Unleash the Power of Prayer

The POWER of Prayer in not the prayer but the PERSON to whom we Pray. Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 823:

The Power of Praying to the LORD.

Unleash The Power of Prayer

Genesis 25:21 (NIV)  Isaac prayed to the LORD on behalf of his wife, because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.

Good morning my friends, I’m back again. Praise the LORD! It’s so good when we have the POWER of Heaven. God’s NOT DEAD: He’s Alive! He’s waiting to answer your prayers. However, we need to know how to unleash the POWER of HEAVEN into our lives afresh today.

Prayer played an important part in a crisis in Isaac’s life. Today we’re going to see how he solved that crisis by going to the Lord in prayer.

If you’ve got a PROBLEM today: Even if you’ve had it a long time, take it to the ONE who can break EVERY CHAIN.

 

1) The Person Isaac Prayed About:

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife.”

Isaac’s wife had a serious problem: She was barren.

When a woman was barren in those days, people thought they’d been cursed or were under God’s judgement. It was a shameful thing not to be able to conceive.  Isaac, unlike many husbands in those days, did not criticise Rebekah or reject her because she was barren. He loved Rebecca so instead he prayed to the LORD for her.

I think we can all learn a lesson from this verse today: If couples prayed to the LORD for each other when things are not going well, instead of criticising each other or blaming one another, then we unleash the power of Heaven into our family life. You’ll be surprised how your own attitude will change when you pray instead of moan. So my friends, let’s make prayer a big part of our home and family life. You’ll discover The Lord can improve every area of your home and the family atmosphere can change.

When was the last time you spent time with Jesus praying for your wife or husband?

The Film: The War Room: The Prayer Closet: Loved that film.

Let’s get to praying regularly for our closest family members.

2) What Prompted Isaac to Pray?

The Prompter of his Prayer was a PROBLEM:

“Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren”

It was a problem that prompted Isaac to pray. That is not what most people do with their problems. Generally when problems come, people fuss and fume, some swear and shout, and many resort to drugs or drink when serious problems come.

Fussing, Fuming, Swearing, Shouting or Drugs and Drink: But we all know that PROBLEMS cannot be solved like that, these things only tend to make the problem seem like an insurmountable MOUNTAIN. When we act like that, we begin to even feel bad about ourselves. We had friends who’ve taken their own lives because of what seemed to us like a trivial problem. But they FOCUSED on the STORM instead of the ONE who calmed the raging waves with just a word.

The best way to confront all your problems is to pray about them. Prayer is a problem solver. No matter how big your problem, you can take it to the Lord in prayer.

When you do you’ll get REVELATION: Problems will begin to seem so small when we take them to Jesus.

3) The Power of Isaac’s Prayer:

“The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant”

NOTE: It wasn’t Isaac’s prayer but the PERSON that he prayed to. You are coming to the LIVING God who loves you. He’s your Heavenly Father and He cares for you. He even knows how many hairs you have on your head…

Prayer to the LORD will indeed change things. He can work great wonders, awesome miracles. When you come to the LORD with your issues in life, the problem doesn’t look quite so big as our Lord.

The POWER of PRAYER is the LORD to Whom WE PRAY.

20 YEARS: That’s a LONG TIME: (How LONG have you had your problems?)…

Rebekah had been barren for twenty years; but after Isaac prayed, she conceived and not only bore one child, but she had twins! That’s AWESOME: TWINS. My friends, do not underestimate the power of prayer to the LORD.

Once we had a couple who’d attended Church a few times after getting married: One Sunday I asked if they were OK on the way out of church. The wife said, “I’ve been trying for a baby, but would value prayer” I said “OK, let’s go up to the front of church, kneel at the altar rail and pray to the LORD” She and her husband came and knelt.  After a few weeks, her mother stopped me in the street and said in a loud voice, “Donald, Donald you got my daughter pregnant”… She was pregnant, not with one baby, but twins… (I did cringe a little bit when she said that though, I was wearing my dog collar at the time)… LOL…

Many people dismiss or scoff at prayer, but wise men, wise women, wise children and youngsters know that prayer to the LORD can work wonders.

You know that song, “There is POWER in the Name of Jesus” … there’s a repeated refrain, “BREAK EVERY CHAIN”… No matter how LONG you’ve had your PROBLEM… God can BREAK it’s POWERFUL CHAINS…. Take it to the LORD in prayer and unleash the POWER of Heaven.

Have an AWESOME Sunday with Jesus.

What a friend we have in Jesus

Don.

 

Four Awesome Weekend Truths About Jesus

Creator, Beginning, Universe, Jesus,

Daily Spirit & Word: 803: 

Four Awesome Truths About Jesus.

Christian, your Lord Jesus Christ is GOD Almighty.

John 1:1 (NIV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

 Good morning my friends, it’s so good to KNOW the TRUTH, because knowing the truth will set you free. It will enable you to live following Jesus with confidence and sustain you through all kinds of attacks. Jesus of course is the TRUTH, so it’s all about knowing Jesus personally and getting to know Him better every day. Through God’s Word we can know certain truths that enable us to thwart any attacks of the world, Satan or even our own fleshly nature.

Many people love the modern myth that all ‘religions’ lead to God. My friends, there is ONLY one God and ONLY one way to God and that’s through faith and trust in His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ THE LORD.

 In the Gospel of John we have four awesome truths about the Lord Jesus Christ in the very first verse, these reveal so clearly that Jesus was before TIME began, that Jesus is the Word of God, that there is plurality of persons in God and indeed that He was God.

1) Before Time Began: In The Beginning.

Before anything was FORMED or CREATED, Jesus Christ already existed. Awesome!

Some people think that Jesus was just a man, like one of the prophets or simply a teacher or healer. However, God’s WORD, The Bible, shows us so clearly that Jesus Christ is far more than just a man. He was God in human flesh. He took upon Himself mankind’s fleshly nature to come a rescue us from Satan’s grip.

2) Jesus is The WORD of God:

John, through the Holy Spirit, goes on to reveal that Jesus CREATED EVERYTHING, because He, Jesus, was and is the WORD of God.
Oh what an awesome TRUTH: No wonder Jesus could just speak something and it had to happen:
  • Water into wine,
  • Storms being stilled,
  • Feeding thousands with just a few loaves and fish,
  • Deaf people hearing again,
  • Blind people seeing,
  • Dead people coming back to life again,
  • Crippled people being able to walk and leap and jump for joy.
With JUST a WORD Jesus did all these things, because He was and IS the WORD of God.

3) There’s Plurality In God:

Father, Son and of course Holy Spirit (One God in three persons)…

 If ever anyone doubts the TRINITY or as some other religions try and tell Christians they are worshipping more than ONE God, then all you need to do is read John Chapter 1 and Chapter 14. Here’s a portion from chapter 14 that clearly reveals (REVELATION) that God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are but one and the same GOD.
John 14:15-26 (NIV)
15  “If you love me, you will obey what I command.
16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever—
17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
21  Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
22  Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
23  Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25  “All this I have spoken while still with you.
26  But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
 You see my friends, God is TRINITY, three persons, but ONE GOD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. However, we don’t just have to take John’s Gospel as our source of information concerning TRINITY of Persons in God, because right from Genesis to Revelation the fingerprints of the Trinity are all over the Scriptures. Just read Genesis 1, slowly and you’ll see; Father (God), Word and Spirit: How it also says in Genesis “Let US make man in OUR image”… Each and every person has the unique features of God, because we are made just like Him, TRINITY: Body, Soul and Spirit.
KNOW THE TRUTH:
AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.

