Hearing and Doing

Maintaining the LINK between Devotion to Jesus and Kingdom Service

Daily Spirit & Word: 816: Maintaining The LINKS of LOVE.

Hearing the WORD and Doing the Word.

Maintaining the LINK: between:

  • Internal Spiritual Development (Spiritual Growth) = (POWER). Intimacy with God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
  • External Practical / Ministry Development = (IMPACT). Obediently Serving the Lord in the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

(True Discipleship is always BOTH: Hearing and Doing: Power and Impact. Comes from Intimacy and Service).

God wants you to be Spiritually Fruitful.

Good morning my friends, How’s your GOOD WORKS going?

I was challenged the other day by a Bible verse about not just knowing Jesus and learning all about His commands and teachings, but putting them into practice in my daily life. You see I love nothing more than getting into deep Bible study, but actually going out and serving and being humble and gentle and loving and kind in the world, that’s difficult bit. But I’ve also come to realise that if I’m not doing what I’m learning, then I’ll lack the impact in this world for Jesus.

The Wise and Foolish Builders: Hearing & Doing God’s Word.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
24  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The Apostle James said something similar to His Lord Jesus Christ, James 1:19-27. Perhaps after years of being a Disciple of the LORD he’d learned the hard way to put into practice the teachings of Jesus. (See James quote at bottom of page).

GETTING IT WRONG:

And one of the most common Christian discipleship problems today is related to the splitting-up of these two areas of development: Spiritual Growth and Ministry Growth.

Many churches are very good at hear-the-word discipleship, which they quite rightly consider to be very important, but they neglect the kind of do-the-word discipleship that God intends to flow from or follow on from our hearing the Word, E.G. They might consider feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners or sheltering the homeless to be less important than one’s fellowship group, discipleship class, church attendance, or prayer life and personal daily devotions.

What happens when we do this? When all we focus on is internal spiritual development but we fail to do external ministry? The results will be that We lack impact.  Christ wants us to impact the world for Jesus and His Kingdom, because He wants His Kingdom to grow, but when we separate (BREAK THE LINK) both the hearing and the doing of the Word, we can’t make the IMPACT Jesus wants for us.

We can’t just swing the other way, either.  If all we focus on is external ministry and forget about our spiritual development, we are going to lack the power of Heaven. To get that POWER we need to maintain intimacy with Jesus first.

I’ve seen that happen to very sincere Christian organisations; they start out with a Word from the Lord to help the poor or those in need, but very soon forget all about the spiritual aspects. Prayer, Bible reading and devotion get pushed out because of busy activity, and the focus shifts almost entirely upon serving others. They soon lack the Spiritual POWER and the desire to save souls for Jesus Kingdom. In fact they begin to look down upon those who are engaged in evangelism and the sharing the Word of God, believing that ministry and service is much more important. It gets to be like sticking a plaster over a festering wound and the rot soon sets in.

So it’s always got to be both: Hearing and Doing. Learning from Jesus and putting what we’re learning it into practice.

After every sermon, Bible class or fellowship group, we should be asking the LORD: “OK I understand Your Word Lord, Now, what do you want me to do about this great teaching Lord?”

JOINED-UP WRITING: 

My granddaughter Aminata was overjoyed when she learned to join her letters together. It’s amazing when children learn to join their letters. She said, “Look Papa, I can do joined up writing”… I said, “That’s fantastic Ami”…

Hearing and Doing the WORD of God is like Joined-Up Discipleship.

We must never separate the two or we’ll fall into these two traps: Legalism (Just being religious and learning as much as we can. With the primary focus on Knowledge and Knowing stuff) or LICENCE (Just running around doing good works, and getting judgemental like Martha, about those who don’t do as much as you. You’ll begin to think that you can earn your place in Heaven by your good works)…

 

Joined-Up Discipleship is learning to keep both: Hearning & Doing inseparably linked together. (And the two shall become ONE)…

This HEARING & DOING: It’s all summed up in Jesus’ teaching of the Pharisees when they came to test Him.  LOVE God and LOVE Neighbour. (The Greatest Commandment). Matthew 7:15-23.

  • We show that we love God by HEARING His Word (POWER).
  • We show that we love our Neighbours by DOING His Word (IMPACT).

Quote: “A lot of people mean well, but their meanness is often greater than their wellness.”

The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.

When we’re close to Jesus, learning His teachings, and being submitted enough to actually put those teachings into practice, we’re going to get closer to our neighbours as well, because we’ll want to be doing the good that Jesus has been teaching us.

But there’s more: Praise the LORD: When we put what we know into practice, we’re going to get an even greater insight into all the good things that we have in our relationship with Jesus.

Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV)
4  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5  because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
6  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Can you see the LINK? In Philemon we see the link so clearly, Paul heard about Philemon’s love and faith in the Lord Jesus, and it was evident, he made an IMPACT by his love for all the saints (his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus).

