Seeking The Presence of God

He is with you forever once you come to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 812: Seeking The Presence Of God.

Good morning my friends, what an awesome Sunday we just had. The church was full of people, because we had three Thanksgivings for babies. It was so good because as we praised the LORD, sang songs, listened to His Word and prayed, we sensed the presence of the LORD.

Acts 23:11 (NIV) “The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.””

There’s absolutely nothing more encouraging for any Christian than to KNOW the presence of the LORD. When you know that He is with you, then you can endure anything in this life.

It was true of some of the Ancients in the Bible: St Paul and Joseph, both in PRISON sensed, knew and experienced the presence of the LORD.

  • Paul in Prison in Jerusalem and Philippi Acts 23:11, Acts 16:16-40.
  • Joseph in Prison Genesis 39… That LORD was with him.

Genesis 39:20-21 (NIV)
20  Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. But while Joseph was there in the prison, 21  the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warder.

Of course we can’t forget many others; Jacob, Moses, Abraham, Elijah and King David who begged the LORD not to take the presence of the Holy Spirit away from him.

My friends, when you are going through stuff in this life, troubles, hardships, tests and trials, attacks from people and persecution for you faith in the LORD Jesus Christ, then know this truth, the abiding presence of the LORD will encourage you, strengthen you and sustain you through it all.

It’s good when friends stick close in troubled times, but it seems to me that friends will always let you down when you need them most. It was true of Jesus and King David, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, Paul’s companions abandoned him when he was thrown into prison in Rome, and it will sometimes be true for you as well. So many Christians have been let down by those they expected would be there for them in sickness or hardships. However, the LORD would never leave you, that’s His promise once you’ve come to Jesus and put your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin. There is NOTHING we need more, and nothing more we need, than the abiding presence of the LORD.

There is NOTHING we need more, that to know and experience the presence of the LORD.

  • He will never leave you.
  • He will never forsake you.
  • He is with you forever.

If there’s any verse that a Christian should take to heart and memorise it’s this one:

James 4:7-10 (NKJV)
7  Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
8  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

God’s saying to you today, “…Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…”

YBH: Yes, but HOW? 

It’s easy to say, “Draw near to God”, but how do we actually do it?

Try this my friends and you’ll soon discover that God will reveal Himself to you in awesome ways.

  • Praise: Sing a few songs of praise. Look what happened when Paul and Silas did that in Prison (Acts 16).
  • Prayer: Honour God first by Praying The Lord’s Prayer, then Confess any known sins.
  • Repent: Repent afresh and seek His cleansing and forgiveness.
  • Trust: Trust in Jesus Christ again for your Salvation… Keep TRUSTING…
  • Seek: Seek the fullness and presence of God the Holy Spirit right now.
  • Praise: Worship the Lord in Spirit and Truth. Sing and make music in your heart to the LORD.
  • Seek to Serve: Be obedient to what the LORD is showing you to do today. God’s always got something He wants you to be doing for Him, every day. Just do it… You’ll be amazed when you listen to that prompting of the Holy Spirit.

 

There is NOTHING you need more, that to know and experience the abiding presence of the LORD.

Isaiah 41:10 (NKJV)
10  Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

If ever I’m feeling troubled and need the LORD’S presence and fullness, that is what I do.

Have an awesome week with Jesus my friends,

Don.

 

Bening Grateful When You Are Not Feeling Worthy

Jesus is one who can sympathise with your weaknesses

Daily Spirit & Word: 790: When You Are Grateful Because Of God’s Calling.

Good morning my friends, it’s been an awesome week of ministry, service and witness for the Lord Jesus.

