Hello From The Other Side

when men call evil good

Daily Spirit & Word: 794: Hello From The Other Side.

How to Weary God: He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side of life.

“Hello From The Other Side”

Good morning my friends, it’s so easy to get the LORD upset. Just use these two methods and you’ll see.

Have you heard Adele’s song, “Hello from the other side”? Well today’s message is like God saying, “Hello from the other side, I’m waiting for you”.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

 

I don’t know if you get weary of some things?

Once there was a man in the crew on my submarine that would talk the hind legs of a donkey. He’d done everything, seen everything and been everywhere. There wasn’t a single subject he didn’t know everything about. If you’d done something, he done it better, faster, longer etc… When you saw him approaching, you had to quickly think of something to say, before he began to tell you one of his stories. Yes my friends, Boris could bore you¬†senseless. But the LORD loved him ūüôā

 

Is it possible to get God weary and worn out with our words?

We’ve all met people like Boris, but imagine what it must be like for God?

We get tired of the way some people¬†incessantly¬†talk. You know the type, when you can’t get a word in edge-ways, because they don’t even breath between sentences and never finish. or when they do they move onto another subject without giving you a chance to interject in the first ten subjects. Sometimes I don’t know if I should laugh or cry.

 

Well our verse from God’s Word reveals two kinds of talking which wearies the LORD God Almighty: They are depraved talk and blasphemous talk.

FIRST, DEPRAVED TALKING:

(Deviating from what is considered to be; moral, right, good, proper and true).

God answers through Malachi when people ask, “How have we wearied the LORD?”

God is answering that question for us today: first we WEARY THE LORD with our constantly saying that “EVIL IS GOOD”.

Not only do people say evil is good, but they say that God takes pleasure in those who do evil things.

What is EVIL? 

Secular Dictionary Definitions:

1) Morally objectionable behaviour.
2) That which causes harm, destruction or misfortune. (Violence in action or words, bullying, defrauding, scheming, crafty, murder, hatred,
3) The quality of being morally wrong in principle or practice. (Stealing, lying, cheating, being unfaithful, lustful).
4) Having the nature of vice. (Drug dealers, pushers, prostitution, human-trafficking).
5) Having or exerting a malignant and malevolent influence. (e.g. “a gossipy malevolent old woman” or “failure or rejection made him malevolent toward those who were successful”)

It’s not hard to find out what EVIL really means from God’s point of view either:

EVIL is not an outward thing, but it’s inward; harming and hurting others or self and ultimately rejecting God by our actions or words. No wonder God gets weary.

So, when men say that something is good, which God has clearly declared is morally wrong, then that is EVIL.

What things do we say are good, when our Conscience (God’s Holy¬†Standards¬†of moral goodness, which is written upon every human heart) is telling us it is morally wrong. i.e. we know we’re going against our own conscience.

1) Abortion: Killing a baby in the womb. It’s murder. Taking a viable human life.

2) Sex: Outside of marriage. The Bible calls this fornication. To have sexual¬†intercourse¬†with another person outside the bonds of marriage (either¬†actual¬†sex or imagined, lusted after). All forms of sex outside of God’s ordained bounds: Marriage between a man and a woman, is¬†perverse¬†¬†perverted¬†and morally wrong. When out evangelising people give the excuse, “We’re all human” i.e. “We’re human so we can’t help ourselves, we’ve got an inward drive that makes us do it”… That’s just shifting the blame for our moral weakness and propensity to sin.

3) Stealing: Taking things that belong to someone else. Many people today don’t think twice of stealing music, films or other content from the internet. Cheating the Tax Man, Stealing time from the Boss of a big company. ¬†We excuse ourselves by saying, “Everybody does it” or “Surely it can’t be wrong”… We know it’s stealing, taking something that doesn’t belong to us.

That’s just three, but we’re masters of inventing new ways of being evil, doing things we know that God has said is an abomination for Him. No wonder God gets weary with people. With our talk, saying evil things are good and God will like it.

Well that is the first half of the verse, what about the second thing that God gets weary about?

2) BLASPHEMY.

Now, this really get’s God annoyed.

Malachi 2:17 (NIV) You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

“Where is the God of Justice?”

  • God can’t see.
  • God doesn’t care about justice.
  • God won’t hold us to account.
  • God doesn’t exist.
  • God’s not real.
  • God won’t judge.

What is all this? The Bible clearly¬†reveals¬†this is BLASPHEMY… Saying something about God that is not true.

Blasphemy is not just using God’s Name in a wrong way, like saying “OMG” or “Jesus H Christ”…

Evil doers will pay a heavy price one day. Everyone who does EVIL in the sight of almighty God will one day be held to account for it. God shows us very clearly in the Bible that He is concerned about Justice and will one day PAY BACK for the evil everyone does.

John 3:19-20 (NIV)
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.

“But, who does evil?”¬†Answer: “EVERYONE”, we’ve all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards of Morality.

Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

In some ways people are right in saying, “We can’t help it, we’re just human” because we are all born in slavery to sin, we will sin and fall short, but God sent Jesus Christ to set us all free from that bondage: even though we’re born with a tendency to sin, God will hold each person, personally accountable.

Romans 6:20-23 (NIV)
20  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.
21  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death!
22  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.
23  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

All liars will find their place in the lake of fire. (my friends, that’s serious, even telling a LIE can land you in Hell forever). How many lies do we need to tell before we’ll be judged? It’s like murder, just one lie make you a liar. No amount of good deeds we do afterwards will wash away that lie. It will stain our souls all the way to judgement day, unless it is washed away. There’s only ONE WAY to remove the stain of EVIL from our souls.

That ONE WAY: is through REPENTANCE (Turning away from all evil and sin in your life towards Jesus Christ). FAITH (Putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ: He died in your place on the cross, taking the punishment for all your sins. When you believe that Jesus did this for you and trust that He did indeed die for your sins, then you are ready to be set-free, saved and cleansed). RECEIVE (Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOUR: Tell Him you are trusting that He died for you, that you want to live a holy, good and pure life from now on. You are ready to TRUST Him as both LORD and SAVIOUR.

When you repent and put you faith in Jesus Christ like that, the Bible tells us we’ll receive some awesome gifts from Heaven: New LIFE, Holy Spirit, New desires to live like Jesus, New family of brothers and sisters who’ve also trusted Jesus, New Father in Heaven and Eternal life. Heaven is now your home and the things that once held special appeal to you will become nothing. Everything this world has to offer in comparison to knowing Jesus Christ as Lord pales into insignificance. He puts a JOY into your heart that nothing can take away.

So let’s stop trying to shift the blame onto circumstance, influence, tendency, nature or even Satan. Let’s call what we do, what it really is; SIN, EVIL, PERVERSE and MORALLY WRONG. (When we go against God, we’re wearing Him out with our excuses, we’re boring Him with our shifting the blame, He’s getting ready to meet you on the other side. Let’s stop calling evil good. Let’s stop calling sin good. Let’s get right in line with God’s thinking. The world will go it’s own way, but what about you? Will you decide today to go God’s way?

God’s calling out to you today;

He must have called a thousand times,

You never seem to be home,

at least God can say, “I tried”.

“Hello from the Other Side, I’m waiting for you.”

Be blessed and trust Jesus Christ today,

Don.

 

Forgotten and Forgiven

What God chooses to forget, your sins. What God chooses to Remember, your good deeds

Daily Spirit & Word: 777:

Divine Forgetfulness.

What God Forgets & What God Remembers.

Good morning my friends, my holiday has begun. A time to relax, unwind and be renewed. Of course we don’t need holidays to do that, but it feels good to be having a break of sorts. One thing I cannot do is have a break from my quiet time with Jesus; prayer, praise, worship, Bible study and meditation every day. If I’m BLESSED (777) is a good number ūüôā

Can’t quite believe that DAILY SPIRIT & WORD is 777 today.

What’s DS&W for? After a 40 Day Bible Study (and sharing on Facebook), I decided to keep going, to keep sharing, to encourage Christians, to build up the Church, to strengthen faith and to lead others to faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ.

As a young Christian (Born Again in April 1984) I used to love reading “Every Day With Jesus” by Selwyn Hughes. However, it wasn’t long before my hunger wasn’t satisfied by Hughes’ offerings, brilliant, encouraging and insightful though they were. You see I was reading more of the Bible and being fed by the Holy Spirit as I read and studied myself. Not long after that my study took on a new shape and form by reading and studying “Celebration of Discipline” by Richard Foster… I learned the secrets of Biblical Fasting, Biblical Confession and Repentance, Biblical Meditation and Biblical Prayer. I began to keep a daily journal and record my thoughts, insights from Scripture and prayers. It’s often amazing looking back over the years of prayers, and seeing how the LORD has been so faithful and has answered so many. What strikes me more than anything though, is that He doesn’t always answer in the ways that I’d expected or wanted at the time, but I can see clearly that I must trust HIM, because He knows what’s best and has the future and past available to Him; nothing surprises God. I’m so thankful that He didn’t give me what I wanted, how I wanted, at the time that I wanted it.

He’s been working on my soul to bring it in line with His plan.

Jesus has a wonderful plan for your life too and when you think clearly about what God wants, and how His Divine memory works, you’ll be astounded.