Jesus said, “It’s by your love for one another that people will know you are my disciples”… There’s the LINK: Hearing and Doing… Spiritual Development & Ministry Development.

CONCLUSION:

May you experience Jesus promises of blessings today, that no matter what STORM may come against your HOUSE, (wind and rain: Trials, Temptations, Troubles and Tribulations) you’ll be able to STAND. Because you are being obedient to what you’ve learned in Jesus presence, and you are putting it into practice in your daily life. Amen!

Maintain the LINK between: Hearing & Doing.

Don.

JAMES HEARING & DOING

James 1:19-27 (NIV)
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20  for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
21  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Is James also talking about bearing fruits? “By their fruits you will recognise false converts” “False professors of faith”… Matthew 7:15-23. (True and False Converts).

What’s Jesus saying to me today? Think about Mary and Martha: (Luke 10:38-42)  They are both SERVING the LORD:

Mary = Getting close to Jesus

Martha = Practical Ministry…

Which one was doing the right thing? Answer = BOTH of them, so don’t look down on the Mary or the Martha.

Jesus is saying to me, “BE a Mary and a Martha”: Hear the WORD of The LORD and SERVE The LORD by Practical Ministry of Serving Others.

The LORD said, “Mary has chosen what is best”… i.e. Getting close to Jesus and listening to his every word. That’s getting the POWER… However, Martha showed the servant’s heart, by opening up her home to Jesus and serving Him and the Disciples. That’s making an IMPACT. It’s got to be BOTH: inseparably linked, joined-up discipleship, hearing and doing. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I can see that the Christian Life that You have called me to has got to be balanced between being with You in worship, praise and adoration, in learning and knowing Your will, Your Commands, Your Teachings, then moving out into this world in Devoted and Committed Kingdom Service. Please Lord, give me the deep desire to learn and serve You with joy and gladness. Help me to Love You and Love others and always maintain those links. I know I need the POWER of Heaven in order to be able to SERVE You in this way, so please send the Holy Spirit afresh into my heart, mind and soul to give me the strength to serve You and build your Kingdom. Amen!

 

How To SAVE The World

Good Works and Gospel Proclamation

Daily Spirit & Word: 718: How To SAVE The World?

Let Your Light Shine & Proclaim The Gospel.

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 answer to 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!

Don.

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;

  1. A) BELIEVED and TRUSTED in Christ’s DEATH upon the Cross for your sins?
  2. B) Have you REPENTED, which means letting go of all sin and begun to walk in His ways?
  3. C) and finally have you actually RECEIVED Jesus Christ as Lord?:

(If you are not sure you have, read the full Gospel CLICK Here and discover why you NEED Jesus as your Saviour).

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.

 

Similar Topics:

Sharing is Caring: Why we shouldn’t hide our light.

The Light Shines in the Darkness: The people walking in Darkness have seen a great light.

Be Active In Sharing Your Faith: What happens in the saint who shares the Good News…

YOU Are the Church: How Christians have always been called to go and be the ‘church’ in the world. OIKOS.

 

 

Good Friday Answers

Get closer to Jesus to get your answers to questions today

Daily Spirit & Word: 710:

Get Your Answer by Asking The Saviour.

Good Friday

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,

Don.

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.

Come and walk with Jesus.

 

A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever

Revelation Beauty Joy Increases

Daily Spirit & Word: 692: Meeting Increases Joy.

A Thing Of Beauty Is A Joy Forever.

Good morning my friends, when we all heard the joyous news that my grandchild was born, everyone gave a great thumbs-up on Facebook, they liked it. However, even my own heart leaped for joy at hearing she’d been born, but I’ll tell you now, nothing prepares you for that moment when you meet the baby and can hold it in your arms. She’s just soooo cute and cuddly and tiny.

I believe it’s the same with Jesus Christ, it’s so amazing when we finally get it; the Good News of the Gospel, but can you imagine the JOY you are going to experience when you finally get to meet with your Lord Jesus?

John Keats said, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever, it’s beauty increases; it will never pass into nothingness”.

So it is with God’s Word and the Book of Revelations: It’s gets more glorious and beautiful the more you read, understand and feed upon, because it’s God’s Living Word.

We’ve been going through Revelation (slowly), but we’ve just read in chapter 1 about the Vision of Jesus that John saw and how after seeing it he fell down in fear and trembling and worshipped Jesus, but Jesus reached out his hand, put it upon John’s shoulder and gave him this command. “WRITE”… John must have been so overjoyed to meet the RESURRECTED LORD, but Jesus had something He wanted John to do: WRITE about this experience and revelations.

Revelation 1:19-20 (NIV)
19  “Write, therefore, what you have seen, what is now and what will take place later.
20  The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

  • Write: What you have seen.
  • Write: What is happening now.
  • Write: What will take place later.
  • Write: About the Seven Stars and their meaning.
  • Write: About the Lampstands and the Churches they represent.

WRITING: Why is ‘writing’ it down so important to Jesus?

