Seeking and Finding

Seeking and Finding

Daily Spirit & Word, 492: Seeking and Finding.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 7

Good morning my friends, as we look back over the first week of 40 Days With Jesus, we can learn an important lesson for life from Mary Magdalene and her encounter with the risen Lord Jesus.

First, we are inspired by Mary’s seeking the Lord Jesus. She was the first to go to the tomb and the last to leave. It reminds me of Joshua and Moses who met with the Lord in the tent and after Moses left Joshua lingered in the Lord’s presence. Joshua took over from Moses and went on to lead the Nation of Israel for many years. Mary after arriving first was not satisfied with the empty tomb, she wanted to find the body of the Lord, eventually she was the first to see Him alive and was given the message of His resurrection to take to the others.

Seek The Lord:

Throughout the Bible we are encouraged to diligently seek the Lord, with the promise that when we do, we’ll find Him.

Isaiah 55:6-7 6  Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. 7  Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

1 Chronicles 16:10-11 10  Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. 11  Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

The Chronicles reading above encourages us to seek the face of the Lord. Many people only turn to the Lord when they need something, i.e. His mighty hand, but few are seeking the Lord for Himself. We think it’s few but the Bible tells us that it’s NONE:

Romans 3:10-12 10  As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one;
11  there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God.
12  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.”

God alone knows our hearts, but it’s possible after being filled with God’s Spirit to diligently seek the Lord for He is worthy to be praised. Not for what He can do for us or will do, but for who He is. Once we begin to do that, Oh the glory that’s revealed.

Jesus as the Risen Lord revealed Himself to Mary Magdalene because of her diligent searching, He’d given her signs along the way; first the open tomb with the stone rolled away, then the folded grave clothes and then the Angels in the tomb, then finally the Lord Himself speaking with Mary. My friends, Jesus took the initiative and was already showing Mary He was alive and had risen before that final revelation. He’ll do the same with you too, the moment you set your heart to seek the Lord, He’s already begun the process of revelation. You see my friends, whenever our hearts desire is to seek the Lord, guess who planted that desire in the first place? He’s always calling you into an even deeper revelation than you’ve already had, He wants to show you more, but He wants you to seek Himself. When you do, He’s promised to answer that prayer and heart’s desire.

Luke 11:9-13 9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

In the Luke reading above we can clearly see Jesus promise that when we diligently seek the Lord, we’re going to find even more than we imagined. Not just answered prayers, but the powerful presence and infilling of the Holy Spirit. Have you ever asked to be filled with the Holy Spirit? Look at verse 13 above, it’s God’s desire to fill you my friends.

All of the above highlights the need for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to seek the Lord diligently, hanging-in, holding-on, pressing-in, pursuing with great earnestness, are you seeking the Lord? Persist in this and don’t give up, you will find the Lord.

As we continue through the 40 Days With Jesus, be encouraged to seek the Lord in the following ways:

Find The Time: Yes we can meet with God anytime, even on a bus or on the toilet, but I would encourage every sincere follower of Jesus, a disciple, to make the effort to have a daily quiet time to be alone with the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, to meet with Him, to make an appointment in your diary and be with Jesus, on time, every day. You wouldn’t be late for a dentist or doctor’s appointment would you? Make an appointment with Jesus and do your utmost to Keep it.

Find the Place: Yes we can meet with God anywhere, but you need to find your own place to meet with the Lord. John Wesley’s mother used to meet with the Lord under a sheet. It’s a place where you can be undisturbed for a while to be with Jesus. On a Submarine at sea it was difficult, because every part of the boat is continually manned, but we used to meet up in a place called the SINNS ROOM (Compass Room). You’ll find your own place to be with Jesus and it will become a special place, because when you seek the Lord, you’re going to meet Him there.

Find the Way: There are many wonderful ways to meet with he Lord.  But here are the Bible’s ways: Begin with Praise, “I will enter his gates with thanksgiving in my heart” Thanksgiving is so important. Then prayer, then reading His Word and thinking, meditating and going over in your mind what you’ve ready. I meet so many Christians who say they can’t get anything out of the Bible, but after talking with them, and finding out how they read, I’m not at all surprised. We need to know that the Bible is God’s Word to our lives; it’s useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness, so that the man and woman of God can be thoroughly equipped for every good work of service. 2 Tim 3:16-17.

When you find the TIME and the PLACE and the WAY: You’ll discover afresh that Jesus Christ really is the WAY, THE TRUTH and the LIFE. John 14. He’s only ever a prayer away. You will find Jesus in your quiet place, and you’ll long to be with Him every day. You’ll experience LIFE the way that Jesus wants, fullness or abundance of spiritual life. You’ll overflow with God’s Spirit and touch the lives of many people because you’ve been meeting with the King of kings and LORD of Lords. All because, Like Mary Magdalene you were Seeking and Finding.