He NEVER Forgets Your Hard Work:

Hebrews 6:10 (NIV) “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Jesus said something similar in His parable of the Sheep and the Goats, “When you did it for the least of these, you did it for Me”… Awesome.

Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV) The Parable of the Sheep & Goats.
31¬†¬†“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.
32  All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33  He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 ¬†“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35  For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36 ¬†I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 ¬†“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39 ¬†When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 ¬†“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41 ¬†“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43 ¬†I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 ¬†“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 ¬†“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 ¬†“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

No my friends, God’s Divine REMEMBRANCE or Holy Memory: Extends to all the GOOD things you do for Him.

NOTE: Remember though, that Good Works cannot SAVE YOUR SOUL, they just prove to you and the world that you’ve been saved by Jesus. We do good works because we are grateful servants, because we’ve been loved, blessed and forgiven by Jesus. We do them not to earn a place in Heaven, that’s already ours because we’ve trusted in Jesus. However, if our FAITH and TRUST don’t then move onto action and good works, we prove that our faith and trust in Jesus wasn’t genuine. If we’re not going about doing good like Jesus as His followers, then we are not saved at all.

However, God remembers you good works, He rewards your Kingdom Labour. He tells us that by doing good we’ll be storing up treasure for ourselves in heaven that will last for all eternity. How RICH are you going to be in Heaven? Have you been busy doing good whilst you can down here on the Earth? Invest in your Heavenly Dwelling Place; that really is your KINGDOM RETIREMENT PLAN: Heavenly Kingdom Investments (Good Works that you keep secret, just between you and God). If you boast about the good things you’ve done for and towards others down here on Earth, then you’ve just taken some of that Heavenly Investment and used it for your earthly glory. So my thinking is, don’t boast about your good works, God will never forget, He keeps a Divine and Holy Record book and will reward you in Heaven. He NEVER forgets.

But What Does God Forget?

He FORGETS your sins.

You’ll be rewarded for your good works done in secret, because God always remembers.

But what’s even more amazing and astounding is that God will forget your sins.

Isaiah 43:25 (NIV) “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”

Hebrews 8:12 (NIV) “…For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”

Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV)
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

Oh my friends, how we NEED to get this TRUTH into our hearts, minds and souls today: God chooses to FORGET your sins.

When you truly REPENT and turn away from sin and turn to the LORD for His forgiveness, He really does forgive and cleanse you from every sin, then FORGETS them. He chooses (Somehow) to forget your SIN. I don’t know how God does that, but when you get to heaven and look in His RECORD BOOK of your life, when it comes to your records of sins you are going to see just BLANK pages, because once you truly repent they’re forgotten, forgiven, wiped clean. God will remember your sins no more.

What does that make you feel like? It makes me feel like dancing. It makes me want to serve the LORD with gladness. It make me want to jump and leap for JOY. All my sins are washed away when I turn in complete repentance to Jesus. Of course it took Jesus to die upon the Cross to make this possible, but once you’ve trusted in Jesus, God sees you as completely clean from all your sins. AWESOME!

FORGIVENESS FEELS GOOD

As I was reading that Hebrews verse above, I was encouraged (by the Holy Spirit) to keep reading in context.

WOWzer! God’s written His LAW on the Hearts of EVERYONE… Instead of on tablets of stone, instead of needing to remind children of God’s law, He’s now (under the New Covenant) written His LAW (The Ten Commandments) upon the hearts of every human being, so they KNOW RIGHT¬†from WRONG. When we do wrong, our Conscience will be screaming out to us, don’t do that, God doesn’t like it. When we choose to be obedient, we’ll sense the Holy Spirit’s POWER within and His JOY in our hearts.

Hebrews 8:10-13 (NIV) The New Covenant (New Testament).
10  This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
11 ¬†No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.
12 ¬†For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
13 ¬†By calling this covenant “new”, he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and ageing will soon disappear.

WOWzer! It’s so encouraging that the LORD Remembers your Good Works, but Forgets your Sins (Bad works, deeds)… He chooses to forget them all, but we MUST TURN in true repentance and put our faith and trust in Jesus. Stop trusting in your own goodness and get right with God by confessing your sins. Once you do that He’ll wipe your records clean in Heaven and you are given a brand new start with a fresh new LIFE. He’s got so much good that He wants you¬†to be busy doing every day for Jesus.

Keep; loving, forgiving, helping, serving, praising, witnessing, leading people to Jesus, encouraging, strengthening, refreshing others with the gifts that the LORD has bestowed upon you.

Live it for Jesus today, Amen!

Don.

 

Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

When Jesus calls us, it's to repentance and faith in Him alone

Daily Spirit & Word: 776: Who’s that knocking at my door.

Good morning friends, I was awakened by a strange noise in the house this morning at 4.30am. It startled me out of a weird dream. In the dream I was back in Plymouth and some kind of strange earthquake was happening, I saw a bus falling over on it’s side and buildings shaking and some falling to the ground. People had their mobile phones out taking pictures to capture the scene and share on social media. Do you know what that noise was that woke me? It was a knocking at my door, but when I got to the door there was no one there. I was up now so decided to read some of God’s Word and this is what I read.

Romans 10:16-21 (NIV)
16 ¬†But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”
17  Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
18 ¬†But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.”
19 ¬†Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, “I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”
20 ¬†And Isaiah boldly says, “I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 ¬†But concerning Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.”
Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

If “faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” then why didn’t the Israelites respond? Who knows, but they didn’t.

Then follows a series of question from Paul: “DID THE¬†ISRAELITES¬†HEAR THE MESSAGE?”

He answers each time with “Of course they did, but they REJECTED it”…

When someone is knocking at your door what do you do?

  • Do you sit there and ignore it?
  • Do you get up and listen at the door to what they have to say?
  • Do you open the door to the one with the message?

It’s The Insurance Man

Years ago my mum and dad had an insurance policy, the man would call around to collect the insurance money every week. There were quite a few times that my mum didn’t have any money to pay the installments, so she’d tell us to hide and stay quiet until the man goes away. The man would be knocking at the door. He’d be shouting through the letterbox “It’s the Insurance Man”… We didn’t dare move a muscle. I’ve been scared of Insurance Men since I was a child ūüôā LOL A few times the man could hear there were obviously people in the house, because you can’t keep seven kids quiet for very long. Or sometimes they’d pretend to go away and then once we’d all started talking the letterbox would fly open and he’d shout, “I can hear you in there, open the door”…

My friends, those Israelites didn’t open the doors of their hearts to God.

He called upon them many times and in so many different ways.

They might have been there listening to the message, but they didn’t respond.

Isaiah tells us, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people”…

God is also holding out his holy hands to you today.

He’s calling you with the Good News of Jesus; “Come to me” said Jesus.

Jesus is not an Insurance Salesman, but He’s offering freely to each and every soul “Eternal Assurance: You can be SAVED from Hell if you’ll just repent and trust in Me”…

When we hear the Good News and don’t respond, it’s like knowing someone is at the door with a message that is so important for us, but we’ve got to open the door to respond to that message.

  • It’s no good knowing Jesus can save you, if you don’t respond in faith and receive Him as your Lord and Saviour.
  • It’s no good knowing Jesus died for sin, if you don’t trust in Him and His death on the cross was for your sins.
  • It’s no good knowing Jesus was raised from the dead and believing it all to be true, if you will not repent of your sins and receive Him into your life.

He’s knocking every day, but have you opened up the door of your heart to Jesus?

Be Earnest And Repent

Revelation 3:19-22 (NIV)
19  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent.
20  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.
21  To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne.
22 ¬†He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Jesus is knocking my friends, so open up the door of your heart afresh today.

If there’s something in your life at this moment more precious to you than Jesus, you need to let go of it, because there’s NOTHING, nothing, absolutely nothing, that’s more important than your eternal¬†welfare.

Once you open that door to Jesus, then and only then, will all His promises be yours: Abundant life (John 10:10), New Birth (John 1:12, 3:1-22).

Who’s That Knocking At Your Door?

It’s Jesus Christ: Open the door of your heart to Him today: Be earnest (sincere, heartfelt, solemn, clear,) and repent: Turn from living your life your way and begin to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit by turning to Jesus for forgiveness, cleansing and new life. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend.

Don.

 

The Most Shocking News

Heaven or Hell, In or Out, EU Referendum, Debate,

Daily Spirit & Word: 760: The Most Shocking News

In or Out: The EU Referendum?

Good morning my friends, I awoke at 2.00am this morning with this phrase buzzing in my head, “Headed For Hell: The Most Shocking News”… I thought, “You can’t be serious Lord, I can’t have that as a title for my daily Bible share? It would put people off forever”….

However, the most sobering news anyone can ever hear is not: “We’re now IN the EU” or “We’re now OUT of the EU”. Both of these statements are a BIG issues for folks here in the UK right now, but what would be even more shocking than either of those results is: “You Are Headed For Hell”… Imagine being told that upon waking from a good night’s slumber? Shocking isn’t it?

However, it’s TRUE: Because without some things most people are going to end up in Hell. To me that’s the most shocking revelation I’ve ever had and it’s horrible to dwell upon that truth. It’s no wonder that I was startled wide-awake this morning. I just had to get up and pray and get into God’s Word.