There’s something about writing that’s different from speaking. When you are speaking it’s immediate, but when you write something, it takes a lot more consideration and concentration of the thought processes. Also, writing enables you to plan what you are going to say, how you are going to say it and you can choose your words very carefully.

It seems that Jesus wanted John to get this COMMUNICATION OF HIS REVELATION EXACTLY RIGHT.

But we must bear in mind that John, didn’t only use his natural ability, but was at the same time, filled with and inspired by God the Holy Spirit: Remember, he’s already told us “On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit”…

So the Revelation that the Seven Churches and every Christian down through the ages that have had access to God’s Word have received is, very carefully constructed, assembled and communicated Just the way that God wants it. NOW are you ready to receive it?

  • It’s from Jesus whom we can trust.
  • It’s from John, Jesus’ beloved Disciple and ancient, faithful Apostle, whom we can also trust.
  • It’s from the Holy Spirit of God, who had so filled John the Apostle, who’d already written his Gospel, 1, 2 and 3 John. We love those writings because they are filled with encouragement and light. 

So now are you ready to receive, believe and trust-in and respond to Jesus Revelations: in this Book of Revelation?

Once we’ve met Jesus, the beauty touches our soul and the JOY increases every single day. Praise the Lord!

Meet with Jesus, every DAY and your Joy will increase, your light with shine brightly for Him.

Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

 

When ALL Seems LOST: Praise the LORD!

Love lifted me, rock, feet, firm place, stand, set free, freedom, rescue,

Daily Spirit & Word: 669:

When all seems lost, Praise the LORD!

LOVE LIFTED ME

Good morning my friends, last night we had our Governor’s meeting at St Luke’s School. I asked if I could begin with a short Bible reading and a prayer. The reading I choose was from Psalm 40. The psalmist reveals that he was in a muddy pit that was too slippery to escape from, so he cried out to the LORD.

 

Psalm 40:1-3 (NIV)
1  I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
2  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
3  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.

When in an impossible position this psalm reveals some amazing principles that we can follow.

Firstly: Wait patiently for the LORD.

Now when we’re going through turmoil that really difficult, but it’s NOT impossible, even in life-threatening situations. However, when we’re in difficulty, hardship or just struggling with something, determine in your heart NOW before it happens, that when it does, you are going to WAIT upon the LORD.

Secondly: God WILL Respond.

“He turned to me and heard my cry”.

As soon as you acknowledge God in: Prayer, Praise, Worship: He inclines his head, his ear and his attention is focused upon you.

He hears your heart’s cry.

Paul & Silas:

We can see this played-out in the book of Acts when Paul and Silas are beaten and thrown into prison. They’d delivered a girl from a Demon that was possessing her, it enabled her to predict things for people, it became a famous business and once she was delivered, she could no longer make them any money. So before they could do any more damage, the whole town made a fuss about Paul and Silas and they were beaten severely and thrown into prison, guarded carefully and their feet in stocks to stop them escaping. What did Paul and Silas do? They praised the LORD!

Acts 16:16-19 (NIV)
16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling.
17  This girl followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.”
18  She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled that he turned round and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.
19  When the owners of the slave girl realised that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market-place to face the authorities.

Now look what happens to Paul and Silas in Prison:

Acts 16:22-33 (NIV)
22  The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten.
23  After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully.
24  Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25  About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
26  Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose.
27  The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped.
28  But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”
29  The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.
30  He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31  They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
32  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house.
33  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptised.

When was the last time you praised God when things got really, really tough?
At midnight, with their feet in stocks, locked in prison; they prayed and praised the LORD!.

If you are in a slippery pit or stinking prison: Impossible places to get out of on your own.
What are you going to do? Pray, Praise, Wait Upon the LORD!…

  • The LORD will hear, the LORD will do something for you.
    If you’ve got a debt mountain that’s impossible to climb.
    If you’ve got a disease that can’t be beaten.
    If you’ve got family trouble, relationships that have broken down,
    If you’ve got a problem with a friends or colleagues at work,

Wait upon the LORD
Pray:
Praise the LORD.

No matter what your situation is, even now: Praise the LORD. Try it today.
Take a few moments to spend time with Jesus.
Wait upon Him. READ God’s WORD.
Fill your heart with good things.
Praise Him in song. Even if you are on your own.
Sing your little heart out to Jesus, even if it’s through tears.
He’ll hear your heart’s cry.

He’ll HEAR YOUR HEART’S CRY

You’ll see those chains fall off.
He’ll break those chains.
He’ll lift you up, out of the slimy pit you’ve fallen into.

In St Luke’s School we’ve seen a mighty turn around. We’re being brought out of the pit. A School that was not very good is becoming great. Thank you LORD for your deliverance. Amen!

He’s AWESOME!
Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.
The jailer who locked Paul and Silas up, knew something weird had happened.
He began to fear and tremble: He asked Paul and Silas
“What must I do to be saved?”
People will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD when He delivers you from trouble.

