Unleash the Power of Prayer

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

Daily Spirit & Word: 823:

The Power of Praying to the LORD.

Unleash The Power of Prayer

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

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

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

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

 

1) The Person Isaac Prayed About:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2) What Prompted Isaac to Pray?

The Prompter of his Prayer was a PROBLEM:

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

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

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

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

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

3) The Power of Isaac’s Prayer:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have an AWESOME Sunday with Jesus.

What a friend we have in Jesus

Don.

 

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!

 

Immanuel God With Us

Immanuel, Emmanuel, How to know that God is With Us.

Daily Spirit & Word: 814: The Meaning of Immanuel.

Good morning my friends, as I was just about to post my message today when I heard the tragic news about that terrible plane crash. It was carrying a Brazilian football team. (Link BBC NEWS)

I’m praying now for all those who’ve been affected by this disaster.

Immanuel:

It’s a word we hear every Christmas, but like a lot of religious words, we’ve lost its meaning somehow along the way. Or if we do know what it means, the impact of that meaning is not hitting home. Because of all the hustle and bustle and the haste to buy stuff, far too many Christians aren’t looking forward to Christmas, but we can re-capture the MAGICAL feelings we had as children, all the excitement, joy and wonder of Christmas. It happens as we experience IMMANUEL for ourselves.

What does Immanuel mean?

Immanuel means: “God with us”.

Let’s unpack IMMANUEL a bit…

Matthew 1:23 (NIV)  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

This is a quote from Isaiah the great Prophet of the LORD. Isaiah 7:14.

Immanuel means “God with us”…

When Jesus was born, he was a baby human being, he became one of us, but He was also still God, just wrapped in flesh.

Some people call this taking on human flesh, the INCARNATION:

Now when you dwell upon that fact, The CREATOR of the whole Universe and time itself, came to Earth. Out of all the billions of little planets, he chose EARTH to come and reveal Himself to His Creation. Awesome!

Of course He came for a reason, Jesus was coming on a rescue mission.

It’s a bit like the Government sending in the SAS to set free the prisoners held hostage by the Iranian Terrorists in the Iranian Embassy in London in the 1980’s. LINK in that BBC News coverage you’ll see them storming the burning building.

https://youtu.be/_p4DmuGyehc

Jesus, of course, didn’t come with guns blazing, smoke going off and bombs sounding, nor did He arrive with an army to win His battle, instead Jesus came and Heaven burst into song and God let the Shepherds experience Heaven for a moment. Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe gave His life upon the Cross for all mankind to be set free. However, his birth and death was even more dramatic than that SAS rescue. He was publically executed, with the crowds watching. Alongside at least two others that day Jesus public humiliation and death was a victory. Though the world at that time didn’t realise they’d just killed Immanuel: God with us.

However, we know that His death was not the end, because just three days later, Jesus, because He was always God, came back to life again. His mission was completed and His body is alive today in Heaven where He ascended over 2000 years ago. The next time anyone is going to see Jesus, apart from in visions and dreams, is when He returns in all the glory of Heaven.

YOUR IMMANUEL MOMENT

But before Jesus comes back, we’ve been given an opportunity to get to know Him. We can know Immanuel, God with us, personally right now. We can experience God and know God… Have you had your own Immanuel? Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is with you?

Once you experience Immanuel for yourself, nothing will ever be able to take away that experience, it will transform you life forever. Because God becomes your Immanuel, Jesus promised this very thing for everyone who believes and trusts in Him.

John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Once Jesus comes into your life, He comes in TRINITY: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Your own body becomes the TEMPLE of God, because wherever God is, that is His Temple. When He comes as promised, that is your Immanuel moment, but it lasts forever.

HERE IS HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’VE RECEIVED YOUR IMMANUEL:

You’ll know Him, if you LOVE Him.

You’ll know if you love Jesus Christ. When you hear his name, your heart skips a beat. It’s like He’s inside you witnessing within, that He’s here. Oh yes, you’ll know if you love Jesus.

Nobody needs to tell you when you are in love with another person, your heart, mind, will and strength are for that relationship. You’ll do whatever you can to be with your lover. When you are apart, you’ll always long to be together. I knew when I was in love with my soon to be wife Julie, because I was over 200 miles away, and all I longed for was the evenings when I could get to a telephone box (no mobile phones in those days), to call her at her house. We’d spend ages chatting about nothing on that phone, until my money ran out. When you are together, its like you are in the place that you’ve always belonged. All you want to do when you are in love is hold that person as close as possible, it’s like the two have become one. That’s real LOVE! That’s how you know you love Jesus, when you are ONE with Jesus.

You’ll know if He is your LORD:

When Jesus is your LORD, then you will be prepared to do whatever He tells you. It won’t be a burden to you to be obedient to Jesus, because you’ll be in love with serving Him. He’s your beloved King and you’d willing die in His service.

You’ll know if He is your Immanuel:

You’ll know if you’ve submitted your life to Him, because your desires will be changed and you’ll want to live in obedience to Jesus commands and teachings. That’s how you know if you’ve experienced Immanuel for yourself.

So HOW do we get our own IMMANUEL?