There have been high moments, like getting a call-back from someone we met while out witnessing on the streets, then low moments when you hear some heart-breaking news the very next day. It all makes me think back to the time when I knew the Lord was calling me into the ministry and how unworthy I felt. I was so convinced of my own unworthiness, that I wanted just one minister who was already ordained to tell me I was just dreaming, that I’d never be able to live up to that calling. However, in my quest to find that all I got was, “I think He may be calling you Donald”. I asked a Church of England Priest with whom I’d had regular debates (some bordering on arguments), The Venerable Reg said, “I was wondering when you’d come to me and ask me that question”. He was convinced it was God. I then went to the Church of Scotland Chaplain, I was sure he’d say yes, but I wanted to hear it from his mouth. “He was so overjoyed, Malcolm lifted me off my feet, gave me a great bear-hug and said, “Oh yes! I know He’s calling you Don”. When I telephoned my own minister back home to ask, he almost burst into tears on the other end of the phone.

Yet that feeling of not being worthy, of feeling insecure, of not knowing enough, never left me, but then it hit me, if I ever felt able then I’d not be depending on the Lord for His strength but on my own; knowledge, experience and ability.

You see my friends, I didn’t realise it at the time, but when I felt how unworthy and ill equipped I was, I was in good company. How refreshing it is now to know that thousands of ministers, in fact most genuine Christians, who’ve felt God’s call to come and serve Him, feel the same thing.

  • Moses felt unworthy and ill equipped.
  • Gideon was so sure he wasn’t the man, he put out a fleece.

However, it not until you get to the great apostle Paul in the New Testament that you get a full picture of how unworthy anyone has ever felt;

Listen to Paul’s gratitude towards the LORD:

1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NIV)
12  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service.
13  Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.
14  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
15  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
16  But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

So my friends, if ever you feel God’s calling you to do something for Him, but don’t feel up-to the task, you are in great company.

Many of the greatest saints of old, have experienced the same feelings of unworthiness.

The TRUTH: We are unworthy, we are all sinners, we were dirty, naked, blind, foolish, blasphemous, ignorant; until the LORD opened our eyes and let us see the amazing mercy and grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How we can be washed clean, made pure, made holy, gifted for service and equipped with the power of Heaven.

It’s Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, who takes us and shapes us for His service.

Just look how Moses, Gideon and Paul turned out; each in their own time shook the world with their devotion to and love for the LORD.

They all maintained their walk with the LORD through intimacy with Him. Spending time in God’s presence.

My friends, when you feel God’s call, get into the presence of Jesus, pray, praise, worship and let His WORD soak into your soul. Because when you do, He’ll transform you more and more into His own likeness. He’ll fill you with His deep love for those in the world who don’t know Him yet. He’ll give you everything you need to be able to serve Him.

Moses, Gideon and Paul all felt unworthy and ill-equipped because they were unworthy. They’d all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, but through His mercy and grace God called and equipped them for His service. He’s calling you too.

Brothers and Sisters For The Work:

It’s also obvious, that Moses, Gideon and Paul had companions for the work the Lord called them to do. They would not have been able to accomplish much without them. Moses had Aaron and Joshua, Gideon had thousands, but the Lord whittled it down to 300. Paul had many who joined him in spreading the Good News of Jesus; Barnabas, Lydia, Timothy, Mark, etc… And I’ve also had great brothers and sisters in the Lord wherever I’ve been since I was called to follow Jesus; most recently; Robert and Valerie, David, David, David, Amanda, Pat, Ben and Judy, Sherrie, Isaac and Caroline, Judith, Pam, Gemma, Hayley, George, Prince, Anthony, Marcela, Betty and Budget, Jonathan, Celestin, Lloyd, John and Josie, Maria and Harold and many, many more. Of course I’ve got to mention my wife Julie and our children and grandchildren, what a family. It’s amazing how the LORD sustains us in our calling and keeps us going in His service with great joy and encouragements along the way.

  • Yes there are hard times, like saying goodbye to Stewart this week, who’s gone to be with the LORD. Getting a call from a distressed person. Visiting a heart-broken person.
  • Yes there are jubilant times, like hearing how someone is getting a breakthrough in their walk with Jesus.
  • And there are the slog times, like keeping going at night, when you’ve been up since before dawn, when all you want to do is put your feet up. Sometimes, it’s moments like that you’ll see awesome revelations from the LORD.