So don’t forget to praise the LORD for the Deliverance that you are about to experience today.
Keep going for Jesus sake this weekend.
Praise HIM today.
Don.

 

Wisdom: Learning from Children.

Wisdom: from children and infants

Daily Spirit & Word, 626: Wisdom: Learning from Children.

“From the lips of infants and children, You have ordained praise…” Psalm 8:2.

Good morning my friends, at Discipleship Fellowship last night we were thinking about wimpy prayer, praise and worship. The Lord certainly was with us last night and our prayer, praise and worship was awesome! Genuinely giving thanks to the Lord and singing about what He’s like moves us from the outer gates into the inner courts of excited praise. (Psalm 100).

As we gathered we sang one of the famous children’s praise songs; “If I were a butterfly” … but it leads into praising the Lord for how He’s made us.

Chorus: (from ‘If I were a butterfly’).
For You gave me a heart,
and You gave me a smile,
You gave me Jesus,
and You made me Your child,
I just thank you Father for making me, me.

Here then are some pearls of WISDOM from children:

1) No matter how hard you try, you can’t baptize cats.
2) When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don’t let her brush your hair.
3) If your school-friend hits you, don’t hit back: They always catch the second person.
4) Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5) You can’t trust dogs to watch your food.
6) Don’t sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
8) You can’t hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk. 
9)The best place to be when you’re sad is Grandpa’s lap.

Wisdom: From the lips of children.

As Jesus was teaching in the Temple in Jerusalem: Some children began to praise Him and sing about Jesus, but the RELIGIOUS Authorities didn’t like what the children were saying about Jesus.

Matthew 21:12-17 Jesus clears the temple, heals and listens to Children’s praise.
12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money-changers and the benches of those selling doves.
13  “It is written,” he said to them, ” ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers’.”
14  The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them.
15  But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.
16  “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, ” ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?”
17  And he left them and went out of the city to Bethany, where he spent the night.

Who is it that should have been praising the Lord?

  • That’s right, the Religious Leaders and people. 
  • Who was it that actually praise the Lord that day?
    • The blind and lame people who came to Him.
    • The blind and lame were healed. 
    • the children shouting in the Temple area
    • they Worshipped Jesus: “Hosanna to the Son of David”…

Jesus said, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise

He was actually quoting Psalm 8:2. Perhaps that portion of the Psalm was prophetic?

How is your Praise and Worship this morning?
Are you coming to Jesus?

Just as the children responded from their hearts, giving genuine praise, honour and thanks, the followers of Jesus Christ will also be thankful on purpose, moved in our hearts to praise Him. If you are not ready to do this right now, then KNOW (Wisdom) something in your walk with Jesus may need to be put right. Come to Him now in a time of prayer, giving genuine thanks for all the great things He’s done for you. Remember how Jesus shed His innocent blood to get you clean before God? Remember those answered prayers. Thank God for His provision of the Creation. There’s Always something to be thankful for.

Prayer: Father in Heaven, I thank You that from the lips of children we can learn so much wisdom, both in the past and today. Help us to have a heart that’s ready to praise You: for what You’ve done and for Who You are. Help us Lord Jesus to be just like those who came to you that day, with hearts ready to give You praise, honour and all the glory. Amen!

Be blessed today my friends, stay ever closer to Jesus.
Don.

Psalm 8:1-9 Creator God: Worthy of Worship.
1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
2  From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3  When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
4  what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?
5  You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honour.
6  You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet:
7  all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field,
8  the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

 

He gives me ‘LIVING WATER’ and I thirst no more.

Living Water, Soul Satisfaction, Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 605:

He gives me living water and I thirst no more.

John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Good morning my friends, do you know there have been so many wonderful praise and worship songs about how the Lord satisfies the needs of the follower of Jesus Christ? I’ve found myself moved so many times, in tears I’ve praised the LORD and He’s come to meet my needs.
  • He gives me living water and I thirst no more…the joy of the Lord is my strength.
  • There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Take us to the river, take us there in unity to sing, a song of Your Salvation…
  • Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord, come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
  • I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest, lay down my weary one”…
  • All the way my Saviour leads me …
It’s amazing the way that the Lord does take away all the cravings for the things of this world. The follower of Jesus has enough in His Lord to satisfy every soul longing in life. All these praise and worship songs have been written because the Lord has shown Himself to be faithful to those who wrote them.