So two questions arise from that true statement: “You Are Headed For Hell” the questions are;

  1.  What things will make me miss Heaven and end up in Hell?
  2.  How can I avoid going to Hell?

What are those things?

  • Without Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour: You are headed for Hell.
  • Without Being Born Again of God’s Holy Spirit: You are headed for Hell.
  • If you’ve BROKEN just one of God’s Commandments: You are headed for Hell.
  • If you’ve not REPENTED of your sins: You are headed for Hell.

Now if I said that to people they’d be offended right? And quite rightly so, because they don’t believe they’ve done anything bad¬†enough¬†that would warrant being sent to Hell. They would quite rightly DEMAND PROOF, because it just doesn’t seem reasonable that most people will end up in Hell.

So let’s PROVE IT’S TRUE:

Because of His LOVE for human beings God sent His One and ONLY Son to die upon the Cross. Why did God do that? Because if Jesus hadn’t gone to the Cross, then every human being would die carrying the load of all their sins with them to the gates of Heaven hoping to be allowed in. Only to be greeted by the LORD with the Gates firmly shut in their faces. Why? Because SIN cuts you off from God. (See Isaiah 59:2 at bottom of page) ¬†He cannot bear the sight of sin, He cannot¬†tolerate¬†it in His presence. Sinning just once in your lifetime contaminates your eternal soul with sin. No amount of good deeds will wash that sin away. There is nothing you can do to remove the stain of sin. It’s like a tattoo upon your soul. You know when you get a tattoo it’s with you for the rest of your life, unless you have it removed surgically with a¬†laser¬†gun. So it is with SIN, unless you have it removed by the one thing that can take your sin away, DEATH.

“The Soul that sins, it shall die”… “The wages of sin is DEATH”…

Perhaps it’s time to come back to the OLD FASHIONED PREACHING of our forefathers, for the truth is still just as true today.

What is SIN? Sin is Transgression of God’s Holy Law.

If you Google the question “What is Sin?” It will first give you the secular dictionary definitions of sin:

Noun: Sin.

  1. Estrangement from God.
  2. An act that is regarded by theologians as a transgression of God’s will
  3. Ratio of the length of the side opposite the given angle to the length of the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle
  4. The 21st letter of the Hebrew alphabet
  5. Violent and excited activity

Verb: Sin (Sinning, Sinned).

  1. Commit a sin; violate a law of God or a moral law.
  2. Commit a faux pas or a fault or make a serious mistake.

That’s amazing, I’d never looked up SIN in a secular dictionary before, but there it is PROOF for everyone to read. SIN means ESTRANGEMENT FROM GOD. Why, because it’s an act that is a TRANSGRESSION of the will of God. WOWzer!

But there’s an even greater authority than a secular Dictionary; the Bible, God’s Word: What does the Bible say sin is?

Looking down the list of your Google Search: The third search result will be from www.gotquestions.org and they define sin from the Bible as:

Question: “What is the definition of sin?”

Answer: Sin is described in the Bible as transgression of the law of God (1 John 3:4) and rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7; Joshua 1:18). Sin had its beginning with Lucifer, probably the most beautiful and powerful of the angels. Not content with his position, he desired to be higher than God, and that was his downfall, the beginning of sin (Isaiah 14:12-15). Renamed Satan, he brought sin to the human race in the Garden of Eden, where he tempted Adam and Eve with the same enticement, ‚Äúyou shall be like God.‚ÄĚ Genesis 3 describes Adam and Eve‚Äôs rebellion against God and against His command. Since that time, sin has been passed down through all the generations of mankind and we, Adam‚Äôs descendants, have inherited sin from him. Romans 5:12 tells us that through Adam sin entered the world, and so death was passed on to all men because ‚Äúthe wages of sin is death‚ÄĚ (Romans 6:23).

BORN INTO SLAVERY TO SIN:

Through Adam, the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion, bringing to him spiritual death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on depravity is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: ‚ÄúSurely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.‚ÄĚ

We’re not just born with a sin nature, we are also SLAVES to that sin nature, we cannot help but be obedient to our sinful nature.

John 8:31-36 (NIV)
31¬†¬†To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.
32 ¬†Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 ¬†They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 ¬†Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

When you trust in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross, when you Repent of your sins and receive His forgiveness, when you Receive Him as LORD and SAVIOUR: then you too can be SET FREE FROM SIN.

CLARIFYING GOD’S LAW:

Now that we’ve defined sin, and that we are born in sin and are slaves to sin, we need to clarify what God’s LAW is: or The Will of God that we’ve transgressed and rebelled against when we SIN.

What is God’s Law? God’s LAW is revealed in the first five books of the Bible and summarised in the Ten Commandments: If we’ve broken just ONE of those commandments then we’ve become a sinner. We’re guilty of breaking God’s Law.

The Ten Commandments:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honour your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Question: Have you ever told a lie? Just one? If you have then it only takes one lie to make you a liar (it’s the same as murder, just one murder makes you a murderer for life). God Word tells us “No liar can enter the Kingdom of Heaven”… Can you see how we need to be cleansed of sin? It contaminates our soul forever until it is washed away.

Is there anyone who hasn’t sinned? Has someone ever been born without a sin nature?

Through Adam (Adam and Eve), the inherent inclination to sin entered the human race, and human beings became sinners by nature. When Adam sinned, his inner nature was transformed by his sin of rebellion against God, bringing to him spiritual and physical death and depravity which would be passed on to all who came after him. We are sinners not because we sin; rather, we sin because we are sinners. This passed-on sinful condition is known as inherited sin. Just as we inherit physical characteristics from our parents, we inherit our sinful natures from Adam. King David lamented this condition of fallen human nature in Psalm 51:5: ‚ÄúSurely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.‚ÄĚ It’s true of all of us, we are sold into slavery to sin by Adam: We are in bondage to sin and Satan…

How can I avoid going to Hell?

Your Personal SIN: Personal sin is that which is committed every day by every human being. Because we have inherited a sin nature from Adam, we commit individual, personal sins, everything from seemingly innocent untruths and lies to hatred and murder. Those who have not placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ must pay the penalty for these personal sins, as well as inherited sin of Adam and Eve. However, believers who’ve trusted in Jesus for Salvation from SIN, have been SET FREE from the eternal penalty of sin: which is Hell and spiritual death, but now we also have the power to resist sinning. Now we can choose whether or not to commit personal sins because we have the power to resist sin through the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, sanctifying and convicting us of our sins when we do commit them (Romans 8:9-11). Once we confess our personal sins to God and ask for His forgiveness for them, we are restored to perfect fellowship and communion with Him. ‚ÄúIf we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness‚ÄĚ (1 John 1:9).

We are condemned due to inherited sin from Adam and our personal sin breaking God’s Holy Commandments and Law. The only just penalty for this sin is death (Romans 6:23), not just physical death but eternal death (Revelation 20:11-15). Thankfully, inherited sin and personal sin have been crucified on the cross of Jesus, and now by an act of faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour ‚Äúwe have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace‚ÄĚ (Ephesians 1:7).

The Most Shocking News:

Is not going to be we’re now in the EU or We’re now out of the EU: But it is “You Are Headed For Hell… Unless…”

Trust in Jesus my friends and this most shocking news will never be heard for you. Your place in Heaven is secured the moment you put your fiath and trust in Jesus Christ and His death upon the Cross for your sins.

Here’s Jesus Promise Again: FREEDOM:

John 8:34-36.
34 ¬†Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

“Free at last, Free at last, Thank God Almighty, I’m Free at last.”

Have an Awesome week with Jesus.

Don.

 

NOTE: God’s¬†Convicting¬†Charge Against Human Beings:

Isaiah 59:1-20 (NIV)
1  Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.
2  But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
3  For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken lies, and your tongue mutters wicked things.
4  No-one calls for justice; no-one pleads his case with integrity. They rely on empty arguments and speak lies; they conceive trouble and give birth to evil.
5 ¬†They hatch the eggs of vipers and spin a spider’s web. Whoever eats their eggs will die, and when one is broken, an adder is hatched.
6  Their cobwebs are useless for clothing; they cannot cover themselves with what they make. Their deeds are evil deeds, and acts of violence are in their hands.
7  Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways.
8  The way of peace they do not know; there is no justice in their paths. They have turned them into crooked roads; no-one who walks in them will know peace.
9  So justice is far from us, and righteousness does not reach us. We look for light, but all is darkness; for brightness, but we walk in deep shadows.
10  Like the blind we grope along the wall, feeling our way like men without eyes. At midday we stumble as if it were twilight; among the strong, we are like the dead.
11  We all growl like bears; we moan mournfully like doves. We look for justice, but find none; for deliverance, but it is far away.
12  For our offences are many in your sight, and our sins testify against us. Our offences are ever with us, and we acknowledge our iniquities:
13  rebellion and treachery against the LORD, turning our backs on our God, fomenting oppression and revolt, uttering lies our hearts have conceived.
14  So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter.
15  Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice.
16  He saw that there was no-one, he was appalled that there was no-one to intervene; so his own arm worked salvation for him, and his own righteousness sustained him.
17  He put on righteousness as his breastplate, and the helmet of salvation on his head; he put on the garments of vengeance and wrapped himself in zeal as in a cloak.
18  According to what they have done, so will he repay wrath to his enemies and retribution to his foes; he will repay the islands their due.
19  From the west, men will fear the name of the LORD, and from the rising of the sun, they will revere his glory. For he will come like a pent-up flood that the breath of the LORD drives along.
20 ¬†“The Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who repent of their sins,” declares the LORD.

