New Year 2017 Getting The Father’s Heart

Lost sinners and Jesus commission to go and seek and save the lost

Daily Spirit & Word: 821

Jesus Of Nazareth.

Getting The Father’s Heart For the New Year.

Psalm 33:11 (NIV)  But the plans of the LORD stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Over the Christmas season the TV is quite good, because they show all the old family favourite films. It struck me that the films that seem to stand the test of time are not the ones with fancy graphics or awesome animation, nor is it fast moving scenes, car pile-ups or big explosions, etc, but it is the ones that have really great stories and characters that are convincing.

One such film, I watched again for the umpteenth time was; Jesus of Nazareth. In an early scene Peter was complaining about having to pay taxes to the Romans even after being out fishing all night and having caught nothing, when he got into port he wasn’t convinced that Jesus was the Messiah who could set them free from Roman domination. It showed a reluctant Peter, when asked by Jesus to go out fishing after they’d been fishing all night long, so the other Disciples had to coax him into accepting Jesus into his boat. I’d never noticed before that when Jesus told the story of the prodigal son, he did so in a house full of obvious sinners, Matthew the Tax Collector and Publicans and in the film the story was targeted at a reluctant Peter who was standing outside the door of the house listening. The film portrayed Peter as a belligerent and reluctant Disciple of Jesus, who was being judgemental about Matthew who collected taxes for the Romans.

I’m not convinced that part of the film is authentic, however it did get me thinking about Jesus telling of that story. Who was he targeting? Then I thought to myself, that story applies to every single one of us, so it would also have applied to both Jesus’ Disciples and His opponents, the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

The Prodigal Son: The Lost Son / The Loving Father / The Resentful Older Brother.

Luke 15:17-32 (NIV)
17  “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!
18  I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.
19  I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’
20  So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21  “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22  “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet.
23  Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate.
24  For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25  “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing.
26  So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on.
27  ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28  “The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him.
29  But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.
30  But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31  ” ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.
32  But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ “

The Prodigal Son: Who demanded his inheritance before his father had even passed away. Who wasted his inheritance in wild, sensual and sinful living. Who was far away from home and in a desperate state. Who decided to repent and return home again, begging for mercy and forgiveness. Who among us has not been like that Prodigal Son? We’ve all gone away from God on purpose at some point in our lives, choosing to go with our desires, or our feelings instead of God’s way.

The Father’s Response: To run out and greet his wayward son, embrace him, cloth him, bring him home and throw a big party. Every time I hear that story of the Father’s loving heart it brings home to me just how much God really does LOVE everyone, and is just waiting for us all to come back home again to Him.

The Elder Brother: Who was judgemental, outside, refusing to come in, hurt and offended at the Father’s grace, kindness and mercy towards his wayward brother. Refusing to be consoled. (That’s who Peter was in the film), but who among us has not acted like that elder brother? We’ve probably all thought at one point or another, “He doesn’t deserve God’s grace and mercy after what he’s been up to”. However, when we bring it home, back to ourselves, we don’t deserve God’s forgiveness, love and kindness either, it’s all because of His GRACE that we are saved. The fact is God really does LOVE everybody and wants everyone to come to REPENTANCE.

Which one of these characters do you see yourself as being in that story? The wayward son, the merciful, kind and loving father or the elder brother standing outside refusing to join in the celebrations?

  • I’m sure none of us want to be thought of as the Elder Brother do we? Judgemental, Reluctant to celebrated when a sinner repents.
  • I’m sure we can all see a bit of the wayward son in ourselves. We’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards.
  • I’m sure we’d all like to be just like the Father: Full of grace, mercy, kindness, goodness and love.

But which one are we? Which one are you today?

God is the same, the Bible tells us, yesterday, today and forever.

  • If you’ve wandered away: He’ll welcome you back. Repent and return home to your Heavenly Father.
  • If you’re being judgemental: He’ll come out to you and encourage you to be like the Father. It’s just as much a sin to be like the elder brother as it is to be the wayward son.
  • If you are like the Father today; full of Kindness, goodness, mercy, gentleness, self-control, joy, love, faithfulness, then you’ve got the fruit of the Holy Spirit in abundance. Praise the LORD! Go out and look for both, the wayward sons and daughters of God; He’s longing for you to bring them to their senses and bring them home.

However, if in reading through this little piece, you’ve been pricked in your conscience in some way, then don’t despair of yourself, just get right with your Heavenly Father, do it right now, don’t delay, confess your sins to God and He will forgive you. He will wash you clean and give you a brand new start for the New Year 2017.

I’m praying for all my friends, to be closer to the Lord Jesus in 2017 than they’ve ever been before. Amen!

Here’s hoping you have awesome success in 2017: May you be overflowing with Holy Spirit power to be:

  • More Loving.
  • More Joy Filled.
  • More Peaceful.
  • More Kind.
  • More Holy and Good.
  • More Faithful.
  • More Gentle.
  • More Self-Controlled.

Who among us doesn’t need more of this kind of fruit in our lives in 2017?

I do!
I want it!
I’m praying to Jesus for it.
Praise the LORD!
Don.

NOTES: The story that Jesus told about the Prodigal Son was part of a bigger story in Luke 15:

  • First, a lost sheep (One of a hundred)
  • Second, a lost coin (one of ten) and
  • Lastly, a lost son (one of two)…

Which is most precious to us?

Which is most precious to God?

The people the story is TARGETED at in the Bible are: The Pharisees and the religious teachers of Israel in Jesus time. They would all celebrate a lost sheep being returned to its owner. They would all value a lost coin, even though it was one of ten, but they kept themselves away from lost SINNERS and shunned those, who in their eyes, were completely lost already.

We can all imagine how hard it would be to loose a sheep, even though it’s one in a hundred.

We can all imagine how precious those coins must have been, even though there was another nine to console.

However, imagine having just two sons and loosing one of them, how devastating for any father is that? But when he returns, OH THE JOY… That’s the Father’s Heart.

The Pharisees, much like people in our own time, are MATERIALISTIC: They valued sheep and coins, but thought very little about the value of human life. Especially people who didn’t fit into their moral code of conduct.

The two sons are both Materialistic: The lost son is evidently wayward, but he repents and is restored and celebrated.

However, the materialism in the older son and his resentful attitude only become evident when the LOST son is welcomed back with open arms. He wants a PARTY with his friends. He was thinking about what his brother had wasted (part of his own inheritance)… He refused to coming in and join the celebration.

The Bible makes it clear, the Pharisees and we should have the SAME kind of heart as the Father in the story that Jesus told.

  • Many preachers focus on the Lost Son: to give hope to the parents in the congregation who may have a wayward child, who’s far away from the family and God.
  • Others; focus upon the Loving heart of the Father and His obvious welcome of a truly repentant sinner. That’s what God is like.
  • Others direct our attention to the Resentful Older Brother: How’s our attitude towards those who’ve come back to Jesus Christ after wasting their lives in wild living?