It happened to me this week: I was exhausted and ready for my pillow. Walking back home at 10.00pm I bumped into two women we’d witnessed to and prayed for about four months ago. I recognised her by her tattoos. She said, “I’m not pregnant yet, but I’ve got real HOPE in my heart since you prayed”. Even though I was tired, it put a skip into my step on the way home.

When you are feeling weak and unworthy, remember these wonderful verses from God’s Word:

Jesus knows you are not worthy, but He still calls you into His service in His Kingdom. None of us are worthy; Moses wasn’t, Gideon wasn’t worthy, Paul wasn’t worthy, I’m not worthy and neither are you, but He’s calling you into His service in His Kingdom for His Glory.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
16  Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Prayer: Thank you Jesus for calling me out of the darkness into your marvellous light. Thank You for the amazing mercy and grace in times of need.

Thank you Jesus that you are calling everyone who knows You as Lord, Saviour, Master and Friend, into full-time service in Your Kingdom.

O LORD, give us all ears to hear Your calling, eyes to see where you want us to serve You, and hands willing to work in obedience. Amen.

Have a blessed weekend my friends,

For those who gather with us in St Luke’s this Sunday: A gentle reminder that it’s Harvest: Please bring something for the Foodbank (They need supplies to give to those who’re going through a time of crisis in their lives). Put any money offerings for Foodbank in an envelope and write “For the work of the Foodbank”.

Some might like to make an offering to the Church: For the ministry of Jesus Kingdom in West Norwood. You can do that this weekend, just put it in an envelope and write; “For St Luke’s Church: Building for Jesus Kingdom”.

Stay close to Jesus, get equipped for Kingdom business,

Don.

 

How to get your Glory Glow

Daily Spirit & Word, 469: How to get your Glory-Glow.

Come Up To The Mountain Top.

How to get your Glory-Glow.

Good morning my friends, it’s good to be up early today, it’s still dark outside and it’s drizzling, but it’s warm rather than the cold of winter. I love the smell of the fresh rain on the grass. The foxes scampered away today when I approached, they might have young pups again, but I’ve not seen them yet. I prayed the Lord’s prayer in the rain this morning 🙂

Now I’m back in my study and I’ve got one verse on my heart today;

Exodus 34:2 “Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain.”

You’ve heard of Mountain-Top Experiences right? They are the moments in life when we’re overjoyed with something; it might be landing that dream job, getting pregnant, having a baby, getting engaged to your dream girl, your wedding day or the day you left college with a qualification. Each one of us has had at least one moment in life when we felt elated, full of high-spirited delight and it’s a truly awesome feeling.

Moses was invited to get ready early in the morning to climb up the mountain and be with the Lord. You know my friends, we’re invited too; every day we can get up early, get ready and climb up the mountain to be with the Lord. We don’t know how Moses felt, but we can imagine, however, we do know that Moses was not the same when he came back down the mountain, because he shone with the glory of the Lord. Moses got his glory glow.

You’ve received a Mountain Top Invite From The LORD.

How? How do we climb up a mountain when we live in the City or on the flat plain? How can I climb up the mountain when I’ve got five kids to look after? How can I climb up the mountain when I’m getting ready to go to work?

Oh my friends; if we were invited by our favourite artist, actor, singer or sports hero to come and spend some time with them, how eager would we be to be ready? to be there on time? to get as close to our favourite personality as we possibly could? I’d love to meet some of the ‘Stars’, but we must be careful what we wish for.

Once, whilst attending a Christian Conference in London at Westminster Hall, it was glorious and awesome. We’d been singing in the morning for about an hour; praising and worshipping the Lord, and then being fed with God’s word for over two hours. As we walked around the corner to look for a place to have some lunch you’ll never guess who I literally bumped into? It was my favourite comedian from the 1970’s, every time he walked onto the stage on TV I’d be rolling around the floor laughing, I love and laughed at his every move. To me he was just so funny, tears of joy would stream down my face watching him perform. And I longed to meet him to watch him live. Well here he was, I’d bumped into him. He was shorter than I imagined, he stank of booze and was unshaven, he could hardly string a sentence together and I felt so sorry for him. My STAR had faded, but he was still a human being, just a human being. His name? I’ll save him embarrassment for now.

