has the Lord been touching your heart today?

Conclusion:

Don’t Neglect The Gathering Together To Praise the LORD.

Hebrews 10:19-25 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20  by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21  and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22  let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 

23  Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.

25 ¬†Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another‚ÄĒand all the more as you see the Day approaching.

When we gather: (Calling) God will send us out into the world: With HIS message. (Timothy: Acts 16:1-5)

People will be encouraged, faith will be strengthened and the Church will grow.

 

When we gather:¬†(Guiding) The Holy Spirit will guide us. (Macedonia: Acts 16:6-10) (Do this, go there, do that or don’t go, don’t do).

We’ll be encouraged and strengthened in our faith: We will grow as Christians, when we grow, the church grows.

 

When we gather: (Touching Hearts) People will hear the message.(Lydia Acts 16:11-15) God will touch hearts. People will be transformed. And the Church will grow.

The Lord Grows His Church by: Calling, Guiding by the Holy Spirit and by Touching Hearts.

I’m Praying: That He’s calling you, guiding you and touching your heart today.

Have an Awesome Week: Don’t neglect the gathering together of the saints, because you’ll be encouraged, you’ll grow in faith and the Church will grow, because The LORD builds His Church.

Don.

NOTES:

Objection: Some people say to us regularly as we go out onto the streets with the Gospel.

“I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to go to church to be a good Christian”

I almost always respond with “Yes you do!”

Why? Because IF you are a Christian, then you’ll want to be obedient to God. He commands that we “Don’t neglect the gathering together”, why? Because when we do, our faith can be¬†shipwrecked.

If you are a real Christian, then you’ll have your “want to” changed, you’ll want to gather together, to; praise, worship, pray, study, listen, encourage, etc… You KNOW that it’s good for you. You KNOW it’s what the LORD wants. You KNOW that you will grow and the Church will grow as you gather with brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Don’t NEGLECT the Gathering Together… The LORD Builds His Church by; Calling, Guiding and Touching Hearts.