Keep going my friends, I’m with you on this journey through 40 Days With Jesus.

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • How can you more diligently seek after Jesus on a daily basis?
  • Encourage yourself with the fact that He is already taking the initiative to seek after you.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you so much from my heart today that you’ve taken the first steps before I even began to look for you. I’m encouraged today Lord by Mary and how You revealed yourself to her, and the promises from Your Word that encourage me to seek you with all my heart and I will find you. Oh Lord Jesus, I want to see more of You, to know You better every single day. Help me today to continue and walk closely with me Lord Jesus, I want to do Your will in my life today. Amen!

40 Days With Jesus Home Page

P.S. I’m really looking forward to meeting up with our group again tonight. If you are free and live close by, you are welcome to come along and join with us. It’s great fun to discover the Lord with others. You’ll also be encouraged by what other people have experienced in their walk with Jesus.

These Thoughts Are Inspired by the book 40 Days With Jesus by Dave Smith. Don’s thoughts for the day.

The Second Video can be found on this PAGE.

The Movie can be found at the resources website above.

Seeking and Finding: 40 Days With Jesus: Day 7: Seeking and Finding.

 

 

Hearing The Voice Of Jesus

His Sheep Hear His Voice

Daily Spirit & Word, 490: Hearing The Voice Of Jesus.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 5: Hearing The Voice Of Jesus.

Good morning my friends, we had another brilliant Kingdom day on Friday. In the afternoon we went out onto the Streets sharing the Gospel with folks and handing out tracts. We got into quite a few great conversations, but the one that stands out the most was an elderly lady, who was so cold towards Jesus that it literally made the hairs on my neck stand up straight, but my colleague David was very gentle, calm and persistent with her. Though initially she was completely indifferent, she eventually warmed up a little and began to share why she didn’t believe or wouldn’t believe. Finally we left with a smile and a prayer for her. Not everyone welcomes the Good News and to some, as the Bible says, “We’re the smell of death” for them. It touched both of us, because this lady was quite elderly and ready to take the leap from Earth into Eternity unprepared. It was like having someone on a plane that was about to crash and the pilot had already issued the passengers with a parachute, but she was like one of the passengers who’s refusing to put her parachute on, declaring, “I don’t believe this plane is going to crash, so why do I need to put this thing on?”. We know that anyone who’s not trusted in the Lord Jesus before the dreadful day of departure arrives will spend Eternity in Hell and yesterday we felt for this woman. She’d heard the Gospel, but rejected it many times in her life. We don’t know the reasons why, but she was as closed as closed could be. Please pray for her today. We had many great conversations and some that led people to point of wanting to trust the Saviour for Salvation, but I share about the old lady, because not everyone will be hearing the voice of Jesus as we speak, they’ll be forever hearing by not perceiving.

Hearing the Voice of Jesus.

John 20:15-16 (NIV)
15  “Woman,” he said, “why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16  Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned towards him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means Teacher).

Today on the fifth day of 40 Days With Jesus, we’ve reached an important occasion. In John 20:15-16, we see something really significant. Dave Smith calls it, “The Most Significant Moment In Human History”, because it’s the day that Jesus spoke in His resurrected body to another human being. The Lord of Heaven spoke to Mary Magdalene, she was the first to hear His voice. It’s important for another reason, because she heard Jesus in the same way that each one of us who come to faith in Him also hear the revelation of His voice, because my friends Jesus is speaking to us today.

The Scene At The Tomb Of Jesus.

Mary Magdalene was looking for Jesus body, she’d told the Disciples the body was gone, they’d come and inspected the tomb and returned home, but Mary lingered, crying and weeping, desperate to find the Lord’s body. She’d failed to recognise the Angelic visitors in the tomb as being something Heavenly happening with Jesus resurrected body. Now she turns to Jesus, thinking He’s the gardener, and Jesus asks her a question. He engages her in conversation: He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it that you are looking for?”. Even though it was Jesus speaking, she didn’t recognise His voice.

My friends, there are people being called in the God’s Kingdom today, He’s speaking to them, but they are NOT recognising who’s voice it is. Whenever, the Gospel is proclaimed, it’s God calling and reaching out through the preacher’s voice into the hearts and lives of those who listen. Jesus said that would happen,  Mark 4:11-12 11  He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12  so that, ” ‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’

2 Timothy 3:6-7  “They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7  always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.”

Mary didn’t recognise it was Jesus speaking to her.

Jesus Shows Himself:

It’s one thing to rise from the dead and dissappear into Eternity, but quite another to rise and then show yourself ALIVE to people, that’s what Jesus was doing and He did it first with Mary Magdalene.