“Come, oh come Immanuel…” (The Christmas Carol).

Invite the LORD to come into your life right now.

Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ: It’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe in Jesus”, but that doesn’t mean that you are BELIEVING IN Jesus; i.e. trusting that He has died upon the cross for your sins and that you’ve received Him as your Lord and Saviour. In order to do that, you’ll first need to be CONVICTED by the Holy Spirit that you are indeed a guilty sinner.

Confess any known sin in your life. Confession means to own it, to acknowledge that it was you, that you are guilty of sin. It’s like a prisoner standing before a judge and he asks the person in the dock, “How do you plead?”, when you’re ready to confess your sins you’ll respond to the Judge of the Universe, “Guilty as charged your Honour”… If you are not convinced you are a sinner, then GOOGLE the Ten Commandment; you’ll soon see your guilty heart. They are like looking into a mirror, they reflect the condition of your heart. Those commandments of God, not suggestions, are still applicable today. God has not changed, His standards of Holiness will always be the same.

In our Baptism service, the candidate is asked, “Do you turn from sin?” and “Do you repent of your sins?” and “Do you renounce sin?” These questions reflect a willingness to let go of sins hold on your life. But please note, it doesn’t mean you have the ability in your own strength not to sin again, it’s just a willingness to let go of sin. You will get the POWER to say “No” to sin once you’ve received your Immanuel, God with you, He’ll come into your life in the power of the Holy Spirit and He’ll enable you to live righteously in holiness of life. Remember what Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will do;

John 16:8 (NIV) The Promise of Holy Spirit Conviction. “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:…”

The Holy Spirit will show you your guilt, that you are a sinner, that you are not righteous enough and that one day the LORD is going to judge you.

How will you plead today?

If you died right now, and appeared before God, what would you say when He asks you, “How do you plead, have you ever sinned? Have you ever broken one of My Commandments?”

Like the rest of us, like every sinful soul on earth, you’d have to say, “Lord, You know all things, You know that I’ve sinned”… However, if you have received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then all your sins will be washed away, you’ll be clean, your conscience will be clear and you’ll approach the Throne of Judgement with boldness, knowing that you are a forgiven sinner who’s been washed in the blood of God’s Holy Lamb. If you’ve believed, repented, renounced sin and received Jesus as Lord then you’ll already have been made into a Saint by Jesus Christ, the Bible calls that SANCTIFICATION (Being made into a saint, by trusting in Christ).

I’m writing all of this today, because I want every reader to know and experience their own Immanuel moment, that time when you purposefully turn from sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

So I’m Praying:

  • I’m praying that everyone I know and love will come to Jesus and experience Immanuel for themselves.
  • I’m praying that Holy Spirit will give them a soft heart to be open to God.
  • I’m praying that He will convict them of their sinful condition.
  • I’m praying that He will show them there is a judgement to come.
  • I’m praying that He will reveal to them, the way of Salvation.
  • I’m praying that He will show them the life of Holiness is a joy filled life.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a desire for freedom.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a hunger that this world cannot satisfy.

Father I’m praying all these prayers for those that You love and that I love in the Name of your Son, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!

And I am full of faith, expectancy and sure and certain HOPE that You will answer my prayer Father, because I’m believing Jesus’ promises.

John 16:24 (NIV) “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Amen!

Have an awesome Tuesday my friends,

Join me in praying for all those who are grieving because of that plane crash in Brazil.

Stay close to Jesus and experience your own Immanuel,

Don.

18 Prayers to Pray For Unbelievers

LINK To Prayers

 

Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

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

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

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

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

First, Nehemiah:

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

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

INTRODUCTION:

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

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

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

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

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

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

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

1) PRAYER:

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

2) PERSISTENCE:

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

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

3) POWER:

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

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

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

CONCLUSION:

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

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

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

As one great preacher has said,

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

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

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

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

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

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

Don.

 

God’s Secret Service Agents

through faith in Jesus you will become His secret change agents in this world

Daily Spirit & Word: 791: Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Fasting

How to Give & How to Pray & How to Fast & Why?

God’s Secret Service Agents.

Core Values in Kingdom Living: As Jesus’ Disciples we’re constantly Learning, we experience many Challenges, we get Curiosity to discover more about Jesus and His Kingdom, we know God wants Excellence, He encourages us to show Love and Respect to Himself and Others, He’s promised to watch our backs and be with us always on the journey through this life that He’s called us into by His Spirit through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

But How are we going to KNOW He’s with us?

And How can we KNOW we can do it?

Two Ways Today: Our Giving & Our Connection. When we get these two right, we’ll be following the Master’s way of Kingdom Living in Love and Security.

Intro: Secret Service: Like MI5 or the SAS and SBS. We’re to follow and serve the LORD from the HEART SECRETLY:

  • How we give: In SECRET
  • How we pray: In SECRET
  • How we fast: In SECRET

All are to be done secretly for Jesus and His Kingdom Glory. Then when we do these things in secret our Heavenly Father has PROMISED (God’s always faithful to all His promises) will REWARD you OPENLY (In public, in front of everyone). However, in Kingdom Living, we’ll see that our motivation won’t be because of His rewards, but because we LOVE Him. That is and will become even more our Kingdom motivation.

