The Supremacy of Jesus

Jesus is the Supreme Being in the Universe today

Daily Spirit & Word, 582:

The Supremacy of Jesus Christ.

Good morning my friends, it’s so good to be back with you again. It was a wonderful holiday with Julie; we’ve seen family, visited friends and places around London and taken time to make-and-mend in the house and garden. However, I’ve seen that following Jesus requires that we’re constant with Him. We need Him every day, but why do we need Jesus so much in life today? Are you convinced that you need Jesus? Let’s see what God’s Word tells us about Him: Let’s refresh ourselves with the written testimony about our Lord and Saviour.

Our Bible Reading Today:

Colossians 1:15-23 
15  He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Born on Earth as a man: The True Image of God)
16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. (Jesus is the Creator).
17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (He sustains the Universe).
18  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
19  For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, (Jesus was always; fully God).
20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (His sacrificial death brings PEACE through His blood).
21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Jesus IS The Supreme Being: He IS God.

He said to Philip, “If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father” John 14:9

In context: to Doubting Thomas’ questions about where Jesus is going.

What more can we say about Jesus?

James Allan Francis (1864-1928). DD (One Solitary Life)

Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman.

He grew up in another obscure village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty, and then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never owned a home. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put his foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place where He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He had nothing to do with this world except the naked power of His divine manhood. While still a young man, the tide of public opinion turned against Him. His friends ran away, one of them betrayed Him, one of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth while He was dying—and that was his coat. When he was dead He was taken down and laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen wide centuries have come and gone and today He is the centerpiece of the human race and the leader of the column of progress. I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, and all the navies that ever sailed, and all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together have not affected the life of mankind upon this earth as powerfully as has that One Solitary Life: Jesus Christ.

  • So Jesus never wrote a book: But today there are more books about Jesus than any other figure in the history of mankind.
  • He only had a handful of followers when He died, but now countless millions name Jesus as LORD and it’s still the fastest growing religion in the world.
  • Jesus splits the History of Mankind: BC & AD…

What more can we say about Jesus?

He is Supreme: But what does that mean to you and me?

1) Jesus Reveals God To Mankind:

Before Jesus came God was just an idea, but upon His arrival upon the earth, He became an ICON (The exact representation of God the Father on the Earth).

We all know what ICONS are:

Take out your mobile phone, if you have one, look at the screen, you’ll see little Icons that represent different things; Calendar, Contacts, Facebook, Twitter, Photos,  etc. You know that these Icons represent all your information; you can just click on one of those Icons and they’ll take you to your desired information, right?

  • If I click Calendar, I can see all my upcoming appointments.
  • If I click Contacts and know where all my friends live.
  • If I click Facebook I can see what all my friends have been sharing with the world.
  • If you come to Jesus, If you connect with Jesus, the ICON of God, you connect immediatly with the Father.

Jesus said:

Matthew 11:27  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows the Son except the Father, and no-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Look at those words carefully, “No-one knows the Son, No-one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him”… i.e. You can’t KNOW GOD by any other way than by coming to Jesus Christ.

That’s why Jesus said, “I AM the Way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6.

It not by reason, but by revelation. You can’t discover God the Father by human reason alone, you’ll never argue a person into the Kingdom of Heaven, they, you and I and everyone needs a REVELATION of God by Jesus Christ, even today.

That’s why Jesus is your ICON: Click / Connect with Jesus and you’ll discover God the Father.

Colossians 1:15 and 19:  “He is the image (ICON) of the invisible God,” and “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him”.

Children Ask: “What does God look like?”

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had schoolchildren come into St Luke’s and ask me that question: “What does God look like?” My answer is always the same, “He’s exactly like Jesus” When Jesus wan on the earth, He said, “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen my Father”. “The Only way to see the Father is by coming to me”. Do you want to see what God looks like? Then come to Jesus by faith.

2) Jesus IS the Creator:

Look with me at verse 16 of our Bible reading today:

Colossians 1:16 “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Jesus is the Creator).

a) Jesus Is The POWER of His Creation:

John tells us the same thing about Jesus: John 1:3

John 1:3 3  “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

NOTHING was there before Jesus made it. NOTHING. He made the whole UNIVERSE out of NOTHING.