My friends, the REDEEMER has come, the LORD Jesus Christ, to set you FREE from your sins today. Amen!

 

You Don’t NEED to get permission to share Jesus

Share Jesus freely, tell your bad man or bad woman story, people love gossip

Daily Spirit & Word: 741:

You Don’t Need To Ask For Permission.

Share the Good News Freely.

Pentecost Prayer Week: Day 5.

Good morning my friends, today is FANTASTIC FRIDAY: Ying Kai is coming to vist my home at 1.30pm with some Church Leaders and key members of our Fellowship. And we’ve got a Church Fellowship Curry Night, but first we’re meeting for some powerful prayer at 8.00am. It’s been a busy week, but so full of delights in the LORD.

Though the Pentecost Prayer Week is not quite over, I want to thank our Archbishops for the initiative to call all the Church of England to prayer for the Evangelisation of the Nation. We’ve been busy praying at home, in church, in fellowship groups and in small groups,, we’ve had Alpha on Tuesday: Why and HOW should I share my faith? On Wednesday, we’ve been out sharing the Gospel on the streets. On Tuesday, Emma gave her live to the LORD, on Wednesday she was almost killed by a falling rock, but it fell to the ground just inches from her head. Last night we had an awesome time of simply worship; singing and praising the Lord.

You know something, being a follower of Jesus is exciting, enjoyable, exhausting, but empowering.

When we’re with people, wherever we are, we’ve just taken them to church.

When we’re living with Jesus and His called-out people in this world, then the world has experienced church.

Christianity, following Jesus, is a MOVEMENT, it’s not a condition. We’re moved by Jesus to GO into this world and spread the Gospel, the Good News, but we’re also moved by the HOLY SPIRIT to be church, holy, wherever we are. When people are in your presence they are in church.

I’ve discovered a NEW boldness is available for the saints.

Emma became a Christian on Tuesday and shared her faith with someone the day after, on Wednesday she declared to a stranger, “It’s because I’m now a Christian”… With our heart we believe and are saved, with our mouth we TESTIFY… Romans 10:8-10. We’d normally take people through a TEN WEEK COURSE to get them to that point, but we’ve been discovering that it’s much, much better if someone can share what they do know as quickly as possible. If they’ve repented and trusted in Jesus as Lord, they can share that quickly with others. We’ve been unintentionally¬†holding the church back, because of our TRADITIONS. Instead of following Jesus example and the teaching of the New Testament, we’ve been following man-made traditions. People don’t need lots of head-knowledge to share Jesus, they just need to be willing to be obedient to His Great Commission, to GO and SHARE what they already know in their heart is true: “I was once in darkness, I heard the Good News of Jesus, I repented and trusted in Him, I’m now saved”… When we share how bad we were with people, they love a bad-man story, because people love gossip, they’ll be interested. On the other hand, if we start telling people, “I’ve just been on a 12 Week Course and it’s now time for me to share my faith…” NO! my friends, let’s get a boldness to set the young lambs in the faith free to share Jesus as quickly as they can. Of course they don’t know everything yet, but they don’t need to, they just need to KNOW Jesus. The Holy Spirit will take them where He wants them to be and with¬†encouragement, discipleship training and prayer, they’ll go from strength to strength in obedience to the Lord.

So can you gather that I’m excited and encouraged, it really is a Fantastic Friday and it’s only 5.00am.

Have an awesome Pentecost Weekend: Don’t stop praying though, we’re going to keep praying EVERY DAY for the people the LORD has strategically placed in our lives, those who know that we are Christians who love the LORD, and we’re going to be looking for opportunities to SHARE the Good News with them. They are our OIKOS. (BTW: Josi was out shopping and saw on the supermarket shelf OYKOS¬†yoghurt. She was wondering what OYKOS means?) It’s not quite the same as our OIKOS, by too similar to wonder.

PERMISSION NOT REQUIRED: YOU’VE GOT IT ALREADY.

Oh, BTW, you don’t need to be polite and ask permission to share the Gospel, because Jesus has already given you His permission to share it with EVERYONE.

“All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me….” Matthew 28:18…

If you ask a friend, relative, neighbour or stranger, “Can I share with you something about Jesus”… You already KNOW what their reaction is going to be “I’m not ready to hear this yet” or “I’m not religious” or “I’m not interested in religion”. However, if you take the initiative and just share, “You know, I used to be a very bad person, I once told a lie…. they’ll be hooked”… You’ve got them, just share your bad-man / bad-woman story, how before you met Jesus you were a terrible person. Because people love bad-man / bad-woman stories. Just take a look at all the TV shows about BAD people, the world loves to hear bad people stories. St Paul did that many times in the Bible, what an example. You’re probably not as bad as Paul, he persecuted Christians and even took part in stoning some of them. But you have broken some of God’s Commandments, share how you were once bad and how Jesus delivered you from darkness, then share how anyone can come into the Light of Jesus and be saved. So can you see, you don’t need to be polite any-longer, you don’t need their permission, they’ll give it once you begin telling your bad-man / bad-woman story.

A wonderful book that’s selling by the million is “An Atheist Comes to Faith in Jesus”… A woman who was a Professor is telling the world how she once was an Atheist but now believes… The WORLD loves that bad-woman book.

Have an AWESOME Pentecost Weekend: If you’re free, come along to our Baptism service. It’s in the open air in West Norwood London. Just outside St Luke’s Church. People love to stop and watch what we crazy Christians are doing. What a witness for the Glory of the Lord.

Please don’t stop praying for our Baptism Candidates and for Ying as he comes to share at my home today.

Be blessed and be filled afresh with Holy Spirit to share Jesus with your OIKOS.

Don.

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
16  Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17  When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted.
18 ¬†Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 ¬†and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

  • Jesus told you to do it, so “GO”
  • Share the Good News of the Gospel Freely.
  • Tell your own bad-man / bad-woman story.
  • Let people HEAR about Jesus offer of NEW LIFE.
  • He’s with you to the very end of the age.¬†
  • Amen!

BTW: There are a FEW people around the world trying to hack into this web page. Why?

Living In The Fountain of Life

Christian living in the power of the Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 728:

Living In The Power of The Holy Spirit.

A Battle Royal: How to live a submitted life.

“When you do what pleases you, does what you do please God?

Good morning my friends, what a wonderful Alpha Experience evening we had last night. Our theme for the evening was all about The HOLY SPIRIT. We looked at the teaching, filling, empowering, seeking and yearning. We all admitted our NEED of God The Holy Spirit.

However, one of the main points of our discussion was what we’d talked about the previous week: How does God guide us? How does the Holy Spirit let us know His will? How can I live in such a way that I know I’m going to be victorious as a Christian?

We will understand and know His guidance the more we SUBMIT ourselves completely to Christ, but what we discovered afresh last night was, the more you submit yourself to God, the more you begin to realise how just un-submitted we really are. And therefore, how much we need God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing, power and presence every single day.

THE WALK OF GENUINE FAITH:

  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WILLS: God’s Will and Our Will.¬†
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of DESIRES: God’s desires and our own sinful desires.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WANTS: What God wants and what we want.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of PLEASURES: What pleases God and what pleases us.¬†

Thankfully our wills, desires, wants and pleasures change as we submit ourselves to Jesus and seek the fullness of Holy Spirit, but then as we go on in the walk of faith, they sneak back into our souls, sometimes, undetected.

Thankfully Holy Spirit reveals our condition: He’s a gentle Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, but he’ll not leave you, those who’ve received Him as Lord, in a condition of sin for very long. His heart’s desire is that you become more and more like Him: Holy, righteous, good and faithful.

When we follow our heart’s desires, wills, wants and pleasures instead of or in-spite of God’s revealed will, we become like an Adulterer: Unfaithful to the one who’s loved us.

James 4:4-10 (NIV)
4 ¬†You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (We become friends of the world when we do worldly things that God hates).
5  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
6 ¬†But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
7  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

When Holy Spirit shows you your condition, He does not do it to make you feel¬†guilty, but to bring you back, to stop you falling, to keep you on track with God’s good plan for your life. However, just like Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they sinned against God, our NATURAL tendency is to hide too, we want to cover it up, pretend it never happened, keep it in the darkness. As God looked for and called for Adam and Eve, he’ll be doing the same with you and me by His Spirit. “Adam, where are you?” … “Eve, come out of hiding”…. Notice what happens when we respond to the pull of the Spirit, when we draw near to God, “He draws near to us”. What grace, what love, what amazing mercy.