Today I want to see if we can come close to the CORE:

Getting to the CORE VALUES of Kingdom Living is essential for every follower of Jesus, you’ll soon see that when you put these into practice, Kingdom Living will become much easier.

 

True Christian Spirituality:

It can be found in some of the traditions of the Church.

However, if you want to fine PURE Christian Spirituality,

then we need to go to the SOURCE: To The Teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

 

You’ll find Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

Most notably in Jesus Greatest Sermon:

The Sermon (Teaching) On the Mount. Matthew Chapters 5 to 7.

 

In those Chapters you’ll discover most of what Jesus was teaching:

Matthew 5:3-12 – The Beatitudes: Be Happy Attitudes.

Matthew 5:13-16 – Salt and Light: You are Salt & Light.

Matthew 5:17-20 – Jesus fulfilled the Law: God’s LAW (Revealed in Moses first five books of Old Testament (Ten Commandments).

Matthew 5:21-26 – Anger and Murder: Peace and Harmony.

Matthew 5:27-30 – Lust and Adultery: Love and Faithfulness.

Matthew 5:31-32 – Divorce and Remarriage: Staying together as husband and wife.

Matthew 5:33-37 – Oaths: Promises: Telling the Truth Always.

Matthew 5:38-42 – Eye for an Eye: Not getting even with people. Not taking personal revenge, but forgiving others.

Matthew 5:43-48 – Love your enemies: The opposite of what the world teaches. PEACE if we really LOVE our enemies.

Matthew 6:1-4 – Give to the Needy: Not turning you back on anyone. Always being ready to be GENEROUS.

Matthew 6:5-15 – How to Pray: When you pray, not if you pray.

Matthew 6:16-18 – How to Fast: Why do you fast?

Matthew 6:19-24 – Treasures in Heaven: Storing up for your Eternal Future. (Not just thinking of your life here on earth).

Matthew 6:25-34 – Do not worry: Trust in the Father who knows all your needs.

Matthew 7:1-6 – Do not judge hypocritically: Use right judgement of others.

Matthew 7:7-12 – Ask, Seek, Knock: If you want something, you’ve got to ask for it.

Matthew 7:13-14 – The Narrow Gate: Finding your way to Heaven: Jesus is the ONLY WAY to Heaven.

Matthew 7:15-23 – False Prophets: False messages about God, Religion, Faith. Watch Out!

Matthew 7:24-27 – The Wise Builder: Getting the foundations of our Faith right.

 

Right in the MIDDLE of the Sermon on the Mount is the REAL MEAT (Just like a McDonald’s Burger has the meat in the middle, so does Jesus teaching on Kingdom Living in the Sermon on the Mount).

  • GIVING: The LORD’S GIVER (Matthew 6:1-4). Secret Service.
  • PRAYER: The LORD’S PRAYER (Matthew 6:1-15) Secret Prayer.
  • FASTING: Getting Even Closer (Matthew 6:16-18) Secret Devotion.

Our Giving & Our Connection & Our Devotion.

Today we’re going to FOCUS on just two, the most important two.

1) First, Our Giving

(Matthew 6:1-4)
1  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
2  “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3  But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4  so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
NOTE: Can you ever give in such a way that your left hand won’t know what your right hand is doing? “No!” You’ll always know, but Jesus is telling us about our WILLINGNESS / READINESS to be GENEROUS (Kind hearted towards others in need).

 

When you see a NEED: Are you ready and willing to help?

When you see a PERSON: Who needs the LORD’S help are you ready to respond?

 

My friends, Jesus has no body on Earth today except your body.

  • He has no hands today, but your hands.
  • He has no feet today, but your feet.
  • He has no eyes today, but your eyes.
  • He has no mouth today, but your mouth.
  • He has no hands to help, but your hands.

He’s called you, lives in you, equips and provides for you and gives you EXTRA in your life so that you can use it to help others.

How’s your heart of GIVING today?

  • We’re collecting for FOODBANK: You can GIVE (Time, Food or and Money).
  • We’re collecting for ROUGH SLEEPERS : You can GIVE (Money, Meals and Time).
  • We’re collecting for St Luke’s Church.: You can GIVE (Service, Time, Money and Love).

Oh my friends, let’s all be Jesus SECRET SERVICE AGENTS in the world today; his body, his hands, his eyes, his ears, his mouth, his feet, his hands today. Spreading His light, His salt, His goodness, His kindness, His forgiveness, His generosity… Let’s do it starting afresh today. Amen!

2) Second, Our PRAYER CONNECTING WITH OUR FATHER:

HOWEVER: We’ll NEVER Get Jesus Heart for GIVING until we make and maintain our CONNECTION with God our Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Matthew 6:5-6. How We Shouldn’t and How we Should PRAY.
5  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
6  But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you (OPENLY).
7  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.
8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

NOTE: Our prayer should not be like a performance for others. We’re not praying to impress people, but to connect with God.