I think the LORD was showing me something that day about the things we treasure and value and take delight in here on this earth. I’d just been praising the Lord and being fed by Him, I’m not joking, it was truly awesome to be in His presence with hundreds of other Christians, then I saw what worldly fame could do to an once great Nationally popular man. In my heart I knew right there and then, “What the LORD gives in praise, worship, adoration and when we give Him our undivided attention to His Word, far exceeds the glittering promises of this world”

It was already a habit of mine to get up early in the morning to be with the Lord, but now after that Conference and meeting my fallen hero, I was convinced that my eternal hero, my joy and delight was waiting for me every single day, and Jesus would enthral, enchant, enrapture me far more than anything the world could ever offer.

So for me, going out into the garden or the woods whilst it’s still dark to pray and walk with the Lord, then come back and praise Him and get into His Word is like Moses encounter on the Mountain Top: Except I can do it every single day, not matter where I am or what I’m tasked with doing that day. If I’ve got a lot on on any particular day, I’ll get up to be with the LORD even earlier. Why? Because once you start meeting with Jesus in the mornings, you’ll never really want the sun to come up. You’ll want those precious mountain-top moments to last for ever, but time ticks, the sun rises and the day approaches and we reluctantly leave the Master’s presence, but full of JOY and ready to face the day with our Glory Glow shining for the world to see.

This Mountain Top Invite is for you today, to come and meet with Jesus, meet with Him every day, to be filled with His presence and to know Him and experience the JOY He desires for your life, He’ll give you the Glory Glow.

Will you come? Will you come and worship the Lord on the Mountain Top?

Do it on the bus, on the train, in the car or as you walk to work.

Come up to the mountain top and experience the fullness of LIFE Jesus wants for you. As you praise Him, your Heart is going to be filled with His glory and you’ll come down from your Mountain Top just like Moses; radiant with the glory of the Lord. He got his glory-glow from being with the LORD and you will too my friends. It may not be obvious to everybody, but you’ll be transformed into the likeness of the Lord.

How’s your glory-glow today?

You may also wish to visit my NEW PAGE: Discover The Spirit Filled Life.

Have an truly AWESOME Tuesday on the Mountain-Top with the LORD.

You may like to sing along with these fantastic worship songs today: 10000 Reasons, This is my desire, Lord I give you my heart, To Be In Your Presence.


How to Get Your Glory Glow?

“Come Up To The Mountain Top and Present yourself to ME” says the LORD.

 

Believer: The LORD Is Your Protector

Daily Spirit & Word, 458: Believer: The LORD Is Your Protector.

It takes courage, unity and determination to defeat the enemies of the LORD.

Exodus 17:15 “Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).”

Israel had been attacked by the Amalekites. It’s an amazing incident, for when Moses tired, his hands were supported by others. We need to remember that Moses by now was a very old man, but he was still God’s chosen man to lead the Nation of Israel from Slavery to Freedom in the promised land.

Joshua was the commander of the army of Israel: He was a faithful warrior for the Lord, but this battle plan had a strategy; Joshua would fight and Moses would stand.

 

Exodus 17:8-16

8  While the people of Israel were still at Rephidim, the warriors of Amalek attacked them.

9  Moses commanded Joshua, “Choose some men to go out and fight the army of Amalek for us. Tomorrow, I will stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in my hand.”

10  So Joshua did what Moses had commanded and fought the army of Amalek. Meanwhile, Moses, Aaron, and Hur climbed to the top of a nearby hill.

11  As long as Moses held up the staff in his hand, the Israelites had the advantage. But whenever he dropped his hand, the Amalekites gained the advantage.

12  Moses’ arms soon became so tired he could no longer hold them up. So Aaron and Hur found a stone for him to sit on. Then they stood on each side of Moses, holding up his hands. So his hands held steady until sunset.

13  As a result, Joshua overwhelmed the army of Amalek in battle.

14  After the victory, the LORD instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.”

15  Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-nissi (which means “the LORD is my banner”).