Encouragement:

  • Submit yourself to God:
  • Resist the devil (the worldly attractions, temptations and pleasures),
  • Come Near to God: When we draw nearer to God (Nearer my God to Thee)… He comes bounding towards us in Spirit. “He will come near to you”…
  • Wash, Purify, Grieve, Mourn, Cry: i.e. feel what God feels because of your sinful wills, desires, wants and pleasures and mourn about it.¬†Decide¬†in your hearts that you want to be cleansed and set-free again.
  • WHEN: When you submit, resist, draw near, wash, grieve and mourn and cry: i.e. HUMBLE yourself towards God: He WILL LIFT YOU UP.
  • WHAT IF?: What if I’ve failed again? What if I keep falling? My friends, if you feel guilty then you are in a good place, because God’s not giving up on you. It’s when you stop feeling guilty and keep sinning you should really start to worry, because “God resists the proud”. However, if you feel the sorrow of a sinner’s heart, then you will receive from the Lord “MORE GRACE” James 4:6.
  • Remember Psalm 103:12. When you come in true confession and contrition (sorrow for sin), then God takes your sins away from you and FORGETS all about them, as if they never happened.

Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV)
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

The Holy Spirit’s Intense Jealousy:

James 4:5 “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”

The Holy Spirit, that God caused to LIVE IN US, “Envies Intensely”: i.e. He’s jealous for God’s Glory and your own goodness in the Christian life. There’s an intense feeling of JOY when we walk in step with the Spirit.

FOUNTAIN OF LIFE:

The Holy Spirit: Becomes in us (Inside Us) a SPRING or FOUNTAIN… i.e. we get filled up with the Holy Spirit from within… It’s not external, but internal filling we need. Some people erroneously, mistakenly, foolishly “Call Down” the Holy Spirit, but how can you call down someone who’s already there? He is in you if you are saved by Jesus. You are full of Holy Spirit, but we leak… All we need is a greater filling, more of His fullness, more LORD!…. “Go on being filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:8-18.

Awesome! Because when God lifts you up, you’re going to have one of those MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCES.

Focus on God’s desires, focus on Jesus, focus on His awesome tender compassion, kindness and love.

  • He give GRACE to the Humble.
  • He RESISTS¬†the Proud.
  • The Spirit’s Presence is like a FOUNTAIN.
  • Go on being filled… i.e. every day.¬†

Amen!

Don.

Worship: Wonderful Grace.

Preaching True Repentance

The ingredients of true repentance

Daily Spirit & Word: 725:

TRUE REPENTANCE: Not Just Saying “Sorry” to God.

True Repentance Is NOT Just Saying “Sorry”…

True Repentance Is A Requirement For: Salvation from,  Forgiveness for and Cleansing From Sin.

KNOW THE TRUTH & THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

I was so touched last night when out sharing the Good News of Jesus in West Norwood with David and Ben. For a change we ventured just up from our church to West Norwood Train Station and began engaging those returning from a day’s work as they exited the entrance. Of course many people after a day’s toil were tired and just wanted to get home, put their feet up and watch TV or whatever else they planned to do. But we did get into some great conversations. Ben and David talked with a Muslim woman for over half and hour, and all that time I was talking to a couple of young ladies.

It was amazing, because I began by giving them one of our little tracts, The Million Pound Note: I asked them, “If it was real, what would you do with it?” One of them immediately said, “I give half of it away to the poor”… I said, “WOWzer! What a nice lady you are”. I asked her friend, “What would you do with it?” She said, “I’d go on a holiday, then buy a nice house”… then her friend said, “We could go away together”… They were really nice young ladies. I said, “flip it over and look at the Million Pound Question”. One of them did and read it out loud, “Would you sell one of your eyes for ¬£1,000,000?” She said, “No way. My eyes are too valuable”… I said, that’s amazing. Her friend also confirmed she wouldn’t sell one of her eyes either.

Then we moved on to the value of their Eternal Soul.

What followed was a bit of to and fro about; the SOUL, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Sin, etc…

I was able to share the whole Gospel with them and finally led to the question: “If God were to judge you tonight, according to His standards revealed in His Commandments, would you go to heaven or hell?”

Their heads hung low and they went a bit quiet, “Hell” they both answered.

I asked, “Does that concern you?” One said, “Yes” and the other said, “No, because God is a forgiving God”…

I said, “You are right, God is a forgiving God, but it’s not automatic”… “It doens’t just happen, God doesn’t say, “Oh, I know you’ve sinned, but it’s OK, you just come on in anyway”… I explained, “God can’t do that, because as well as being; full of mercy, kindness, goodness, forgiveness and gentleness, He’s also a just Judge and must punish sin. He can’t in His Justice just let sinners off with their sins”.

The Good Earthly Judge: I then gave them an example of a good earthly judge, who with a guilty criminal before him, no matter how sorry he is, must give the punishment or fine that the LAW requires. They agreed, criminals need to be punished for their crimes. I explained that God will also punish our sin. One lie will keep us out of Heaven forever, because sin contaminates the soul, and no sin contaminated soul can enter into Heaven. “Can you imagine what Heaven would be like if it was full or murderers and liars?”

So I asked them again, “Will you go to Heaven or Hell?” They had now stopped trying to justify themselves, but said instead, “Well, that means nobody can go to Heaven”BOOM! “You’ve got it ladies, that’s right, because ALL HAVE SINNED, just ONE sin will keep us out of Heaven forever.”

Then I asked, “Do you know what God has done so that no one need end up in Hell?” They said they didn’t, but I inquired further, “Christians all over the world have just celebrated Easter. Have you heard about Jesus? How He died upon a Cross? How Jesus rose again three days later on the first Easter Sunday?” It was like I just brought them out of a dark dungeon into the full light of the sun, because they both smiled, “It was because of Jesus death”. I said, “That’s right ladies, Jesus died so that we could go to Heaven and be forgiven and cleansed from sin to be made fit for heaven. His blood purifies us from all sin. He died for you and me.”

One of them said, “So does that mean everyone just ends up in heaven then?”

I said, “NO, Not quite, something is required from us, we must first Believe and TRUST in Jesus death in our place for our sin, then we need to Confess (own up and accept we are sinners) and REPENT of our sinful ways of living, then we must RECEIVE Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.” I explained what happens when we do that and how Jesus gives us a NEW HEART and NEW LIFE and NEW DESIRES… i.e. The Commandments are not prohibitions any more “Don’t Do this or Don’t do that”, but they become for those who’ve trusted in Jesus, wonderful promises; “You shall not want to steal, kill, lie, cheat, argue, hate, lust or commit adultery any more”… God changes our desires.

One of them smiled again and said jokingly “So that means no more illegal downloads of music then?”

What followed was an explanation of what life is like from now on as a believer….

  • They wanted to know how I became a follower of Jesus,
  • They wanted to know more about church,
  • They wanted to wait until they were ready,
  • They wanted an excuse to remain in sin,
  • They still had lots of questions they wanted to ask,

It was an amazing conversation, but it ended with me saying, “Look I know you’ve got lots more questions, but do you have a Bible at home?” They both had Bibles at home they had never read… ¬† I said, “Go home and open your own Bible in Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and read about Jesus life and His message. Check out if what I’m saying to you is TRUE from what the Bible says. Then remember what I’ve said, “You must turn from your sin to trust in Jesus and¬†receive¬†Him as your King”

Then if you want to, come and join us (I pointed to our Church) you’d be more than welcome any Sunday at 10.30am. It was so encouraging one of the young ladies said, “I’m going to come to your church”… I also encouraged them to come on our Alpha Course to ask all their questions.

But I gave them this final warning, “We don’t know how long we’ve got left on this earth” I told them about Anja who’d come because I’d met her in the street¬†and shared about Jesus,¬†and how her baby had died unexpectedly. We just don’t know how long we’ve got before we can come to God for forgiveness and cleansing to make us fit for heaven. I said the Bible encourages us to think like this, “Today is the Day of Salvation: Repent and Believe the Good News”…. Ladies, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and Repent today.

I finished by thanking them, gave them another of our little cards that reads, “Thank you for listening” it’s got a picture of a cute dog with big ears and a summary of the conversation we’d just had on the back.

We shook hands warmly and they thanked me as we parted company.

What is TRUE REPENTANCE? (SEE BELOW).

I was reading all about it this morning and came across an old Puritan teaching the outlines what ‘real’ repentance is like: Read it below and then ask yourself this question: “Have I ‘truly’ repented of my sins and trusted in Jesus Christ as my Lord?” Have an AWESOME Thursday with Jesus.

Please Pray: We had many conversations last night, I’ve only shared one of them, please will you pray for everyone who was encouraged, challenged and witnessed with last night? Pray that the Lord Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, will continued to draw them to Himself and that they’ll find GRACE to repent and believe the Good News.

Challenge: Keep Witnessing: The Lord’s Followers will be strengthened and encouraged in many ways by taking the initiative to witness for Him with all their family, friends, neighbours and those they come in contact with regularly, those who know you are His followers. Be kind, generous, gentle, bold, passionate and compassionate. May the LORD fill you afresh with Holy Spirit anointing. Amen!

Don.

 

THE INGREDIENTS OF TRUE REPENTANCE:

Mark 6:12-13 (NIV)
12  They went out and preached that people should repent.
13  They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.

When we make a cake it needs the right ingredients to taste great. We follow recipes for successful and tasty cakes. To discover what true repentance looks, tastes and feels like, there are Biblical recipes to follow too.

These final two verses are from Mark’s account of Jesus sending out The TWELVE (Mark 6:7-13). The two verses summarize the specifics of the 12 Apostles‚Äô mission. It mirrors what they had seen Jesus do. With His authority and enablement, they cast out many demons. They anointed with oil many who were sick and healed them (cf. Jas 5:14-16). They went out and preached repentance, the same message preached by both John the Baptist (Mark 1:4) and Jesus ( Mark 1:15). They were to go as servants. They were not to compromise their message even if it brought rejection and persecution. They had to have the courage to tell the truth about Jesus and the gospel.