Not A Vision or A Ghost:

Secondly, it’s important to note that Mary is not just seeing a vision or a ghost or something she’s imagined, Jesus is REAL, He’s ALIVE and He could be touched by people. Yes, Jesus could appear and disappear, but when He was with people; He spoke, ate and could be touched by them. Remember the incident with doubting Thomas, we come to that later in the course. Jesus is real and alive today my friends, and He’s promised to be right there with us when we gather together in His name and He’s also promised that He’ll be IN those who trust in Him for Salvation. You can actually KNOW Jesus today.

Jesus Call His Sheep By Name:

Thirdly and of immense importance for everyone today, is that Jesus calls Mary by name. He knew Mary and He knows each and everyone of us too. John records that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

John 10:1-5 1  “I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2  The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. 3  The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4  When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5  But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognise a stranger’s voice.”

It was only when Jesus said, “Mary” that she knew who He was. She wasn’t expecting to find Jesus alive, that’s probably why she didn’t recognise Him at first, but when He spoke her name, WOWzer! Suddenly her revelation came. “He’s ALIVE”… You can hear it in her head, she grabs hold of Jesus. She touches the risen Lord. He tells her not to hold onto him.

My friends, Jesus is calling each and every one in the world today. He’s calling out and some listen, some hear, some respond and some begin to worship. Mary called Him “Rabboni” which means; ‘Teacher’.

Mary was called by Jesus, she heard His voice and recognised who He was. She was led that day our of her darkness into the light of understanding and revelation, for distress and grief into everlasting joy, because she met the risen Saviour. We can get that same kind of revelation for ourselves today. When we meet the risen Saviour by faith, when we read God’s Words in the Bible, He’ll speak to us to, Jesus speaks to us today by His Spirit and He’s calling you too my friends.

Jesus is calling everyone into a NEW and DEEPER understanding of who He is and what He wants for your life. Will you come and spend a day with Jesus. We’re spending 40 Days With Jesus and each day our understanding is growing.

Have an awesome Saturday my friends, come tomorrow for Worship, come on Tuesday for the gathering together to watch the video for the week and share in discussion what you’ve been learning every day.

God bless and keep you in Jesus today,

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  •  What an incredible thought, that God Almighty, the King of the Heavens, knows you and me by name! Do you need to hear Jesus calling your name?
  • How aware are you that Jesus is a real person, with thoughts, feelings, a personality and a voice? What difference does this make to the way you can relate to Him today?
  • How will you live differently today knowing that Jesus is present with you right now by the Holy Spirit? Just as Jesus spoke to Mary in her despair, so He can and will speak to you, too. The great news is that your ‘lows’ can be made ‘highs’ by just one word from the Saviour of your soul. 

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank You Lord for caring enough about me to call my name and I thank You for making it possible for me to hear your voice and respond to Your call. Holy Spirit, I welcome You into my life and ask that You would make real to me the presence of Jesus in a wonderful fresh way today. I know that I’m honoured that You would choose to make Your home in my heart. Show me how I can be a great host to You today. Help me to know Your Presence wherever I am in the world and to be listening out for Your voice. Amen. 

Note: 40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

40 Days With Jesus Video (Scroll down to view video).

40 Days Home Page

 

 

God’s Ancient Gospel Revealed

Daily Spirit & Word, 465: “I WILL Walk In His Ancient Paths”…

The Ancient GOSPEL: How God Saved Precious Souls.

Are not very different to the ways He’s winning, warning and wooing people today.

Good morning my friends, I love the way that bluebells come back every year and seem to get better and better the longer you leave them in the ground. You know my friends, long before the New Testament was completed our ancient brothers and sisters in the faith used the Old Testament to proclaim the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. When Paul was writing to Timothy, he understood the Spiritual nature and value of the Scriptures. 2 Tim 3:16-17. Therefore today I’m going to show you that picking up a text from the most ancient of the Old Testament books, the book of Job, which is considered by some to be the oldest, we can see that God used the same ways to lead men to the awareness of their need of a Saviour thousands of years before Christ came and how the LORD provided them with a pathway towards Salvation, New Life and a much closer walk with God.

 Our focus text today is from the book of Job.