Hymn Story: “Here’s My Cup Lord”

For instance, I read somewhere about the little song “Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord” that the Pastor, Richard Blanchard was waiting for a couple that he was preparing for marriage and they were late. He was sitting at the piano, impatient and his heart was getting angry that they were late. So he began to tinkle the ivories and this song came to Him:
Life was never to be a bed of roses for Richard Blanchard.
       A severe lung problem developed, and Blanchard was left with one-third of his lung capacity. But a diminished physical well-being did not stop young Blanchard.
       In 1953, he became the pastor of a church in Coral Gables, Florida, and one day, was asked by a young couple to perform their marriage ceremony. However, the couple was quite late for their counseling appointment.
       Blanchard told his secretary, “I will wait for thirty minutes and I’m leaving.” He then went to a nearby Sunday school room and sat down to play the piano for a while.
       He later said, “When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.” In less than thirty-minutes, as he waited for the young couple, God gave him the inspiring song “Fill My Cup, Lord”
“When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.”
(1) Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
And then I heard my Savior speaking:
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

CHORUS: Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, feed me ’til I want no more-
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

(2) There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasure earthly things afford;
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

(3) So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you,

If you kneel to Him and humbly pray:
Even when you are feeling your worst and most un-usable by the Lord, then the Lord Jesus can and will use us for His glory. Think about Jonah, Moses, Gideon and Solomon: reluctant to take the call and the role the Lord had allotted them, they were all used in such mighty ways by Him who changes situations, people and even desires.
Jesus really is the true SOURCE of our HAPPINESS, JOY, PEACE and PROVISION in life.
It’s truly awesome the way that He comes;
When you are feeling weak, He gives you strength.
When you are lonely He there in a moment of praise.
When you are broke, He sends the ravens to feed you.
When you are thirsty, He sends the rain to give you to drink.
When you are hurting, His stripes are for your healing.
When the storms in life come, He invites you to walk on water.
When you are hungry, He can turn stones into bread or send mana from Heaven.
When you are rejected, abused, neglected, you’ll find Jesus is the one who sticks closer than a brother.
John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus really does give us living water so that we will thirst, hunger and want; no more. He’s enough, He’s enough to SATISFY all our longings in life. His WELL will NEVER run dry.
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
because He first loved me.
Have an awesome day with your Lord and Saviour.
Don.

Why Am I Suffering?

Jesus answer to suffering

Daily Spirit & Word 601: Why Am I Suffering?

Good morning my friends, did you see the Blood Moon yesterday? For some strange reason I awoke just as the shadow of the Earth began to cover the moon, so I watched it for a while. The moon looked quite big, they called it a super moon, but I’m sure I’ve seen even bigger moons than that when I was a child 🙂 Overshadow? I’m thinking what the Lord may be saying about that today.

I can’t give a reason for EVERYONE’S suffering, but sometimes the Lord wants to teach us something.

My friends Roy Hutchinson shared this on FB today:

Psalm 73:14-17 (ANIV)
14  All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.
15  If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children.
16  When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
17  till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny.

If you read that whole Psalm, you’ll see the Psalmist is complaining to the LORD: Why do ‘good’ people have to suffer?

Suffering:

When we suffer sometimes we ask the question “Why?” Why am I suffering. Sometimes Christians get ashamed about their suffering or the duration of their suffering, because they think it’s the judgement of God. Other brothers and sisters sometimes don’t help, because they say things like; “You should pray about that” or “Perhaps God is disciplining you”… When you are suffering you want people to show some sympathy and empathy.

But it is GOOD to ask the question: “Why am I suffering?” but we should always ask the LORD not other people, because, unless they’ve been given a word of Knowledge from Him, they will not know.

1 Peter 4:12-19
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. 13  But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.
14  If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.
15  If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler.
16  However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
17  For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18  And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
19  So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.

However, there are some great reasons why we suffer, but it’s good to ask the Lord the question “WHY?” He may reveal something that, unless the suffering had come, you would continue to be unaware of in your character or walk with Him.

Two verses jumped out at me from that passage today (perhaps another speaks to you in a different way), the verses were 15 & 17.

Verse 15 “If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or a thief or any other kind of evildoer (criminal), or even as a meddler (someone who interferes in the affairs of others).”

How many ‘good’ Christians do you know, who are meddlers? The Church is rife with people who meddle, we should not do it.

  • If you are a meddler, then you are an obstacle to someone else’s pathway in life.
  • If you are a meddler, you are interfering in an obtrusive, noticeable way.

Verse 17: “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?”

It is so easy for the follower of Jesus to skip over the first part of verse 17 and focus upon the outcome of the sinner who doesn’t respond to the Gospel when they hear it. However, the first part could quite possible be even more enlightening for us; “For it is TIME for judgement to begin with the family of God”. We don’t like to think that Father God will judge us, but it’s good for us if He does.

God disciplines, and judges those who belong to HIM NOW: “God disciplines those He loves”. He’s perfecting, training, shaping and moulding our Characters to become more and more like Jesus Christ, it is far better to KNOW that you belong to God’s family and experience His loving discipline now rather than wait for the judgement to come. We should invite the Lord to show us where we need to be transformed. “What’s next on Your agenda for me Heavenly Father?” Because our earthly nature, though it was put to death when we were baptised and united with Christ, is NOT completely dead, and will try and creep back up onto the throne of our life and kick the Lord Jesus Christ off.

It’s TIME for Judgement to begin with the Household (family) of God.