If ‚Äúrepentance‚ÄĚ was the first word out of the mouth of John the Baptist, The Lord Jesus Christ, and the 12 Apostles (Acts 2:38), then it must be an important component of the true gospel message today and it marks the starting point of the true Christian life.

Thomas Watson, and Old English Puritan (ca. 1620-1686), wrote a helpful treatise on repentance. He stated, ‚ÄúRepentance is a grace of God‚Äôs Spirit whereby a sinner is inwardly humbled and visibly reformed‚ÄĚ [Watson, Doctrine, 18]….

Watson identified six ingredients necessary for true repentance.

The first is sight of sin, whereby a person comes to themselves (Luke 15:17) and clearly views their lifestyle as sinful. If a disciple fails to see their sin, they are rarely motivated to repent…. (That’s why we take time to show people how they’ve sinned against God by using His Ten Commandments: How we’ve all offended a Holy and Righteous God).

The second ingredient for true repentance is sorrow for sin (Ps 38:18). We need to feel the nails of the cross in our soul as we sin. Repentance includes a godly grief, a holy agony (2 Cor 7:10) i.e. “It’s because of my sin those nails pierced the Saviour’s hands”. The fruits of repentance will be expressed in genuine, anguishing sorrow over the offense itself and not just its consequences. This sorrow for sin is more than just a ‚Äúworldly grief‚ÄĚ; it will be seen in the ongoing actions it produces (the fruit of repentance is a changed life).

The third ingredient is confession of sin. The humble sinner voluntarily passes judgment on themselves as they sincerely admit to the specific sins of their heart…. In the Scriptures, we find at least seven benefits to confession:

  • Confession of sin gives glory to God (Josh 7:19).
  • Confession of sin is a means to humble the soul (2 Chr 26:19).
  • Confession of sin gives release to a troubled heart (Ps 51:11-12).
  • Confession of sin purges out sin (Neh 3:13). Augustine called it ‚Äúthe expeller of vice.‚ÄĚ
  • Confession of sin endears Christ to the soul that needs atoning (Rom 7:25).
  • Confession of sin makes way for forgiveness (2 Sam 12:13; 1 John 1:9).
  • Confession of sin makes way for mercy (Prov 28:13).

The fourth ingredient of true repentance is shame for sin: True¬†Repentance causes a holy bashfulness or embarrassment, i.e. it is the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public. The Prophet Ezra prayed, ‚ÄúO my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to You, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens‚ÄĚ (Ezra 9:6). The repenting prodigal was so ashamed of his sin that he did not feel he deserved to be a son anymore (Luke 15:21). It’s like our Sin makes us feel shamefully naked and deformed in God‚Äôs eyes and puts Christ to shame, the one who took the scorn of the cross on himself. I’ve often feelt ashamed when I’ve been confronted by my sinfulness in the presence of God and when I’m will other believers who are walking closely with Jesus.

The fifth ingredient in true repentance is a sincere hatred of sin: We must hate our sin to the core. We hate sin more deeply when we love Jesus more fully.

Repentance begins with the love of God and ends with hatred of sin…. Tolerating sin is a willful leap toward committing it. True repentance loathes sin deeply.

Finally, the sixth progressive ingredient of true repentance is turning from sin and returning to the Lord ‚Äúwith all your heart‚ÄĚ (Joel 2:12).¬†This turning from sin implies a notable change in the ways we live, ‚Äúperforming deeds in keeping with their repentance‚ÄĚ (Acts 26:20).¬†Ezekiel records these words of God to the house of Israel: ‚ÄúRepent and turn away from your idols, and turn away your faces from all your abominations‚ÄĚ (Ezek 14:6).

We are called to turn away from all our abominations‚ÄĒnot just the obvious ones or the ones that create friction in others. The goal, end, destination or finish-line of true repentance is not to manufacture peace among others with perfunctory repentance, but rather to turn to God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.

Most importantly, though, this repentance is not just a turning away from sin; it is also a turning ‚Äúof repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus‚ÄĚ (Acts 20:21). [We should repent of our] doubt by believing in the goodness, greatness and graciousness of God, and [turning] in faith to trust in the freedom the Lord Jesus Christ offers to each one of us in the Gospel. Repentance is rooted in a hatred of sin and a joyful awareness of God‚Äôs loving-kindness, which leads to joy: ‚ÄúGod‚Äôs kindness is intended to lead you to repentance‚ÄĚ (Rom 2:4). We rejoice that Christ has done everything for us‚ÄĒall that we need to secure our salvation and our growth in holiness.

Christ’s Warning: Repent or Perish: “Unless you repent, you too will perish”

Luke 13:3 (NIV) “I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”

  • Why do ‘modern’ churches hate to teach on repentance?
  • What’s wrong with preaching repentance?

Answer: NOTHING: Because true repentance is one of the KEYS to unlock HEAVEN. (Only Satan would hate a Christian telling people to REPENT).

The man-pleasing, modern, self-indulgent church has bent God’s KEY out of shape. Let’s straighten it and do what Christ has commanded: Preach Repentance.

PRAYER: ‚ÄúLord, ¬†I am an adopted child, not a slave to sin. I was a sinner by now, by Your Grace and Mercy, I am a Saint. I know the TRUTH and in knowing the truth I have been set free. Thank You LORD Jesus Christ, because I am accepted because of Your sacrifice upon the Cross. Please Lord, help me never to forget how much You have demonstrated Your love for me or how loved, secure, rich and free I am when I put my trust in You, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

 

When the TV gets in the way of LIFE

seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness

Daily Word & Spirit: 724: Does God Get What He Wants?

Good morning my friends, it was such a privilege to conduct two funerals this week, one on Monday and the other yesterday. The first was for a wonderful Christian lady, the church was packed with friends and relatives from all over the world. I proclaimed the Gospel freely and called for a decision for Jesus Christ. Yesterday, an equally lovely lady, but who’s faith I knew very little about, the family said, “She was not a religious lady”… her family, as far as I knew, never attended church. What could I say to those grieving folks?

Matthew 6:25-34 (NIV)
25¬†“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?
26  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
27  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 ¬†“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin.
29  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
30  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 ¬†So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
32  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The second group of mourners were all giving wonderful stories about the woman’s life; she was full of fun, knew how to laugh at herself and loved people, she was generous to a fault, giving so much sometimes that she was in need herself, but just thinking of others. As I read the above passage,I believe the Lord guided me to say, “Just like …. we can all learn from this, she obviously didn’t WORRY about her life”.

The world we live in encourages us to WORRY: i.e. adverts about your weight, style, looks, have you got the right tools, is your home looking like a palace, have you got the right garden furniture, are you eating the right foods, etc, etc,,, You’d be excused if you walked to your bed so worried after watching TV for just one evening. I’m sure you’d dream and they’d be full of worries about life. But thankfully Jesus tells us DO NOT WORRY. Why? Because who of us by¬†worrying¬†can add a single hour to his life?

The Gospel of Luke covers the same teaching of Jesus, but gives us a little more details: Luke 12:25-26 (NIV)¬†“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

I love the Bible (God’s) logic here, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

We may or may not have a long life, but worrying about it’s duration won’t¬†guarantee¬†it. I’m sure we can shorten it though, through folly, but we can’t extend it longer than God intends it to be. “The LORD gives and the LORD takes away”… Sometimes, like when you mum or dad confiscated a precious toy when you were a child, that confiscation really hurts. When the LORD takes someone we love, no matter how old they are, it HURTS us, but we can’t¬†lengthen¬†the duration of our lives by worrying about them.

So what are we to do?

Thankfully the Bible gives us the answers:

Matthew 6:33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

1) Seek First The KINGDOM of God.

(Remember that’s same priority in the Lord’s Prayer?)…

When we seek first the Kingdom of God, we’re putting God’s priorities at the TOP of the agenda of our lives.

The woman being buried yesterday loved to play CARDS: Have you ever played Patience? Patience is a game in which you are looking to line-up all your cards on the King, once you get the whole suit; i.e. hearts, spades, clubs or diamonds, onto your King, then that row is won.

My friends, God wants us to line-up our life along the lines of His KINGDOM. i.e. He wants to be our KING. Every aspect of our lives in-line with His Kingdom priorities. How’s your KINGDOM living going?

2) Seek His Righteousness:

Many (most) people already think they are “Good Enough For Heaven” i.e. ‘Righteous’). But the Bible clearly teaches there are “NONE righteous, no not one.” Romans 3:10.

Psalm 53:2-3 (KJV)
2  God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God.
3  Every one of them is gone back: they are altogether become filthy; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

We do good things, but the GOOD the Bible is talking about here is “Seeking AFTER God” i.e. Putting His Kingdom agenda first. He looks down from Heaven and sees that there is “NONE” who do that. There are none who seek Him the way He wants to be sought.