But the thing that jumps out at me afresh today is GETTING the FATHER’S HEART: Jesus wants is all to know what’s going on in HEAVEN: Their is rejoicing and celebration going on in God’s House when just one of us, truly comes to our senses and surrenders our lives to God through His Son Jesus.

Psalm 33:11 (NIV)  But the plans of the LORD stand firm for ever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Let’s get the FATHER’S HEART today: Pray for yourself in 2017, that you’ll be filled with the same kind of compassion that Jesus has for those who are far away from God, lost.

Be obedient to the Father’s Heart: Go out and seek and save the LOST: That’s Why Jesus came: To SAVE SINNERS. He’s commissioned every single Christian to be involved in this, the greatest calling, to join Him in SAVING SINNERS. The Holy Spirit is drawing them to Jesus, all we have to do is PRAY and SHARE the Good News. Because FAITH comes by hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Now, we’d all love our churches to be filled afresh with LOST SINNERS wouldn’t we?

Let’s get busy in 2017 saving as many as we can. Hopefully we’ll see a HARVEST of Souls this coming year. Amen!

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

 

Jesus Kingdom Increase

Kingdom Increase, from Baskets to Hampers.

Daily Spirit & Word: 772: Jesus Kingdom Increase.

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

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

Kingdom Increase: Multiplication.

Kingdom Freedom: No Need to Worry.

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

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

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

When Jesus was in the Boat with His Disciples:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus Helps Us Get Our Focus Right:

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

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

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

The Miracle Feedings: 5000 and 4000…

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

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

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

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

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

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

A small basket could fit into a hamper many times.

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

That’s KINGDOM INCREASE:

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

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

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

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

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

Jesus said in the Parable of the Sower:

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

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

Multiplying: Multiplication: Baskets / Hampers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let’s Get:

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

 

Jesus did TWO MIRACLES feeding Thousands: 5000 and 4000…

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

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

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

Will you be on God’s Kingdom Increase Business?

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

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

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

Be blessed in Jesus,

Don.

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

GREEK WORDS:

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

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

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

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

YEAST: Of the Pharisees and of King Herod:

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

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

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

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

 

The Precious Ring: Lost and Found.

Obedience to God makes us His family members

Daily Spirit & Word: 673:

The Importance of Jesus Family.

My friends John and Kathy Butler wrote on Facebook yesterday: “We arrived home from a walk at Burrator (Burrator Reservoir on Dartmoor in Devon) with the grandchildren this afternoon when Kathy realised she no longer had her mum’s wedding ring. We drove back to the first of several stops where the children were playing and started to search without any hope.

Kathy found it sitting in a very muddy puddle just near the edge glinting at us!!”

Have you ever come close to loosing something very precious to you?

In this message today we’re going to see three groups of people:

  • The Pharisees: Who hated Jesus and plotted his downfall. Accuse Him of being Possessed by Satan.
  • The Family of Jesus: His mother Mary and his brothers. Moved with genuine concern thinking Jesus was mad.
  • The Crowd in the House: Who were sitting around Jesus, lapping up His teachings. 

We’re going to see that how we respond to Jesus is crucially important: Because ONLY those who LOVE Him will be the ones who are SAVED. We’ll know that we LOVE Jesus, if we are being obedient to the Commands of God, they’re no longer commands, but promises for our abundant life.

We’re back with the Gospel of Mark again today:

In previous Chapters Mark has been building a wonderful picture for us about who Jesus is, and why He had come: We’ve seen Him debating with the Pharisees (The Religious Leaders of Jesus time). We’ve noted that He selected 12 out of the many thousands who were following Him, designating them Apostles (Sent ones: to preach, teach, heal and deliver).

Today, we discover that Jesus is in a house, with so many people that it gets impossible for Him to even eat.

Whilst Jesus is busy; healing and teaching, his family arrives, they’ve come to get their precious Son. Also another group of the old adversaries have arrived the Pharisees, they’ve not come to save Jesus, but to condemn Him even more.

Mark 3:20-35 (NIV) 
20  Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat.
21  When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
The Pharisees Arrive:
22  And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
23  So Jesus called them and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan drive out Satan?
24  If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
25  If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
26  And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come.
27  In fact, no-one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house.
28  I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.
29  But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”
30  He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”

The Family Arrives:
31  Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him.
32  A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33  “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34  Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!
35  Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

Beelzebub: Who is Beelzebub?

Beelzebub means Lord of Flies: The god of Ekron. “The Dung God.” Imagine that, they’re accusing Jesus of being filled with the Demons of the Dung god.

The Pharisees are here again 🙂

They’re accusing Jesus of being Demon Possessed.

Jesus knew what they meant (Satan) so he explained it in a Parable to them:

  • Divided Kingdom: We’ve seen it in History: Greece, Rome, (Empires crumble from corruption / division within). A divided KINGDOM cannot stand for very long.
  • Divided House: We’ve all see how families fall out and they don’t stand for long: Kardashians. Earthly families that fall apart. Normally over something small: An inheritance, money, finances, jealousy, anger, arguments, etc… A divided house cannot stand.
  • Divided Person: Satan Opposing Himself: Nah! That’s just dumb. Foolishness of the Pharisees. But we also see this in earthly terms too: a person who’s hell bent on self-destruction: through drink and drugs. Last week I gave the example of Amy Winehouse: Hell bent on self-destruction. She succeeded. Such a sad loss for all who knew her, but ONLY Jesus could have saved Amy Winehouse.

After explaining the parable Jesus turns around their accusation: He’s not filled with a Demon Spirit, but the Holy Spirit and now they are guilty of committing the unpardonable sin: by accusing Jesus of being filled and moved by a Demon Spirit they’re Blaspheming against God the Holy Spirit.

Blasphemy: Blasphemy is a serious sin: “The LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain”

Exodus 20:7 (NIV)  “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.”

Have you ever said; “O God!” or “OMG” or “Jesus Christ”?: When you hurt your toe, couldn’t get parked, stuck in traffic, arguing with someone when you are angry? Even in those situations using God’s Name in any format: It’s still Blasphemy. I don’t believe that if you are filled with the Holy Spirit you’ll ever take God’s name in vain and not know about it, how serious it is. At best, It hurts your relationship with God. At worst it cuts you off from Him if you do it knowingly.

But to Blaspheme against the Holy Spirit is a sin that can never be forgiven. Verse 29.

What does this mean? Blaspheme The Holy Spirit.

It’s to know God and His purposes and yet still be in opposition to Him.

If you’re still feeling guilty for your sin: You are OK.

You love Jesus, but still fail and fall: You are OK.

Your guilty conscience proves there’s room for repentance; and getting right with God again.

However: If you say that you know Jesus: And are Opposed to Him: You are definitely on dangerous ground.

I believe that it’s possible to be forgiven every sin: Apart from this one.

My Friend: A Young Christian: In RN Got home on leave to find his wife had been cheating on him. He Cursed God. Felt that he had committed the unpardonable sin. For over a week he avoided our early morning prayer gatherings. He eventually came back one day, but he was unusually quiet: We were reading Psalm 40 and then we began praying. I was praying in tongues: I looked up and his face was streaming with tears. He burst into tears and let it all out. (Tongues are good sometimes). He confessed to shouting at God. Said some terrible things to Him. He thought God wouldn’t forgive him, he’d been pleading but had no peace. But after coming to prayer and hearing God’s Word: Even though He’d got angry with God. Now he knew that God had forgiven him.