  • Job 33:14-33 (ANIV)
  • 14  For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it.
  • 15  In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds,
  • 16  he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings,
  • 17  to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride,
  • 18  to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword.
  • 19  Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones,
  • 20  so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal.
  • 21  His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out.
  • 22  His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death.
  • 23  “Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him,
  • 24  to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him’—
  • 25  then his flesh is renewed like a child’s; it is restored as in the days of his youth.
  • 26  He prays to God and finds favour with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.
  • 27  Then he comes to men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved.
  • 28  He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light.’
  • 29  “God does all these things to a man— twice, even three times—
  • 30  to turn back his soul from the pit, that the light of life may shine on him.
  • 31  “Pay attention, Job, and listen to me; be silent, and I will speak.
  • 32  If you have anything to say, answer me; speak up, for I want you to be cleared.
  • 33  But if not, then listen to me; be silent, and I will teach you wisdom.”

WOWzer! You think you know the story of a book in the Bible, then the Lord opens it up by His Spirit and you suddenly observe new depths. You know the story of Job: How he was viewed by the LORD as a righteous man, then Satan came to test Job and was allowed to do so by the LORD. Satan wanted to see how far he would need to go to make Job curse God, but God knew Job’s heart and allowed the test. Remember Satan tests and tempts us to make us fail and fall from God’s Grace. The Lord, on the other hand, allows testing to come, so that we’ll be encouraged, strengthened and grow towards maturity in the Christian faith. God wants us to succeed and pass every test.

 First: God Speaks: (verse 14).

Some people think that God doesn’t say anything today, but as we’ll see from Job, God’s NOT silent, but uses many different ways to communicate with mankind. Job 33:14  “For God does speak—now one way, now another— though man may not perceive it.”

And in those ancient days it was the same; sometimes men could hear and sometimes, like today, they are DEAF. Jesus indicated that this was so too; (explaining the ancient prophesy of Isaiah) Matthew 13:13-15 “This is why I speak to them in parables: “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. 14  In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: ” ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15  For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.'”

Yes indeed my friends, God speaks today, as He did in ancient times, but there are hard hearts and deaf ears today, just as there were back then.

But their needs were the same then as they are today:

  1. a) They needed Conversion: Verse 14. (Even if they are unaware of it).
  2. b) They needed Repentance: Verse 17. (Pride says in the heart, “I don’t need God”).

Secondly: God Works The Same Way Today: RANSOM

Though men are deaf to God’s voice in Creation, though they may not listen or respond to an evangelist (Messenger), His heart so longs for men to turn in repentance and admit their need of God, that He’ll use the Ancient methods to turn are heart and soul towards Himself.

a) God Does ALL these things to a man: Job 33:29  “God does all these things to a man— twice, even three times—” He’s doing them again and again and again, to AWAKEN men and women to their need of God.

  1. b) God Speaks in their EARS: Job 33:16  “he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings,” Remember my friends, The FEAR of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.
  2. c) God PAYS the PRICE for their SINS and Transgressions: Job 33:24  “to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him'”

Kidnappers: When someone gets kidnapped, the kidnappers ask for a RANSOM, it’s the price that needs to be paid to set the captive free.

It’s the same today, God has found the RANSOM, He paid for mankind’s Salvation in the life and blood of His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. (WOWzer! Can you see the Gospel in the ancient text today?)…. Jesus Christ has died to set mankind free from Sin, Satan and Death and Hell. This is the very verse that JUMPED out at me as I was reading Job this morning… God doesn’t want anyone to perish and end up going down to the pit of Hell, but everybody to come to repentance, that’s why He’s speaking so much to men and women who will not listen to Him.

 Thirdly: God Wants The Same Thing Today:

God used trouble, hardships, warnings, dreams, visions, revelations, to turn a man from the error of his ways. A life lived without reference to God’s Holy Standards, a life lived without God is a Rebellious state and God wants people to come and confess (admit) their sinfulness, to turn from their wicked ways, be converted, and to receive His Divine pardon and New Life.

Job 33:16  “he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, 17  to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, 18  to preserve his soul from the pit, ….”

My friends, our Souls are even more precious to God than they are to us. No one would sell one of their eyes for even £100,000 punds would we? Would you? NO of course not, but why do we exchange our eternal souls for a few moments of pleasure in this life today? God wants to SAVE us more than we want to SAVE ourselves.

 Finally: When We’re SAVED by God the REWARDS are the same.

a) The Ransom Price Has Been Paid: Verse 24. Jesus Christ.

b) The Response Required Is The Same: Job 33:27  “Then he comes to men and says, ‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved.” We deserve DEATH & HELL, but God’s GRACE is revealed by the RANSOM price He paid in Jesus Christ.

c) The Reward of LIFE and LIGHT of God’s Glory: Job 33:28  “He redeemed (paid the ransom price) my soul from going down to the pit (Death and Hell), and I shall live to enjoy the light.’

It’s also revealed in our most famous verses from the New Testament: John 3:16-17.