Now, we can’t do that can we, we can’t make an Egg out of nothing. We can’t even make a mud-pie out of nothing, we need dirt and water to make mud-pies. Jesus made it ALL out of NOTHING.

That’s why Jesus could: Walk on water, make wine out of water, heal the sick and raise the dead back to life again, because in Him is LIFE, He is the Creative POWER behind everything.

Jesus is the Power of Creation, but Jesus is also the Preserver of His Creation.

b) Jesus Preserves His Creation:

Look with me at verse 17 of our reading today;

Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”

DARK MATTER: Scientists for years have been trying to discover “DARK MATTER” the missing force in the universe. They call it ‘Dark Matter’ because they can’t see it or even find it, but they know it’s there. My friends, it’s the most massive missing force, but the Bible reveals what that force that keeps the whole universe together is. “It’s Jesus”. He’s the super-glue that keeps it all together. He’s not dark-matter though, He’s the Light of the Universe. He’s the Light of the world. In Him there is NO Darkness at all. “In HIM all things hold together”…

When you are getting married, you cleave to your husband. A husband cleaves to his wife. The CLING (HOLD) together. That which God has joined together, let not man separate. Stuck together forever by God. Jesus holds ALL THINGS together.

c) Jesus is the Purpose of His Creation:

He did it all for Himself.

“It’s NOT about you” We’d like to think the universe revolves around and about us, but let’s get a reality check this morning my friends, Jesus made the whole of CREATION for Himself.

Verse 16:  “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.”

“All THINGS were Created by HIM and for HIM”… WOWzer! That’s an awesome REVELATION isn’t it? Jesus is the PURPOSE of the UNIVERSE. He’s not just the Power of the Creation, He’s not just the Glue of Creation, He’s the Purpose of His Creation too.

3) Finally, Jesus is the RECONCILER OF HIS CREATION.

Let’s remind ourselves of the last few verses of our Bible reading today;

Colossians 1:20-23  “and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. (His sacrificial death brings PEACE through His blood).

21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Jesus RECONCILED All Things: In heaven and on the Earth.

Do you know what ‘reconciled’ means? It means to bring-back-together again. Be made one with another. To bring into alignment again. Like Iran and the UK opening up the British Embassy in Tehran again. After many years of being without an Ambassador in Iran, Britain and Iran have been RECONCILED. Brought back together again.

A husband and wife: who’d been having difficulties in their marriage, finally got back together, they were RECONCILED after years of struggle and their LOVE is stronger now that it’s ever been.

You and me: If you’ve come to TRUST Jesus as your Saviour and Lord: He has reconciled you to God the Father.

We were separated from God, why? The reading tells us; “because of your evil behaviour”.

Now you’ll get offended; “I’m NOT evil” I can hear the gears in your mind whirring and twirling right now. “I’m NOT evil”… However, the Bible tells us that we ARE until we’ve been RECONCILED by the Lord Jesus Christ.

How are we ‘evil’? What is ‘evil’? Evil is the force behind rebellion and disobedience. We’ve all rebelled against God, we’ve all be disobedient to His Commands.

That’s why we need Jesus: It’s not that He’s just made the whole Creation, the He’s the Power, the Preserver and the Purpose of His Creation, but He’s also the ONLY ONE who could bring His Creation back to Himself once again. He is the only way back to God the Father: That’s why Jesus came to His Creation.

He came and He died: He shed His innocent blood: In order that He might SAVE those that He’d Created.

Conclusion:

My friends, we’ve seen the Majesty of Jesus, but now I want to show the Mystery of Jesus: He came to His Creation to SAVE Mankind.

Isaiah reveals a little secret that we’ve been looking at today;

Isaiah 33:22  “For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us.”

  • Jesus is your Judge: He’s coming back again to Judge the Living and Dead.
  • Jesus is your LAW giver: He gave us the 10 Commandments. So that we could see our need of a Saviour. We’ve failed that Law and will be judged Justly by the LORD according to it.
  • Jesus is the KING: The Lord is your King. One day every knee will bow before Him. Let’s do it NOW before it’s too late and we leave this earth without bowing before the LORD our King whilst we’ve still got a chance.
  • Jesus is the SAVIOUR: “is is HE who will save us”. He died so that you might be saved from God’s wrath.