In other words, it is good for us when the Lord of Heaven disciplines us. So it’s no wonder this passage begins with “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.” and continues with “rejoice”… It’s GOOD for us to experience some suffering, so we should never be ashamed or down-hearted or beaten down: Instead Christians should Rejoice! Sing hallelujah! Praise the LORD! Why? Because we are becoming more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

So what should we do when we’re suffering?

First: REJOICE and PRAISE THE LORD: I know how hard that is sometimes, but it is what happens to us when we do it. JOY comes into our hearts when we praise the Lord, even when we’re in pain and suffering all kinds of trials.

Next: Continue to do Good: Verse 19 “So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”

Continue (even when you are suffering) to do good.

When I had a bad back just recently and found it difficult even to walk, there wasn’t much good I could do, but I prayed, studied God’s Word and shared with people in fellowship and online. It is the CONTINUING: Keep going even when the going gets tough.

Jesus will help you and give you the comfort, encouragement, and strength that you need when you are suffering. There were so many wonderful encouragements I received from the Lord whilst suffering in agony. Praise the LORD!

So it’s good to ASK the Lord, “Why Am I Suffering?”

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

Hope you all have a fantastic, wonderful, tremendous Tuesday with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Please PRAY for us as we gather for Discipleship Fellowship Tonight @ 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church.

 

The Bible is the Menu, but Jesus is the Meal.

Foreign language is the Bible without the Spirit of God

Daily Spirit & Word 574: A Foreign Language Menu.

The Bible is the menu, but Jesus is the meal.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where the menu is in a foreign language? You don’t want to appear ignorant or foolish, so you sit pretending to know what it means, you look at what other people are eating at the tables all around you, when the waiter comes to ask for your order, you’ll say, “I’ll have one of those please” pointing to a good looking plate of food being eaten by one of the other customers 🙂 LOL Well, I’ve not really gone that far, but I’ve felt like it. Most of the time I’ll ask the waiter to explain the menu as I can’t understand the language.

For the person without the Holy Spirit, the Bible is just like that menu. It’s written in English and on the surface can be read by anybody, and to some degree understood by most, but the ‘real’ and ‘true’ interpretation of God’s Word is by His Holy Spirit, because the things of the Spirit (which is what God’s WORD is) are foolishness to the man without the Spirit. It really is like reading a French menu when you can’t speak a word of the French language. Why? Because the Bible is written in ‘Spirit’ language that can only be fully understood by the person who’s possessed by God’s Holy Spirit.

1 Corinthians 2:9-14  “However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10  but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.
11  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no-one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
12  We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13  This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14  The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

 

“The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God”

Whilst I was still quite young as a Christian I was given the privilege of hosting and leading a Home Bible Study Group, I was too young still as a Christian, because I remember getting quite upset by one individual in the group who just couldn’t grasp something that was so simple. However, I’d forgotten what it was like for myself, when I first started attending church before I was born of God’s Holy Spirit. There were things, many things, that I just couldn’t grasp and I had so many unasked and unanswered questions. Praise the LORD that He was in those early meetings and He reminded me of the grace and kindness that was afforded me from those who were mature in the faith, whenever I came out with something silly. Instead of jumping on me and correcting my errors, they’d just nod their heads and say, “That’s so interesting, I’ve never thought of it that way before”. Then when I got home and prayed, the Lord would show me the simple error from His Word, I remember being physically embarrassed by my foolishness, I went beetroot red in the face 🙂 and I was on my own, well, not quite, because the Lord was with me. So at the next Bible meeting I had to confess to the group my foolishness, they just smiled and said, “We KNEW the LORD would show you”… How did they know? They were mature, they’d prayed for me when I gone home, they’d brought my folly to the LORD and asked Him to show me the error of my ways, and guess what, HE DID.

“The Man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God” And from experience I can confess that those who are young in the faith find it difficult too. Further, there are those amongst every group of Christians that remain babes in Christ, they don’t grow up or onto maturity in the Spirit. Why? There are many reasons, but the primary reasons, I believe, is because they don’t develop Spiritual Disciplines: i.e. they don’t pray every day (and I don’t mean a quick prayer on the bus on the way to work), they don’t STUDY their Bible on their own, they don’t seek out SPIRITUAL encounters, they simply attend church and get spoon-fed every Sunday, and before long they’re drifting away from the faith. Why? Because they’ve remained babes in Christ, they’re saved, but remain immature and foolish.

It’s horrible, but I’ve seen countless brilliant people, very clever people from a worldly perspective, with great intellect, but who’ve wandered from the faith, because they didn’t do the basics and grow to Christian maturity. Discipleship is so important, we must remember that Jesus didn’t command us to go and make converts, but disciples. For far too long sincere Bible believing Evangelicals, Charismatics, Pentecostals and Baptists have made the mistake of getting people to make a ‘decision’ for Christ and then leaving them all on their own to work out their faith. Jesus didn’t call us to make converts, but Disciples. It’s NOT a numbers game, but a growth towards maturity campaign that He’s give us.