He was hurting: He had believed that once he became a Christian, then everything would be sunshine and roses in his life. Now he finds his wife had cheated on him. He was broken: He was mistakenly convinced that everything in life would be easy now. He cursed God, because he had believed a lie, But he came back to Jesus. Do you want to know what a man on fire is like? From that day on he told everybody about Jesus and many more sailors came to faith. A life forgiven is a life transformed.

The Blasphemy: Against the Holy Spirit: Is KNOWING: Jesus, His Person, His purpose and deciding to oppose Him. It’s going against God’s Holy Spirit.

Being angry with God: Is not the unpardonable sin, but we may still need to repent and ask for His forgiveness.

(Note: The Psalms are full of people who are hurting and shouting out to God about their predicament in life).

Mother’s And Brothers Arrive: Verses 31-35:

They made a mistake: Instead of going in themselves to see Jesus, they send someone else in.

Loosing Something Precious: You’ll go looking for it. Like my friends with the Wedding Ring.

When you are about to loose or have lost someone precious: You’ll move heaven and earth to get them back.

Jesus is precious to His family too: His mother and brothers had come to get him; propelled by love and genuine concern.

They are GENUINELY worried about Him: “People were saying, “He’s lost his mind”, “Your son has gone mad”…. His family were not opposed to Jesus, but were only moved through caring concern: We all know they needn’t have worried. Jesus was OK. But they made a genuine mistake through loving concern.

How many times have we made a mistake about Jesus? Not understanding Him, Not following Him the way He wants us to?

We know from the Bible that Jesus was close to His mother Mary and his borthers; She was there at the Cross as her precious son died. His own brother James becomes a key leader in Jerusalem after Jesus’ death on the Cross. It was only a mistake, but through genuine love.

What Jesus said is surprising: “Who are my mother and brothers?” Verse 33.

Imagine that, what an insult it could have been to his family outside the house that day, but Jesus was teaching the crowd.

He looked around the room: At the people gathered there: and answers his own question: “Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” Verse 35.

You know something my friends, we KNOW that we KNOW Him if we LOVE Him.

You know something else my friends, we KNOW that we LOVE Him if we are living in obedience to God’s will.

Jesus said, “If you truly love me, you will obey my commands”… It’s a PROMISE: You will obey my commands.

Jesus also said, “Come unto me … my yoke is easy (Commands), my burden is light (not difficult)… You’ll want to be obedient to Jesus when you’ve come to Him in faith and received Him as LORD. Only then is the obedient life possible, through the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, Jesus gives us the POWER to live the loving obedient life.

One more Question:

  • How are you getting on at doing God’s will today?
  • How are you getting on a living the Christian life?
  • Are you living in accordance with the will of God?

OK, I know that’s three questions 🙂

If you are NORMAL: Then there will always be areas in your life that God is working on.

You are always going to be, until the Lord returns, “A Work in Progress”

  • God has made you into a Saint: The moment you trusted Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
  • God is making you more Saintly: Day by Day.

He will finish the good work He began in you. (Philippian 1:6).

Philippians 1:4-6 (NIV)
4  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy
5  because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
6  being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

If you LOVE Jesus: You are His FAMILY:

You are very precious to Him.

He said about those who love Him; “I’ll never leave you, nor forsake you”…

Family might abandon you, friends may leave you and let you down, but Jesus never will leave you.

There are THREE Possible Positions to be in regarding Jesus today:

  • Opposition: Like the Pharisees.
  • Mistaken: Like Jesus Family.
  • Family: Like those around about Jesus; who prove they LOVE Him by being obedient to God’s Commands. God’s will.

Which position are you in today?

Have an awesome week my friends.

Stay close to the Vine: John 15

Stay full of God’s Holy Spirit: Ephesians 5:18.

Don.

Further Study Today:

Being Filled With God’s Spirit:

God is the God of FREE REFILLS.

I heard about a Clergyman who told his children in McDonald’s they can have only one coke. Because he couldn’t afford to keep paying for a refill. However, on holiday in America you can keep coming back and filling your glass again and again as much as you like.

The Holy Spirit is a bit like that; you get filled with the Holy Spirit once you trust in Jesus, but you need to keep being filled with the Holy Spirit every day.

First things first: you don’t come to Jesus apart from the Holy Spirit. In Titus 3:4-6, we’re told that God “saved us, not because of works done by us… but by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ…” You can’t become a Christian without the Holy Spirit.

And when you become a Christian you don’t receive 2/3 of God, as if the Holy Spirit comes later. 2 Corinthians 1:22 and Ephesians 1:13 tell us that the Holy Spirit seals us and guarantees that we belong to Jesus. When you put your trust in Jesus Christ, the Spirit seals you.

But in Ephesians 5:18, Paul commands the church to “be filled with the Holy Spirit”. The English language doesn’t quite do justice to Paul’s intent here. In the Greek, this command is a present imperative, indicating that this isn’t speaking of a onetime filling, but rather a regular pattern of being filled. So “go on being filled with the Holy Spirit” is more like it.

This makes some of us nervous, but it was normal language in the New Testament. In Luke 4:1, Jesus is described as being “full of the Holy Spirit”. In Acts 4:8, Peter is “filled with the Holy Spirit”. In Acts 9:17, Ananias lays his hands on Saul so that he can be “filled with the Holy Spirit”. Barnabas is described as being “full of the Holy Spirit and faith” in Acts 11:24.

And lest you point out that all these references just mention one person one single time, look at the three separate instances in Acts when the disciples are said to be “filled with the Holy Spirit”. First, in Acts 2:4 they’re “filled…” and begin to speak in tongues. Second, in Acts 4:31 they’re “filled…” again. And then in Acts 13:52 they’re again “filled with the Holy Spirit and with joy”.

Why else would Jesus describe the Holy Spirit as “rivers of living water” (John 7:38) and not a pool? A river is a constant flow whereas a pool is a dormant supply. God reconciles us to himself through Jesus, and by the work of the Holy Spirit, and then longs to continue to fill us and fill us and fill us again. He really is the God of FREE refills, but we NEED Him every single day.

Go on being filled with God, the Holy Spirit today my friends.

Don.

 

Healing on The Sabbath

Healing on the Sabbath

Daily Spirit & Word: 666:

Religious People Want To Kill Jesus.

Opposition to Jesus is Growing Today.

Good morning my friends, it’s frightful that there are such striking similarities between attitudes towards Jesus and the Christian faith in His time and our own. We’re back with Mark’s Gospel again today, it’s remarkable how much the opposition to Jesus is growing, and today we’ll discover how the plot thickens to such a boiling point that they want to kill the Lord Jesus: To murder Him.  Also, there are growing hostilities towards Christians and Christianity in the world today.

Mark 3:1-6 (NIV)
1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
2  Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath.
3  Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”
4  Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5  He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

The Place: It’s a synagogue. 