So my friends, I plead with every single on of you today, be RECONCILED to God. Jesus is the Creator, He is the Power of Creation, The Preserver of Creation, The Purpose of Creation but He’s also the Reconciler of His Creation. Will you be reconciled to God: Come, come to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t wait. Trust Him. Receive Him. Repent and trust the Only Saviour of Mankind today. He’s not Dark Matter, but the Light of Life the Creator who knitted you together in your mother’s womb.

We sang this song today:

“This Kingdom” It’s all about our King Jesus.

Jesus
The expression of God’s love
The grace of God, the Word of God
Revealed to us
Jesus, God’s holiness displayed
Now glorified, now justified
His kingdom comes.

What an Awesome Hymn of Praise to Jesus.

Can we sing it and mean it today?

I’m praying that all my brothers and sisters in Jesus will have an awesome time of worship today.

I’m praying for everyone that I know who has yet to come to Jesus in faith and trust, turning from sin to be saved by Him, the LORD of all Creation.

I’m praying for our Nation today, we need to KNOW Jesus afresh in the UK. We need to know our need of Jesus.

I’m praying for the World today, the world that Jesus made, because the world needs to know the Creator and why He came to the Earth.

I’m praying for Christians today, that they’ll be fired up with the Gospel (Good News: that Jesus wants all people to be saved). That every Christian will be so full of Jesus love that they’ll leak that love everywhere they go.

I’m praying the LORD’S Prayer today: Thy Kingdom Come on Earth as it is in Heaven. Amen!

Have an awesome day with Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Don.

When It’s Good to be Salty

Salt and Light for Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word 576:

When it’s GOOD to be SALTY.

As many of you know, I served in the Royal Navy for 17 1/2 years. That half year is so important, because the last six months was really difficult. I had to come to terms with the fact that I was leaving, I wanted to leave, but there were things that you just get so used to in the Navy. There are privileges that no one, except another Matelot, would understand. You get an I.D card when you join up and that gives you instant access into any and every Naval base and establishment, but when you leave you’ve got to hand back your I.D. Card and keeping it as souvenir, memento or keepsake is not an option.

As a Christian we’ve also got a kind of I.D. Card too, it gives us instant access into the presence of God. It’s instantly recognisable by Heaven and from the moment we have it God sees us as one of His own. What is it? It’s the robe of righteousness, when we are wearing that robe all Father God can see is His Son Jesus Christ. We are totally righteous in His sight, our sins are covered over in the Love of God, washed away and cleansed, He sees us as we are in Jesus; Holy, Good and Salt and Light. Therefore we’ve got access into His presence and we can come before Him with joy and boldness. No one, but a true Christian, can understand the privilege it is to have this robe of righteousness.

After I left, there was no going back, no getting into the Establishments. No amount of pleading with the gate staff would enable me to gain entrance, without an I.D card I was just like every other civilian. However, when we are given our robe of righteousness, we’ll never have to hand it back again, we can keep it forever.

Isaiah 61:10 “I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” 

This was a verse that I sang on many occasions in the depths of the sea on a Submarine. In the heat and sweat of the Engine room or Reactor Compartment, I’d be singing my heart out to the Lord at the top of my voice. You know my friends, when you sing something over and over and over again, instead of the tune getting boring, the truth begins to impact your soul.

  • You can DELIGHT in the LORD!
  • Your Soul will REJOICE!
  • He’s CLOTHED you, you are not naked anymore. You are clothed in righteousness. Think about that one for a moment, Adam hid in the garden to cover his shameful nakedness, but once you are righteous in the LORD you don’t need to hide any longer you can just come out of hiding and boldly come before the LORD, because He has clothed you in His righteousness.
  • He has CLOTHED you with GARMENTS of SALVATION: Once you come to put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, once you’ve REPENTED and RECEIVED Him as Lord and Saviour, you take on His garments of SALVATION and His ROBE of RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Now sing it again: “I delight, greatly, in the LORD. I delight, greatly, in the LORD” Now ask yourself why you are delighting in the LORD? “Because He has clothed me with garments of SALVATION” and “Because He has ARRAYED me in a ROBE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”.

Now can you see why I’d emerge from the depths of the heat of the Reactor Compartment energised. No I’d not be contaminated with radiation 🙂 No it’s wasn’t getting those rays into my soul, but the JOY of the Lord came flooding in and when I came out it was obvious to everyone. I’ll never forget the looks on their faces.