HOW: How to MAKE & MAINTAIN your Connection with Father God.
9  “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, (Recognising / Acknowledging God’s HOLINESS and Fatherly nature: We come into His FAMILY, we’re members of His Kingdom Family when we’ve trusted Jesus for forgiveness and Salvation from Sin)…
10  Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Your desire to live in OBEDIENCE to God’s will: Living according to His revealed Kingdom Values).
11  Give us today our daily bread. (All your needs).
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. (Forgiving us our sins as we forgive when others sin against us).
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Keep us free from overwhelming temptations).
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

FORGIVENESS: Is Key to the Kingdom Living.

First you are forgiven when you come to Jesus.

Because you’ve been forgiven so much, you’ll be ready and willing to forgive others who’ve sinned against and hurt you. (One Christian said to me this week; “It’s amazing, because we become a bit like God when we actually get to the point of being able to really forgive others and let them off the hook or our revenge or punishment”… It really is amazing.

The LORD’s PRAYER: Song… Our Father…

(To the Jamaican Spiritual Tune)…

Get the folks into groups of four at front of Service, and point to them to say their line. (We did this yesterday, and got the congregation to join it. Old but AWESOME). <3 🙂

The Golden Nugget of Christian Kingdom Living: SECRET SERVICE for Jesus.

Giving, Prayer and Fasting (we’ve not touched on FASTING yet).

All are to be done in SECRET: Then your Heavenly Father, who sees what’s done in secret will reward you OPENLY.

Connecting with God our Father in Heaven.

Once that connection is made through Faith and Trust in your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we’re in His Kingdom Family Forever. God become our FATHER IN HEAVEN.

So now we maintain that CONNECTION and become his secret change agents in this world. Amen! Amen!

We’ll get His heart of love for others.

Our HEART will be changed and we’ll desire to serve HIM first in all things…

PRAYER: Oh my friends, my prayer this week is; Father God, help us to change to become more like You, like Your Son Jesus Christ; When I look at Jesus I see what You are like Father; Loving, Gentle, Kind, Patient, Forgiving, Good, Full of Joy, Full of Power, Overflowing with awesome FAITH to move any mountain. O Father, I want to be just like Your Son Jesus. So I pray in His Name and ask for the fullness of the Holy Spirit.

In Your KINGDOM LIVING:

Help me to be Giving in secret so that only You can see.
Help me in Praying in secret so that only You know.
Help me in Fasting in secret so that I can came closer to You for sustenance.
I want to be out of my depth in Your Love Lord.
I want to feel you close to me.
I want You to be in me.
I want to worship You Father in Spirit and Truth. Amen! Amen! Amen!

Through faith in Jesus, you will become God’s secret change agents in this world. You’ll be His hands, eyes, ears, head, feet and mouth. You’ll be all that the Sermon on the Mount says; Salt, Lite, Giving, Forgiving and Devoted. You’ll be connected with the POWER of Heaven and people are going to know, because your Father who sees you being His secret change agent will reward you openly. Amen!

Don.

 

Staying On Track With Jesus

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

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

Staying On Track With Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

STAYING ON TRACK:

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

It’s a KINGDOM PRINCIPLE, PRECEPT and PRACTICE.

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

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

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

How’s your walk and time with Jesus going?

Living for Jesus flows out of your relationship with Jesus.

WARNING: We often get it the other way around.

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

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

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

YBH: Yes but HOW?

How do you spend time with Jesus?

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

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

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

Make and Keep A TIME with Jesus:

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

Here’s how many Christians do it:

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

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

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

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

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

Have an awesome week my friends.

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

Don.

 

Oh Happy Day

The smile on your face lets me know you need me, there's a look in your eyes saying you'll never leave me

Daily Spirit & Word: 771: Oh Happy Day

You Have the POWER to Deliver.

With Jesus ALL THINGS Are Possible.

BUT:

  • No Prayer = No Power.
  • No Fasting = No Feasting.
  • No Faith = Nothing will Happen.

Good morning my friends, just ONE more day and the “Oh Happy Day” Gospel Festival will be here. Praise the LORD! What a Golden Opportunity to share Jesus with the whole of West Norwood.

The idea came from Pastor David of the Portuguese Fellowship meeting at Lansdowne Evangelical Church. He shared with Peter Day and I, then with the two other Ministers we pray with regularly: Richard from Chatsworth Baptist and Dennis from Worldwide Mission Fellowship. His vision was “Reaching out to our community with the Love and Joy of the Lord”, The Lord had given him some Scriptures to back up the vision too and as we shared the vision took on form and substance. Now we’re committed to going ahead in St Luke’s Church and grounds together. We’re giving away free food, free music, free face-painting, free fitness fun, free fun photography, free art activity, free children’s games and activities. It’s going to be AWESOME! (However, we need to PRAY: There’s a gathering tonight at Lansdowne Church: 8.00pm: Come and let’s give this EVENT some POWER).

I was praying and reading God’s word today and this passage jumped out at me;

Luke 9:37-45 (NIV) Disciples Failure To Deliver.
37  The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.
38  A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child.
39  A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him.
40  I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41  “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42  Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father.
43  And they were all amazed at the greatness of God. While everyone was marvelling at all that Jesus did, he said to his disciples,
44  “Listen carefully to what I am about to tell you: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men.”
45  But they did not understand what this meant. It was hidden from them, so that they did not grasp it, and they were afraid to ask him about it.