16  He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”

To Help Defeat The Enemy:

  • Joshua needed Moses
  • Moses needed Aaron and Hur
  • Israel needed the Lord

When they attacked Israel it wasn’t just Israel’s army they were attacking; He said, “They have raised their fist against the LORD’s throne, so now the LORD will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.” Verse 16.

My friends you, those of you who have been chosen by the Lord Jesus Christ, are members of God’s Holy, Heavenly Family forever, so whenever you are attacked from any source, they are attacking the “Throne of the LORD” Therefore, the LORD will be engaged in the battle with you. That’s why King David had such confidence in the LORD, because he knew that with the Lord no enemy need be feared.

Psalm 60:4 “But for those who fear you, you have raised a banner to be unfurled against the bow.”

Psalm 27:1-3 (NIV) [Of David.] “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? 2  When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. 3  Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.”

As believers we’ve also got the same kind of assurance that Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Hur and King David had; God is with you.

Revelation 17:14  “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” My friends, when you trusted in Jesus Christ and turned in repentance and faith to receive His forgiveness, did you realise that you were; “Called and Chosen?” WOWzer! Sometimes we think our walk with Jesus is all down to us, but He’s the one who called you, you simply responded. He’s the one who chose you. Out of all the people on the earth today, you were called and chosen by the Lord to be a member of His family forever, so He’s going to fight for you when you need His divine help.

Here is the Confidence we can have that Jesus is with us in every single battle that we face as Christians.

Romans 8:28-31 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31  What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

“If God is for us, who can be against us”

Oh WOW! “If God is for us (on our side) who can be against us?”

A NOTE of Caution: Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood (  ) but when we are attacked by other human beings the LORD will watch your back.

Be sure that you never attack one of the Lord’s chosen, anointed, justified and sanctified people, because if you do then He’ll become your most fearsome enemy.

For the Believer in the Lord Jesus Christ:

The Lord will help you in every battle, against every enemy.

My friends, I hope you have an AWESOME week, knowing that you’ve been called by Jesus, chosen by Jesus, justified by Jesus and that you are also protected by Jesus and the LORD’S Army. Fight valiantly dear warriors of Jesus.

Don.

 Bible References: Romans 8:31. Psalm 118:6. Psalm 60:4. Psalm 27:1,3. 2 Chronicles 13:12. Psalm 46:7. Revelation 17:14. Psalm 2:1,4. Isaiah 8:10.

Daily Spirit & Word.

If you like or have been helped by today’s devotions in Daily Spirit and Word, then why not share it with your friends on Facebook or Twitter or Google +? Spreading the Word. God bless and keep you today. Don.

 

The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments

Moses Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:1-17 (NIV)
1  And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.
5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,
6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
9 Six days you shall labour and do all your work,
10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.
11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honour your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbour.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.”

See how the Ten Commandments Apply Today: Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Ten Commandments Short List:

God’s Law is revealed in the Ten Commandments.

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.
The Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments

The Law of God: Contained within the first five books of the Old Testament and summarised in the Ten Commandments and Jesus summary of them, was given to show us our need for God’s GRACE and Mercy, because no one could be justified in God’s sight by observing the Law, because no one could keep the Law or live by the standards of the Ten Commandments. The New Testament reveals the functions / purposes God had in giving us His Royal Standard.

Galatians 3:24-26:

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.”

The job of a Schoolmaster is to TEACH: So the law was to educate and teach us that we needed to be saved from God’s wrath some other way, than by trying to observe the Law that was impossible for us to keep. That’s why the Sacrificial system was introduced by the LORD, to provide a way for His chosen people to be cleansed and forgiven through the death of something innocent taking the place of the guilty party.

So Christians are not saved by what they do or how they live, but by God’s GRACE through FAITH in Christ Jesus. Yes Christians will want to live a pure and holy life for God, but that’s because He has filled their hearts with His love through the Holy Spirit that indwells everyone who’s trusted in Christ. It’s our love for our Father that will make us want to live His way and it’s the Power of the Holy Spirit that enables us to live righteously.