The Temple in Jerusalem was not the only place that Jewish people gathered and worshipped the LORD. Because it was impractical to get to the Temple every week from all over the Land, Synagogues (Places of worship) were established to encourage devotion to God and instruct the Jews in the understanding of the Scriptures.

Note: Mark doesn’t tell us anything about what they did in the Synagogue that day, but by saying Synagogue, we know what they will have been doing; Praying, reading from the Jewish Scriptures, Study and sometimes a Rabbi would do some teaching / instruction. It was considered a Holy Place because of the worship of the LORD. It was also a meeting place for the Jewish Community.

The Man With The Shrivelled Hand.

Mark Immediately brings our attention to the subject: The Man with the Shrivelled hand and the fact that the Pharisees were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus of being a Sabbath Breaker.

Why? Why were they looking to see if Jesus would heal the man on the Sabbath? By now the Pharisees knew that Jesus was a man of great compassion for people. He’d been healing many people of all kinds of diseases. Perhaps they even planted the man in the Congregation that day. (They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus).

They watched Him closely… This reveals to us their attitude towards Jesus ministry, that they were very intent of finding a reason to get rid of him. However, we need to understand why there was this growing tension.

You’ve probably heard the expression; “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”, well, these Jewish religious leaders had also been scorned, they’d been upset by Jesus actions, teaching and public correction.

Some Background: (Shows us WHY they wanted to get rid of Jesus).

  • Remember that Jesus said He had come for “Sinners” not the righteous. Mark 2:17.
  • Remember that Jesus didn’t KEEP their RULES. Mark 2:18, 23.
  • Remember that Jesus had shown them they were wrong; from their own Holy Book: The Scriptures. Their understanding of their own religion was wrong. Mark 2:19-22, 25, 26.
  • Remember that Jesus even dared to say; That HE was LORD of the Sabbath. Mark 2:28.

It’s NO WONDER: It’s not a surprise to us now that they were opposed to Jesus, so the Pharisees began looking for a good reason to ACCUSE Him. A way to bring righteous judgement upon Jesus own head so that they could get rid of this upstart, this troublemaker.

MOST PEOPLE TODAY: The Attitude of People Today.

Most people today don’t hate Jesus nor are they opposed to Him the way that the religious Jews were in this account from Mark. The vast majority who know history and a little bit of the Bible think that Jesus was a very good man, Muslims believe Jesus was a Prophet, but they don’t hate Him. Most people today, know about Jesus teachings, but they just choose not to follow Him or His teachings. It’s as if Jesus is irrelevant to modern day life for most people. However that indifferent attitude changes once people really understand the implications of Jesus teaching and ministry even today.

The truth is: If we really UNDERSTAND Jesus we will either; love Him or hate Him.

  • We will LOVE Him; because He came into this world to be our Saviour: Who saves us as sinners from God’s wrath and judgement and condemnation to Hell.
  • Or we will HATE Him: because He reveals our sinful condition and that we a guilty before God.

RELIGIOUS PEOPLE: The Pharisees of Jesus Time:

We must also remember, it was in a Synagogue: This was a Holy Place, these people were very religious. However, it also shows us (perhaps as a warning today) that it’s possible to be “very religious” and yet be far away from God.

John the Baptist called these Pharisees; Hypocrites (they didn’t live like they should) and “A brood of vipers” (A viper is a poisonous snake) and “Whitewashed tombs, full of dead men’s bones” (Looking pure, clean and good on the outside, but inside they are DEAD). That’s what the Bible reveals about these ‘religious’ Pharisees: But today we’re going to see that they were also Treacherous and Deadly.

HEALING ON THE SABBATH:

They were watching to see if Jesus would HEAL on the SABBATH.

Is it WRONG to heal on the Sabbath day?

According to the Pharisees it was considered WORK.

According to Jesus: It was an opportunity to show COMPASSION. (Verse 4, )

As we discovered last week: it is WRONG to WORK on the Sabbath: However, is doing GOOD deeds for others what God would consider WORK?

Think About It: Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

God has said that we can work in our regular employment for SIX DAYS a WEEK: But the seventh day is to be a day of rest from our LABOURS and a Day to Honour Him….i.e. It’s our NORMAL EMPLOYMENT, our work activity that we’re to rest from.

Remember what Jesus said about the Sabbath: “The Sabbath was made for man (for man’s benefit), not man for the Sabbath”.

Then we come to Jesus ‘Healing on the Sabbath’. Get this and you’ll get real REVELATION.

THE MAN WITH THE SHRIVELLED HAND.

Note: In those days, there was no welfare state, no disability allowances. If a man had a shrivelled hand, his employment was limited. You can’t use a powerless, useless hand to do anything. He was crippled. No wonder Jesus had compassion upon him. That’s what God is like my friends, He sees our NEED and longs to do something about it. Either through other people, you and me or through a miracle.

HERODIANS:

These were people who supported King Herod: Herod was a vassal Jesus King, a Supporter of Rome. Normally the Pharisees and Herodians hated each other, but now they were joining together in a plot to kill Jesus.

HARD HEARTED PHARISEES:

This section of the Bible is really SAD: Because it shows that we can be very religious and devoted in our religion, but become so hard-hearted that we begin to loose our compassion for people.

  • Every time we see a person in need; it’s God’s appointment to do something good.
  • Every time we see a person with trouble; God’s bringing them to our attention, to be His hands, His voice, His presence for them.

The Pharisees; they looked at this man with a shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do wrong.

The Lord Jesus: viewed the man with the shrivelled hand, only as an opportunity to do something good; to show compassion, care, love, concern, sympathy. He healed him on the Sabbath (God is ALWAYS willing to do us good, every day).

What does Mark 3:1-6 show us today?

  • In Jesus we observe a willingness to care;
  • That God cares, is interested in the minute of our daily lives.
  • That God Heals and does ‘good’ every single day. He doesn’t consider doing ‘good’ for others work, but a Joy and a Delight.
  • It also shows us how much we should be concerned for our fellow-man; to have fellow feelings. To show and demonstrate LOVE by doing good whenever we can, even on the Sabbath or Holy Day.
  • It also reveals that Jesus Christ considers Healing and Doing Good a joy and delight rather than WORK. 
  • Opposition towards Jesus grew the more good that He did; don’t be surprised when you are doing good and the world hates you all the more for it.

Jesus Anger and Distress:

The Verse That Gets Me Today: Jesus feelings revealed:

Mark 3:5  “He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts…”

They would not answer Jesus. He asked them a question and they refused to answer.

“Which is lawful to do on the Sabbath day, to do good or evil, to save life or to kill?” It’s OBVIOUS! The Answer was so obvious, but they remained silent.

My friends, that attitude got Jesus Christ very ANGRY indeed.

Not only angry, but deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be on the receiving end of Jesus’ anger or wrath or to make Him distressed at my stubborn heart. I want to be able to shout out in response to Jesus question; “Oh LORD Jesus, let me be one of your followers today who’ll answer loudly; “To do good and to save life”…. Amen!