Verse 40: “I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”

I knew from my reading of the Bible that other passages in Scripture tell us why they couldn’t do it, but hadn’t noticed before that Luke’s account, doesn’t even dwell upon the reasons why the Disciples couldn’t deliver the boy.

Luke’s doesn’t go into the reasons WHY the Nine Disciples couldn’t drive out the Demon when Jesus, Peter, John and James returned down the mountain.

When Jesus was away there was an opportunity to act in faith and continue the word to which they had recently returned from with great joy; Healing, Delivering, Casting out Demons in the name of Jesus. But now they couldn’t do it. WHY?

Thankfully Matthew and Mark give us some more details that fill out this account of Deliverance from Evil Spirits.

They also reveal the reasons WHY they couldn’t set the boy free of the Demon.

Matthew 17:14-21 (NKJV)
14  And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying,
15  “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water.
16  So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him.”
17  Then Jesus answered and said, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to Me.”
18  And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour.
19  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”
20  So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

21  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Mark 9:14-29 (NKJV)
14  And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them.
15  Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him.
16  And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17  Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit.
18  And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19  He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”
20  Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21  So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood.
22  And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23  Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24  Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25  When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!”
26  Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.”
27  But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28  And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29  So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Both Matthew and Mark reveal to us: It was the Disciples lack of; faith, prayer and fasting.

They both tell us the Disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t do it. And He tells them. My friends, if there is something you are perplexed about or don’t know why you are not able to do something, learn from Jesus’ Disciples, go to HIM to find the answers. He will guide you and show you any reasons why something is not happening in your life.

Jesus Reveals: It was lack of Faith, of Prayer and of Fasting.

Lack of FAITH: Having a faith that can move mountains: I’ve never moved a mountain, but sometimes the LORD gives me the gift of faith to pray in a certain way that things happen. I do sometimes sense the Spirit’s power in prayer and when that happens, things happen too. It’s not all the time, sometimes I’m praying for someone, and I know in my Spirit, the Lord is not going to give them what they want. He hears all prayers, sometimes He’ll give us faith to move those mountains. But sometimes, it’s not His will or it’s not the right time or He’s going to answer later. He always hears us when we pray in faith.

Lack of PRAYER: Prayer is the vital connection with Jesus in faith. Without prayer we’re powerless to do anything. Perhaps the Disciples were not operating under Jesus’ authority, but out of past experience. They were probably thinking, “We did it before, we can do it easily again”… They didn’t seek the LORD in prayer or even pray to the Father as Jesus would later instruct them… (The Lord’s Prayer Luke 11).

Lack of FASTING: Fasting teaches us to rely upon the LORD more for our daily needs. It brings us closer to Jesus and enables us to see things we’d never see unless we go without. When I fast it’s wonderful. When I get hungry, I turn to Jesus and instead of going to the cupboard or fridge for food to the Bible and Prayer and Praise. It’s totally awesome when you experience Jesus feeding you at these times. And they do equip you for situations that are happening in your life.

So my friends, if you’ve got some little mountain that needs moving, someone that needs some deliverance, a problem that seems un-resolvable in normal ways, then turn first to Jesus and get the Faith you need, turn to prayer and fast regularly. (Fasting is known to be good for us medically too).

MORE DETAILS: Primary Focus:

There are many other details that all the Evangelists bring out of this account; Matthew, Mark and Luke bring to this account of Deliverance: Some highlight the arguments with the Crowd and the Disciples, some highlight the Amazement and Delight of the Crowd at Jesus. Some highlight what Jesus said afterwards to His Disciples (Luke omits that completely). However, what they all tell us is that this BOY was delivered immediately at Jesus’ command.

When we’ve got FAITH and when we pray and fast (regularly) we’re going to have the POWER too.

  • How’s your faith today? Come closer to Jesus.
  • How’s your prayer life? Come closer to Jesus.
  • How’s your fasting going? Come to Jesus to let Him feed you from Heaven.

By all three; Faith, Prayer and Fasting; we’re going to see our NEED to come regularly to Jesus if we want the POWER to live and operate as His Disciples in the world today. Following Jesus is NOT easy, but there’s POWER in the Spirit available for every Christian today. Not only that, but we have the added security and assurance that Jesus will never leave us alone as He did the Nine, He’s with us always to the very end of the age. Amen!

I’m looking forward to an awesome “Oh Happy Day” Festival tomorrow in St Luke’s Gardens. Come and join us if you can, between 1.00pm and 4.00pm. St Luke’s Church, West Norwood, London. SE27 0HS.

Have some fun and let the smile on your face let the world know that God’s LOVE is in you.

Give them some HOPE in a world that’s devoid of real hope.

Give them some JOY in a world that needs true JOY today.

When the people saw Jesus and his disciples coming down the mountain, the ran to Jesus (Mark 9:15) They ran to Jesus and greeted Him. I’m sure it was the SMILE on Jesus face that drew the crowds to Him that day. It was the JOY in His person. My friends, when we’re full of the glory of the Lord, it will put JOY in other people’s hearts too.