  • John 3:16-17 (ANIV)
  • 16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • 17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
  •  Job 33:26  “He prays to God and finds favour with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state.”
  •  My friends, when we today HEAR the GOOD NEWS and RESPOND to God’s Voice, we’ll also see the LIGHT. We’ll walk with God for the rest of our lives and for all eternity. We’ll be REDEEMED from the PIT.

God’s Ancient ways ARE the exact same as His way today:

Jeremiah 6:16 (ANIV) “This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.'”

All God’s People today will say, “I WILL walk in His Ancient paths”… Amen!

That fact that the first Believers preached the Gospel from the Ancient Texts of the Bible should be an encouragement to us today, knowing that God’s WORD is the Inspired, Infallible, and Indefatigable WORD of God. Also, God’s Salvation PLAN has always been the same and His Ancient Gospel is Revealed in it’s pages. Praise the Lord! He’s the same, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.

Have an awesome weekend with your GREAT Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don.

God’s Ancient Gospel Revealed.

 

Sermons That Will Make You Smoke With Holy Fire

Sermons That Will Make You Smoke With Holy Fire.

I’ve heard a LOT of Sermons in my life.

But here are a FEW that really speak to me today.

They’ll encourage you in your walk with Jesus.

David Wilkerson: Jezebel. (False Doctrine) Doctrine is Teaching.

The Prosperity Gospel is a Deception from Satan.

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.

 

432: God Rewards Faithfulness.

432 Fire Leads to Promotion
God Rewards Faithfulness. Enduring the Fire: God is with them.

 

Daily Spirit & Word, 432: God Rewards Faithfulness.

And the World Will Stand AGOG in Amazement. 

Enduring the Fire Leads to Promotion.

God Rewards Faithfulness: Good morning my friends, Being faithful to God in times of trail, testing and fire. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego prove faithful and He rewards them.
I’ve got that Friday feeling 🙂 The weekend is coming and I’ve only got a few things to do before Saturday; A funeral this afternoon for a 92 year old man and the CRU (Youth Group) tonight, who’re making pancakes. We’ve also got our grandchildren and daughter staying for a few days whilst her bathroom is being renovated. Life is busy, but good. How’s your weekend looking?
Today is the day we finally get to see what happened when three of God’s chosen people refused to bow the knee and worship a created idol. Yes they aroused the King’s anger and rage. Yes they ended up being thrown into the fire, but WOWzer! They also get another transforming experience of God’s power over nature and the schemes of evil men.
INTO THE FIRE:
Daniel 3:19-30 19  Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude towards them changed. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual
20  and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.
21  So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
22  The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,
23  and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24  Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.”
25  He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26  Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,
27  and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.
28  Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
29  Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30  Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
Firstly notice: Fury, Anger and Rage will lead men to do the most evil things. We mustn’t make any mistakes, because King Nebuchadnezzar was a very powerful king. He’d conquered much of the Middle East and now commanded the obedience of millions of people, but three young Jewish men refused to obey him; no wonder then his anger was roused.
But what would have happened if he’d been less rash? What if he’d taken time to sit down and discuss this willingness to die rather than worship another person’s god? He may have discovered in a less dramatic way the God of the Universe is real, powerful and commands obedience even of great kings.
Secondly Remember: Nebuchadnezzar had stated in yesterday’s reading; “What god is more powerful than me, who can rescue you from the fire?” He thought himself untouchable, above everything and everyone, even the gods. We know there is only ONE God, but this account in chapter 3 reveals just how blinded men had become, their awareness of the true and living God was much like the people of our own day who think belief in Jesus or God an irrelevance to modern living. Faith and trust in God are outmoded because we’ve moved on from superstitious things like that 🙂 How foolish the people of the world are. Nebuchadnezzar’s pride led him into the most evil cruelty in his dominance of others, thinking nothing of human life, using fear and domination to get his own way. However, his intimidation of the three young men didn’t work.
Thirdly Notice: When they are thrown into the heat of the ten-times-hotter oven, though they were bound and helpless, the next time we hear about them, they are walking in the midst of the fire and heat and smoke without being harmed. The King was obviously sitting in a position where he could observe them being thrown into the furnace. He must have imagined that death would be instant, but here they were walking in the fire.
My friends, the people of this world are often totally amazed at how believers cope when the fiery trials come. It’s because at those times, God’s presence is known more keenly than at any other times in our life. That has happened to many of my friends and countless brothers and sisters throughout history. In the heat and smoke of disaster, God comes and brings relief, comfort and courage to face the flames. They’d trusted God with their lives and He’d proven to be faithful, present and powerful.
When you trust God in the HEAT: He’s promised to be with you too. Now we know that not everyone gets the kind of DELIVERANCE Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego enjoyed; because some of God’s chosen ones died at the hands of evil men; John the Baptist lost his head to an evil King, Stephen was stoned to death for proclaiming Jesus Christ as God’s Son. So sometimes being a believer won’t mean rescue from the trial, but we can be confidently assured that when we endure with faith, hope and trust, God will ultimately deliver us; either in this life or the next. That’s the confidence the three young men had too.
It’s my hope and prayer that your trials will lead to promotion as it had Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, but what’s more important for us to consider is the outcome of their faithful witness; not their promotion, but that God gets the GLORY. Because of what they did, being prepared to die for their beliefs, God Himself Gets the HONOUR and GLORY and PRAISE of the King of an vast Empire, Babylon would now honour God Almighty. Hallelujah. Praise the LORD!
Has there been a time in your life when you could say, “God Rewards Faithfulness?” or “The Lord has rewarded my faithful service?” Sometimes it’s just a feeling of deep peace or joy and gladness, but at others we receive great blessings from the LORD.
So our promotion or demise will both bring glory to the LORD, that’s what the Christian life is all about. When we get the revelation that it’s much more abut Him than Us, then we’ll experience the JOY unspeakable. Let that JOY flood your soul today as you praise HIM, and you sing of HIS glory, power and might. Honour God and even if the world throws you into fires and flames you’ll be lifted higher than you can ever imagine and they will stand agog in amazement.
Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends.
Don.
P.S. I do hope you’ve enjoyed our dip into the little book of Daniel this week. But please do continue reading, there’s so much more, but don’t just read it through quickly, take time to meditate upon each and every even within the book, you’ll be astounded at how valuable it is to take a week to look at a single story as we have. You’ll get fresh revelation for your life as a believer in the world today by thinking things through with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Remember my motto: “No READ, No FEED” If I don’t read the Bible I don’t eat breakfast. Why because going hungry reminds me I’ve skipped my ‘spiritual’ breakfast. I need God every day, and I’m not ashamed to admit I can’t do anything apart from Jesus, so I need to come to Him, to be filled afresh and fed by Him every day. If I skip Bible devotion I know I’m going to get hungry spiritually, I’ll feel the darkness creeping in, and it really does in tangible ways. Come afresh to Jesus every day and you’ll continue in the light of life.
Finally (Again) 🙂 I’ve been left with a Question that’s been bugging me all week. I’ve been pondering over it and wondering. “Where was Daniel when his friends were being thrown into the fire?”
Perhaps, because the King knew Daniel would never bow the knee, he’d sent him away to protect him from his own decree. Let us not forget that Daniel had already won the king’s favour, because he’d recounted and interpreted the dreadful dream.
What do you think my friends, where was Daniel?
You can also read the Daily Spirit & Word @ St Luke’s Church Facebook Page:
Post God Rewards Faithfulness @ St Luke’s Facebook Page.
Over the next few weeks I’ll be moving over 400 Daily Devotions for you to enjoy at your leisure.
It’s difficult to archive on Facebook, but a website allows so many more ways to search through and find the articles that may be of help.