It also shows us that it’s possible to be very religious and remain Hard-Hearted and Stubborn. Religious but closed-off towards God.

They were NOT willing to learn from Jesus Christ; they remained STUBBORN HEARTED. He challenged their positions of power, but He also challenged their attitudes to other people in many different ways; the sinners, the outcasts, the sick, the poor, the lame; Jesus was always willing to; CARE, to TOUCH the Untouchables, to have compassion and to DO GOOD. Are we?

We too, like Jesus may become angry and distressed at the stubborn unbelief of people in the world. Also there is growing opposition and tension between Christians and the world under Satan’s blindness. Christians and Christianity are the least tolerated group of people in the world today. It seems to be OK to blaspheme Jesus on TV, Movies and even mainstream media, but not the faith of Islam, Hinduism etc… Have you ever asked yourself why that is? This attitude of indifference, unbelief and hostility will only get worse as time draws ever closer to the return of Jesus in glory. But don’t stay angry too long, get the big picture, the LORD is in control, He’s coming soon.

So what should our attitude be like?

Philippians 2:5-11 (NIV)
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8  And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
9  Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath Day, but instead of rejoicing and giving thanks to God for a miracle, the opposition increased. To such a point that they eventually took the life of the most Holy man to walk the Earth; the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified.

When you focus upon the Son of God, and determine in your heart to live His way, then He seems to have a way of drying your tears and easing your fears. He makes your burdens lighter and your pathway brighter. When you decide to honour the King of Kings, He will supply all your needs. When you love Jesus, then your fear melts away as fast as the snow did in London yesterday. Amen.

Finally: One Day EVERYBODY will have to face this Jesus Christ.

Revelation 1:7-8 (NIV  “Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen
8  “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

These Pharisees and the Herodians with the Romans and Jews eventually succeeded in their plotting and managed to KILL Jesus Christ on the Cross. However; Praise the LORD: He is ALIVE today, because the grave couldn’t keep Him.

Every EYE: will see Him. Those who pierced Him: The Pharisees, The Herodians, The Romans, The Jews, You and Me: We’ll all see Jesus one day. On that day; we’ll either be rejoicing because we’ve turned in repentance and faith or we’ll “mourn because of Him”… But on that Day: Every knee will bow before Him.

Let’s make certain we’re in that number who’ll be rejoicing and not mourning on the Day that Jesus comes. Amen!

  • Have Compassion of Jesus every day.
  • Remember He still cares for you.
  • Respond to Jesus teaching.
  • Repent from your sins and hardness of heart today.
  • Receive Him as your LORD.

Let us pray:

Hope you all have a wonderful week full of the JOY of the LORD Jesus Christ.

Don’t get too perplexed at the opposition towards Christianity, it’s pre-ordained and will grow as the time draws for Jesus return in glory. Remain steadfast and fix your eyes on Jesus. Live joyfully in His abundant life and look forward to being with Him forever. Amen.

 

Jusus IS; The LORD of the Sabbath

Cornfield Jesus woman

Daily Spirit & Word: 664: Jesus Is The LORD of the Sabbath.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”

Good morning my friends, we’ve had a wonderful few days. My wife Julie and I are looking after our little two year old grandson Karamoko. We’d normally have all three, but the older children have school. Still our daughter needs a little rest from Karamoko, she’s 39 and a bit weeks pregnant, gets tired and needed a break. He’s FULL of LIFE. When you observe a two year old, you wonder how just a few mouthfuls of porridge can produce so much energy.

On Sunday, I was preaching on the following verses from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus own disciples needed some energy, but I’m sure they didn’t know the resultant storm of opposition from evil forces that was brewing behind the scenes, that picking a few ears of corn would cause.

Mark 2:23-28 (NIV)
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the cornfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some ears of corn.
24  The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”
25  He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
26  In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
27  Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28  So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Walking Through Cornfields:

Have you ever been in the countryside and walked through a field with ripe corn? It’s an amazing feeling; it feels like you are in a sea of very long grass, with the wind blowing the corn seems to move like waves.

As Jesus, His disciples and some Pharisees walked through, some of Jesus’ disciple begin picking some ears of corn.

The Pharisees Notice: 

As stated last week, the Pharisees were the religious people of Jesus day. They tried to live according to very strict religious code of conduct, and they expected every ‘good’ Jew to do the same. Whenever someone didn’t live according to their rules and regulations, they pointed the finger, and tried to impose their code upon everyone.

The Pharisees noticed that Jesus’ disciples were picking corn, and pointed out that it was against the LAW.

Was it against the law? Were Jesus disciple being unrighteous and unholy?

Let’s looks and see what the LAW actually said about the Sabbath:

Exodus 35:2 (NIV) “For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death.”

Exodus 20:8-11 (NIV)
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.

On the surface, it would seem the Disciples were indeed being disobedient; after all picking corn is harvesting, right?

The Pharisees had expanded God’s Law:

They interpreted what God had given to mean; 39 Sabbath Prohibitions. Remember, these are just some of the Pharisee’s rules and regulations for a holy life.

For a Pharisee and a “good Jew” it was prohibited to do;

  • Sowing
  • Plowing
  • Reaping
  • Binding sheaves
  • Threshing
  • Winnowing
  • Selecting
  • Grinding
  • Sifting
  • Kneading
  • Baking
  • Shearing wool
  • Washing wool
  • Beating wool
  • Dyeing wool
  • Spinning
  • Weaving
  • Making two loops
  • Weaving two threads
  • Separating two threads
  • Tying
  • Untying
  • Sewing stitches
  • Tearing
  • Trapping
  • Slaughtering
  • Flaying
  • Tanning
  • Scraping hide
  • Marking hides
  • Cutting hide to shape
  • Writing two or more letters
  • Erasing two or more letters
  • Building
  • Demolishing
  • Extinguishing a fire
  • Kindling a fire
  • Putting the finishing touch on an object
  • Transporting an object between a private domain and the public domain, or for a distance of 4 cubits within the public domain.

What the Pharisees had done was identify what they deemed to be WORK: Made a list and said, “We can’t do these things”. Modern Jews follow similar guidelines, because they are living according to the LAW: Not the Spirit which gives life.

The Letter of the Law Kills.

The Spirit gives it life.

NOTE: Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30. He was referring to how the Christian life can be lived in the power of the Spirit rather than on rules and regulations.

Then Jesus Disciples: Come along and pick some corn on the Sabbath.

Jesus directed the Objecting Pharisees to the Scriptures:

The Beginning of the Year 2016: Is a good time to remember what Jesus was doing here.

Whenever a question arises as to the practice of our faith, we must go along what what God has revealed in His Word. The Bible warns us “Not to add or take away” from what has been given by God in the Bible.

Jesus reminds them about King David and his companions who were hungry, and ate the consecrated bread. Jesus reminds them, It was lawful only for priests to eat this bread, but David and his companions were hungry, and because there was no other food, the Consecrated bread was the only food at hand, their hunger overrides.

However, this leaves us with a Question: 

Was Kind David breaking God’s Law?