So we NEED God’s Righteousness more than anything else in our lives, because we don’t have a righteousness of our own. It’s HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS we need. Yes we do good things for other people, sometimes we do magnificent acts of¬†great¬†kindness and self-sacrifice, but God’s idea of goodness and righteousness is to seek after Him. Apart from God every act of kindness is tinged with the flesh, i.e. there are fleshly reasons for acting in the ways that we do: To look good in the eyes of others, to be well thought about in society, but what really matters in Eternity is not what others think about us, but what God thinks. If we’re seeking a kind of self-righteousness, thinking that our good deeds will outweigh our bad ones, then we need to think again. The GREATEST SIN is living life without putting God first… i.e. Commandments 1 and 2. If we live without God or seeking after Him, we’re guilty of making¬†ourselves¬†into our own god, which is idolatry.

Imagine how God must feel when those He created and gave the gift of life worship everything else apart from Him?

The Gift Of A TV Set:

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

It’s like the loving father who bought a TV for his kids. Before he got the TV, they’d come running up to him for kisses and cuddles when he got home from work. Overjoyed just to see their daddy home. After he got the TV, he was hurt when they sat in front of it and paid him no attention at all when he got home. Even if he shouted out to them, they’d just sit there glued to the TV set. He missed the cuddles and kisses of his children. So he walked right in front of the TV and turned it off. The kids moaned and groaned, but he said, “I’m so upset that you love that TV I gave you more than me now”… My friends, have you ever thought how God feels when we love life more than the one who gave us life? When we love this beautiful Creation more than the Creator? When we’re so enamoured with the things in this world, rather than the one who gave us them all to richly enjoy?

To live the life that He has given to us without ever thinking about the ONE who gave us life, that’s the greatest sin imaginable.

A Man After God’s Own Heart:

Remember the Bible called King David, “A man after God’s own heart”… i.e. King David¬†sought¬†the Lord. He looked for God. He wanted God’s priorities to be first in his life. King David did many horrible things in his lifetime, but the Bible accords him “Righteous”, not because of what he did or didn’t do in life, but because he¬†sought¬†the LORD with all his heart, mind, will and strength.

So, do you seek His Righteousness? We become righteous in God’s sight, when we respond to the Gospel invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Lord by faith. When we see that Jesus died in our place upon the Cross for all our sins and wickedness, he died for us. When we see that Jesus rose from the dead three days later and ascended into Heaven. Jesus is calling all people in the world to REPENT and turn away from life without God. To turn in repentance, letting go of our old way of ignoring God and turning to Him in faith to be forgiven, cleansed and renewed.

God wants to GIVE US THE KINGDOM: However, for Him to do so, it was very costly indeed. Jesus gave his life.

All we need to do to receive God’s Kingdom and life is turn in repentance and faith and receive Him as our KING: Then we’ll want to live our lives seeking first the Kingdom of God and we’ll want to live a holy and righteous life with Him.

When we seek first His Kingdom and when we seek first His Righteousness, then He, our Heavenly Father, will give us His Kingdom, He will give us what we NEED in life and we needn’t worry about how long we’re going to live, because ETERNITY is in our hearts, we’re going to LIVE FOREVER WITH HIM. Your needs will be met by God once you seek His Kingdom and His righteousness in all things.

Being ‘good’ in our own eyes, is good and right, but when it comes down to it, God will be looking to see if we’ve been good from His perspective. It’s a matter of righteousness not religiousness. He won’t look to see if you’ve been attending church, reading your Bible, doing good to others and praying. His priority is righteousness, are you good enough for Him? The honest answer He’ll be looking for is “NO!” I’m not fit for the Kingdom of Heaven, because I’ve sinned and broken Your Commandments. However, Father in Heaven, I’ve put my faith and trust in Jesus, Your Son, and I know that His death upon the Cross was for my sins. I’ve asked for His forgiveness and turned in repentance and faith, I’ve received Him as my King. I know that I’m a member of His Kingdom Family.”

He’ll say, “Welcome, I’m PLEASED to give you the Kingdom”…

Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

The Rainbow Is God’s Promise

The rainbow is a symbol of God's promise

Daily Spirit & Word: 660: The Rainbow Is God’s Promise.

Genesis 9:14-15 (NIV)
14  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,
15  I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.
Good morning my friends, my heart goes out to all those who’ve been flooded here in the UK over the last few weeks. There’s been terrible storms and thousands affected by the weather. Not just in the UK but all over the world. God’s PROMISE is still true though, He’s NOT going to destroy the whole earth with a flood.
I’ve been reading my Bible again today. It’s the second day of 2016 and I’ve been reading from God’s Word about Noah, the Flood and God’s Covenant Promise; Genesis chapters 6-9. But why did God send a flood upon the whole Earth to destroy every living creature? The only life that was saved was Noah, his sons and their wives and his own wife, along with two of every creature with breath. Why did God decide to destroy everyone else?
Genesis 6:5-7 (NIV)
5 ¬†The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.
6  The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
7 ¬†So the LORD said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth‚ÄĒmen and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air‚ÄĒfor I am grieved that I have made them.”

God KNOWS what we’re thinking:

He sees your thought life as well as your actions. Some people imagine that it’s OK to look with lust, “There’s nothing wrong with window shopping” they say. “You can look and enjoy, as long as you remain faithful”. But God sees our thoughts and the inclination of our hearts that “every inclination of the thoughts of man’s heart was only evil all the time”… It’s NOT OK to lust, for God sees lust as adultery.
The reason God destroyed the Earth in those days: “The LORD was grieved that He had made man on the Earth and His hears was filled with pain.” Gen 6:6.
He was grieving: He was hurting: Why? Because of all the creatures that God had made, only mankind was made in His image. He made us like Himself, yet men decided to go their own way, to do those things they knew God didn’t like. Evil inclinations hurt and offend God.
NOTE: There was ONE man, just one man, who walked with God. Noah.
Imagine that, over all the Earth there was just one man who was righteous in God’s eyes. So God made a plan that He would save Noah and because of Noah’s righteousness, God would also save Noah’s wife, sons, their wives.

It’s amazing how God’s GRACE is evident:

Even though they were just as bad as everyone else, but because of that ONE MAN’S righteousness, Noah’s family gets saved too. Remember Lot, how Sodom and Gomorrah were saved for a while because of that ONE righteous man living amongst them, God had to pull Lot out of Sodom before he destroyed it. God shut Noah in the Ark before He destroyed everyone else on the Earth, but along with Noah God’s GRACE extended to his family.
  • Who knows, God may be SAVING your family right now because of your faithfulness to Jesus Christ today.
  • God may be saving your city or town, but because you belong to Jesus.
  • God may be saving your Nation because there is ONE man or woman who’s righteous in His sight.
The Rainbow: It’s God’s promise to us and a reminder to Himself, that He’ll not destroy the earth with a flood again.
WOWzer! God knows our hearts, He knows just how we think, but in His GRACE and MERCY He’s chosen NOT to destroy the Earth with a flood.
Genesis 8:21 (NIV)
21 ¬†The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

That’s God’s PROMISE: “Never Again”:

The next time that God will destroy the Earth and the Universe with it, it will be with FIRE: Not with a flood.
Until the Judgement: We have His promise NEVER AGAIN to destroy the Earth with a flood. “Even though every inclination of mankind’s heart is evil from childhood”: That’s God’s GRACE, MERCY and LOVE.

In the MEANTIME: God is PATIENT.

2 Peter 3:9-10 (NIV)
9  The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
10  But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare.
He sent Jesus Christ to rescue us, just as He provided an ARK for Noah, God’s provided Jesus Christ: So that those who enter into Him will be SAVED from the Judgement to come.
Yes God’s judgement is coming, like Noah’s day, we don’t know the hour or the day, but we KNOW for sure it’s coming. We can see that people all over the earth today are like they were in the time of Noah, but God’s grace and mercy and His patience are keeping people alive. He’s giving mankind a chance to enter into His ARK: His One and ONLY Son: Jesus Christ.
The way to Jesus:
Repentance from sin,
Faith in His Son,
Receive Him as LORD.
Walk with Him as Noah did.
  • Remember the RAINBOW; God’s promise.
  • Remember the ARK; God’s gracious provision and escape from Judgement.
  • Remember Jesus; God’s way to escape the coming judgement.
  • Remember God’s GRACE: in the Meantime.

The Rainbow is a sign of God’s PROMISE not man’s pride, He’s patient not wanting ANYONE to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Trust in Jesus Christ: God’s SAVING ARK today.

Have an Awesome 2nd Day of 2016,
Don.

Knowing Jesus: Let’s Get The Party Started

Knowing that He Knows you, You Know Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 649:

Be Encouraged By Knowing Jesus.

Let’s GET THE PARTY STARTED

Good morning my friends. Discipleship Fellowship was G R E A T last night. We have fewer people than normal, but oh WOWzer! What a great time it was. We began by going through some of the Bible readings from the list below, chatting about each one, then reading them in context, sometimes reading the entire chapter to we could see it’s significance. Then we were joined by a new member of the group. So we stopped, had a snack and began to share our Christian Journeys to Faith and Trust in Jesus Christ.

Everyone’s story was so different: But each had arrived at ASSURANCE: Knowing Jesus as LORD, SAVIOUR, MASTER, KING, BROTHER, FRIEND and most importantly DELIVERER.