People in the UK and the world have experienced great turmoil, they all need renewed HOPE, renewed JOY in their daily lives. Let’s go out and give them a GREAT BIG SMILE on their faces.

Have an AWESOME Weekend with Jesus, be FULL of Faith in His POWER to Deliver.

Don.

Pastor David’s Scriptures: The Vision for “Oh Happy Day”…

Job 29:23-24 (CEV)
23  My words were eagerly accepted like the showers of spring,
24  and the smile on my face renewed everyone’s hopes.

Proverbs 15:30 (CEV)
30  A friendly smile makes you happy, and good news makes you feel strong.

What the LORD Gave me: “The Smile on Your Face” At a prayer meeting for the event.

The smile on your face let’s me know that you need me,
There’s a truth in your eyes saying you’ll never leave me,
The touch of your hand says you’ll catch me wherever I fall,
You say it best, when you say nothing at all…

NOTE: You’ll probably see in your modern versions of the Bible it says, “Some ancient manuscripts don’t have verse 21 “However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Some will keep it in with a note and others remove it. However, I do believe that this verse is indeed in the original Greek. Over the years the Church (all be it imperfect) kept the best manuscripts and threw away corrupted or those with mistakes, I believe what modern archeologists are discovering are not the BEST and MOST ACCURATE, no we are not discovering “The Oldest and most original” but those that had been rejected by the church. The people who translated the Bible at the time of King James had access to the most reliable texts the church possessed at the time. These had been preserved and carefully collated and many others, perverse texts discarded. The LORD preserves His Word: Let the Spirit guide you into the Truth.

 

Fan into Flame The Gift of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to FAN into FLAME the Gift of God:

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

Here are some of the ways my FIRE keeps going;

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

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

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

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

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

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

What do I get from this passage?

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

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

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

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

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

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

PETER & JOHN

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

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

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

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

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

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

Haven an awesome week WITH JESUS my friends,

Don.

 

A Mighty Power Faith Filled Factory

Becoming a mighty power faith filled factory producing new believers devoted to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 745: Supernatural Natural Devotion

Will lead to the building up and expansion of God’s Kingdom Family.

Your little fellowship can become a mighty power faith filled factory; producing Devoted followers of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, AFTER PENTECOST what happened in the lives of those who’d committed their lives to Jesus, had been baptised and filled with Holy Spirit? Answer they GOT DEVOTION.

It’s not a word you hear much these days, ‘Devotion’, is it? But just after Pentecost we hear in the book of Acts about what happened with the 3000 who began following Jesus.

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV)
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.
43  Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles.
44  All the believers were together and had everything in common.
45  Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.
46  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
47  praising God and enjoying the favour of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

From this little passage we can observe at least five things in the lives of the first Christians who trusted in Jesus, were baptised and had received the Holy Spirit.

They Devoted Themselves:

Nobody told them to do it, it was a natural or supernatural new inclination, to do these things. When the Holy Spirit indwells a person they’ll want to do these things too.

  1. Devotion to Teaching: They became learners of all that Jesus taught.
  2. Devotion to Fellowship: They got closer to each other. Meeting in Temple and Each other’s homes.
  3. Devotion to Breaking of Bread: This is a reference to Holy Communion: Remembering Jesus’ Sacrifice and to Eating together.
  4. Devotion to Prayer: When the Holy Spirit is in you, then you’ll automatically want to pray regularly. It’s not an obligation any more it’s a complete change of desire within.

When we’re DEVOTED like this, some things are going to be happening.

e) Many Signs and Wonders: were done by the Apostles. If you are devoted as an ordinary person to Jesus and all of the above, not because you have to but because you want to, then watch out, because WONDERS are going to be normal for your fellowship.

f) Common Concern: In verse 44 we learn that they shared their possessions and even sold some of them to help the needy amongst themselves. When Holy Spirit takes up residence within a person’s heart, there’s a new love for the brothers and sisters in the Lord’s family.

g) MEETING TOGETHER REGULARLY: Since I’ve had the Spirit, I’ve never thought meeting just ONCE a week was enough. Most, the majority of Christians today only want to meet once a week, life’s just too busy the meet up more than that, right? WRONG: when the Holy Spirit takes up residence in your heart, you’ll have a LONGING to be with brothers and sisters on a very regular basis. They did it every day, but in reality that’s not practical, because we’ve all got other things that need to be done: tending sheep, planting corn, digging fields, and that’s just the farming community, what about the City Workers? However, there’s still going to be a STRONG DESIRE for more regular FELLOWSHIP than just once a week. So we learn to be very CREATIVE in how we get fellowship.

h) Worshiping God: With glad and sincere hearts they praised the LORD! Worship is an integral aspect of any gathering together. We’ll want to sing our hearts out to the LORD!

How To BE CREATIVE: in getting fellowship more regularly:

SMALL GROUP: Either join of start a small group at work: To meet a lunch times to read God’s Word (Apostles Teaching) and to Pray together. I did this on every ship, establishment and submarine I served on after becoming a Christian in the Royal Navy.