Answer, Jesus was asking the Pharisees to do a Bible Study: to Check-out King David.

David had assured the Priest that he and his companions were ritually clean; They had abstained from being with women for over three days. (Why that makes a man unclean? You’ll have to do a deeper Bible study to find out, but that was the requirement that David and his companions was asked to fulfil by the Priest, before he would give him the consecrated bread of God’s presence, the shawbread.)

1 Samuel 21:3-6 (NIV) Kind David Takes The Shawbread. 
3  Now then, what have you to hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever you can find.”
4  But the priest answered David, “I don’t have any ordinary bread to hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here—provided the men have kept themselves from women.”
5  David replied, “Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men’s things are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!”
6  So the priest gave him the consecrated bread, since there was no bread there except the bread of the Presence that had been removed from before the LORD and replaced by hot bread on the day it was taken away.

To discover more about the Shawbread: Read:  Leviticus 24:5-9 (NIV)
5  “Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah for each loaf.
6  Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD.
7  Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire.
8  This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9  It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire.”

This shows us that ONLY Aaron and his sons (The Levite Priests after him) were allowed to eat this bread.

The Pharisees revered King David: Jesus asking them a question about the great king’s righteousness was not to throw them into doubt, but to show them, there are times when God’s Law is not as simple as ‘keeping rules and regulations’, it’s a matter of the heart. How pure a person is. How much a person is devoted to the LORD.

Jesus was most likely arguing; “If Kind David could eat the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for the Priests to eat, then men who are hungry on the Sabbath, whilst they have the LORD of the Sabbath with them, can also pic and eat a few grains of corn.”

Jesus was teaching them and us, the Sabbath was never meant to be a SET of RULES: But a way of life.

He said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”.

It was meant to be a day, devoted to the LORD. A Holy Day and a Day of REST from their labours.

Yes God had said, “Do NO WORK on the Sabbath, it is a Holy Day, a Day to devote yourselves to Him”.

It was also to remind them about CREATION: How the LORD had made it in SIX DAYS and rested on the SEVENTH.

When you consider the Creator of all things, that the LORD made the heavens and the earth, you’ll get a much greater perspective on who actually provides for you, not the labour of your hands, but the Lord God almighty: The LORD of the Sabbath.

But the Pharisees had become legalistic; they were looking at everyone else, instead of focusing upon worship of the LORD.

They were looking to ensure that people kept their rules and regulations, rather than worrying about their own personal devotion and worship. They thought of themselves as a kind of holy police force.

Jesus taught: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

What did Jesus mean?

It seems to me that Jesus is teaching us; there are certain times when RULES can be broken. (I.e. Work on the Sabbath: Harvesting. Work on the Sabbath; Healing). When there is NEED for things in life, like food. Or MERCY needs to be shown or exercised for someone.

We’ll see this again next week in: A Work of Mercy on the Sabbath: Jesus healing a man. Mark 3.

Here, picking some corn on the Sabbath?: is a Work of Necessity it’s NOT Harvesting: Jesus Disciples were mainly fishermen, not farmers. Because they were travelling around with the Messiah, they were going about the LORD’S HOLY WORK. (King David said, “His work was Holy”). They were hungry, NECESSITY overrides ritual and regulation. Just as much as mercy does, next week. Mark 3.

 

An Injured Pigeon:

After being a Christian for about two years, I’d become quite legalistic about getting to church on time. I never wanted to be late to Church on a Sunday. So we always set out early to walk the mile up hill to church. Five kids in tow.

One day just along the road from our house, we spotted a pigeon tat had been hit by a car and it’s wing was broken. My wife, Julie said, “Oh look at that poor darling creature, go and get it and we’ll take it to the vet” I protested, “Julie, we haven’t got time, we’ll be late for church”… Well, you can guess what she said, “What’s more important, getting to church or doing good?” I chased that bird for about ten minutes and finally caught it. Once in my hands I thought to myself, “What am I going to do with you now, on a Sunday?”… I took it to Brian and Sheilah’s house, our neighbours who were always very kind to animals. It turned out, we were not late for church. But I learned a valuable lesson from my wife that day.

Do GOOD on the Sabbath when God gives you the opportunity.

Don’t worry about your rules, even your own precious rules.

“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.”

Yes it’s important to set aside one day a week as HOLY to the LORD.

Every day for the Christian is a SABBATH DAY: Because we’ve got the LORD with us.

Every day is HOLY for the Christian: However, it’s good to follow the Bible practice of setting aside one day a week to worship the Lord. God set us an example; if it’s good enough for God, surely it’s good for us to rest one day a week from our labour.

Jesus Is LORD of the Sabbath:

The Pharisees thought they KNEW the LAW of God: But it’s like Jesus is telling them, “NO, you don’t really understand God’s Law, you don’t get it. I do, because I AM the LORD of the SABBATH.” i.e. “I’m LORD who gave the law, so I know what I was talking about when I gave that Law to Moses”…. Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath and all the other Commands of God. He alone understands the full meaning of God’s LAW. That’s why Jesus also corrected their understanding of; Murder and Adultery. (i.e. hatred in the heart and lust in the heart). Jesus is the LORD of the Sabbath too.

NOTES: Remember that this section of Mark’s Gospel followed questions about FASTING, and is followed by them looking to see if Jesus would again ‘break’ the Sabbath laws in Mark 3. Opposition to Jesus was building in the hearts of men, but we must also remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood.

NOTES: The Sabbath was not meant to be a day of privation: God provided double the Manna for the Holy Day whilst the Israelites were wandering through the desert. Normally the Manna would only last just one day, they were to gather just enough, if they gathered too much it rotted with maggots. However, a miracle took place on the sixth day, that manna lasted long enough for two whole days and didn’t rot. That shouts out to me about God’s amazing hand of provision for a holy life, and that He wants us to remember, who it is the provides us with everything.

Our God IS and AWESOME God.

He reigns in Heaven and Earth.

He’s the CREATOR of ALL.

He gives us LIFE and Breath.

Praise HIM every DAY.

Amen!

Jesus said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance” John 10:10.

Bible References To The Sabbath Day:

Genesis 2:2-3; Exodus 16:23-29; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-17; Exodus 35:2-3; Leviticus 16:31; Leviticus 19:3; Leviticus 19:29-30; Leviticus 23; Leviticus 24:8; Leviticus 25:2-6; Leviticus 26:2; Leviticus 26:34-35; Leviticus 26:43; Numbers 15:32-36; Numbers 28-29; Deuteronomy 5:12-14; 2 Kings 4:23; 2 Kings 11:5-9; 1 Chronicles 9:32; 1 Chronicles 23:31; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 2 Chronicles 8:13; 2 Chronicles  23:4-8; 2 Chronicles 31:3; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Nehemiah ; Nehemiah 10:31-33; Nehemiah 13:15-22; Psalms ; Isaiah 1:13; Isaiah 56:2-7; Isaiah 58:13-14; Isaiah 66:22-23; Jeremiah 17:21-27; Lamentations 2:6; Ezekiel 20:12-24; Ezekiel 22:8; Ezekiel 22:26-31; Ezekiel 23:38; Ezekiel 44:24; Ezekiel 45:17; Ezekiel 46:1-12; Hosea 2:11; Amos 8:5; Matthew 12:1-12; Matthew 24:20-21; Matthew 28:1; Mark 1:21; Mark 2:23- 28; Mark 3:2-4; Mark 6:2; Mark 15:42; Mark 16:1; Luke 4:16; Luke 4:31; Luke 6:1-9; Luke 13:10-16; Luke 14:1-5; Luke 23:50-24:1; John 5:9-18; John 7:22-23; John ; John 19:31; Acts 1:12; Acts 13:14; Acts 13:27; Acts 13:42-43; Acts 15:21; Acts 16:13; Acts 17:2; Acts 18:4; Romans 14:5-6; Galatians 4:10-11; Colossians 2:14-17; Hebrews 4:1-11

 

Should The UK Bomb ISIS?