429: Fully Relying on God: In Life Threatening Situations.

429 Fully Relying on Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 429: Fully Relying on God:

In Life Threatening Situations.

 Good morning everyone, sorry it’s a bit late today. We held the PCC (Parochial Church Council) here last night, didn’t finish till late and I slept like a baby 🙂
Yesterday we read through Daniel 3, the account of The Golden Statue set up by King Nebuchadnezzar, he gave an order that everybody from every nation should bow down and worship the statue (idol), but some of his wise men noticed that the Jews, namely; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego didn’t comply with the order.
As I meditated upon this chapter yesterday, I wondered what might possibly have made these Jewish boys to bold? What could have made them willing to loose their lives? Then reflecting back over chapter two, when Daniel told them to pray when they were once again in danger of loosing their lives, they prayed and the LORD gave Daniel the King’s Dream and it’s meaning.
Revelation:
Then the answer came to me, it wasn’t only Daniel who got the REVELATION, but also Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, because they knew the LORD speaks to people when they pray, they knew from experience that God listens, that God is alive, that God acts when people devote themselves to His cause, His honour, His glory.
Application:
Whenever we face a perplexing or dangerous or troublesome decision, what have we go in our bag of spiritual goodies that will enable us to be bold, decisive and devoted to the LORD? We need our own REVELATION from the LORD of who He is, what He is like and how we can trust in Him.
Just like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we’ve probably all got little miracles that have proved to us God loves us, he listens to us, he acted in the past in our life and that encouraged our faith and our commitment to Him. Therefore, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we’ll turn to prayer, praise and worship for a solution in those difficult situations.
Knowing God and knowing His ways are KEY, but so is being prepared to take a stand against our enemies when they rear their ugly heads.
Think about those poor brothers and sisters in Christ in Iraq and Syria, Christians who rather than being forcefully converted to Islam chose to die rather than live a lie. They knew Jesus Christ as LORD and couldn’t deny Him. Their love for the Lord was much stronger than their fear of death. They knew like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego that the LORD would either rescue them or honour them in Paradise, but even if they lost their lives they’d live forever in Heaven with Jesus.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are wonderful examples of fully relying upon God in the face of imminent death.
Well, we know the story, how they were thrown into the fiery pit but survived in such an amazing, awesome and astounding MIRACLE. Their clothes didn’t even smell of the smoke of the furnace. WOWzer!
My friends, that gives me so much encouragement today. Believe me that a time is coming when the relative peace and calm that Christians enjoy here in the UK will not last forever. I’m praying for our Nation, that it will one day experience a true Godly revival, but all the sings are that we are in the End Times, the return of the LORD is imminent, the Bible warns us about these days we are living in:
The LAST DAYS
2 Timothy 3:1-17
1 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.
2  People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3  without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
4  treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—
5  having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
6  They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over weak-willed women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires,
7  always learning but never able to acknowledge the truth.
8  Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these men oppose the truth—men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected.
9  But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.