Here’s something from the Holy Spirit today: If you are born of God’s Spirit then I’m sure you’ll receive this: “If you are not gathering together on a regular basis with other brothers and sisters in the Kingdom family of the Lord Jesus Christ to pray, study God’s Word together and worship and serve the LORD together, then you are NOT growing towards maturity the way the Christ wants you to”

Here’s something else: “If you are not praying daily, feeding upon God’s Word and seeking the fullness of God’s Spirit, you’ll not be growing the way God wants you to grow”.

Listen to what Jesus said: John 6:52-58 52  Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 

53  Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55  For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56  Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57  Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58  This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live for ever.”

Don’t become like the Pharisees who made Scripture study a practice to gain knowledge and understanding, Christians feed upon God’s Word to EXPERIENCE Christ, not just to gain knowledge. As Jack Deer has said in his book, Surprised by the Voice of God: “The Bible is the menu and Jesus Christ is the meal” and “If our Bible study doesn’t lead us to an experience of Jesus Christ then we are like the Pharisees who were holding the menu, reading the menu and studying the menu, but they were so far from the meal” Page 175.

You see my friends, the HOLY SPIRIT wants you to really experience the fullness of life today that those early believers in Jesus did. When you avail yourself of all that He’s provided for your growth towards maturity; prayer, Bible, fellowship, study, praise, adoration and evangelism, then you’ll be growing stronger in the power of the Spirit day by day. Those things that seem hard for you to fathom, difficult like fighting against a tornado today, they will become as a breeze in the Spirit. He’s going to be opening up the Bible like never before, and He’ll also be giving you Gospel opportunities that you never expected.

So my friends, gather with the brothers and sisters to get into God’s Word, to worship and pray together, to sing praises to the Lord, to minister to each other and then to serve the Lord Jesus Christ in the world together. Like Barnabas and Saul, who were set-apart by the Holy Spirit: He’ll also be sending you out on His missions in the world today.

My message today might be like a foreign language to you: Like a French menu when you don’t speak French. I’ve no doubt that some will be left scratching their heads, but those who’ve been born of God’s Spirit will be moved, they’ll be encouraged and if needed they’ll have been given a timely (gentle) kick-up-the-backside to get back into fellowship in a serious and committed way.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been a Christian or how mature you think you are because of your Bible knowledge, you NEED fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ. Also, you can bet your Spiritual life upon it, there will be others in the fellowship / Bible Study or Growth Group that you join who’ll be needing your maturity and knowledge. The LORD didn’t call us to be Lone-Ranger believers, but even the Lone Ranger had his Tonto 🙂 We need fellowship like a good Chicken Korma needs Pilau Rice :-)… or an authentic West Indian Curry needs rice-n-peas… or an traditional English Roast needs roast potatoes and three vegetables 🙂

Hebrews 10:23-25  “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24  And let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love and good deeds.
25  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

Praise the LORD for the way He moves to get us to grow towards maturity in Christ. Remember the Bible is the Menu, but Jesus is the meal (bread of Heaven) and we feed upon Him by the Holy Spirit that He gave to us.

Follow the menu, the Bible is the Christian menu, but we need to learn it’s language, the language of the Holy Spirit to be able to eat the meal contained within, but always remember that Jesus is the meal, so don’t be like the Pharisees who were so close, they had the menu in their hands yet remained so far away from the delights and treats contained within. Amen!

Don.

 

Jesus IS coming back to you TODAY

Take up your Cross Daily

Daily Spirit & Word: 542: Jesus Is Coming Back To You Today.

Stop & Start:

STOP being a SUNDAY Christian.

START being a DAILY Christian.

 

I call this ‘Daily‘ Spirit and Word for a reason: The Christian LIFE is meant to be a DAILY walk with Jesus.

Luke 9:23-25  “Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. 25  What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?”
2 Peter 3:1-9 1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.
2  I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Saviour through your apostles.
3  First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
4  They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”
5  But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.
6  By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.
7  By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.
8  But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
9  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

When the FIRE dies down:

When the fire dies down, how do you get it ABLAZE again? By blowing on the embers and feeding with fresh fuel.

We need the Holy Spirit to blow through our life and the fuel of God’s Word to keep the fire going.

Getting OFF the Boil:

Many people who come to faith in the Lord Jesus last only a few years. It seems that the fire they once felt dies, but it doesn’t die quickly, but by degrees. It’s like taking a pan of boiling water off the heat, at first it’s bubbling and dancing and spilling over the edges of the rim, but then it dies down and get colder, until at last you can dip your finger in and it’s completely cold.

So we have seen many professing believers, who once being on fire for the Lord Jesus, grow sooooo cold. What has happened? They’ve taken the pot off the stove. What do they need to do? Put the pot back upon the heat of the stove once again, and before long they will once again be bubbling and dancing and singing His praises.