Amanda (our Church Administrator) said¬†earlier¬†in the week, “Sharing WHO we know is more important than WHAT we know” she’s so right. Every Christian needs a TESTIMONY, an inward witness that we ACTUALLY belong to Jesus Christ. Without that, then we’re still in the DARKNESS, we may be coming to ‘church’, we may be very ‘religious’, we may know the Bible back to front, but without that deep inward assurance that we’ve got Jesus and that He’s got us, then we’re still (at best) on our way to Him.

The wonderful Christmas text from Isaiah is shouting aloud in my Spirit today; and it’s about people on their way to faith and trust in the Saviour.

Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

Of course the LIGHT is Jesus: Have you seen Jesus? Have you met Jesus? When you do, you’ll KNOW it deep within your soul.

Until we come to Jesus: We are “The People Walking in DARKNESS”. As I’ve said many times before, we can know all about Jesus and even believe in Him, but until we actually KNOW Him personally, then we’re still in the DARKNESS (i.e. the land of the shadow of death). For the Bible declares that those who’ve yet to be ‘born of God’s Spirit’ as still Spiritually DEAD. So it’s not about what we know, but WHO we know that’s important, and that we’re known by HIM.

I’d hate to think of any one of my friends, hearing these words from Jesus lips on the Day of Judgement: “Depart from Me, I never knew you”… Let’s read that afresh now, but NOTE this: when it says “false prophets” it means everyone who proclaims that they are ‘Christians’ when they are not, i.e. they are FALSE CONVERTS (they don’t know Jesus and He doesn’t know them).

Matthew 7:15-23
15¬†¬†“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
16  By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
20  Thus, by their fruit you will recognise them.
21 ¬†“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 ¬†Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23 ¬†Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

LOOK FOR THE FRUITS of CONVERSION:

Why? Because that’s what Jesus is going to be doing. “By their fruit you will recognise them”…

The Fruits Is OBVIOUS: When you see a tree in fruit, it’s promising tasty treats. When you see a fruitful Christian, they will be DEMONSTRATING the fruit of the Holy Spirit in their lives: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Self-Control.

NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS “LORD, LORD” IS A CHRISTIAN.

It always amazes me this text, because you’d probably think that “prophesying, driving out demons and performing miracles” would make a person certain that they ARE followers of¬†the Lord¬†Jesus; but He’s going to say “I never KNEW you, depart from ME you workers of iniquity”…

Do you KNOW Jesus? There’s nothing more important. Yes going to church is good, reading the Bible is great, knowing all about Jesus is totally awesome, but have you got the point of KNOWING HIM yet? If you¬†haven’t¬†got the inward testimony, the Spirit’s inward witness that you ARE a child of God, then be assured of this, you are¬†still¬†one of those “people walking in darkness” looking for the light.

YBH: Yes but HOW?

I can hear people asking this question again. “How do we KNOW Jesus?”, “How do I know if I’m SAVED?”, “How do I know if I KNOW Jesus and He knows me?”

Sometimes the Answer is too easy for some people and they want to add more, but it is as SIMPLE as A,B,C and R.

Accept: That you are a sinner in need of forgiveness. We’ve all fallen short of God’s Holy Standards revealed through His Law, the Ten Commandments. Even if we fail at just one point, then we’re guilty of breaking ALL of it. We stand in the place of the guilty and will be judged by God and sent to Hell. Do you accept that you are a sinner? Romans 3:23

Believe: Believe IN Jesus: That means put your faith and trust in HIM. Just like you would a parachute if you’re jumping out of a plane. Believe that He came into this world from Heaven, lived a perfect life, performed miracles and taught His disciples the secrets of the Kingdom, He then died on the Cross for your sins, in your place, then rose from the dead and is alive in Heaven now. There’s so much more to believe about Jesus, but that’s enough to get you started on the road to Salvation. Do you believe that Jesus died upon the Cross for your sins?

Convert: Turn from your sinful life, living life your own way, and turn in REPENTANCE AND FAITH to trust in Jesus Christ. Repentance is turning: It means to make change of mind, it’s a desire to go God’s way, to live His life instead of being your own boss. You put God on the throne by turning to Him in Faith. We call it conversion. But conversion is not complete until we actually receive the Lord Jesus by an act of faith and take Him as our Lord and Saviour. (I know so many people who’ve stopped short at this point; they get to the point of; accepting they are sinners, believing that Jesus died for them, repent of their sins, but stop short of receiving Him by an act of faith).

Receive: Receive Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOUR. It’s not enough to simply believe in Him.

It’s like Jesus is offering you a gift, which He is, but not just ONE GIFT: Jesus is holding out to you today; forgiveness of sins, God as your Father, Holy Spirit Power to live, Family of God, New Life in Christ, Home and Eternal Life.

You say, “I believe that you want to give me that gift Lord”, but if you don’t take the gift that’s offered, then you walk away with nothing. Believing that Jesus can give you all this is NOT the same as having it.

Have you ever been offered something, but have not taken up the offer? You may believe that it is yours for the taking, but until you take it, it’s NOT yours. Until you’ve got it in your hands, it’s still in the hands of the one offering it.

Salvation is like that: Jesus is offering it to YOU today. All you’ve got to do, after Accepting, Believing, Converting is to RECEIVE HIM. John 1:12-13. Look at all the Scriptures below to show you what happens when you DO receive Jesus as LORD.

SINNERS PRAYERS:

I’m in the position today of hating sinners prayers: Because I’ve known and met countless numbers, so many people now, who’ve “Said the Sinners Prayer” countless times, but nothing has happened. A sinners prayer won’t SAVE you, it will NOT make you into a Christian. But a heartfelt turning from sin, trusting in His death on the Cross for your sin, believing in Jesus and a true receiving Him as LORD will SAVE you and change you and you’ll begin to produce the fruit of repentance, the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life. It will be obvious not just to other believers, but to everyone who KNOWS you. You’ll change from knowing about Jesus to actually KNOWING Him.

Yet I LOVE SINNERS Praying to RECEIVE Jesus as LORD.

It was so refreshing having Lloyd at our meeting last night, because he reminded us all how much we need to come to Jesus and simply, honestly and wholeheartedly RECEIVE Him as LORD.

God LOVES it when SINNERS Repent: (There’s a party going on in Heaven with all the Angels when SINNERS turn to Jesus in REPENTANCE from sin, and RECEIVE Him as LORD). Luke 15 The Three Parables of LOST & Found.

I could suggest a “sinners prayer” for you to pray, but it’s more important that you; A,B,C and R above. If you are ready to do that, then you don’t need me to give you the words, tell Jesus Christ you want Him as your Lord. Tell Him how sorry you are for your sins. Tell Him you want to turn away from the sin in your life. Talk to Him about it. Tell Jesus you want to receive Him as your Lord and Saviour. You invite Him and take up His offer of LIFE today. When you do ALL THINGS will Change.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 ¬†“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! “

PRAYERS: Heavenly Father, I come to you today, in the Name of Jesus, and bring before you EVERY ONE of my friends and family. I’m praying for them today LORD, that they won’t just know all about You, but that they’ll actually come to KNOW You. I’m praying LORD that they’ll A,B,C and R above. Help those in Darkness Lord, send out those who KNOW You to the people who’re still walking in Darkness in need of the Light of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Lord I thank you for Lloyd, who’s come back to You. I know there’s a party going on in Heaven right now because Lloyd came back to You in Repentance and Faith. Amen.

Let’s Get The Party Started.

Don.

Discipleship Bible Readings:

The Good Things We Have: When We Take Christ As Lord.

Seven: Who We Are In Christ.

We receive a new life:

We have eternal life (John 3:16).
God has poured His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5).
We have received the testimony of the Spirit (Romans 8:16).
We have been given the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). Our bodies have become temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19).
We have available to us the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4‚Äď11).
We have become part of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27).
We have the Holy Spirit as the seal of His ownership in our hearts (2 Corinthians 1:22).
We have been redeemed from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).
We have been sealed by the Spirit (Ephesians 1:13‚Äď14).
We have been made alive with Christ (Colossians 2:13).
We have been renewed by the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5).
We have been born again of the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23).
We have been forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:7‚Äď9).
We have been born of God (1 John 2:29).

We enter a new relationship with God

We have become children of God (John 1:12; Romans 8:16).
We know the only true God (John 17:3).
We have peace with God (Romans 5:1).
We are reconciled to God (Romans 5:10).
Not only are we children, but we are sons of God (Romans 8:15).
We have become co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).
We are Christ’s possession (1 Corinthians 3:23).
We have been transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).
We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).
We are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20).
We are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6).
We are alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
We are members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12).
We can be confident that He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion (Philippians 1:6).
We can do all things in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:13).
We are qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12).
We belong to God (1 Peter 2:9).
We participate in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4).

We are set apart in the world.

We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus (Romans 8:37).
We are ambassadors of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20).
We live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).
We have been crucified to the world (Galatians 6:14).
We have been raised up with Christ and seated in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6).
We are fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19).
We have been rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of God (Colossians 1:13).
We have been given the hope of glory (Colossians 1:27).
We are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:12).
We have overcome the world (1 John 5:4‚Äď5).

Gordon, Bob (2012-02-01). The Foundations of Christian Living (The Sovereign World Foundations Series) (Kindle Locations 626-630). Sovereign World Ltd.