Paul’s Charge to Timothy:
10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,
11  persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.
12  In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
13  while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.
14  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,
15  and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
17  so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
And
2 Timothy 2:11-13 11  Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;
12  if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;
13  if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.
So there will be, I’m sure, times that we’ll have to take a stand and that might mean paying a price for being a true Christian who loves the LORD. Let’s make certain now, before it happens, that we’re walking closely with Jesus Christ, that we’re praying for His powerful hand in everyday situations, then make a note of His; answered prayers, moving in situations, revealing His secrets, showing and guiding us by His Holy Spirit, then when the times of testing come, we’ll be ready to show the whole world that we love Jesus even more than we love our precious life and this place that we live now, is, like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, a place of exile, a foreign land and we are aliens, foreigners and strangers here, because our real HOME is in Heaven with Jesus forever.
Have an awesome day.
Don.
NOTE: Can also be read on St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.
Daniel 3:1-30. 
1 King Nebuchadnezzar made an image of gold, ninety feet high and nine feet wide, and set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon.
2  He then summoned the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials to come to the dedication of the image he had set up.
3  So the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, judges, magistrates and all the other provincial officials assembled for the dedication of the image that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up, and they stood before it.
4  Then the herald loudly proclaimed, “This is what you are commanded to do, O peoples, nations and men of every language:
5  As soon as you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, you must fall down and worship the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
6  Whoever does not fall down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.”
7  Therefore, as soon as they heard the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp and all kinds of music, all the peoples, nations and men of every language fell down and worshipped the image of gold that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
8  At this time some astrologers came forward and denounced the Jews.
9  They said to King Nebuchadnezzar, “O king, live for ever!
10  You have issued a decree, O king, that everyone who hears the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music must fall down and worship the image of gold,
11  and that whoever does not fall down and worship will be thrown into a blazing furnace.
12  But there are some Jews whom you have set over the affairs of the province of Babylon—Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego—who pay no attention to you, O king. They neither serve your gods nor worship the image of gold you have set up.”
13  Furious with rage, Nebuchadnezzar summoned Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. So these men were brought before the king,
14  and Nebuchadnezzar said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the image of gold I have set up?
15  Now when you hear the sound of the horn, flute, zither, lyre, harp, pipes and all kinds of music, if you are ready to fall down and worship the image I made, very good. But if you do not worship it, you will be thrown immediately into a blazing furnace. Then what god will be able to rescue you from my hand?”
16  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.
17  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.
18  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”
19  Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude towards them changed. He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times hotter than usual
20  and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace.
21  So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace.
22  The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego,
23  and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace.
24  Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?” They replied, “Certainly, O king.”
25  He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26  Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!” So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire,
27  and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, anthere was no smell of fire on them.
28  Then Nebuchadnezzar said, “Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king’s command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God.
29  Therefore I decree that the people of any nation or language who say anything against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego be cut into pieces and their houses be turned into piles of rubble, for no other god can save in this way.”
30  Then the king promoted Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the province of Babylon.
NOTE: Can also be read on St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.

424: God Gives Dreams.

Daily Spirit & Word, 424: God Gives Dreams.