FELLOWSHIP GROUP: There will be fellowship groups in your church, either get the Minister’s permission to start one or join an existing group. The strong desire will never go away, so start as soon as you feel it. Meet up REGULARLY: Once a week is good to start with, but don’t wait to long to add extra meetings for coffee, chats and Evangelism together.

What About Young Mothers: How can they possibly get FELLOWSHIP with young kids running around? I can’t think of a better group to get together even more regularly than those who’ve got toddlers to care for. It’s natural to meet for chats and coffee or tea, but just add the extra dimensions of Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, Evangelism, Breaking Bread and Ministry…

No matter what you do or where you work, there are good reasons to FORM or JOIN a SMALL GROUP: It keeps you very sharp as a Christian, you’ll be filled with HOLY SPIRIT DESIRES every day: You’ll want to do what He prompts you to do together. It’s much easier to share you faith with someone else. You’ll make excuses to keep inviting your NON-CHRISTIAN friends along to be with you and your friends. Just say, “I’m off during lunch break to read some of the Bible with a few friends, do you want to come along?”… “We’re learning all about Jesus teachings, do you want to come?” Don’t make the mistakes that I did, sometimes I only asked people once, but then I learned a secret, it took a long time before I myself said YES to Jesus invitations. So just keep asking your friends, but in different ways. “I’m meeting up with some Christian brothers, you should meet these guys, they’re filled with Holy Spirit POWER”…

When you get back from lunch, those who didn’t come will be intrigued to discover what you’ve been up to. I had so many questions when news got out on the Submarine that I was having fellowship in the SINS room on-board HMS Tireless. “What do you do in there?” they’d ask or “We heard you singing hymns” they’d say. “What’s that all about?” they’d ask… People are NATURALLY NOSEY: They want to know, they’re interested. So some will ask you when they know you are attending a small group, “What’s that all about?”… Always be prepared to give them an answer and an invitation to come and experience it for themselves.

Give An Answer and An Invitation.

Devotion is not a POPULAR word with the world, but it still is with EVERY person who’s been baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit.

So a good question to ask right now is: “How is my own DEVOTION going?” and “Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that I have these burning desires to be devoted in these ways?”… If NOT, then there’s a problem. You NEED more of God’s Spirit, because it’s supernaturally natural to want or desire DEVOTION to; Jesus teachings, the Apostles teachings, breaking bread, fellowship, prayer, meeting each other’s needs, meeting together, doing miracles, winning others to Christ. The Holy Spirit replaces our own natural desires with His Supernatural Desires to Build God’s Kingdom Family. IF NOT: You’ll become like the seeds sown on rocky soil or the hard path or among the thistles; your faith will wither and die quite soon. You might keep up the semblance of Christian attendance for a while, but it will never be fire filled or full of faith and fun. Devotion is what Holy Spirit longs for in the life a new follower of Jesus. If your an old follower and you are not devoted like this, why? What’s stopping you doing what God wants you to do? START AGAIN!

The LORD added to their number DAILY those who were being SAVED. Non Christians were attracted to this kind of DEVOTED fellowship. You are going to see this too when you get even more DEVOTED to Jesus Christ, His mission and His teachings. When we follow Jesus teachings, we’re going to see Father God’s Heart is to win thousands into His family. He’ll do it through you’re own little fellowship, which will soon become an awesome mighty power filled faith factory; producing even more DEVOTED followers of Jesus.

I’m praying you’ll get this kind of DEVOTION: Pray for me too: I need to cling to Jesus every day and get fellowship just as regularly as the next Christian, it’s a supernatural natural longing within my heart, but I’ve learned we’ve got to make it happen or it won’t. Nobody else is going to make it happen for you, your inner desire will make it happen: So seek out fellowship and be the devoted follower the Holy Spirit makes you want to be.

Don.

 

Prayer Week Day 2 Winning The Battle For The Lost

Winning the battle for the Lord, taking captive the Lost for Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 738:

Winning The Battles For The Lost.

The Good News of Jesus Christ: Is God’s Terms of Surrender.

It’s God’s PEACE Treaty: With a Rebellious World.

 

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 2: TAKING The Rebellious Captive for Jesus.

Good morning my friends, I was so encouraged by the response to the invitation to come and pray yesterday. We had a good group come first thing in the morning. KEEP THE FOCUS… “Praying for National Evangelisation”. That the whole body of Christ may, during the lead-up to Pentecost Sunday this year, be seeking the LORD in prayer for Evangelism.

I said on Sunday, EVANGELISM sends shudders down the spine of most ordinary believers in Jesus, but a committed follower KNOWS that when he / she begins to follow Jesus, He foods their souls with His LOVE and a new DESIRE to SAVE OTHERS.

  • This DESIRE: is not saying you are better than anybody else.
  • This DESIRE: is not saying you are any less sinful than others.

However, it’s knowing God HEART to win and save and call EVERYONE to repentance, to put their own faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ, so that they too can experience His love flooding their souls, be transformed by that love, and come with you to win some more people for Jesus.

HOW TO BE PRAYING FOR YOUR OWN OIKOS:

Once you’ve put together your own LIST of those who know you well: Your OIKOS: (those in your life who know you are a follower of Jesus).