4) Jesus IS God:

John gives us this awesome revelation about the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. “The Word was God.”

Oh my friends, you couldn’t get it any clearer than that; “The Word was God”… John 1:1.
  • Some people might possibly dare to deny the Deity of Jesus Christ, but you cannot deny that the Bible teaches it.
  • Some people might possibly dare to doubt the Trinity, but again you cannot deny that the Bible teaches it.
  • Some people might possibly dare to doubt the Creation and believe this world was formed by accident (Big Bang), but you cannot deny that God’s Word, the Holy Bible, teaches us plainly that Jesus Christ CREATED all things.

We live in a CREATED and ordered Universe sustained and maintained by; The WORD of God: Jesus Christ.

Colossians 1:15-17 (NIV)
15  He (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
This Universe, the World and everything in it, atoms and electrons, you and me, are held together by The Lord Jesus Christ. Awesome!
So my friends,
  • Jesus was in the Beginning.
  • Jesus is the WORD of God,
  • Jesus was with God in the Beginning,
  • Jesus is God.

All things were CREATED by Jesus Christ: He made everything out of NOTHING…

So don’t believe in the Big Bang Theory any-more, believe is Jesus Christ, because He’s the ONE (God) who CREATED everything at one point in time; The Beginning.

 When I dwell upon these four great truths, when I meditate, think about and chew over these FOUR awesome truths about Jesus Christ, I’m ready to face the world with confidence as one of His Disciples (followers) today. I want to live in obedience to His teachings and have Him living in me and the POWER of the Holy Spirit renewing my mind, emotions, will and desires. Because of who Jesus is we can KNOW Him, He’s God, He’s alive, He’s knowable and everyone can EXPERIENCE God on the inside today. All it takes is to REPENET of your sins, believe that Jesus died in your place, receive Him as KING of your life and live for Him in the power of the Holy Spirit. Are you ready for the greatest adventure of your life?
I hope that this teaching of 4 Awesome Truths about Jesus Christ has the same affect upon your soul today.
  • Praise Him,
  • Worship Him,
  • Adore Him,
  • Kneel Before Him,
  • Submit to Him,
  • For Jesus is LORD of ALL.
Have a fantastic weekend my friends,
Don.

Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

When the LORD calls you to do something for Him, expect opposition.

Good morning my friends, when you do a good work for the LORD you can expect opposition. If you are of the world, the world will accept you as one of it’s own, but if you are a Citizen of Heaven, working for another KING, then this world and it’s king (Satan) can never accept you and you are going to be opposed, persecuted and sometimes martyred. However, far from being in a position of weakness and fear, we’re going to be encouraged today to see that we can be God’s awesome power of LOVE in this world.

Opposition comes in many forms, but how can we react to opposition, no matter what form or guise it come in?

Let us take Nehemiah as one of our examples of what to do when opposition comes, and we’ll look at what God’s Word tells us about persecution and opposition for Him and for the Gospel.

First, Nehemiah:

An Example of how to proceed when your work for the LORD is opposed, ridiculed or hindered.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 (NIV)
1  When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
2  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3  Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
4  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
5  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
6  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7  But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
8  They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
9  But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10  Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11  Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12  Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13  Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.
16  From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armour. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18  and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19  Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20  Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21  So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22  At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.”
23  Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

INTRODUCTION:

When you get busy for God, opposition will inevitably raise its ugly head. So no matter how GOOD the thing that you are doing is; be it a service for the poor people of this world or proclaiming the Good News of Jesus or taking a moral stand. Like Nehemiah discovered, when you do something for the LORD, the world (influenced by Satan) hates it with a vengeance, and will oppose you. However, they are not really opposing you, they are coming against your God, who’s called you to that task.

But we must bear in mind what it is that’s driving any form of opposition:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) When Opposition Comes: Be strong in the LORD and STAND.
10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Read the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD Eph 6:14-20).

We must not resort to worldly ways of reacting to opposition:

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

Who was Nehemiah? His name means “the comfort of Jehovah.” His purpose and calling by the LORD really was a worthy one; He was instructed by the LORD to reconstruct the walls of the city of Jerusalem and in the process to rebuild the faith of the people of Israel. Yet, as soon as he began, Nehemiah was confronted by the dreaded opposition. So don’t be surprised by opposition, instead; expect it.

1) PRAYER:

When you get busy for God and the expected opposition comes, the first ingredient that will lead to success is PRAYER. “But we prayed to our God,” the Bible says (Nehemiah 4:9). Prayer was a key ingredient in Nehemiah’s spiritual life (1:4). When OPPOSITION came, Nehemiah looked up to Heaven first taking captive those opponents of God’s word with Spiritual weapons, before he persisted in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

2) PERSISTENCE:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the second ingredient that will lead to success is PERSISTENCE. Prayer is not a substitute for working at what you’ve been called to do. So often people will retreat and just pray, but you’ve been called to more than prayer. Instead, know that PRAYER preceeds PERSISTENCE. When opposition comes don’t just carry on regardless, get down to prayer first and then carry on regardless. PRAYER is a PRELUDE to PERSISTENCE. For the God’s Word says; “Nehemiah took their thoughts captive (He used Spiritual Weapons) Nehemiah 4:4.   “…the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6).

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever it was, this thought encapsulates the KEY INGREDIENTS when opposition comes; “I pray as if everything depended on God. Then I work as if everything depended on me.” I love that saying, we’ve got to PRAY and WORK at what we’ve been called to do. (See James Faith and Works).

3) POWER:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the third ingredient that will lead to your spiritual success is THE POWER OF HEAVEN. When confronted by the fear of the people, the fear of man, the fear of looking like a fool, the fear of failure; then Nehemiah 4:14 says that Nehemiah arose and spoke to the people about the power of God, and about the purpose of their work. When we are reminded of the purpose to which God has called us, and the power with which to accomplish that purpose, then we will be encouraged to move on toward the completion of our task.

So simply remind yourself of God’s calling and purposes: To share the Gospel, to help the poor, to cure the sick, to make disciples, to follow the teachings of Jesus, to live by them and if need be to die for them. Remember also the POWER of HEAVEN, the Weapons are not worldly, we take our stand against opposition with the Armour of God in place: Ephesians 6:10-20. And bear in mind; Jesus is with you always. Holy Spirit has filled you and equipped you for this work for the LORD.

When you know and experience the POWER you will keep going at what He’s called you to do.

CONCLUSION:

Yes my friends, you will experience all kinds of opposition to what you’ve been called to do by the LORD: Demonic and Worldly OPPOSITION: Expect it, and react like Nehemiah the prophet and the LORD Jesus Christ.

  • Get down to PRAYER,
  • Get up to WORK by being PERSISTENT,
  • Get into the POWER of Heaven.

Through prayer and persistence with the power of Heaven, you will be able to overcome any of those troubling opponents.

As one great preacher has said,

“You’ll be able to turn those stumbling stones into stepping stones”

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees.”

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

For most people it’s a rest day, to be with family and friends, but remember Jesus is your BEST BFF (Best Friend Forever).

So make and appointment and keep it with Him first. Then no matter what happens today, you’ll be ready. Amen!

Don.

 

Staying On Track With Jesus

How powerful you are as a Christian is determined by how close you are to Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 781: Don’t Get Sidetracked.

Staying On Track With Jesus

Over the summer we visited lot’s of historical sites, one was the Bluebell Railway. We took a trip on an old steam-train and it was awesome. So many childhood memories flooded back into my mind, things I thought I’d forgotten. Just the smell of the smoke evoked memories of the old railways in Edinburgh and day-trips to Kinghorn and Burnt Island in the 1960s and of course the Forth Railway Bridge.