God Gives The Meaning.
424 God Speaks Small
Good morning everyone, today I’m not going to say much, tomorrow I’ll give the meaning, but I just want you today to SOAK in God’s Word, because it’s an awesome account in it’s own right.
Daniel 2:1-49 (NLT)
1  One night during the second year of his reign, Nebuchadnezzar had such disturbing dreams that he couldn’t sleep.
2  He called in his magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, and astrologers, and he demanded that they tell him what he had dreamed. As they stood before the king,
3  he said, “I have had a dream that deeply troubles me, and I must know what it means.”
4  Then the astrologers answered the king in Aramaic, “Long live the king! Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”
5  But the king said to the astrologers, “I am serious about this. If you don’t tell me what my dream was and what it means, you will be torn limb from limb, and your houses will be turned into heaps of rubble!
6  But if you tell me what I dreamed and what the dream means, I will give you many wonderful gifts and honors. Just tell me the dream and what it means!”
7  They said again, “Please, Your Majesty. Tell us the dream, and we will tell you what it means.”
8  The king replied, “I know what you are doing! You’re stalling for time because you know I am serious when I say,
9  ‘If you don’t tell me the dream, you are doomed.’ So you have conspired to tell me lies, hoping I will change my mind. But tell me the dream, and then I’ll know that you can tell me what it means.”
10  The astrologers replied to the king, “No one on earth can tell the king his dream! And no king, however great and powerful, has ever asked such a thing of any magician, enchanter, or astrologer!
11  The king’s demand is impossible. No one except the gods can tell you your dream, and they do not live here among people.”
12  The king was furious when he heard this, and he ordered that all the wise men of Babylon be executed.
13  And because of the king’s decree, men were sent to find and kill Daniel and his friends.
14  When Arioch, the commander of the king’s guard, came to kill them, Daniel handled the situation with wisdom and discretion.
15  He asked Arioch, “Why has the king issued such a harsh decree?” So Arioch told him all that had happened.
16  Daniel went at once to see the king and requested more time to tell the king what the dream meant.
17  Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened.
18  He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon.
19  That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.
20  He said, “Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.
21  He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.
22  He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though he is surrounded by light.
23  I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors, for you have given me wisdom and strength. You have told me what we asked of you and revealed to us what the king demanded.”
24  Then Daniel went in to see Arioch, whom the king had ordered to execute the wise men of Babylon. Daniel said to him, “Don’t kill the wise men. Take me to the king, and I will tell him the meaning of his dream.”
25  Arioch quickly took Daniel to the king and said, “I have found one of the captives from Judah who will tell the king the meaning of his dream!”
26  The king said to Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar), “Is this true? Can you tell me what my dream was and what it means?”
27  Daniel replied, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or fortune-tellers who can reveal the king’s secret.
28  But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future. Now I will tell youecause I am wiser than anyone else that I know the secret of your dream, but because God wants you to understand what was in your heart.

31  “In your vision, Your Majesty, you saw standing before you a huge, shining statue of a man. It was a frightening sight.
32  The head of the statue was made of fine gold. Its chest and arms were silver, its belly and thighs were bronze,
33  its legs were iron, and its feet were a combination of iron and baked clay.
34  As you watched, a rock was cut from a mountain, but not by human hands. It struck the feet of iron and clay, smashing them to bits.
35  The whole statue was crushed into small pieces of iron, clay, bronze, silver, and gold. Then the wind blew them away without a trace, like chaff on a threshing floor. But the rock that knocked the statue down became a great mountain that covered the whole earth.
36  “That was the dream. Now we will tell the king what it means.
37  Your Majesty, you are the greatest of kings. The God of heaven has given you sovereignty, power, strength, and honor.
38  He has made you the ruler over all the inhabited world and has put even the wild animals and birds under your control. You are the head of gold.
39  “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world.
40  Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes.
41  The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron.
42  But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay.
43  This mixture of iron and clay also shows that these kingdoms will try to strengthen themselves by forming alliances with each other through intermarriage. But they will not hold together, just as iron and clay do not mix.
44  “During the reigns of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed or conquered. It will crush all these kingdoms into nothingness, and it will stand forever.
45  That is the meaning of the rock cut from the mountain, though not by human hands, that crushed to pieces the statue of iron, bronze, clay, silver, and gold. The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”
46  Then King Nebuchadnezzar threw himself down before Daniel and worshiped him, and he commanded his people to offer sacrifices and burn sweet incense before him.
47  The king said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is the greatest of gods, the LORD over kings, a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this secret.”
48  Then the king appointed Daniel to a high position and gave him many valuable gifts. He made Daniel ruler over the whole province of Babylon, as well as chief over all his wise men.

49  At Daniel’s request, the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to be in charge of all the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel remained in the king’s court. your dream and the visions you saw as you lay on your bed.
29  “While Your Majesty was sleeping, you dreamed about coming events. He who reveals secrets has shown you what is going to happen.
30  And it is not b
May the LORD give you dreams and their meaning tonight.
Don.