Revenge is mine. God's anger against evil

Daily Spirit & Word: 643: Fighting Evil With Good.

What is lawful? To do ‘Good’ on the Holy Day or to do ‘Evil’?

Sometimes it’s wrong to unite: When that coalition is plotting evil.

In Jesus day, the ‘religious’ leaders of Israel were experts in applying the Scriptures to everyday life; they had by that time devised 39 prohibitions for the Sabbath Day (The Day of Rest). But Jesus demonstrated something different which brought Him into dangerous conflict with the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians. These three groups were normally in conflict with one another, but as we’ll see from Mark’s Gospel, they were united against Jesus.

Mark 3:4-6 (NIV)
4  Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent.
5  He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
6  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
Sometimes, just because everyone else is uniting behind a cause, it’s doesn’t mean it’s right to join in.

Many have caricatured Jeremy Corbyn for his stance of not joining; France, America, Russia etc who are bombing Syria. They have castigated him and all who side with him as traitors. It’s amazing how quickly feelings escalate when war is looming: However, even though ISIS are EVIL personified, they’ve done tremendous wrong; committing murder, rape, torture, beatings, stealing. They’ve broken every single one of God’s Commandments. Does that then give us the right to go and bomb them? Do we now have the legal and moral authority to take the life of every single ISIS member?

We must also remember the innocent Civilians who will be caught up in this conflict. Their cities, towns and villages have been invaded by ISIS, should they be bombed because they’ve been invaded? Are they just collateral damage?

Two Wrongs Don’t Make A Right: Sometimes it’s WRONG to UNITE.

Just as the Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians wrongly plotted the murder of Jesus, so too it might be wrong to plot to join the others who are already indiscriminately bombing ISIS.

What ISIS have done IS wrong: Evil men are always doing wrong.

In the United Kingdom, we don’t have the DEATH Penalty anymore.

If it’s OK to kill the members of ISIS because they’ve killed, does that mean we’re going to take the life of those who’ve killed people back home in the good old UK? No, of course not. So why are we rushing into this Bombing campaign?

Jesus wasn’t like the ISIS members, He only did good: even though they united to plot His death.

What was it that Jesus did wrong from their perspective?

  • He Delivered a man from a Demon on the Sabbath (Mark 1:21-28).
  • He Touched a man with Leprosy (Mark 1:40-43).
  • He forgave a man his sins (only God can do that). (Mark 2:1-12).
  • He ate with Tax Collectors and Sinners (the untouchables). (Mark 2:13-17).
  • He gave his men, the Disciples, something to eat from a field on the Sabbath Day. (Mark 2:23-28).
  • He didn’t fast, as the other ‘religious’ people of the day did. (Mark 2:18-22).
  • He healed a man on the Sabbath day. (Mark 3:1-6).

What Jesus did enraged those in opposition, but it was NOT wrong; it WAS GOOD. He only ever did GOOD things.

Jesus cited some Scriptures to show that what He was doing was OK. He was not breaking God’s Commandments regarding the Sabbath or Fasting, Jesus upheld and kept the LAW of God (His Father) fully. However, their response to Jesus Ministry shows they were not practising their own ‘religion’ at all, they were not working for God, but were serving and thinking only about themselves.

However, the United Group of Pharisees, Sadducees and Herodians; much like ISIS and even the American, Russian, French and possibly the UK coalition could ignore God’s LAW: to get their own way. They plotted murder, just because Jesus was going against their man-made-traditions. It’s strange, shocking and sad that it’s often the most ‘religious’ and self-righteous people, who’ll do the most horrendous things for the sake of their so called ‘religion’ or ideology; Be that ideology; Judaism, Christianity, Islam, ISIS or Democracy.

  • Yes we should be horrified by what ISIS have done.
  • Yes we are right to feel angry.
  • Yes we are right to want justice for those who’ve been murdered.

BUT: We are not justified in simply seeking revenge.

If we do join in with the EVIL, like the Pharisees and Herodians, we’ll be fighting against God.

What the Pharisees and their group were doing was against God (Jesus). It was (is) against God’s LAW to murder.

He warns us that it’s HIS prerogative to fight against evil. He’s the ONE who’ll punish the EVIL doers.

On a personal level, it’s never us who have the right to take revenge.

Revenge, is NEVER the answer: It only ignites the flames of hatred.

REVENGE BELONGS TO GOD;

Romans 12:17-21.
17  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.
18  If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
19  Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
20  On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”
21  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Yes, God does raise States and give the power of the sword to bring His swift Justice. However, those Governments better be certain that they are justified in using their God given powers. Is it right to take REVENGE? No! However, it is right to bring people to justice, to bring them to account for their actions, to make them face-up to what they’ve done, but just getting even or paying them back is not a right motive for killing people. God will one day give them PAY-BACK big time, but in the mean-time, we’re to fight against evil with good.

FIGHT EVIL WITH GOOD:

The Americans, French, Russians and the UK are wrong to think they’ll kill-off the Evil Ideology of ISIS with bombs.

It’s going to take time, effort and peaceful means to quell this evil force. “Fight evil with Good”. Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of Evil in the Heavenly realms. It is the Devil, Satan who’s behind the ISIS ideology, for only the Devil could convince men that murder and rape are right, but we’d better be careful that we’re not in league with Satan as well, by taking revenge into our own hands and away from God. Murder is always murder, no matter what our excuse for going to war.

Conclusion:

In uniting against Jesus, they were uniting against God.

Doing good will always bring opposition: But let’s NEVER give into Evil.

In uniting against ISIS, we’re doing the right thing my friends.

However, let’s fight and crush this Evil Ideology with PEACE, LOVE, RESPECT, HOPE and DIPLOMACY.

Diplomacy might take longer, but the peace it brings will last longer than any group that’s crushed with bombs. They’ll just rise again and take revenge for their dead heroes of their ideology.

There are other ways to bring them down, other than bombing them into the dust.

  • Pray for your enemies.
  • Live at peace.
  • Do good to those that hate you.
  • Leave room for God’s wrath and anger against their evil actions.
  • Overcome EVIL with GOOD.

It’s going to take real courage to stand-up against everyone who thinks it’s right to BOMB.