On the Bluebell line, trains would sit and wait on a sidetrack whilst another train passed, we observed the old fashioned way they changed the tracks by hand, pulling a lever. It got me to thinking about our relationship with Jesus, and how when something happens it is so easy to get sidetracked in our walk with Him.

Getting sidetracked is so easy. As you begin a lifetime of following Jesus, it is important to understand that whatever you do for Him will only be a reflection of the relationship you have with Him. If you want to do great things just like Jesus’ Disciples and the Apostles, and I’m sure you do, then you need to have a great relationship with Jesus like they did. If you want to have a ministry for Jesus that is strong, your relationship with Jesus must be strong.

Getting back on track is just as easy: Jesus is only a prayer away.

Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon…”

After Pentecost, full of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles maintained a daily routine of prayer. They were keeping close to Jesus by gathering for worship and prayer.

Oswald Chambers was a man others recognized as being abandoned to God. He was a Scottish itinerant preacher and Bible college founder. In his early forties he died far away from home in Egypt of a ruptured appendix while ministering to the troops during WWI. His meditations on the Christian life collected in the daily devotional classic “My Utmost for His Highest” have enriched generations of Christians. He deeply understood the essential nature of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus.

J.C.Ryle an Anglican Evangelical Bishop. Knew about Daily Prayer and wrote some of the most powerful books to keep you close to Jesus. I read through a portion of his works every single day whilst at Theological College. It was a tough time, because I had to read so much garbage from liberal theologians and ordained men who didn’t know Jesus personally, but this sound man of God kept me on track with my own walk with Jesus.

Selwyn Hughes: Wrote “Everyday With Jesus”. I got into reading those little daily devotionals when I was a very young Christian in the 1980s, and I can testify they kept me going on track with Jesus. Every day I’d pick up my Bible and the little booklet and read, pray, praise the Lord. Soon I realised it’s much more than reading, but listening and talking with Jesus.

How you serve Jesus is simply an overflow of your time with Jesus.

So my friends, the main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain with Jesus, and the character, power and zeal you’ll have is a by-product of that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually besieged by all the things that will try and get us sidetracked.

You’ll see, because it’s easy to justify not spending quality time with Jesus, but you’ll also see that not spending time with Him will be equally evident.

STAYING ON TRACK:

The most important thing you will ever do as a Christian is: SPEND TIME WITH JESUS DAILY.

It’s a KINGDOM PRINCIPLE, PRECEPT and PRACTICE.

Your own responsibility in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to maintain your own personal relationship with the KING. Why? Because nobody else can do it for you. The best question you can ask your brother or sister in Christ is this, “How’s your walk with Jesus?” or “Are you meeting with Jesus every day?” Nothing else really matters, because what we do for Jesus will be shown by how close we are to Him.

I’ve met many Christians who’re struggling with basic things, I’ve counselled so many, but when we take a closer look at how they are spending time with Jesus daily, we’ve found that’s the one thing they’re not maintaining, so problems come. We’ll avoid so much heartache and troubles if we just keep closer to Jesus. He’ll warn us when things are coming our way. He knows the future. He knows the past. He knows everything. You have the privilege of coming to the sourse of the best NEWS you’ll ever hear every day.

But more than that; Jesus wants to talk with you too. He’s waiting for you every day. When you get up and go to Jesus, He’s waiting for you.

How’s your walk and time with Jesus going?

Living for Jesus flows out of your relationship with Jesus.

WARNING: We often get it the other way around.

Notice that the “with Jesus” is the basis of the “for Jesus.”

So often we Christians get so caught up in what we are trying to do for Jesus that we totally overlook the source of power for anything we can do for Jesus, which comes out of who we have become by spending time with Jesus.

I’ve made the mistake so many times of forgetting Jesus. It’s as if we’re serving the LORD but forgetting to involve Him in what we’re doing. Never forget it is Jesus you are living for and serving.

YBH: Yes but HOW?

How do you spend time with Jesus?

It’s not about “Saying Prayers”… “Reading a BOOK” … etc…

If you’ve ever been in a significant relationship, then you’ll know that the strength of your feelings of love, devotion, care and concern are dependent upon how close you feel towards that other person. So many times I’ve heard from couples, “We’ve just drifted apart emotionally”… It’s so true. We stop caring. We stop being concerned about them. We begin to live for ourselves. If that’s true in our earthly relationships, then it’s also true in our Spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. You’ll notice over time that you just don’t care if you don’t spend time. A wake-up call is coming your way if you’re living your Christian life like that.

So you’ll stake everything on maintaining the most important relationship you’ll ever have in life; the one with Jesus Christ.

Make and Keep A TIME with Jesus:

Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.”

Here’s how many Christians do it:

Fix A TIME that’s right for you: I do it first thing every morning. And so did many of the powerful men of God in the past, but I’m aware that might not be the best time for everyone. But FIX a TIME to be with Jesus every day. Don’t let anything push that time with Jesus out of the way. Treat it like an appointment with the Queen or President or Prime Minister. It’s your appointment with the KING of Kings.

Pray, Read God’s Word, Pray, Praise, Sing, Pray, Listen, Meditate upon what you’ve just read; Pray in the Scriptures, Ask Jesus questions about what you’ve just read. Worship and sings songs based upon what you’ve just been reading in God’s Word. Use YouTube and Google to search out songs related to your Bible theme. (The JOY of the LORD is my strength). Read about the Saints who’ve gone before you and how they got on FIRE for Jesus, but more importantly, how they maintained that fire and stayed on-track with Jesus.

Keep a prayer / devotional journal: Write things down. It’s amazing how Jesus brings you back to a prayer you’ve written and shows you how He’s answered it.

As you spend time with Jesus you will be able to do so much for Jesus.

It’s amazing what you can learn from a trip on an old fashioned steam train, I’ll never forget my trip on the Bluebell Railway and what it taught me about staying on track with Jesus.

Have an awesome week my friends.

BTW: by-the-way, we’ve got our Monthly Prayer Meeting tonight at 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church: I’ll be sharing more about the MOST IMPORTANT THING in Christianity. Be blessed in Jesus.

Don.

 

Fan into Flame The Gift of God

Peter and John, they took note, these men had been with Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 769: Time With Jesus Every Day.

“FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF GOD…” Timothy.

“They Took Note: These Men Had Been With Jesus.” Peter and John.

Good morning my friends, very soon I’m going to begin studying Paul’s Letters to Timothy. These are some of Paul’s warmest and yet most challenging letters in the New Testament. Timothy needed the Apostle’s tender encouragement, we do too. I’ll go through them systematically and you can follow them here at Daily Spirit & Word. However, let’s wet our appetites today with Paul’s encouragement to Timothy, and also Peter and John’s experience of having their GIFT fanned into flame.

2 Timothy 1:3-7 (NIV)
3  I thank God, whom I serve, as my forefathers did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers.
4  Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy.
5 I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
7  For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

That “Gift Of God” sometimes called “The Anointing”: is the passion, zeal and desire to serve the Lord Jesus Christ with your whole heart, soul, mind and strength in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Each and every Christian needs ENCOURAGEMENT: Because this calling is a tough one, we need it to get our flickering flame glowing from a spark into a burning flame of light for Jesus.

One of the things that keeps me on fire is being with Jesus in Daily Study of the Bible. It’s something I’ve been doing since I started following the LORD. Oh yes there have been times when I’ve stopped for a short while, but I can testify from sometimes bitter experience that I’ve been my weakest when I’m not with Jesus every day in His Word.

Daily Bible Study: Is just ONE of the ways you can “Fan into Flame the Gift of God”. How? Because God’s Word FEEDS your soul and spirit. It moves you to praise, prayer and seeking the power of the Lord. You don’t have to read much of God’s Word to soon realise that you NEED His personal presence with you and in you every day.

There are many wonderful gifts the LORD has given His followers that will ignite our faith; here are the main ones, neglect just one at your peril:

How to FAN into FLAME the Gift of God:

What is the gift you’ve been given? First and most important is the GIFT OF FAITH to believe in the LORD Jesus Christ for Salvation.

Here are some of the ways my FIRE keeps going;

1) Prayer, Praise and Thanksgiving…
2) Bible Reading / Study.
3) Fellowship: Gathering in some way with God’s people every day.
4) Worship: Singing, Praising and giving thanks to the Lord.
5) Discipleship: Helping others to grow closer to Jesus with you.
6) Evangelism: This not only brings others into the Kingdom Family, but it also strengthens the faith and gifts that the LORD has given you. Philemon 1:6.
7) Generosity: When you are close to Jesus, you are going to be kind like Jesus. You’ll long to give and give…
8) LOVE: When we’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit daily, we’ll be FULL of His LOVE… This will enable us to LOVE others.
9) ……. I’m open to anything else being added here 🙂

I try and incorporate these things into my life almost every single day, and in that way, the FLAME is ignited and kept burning brightly for Jesus.

Whilst I know and acknowledge that this would be and is very difficult for most people, you have commitments; family, children, work. You have responsibilities; cleaning, caring, cooking. You have hobbies and need time to relax as well. Non-the-less, time spent with Jesus in one of these ways every day will transform your life. You will notice that suddenly you’ve actually got more free time, more energy, more self-control. You’ll notice that your desires will be changing and you’ll begin to love the opportunities that the LORD is bringing to you.

So many people testify to the fact that they get the POWER from the LORD they’ve been looking for for ages, when they follow these simple steps and put into practice some of the teachings of Jesus every day.

Here’s the verse the LORD put on my heart to share with you today. (NOTE it’s verse 13 from the passage below). Peter and John had healed a man and the commotion that followed led to them being arrested and thrown into prison.

Acts 4:5-14 (NIV)
5  The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.
6  Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and the other men of the high priest’s family.
7  They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: “By what power or what name did you do this?”
8  Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people!
9  If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed,
10  then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed.
11  He is ” ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’
12  Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
14  But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say.

What do I get from this passage?

When you are WITH JESUS EVERY DAY: You’ll soon see miracles happening all around you too. The miracles might seem small to start with, but they’ll encourage you and “FAN INTO FLAME THE GIFT OF FAITH GOD HAS GIVEN YOU”… even more.

When you do things, good things, for Jesus; then it can lead to persecution. Jesus promised this would happen. It’s happening today my friends, to Christians all over the world. In England too; the other day in Bristol a man who was being abused by a large crowd when out preaching the Gospel and was arrested. He was exercising his freedom to speak publicly (something we can do legally here in the UK), but he was arrested instead of the ones abusing him. Don’t be surprised when persecution comes, but still; be gentle, be loving, be kind and compassionate, because it happened to Jesus as well.

We think today that the Methodists are very peaceful people, indeed they are, but when John Wesley visited a town or village in Cornwall, there were riots, he was often chased out of town, with all sorts of things being thrown at him. He noted in his journals, “It was a good day today, only three rotten tomatoes and a dead cat thrown at me”…

John Wesley was a Holy Spirit anointed and gifted preacher, thousands were moved to tears and repentance when he spoke, but his experience in Scotland (Accross the Tweed) needs special note.

“The applications of Wesley’s sermons were never slurred (He strove for simplicity and application). The discourses in the Scotch kirks (churches) struck him as specially defective in this respect. 1 On one occasion he speaks of the excellent truths he there listened to, but adds, “As there was no application, it is likely to do as much good as the singing of a lark.” His own experience in Scotland was not encouraging. Though he never met with people who loved preaching like his friends across the Tweed, he often felt helpless in the presence of those self-contained hearers. “Use the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !” http://wesley.nnu.edu/?id=102

Sometimes, even the most gifted, powerful and Spirit filled preachers can’t break through the hardest hearts. It might be helpful to note that in the Scottish Borders at the time of John Wesley that Freemasonry was taking root. It was growing into a powerful organisation with influence in many spheres of society. It’s no wonder that even Wesley found it hard to break through into their hearts: ““Use the most cutting words, and apply them in the most pointed manner, still they hear, but feel no more than the seats they sit upon !”

PETER & JOHN

Peter and John, now filled with Holy Spirit POWER (Power to heal a man crippled from birth), but like the anointed Wesley, they also couldn’t break through into the hard-hearted high priestly family and the leaders in Jerusalem. Even though they’d witnessed a great and obvious miracle… Sometimes, there are people in this world who are so hard-hearted it seems almost impossible to break through into the soft-flesh of their hearts. That’s when ONLY PRAYER and sometimes FASTING will work. Why? Because every conversion of any soul is a work of the Holy Spirit upon that individual. And often before we see a breakthrough, the LORD wants us, those who love and follow Him, to draw even closer to Himself. When we do, we’ll soon discover that it’s not our anointing or gifting or strength, but His divine moving upon the hearts of men. When we do we’ll have our own FAITH IGNITED “Fan into flame the gift of God”…

I’m going to study Timothy, because I see that he needed encouragement from the Apostle Paul to fan into flame the gift of God, I need that too. We all need encouragement my friends, and as I study Paul’s letters to Timothy I hope we will all be set-ablaze with God’s GLORIOUS GIFTS too. Perhaps as we draw close to Jesus this week, we’ll see awesome miracles like Peter and John did on the way to the temple to pray.

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, as I draw close to Jesus every day this coming week, I pray that the gift of faith you’ve given me will become a burning fire. I want to serve you with zeal, love, devotion and power. Help me to make use of those things that will ignite my faith; prayer, praise, worship, Bible reading and study, fellowship, witnessing and love… I’m praying that You will be glorified with my life this week. Come afresh into my life in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit. Through Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour I pray. Amen!

Acts 4:13  When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realised that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

2 Timothy 1:6  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…

They took note that Peter and John had been with Jesus, they were just ordinary men, they knew HOW to fan into flame the gift of God. By being with Jesus, so we can do the same things every day.

Haven an awesome week WITH JESUS my friends,

Don.

 

How to LIVE in Kingdom Power

recognising our Spiritual Poverty is Key to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Daily Spirit & Word: 754: How To LIVE in Kingdom Power.

“Blessed Are The Poor In Spirit, For Theirs IS the Kingdom of Heaven”.

Recognising our ‘spiritual’ poverty is Key to unlocking the Kingdom of Heaven.

Good morning my friends, I can honestly say, “Yesterday was AWESOME”. It really was, because we had an amazing time of worship, followed by the Community Feast and time at the British Home. God’s power and presence were evident, but this morning the LORD has taken me back, back to KNOWING that without Him I can’t do anything of value for the Kingdom of Heaven. I can’t even walk an inch without the Spirit of God and feel it’s of any value.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

This verse has been wrongly interpreted to mean those who are POOR: i.e. the poor people in this world. That is not what this verse is talking about, it’s all about Spiritual Poverty.

That “Blessed are” is not something that might be, it’s not something that could be, that blessedness is something which every truly born again Believer and follower of Jesus has… YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. i.e. You are BLESSED when you recognise your Spiritual POVERTY without Christ or the Holy Spirit’s indwelling.

We cannot be “Blessed are the poor in Spirit” unless we can see that without Holy Spirit we are really poor.

Picture the poor beggars hands, holding palms upwards towards Heaven: That’s how we need to be in our hearts with God, desiring the fullness of Holy Spirit. However, He’s longing to give us what we need.

Why Do We NEED Holy SPIRIT?

Because to become “Blessed are the poor in Spirit”, we must first recognise our POVERTY without the Spirit of God. Also we must come to realise that we NEED the Holy Spirit all the time or we will be weak, without guidance, powerless to do anything of value in the Kingdom and foolish.

  • We are POOR naturally: The man without the Spirit cannot see OR accept the things of God.
  • We are POOR in our natural state as a human being: Because without the SPIRIT we can’t understand the things of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 (NIV) “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

We really do have a choice as Disciples of Jesus Christ; we can walk in the Spirit or we can walk in the Flesh.

However, when we choose to walk in the flesh, there are dire consequences; DEATH. It’s an experience as though we are dead to the Spiritual realm.

I like what William Barclay said about this verse;

So in verse 14 Paul speaks of the man who is psuchikos. He is the man who lives as if there was nothing beyond physical life and there were no needs other than material needs, whose values are all physical and material. A man like that cannot understand spiritual things. A man who thinks that nothing is more important than the satisfaction of the sex urge cannot understand the meaning of chastity; a man who ranks the amassing of material things as the supreme end of life cannot understand generosity; and a man who has never a thought beyond this world cannot understand the things of God. To him they look mere foolishness (Barclay, Letters to Corinthians, 1975, 28).

We must remember that Paul’s letter is written to Believers, Christians and Followers of Jesus Christ; they had already been ‘born of the Spirit’, but they were living like people who didn’t. They were walking in the power of the Flesh rather than the power of the Spirit and for me the warning comes home, “Donald, you can do that too”… At any moment in time, a true follower of Jesus can walk either in the flesh (human reasoning, desires, feelings, fears, thoughts and imaginations) or we can walk in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit.

  • Let’s look at what a walk in the flesh feels like: Romans 7. Condemned (Feeling Condemned / Death).
  • Let’s look at what a walk inthe Spirit feels like: Romans 8. No Condemnation (Feeling Alive / Life).

Which WALK will you choose today?

Almost as soon as we begin walking in the flesh the things of God become foolishness all over again. We won’t want; fellowship, Bible study, prayer, evangelism, teaching of the Apostles (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts or Romans) or serving Jesus. When we walk in the flesh we will be fleshly.

So my friends, can you see why Jesus, as part of His repeated and often told teachings, which are summarised for us in the Sermon on the Mount, would emphasise this in His major teaching that we call; “The Sermon on the Mount”? For without the Holy Spirit nobody can; know, understand, experience, feel, yield, surrender or love God… Our “Blessedness” comes from the fact that we’ve been drawn to faith and trust in Jesus by the Holy Spirit. It comes from that fact that once we begin to come to Him, we realise that we NEED His forgiveness, we understand that without Him (Holy Spirit) we are just like everyone else in this world.

So we truly are blessed when we recognise our need of God and our POVERTY of Spirit.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Why? Because when we KNOW how poor in Spirit we are without God the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, then we will have entered The Kingdom of Heaven.

This promise of the Kingdom of Heaven:

Is not something that happens when we die, it’s our PRESENT CONDITION once we’ve realised our NEED of Holy Spirit.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I hope you can see this, for this teaching in KEY to walking with Jesus, without the Holy Spirit, we’re just walking or trying to live the Christian life in the power of our flesh or human strength and capacity. With the Holy Spirit we very soon realise that we just can’t do it, we are powerless to do anything.

Jesus didn’t just say this once or in one way: It’s the ESSENCE of all of Jesus teaching to His Disciples.

When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness in Luke’s Gospel we read, “He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness” after the temptation of Jesus, “He came out of the wilderness ‘full of the Holy Spirit’… Jesus was showing that to even win just one battle every follower needs to be FULL OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.

To show us how much we need HOLY SPIRIT, before He departed John gives us a few chapters fully explaining HOW the Holy Spirit will EMPOWER everyone who comes to the point of receiving Jesus as Lord. From John 14 to the end of 17… Read and re-read those chapters my friends, you’ll soon discover what Matthew and the Holy Spirit are saying to you today. Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

The Kingdom of Heaven is yours today, if you’ve come to recognise your poverty without the Holy Spirit.

You are in the Kingdom of Heaven NOW if you’ve got Holy Spirit indwelling.

Awesome!

How Jesus Walked and Lived by and in the POWER of the HOLY SPIRIT.

  • The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His own baptism. Matthew 3:13-17.
  • The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus at His temptation. Matthew 4:1 and Luke 4:1.

The Holy Spirit departed Jesus, when the sins of the whole world came upon Him on the Cross… That’s why his cry from the cross is one of abandonment,

Matthew 27:45-46 (NIV)
45  From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land.
46  About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Jesus in those hours upon the Cross, the hours of Darkness between the sixth hour and the ninth hour, He knew the presence of God the Father had gone, the Holy Spirit had at that moment in time had departed Jesus: The Bible tells us “He became SIN for us”… God hates SIN and cannot bear it in His presence… SIN must die, that’s why Jesus died upon the Cross. He took our sins upon Himself and was “FORSAKEN” by God the Father and the Spirit. Sin brings DEATH to our relationship with God. When we walk in the flesh, there is a kind of DEATH feeling that we experience and even as Christians, we can be overcome with a feeling of DREAD. But that’s NOT what the LORD wants my friends, He wants you to experience the full and abundant life, feeling the JOY of the LORD, we’ll get that feeling when we’re walking in the Spirit.

So my friends, the moment we become aware of our NEED (Poverty) of Spirit, then YOURS IS THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. i.e. You are in the Kingdom of Heaven: you’ve become a Citizen of Heaven. From the time I began following Jesus, there have been times when I’ve been POVERTY STRICKEN (Spiritually and Materially). The times I’ve been poverty stricken spiritually, is when I’ve purposefully walked in my flesh instead of in the Spirit.

I’ll never forget the day some of our friends got their UK Passports, they proudly proclaimed, “We are now UK Citizens”…

Oh this is wonderful, for the moment you are in Holy Spirit, your Citizenship has been transferred into the Kingdom of Heaven.

The Holy Spirit is your PASSPORT into the Kingdom.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

There are so many times that I’ve found myself walking in the FLESH (Human power and reasoning) rather than the SPIRIT (Holy Spirit empowered walking).

However, when I’ve later realised that I’ve been doing it in my own strength, I’m so thankful, because the Spirit has led me to repentance and to seek His fullness once again. I can walk either as a Citizen of Heaven, The Kingdom of Heaven or as an ordinary Human being, a Citizen of Earth.

There will be times that you too will recognise you’ve been doing it in your own strength and in your own understanding.

We’ve got a choice to make every single day: I can live my life in the Spirit or in the Flesh.

Just because you’ve been born of the Spirit, doesn’t mean you are as full of the Holy Spirit as you can be. There’s always MORE: We need more, we need to be re-filled, refuelled, just like a car that needs to be constantly filled up with petrol, we need to keep going back to the Lord and seeking His fullness again.

Ephesians 5:15-20 (NIV)
15  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“Instead, be filled with the Spirit”: This ‘filling’ of the Spirit is not a ONE OFF event, but an ongoing reality.

We are to go on being filled with the Spirit, i.e. all of the time.

Once I held up a sponge that I’d soaked in water, the moment you lift it out of the water, the water pours out of the sponge. So it is with the Spirit, we are to be continually immersed in the Spirit, because the moment we stop being in the Spirit, we’re drained of Holy Spirit power, presence, we’re walking in the flesh.

So can you now see the prime focus of Jesus’ teaching throughout the four Gospels: We NEED the Holy Spirit to do anything of value in the Kingdom, without the Holy Spirit we are POOR (in poverty)… But as soon as we become aware of just how much we need Him; oh how blessed we are.

Matthew 5:3 (NIV)  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Prayer: Oh LORD Jesus Christ, I realise that without the Holy Spirit, I’m in POVERTY, because I’m walking in the power of my flesh. Please LORD Jesus, send the Holy Spirit afresh into my being today, fill me to overflowing with Your Holy Spirit, I need You Lord. I realise that without You I can’t do anthing of value in the Kingdom, but with you I am in the Kingdom. Help me this day, to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and to stay full of Holy Spirit. When I am weak help me to recognise that it’s because I am not  as full as I should be or could be. Amen.

Amen.

Have an awesome week in Jesus and full of Holy Spirit. Amen.

Don.

 

After Pentecost What’s Next?

After the Pentecost Prayer Week, National Evangelisation, Power to SAVE

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: After Pentecost: The Power to SAVE Souls.

WOWzer! WOWzer! What an awesome Pentecostal Open Air Baptism Service we had.

IMG_1488 IMG_1490 IMG_1491 IMG_1494

Good morning my friends, it really was awesome. I got up early yesterday so that I could both write and get the Baptism pool ready. I wanted to encourage you before I went out. Oh my friends, I feel so blessed by the Lord. You know, we’ve got an AWESOME family of brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone came together yesterday to make it so special for those taking steps of commitment to Jesus. Thanks so much to David, John and Ben who got up very early and came to help me sweep, clean and build the baptismal pool. It was a sacrifice of pillow time 🙂 Thanks Amanda, who’d prepared song sheets and Bible notices in advance. Thanks to Robert, Celestin, Isaac and the worship team, even Abi and Rebecca joined in…. every one of you are AMAZING. But you all know who I’m most thankful for: The LORD Jesus Christ, He was with us. It was a costly service for us all in terms of time, talents and treasures, but even more so for Him.

Because before PENTECOST, there was a cost: Someone had to die before we could experience heaven in our hearts.

Jesus died upon the Cross for us.

He didn’t stay dead though, Jesus rose again back to life from the dead. He’s alive NOW! Enthroned in Heaven, but you can receive Him into your life today.

He sends the Holy Spirit upon everyone who believes that His death was for their sins, who repents of their sinful rebellion against God and turns in faith towards Jesus Christ to receive Him as Lord, then in faith and obedience gets baptised into the Name of; Father Son and Holy Spirit, to become a Follower of Jesus, a Disciple who seeks to live from that day forward in obedience to Jesus’ Commands and Teachings.

Did you know that Peter explained all this to the Jews and converts to Judaism gathered in Jerusalem that day: He told them HOW TO BE SAVED from their own corrupt generation.

Acts 2:36-41 (NIV)
36  “Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.”
37  When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?
38  Peter replied, “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
40  With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”
41  Those who accepted his message were baptised, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.

On that first Day of Pentecost, when  the Holy Spirit fell on all the Followers of Jesus, it was Peter who stood up and preached. What Peter said to them broke their hearts and they were convicted and pleaded with Peter and the other Apostles to tell them what they should do next, how they could be saved from God’s wrath and anger because they had killed the Messiah. Peter explained, and told them how to be saved: they had to repent of their sins and believe on Jesus Christ. They would give proof of the sincerity of their repentance and faith by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, publicly doing so identified them with their Messiah and Lord and Saviour; Jesus Christ. That baptism would signal that their trust in Jesus death was for their sins, their sins would we washed away.

My friends, it was on the first Day of Pentecost that a person could be saved ONLY by repenting and believing on Jesus Christ. Only then could they too receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit for themselves (Gal. 3:2, 14), and this promise was for both the Jews and the “far off” Gentiles (Eph. 2:13-19). For ALL whom the Lord our God will call. He’s calling ALL Peoples, all over the Earth to have faith and trust in Jesus Christ. He’s pulling men to Himself through the Holy Spirit, even before you go out and witness to them. Do you believe that’s the Father’s Heart?

The Promise of the Holy Spirit is FOR ALL:

You, your children, your family, your friends, everybody who knows you: Your OIKOS.

My wife’s getting tired of me going on about OIKOS. She said, “If I hear it once more I’ll OIKOS you”… LOL.

But that’s the Father’s HEART: To save your complete family and bring in the whole company of those who know you follow Jesus, He wants to SAVE Them ALL.

Do you believe it’s the Father’s HEART: To SAVE everyone who knows you are a follower of Jesus? Everyone, you love, your Father in Heaven loves even more than you.

So What’s NEXT?

We’ve finished our Week of Prayer: But please DO NOT STOP praying for all those who’ve yet to trust in Jesus.

Keep praying for your OIKOS List; until they are ALL SAVED. God wants to SAVE your friends and family.

Who’s ON Your OIKOS List?

  • List them again by name before Jesus.
  • Think about their lives: What’s going on with them? What’s their problems? What’s their heart-desires? What’s their deepest need? And talk to the LORD for them.
  • Next: Do something LOVING for your OIKOS: give them a gift, do a good thing they are not expecting, show them Jesus’ LOVE is in your heart.
  • Next: Purposefully bring up something about Jesus, don’t ASK their permission, just share something. Even if they’ve rejected it before, do it again. Shown them that you are NOT going to give up on them, even if they’ve given up on God.
  • Finally: Remember, it’s their ETERNAL wealfare that you are most concerned about, their DESTINY is not looking good if they don’t trust Jesus. Get a handle on Hell and that will motivate you to endure rejection. Remember, anyone who’s not trusted in Jesus yet is BLIND and DEAF, they don’t know what they are rejecting, they can’t hear yet, because Satan has both blinded their eyes and deadened their ears. However, Holy Spirit POWER can break through into their darkness and let them see the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Keep going back for more: You didn’t put your faith in Jesus the first time you heard the Gospel, so give them LOTS of opportunity. Even if they reject it three or four times before they come to faith. Share a little bit more of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be drawing them to faith and trust in Jesus.
  • PRAY: For yourself that you’ll STAY FULL of Pentecostal Power to reach out and SAVE others for Jesus. You need the Holy Spirit every day, you need Jesus presence and power in you, so ask Father God to fill you afresh every day in order that you can live in His will to save others.

Be blessed my friends, and live every day in Pentecostal Power and Presence of the Holy Spirit, knowing that Jesus is with you always. Entreat your Heavenly Father for your friends, family and followers. Be obedient to Jesus commands and tell them HOW to be SAVED in this, their own, corrupt generation.

Don.

P.S. Pray for me, I’m shattered now 🙂 But I want to keep going for Jesus.

I’m also praying for everyone on my own OIKOS.

P.P. S. SEE more of the Baptism pictures here at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page. I’ll be posting some more awesome shots that my wife Julie took as well.

 

 

Two Responses to Jesus

Are you reluctant to share the Good News of the Gospel?

Daily Spirit &Word: 742:

Two Responses to Jesus.

Some say, “I won’t”, but do.

Some say, “I will” but don’t…

Good morning my friends, what an awesome day and week it’s been. Curry night was great Indigo was a treat to the taste-buds. Ying Kai came to my home and so did Pastors and key leaders from other churches in West Norwood. He shared the simplicity of the Gospel and Discipleship, encouraging us to not-overcomplicate the process, but to allow so much more room for the Holy Spirit, it’s not about systems, programs or fancy marketing, but relying completely upon the empowering, guiding and equipping of the Holy Spirit in the knowledge that Jesus will always be with us. Praise the LORD for Ying Kai, his wife Grace (who exudes God’s grace and gentleness).

I was reminded during that meeting yesterday about Jesus Parables and the one about the Two Sons. It’s in a section of Matthew’s Gospel where Jesus was challenged by religious people who were not following Him or His teachings.

The Parable of the Two Sons

Matthew 21:23-32 (ESV)

23  And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?”
24  Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things.
25  The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
26  But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”
27  So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.
28  “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’
29  And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went.
30  And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go.
31  Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you.
32  For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Jesus was talking with the Pharisees, they are the religious elite of the time, people who should have known how to serve the Lord and be a light to everybody for His glory, but instead of working with and accepting Jesus, they had turned against him. This Parable was directed at them, but in some ways it’s directed at every single Christian. Because like those sons, we’ve all said, “Yes” to Jesus, but only a very few who’ve received Christ as Lord are actually being obedient to the things that Jesus commands. His primary command that we ignore or disobey is what we’ve been praying about all week, “Going into the world to share, spread and broadcast His powerful, life-transforming, Gospel message with everyone”…

The first said “I won’t” but later had a change of mind.

There are many people, who upon first hearing the demands in the Gospel message, initially reject it, refuse to acknowledge their sin or their need for God in their life, but later on change their minds. But there’s a much deeper teaching in this parable for those who’ve got ears to hear. What is the SPIRIT saying to you today?

One of the primary reasons Christians STOP or DON’T obey Jesus instruction / command is because of FEAR of rejection or non-acceptance of the message they are taking into the world, their friends and relatives.

So they end up being like the son who said, “I will”, but don’t continue to do it. My friends, I want to encourage you to CHANGE YOUR MIND again, go back to Jesus in prayer and say to Him: “Lord I will go for You”. “I will take Your message of Good News, I will believe what You’ve promised; Authority, Power, Persuasion and Presence when I go. I KNOW that You will be working on those to whom you send me, that by Your Holy Spirit, you’ll be drawing people to Yourself. Give me the courage to continue to be obedient to Your Commands and teachings, and to never give up or give in to fear again.” Amen!

What do you think made the reluctant son change his mind?

It could be his conscience was bothering him or perhaps it was the fact it was his own dear father asking him to do the work?

My friends, You’ve been following Jesus for so long, it’s time to be living in obedience.

A Lady Who’s MIND has been CHANGED.

One lady, who was at our meeting with Ying Kai yesterday, said to me last night, “I know so much, but I’ve been doing so little with what I know”... She’s been on course after course, training after training, but hasn’t put very much of what she’s learned into practice. Don’t get me wrong, she’s the sweetest Christian lady you could ever wish to meet, she’s got a real heart for people and loves and gives so much of her time, talents and treasures to Jesus already. But she felt convicted, because there was an area that she’s been neglecting, even though she knew it should be the highest priority in all her service of the Lord. “Sharing the faith” transitioning from service to witness. She felt she just hasn’t learned or been obedient to actually SHARE THE GOSPEL. She said, “I’m going to come out and learn HOW to do it with you”… I’m praying she will come.

It’s NOT what we know, it’s WHO we know that counts. 

The BIGGEST LESSON:

The biggest and strongest message I’ve been learning afresh this week: It’s not what you know that matters, it’s WHO you know. You know Jesus, that’s enough, take what you know about Jesus and how He’s had mercy upon you, how He’s saved you from your sins, cleansed you and forgiven you for so much. Take WHO you know to the people who don’t know Him yet. That’s what Jesus is asking for: Obedience to His Commands.

I’m praising the LORD now, because, even if only ONE person gets this message, this whole week has been a tremendous success for Christ’s Kingdom. However, I know there are MANY MORE brothers and sisters out there, who KNOW they too should be sharing Jesus offer of NEW LIFE with many of their family, friends, neighbours and work-mates and even going farther to share the Gospel with strangers. Some of you have tried and then given up because you didn’t get the response you thought you’d get. Don’t give up, because God didn’t give up on you. Keep going, and keep going back to Jesus again.

Which son will you be?

The one who said, “I will” but didn’t?

Or the one who said, “I won’t, or can’t or it’s not me” but did?

Be like the sweet lady I was talking with last night or the first son in the parable and also Moses, who all said: “I won’t, I can’t, It’s not me”, but eventually gave in and did what the LORD asked them to do.

Be assured that I’m praying for you all, that the LORD will be with you, calling you, equipping you and enabling you to serve Him with your life. Don’t wait for the equipping though, because it comes as we step out in obedience to His Commands.

Thy will be done.

Thy Kingdom Come! Amen.

Praise be to the LORD!

Don.

P.S. Hope you all have an awesome Pentecost Weekend.

We’ve got an Open Air Baptism Service on Sunday: Outside St Luke’s Church.

At 10.30am. No matter what the weather, we’re going to BAPTISE some people tomorrow.

One of the Candidates is a lady called Emma who only gave her life to the LORD on Tuesday. Praise the Lord!

COME!

 

 

The Call To Prayer

Pentecost Prayer Week, Time with Jesus every day

Daily Spirit & Word: 736: The Call to PRAYER

JOURNEY in Prayer:

Ephesians 1:15-23 (NIV)
15 For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16  I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.
17  I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
18  I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19  and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20  which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21  far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22  And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23  which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.

I’m PRAYING for YOU: In the lead-up to PRAYER WEEK.

Good morning my friends, sorry I’ve not posted for two days. I’ve been reading, praying, writing, but haven’t had the PEACE to share what I’ve been going through. Perhaps one day I will, but not yet.

PRAYER IS HARD:

Prayer Week: It was really interesting to read David Hathaway’s account of imprisonment (see below), when he eventually ran out of the ability to pray any-more. I don’t know about you, but PRAYER every day is HARD. I love getting up early in the mornings now, reading my Bible, getting into Bible study and writing, reflecting and praying and praising the LORD. It’s taken years to be able to pray like this, but it began when I too felt as a Christian; weak, feeble, alone, abandoned and I didn’t see much answered prayer. I’ll never forget those first few battles with my head and my pillow. I felt as if my pillow was holding onto my head. I loved staying in bed even when awake. It was a battle to get my head off my pillow. Then one morning I had a breakthrough, it was as if the LORD was right there in the room with me and saying “Donald, get up, I’ve got something to share with you”. I was startled, wide-awake and jumped out of bed. I was in a very small room on a training camp with 3000 men and women of the Royal Navy, HMS Sultan. I opened my Bible as usual, but there was something different, I had to write down what I was reading. Then my prayers just flowed. I went from 5 mins of Bible reading and prayer to half-an-hour a morning. Soon, I had to get up even earlier, because I was enjoying the experience of being in the presence of the LORD so much. Now, I’ll get up at 4.45am ready with a cup of coffee to await the sunrise and be with Jesus. Then I’ll get my Bible out and go and sit with Him, asking for revelation. I can’t stay in bed awake any-longer, no matter how loud my pillow shouts at me 🙂 I have to leave it behind to go and be with my Lord Jesus.

This week I’ve been writing every day, but I’ve not been sharing. It’s been challenging and encouraging, perhaps one day I will share, but what I’ve written might upset too many people at the moment. The Lord has been showing me things about me and about our practice of Discipleship in church. It been an eye opener and a challenge to read through Ying Kai’s experience in the Church Planting Ministry.

Prayer Every Day Is Hard, BUT, oh it’s so REWARDING.

THE CHALLENGE:

In the lead-up to PENTECOST we’ve been asked by our Archbishops of Canterbury and York to pray for the EVANGELISATION of the Nation. This, to my knowledge, has never been done before. It’s shows me there’s an awareness of the NEED for people to come back to Jesus. Let’s pray for a mighty outpouring of Holy Spirit POWER on our land.

Next Week: In the lead-up to Pentecost Sunday and our Baptisms: We’re going to be praying every day as a church. I wanted to share that it’s going to be easy, a joy to pray, but I realise that so many of my brothers and sisters in Jesus are not that enthusiastic. You are struggling, like so many Christians today. Many just don’t seem to have the time, because LIFE gets in the way. So in the lead-up to prayer week, I’ve been praying for YOU. I’m spending time with Jesus for you and for me to get ready to pray. I know that if I hadn’t had that personal revelation, that Jesus wants to share with me every day, I’d probably still be listening to my pillow and snuggling up all warm and cozy. I’ve been praying that the LORD Jesus, through the Holy Spirit will give you a call to prayer. We don’t need towers like the Muslims, we don’t need bells like munks, we need God to be our alarm clock. He’ll wake you up on time every day, but we’ve got a hard choice to make, the comfort of the pillow or feet on the floor and over to your Bible.

“NO READ, NO FEED” …. “NO PRAYER, NO BREAKFAST”.

IT IS THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO FEEDS THE SHEEP:

I’ve got this little chant: “No read, no feed” Meaning, If I don’t read the Bible, then I won’t have breakfast. I soon discovered that if I missed out a time with the LORD then I’d be spiritually malnourished. I would notice that my days didn’t go that well spirituall, I’d loose battles and fall into sin more readily. I was Malnourished or undernourished, which means: I’m not being provided with adequate spiritual food to sustain me through the day. I know that so many good Christian brothers and sisters are constantly going out into this wicked world spiritually malnourished. No wonder they’re loosing battles every day. It’s as if they are on a self-imposed fast from Spiritual Food between Sunday to Sunday. They’ll get a little snack on Sunday in Church hoping that will keep them going all through the week. They don’t realise that it’s just enough food for one day and that the LORD wants to feed them every single day. He doesn’t want them to rely on their Pastor, Minister, Mentor, etc to keep them going, He wants to feed His Sheep Himself.

John 10:7-11 (ESV)
7  So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8  All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9  I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.
10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
11  I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

If you don’t read your Bible regularly, pray and praise the Lord, then you are going to be spiritually malnourished, underfed, undernourished, half-starved, unfed, ill-fed. You’ll eat your physical foods, breakfast, but will still feel that something is missing. It is! You’ll experience a hunger for time with Jesus, because it’s your time with Jesus and His awesome nourishment that you need.

Prayer is a discipline. Richard Fosters book “A Celebration of Discipline” was an eye-opener for me. I read it as a four-year-old Christian at 28 years old. I learned so much from him about prayer, fasting, time with Jesus, journaling and though he’s not an evangelist, I learned during that time of study and reading about how I should go about sharing-my-faith in Jesus.

So in the lead-up to PRAYER WEEK:

I’m praying for you;

1) That the LORD will give you a wake-up-call. Every day! And you’ll want to respond.
2) That you’ll experience NOURISHMENT when you get up, read your Bible, Pray and Praise the LORD (every day).
3) That you’ll DESIRE to have times of fellowship with other brothers and sisters. Spending time together in Jesus company.
4) That you’ll GET PERSONAL REVELATION when you pray and read God’s Word.
5) That you’ll SHARE your experiences with at least FIVE other people during the week.
6) That you’ll EXPERIENCE soul satisfaction and encouragement in your life every day with Jesus.
7) That you’ll get the JOY of the LORD: He’ll put an NEW SONG in your heart. (Psalm 40:3)
8) That you’ll begin to SHINE like Moses because you’ve been in the presence of Jesus. Your GLORY GLOW.
9) That you’ll ENJOY seeking His FACE rather than His Hand. It’s so tempting to ask God just to do stuff for us, but what about seeking His FACE and His Glory, so that we can SERVE Him better instead.
10) That you’ll be able to WORSHIP in song and ENJOY extended periods of reflection throughout your days during prayer week.

  • Pray for the Baptism Candidates: Pray that the LORD will prepare their hearts to be His people, the sheep of His pasture.
  • Pray for Discipleship / Evangelism / Personal Growth of Followers of Jesus. 
  • Pray for Evangelisation of our Nation: That there would be a NATIONAL Revival. Holy Spirit come in POWER on our land.
  • Pray for the Renewal and Fire of Holy Spirit for ALL Christians. 

Be blessed and stay close to Jesus, every day. Amen.

Don.

David Hathaway shared on Facebook:

Listen Here: David’s Testimony of Imprisonment.

I want to teach you HOW to pray. I’m an evangelist, but I cannot evangelise without prayer. Without that I have no power in my ministry. When I was in a communist prison in 1972 for smuggling Bibles into the Communist Bloc (2 tonnes every time I came), I was pastor, evangelist – but I had to learn all over again HOW to pray. For the first six months, it seemed as if there was NO answer. I prayed I would be released – but I was condemned in the court to stay. I prayed for food – there was none. I prayed my wife would be able to visit me – she was refused permission. For six months I was learning HOW to pray in a cell where I was never alone – I shared my cramped cell with a murderer, drug smugglers, criminals – the lights were on 24 hours a day – the guards brutalised us every night. The only place of comfort that I had was a wooden stool with nails in it – I was forced to sit on that for more than 12 hours a day! Conditions were extreme.

HOW could I learn how to pray? I had to deprive myself physically, so that with no watch, no clock, I could force myself awake in the night in order to be alone with God. But there was NO answer. I remember the emotion that morning, after six months, in the early hours, and I was saying, “Oh God I can’t pray any more. Every prayer – You don’t answer. Every time I call – the answer is NO. Oh God, I cannot talk with You, I cannot pray, I’m better dead. Why live, if I have no communion with You? Why live, if You have forgotten me?” In desperation, that morning, in the awfulness of that cell, as I sat on those nails, I couldn’t cry out to God any more.

And then I remembered the words of the disciples to Jesus, when even they didn’t know how to pray, and I cried out like them, “Oh Lord, teach me HOW to pray!” And the Holy Spirit reminded me of the Lord’s Prayer. As a boy I attended a boys’ school, where every morning we had to repeat the Lord’s Prayer. To the other boys it was not a prayer, it was a blasphemy, so that I vowed from my childhood I would never ever recite the Lord’s Prayer, because Jesus said we must avoid vain, empty repetitions – the heathen do that.

So I began to say, “Our Father”, but I argued, “That’s plural, I’m alone in here. I’m not in church. I have to say, ‘my’ Father!” Suddenly I knew, He’s MINE! He’s my FATHER! I’m HIS child! I’m locked in this stinking prison, but He’s not only MINE, He’s my FATHER!

Real prayer is not when everything is OK, it’s when you are in the pit of hell, when the devil is surrounding you, when you don’t know how to open your mouth to pray… But something from within tells you, “He’s MINE! He’s MY Father! He sent His Son to experience hell on earth – for ME!”

Ephesians 1

Ephesians 1:1-23 (ESV)
1  Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love
5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.


7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight 9  making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ 10  as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
11  In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, 12  so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 
13  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

15  For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, 16  I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, 17  that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, 18  having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19  and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21  far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22  And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23  which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

 

How to follow Jesus Daily

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don.

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

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

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

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

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

Falling In LOVE with Jesus:

Some Verses From God’s Word:

These may be helpful for you today:

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

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

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

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

 

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