My friends, they’ve taken their eyes off Jesus. They’ve lost their focus. They’ve begun to live the kind of Christian life as if Jesus was not there, as if Jesus could not see, as if Jesus does not care. It’s like a believer gets to the point of shouting, just like the scoffer, “Where is this Jesus?”

However, Jesus is inside every truly born-again believer, but one day, Jesus will come and ALL FLESH SHALL SEE HIM. But for now, He can only be seen through the eyes of faith. But even though at one time people who have known Jesus through the eyes of faith, that vision, that knowledge, that experience can diminish and dwindle and cool to the point of no direct experience or knowledge or perception that the saviour is within me.

What needs to happen to get the fire going again?

Don’t rely on being a SUNDAY Christian.

So many get into the BAD HABIT of letting their Christianity slip into a a ONCE A WEEK EXPERIENCE.

This is the worst form of Christianity: WHY? Because to exist as a Christian you are relying upon the PASTOR to feed you. You’ll look for a fleshly kind of experience of Christianity. One where you’ll get your BOOST and then go about your life as a ‘normal’ person the rest of the week. You’ll never last more than a few years on this kind of diet. Why? Because after a while, you’ll miss one week, then a few weeks will go by and you’ll miss another. You’ll enjoy those days that you missed ‘church’, so you’ll begin to look forward to skipping ‘church’ and look for excuses not to be there on a Sunday. SUNDAY Christians don’t last very long.

To really get your FIRE ABLAZE: STOP & START.

This passage above tells us how to get ON FIRE:

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

REPENTANCE: The Key To Unlocking DIVINE FIRE.

FIRE: burns, it burns and cleanses, the fire of the LORD needs to come into your life, not just once a week, not just on a SUNDAY, but every single day. So STOP being a SUNDAY Christian and START being a DAILY Christian.

So REPENT: Ask the Lord to forgive you for your weakness and foolishness in thinking you could be a Christian just once a week.

Ask Him to forgive you for relying upon others to feed you with His WORD, when you should have been feeding upon Him and His Word yourself.

Ask Him to forgive you for depending upon a BOOST of experience of joy and fun on a SUNDAY and returning to the world for the rest of the week.

START:

Then START: Start opening up your own Bible.

Then START: Start being with Jesus in prayer.

  • PRAY: first and ask the LORD to feed your soul before you begin to read.
  • READ: Choose a Gospel to work through, slowly, every day. Read only very small portions. Don’t gorge yourself or you’ll get sick.
  • MEDITATE: Think deeply about what you’ve just read.
  • PRAISE: Worship the LORD: In song, singing your heart out to the Lord. Listen to praise music every day. But don’t just listen, join in with the praise.

SLOW-DOWN on PURPOSE:

I remember my dad giving us Ice Cream every single day for a week, we ate it gladly at first, but by the end of the week we were sick of the stuff. Finally my dad said, “Who’s for Ice Cream?” None of us wanted any.

Don’t over-indulge in God’s Word: But let it feed you, purposefully slow-down, eat a little and then consider God’s Word very carefully. Meditate upon God’s Word: Means thinking about what you’ve just read. Ask Him what He wants you to understand from what you are reading. Do this before you pray, do it before you rush away into your daily life. Meditating upon His Word is a KEY to knowing the mind of the Lord. It’s the way our minds are transformed and renewed:

Romans 12:2  “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Once you STOP being a Sunday only Christian, and START being a DAILY Christian: You’re mind will be TRANSFORMED and RENEWED: You’re life is going to be very different, because you’ll KNOW what God’s will is, His good, pleasing and prefect will.

You’ll be meeting with Jesus every single day, not just on a SUNDAY.

The FIRE & The GLORY

When the FIRE dies down:

When the fire dies down, how do you get it ABLAZE again? By blowing on the embers and feeding with fresh fuel.

We need the Holy Spirit to blow through our life and the fuel of God’s Word to keep the fire going.

  • However, your SUNDAY will also be very different as well, because you’ll come to worship already fired-up.
  • You’ll come ready to share what God’s been doing and saying during the week.
  • You’ll come to encourage others.
  • You’ll look forward to the gatherings of the saints with a much deeper and more lasting joy. 

DAILY: Once you begin to meet with Jesus in His Word and seek the fullness of the Holy Spirit EVERY DAY, you’re going to be ABLAZE with the GLORY GLOW of the LORD. Your little pot will be bubbling, and dancing and singing in praise of the Saviour.

The LORD is NOT Slow in Keeping His Promise: Jesus wants to reveal Himself to you every day, not just when He returns at the Judgement. Not just on a Sunday through your Pastor or the worship experience, but every single DAY.

So STOP being a SUNDAY Christian.

START being a DAILY CHRISTIAN.

I’m praying for all who read this little word today, that you are going to get the FIRE going afresh in your life with Jesus. Amen.

Don.

HELPS: Get filled with the Holy Spirit.

Know the Good News: