“When you do what pleases you, does what you do please God?
Good morning my friends, what a wonderful Alpha Experience evening we had last night. Our theme for the evening was all about The HOLY SPIRIT. We looked at the teaching, filling, empowering, seeking and yearning. We all admitted our NEED of God The Holy Spirit.
However, one of the main points of our discussion was what we’d talked about the previous week: How does God guide us? How does the Holy Spirit let us know His will? How can I live in such a way that I know I’m going to be victorious as a Christian?
We will understand and know His guidance the more we SUBMIT ourselves completely to Christ, but what we discovered afresh last night was, the more you submit yourself to God, the more you begin to realise how just un-submitted we really are. And therefore, how much we need God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing, power and presence every single day.
THE WALK OF GENUINE FAITH:
The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WILLS: God’s Will and Our Will.
The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of DESIRES: God’s desires and our own sinful desires.
The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WANTS: What God wants and what we want.
The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of PLEASURES: What pleases God and what pleases us.
Thankfully our wills, desires, wants and pleasures change as we submit ourselves to Jesus and seek the fullness of Holy Spirit, but then as we go on in the walk of faith, they sneak back into our souls, sometimes, undetected.
Thankfully Holy Spirit reveals our condition: He’s a gentle Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, but he’ll not leave you, those who’ve received Him as Lord, in a condition of sin for very long. His heart’s desire is that you become more and more like Him: Holy, righteous, good and faithful.
When we follow our heart’s desires, wills, wants and pleasures instead of or in-spite of God’s revealed will, we become like an Adulterer: Unfaithful to the one who’s loved us.
James 4:4-10 (NIV) 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (We become friends of the world when we do worldly things that God hates). 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.
When Holy Spirit shows you your condition, He does not do it to make you feel guilty, but to bring you back, to stop you falling, to keep you on track with God’s good plan for your life. However, just like Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they sinned against God, our NATURAL tendency is to hide too, we want to cover it up, pretend it never happened, keep it in the darkness. As God looked for and called for Adam and Eve, he’ll be doing the same with you and me by His Spirit. “Adam, where are you?” … “Eve, come out of hiding”…. Notice what happens when we respond to the pull of the Spirit, when we draw near to God, “He draws near to us”. What grace, what love, what amazing mercy.
Submit yourself to God:
Resist the devil (the worldly attractions, temptations and pleasures),
Come Near to God: When we draw nearer to God (Nearer my God to Thee)… He comes bounding towards us in Spirit. “He will come near to you”…
Wash, Purify, Grieve, Mourn, Cry: i.e. feel what God feels because of your sinful wills, desires, wants and pleasures and mourn about it. Decide in your hearts that you want to be cleansed and set-free again.
WHEN: When you submit, resist, draw near, wash, grieve and mourn and cry: i.e. HUMBLE yourself towards God: He WILL LIFT YOU UP.
WHAT IF?: What if I’ve failed again? What if I keep falling? My friends, if you feel guilty then you are in a good place, because God’s not giving up on you. It’s when you stop feeling guilty and keep sinning you should really start to worry, because “God resists the proud”. However, if you feel the sorrow of a sinner’s heart, then you will receive from the Lord “MORE GRACE” James 4:6.
Remember Psalm 103:12. When you come in true confession and contrition (sorrow for sin), then God takes your sins away from you and FORGETS all about them, as if they never happened.
Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV) 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
The Holy Spirit’s Intense Jealousy:
James 4:5 “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”
The Holy Spirit, that God caused to LIVE IN US, “Envies Intensely”: i.e. He’s jealous for God’s Glory and your own goodness in the Christian life. There’s an intense feeling of JOY when we walk in step with the Spirit.
FOUNTAIN OF LIFE:
The Holy Spirit: Becomes in us (Inside Us) a SPRING or FOUNTAIN… i.e. we get filled up with the Holy Spirit from within… It’s not external, but internal filling we need. Some people erroneously, mistakenly, foolishly “Call Down” the Holy Spirit, but how can you call down someone who’s already there? He is in you if you are saved by Jesus. You are full of Holy Spirit, but we leak… All we need is a greater filling, more of His fullness, more LORD!…. “Go on being filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:8-18.
Awesome! Because when God lifts you up, you’re going to have one of those MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCES.
Focus on God’s desires, focus on Jesus, focus on His awesome tender compassion, kindness and love.
True RepentanceIs A Requirement For: Salvationfrom, Forgivenessfor and CleansingFrom Sin.
KNOW THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE
Mark 6:12-13 (NIV) 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
I was so touched last night when out sharing the Good News of Jesus in West Norwood with David and Ben. For a change we ventured just up from our church to West Norwood Train Station and began engaging those returning from a day’s work as they exited the entrance. Of course many people after a day’s toil were tired and just wanted to get home, put their feet up and watch TV or whatever else they planned to do. But we did get into some great conversations. Ben and David talked with a Muslim woman for over half and hour, and all that time I was talking to a couple of young ladies.
It was amazing, because I began by giving them one of our little tracts, The Million Pound Note: I asked them, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” One of them immediately said, “I give half of it away to the poor”… I said, “WOWzer! What a nice lady you are”. I asked her friend, “What would you do with it?” She said, “I’d go on a holiday, then buy a nice house”… then her friend said, “We could go away together”… They were really nice young ladies. I said, “flip it over and look at the Million Pound Question”. One of them did and read it out loud, “Would you sell one of your eyes for £1,000,000?” She said, “No way. My eyes are too valuable”… I said, that’s amazing. Her friend also confirmed she wouldn’t sell one of her eyes either.
Then we moved on to the value of their Eternal Soul.
What followed was a bit of to and fro about; the SOUL, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Sin, etc…
I was able to share the whole Gospel with them and finally led to the question: “If God were to judge you tonight, according to His standards revealed in His Commandments, would you go to heaven or hell?”
Their heads hung low and they went a bit quiet, “Hell” they both answered.
I asked, “Does that concern you?” One said, “Yes” and the other said, “No, because God is a forgiving God”…
I said, “You are right, God is a forgiving God, but it’s not automatic”… “It doens’t just happen, God doesn’t say, “Oh, I know you’ve sinned, but it’s OK, you just come on in anyway”… I explained, “God can’t do that, because as well as being; full of mercy, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and gentleness, He’s also a just Judge and must punish sin. He can’t in His Justice just let sinners off with their sins”.
The Good Earthly Judge: I then gave them an example of a good earthly judge, who with a guilty criminal before him, no matter how sorry he is, must give the punishment or fine that the LAW requires. They agreed, criminals need to be punished for their crimes. I explained that God will also punish our sin. One lie will keep us out of Heaven forever, because sin contaminates the soul, and no sin contaminated soul can enter into Heaven. “Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if it was full or murderers and liars?”
So I asked them again, “Will you go to Heaven or Hell?” They had now stopped trying to justify themselves, but said instead, “Well, that means nobody can go to Heaven”… BOOM! “You’ve got it ladies, that’s right, because ALL HAVE SINNED, just ONE sin will keep us out of Heaven forever.”
Then I asked, “Do you know what God has done so that no one need end up in Hell?” They said they didn’t, but I inquired further, “Christians all over the world have just celebrated Easter. Have you heard about Jesus? How He died upon a Cross? How Jesus rose again three days later on the first Easter Sunday?” It was like I just brought them out of a dark dungeon into the full light of the sun, because they both smiled, “It was because of Jesus death”. I said, “That’s right ladies, Jesus died so that we could go to Heaven and be forgiven and cleansed from sin to be made fit for heaven. His blood purifies us from all sin. He died for you and me.”
One of them said, “So does that mean everyone just ends up in heaven then?”
I said, “NO, Not quite, something is required from us, we must first Believe and TRUST in Jesus death in our place for our sin, then we need to Confess (own up and accept we are sinners) and REPENT of our sinful ways of living, then we must RECEIVE Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.” I explained what happens when we do that and how Jesus gives us a NEW HEART and NEW LIFE and NEW DESIRES… i.e. The Commandments are not prohibitions any more “Don’t Do this or Don’t do that”, but they become for those who’ve trusted in Jesus, wonderful promises; “You shall not want to steal, kill, lie, cheat, argue, hate, lust or commit adultery any more”… God changes our desires.
One of them smiled again and said jokingly “So that means no more illegal downloads of music then?”
What followed was an explanation of what life is like from now on as a believer….
They wanted to know how I became a follower of Jesus,
They wanted to know more about church,
They wanted to wait until they were ready,
They wanted an excuse to remain in sin,
They still had lots of questions they wanted to ask,
It was an amazing conversation, but it ended with me saying, “Look I know you’ve got lots more questions, but do you have a Bible at home?” They both had Bibles at home they had never read… I said, “Go home and open your own Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and read about Jesus life and His message. Check out if what I’m saying to you is TRUE from what the Bible says. Then remember what I’ve said, “You must turn from your sin to trust in Jesus and receive Him as your King”
Then if you want to, come and join us (I pointed to our Church) you’d be more than welcome any Sunday at 10.30am. It was so encouraging one of the young ladies said, “I’m going to come to your church”… I also encouraged them to come on our Alpha Course to ask all their questions.
But I gave them this final warning, “We don’t know how long we’ve got left on this earth” I told them about Anja who’d come because I’d met her in the street and shared about Jesus, and how her baby had died unexpectedly. We just don’t know how long we’ve got before we can come to God for forgiveness and cleansing to make us fit for heaven. I said the Bible encourages us to think like this, “Today is the Day of Salvation: Repent and Believe the Good News”…. Ladies, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Repent today.