It’s going to be a battle against Ideologies.

Jesus is on the side of the PEACE MAKERS.

Matthew 5:9-12
9  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11  “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
12  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Have an awesome Sunday with Jesus.

Join His Salvation Army: Fighting EVIL with Good! Amen.

Don.

More About Jesus WAY OF PEACE

 

FAITH is simply taking the first step

Knowing Jesus we need to take the first steps of faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 639:

The Friends V The Professionals.

It’s Possible Through Simple Trusting: To KNOW Jesus Christ Personally.

Good morning my friends, On Sunday at our Thanksgiving Service for the Blessing, Naming and Dedication of four lovely children (asked for instead of baptism), I was preaching on Mark 2 About The Calling of Levi the Tax Collector.

The previous week I’d been preaching about that wonderful account of the Miracle and the Authority of Jesus. In Mark Chapter 2 we find different groups of people; The crowds blocking the way to Jesus, the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees and the group of faithful friends who carried the crippled man and lowered him through the roof to Jesus.

In the Calling of Matthew we find; Sinners, Tax Collectors and the same group of Teachers of the Law and Pharisees.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about that and praying about how people can be so close to God’s REVELATION and yet be so far away from it.

Those TEACHERS OF THE LAW: THE SCRIBES – You know my friends, those scribes were highly educated men.

History: After the Israelites returned to the Promised Land from their exile and Babylonian captivity, it was the Scribes who were the leaders of the Jewish Nation. The Prophet Ezra was also a Scribe. Their task was to teach, preserve and copy the Scriptures. They were also professional interpreters of the Mosaic Law and administered both its religious and its civil codes. The scribes determined how the details of the law of Moses should be applied to everyday life.

In time, they became the custodians of the so-called “oral law,” which, by Jesus’ time, was already replacing the written law as the rule of life. The Scribes and Pharisees had added many man-made traditions to God’s Law. The scribes were regarded as the authorities on historical and doctrinal matters. They were the nation’s teachers, each scribe having a number of disciples around him. Their power increased after Malachi closed the Old Testament canon and prophecy ceased. The Sanhedrin had a number of them among its membership. They were bitter enemies of Jesus Christ, often you’ll see them portrayed in the Bible as sitting in judgment of Him and finding fault with almost everything He did and said. They were often trying to trick Jesus and trip Him up in His own words. However, they didn’t realise with all their knowledge that they were dealing with God on Earth.

How could people who were as educated as those Scribes, Teachers of God’s Holy Law, be so close to God’s revelations and yet be so far away from understanding who Jesus was, what He’d come to do and why He came to do it? Because almost everything Jesus did and said was prophesied about in God’s Word that they were so ‘expert’ in. Jesus birth and life were all written about by the Prophets of old, they should have known that He was their expected Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us).

Not only should they have known who Jesus was, but they should have welcomed Him, especially after the miracles proved that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins, because only God could do both; forgive sins and heal with just a word. It was so obvious, so how could they miss it?

Perhaps it’s easy for us, because we’ve been giving so much more in the revelation of who Jesus is in the New Testament, but my friends, I’ve known modern EXPERTS who know the Bible much better than I do, who don’t KNOW Jesus personally. They know all about Him, they teach all about Him, they write books all about Him, but they don’t know Him. It becomes obvious when you read what they write and listen to what they say about Him.

It was not the Religious Teachers of the Law, the educated elite, who were commended by Jesus, but it was the common folk, friends of the crippled man, who’d carried him to Jesus and lowered Him to Jesus feet who were commended for their great faith. It wasn’t the Pharisees and Teachers commended by Jesus, but the Tax Collectors and Sinners with whom He sat down to eat dinner with.

It’s strange that knowing lots of things can keep a person away from the Lord. Please don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with study or gaining great knowledge. I love it myself: I love reading about the latest inventions, the innovations in electronics (my first career was an Engineer). There’s nothing more exciting than discovering, examining, looking into, researching, fact-finding, questing for knowledge and understanding; but as far as KNOWING GOD, we may study, but it will come to a point when we must realise that KNOWING HIM is very different from KNOWING all about Him.

To get that kind of knowledge about the LORD, to KNOW Jesus personally, will take DIVINE revelation. He will reveal Himself to you my friends, not because of your in-depth study, but because of your FAITH and TRUST in Him. He’ll show Himself to you. WOWzer!

John 5:39-40 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40  yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
1  When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20
18  Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.
19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;
20  and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

So my friends, study all you like, but it’s going to take DIVINE REVELATION to actually KNOW Jesus Christ.

It’s foolishness to the ‘world’ (Worldly Wisdom). It always will be 🙂

But it’s NOT intellectual suicide, it takes something else: Faith and Trust.

How do we get that DIVINE REVELATION? 

It’s obvious, we all need to come to Jesus. Oh I wish I could be like one of those four friends and carry you to the Saviour.

For people today, to get Divine Revelation of Jesus it is simply by doing what Jesus told the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law to do in Mark Chapter 2: but they didn’t have ears to hear or eyes to see. To get DIVINE, INWARD REVELATION and KNOW Jesus, we must; REPENT OF OUR SINS.

Mark 2:16-17 (NKJV)
16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
17  When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

If they’d been open and honest with themselves, they’d have seen that they too were actually sinners as well.

Faith is simply taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

WE MUST ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS.

  • Who Jesus was: The Son of God.
  • What Jesus came to do: Die upon the Cross for our sins and the sins of the whole world.
  • What Jesus did: Died and rose again from the dead to life. He also ascended into Heaven and is alive now, reigning in Heaven with His Father.
  • What Jesus does now: He sends the Holy Spirit into everyone who trusts in His Death upon the Cross for forgiveness and turns in repentance and faith to receive Him as Lord.

Once we do that, the Holy Spirit will come and give us New Birth (we’ll be born again).

Those TEACHERS of God’s Law and the Pharisees who knew the Scriptures so well, didn’t get it. So my friends, I’ve got a question for you today, think very seriously before answering. To KNOW Jesus is too important to miss, because your ETERNAL destiny depends upon HOW you answer these questions now:

  • Have you repented? (Matthew 21:32; Luke 24:46-48; Isaiah 30:15; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 17:39)
  • Have you believed in Jesus? (John 3:15-20)
  • Have you received Him as Lord? (John 1:12-13).
  • Have you trusted that He died upon the Cross for your sins? (1 Peter 2:24)
  • Have you been born of the Holy Spirit? (John 3)
  • Have you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord? (Acts 2:38-39; Romans 10:8-17)
  • Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord? (witnessed to others about Jesus).

Check yourself to see if you are IN Christ Jesus and He is IN you (John 14, 15, 17, Chapters).

Check yourself to see if you are IN the FAITH of Jesus Christ: (2 Corinthians 13:5).

My friends, don’t be like those Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, who knew all about God’s Word, but remained far away from trusting in Jesus Christ, He was their own Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us). You can know Jesus personally today.

Believe, Repent, Receive, Trust, Be Born of God’s Spirit. Amen!

Faith is simply, taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

Don.