Begin to pray about their lives, take your friends to Jesus in prayer. DO IT NOW… Spend a few moments thinking and praying for your friends (I’m going to do that too).

NOW: Write down some of the thoughts that came to you as you were praying for them.

Do you know what my first thought was? “They’ll reject it again”…

I’ve shared the ‘good news’ of Jesus many times with most of the people in my own OIKOS. What going to be different now? I’m praying for them MORE. I’m asking Father God to move into their lives in advance of me TALKING with them. I’m asking HIM, by Holy Spirit, to change their HARD hearts towards God and the GOSPEL… It’s the LOVE of sinning that’s keeping most of them away from Jesus.

Whenever anyone, who’s heard and understood the Gospel, refuses to come into the light, then YOU must KNOW what it is that keeping them in the DARKNESS.

Isaiah 9:1-4 (NLT) The People Walking In Darkness.
1  Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.
2  The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.
3  You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder.
4  For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian.
What does this passage say to you?

It tells me: They are walking in deep darkness (they are blind).

It tells me: They are going to see a LIGHT… (the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the LIGHT: Jesus is the light of the world).

It tells me: The LIGHT is not going to shine on them, but IN them. (Their HEARTS need the LIGHT of Jesus).

Why Don’t They Come To Jesus?

It’s not intellectual, because the Gospel makes total sense to even a simple little child. Jesus came and took our punishment for sin, when we trust Him, we too can be cleaned-up and forgiven for every sin.

It’s not because they believe in a different religion: though some believe in a god that tolerates sin, this is a different religion from Biblical Christianity. But that’s not what’s keeping them away from Jesus.

It’s their LOVE of sin that keeps them in the DARKNESS.

Sin is transgression of God’s Law: To refuse to come to Him is the greatest sin. To refuse to believe in Him is worse than any other sin. People don’t want to come into the light, because like Jonah, they would rather rule their own affairs, run their own life, take charge of everything themselves. Once they hear and understand the Gospel, they suddenly KNOW that coming to Jesus means surrendering that control over to Him. To allow Him to be KING of their hearts and lives. It’s their LOVE of independent living, of living without God ruling over them, that’s what’s keeping most people who’ve heard and understood the Good NEWS in the DARKNESS.

John 3:18-21 (NLT)
18  “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him (i.e. who puts their faith and trust in Jesus), But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son.
19  And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.
20  All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed.
21  But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

PRAY: That God will MOVE into their DARKNESS and let His light shine in their DARK HEARTS.

NOW: Let’s TAKE them Captive: Catch them in Jesus’ fishing net.

Pray about their LOVE of the DARKNESS: Ask the Lord to show them the darkness is not a friend. Ask the Lord to give them wisdom to be able to reason with Him.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NLT)
3  We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.
4  We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.
5  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.

Our WEAPONS: Prayer, God’s Word, God’s Law {The Ten Commandments} (A schoolmaster to lead people to a knowledge of their need of Him).

  • Don’t EXPECT to WIN: Without Prayer.
  • Don’t EXPECT to WIN: Without God’s Word, God’s Spirit, Jesus Presence, His Light.
  • Don’t EXPECT to WIN: Without God first breaking down their hard-hearts…

YOU CAN WIN:

  • Use the WEAPONS God has provided: Prayer, God’s Word, God’s Law…
  • Wear His Gospel Armour, Ephesians 6:10-20. Because you’ll come under fire.
  • When you pray, seek God’s Word, plead with the LORD for their Salvation.
  • Cry for your loved ones lost condition. Feel their darkness and separation from the Lord.
  • ASK GOD: To give you a heart that loves them enough to share Jesus with them.

Our War Hospital: The Gospel is God’s CURE after the battle has been won. i.e. don’t give the gospel too soon. Win the battles first, then offer them the cure. His PEACE treaty. His terms of SURRENDER. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is God’s PEACE TREATY for a rebellious world.

My friends, I firmly believe we are going to SEE a mighty move of God in our land. We’re going to see countless thousands SURRENDER to Jesus Christ as Lord. We’re going to see so many lost people SAVED for Jesus. We’re READY LORD. Bring in the Lost Sheep.

So today, let’s CAPTURE those who’s rebellious thoughts and hearts want to stay away from the Lord Jesus, in the Name of Jesus.

Their stubborn refusal to believe in Jesus: Turn them Lord, because we KNOW this is Your heart’s desire.

Break their heard hearts and give them a heart of flesh, soften them up LORD, because we KNOW this is the Father’s heart.

Open them up to You Lord.

Now, let me speak to them about You Lord Jesus, and Your LOVE for them, what you did so that they could be saved from their sins and help them to submit to You. Amen!

Have an awesome day praying for National Evangelisation of our NATION.

If you can, join us in praying for our NATION:

If you can, come and pray with us at 8.00am in St Luke’s Church, West Norwood.

If you can’t come PRAY at home, at work, on the way to work.

We’re praying for EVERY Christian to have a heart for those who don’t yet know Jesus as Lord.

Don.

NOTE: Tomorrow we’ll be thinking of strategic ways to reach into the lives of those we LOVE with God’s Love.

Heaping Burning Coals.