I finished by thanking them, gave them another of our little cards that reads, “Thank you for listening” it’s got a picture of a cute dog with big ears and a summary of the conversation we’d just had on the back.
We shook hands warmly and they thanked me as we parted company.
What is TRUE REPENTANCE? (SEE BELOW).
I was reading all about it this morning and came across an old Puritan teaching the outlines what ‘real’ repentance is like: Read it below and then ask yourself this question: “Have I ‘truly’ repented of my sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord?” Have an AWESOME Thursday with Jesus.
Please Pray: We had many conversations last night, I’ve only shared one of them, please will you pray for everyone who was encouraged, challenged and witnessed with last night? Pray that the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, will continued to draw them to Himself and that they’ll find GRACE to repent and believe the Good News.
Challenge: Keep Witnessing: The Lord’s Followers will be strengthened and encouraged in many ways by taking the initiative to witness for Him with all their family, friends, neighbours and those they come in contact with regularly, those who know you are His followers. Be kind, generous, gentle, bold, passionate and compassionate. May the LORD fill you afresh with Holy Spirit anointing. Amen!
THE INGREDIENTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE:
Mark 6:12-13 (NIV) 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
When we make a cake it needs the right ingredients to taste great. We follow recipes for successful and tasty cakes. To discover what true repentance looks, tastes and feels like, there are Biblical recipes to follow too.
These final two verses are from Mark’s account of Jesus sending out The TWELVE (Mark 6:7-13). The two verses summarize the specifics of the 12 Apostles’ mission. It mirrors what they had seen Jesus do. With His authority and enablement, they cast out many demons. They anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them (cf. Jas 5:14-16). They went out and preached repentance, the same message preached by both John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and Jesus ( Mark 1:15). They were to go as servants. They were not to compromise their message even if it brought rejection and persecution. They had to have the courage to tell the truth about Jesus and the gospel.
If “repentance” was the first word out of the mouth of John the Baptist, The Lord Jesus Christ, and the 12 Apostles (Acts 2:38), then it must be an important component of the true gospel message today and it marks the starting point of the true Christian life.
Thomas Watson, and Old English Puritan (ca. 1620-1686), wrote a helpful treatise on repentance. He stated, “Repentance is a grace of God’s Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed” [Watson, Doctrine, 18]….
Watson identified six ingredients necessary for true repentance.
The first is sight of sin, whereby a person comes to themselves (Luke 15:17) and clearly views their lifestyle as sinful. If a disciple fails to see their sin, they are rarely motivated to repent…. (That’s why we take time to show people how they’ve sinned against God by using His Ten Commandments: How we’ve all offended a Holy and Righteous God).
The second ingredient for true repentance is sorrow for sin (Ps 38:18). We need to feel the nails of the cross in our soul as we sin. Repentance includes a godly grief, a holy agony (2 Cor 7:10) i.e. “It’s because of my sin those nails pierced the Saviour’s hands”. The fruits of repentance will be expressed in genuine, anguishing sorrow over the offense itself and not just its consequences. This sorrow for sin is more than just a “worldly grief”; it will be seen in the ongoing actions it produces (the fruit of repentance is a changed life).
The third ingredient is confession of sin. The humble sinner voluntarily passes judgment on themselves as they sincerely admit to the specific sins of their heart…. In the Scriptures, we find at least seven benefits to confession:
Confession of sin gives glory to God (Josh 7:19).
Confession of sin is a means to humble the soul (2 Chr 26:19).
Confession of sin gives release to a troubled heart (Ps 51:11-12).
Confession of sin purges out sin (Neh 3:13). Augustine called it “the expeller of vice.”
Confession of sin endears Christ to the soul that needs atoning (Rom 7:25).
Confession of sin makes way for forgiveness (2 Sam 12:13; 1 John 1:9).
Confession of sin makes way for mercy (Prov 28:13).
The fourth ingredient of true repentance is shame for sin: True Repentance causes a holy bashfulness or embarrassment, i.e. it is the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public. The Prophet Ezra prayed, “O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens” (Ezra 9:6). The repenting prodigal was so ashamed of his sin that he did not feel he deserved to be a son anymore (Luke 15:21). It’s like our Sin makes us feel shamefully naked and deformed in God’s eyes and puts Christ to shame, the one who took the scorn of the cross on himself. I’ve often feelt ashamed when I’ve been confronted by my sinfulness in the presence of God and when I’m will other believers who are walking closely with Jesus.
The fifth ingredient in true repentance is a sincere hatred of sin: We must hate our sin to the core. We hate sin more deeply when we love Jesus more fully.
Repentance begins with the love of God and ends with hatred of sin…. Tolerating sin is a willful leap toward committing it. True repentance loathes sin deeply.
Finally, the sixth progressive ingredient of true repentance is turning from sin and returning to the Lord “with all your heart” (Joel 2:12). This turning from sin implies a notable change in the ways we live, “performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (Acts 26:20). Ezekiel records these words of God to the house of Israel: “Repent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations” (Ezek 14:6).
We are called to turn away from all our abominations—not just the obvious ones or the ones that create friction in others. The goal, end, destination or finish-line of true repentance is not to manufacture peace among others with perfunctory repentance, but rather to turn to God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
Most importantly, though, this repentance is not just a turning away from sin; it is also a turning “of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:21). [We should repent of our] doubt by believing in the goodness, greatness and graciousness of God, and [turning] in faith to trust in the freedom the Lord Jesus Christ offers to each one of us in the Gospel. Repentance is rooted in a hatred of sin and a joyful awareness of God’s loving-kindness, which leads to joy: “God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance” (Rom 2:4). We rejoice that Christ has done everything for us—all that we need to secure our salvation and our growth in holiness.
Christ’s Warning: Repent or Perish: “Unless you repent, you too will perish”
Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Why do ‘modern’ churches hate to teach on repentance?
What’s wrong with preaching repentance?
Answer: NOTHING: Because true repentance is one of the KEYS to unlock HEAVEN. (Only Satan would hate a Christian telling people to REPENT).
The man-pleasing, modern, self-indulgent church has bent God’s KEY out of shape. Let’s straighten it and do what Christ has commanded: Preach Repentance.
PRAYER: “Lord, I am an adopted child, not a slave to sin. I was a sinner by now, by Your Grace and Mercy, I am a Saint. I know the TRUTH and in knowing the truth I have been set free. Thank You LORD Jesus Christ, because I am accepted because of Your sacrifice upon the Cross. Please Lord, help me never to forget how much You have demonstrated Your love for me or how loved, secure, rich and free I am when I put my trust in You, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Good morning my friends, Way back in 2014, I did some teaching on the Tabernacle and the Lampstand (DS&W:187: Let Your Light Shine). Today, I’m adding a little more light upon that teaching.
Jesus wants your light to shine, first before Him, but then BEFORE MEN. I’ve been sharing how when Christians are in the world, with people who don’t know Jesus as Lord yet, they are taking those people to CHURCH. Not the Church building, but because they are the Church, the Holy Spirit is in them. Well my friends Jesus wants you to let His Holy Light SHINE so that they can see God is real, alive and to bring them to the point of conversion so they will be able to glorify the LORD too.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) 14 “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD:
My friends, Christians were never meant to be hiding their light in a ‘church building’. We have always been commanded by our Lord Jesus to GO! Go into the WORLD: We’re meant to be both SALT and LIGHT to the people of the world who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord. However, we’ve been contented to SHINE our little light only in church gatherings. How on earth are the people of the world going to get saved if we’re hiding our light in church buildings? “You don’t light a lamp and put it under a bowl” My friends, Jesus didn’t set you on fire to hide that light, so GO. Go into your world today and LET THE LIGHT SHINE…
YBH: Yes but HOW?
Verse 16 gives us the answer: “let your light so shine before men (people of the world), that they may see you GOOD DEEDS and PRAISE your Father in Heaven”… Awesome! So by just doing GOOD DEEDS people will see the light and come to the point of praising Father God.
Of course it’s not as simple as that, it never is. We’re also to “Give a reason for the hope that is in us”…
1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answerto everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,…”
How can they be SAVED unless someone preaches / shares the Good News with them?
Romans 10:14 (NIV) 14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
My friends, there will be many a soul in Hell, who saw your good deeds and thought, “Mary is a really good and nice lady, but I never knew why, I wish she’d told me about Jesus and how I could be saved.”…We’re not to shine our light so that people will see how good we are, we’re to shine that light in such a way that people will KNOW how good God is. So that they will begin to Praise our Father in Heaven, not us.
It has always meant to be Good Works: Kindness, goodness, faithfulness, love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness and self-control, but accompanied with and by the GOOD NEWS: How Jesus took us and cleaned us up, forgave us our sins and rescued us from sin, Satan and Hell. How Jesus has commanded all men everywhere to repent and believe the Good News.
Good Works Accompanied By Good News
So often the ‘church’ has made the mistake of being one or the other: All Good Works or All Good News, but Jesus / God’s intention was that it was always, always meant to be BOTH.
That is HOW we’re to let our light shine: Good WORKS and Gospel Good News.
Remember again how Jesus sent the Demoniac back to his own OIKOS: That word ‘family’ below in the original Greek is OIKOS, it was not limited to just family, but to everyone who knew the man well, his friends, neighbours, those he worked with or for, everyone who knew all about him, that’s what OIKOS means.
Mark 5:18-20 (NIV) 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family (OIKOS) and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Just like that Demon Delivered Man, many of our contemporary Christian brothers and sisters want to STAY with Jesus in the boat of the church buildings. It’s so tempting, comfortable and nice to be just worshipping, praying, praising, but Jesus is still the same, He’s sending US out into the world to shine the light and share the good news. He’s still commanding you and me to go and let your light shine before men, so they will in turn PRAISE your Father in Heaven. This is a REVELATION to many of you I know. Jesus commanded His Disciples to GO into all the world and spread the Good News and make more disciples.
The Delivered Man most certainly did “Let his light shine before men”… Not just in his home town but the whole area. My friends, if you’ve been set free by Jesus, if you’ve been set alight, on fire, ablaze, with His Holy Spirit, then you will be a shining light, people will see your good deeds, but let them know WHY? Why are you such a good person? Why are you doing so much good in the world today? It’s because of your SAVIOUR Jesus Christ and how He’s had mercy upon you. Let them know why and that Jesus wants to SAVE them too with the Good News.
Keep your LIGHT Shining, be continually full of the Holy Spirit my friends, because the most important part of a Christian’s life is the part that only the LORD God Almighty sees. Be filled afresh with the anointing oil of the presence and power of the Holy Spirit today and you’ll be shining for Jesus Christ bringing Him glory by the good things that you do and the way you are sharing the Good News of the Saviour. God’s got so much good planed for you today. Enjoy the day in His mighty power.
You might not SAVE THE WORLD or the whole world, but you’ll be letting Christ’s light shine on your own little part of God’s World. Let it shine! If the whole church is doing that, perhaps we can SAVE many thousands and millions of souls for Him. Amen!
Prayer: I’m praying today for the whole Christian Church in the world. That we’ll all see Christ’s Command to Go OUT, the teaching in the light of all the Scriptures is His desire is that “EVERYONE” comes to repentance, let us not be the ones who’ve failed You LORD by simply worshipping, praying and praising You, when we know we should have been shining Your light and sharing the Good News in the world before men. O Lord Jesus we know You didn’t save the church to hide the light in a building, but to shine Your light in the world. O LORD! The harvest is plentiful and the labourers are few, send out Your Labourers into the Harvest Field of this world. Lord we want to see so many people that we know a love saved, please Lord, let them see the light and respond to the Gospel. Father, watch over Your chosen people and remind us often that we’re to do good works and speak out the Gospel with words too. Amen!
P.S. HOLY SPIRIT: Someone asked me the other day; “Don, you keep saying be filled with the Holy Spirit, I get that, but can you please tell me how to do it?”
That HOW is so important:
Oh my friends, God’s longing to give you the Holy Spirit, we just need to claim what He longs to give us.
First, we must be certain that we’re SAVED: I say this, because from experience many people have simply come to ‘Church’ thinking they are saved by being a worshipper every week and doing the things that the ‘real’ saints in Christ do. We’re not a Bus simply because we sleep in a bus-garage every night. Neither are we Christians just because we attend church regularly. Many people want the Holy Spirit, but don’t want to submit their lives to Jesus Christ as LORD.
So please my friends, first CHECK (Examine so as to determine accuracy, quality, or condition): you are in the Family of God: Have you genuinely;
A) BELIEVED and TRUSTED in Christ’s DEATH upon the Cross for your sins?
B) Have you REPENTED, which means letting go of all sin and begun to walk in His ways?
C) and finally have you actually RECEIVED Jesus Christ as Lord?:
That’s what the Bible calls full salvation. Once you’ve trusted in Jesus like that, then you’ll be born again of God’s Holy Spirit. You will be filled with Holy Spirit, but we need to keep being filled. In order to be re-filled: All we do need to ASK to be filled. God will not give you anything extra unless you ask Him for it. Here’s how to begin: Pray: “O Heavenly Father, please send the Holy Spirit into my life and fill me up as much as I need, fill me until I overflow with His presence and power. In the name of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ I ask You my Heavenly Father. Amen” Your Heavenly Father longs to fill you my friend. Receive the Holy Spirit in faith and watch what He does in and through you throughout the day. Keep a journal and make notes of your prayers and petitions and your encounters throughout the day. You’ll be amazed what God will do in and through you. He’s longing to get you all fired up today. So many believers believe that being filled is automatic or a ONCE OFF event, but the LORD wants to give us so much, but so few seek and ask for what He longs to give.
P.P.S. PLEASE PRAY FOR Anya. We met Anya whilst out sharing the Good News on the Streets in West Norwood, and she promised to come to church, which she did for the first time on Easter Sunday, then she came again two days ago on Sunday. Yesterday (Monday), as I was on my way to the Prayer Meeting, I met Anya who’d bumped into my wife, she was crying, as was my wife, Anya’s baby boy Alexander had died in Hospital that morning whilst undergoing a routine scan. Oh my friends, I can’t tell you the shock. I just embraced Anya. My wife and I prayed for her and continued to comfort her for a while. It’s amazing the PEACE the Lord has given to Anya, but it’s still very raw indeed. What amazing timing the LORD has, but we’re going to keep on praying He’ll bring Anya and her husband and extended family closer to Himself. Please also pray for us, the Christian Community and Family of the Lord in St Luke’s, that we can pour out His grace and love towards Anya. Amen.
Good morning my friends, it’s finally here, GOOD FRIDAY. The day when Christians, followers of Jesus Christ, are gathering together all over the world to REMEMBER what our Saviour did for us upon the Cross.
But before the Cross came the betrayal. Judas was the one.
John 13:22-27 (NIV) 22 His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant. 23 One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him. 24 Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.” 25 Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon. 27 As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,
What struck me from this passage this morning, that I’ve never seen before, if you want an answer to a riddle ASK THE SAVIOUR. John, the Disciple whom Jesus loves, was sitting right next to Jesus and prompted by Peter asks the Saviour who it is that’s going to betray Him.
“It’s the ONE to whom I give this bread after dipping it in the wine.”
The Bread (Jesus body) The Wine (Jesus blood)… He was putting his life in Judas’ hands.
WOWzer! Praise the Lord for revelation.
We can draw near to Jesus every day; in Prayer and Reading His Word; be like John the Apostle, get closer to Jesus and get your answers. Peter needed to ask John to ask Jesus, because he was not as close to Jesus as John. Be like John and get closer to Jesus than ever before in your life. You too can be THE DISCIPLE WHOM JESUS LOVED.
Today, as we Walk in Witness through the Streets of London, let’s Praise the Lord Jesus.
If you’ve got a question upon your heart today, then why don’t you just get close to Jesus and ask the Creator of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Get Your Answer By Asking The Saviour: The Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Have an awesome weekend.
Stay close to Jesus, be filled afresh with God’s Spirit today,
NOTE: Walk of Witness: Gathering at Tulse Hill Methodist Church @9.45am. Walk begins at 10.00am and finishes at St Luke’s Church, West Norwood @11.15am. Then into the church for fellowship afterwards.
“Oh LORD, help me to stop loving all that juicy hot gossip. Amen.”
Good morning my friends, do you know who the most generous people are? Gossips! Why? Because a gossip’s idea of generosity is to keep nothing to himself. HaHa… but seriously, gossip is not funny.
What is Gossip?
▶ noun: casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true: “he became the subject of much local gossip.”
a conversation about other people; an instance of gossiping: “she just comes round here for a gossip”.
chiefly derogatory a person who likes talking about other people’s private lives.
▶ verb (gossips, gossiping, gossiped) engage in gossip: “they would start gossiping about her as soon as she left.”
You know the temptation don’t you?
When you know something about someone and you are just BURNING to share it. That’s OK if it builds another person up and makes them look good in the eyes of others, but what about when it’s harmful, when it’s going to make them look like a fool in the eyes of others?
“When a woman lowers her voice, and her friends eyebrows raise”… You know it’s GOSSIP…
Have you ever been engaged in a conversation about someone and had to stop talking because they walked into the room or close enough to hear?
Proverbs 17:4 (NLT) Wrongdoers eagerly listen to gossip; liars pay close attention to slander.
Our interest in GOSSIP reveals something dark within our own personality. Something is missing, we’re feeling insecure, we’re angry, we’re holding a grudge… There’s nothing as good as bad news about someone who’s done you a wrong: But there is, because the very fact that you are enjoying it, means you’ve not really forgiven them.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, All the times I’ve been eagerly listening as someone tells me some juicy news about someone else. Oh LORD! Help me to keep my head and be listening out to Your Holy Spirit always. Convicting? I’ll say… Lord You know my heart, and how so many times I’ve been offended by someone or something, then just waited and longed to hear the GOSS about them?…. Oh LORD, forgive my interest in slanderous news. Cleanse my heart from these kind of dark affections. Amen!
Gossip: “Usually when the woman who is talking lowers her voice, the woman who is listening raises her eyebrows.”
Gossip: “Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” Will Rogers.
Gossip: “I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs.” ― Andy Warhol Andy was addicted to Gossip…
But WHY is Gossip So Tempting?
Why do sincere, Jesus loving, Bible believing, Gospel sharing, Christians, love to gossip about others?
The Bible gives us the answer: “The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs. 26:22)
Read that again:
“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs. 26:22)
i.e. Gossip is a bit like the promise of the old Heineken Beer advert, it can reach down into places no other beer can reach… LOL
Gossip, according to God’s Word “goes down into a man’s inmost parts“… It tickles our fancy… It appeals to our flesh… It excites our desires.
1 Peter 4:15 (NIV) “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.”
A Meddler: is a back-seat driver, a busybody, nosey-parker, it’s a person who meddles in the affairs of others.
Did you know?
Did you know that a Gossip / Gossipper cannot enter into the kingdom of Heaven?
In God’s Eyes: A Gossip is a MURDERER… (Because you are killing someone else with your words).
“Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done. Their lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarrelling, deception, malicious behaviour, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents. They refuse to understand, break their promises, are heartless, and have no mercy. They know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway. Worse yet, they encourage others to do them, too.” (Romans 1:28-32 NLT)
Those who do those things; i.e. like GOSSIP, deserve to die… Ouch! Now that’s so serious.
Isn’t it strange? We always think that things like; murder, adultery, fornication etc.. are so serious that someone needs to be punished for doing them, but NOT Gossip… Yet God’s warning us all today about the seriousness of Gossip, Meddling and Slander.
Have you ever Gossiped about someone?
Have you ever Listened to Gossip?
Have you ever Delighted in Gossip?
When we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll readily admit that we have. Let’s admit it to the Lord too:
Prayer: Oh LORD! I have to admit that I have listened to gossip, many times, fool that I am, forgive me Lord. Oh LORD! I also have to admit that there are times that I’ve started gossip, wicked person that I am, forgive me Lord. Oh LORD! Please fill me to overflowing with your Holy Spirit, help me in the area of Gossip and Slander and Malicious talk. Amen!
Dr Dale A Robbins has a wonderful Biblical insight into the Dangers of Gossip.
Gossip often masks as pretentious concerns for others.
Gossip often thrives upon secrecy. Where secrecy is removed, gossip is hampered.
Gossip always contributes to a problem and never to a solution.
Gossip always distorts and exaggerates, and is never a reliable source of truth.
Those who gossip & slander are not in right fellowship with God (Rom. 1:28-32).
Those who gossip rarely get answers to prayer, and often face persistent, unexplainable problems (Psalms 66:18, Prov. 21:23, Prov. 6:12-15).
What to do about Gossip?
If you have been a gossiper, confess this as sin and ask Christ to forgive you. “Repent” by turning in a new direction and surrendering your tongue to Christ, not to gossip or bad-mouth again (1 John 1:9, 1 Cor. 7:10).
Keep your nose out of other people’s business.
If you can’t say something good or encouraging about others, then keep your mouth shut (Eph. 4:29).
Never criticize another person, except to their own face with an intent to help. Criticism can never be “constructive” if expressed to anyone else.
If your “friends” start bad-mouthing others to you, stop them in their tracks — refuse to be a partaker of their sins (1 Tim 5:22).
Avoid association with persons who gossip (Prov. 20:19).
Expose works of darkness by reporting gossip to the pastor / minister that he may confront and offer correction. Gossip should be treated as any other vile sin (Eph. 5:11).
“I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence” (Psalms 39:1).
It’s my hope and prayer that you’re going to have an awesome weekend full of the joy of the Lord Jesus.
Stay close to Him every day and remember to ask for the filling of Holy Spirit. We all need it every day. Amen!
Good morning my friends, this is part of the Sermon I preached yesterday in St Luke’s Church.
I began by asking everyone present: “Put your hand up if you believe in God”. Almost everyone did. I said, “Put your hands down, now put your hand up if you don’t believe in God” Only a couple of people did.
Then I asked, “Put your hand up if you believe in the Devil, Demons or Demonic” most people did. Then I asked “Put you hand up if you definitely don’t believe in Satan or Demons”, and quite a few hands were raised.
What do you believe about Satan? Is he a real person? The Bible assumes that you’ll believe he’s real.
Mark 5:1-20 (NIV) 1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no-one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No-one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
‘The Demons who Possessed a Man’
The Doorways of Danger.
Good morning everyone, we’re back with Mark Chapter 5 today. As we’ve been going through Mark’s Gospel, we’ve observed Jesus Power and Authority: over nature: Stilling a Storm. Over Sickness: Healing people of all kinds of diseases. We’ve observed that Jesus had supernatural knowledge: He even knew what people were thinking. Today, we’ll observe that Jesus also has Power and Authority over “The Supernatural Forces of Evil in the Heavenly realms”…
Demons Are Real: Satan is a Real Person with an Army of Demons (Fallen Angels).
MISTAKE: Sometimes people make the mistake of believing they are equal in Power: A bit like ying-and-yang: They balance each other out. Not so, God is not equal with anyone or anything. Jesus was God on Earth, this is most fully demonstrated in this account in Mark’s Gospel today: Because Jesus could COMMAND the Demonic forces (there were at least 2000 pigs that were killed that day). No wonder that man’s condition was so severe.
Demon possession was a common theme in the Bible and Jesus and others were casting out the demons.
From this account we learn some valuable things about Satan, Demons and the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
1) You discover that demon possession is possible.
We live in sceptical times, and many people try to explain away the Bible’s ‘spiritual’ and ‘Supernatural’ elements: Miracles, Holy Spirit, Gifts and Angels, Devils and Demons. (Because they are unscientific and can’t be proven by empirical evidence).
People are much more sceptical about Satan, Demons than they are about: Life after death (nobody wants to die, and we all want assurance that there is more after death). Near Death Experiences: Angels and Miracles. Why? The first step to not believing the Bible is to say in your heart, “This cannot be true”. I’ve done that myself… I found it very difficult to believe many things in the Bible, even after coming to faith in Jesus. They are just so fantastical, so amazing, so weird. But after 32 years of being a follower of Jesus, a Christian, I’m more convinced today than I was at the start, that you can TRUST God’s Word 100%…. Demons, Devils, Satan and Demon Possession are real.
Are You Sceptical About Supernatural?
We have in the Bible many clear accounts of demons being cast out of people. If it were just one incidence, then I think we could be forgiven for thinking that they may have mistaken some kinds of sickness for fanciful thinking that a demon had entered a man. But, even the writers of the Bible, 2000 years ago distinguished between epilepsy (dropsy) and demon possession. Jesus differentiated between sickness, disease and demon possession.
Men try to explain away the supernatural phenomena in the Bible in many ways:
Jesus walking on water (Scientifically Impossible) = Therefore, there must have been Sandbank below the surface.
Red sea parting = it must have been a shallow estuary (an earthquake probably caused the sea to recede, just before a tsunami hit the Egyptians).
Dead people being brought back to life = they were not really dead, but in those days they didn’t have the equipment to detect life.
One thing it’s hard for people to explain away in this account is that the demons who were driven out of the man, then entered into the pigs and 2000 pigs that ran down a hill and killed themselves. Why at the moment of Jesus casting out a demons did the pigs do that?
For this man: It couldn’t have been; epilepsy, frenzy or madness. Because you cannot pass these ailments onto pigs (not 2000 of them). This man was possessed by what the Bible describes as a legion of demons, because they were many. (A Roman Legion had between 4000 and 6000 men: But note that the Bible didn’t exaggerate the number of pigs, just 2000 of them).
However, though we know Satan, The Devil and Demons are real, we can’t see them, so we don’t know a lot about them.
2) Just because you don’t understand everything about demons and the devil, don’t be disbelieving.
We’ve Mistaken Many Things in History:
There were some who believed you’d fall off the edge of the world if you strayed too close to the edge. Christopher Columbus New World Discovered… Put an end to that… However, if people had been reading their Bible properly, they’d have known that the World wasn’t flat at all, but Spherical:
Isaiah 40:21-22 (NIV) Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? 22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. (The Earth’s free float in Space was only discovered last Century by Albert Einstein.)
God’s Word, The Bible states: The Universe had a beginning (Genesis 1:1; Hebrews 1:10-12). Starting with the studies of Albert Einstein in the early 1900s and continuing today, science has confirmed the Biblical view that the universe had a beginning. The Universe is expanding. When the Bible was written most people believed the universe was eternal and in a fixed state. This was Albert Einstein’s view and theory until he observed space through a new powerful telescope, he had to re-write his theory. Only in the last 100 years has Science proven they were all wrong, but that the Bible was correct all along. Science calls it the Big Bang, the Bible tells us God Spoke and Light came into the Darkness. God spoke and matter formed. Scientific discover just goes to prove the Supernatural Inspiration of God’s Word and the fact that for thousands of years man had been mistaken.
– There were people who believed that the human body would disintegrate if it went into space: It didn’t.
– There were people who believed that steam engines were terrible, and people would die if they went on them, they reasoned that the human body wasn’t designed to travel a super-speeds of 30 miles an hour.
– You cannot see electricity, but you believe in it.
My friends, you can travel to the ends of the earth, go into space, ride on a train and you will get an electric shock if you stick your fingers into a socket; AND you can get possessed by demons. Let’s not make the mistakes in the Spiritual Realm that we’ve made in the Earthly and Universal.
♥VAn African Tribal Chief didn’t believe in Ice until he was brought some by a missionary: He gave his life to Jesus afterwards. It’s just as foolish not believing in devils, just because you have had no direct experience of them.
Since we’ve made too many MISTAKES historically, and held mistaken beliefs about so many things, don’t be mistaken about Demons, the Devil and Demonic: They are REAL, perhaps one day Science will confirm it too, let’s hope they are not too late for humanity.
My friends, Long experience, 34 years, of reading the Bible almost every single day, has shown me that it can be fully trusted and believed. I have been involved in the ministry of casting out demons, and I can tell you they are just as real today as 2000 years ago. I’ve seen their destructive force on men and women, in their families and personal life. They are still out to “Steal, Kill and Destroy” your joy, peace and security. That’s their mission from the Prince of Demons: Satan.
What are they like? Well the Bible tells us clearly.
From Mark Chapter 5. We can see their intention for everyone they Possess.
3) Landlords: Many of you have experience of good and bad Landlords. Satan is a horrific Landlord.
You can see in this account of Demon Possession, that demons are painful, powerful, and destructive landlords (owners of the one possessed).
A) Demons Are Painful: The pain and misery they caused that poor man. His life was terrible, he was naked, homeless, friendless, wretched, bleeding, unattended, hurting, crying out in pain, rushing around in the graveyard, places of the dead, restless and cutting his own body with sharp stones. Why would anyone in their right mind behave like this? They wouldn’t, but he not just or simply mad, he’s possessed by Demons that want to destroy him and cause him pain.
Yes demons will do all of that to anyone they possess. They are painful landlords.
Jesus said: John 10:10 ‘The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. 11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’
♥V The devil and his demons want to destroy & steal God’s Creation, us: We also see that Jesus wants to give us life & renew your life, to give you abundant life. He died to make that life possible.
♥V Hell: When you look at the horrible, horrific condition of the demon possessed man you get a powerful picture of what hell will be like for all who end up there: naked, hurting, cutting self, homeless, torment and in fear, in darkness.
B) Demons Are Powerful:We forget at our peril and danger that Satan has millions of beings subservient to himself. He led 1/3 of heaven in rebellions when he was cast out from God’s presence. He is a Powerful Landlord.
However, he is not as powerful as Jesus, Jesus is God; but we shouldn’t underestimate his power, authority and nature: He does want to steal, kill and destroy. But he’s no match for Jesus’ Power and Authority or the Authority, Power and New Nature that Jesus gives to everyone who puts their faith and trust in Him.
Satan is the active force in the world systems that one day will produce an anti-Christ who will oppose God openly. A one world government under his power and dominion. It’s obvious that this is the way the world is blindly heading.
In The Satanic Controlled World: Godly things will become illegal the Bible warns us: And it’s happening already here in Great Britain.
OFSTED: Want to inspect every Sunday School: To ensure we’re not radicalising children. That’s good, right? Nobody wants ‘radicalised’ children. However, they also want to ensure we’ve got a balanced Sunday School Curriculum, that we’ll promote and teach British Values. (My friends, British Values are not the same today as Bible Values or Christian Values). E.G. Bombing Syria: Jesus never said, “Bomb your enemies”… He tells us to forgive our enemies, to bless your enemies, do good to those that hate you… He doesn’t tell us to take away State Benefits for the poorest in society and give Tax cuts to the richest people. No my friends, Jesus tells us to look after widows and orphans, to take care of the weakest members in our society, to LOVE our neighbours. God wants us to welcome aliens and strangers, wanderers in the land. “Don’t be afraid to welcome strangers”… Practice good hospitality. This is God’s way of treating people.
British Values: What British Values are we to teach our children? Only the ‘nice’ ones… I’ve no doubt we’ll soon have an approved Government curriculum that we’ve got to ensure is communicated to Sunday School children. I’m not even going to mention; same-sex-marriage which God clearly teaches is contrary to His will for human beings.
Satan is at work in the Governments of this world today, they a pushing forward Satan’s agenda, to destroy society, community and human beings. How? By advocating and promoting the things that God hates. However, his time is coming, when he along with all his demons and fallen angels will be cast in to the lake of fire. Hell has not been Created yet, but when God is ready Satan’s end is certain. Satan is Powerful and influential, but he’s not as powerful or as influential as God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
C) Demons Are Destructive: Lastly, in looking at what kind of Landlords Demons are, we see from our account in Mark today that the Demonic is Destructive.
They only wanted to kill the man, why or how that poor man survived is beyond our understanding, but perhaps his will was not completely subdued or broken. (He came running to Jesus and fell at his feet). And perhaps he was resisting the evil spirits, that’s why he was screaming and in torment. It might be that’s why he screamed at night in the tombs.
We can see how destructive those Demons wanted to be with the man, because as soon as they entered into the weak willed PIGS, 2000 of them rushed over a cliff into the lake. You can be certain that is what the Demons wanted to do to the man. Jesus warns us in many places in His Word, that Satan wants to do the very same things with you and me.
Finally Don’t Give The Devil A Foothold:
We don’t know why this man got Demon Possessed. We don’t know what he was playing with before it happened.
But we do know that there are DOORS of DANGER: Places we should avoid, because Satan is a legalist, he’s legalistic, he can only gain entry, like a Landlord with proper notification. He can only come in if we allow him in.
Ephesians 4:17-32 (NIV) 17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbour, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
All of the above are DOORWAYS of DANGER: They can allow or give Satan permission to enter.
Even if we have innocently, naively or foolishly entered into these things. Or of our own wilful disobedience: We need to renounce these unholy and shameful things and seek God’s forgiveness and cleansing. When we’re playing with sin, we’re cracking open the doorway and giving the Devil a foothold into our lives: These are the Doorways of Danger: Unwholesome talk, anger, slander, lying, stealing, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousy, rage, greed, sexual sins, sensuality, feeding the fleshly nature, backbiting, coveting what others own, cheating in life, unfaithfulness, disobedience to authorities and parents, etc, etc, etc… We’re experts and finding new ways to rebel against God’s Commandments, but they are all Doorways of Danger. Don’t give the Devil a foothold into your life. Jesus came to set us FREE.
To summarise:Satan and Demons are real, and they are painful, powerful and destructive. They must not be played with and we must renounce all participation either voluntarily entered into or foolishly deceived.
The Lord Jesus Christ: Has POWER over the Demonic Forces of Evil: They are not equal in any way. He commanded the Demons and they had to submit to His authority.
He also gave you that same Power and Authority: When you Believed in Jesus Christ, Repented of your sins and Received Him as your Lord and Saviour. Have you really done all that? Believed, Repented, Renounced, Received? Then you are FREE.
John 10:10 Fullness of life, Jesus’ abundant life, are yours. Jesus gives you the same rights as the Son of God. (John 1:12-13).
Jesus’ Perfect FREEDOM:
John 8:31-36 (NIV) 31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (They’d been invaded by the Romans, dominated by a foreign power, and they still thought they were free. But Jesus wasn’t talking about Political freedom, but Spiritual freedom). 34 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Because when Jesus sets you free from sin, you are free from Satan’s bondage to sin, you are free to live as God’s child, that freedom cost Jesus his life, so that we wouldn’t need to loose ours).
Jesus came to SET YOU FREE:Completely FREE from Satan and His Demonic forces.
How to get your FREEDOM BACK: Renounce: Repent: Confess: Receive: Live…
Renounce: Those shameful secret sins. (Pornography is rife in our Society). Anger is festering inside people. Hatred is lying in wait. Jealousy: Bitterness. Rage (Car rage, explosive anger) these are signs that not everyting is OK in our land. Satan is having a ball or a time with the people in our land. Renounce: And BE Set FREE by Jesus Christ.
Repent: Turn away from ALL that your Conscience is telling you is wrong for you. Listen to the voice of your Conscience. You’ll know: That lying, Stealing, lusting, hatred, gossip, slander, back-biting, etc these are ALL Sinful: They may give the Devil a foothold into your life.
1 Peter 5:5-11 (NIV) 5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the Devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
CONFESS: Confess all know sin: This is not too difficult because the Holy Spirit will make you aware of sin in your life. He doesn’t do this to make you feel ashamed, but so that you’ll know what’s separating you from the fullness of life God wants you to have. Be open with God, Confess your sins to Him out loud… Confession is admitting how you’ve sinned against God.
RECEIVE JUSUS: Humble yourselves. Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD: Live your life for Him. (He’s a much better Landlord than Satan) His yoke is easy, His burden is light… (Satan’s is; heavy, hard, unbearable, tortuous, wearisome and deathly).
SATAN: He’s a legalistic, legalist, once you open the door, He’s just waiting to come on in. He’s got YOUR permission. He can’t come in without permission. Don’t open the Door to Satan: If you have or as soon as you become aware of sin in your life: Renounce, Repent, Confess and Receive Jesus forgiveness and renewal of the Holy Spirit. Do it quickly, do it today. Get FREE with Jesus help.
JESUS: God, wants to give you a FRESH START: Humble yourself under God’s mighty hand, that He may life you up in His time.
Jesus Christ: Has POWER to Set you COMPLETELY FREE FROM EVIL TODAY:
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed”… John 8:36… Notice the “IF”…
There are a few people in the world today who want God to PROVE Himself to them first, but my friends, He’s God. He’s not about to take orders from high-minded human beings that He’s created. He’ll never prove himself to a proud human being. However, a person who sincerely wants to discover if God is real, a humble human being, will find out the truth; That’s God’s PROMISE and God cannot tell lies.
Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV) “But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Jeremiah 29:12-13 (NIV) 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Can you imagine the JOY that Demon Possessed man experienced once he’d been set free? He wanted to follow Jesus, but he was told by Jesus to go and tell his family, friends and neighbours what God had done for him. Yesterday in St Luke’s Church we heard how Gemma had been set free by Jesus, not from Demons, but from the jaws of an alligator as she was sinking to almost certain death. Joy at knowing you’ve been set free transforms your life.
My friends, you can discover God is real and alive today, more real and more alive than you ever imagined. Satan is real too, but He’s not as powerful or influential as God. So stop doubting and believe, call out to God from a sincere heart, seek Him and you will find Him when you seek with all your heart. This is how you can prove to yourself that God is Knowable today.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven,
Holy is Your Name,
Your Kingdom Come,
Your will be done,
On Earth, As it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who’ve sinned against us,
Lead us not into temptation,
Deliver us from evil,
For Yours is the Kingdom,
For Yours is the Glory,
Forever and Ever, Amen.
Your Kingdom Lord, In my life, as it is in Heaven.
Lead me not into temptation,
Deliver me from evil.
For Yours is the Kingdom.
The POWER and The Glory. Amen!
You can be FREE, but that freedom is not automatic: You must; renounce, repent, confess and receive the Lord Jesus Christ, turn and trust in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation from sin and freedom from Satan’s power. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who has laid down His life for His sheep.
That man, possessed by demons, ran and fell at Jesus feet. Something in him made him run to Jesus.
My friends, will you run to Jesus Christ this morning? Run and fall at His feet… He can and will set you FREE today.
I’m praying that anyone who reads this today, may find that perfect and complete FREEDOM that only Jesus Christ can give. Amen.
Daily Spirit & Word: 642: The Desires Of Your Heart.
Psalm 37:1-11 1 [ Of David.] Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. 10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. 11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.
Good morning my friends, I was singing the little praise song; “Delight Yourself In The LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Then looked up the Scriptures: WOWzer! How awesome is Psalm 37?
I’ve just received news that a friend who was deemed to be here in the UK illegally, and was about to be deported, has been granted a reprieve. It’s totally AWESOME! She’s a real STAR and her trust in the LORD throughout all her trials is a wonder to behold. No matter what her circumstance, and they’ve been truly terrible, she’s resorted to; prayer, praise, trust and delight in the LORD. She witnessed to me the other day, “Don, even though I’m due to be removed from the UK, I’ve got real PEACE and the FEAR has been taken away. I’m trusting in the LORD”… How brilliantly awesome is that? Though her situation looked bleak; Her JOY in the LORD was evident.
LOOK WHAT THE PSALMIST SAID:
There are conditions to our PEACE and SAFETY in the Land.
There are conditions to our Heart’s Desire.
There are Conditions to our INHERITANCE.
WHAT ARE THE CONDITIONS?
TRUST: Trust in what? The strength of your arm? NO! The cunning or craftiness of your ways? NO! We are to TRUST in the LORD. Remember my friends, “It’s not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the LORD”.
DELIGHT: Delight is the second condition: Delighting in the LORD means praising HIM no matter what you are going through. He’ll deliver you. He’ll fight for you. He’ll watch your back.
COMMIT: Commit your ways to the LORD! Lay all your own plans before the LORD. Let Him direct your paths. We don’t know the future, but He does, so it’s much better to trust the one who knows what’s best for us.
BE STILL: When we’re still, we’re not doing anything. We’re not acting or working or plotting or planning. He’s got the situation that you’ve TRUSTED Him with, DELIGHTED in Him for: So why fret, why worry, He’s got it. “He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.”
REFRAIN FROM ANGER: You know it’s easy to get all heated-up and angry if we dwell upon our situations. However, when we: Trust, Delight, Commit and Be Still: All the fretting seems totally useless.
What happens when we trust the LORD like that? What happens when we live life totally dependent upon the LORD?
” But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace.” Psalm 32:11.
The next time you find yourself moaning, fretting or getting upset about something; Turn to this Psalm: Highlight those words in your Bible so you can find them again. Make a note at the front of your Bible: “When I’m feeling down and depressed I’m going to do what Psalm 37 tells me to do: Trust, Delight, Commit, Be Still and Wait on the LORD.” Turn to it often, commit it to memory.
Make a note at the front of your Bible: “When I’m feeling down and depressed I’m going to do what Psalm 37 tells me to do: Trust, Delight, Commit, Be Still and Wait on the LORD.” Turn to it often, commit it to memory.
So today, sing that song with me and my friend, she’s totally overjoyed now. So am I.
“Delight yourself in the LORD and He will grant you the desires of your heart.”
Keep singing, Keep praising, Keep trusting and BTW “Do Good” Psalm 32:3 “Trust in the LORD and do good”.
Have an awesome weekend with Jesus the LORD my friends,
Another Song of FAITH and TRUST in the LORD
Delight yourself in the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.
The Wonderful Friends, The Wonder-Filled Crowd & The Wonderful Words of Jesus.
Jesus Has The Power & Authority to Forgive Sin.
SHOCKING NEWS: I was filled with a deep sickening-feeling when I watched the news that so many people had been killed by those murderous terrorists in Paris. We’re with the French Nation! Grieving with you over your loss of so many young loved ones. It’s a scar that will be painful and will hurt for a long time to come. I couldn’t call them soldiers or that this is a war, because that would elevate them to an army. They are pure merchants of an evil that’s running rampant over the face of the earth. Praying for PEACE and in God’s timing that the good people of France will be enabled to FORGIVE. For when we forgive, then we are set-free. O LORD, please bring the comfort that You alone can give in the face of death. Amen!
Good morning my friends, today we’re back with Mark’s Gospel and chapter 2. The familiar story, recounted in many a Sunday School Class, the famous account of the four friends who brought their friend to Jesus to be healed, but couldn’t get in at the door so the climbed-up, made a hole in the roof and lowered their friends to the feet of Jesus Christ.
Mark 2:1-12. The Paralysed Man: Forgiven and Healed. Four Wonderful Friends. 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
There are so many wonderful lessons and sermons I’ve personally heard about this account. I’ve preached upon it many times myself, but today I was struck afresh by these four men and Jesus response and the crowds of people in the house that day.
The Three Things That Strike Me Today:
1) The Wonderful Friends.
What amazing friends this paralysed man had.
4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralysed man was lying on.
Some people imagine that when someone is paralysed that they will be that way for the rest of their days.
Imagine, if that man’s friends had thought like that? He may have wanted to be cured, but if they’d argued, “It’s no use mate, you’re paralysed, just get used to it, there’s no hope for you”. (British Home: Used to be called, “The British Home For The Incurables” I first saw that sign and I wept inside. I first visited the Home before I was the Minister here, and my heart sank “Have I got to come to this place and preach to these people who have no hope of ever being cured?”
Those Wonderful Friends didn’t think like that; they had FAITH that Jesus could heal their friend.
My friends, I do have a hope, I do believe with all my heart that Jesus can and does do miracles today. I’ve seen miracles of healing and I believe, like those four wonderful friends obviously did, that their friend is worth bringing to Jesus Christ. Jesus came into this world to SAVE everyone. Not everyone will be SAVED but that’s what Jesus wants, be certain of that my friends.
How were they Wonderful Friends?
They Cared:They didn’t give up when they couldn’t get in through the door.
Some of us give up too easily on those we’re trying to bring to Jesus Christ, but not these friends.
You may have been trying for years to get a loved on SAVED, but they refuse to come to Jesus. Be like those friends, who were not put-off by the crowds at the door.
They Were Creative: They used their heads, “what other way can we get him into see Jesus?”
Some of us, when we’re met with an obstacle, just give-up, just put-off by the obstacles, but instead they got creative.
It might take an unusual approach to save your friends and relatives. It might mean you’ll have to think of another way. A different or novel way.
The must have said amongst themselves that day, “We can’t get in through the door, but look, there’s a roof and we can easily break through the roof and get him into see Jesus”… That’s creative. Not only did they care, they were not going to be put-off and they got very creative.
They Were Commended: Not only did they care and get creative, but they were commended by Jesus for their faith.
Verse 5 “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.””
It wasn’t the paralytic’s faith that was commended that day, it was the faith of the friends who struggled to bring him to the feet of Jesus Christ.
Will you be commended by Jesus because of your FAITH?
The faith they demonstrated was obvious; their faith had legs, they didn’t let obstacles get in the way, they tried their hardest all all costs to bring their friend to Jesus. They BELIEVED that Jesus would and could HEAL their friend. What wonderful faith, what wonderful friends. O my friends, if only we had a church full of people who were longing to bring their friends to faith and trust in Jesus Christ. If only we’d bring our loved ones to Jesus. If our Church was not put-off by obstacles, think how full our church could be.
They may be paralysed:
They may not be able to come themselves to Jesus: You Bring Them.
They may not want to come to Jesus: You Bring Them whatever way you can. Carry Them.
They are paralysed by sin, powerless to save themselves. You show them they can be SAVED by Jesus.
They’re not looking to come to Jesus: They are BLIND and cannot see their NEED of Jesus or Church: we must open their blinded eyed and bring them to Jesus.
“When Jesus saw their faith”: The man’s sins got forgiven.
Imagine: You’ve struggled to bring your paralysed friend to Jesus. You’ve heard that He’s a healer and all He does is say, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”… What? I mean, “We’ve just dug through a roof, we’ve not been put off by the crowd, we’ve lowered our friend on ropes to your feet and all you do is forgive him his sins?” But Jesus is NOT finished yet.
THEY Cooperated TOGETHER:
One last thing about the Wonderful Friends: The worked together to bring their friend to Jesus.
That tells me afresh today; “Donald, don’t try and do it all alone. Work together to bring people to Jesus.” It’s a TEAM effort. We’ve got to be working together. There’s always something you can be doing: If you can’t be an Evangelist, you can be a prayer. You can be a meal-giver, you can be a host, you can be a helper, you can be a giver, you can be SOMETHING as part of the TEAM Here are St LUKE’S Church to bring people to Jesus. Only four of the group were carrying the man, there were more than four of them. All those people, bringing their friend to Jesus. Think: When we’re joined together in UNITY there the LORD commands His blessing.
2) The Wonder-Filled Crowd.
The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They were all crammed into that house to hear Jesus teaching. So many that the sick couldn’t get in. They were filled with wonder, but they’d become a stumbling-block; blocking access to Jesus that day.
The Church Today is FILLED with the WONDERERS: They love wondering at the words of Jesus, they love sermons, they love healings, they love miracles, they love the spectacle of power ministries, but just like the Wonder-Filled Crowd back then, they become a blockage to people coming to Jesus today. They don’t care: Even if they do care, the don’t show their faith, by doing something about it.
How do we know they were a blockage? It’s revealed when Jesus said those amazing words; “Son, your sins are forgiven you”.
That Wonder-Filled Crowd knew that ONLY God can forgive sins.
Mark 2:6-9 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
They were right too, these TEACHERS of God’s Law: ONLY God can forgive sins.
My friends, if ever there was a passage in the Bible that shouts-out about the Divinity of Jesus, that Jesus is God, it’s this one (there are many, many more) but they KNEW that Jesus was claiming to be God by saying, “Son, your sins are forgiven you”, because ONLY God can forgive sins.
But instead of praising Jesus Christ as God, they began to accuse Him of Blasphemy in their hearts. Many times these Jewish Teachers of the Law wanted to stone Jesus to death for His blasphemous words. They were there, crowded into the house, listening to the wonderful teaching of Jesus, but they were not all there to praise Jesus. Some of them were there only to be critical and cynical. Not everyone in that house that day was filled with a desire to be a follower of Jesus.
Now, listen afresh to the wonderful words of Jesus;
3) The Wonderful Words of Jesus.
8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?
9 Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’?
10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic,
11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”
12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
Before they could utter their thoughts out loud, Jesus took the initiative, by REVEALING THEIR THINKING.
Not only is it ONLY GOD that can forgive sins; but ONLY GOD knows what a man is THINKING.
That alone should have convinced them that this man Jesus before them was God on Earth.
No ONE on Earth or in Heaven can read your thoughts, but God ALONE (Jesus is God).
No ONE on Earth today can say to a Paralysed man, get up and walk and he’s healed and walks. Only God can do that kind of miracle. This again, the third thing that day, proved that Jesus was God.
MARK 2:10 To PROVE THAT Jesus, “The Son of Man” (Messiah Title) Has the Authority to FORGIVE SIN: He performs this miracle.
Mark 2:10-12: 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . .” He said to the paralytic, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
These Wonderful Words of Jesus, to Prove He was God on the Earth, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home”… He did and they were all amazed. He did it in full view of them all. The Miracles was to prove to the doubters that day and today that Jesus is God. He has the authority to forgive sins, only God can do that.
We’ve seen today;
The Wonderful Friends: Who are full of faith, undaunted by obstacles, creative in bringing their friend to Jesus and caring enough to consider that not even a paralytic is beyond the reach of Jesus power.
The Wonder-Filled Crowd: They’d become a blockage to people coming to Jesus. Not everyone was there for right reasons. Be certain that you are not coming to Church just to wowed and to wonder, but to work for Jesus too.
The Wonderful Words of Jesus: “Your Sins are forgiven, Your thinking this, Take up your mat”
Forgiven and Healed: Forgiven and Commanded; Forgiven and Commissioned.
Thoughts: Are you being a Wonderful Friend to someone today? Is there someone you can bring to Christ? Don’t be put-off, deterred, disheartened, disillusioned, by a blockage. They may not be willing to come to Jesus yet: don’t ever give-up on them, what may seem impossible now: Is POSSIBLE (All things, all people, everyone; can come to Jesus). There’s no one beyond the help and hope of Jesus POWER to reach them. Like the Paralytics Wonderful Friends: Be creative, Have faith, Keep going when everyone else gives up.
BE AMAZED: Like the Wonder-Filled CROWD: Let these words of Jesus fill you with wonder every day. Let Him come to you afresh. Let Him dazzle you with amazement. Only Jesus knows what they were thinking, ONLY GOD Can Do That: Jesus is God.
The Wonderful Words of Jesus: He’s saying to you today “Your sins are forgiven, now get up and go for Me into this world and proclaim the Good News”…. That’s the Wonderful Good News Gospel of Jesus. You’ve got it my friends, now go and give it away; Be part of the Wonder-Filled Crowd who were there to listen to every word of Jesus, Be like those Wonderful Friends and let the Wonderful Words of Jesus impact your HEART today. Amen!
I hope you all have a WONDERFUL Sunday full of JOY in the LORD Jesus Christ.
Daily Spirit & Word: 616: The Power of God’s Word.
Good morning my friends, it’s been hitting home to me again today just how wonderful and powerful God’s WORD is. He speaks mainly through the Scriptures (Bible), but the power of God’s Word also comes to us in so many other ways, as people share God’s eternal truth. In what ways has He spoken to you?
Hebrews 4:12-13 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
These two verses in Hebrews 4 are AWESOME:
God’s WORD: It’s;
“The Word of God”: Bible Commentators are divided as to what this phrase is referring to:
Could it be the Whole Bible as some assume?
Could it be the Lord Jesus Himself?
Could it be the Gospel (Good News)? For we know that it’s the Word of God that gives the gift of faith.
Could it be the Law, as some assume? For the Law is a Schoolmaster to lead us to Christ. (An awareness of our need of God’s forgiveness, for we’ve all broken God’s Laws).
Could it be when the Scriptures are read or preached?
Personally I think it is a combination of ALL of the above:
The Power of God’s Word: We’ve probably seen it ourselves in our own experience of walking and trying to live the Christian life.
When we hear a sermon and it cuts right into our daily life, the preacher being completely unaware of what we’ve been doing, but the Power of God’s Word hits home. Making us feel like getting down low and hiding or running out of the room. I’ve had that as the convicting power of God’s Word comes upon me.
We’ve probably all had an experience of chatting with someone about the Lord’s things; answered prayer, what the Bible is saying to us in our daily devotions, and then all of a sudden you become aware that He’s in the room right there with you, speaking through your words or of the conversation of others in the room. The Power of God’s Word comes to life upon the lips of a brother or sister. It’s wonderful when the Lord does that, speaks through your brothers and sisters in Christ.
We’ve probably all had the experience of reading the Bible and suddenly a phrase jumps into our hearts and encourages us and makes us feel secure, strong, bold, humbled. When God’s Word does something to take away our fears or illuminate a problem we’ve been having.
God’s Word: Is LIVING AND ACTIVE: It’s always there, it’s powerful and it can accomplish what God wants it to. Just think for a moment how the Power of God’s Word: Created the Universe and how God’s Word can make Peter walk upon the water with Jesus. WOWzer! It’s mind-blowing, the POWER of God’s Word.
I heard the story of a young boy, he’d just been converted to Jesus and was sitting in the park reading his bible and yelping with delight. An old stuffy Minister was walking past, he asked the boy, “What are you making all that fuss about?” The Boy responded, “It’s awesome how in the Bible the Israelites crossed through the Red Sea when God rescued them from Pharaoh” The Minister was a liberal and didn’t believe in the literal reading of Genesis, he said, “Oh Archaeologists have proven that the Red Sea was probably only about two feed deep at the point they crossed over”
The young boy’s face fell and the Minister walked away smirking to himself, thinking he’d put the boy to right. Then he heard the boy whooping and dancing again, he turned back and asked the boy, “What are you making a fuss about now?” The boy replied, “It fantastic, what a wonderful God we have” Impatient, the Minister said, “What do you mean?” The boy said, “Don’t you think it’s just amazing how God could drown the whole Egyptian Army in just two feet of water?”
The boy walked away praising the Lord Jesus, the Minister’s face fell. LOL.
God’s WORD has a Power to convict the hardest of hearts. (Penetrating).
God’s Word is living and active and will never cease to be. (Alive).
God’s WORD: Is a lamp to my feet and light unto my path. (Guides us in life).
God’s WORD is TRUE: for ALL time. (Truth for Everyone, Everywhere).
God’s WORD is TRUSTWORTHY: ALWAYS.(Believe ALL God’s Promises in His Word).
God’s Word is FAITHFUL: Reliable and Encouraging. (Feeds & Nourishes the Soul).
God’s WORD: Has the ability to give faith and lead a person to Jesus Christ today!
Let’s let God’s Word do it’s job in our life and the lives of those we love today.
Oh LORD Jesus Christ, I thank You that You are that living WORD, that You’ve given us Your Words to teach, encourage and strengthen us every day. You have revealed Father God to us through the Words that He gave You to speak whilst upon the earth. Thank You Lord Jesus Christ. Thanks for the ways that You speak to us and show us the truth in our lives. Your Word is amazing. Praise You Lord! Amen.
Think about it, what ways has God’s Word spoken to you?
What ways has He spoken to you apart from Scripture and you KNEW it was Him?
What ways have you become aware that God was speaking through you?
The POWER of God’s WORD: Let it soak into your soul today, let it feed you and nourish your walk with Jesus.
Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands for ever.”
Have an amazing Tuesday with Jesus.
The POWER of God’s Word:
Isaiah 40:6-15 6 A voice says, “Cry out.” And I said, “What shall I cry?”“All men are like grass,and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. 7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the LORD blows on them.Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands for ever.” 9 You who bring good tidings to Zion, go up on a high mountain.You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout,lift it up, do not be afraid;say to the towns of Judah,“Here is your God!” 10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power, and his arm rules for him.See, his reward is with him,and his recompense accompanies him. 11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his armsand carries them close to his heart;he gently leads those that have young. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,or weighed the mountains on the scalesand the hills in a balance? 13 Who has understood the mind of the LORD, or instructed him as his counsellor? 14 Whom did the LORD consult to enlighten him, and who taught him the right way?Who was it that taught him knowledgeor showed him the path of understanding? 15 Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales;he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust.
Good morning my friends, it’s so good to be back with you again. It was a wonderful holiday with Julie; we’ve seen family, visited friends and places around London and taken time to make-and-mend in the house and garden. However, I’ve seen that following Jesus requires that we’re constant with Him. We need Him every day, but why do we need Jesus so much in life today? Are you convinced that you need Jesus? Let’s see what God’s Word tells us about Him: Let’s refresh ourselves with the written testimony about our Lord and Saviour.
Our Bible Reading Today:
Colossians 1:15-23 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Born on Earth as a man: The True Image of God) 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. (Jesus is the Creator). 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (He sustains the Universe). 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, (Jesus was always; fully God). 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (His sacrificial death brings PEACE through His blood). 21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Jesus IS The Supreme Being: He IS God.
He said to Philip, “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father” John 14:9
In context: to Doubting Thomas’ questions about where Jesus is going.
What more can we say about Jesus?
James Allan Francis (1864-1928). DD (One Solitary Life)
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.
He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His divine manhood. While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away, one of them betrayed Him, one of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was his coat. When he was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of mankind upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life: Jesus Christ.
So Jesus never wrote a book: But today there are more books about Jesus than any other figure in the history of mankind.
He only had a handful of followers when He died, but now countless millions name Jesus as LORD and it’s still the fastest growing religion in the world.
Jesus splits the History of Mankind: BC & AD…
What more can we say about Jesus?
He is Supreme: But what does that mean to you and me?
1) Jesus Reveals God To Mankind:
Before Jesus came God was just an idea, but upon His arrival upon the earth, He became an ICON (The exact representation of God the Father on the Earth).
We all know what ICONS are:
Take out your mobile phone, if you have one, look at the screen, you’ll see little Icons that represent different things; Calendar, Contacts, Facebook, Twitter, Photos, etc. You know that these Icons represent all your information; you can just click on one of those Icons and they’ll take you to your desired information, right?
If I click Calendar, I can see all my upcoming appointments.
If I click Contacts and know where all my friends live.
If I click Facebook I can see what all my friends have been sharing with the world.
If you come to Jesus, If you connect with Jesus, the ICON of God, you connect immediatly with the Father.
Matthew 11:27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Look at those words carefully, “No-one knows the Son, No-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him”… i.e. You can’t KNOW GOD by any other way than by coming to Jesus Christ.
That’s why Jesus said, “I AM the Way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6.
It not by reason, but by revelation. You can’t discover God the Father by human reason alone, you’ll never argue a person into the Kingdom of Heaven, they, you and I and everyone needs a REVELATION of God by Jesus Christ, even today.
That’s why Jesus is your ICON: Click / Connect with Jesus and you’ll discover God the Father.
Colossians 1:15 and 19: “He is the image (ICON) of the invisible God,” and “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him”.
Children Ask: “What does God look like?”
I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had schoolchildren come into St Luke’s and ask me that question: “What does God look like?” My answer is always the same, “He’s exactly like Jesus” When Jesus wan on the earth, He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen my Father”. “The Only way to see the Father is by coming to me”. Do you want to see what God looks like? Then come to Jesus by faith.
2) Jesus IS the Creator:
Look with me at verse 16 of our Bible reading today:
Colossians 1:16 “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.” (Jesus is the Creator).
a) Jesus Is The POWER of His Creation:
John tells us the same thing about Jesus: John 1:3
John 1:33 “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
NOTHING was there before Jesus made it. NOTHING. He made the whole UNIVERSE out of NOTHING.
Now, we can’t do that can we, we can’t make an Egg out of nothing. We can’t even make a mud-pie out of nothing, we need dirt and water to make mud-pies. Jesus made it ALL out of NOTHING.
That’s why Jesus could: Walk on water, make wine out of water, heal the sick and raise the dead back to life again, because in Him is LIFE, He is the Creative POWER behind everything.
Jesus is the Power of Creation, but Jesus is also the Preserver of His Creation.
b) Jesus Preserves His Creation:
Look with me at verse 17 of our reading today;
Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
DARK MATTER: Scientists for years have been trying to discover “DARK MATTER” the missing force in the universe. They call it ‘Dark Matter’ because they can’t see it or even find it, but they know it’s there. My friends, it’s the most massive missing force, but the Bible reveals what that force that keeps the whole universe together is. “It’s Jesus”. He’s the super-glue that keeps it all together. He’s not dark-matter though, He’s the Light of the Universe. He’s the Light of the world. In Him there is NO Darkness at all. “In HIM all things hold together”…
When you are getting married, you cleave to your husband. A husband cleaves to his wife. The CLING (HOLD) together. That which God has joined together, let not man separate. Stuck together forever by God. Jesus holds ALL THINGS together.
c) Jesus is the Purpose of His Creation:
He did it all for Himself.
“It’s NOT about you” We’d like to think the universe revolves around and about us, but let’s get a reality check this morning my friends, Jesus made the whole of CREATION for Himself.
Verse 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.”
“All THINGS were Created by HIM and for HIM”… WOWzer! That’s an awesome REVELATION isn’t it? Jesus is the PURPOSE of the UNIVERSE. He’s not just the Power of the Creation, He’s not just the Glue of Creation, He’s the Purpose of His Creation too.
3) Finally, Jesus is the RECONCILER OF HIS CREATION.
Let’s remind ourselves of the last few verses of our Bible reading today;
Colossians 1:20-23 “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (His sacrificial death brings PEACE through His blood).
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23 if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Jesus RECONCILED All Things: In heaven and on the Earth.
Do you know what ‘reconciled’ means? It means to bring-back-together again. Be made one with another. To bring into alignment again. Like Iran and the UK opening up the British Embassy in Tehran again. After many years of being without an Ambassador in Iran, Britain and Iran have been RECONCILED. Brought back together again.
A husband and wife: who’d been having difficulties in their marriage, finally got back together, they were RECONCILED after years of struggle and their LOVE is stronger now that it’s ever been.
You and me: If you’ve come to TRUST Jesus as your Saviour and Lord: He has reconciled you to God the Father.
We were separated from God, why? The reading tells us; “because of your evil behaviour”.
Now you’ll get offended; “I’m NOT evil” I can hear the gears in your mind whirring and twirling right now. “I’m NOT evil”… However, the Bible tells us that we ARE until we’ve been RECONCILED by the Lord Jesus Christ.
How are we ‘evil’? What is ‘evil’? Evil is the force behind rebellion and disobedience. We’ve all rebelled against God, we’ve all be disobedient to His Commands.
That’s why we need Jesus: It’s not that He’s just made the whole Creation, the He’s the Power, the Preserver and the Purpose of His Creation, but He’s also the ONLY ONE who could bring His Creation back to Himself once again. He is the only way back to God the Father: That’s why Jesus came to His Creation.
He came and He died: He shed His innocent blood: In order that He might SAVE those that He’d Created.
My friends, we’ve seen the Majesty of Jesus, but now I want to show the Mystery of Jesus: He came to His Creation to SAVE Mankind.
Isaiah reveals a little secret that we’ve been looking at today;
Isaiah 33:22 “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.”
Jesus is your Judge: He’s coming back again to Judge the Living and Dead.
Jesus is your LAW giver: He gave us the 10 Commandments. So that we could see our need of a Saviour. We’ve failed that Law and will be judged Justly by the LORD according to it.
Jesus is the KING: The Lord is your King. One day every knee will bow before Him. Let’s do it NOW before it’s too late and we leave this earth without bowing before the LORD our King whilst we’ve still got a chance.
Jesus is the SAVIOUR: “is is HE who will save us”. He died so that you might be saved from God’s wrath.
So my friends, I plead with every single on of you today, be RECONCILED to God. Jesus is the Creator, He is the Power of Creation, The Preserver of Creation, The Purpose of Creation but He’s also the Reconciler of His Creation. Will you be reconciled to God: Come, come to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t wait. Trust Him. Receive Him. Repent and trust the Only Saviour of Mankind today. He’s not Dark Matter, but the Light of Life the Creator who knitted you together in your mother’s womb.
We sang this song today:
“This Kingdom” It’s all about our King Jesus.
Jesus The expression of God’s love The grace of God, the Word of God Revealed to us Jesus, God’s holiness displayed Now glorified, now justified His kingdom comes.
What an Awesome Hymn of Praise to Jesus.
Can we sing it and mean it today?
I’m praying that all my brothers and sisters in Jesus will have an awesome time of worship today.
I’m praying for everyone that I know who has yet to come to Jesus in faith and trust, turning from sin to be saved by Him, the LORD of all Creation.
I’m praying for our Nation today, we need to KNOW Jesus afresh in the UK. We need to know our need of Jesus.
I’m praying for the World today, the world that Jesus made, because the world needs to know the Creator and why He came to the Earth.
I’m praying for Christians today, that they’ll be fired up with the Gospel (Good News: that Jesus wants all people to be saved). That every Christian will be so full of Jesus love that they’ll leak that love everywhere they go.
I’m praying the LORD’S Prayer today: Thy Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven. Amen!
Have an awesome day with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.