Another time, when in the Engine room, we’d been cleaning up and oil spill and it was dirty and hot, but after singing praises to the Lord I emerged onto the platform where everyone gathered for a rest and a cup of tea, and they stopped and looked at me in astonishment. I was full of joy and energy in the LORD and it was obvious to them all.

One Chief, my superior at the time, came and asked me, “Ginge, how can you be so happy with such a (swear-word) job?”

“Everybody else came out of that Engine room moaning and complaining about the heat, the mess and feeling horrible being covered in oil, but you are literally beaming with glee, what gives?”

I said, “Chief, I was singing to Jesus and the job became a delight”. He scratched his head.

There is a saying in the Navy, “Salty old sea dog” it’s used for someone who’s been in the Service for a long time and knows a thing or too about the Navy. My friends, when you get to know Jesus, after years of hardships and service in His Kingdom, you’ll get the title SALTY old Christian. Jesus said, “You are the SALT of the earth” and “You are the LIGHT of the world”

Matthew 5:13-16

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 
14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

You too may be having a hard time, you might be toiling at a meaningless job, you may be experiencing the heat and no matter how hard you try, you can’t get out of the situation. Rejoice, praise, pray and sing to Jesus; His LOVE will lift you up. His presence will come into your heart and soul and you’ll be a shining light for everyone to see. Sing the song, “I delight, greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God. For He has clothed me in garments of Salvation and arrayed me in a robe of Righteousness” you’ll be coming into the throne room of Heaven. You’ll be transformed and the toil and hardship will seem as nothing.

Jesus wants you to be SALTY and make a difference in the world, He’s given you access into the throne room of Heaven and when you come before Him, clothed in His Salvation and robed in His Righteousness, you’ll be full of delight and you’ll sing His praises. Let’s be SALTY for Him and let the LIGHT shine from our faces today for Jesus.

It’s good to be SALTY sometimes.

Don.

 

Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others

Transformation by Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word; 514: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed to Transform Others.

Good morning my friends. A little confession is good for the soul. Come closer, I’ve got something I need to confess to you today, but don’t tell anyone else.  😳 Since last Sunday I’ve been feeling quite unwell. It began with sciatica, which I’ve suffered with for a while, on and off, but I’ve also had another ache in my back, which won’t go away. So I went to the doctors, Dr Patel gave me anti-inflammation tablets and pain killers. To be honest, they’re not doing much good. So last night after training and prayer, I decided I couldn’t go out with the team. My mind wouldn’t have been on what I was meant to be doing, but on the pain. So they prayed for me and went out quite joyfully to share Jesus with others. You know something, I was hard to watch them go out on their own, but it was also a joy, because my brothers and sisters went out happy to talk with others about Jesus. We were encouraged by our Bible reading: Matthew 28:16-20. “I am with you”. Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to see some people in my church who are ready, confident, equipped, expectant and willing to share the Good News with everyone? We’ve been praying for ages, “Lord, the fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers are few, Oh Lord, send us more labourers who’re willing to go out into Your harvest field”. I’m praising Him this morning, because He’s answered that prayer. Oh Yes, my friends, the Labourers are still few in number, but they’re being prepared and sent out by Him.

Today’s focus is upon our NEED to be TRANSFORMED.

We’ll see today, that before we can even begin to contemplate being used to help transform other (from sinners into saints), we need to undergo a transformation ourselves first. That may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on Evangelistic Missions when some of our TEAM members came to full faith in Jesus and were transformed by Him, whilst actually on the mission. They knew about Jesus, had gotten to the point of giving their lives to Jesus, but whilst they knew about Him, they didn’t actually KNOW Him. They believed that Jesus could save, but hadn’t actually been saved themselves. As we began to go about witnessing and preaching the Gospel, it then became blindingly evident to them, that they needed something to happen in order to enable them to share. Once they’d RECEIVE Jesus, many times through tears of repentance, and been transformed by Him (born-again) or changed from a sinner into a saint (regenerated), they were then ON FIRE and ready and equipped to enable them to TRANSFORM the lives of others.

Matthew 28:16-17 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.

It’s getting close to the end of Jesus’ 40 Days, and we don’t really know how many times He appeared to these disciples, but some of them are still having trouble believing completely that Jesus was actually alive. Some of them worshipped, but some doubted. That tells me something my friends. In every church I’ve served the Lord Jesus, there have been those who’re there, they’ve got the faith, they’ve trusted Jesus and been transformed, they’re on fire, they’re ready to do anything for Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit and worship Him at the drop of a hat. But there are various levels of others, who’re not quite there yet. They may have been attending that church for many years, sometimes all their lives, they’ve gotten involved in every kind of church activity and they’ve done everything that needs to be done externally; baptism, confirmation, prayer group, Bible study, Home Group, ministry team, building committee, coffee rota, Sunday School helper, Church Warden and Church Council Member, but they’ve somehow done all of that without being TRANSFORMED by Jesus. It’s such a sad shame, but our fellowships are full of people who don’t actually know the Lord Jesus Christ. They know ALL about Him, but they don’t know Him.

Just like Jesus’ own disciples, who right up until He was about to ascend into Heaven, we can see that some of them were still doubting. Some worshipped Him, but some doubted: These were Jesus closest Disciples. So when we find amongst our numbers people who’ve been to church for years and still they’re not there yet, we shouldn’t be surprised or even (if you’re a minister or born again yourself) shocked, because Jesus Christ and all His Resurrection Appearances couldn’t convince even some of His closest followers, who’d seen and been there when He performed countless others miracles. If they still doubted after all that and with Jesus standing right in front of them and they’re still doubting, don’t be shocked or surprised when people who’ve done everything that needs to be done, and served in every possible way in your church, still don’t fully believe in Jesus. You’ve not failed, Jesus didn’t fail, it’s just human nature. It also highlights how difficult it is to set people free, to open people’s blind eyes and to bring people into God’s Kingdom. The Gospel is so EASY to believe, it’s simple to understand, but the sad things is, and Jesus warned us about it, many are called, but few are chosen.

“Some Worshipped, but some Doubted” 

How can we get people TRANSFORMED? Just like Jesus own Disciples, we NEED to be TRANSFORMED OURSELVES. We need the Holy Spirit birth, that’s what it took to change the others my friends, and that didn’t happen until a few days after Jesus had ascended into Heaven. However, once they’d been BAPTISED with Holy Spirit, they were then ON FIRE and nothing could stop them running out of that Upper Room and Witnessing and Proclaiming the Good News (Gospel) of the Lord Jesus Christ. Once they knew Him on the inside, after they’d been TRANSFORMED then they set about transforming others. It’s a supernatural work of God the Holy Spirit.

If you are still finding that there are some doubts in your heart, then ASK Jesus Christ to send His Holy Spirit into your life today.

If you are already full of the Holy Spirit and your not ready to share Jesus yet, then you need more of Him and a desire to be obedient to Jesus’ Great Commission to “Go”, because He’s not changed. His Mission for the Church has not altered. He wants every Christian to be on this Mission to Transform the Lives of Others, but to be able to do it, we need a transformation ourselves first.

If your heart’s desire is not to SAVE others, then you’ve not been born again. It’s as simple as that. Charles Spurgeon said it clearly: “”If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.””

“If you have no wish to bring others to heaven, you are not going there yourself.”

In another sermon he said; “”Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that””

“Have you no wish for others to be saved, then you’re not saved yourself be sure of that” Charles Spurgeon.

The Condition of Many: Charles Spurgeon said, “I heard about repentance but I never knew repentance until I repented. I heard of faith, but I never knew faith until I believed. I heard of pardon but I never knew pardon until I was washed in the blood of the Lamb. I read about justification by faith but I was never justified till, by faith, I received the Lord Jesus to be my Righteousness. Appropriation by faith gives an apprehension by the understanding—experimental enjoyment creates true acquaintance. Beloved, go to the Holy Spirit and ask Him to enable you to take the things which God freely gives and when you possess them, you will “know” them.”

In other words, my words 🙂 “We don’t know Jesus, until we KNOW Jesus” we can’t Know Jesus until we’re born of His Holy Spirit. We can know about Jesus, but experiential knowledge of Jesus comes when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives. He comes when we; Believe on Jesus Christ, REPENT of our Sins, seek His forgiveness, trust in His death and receive Him as LORD. If you’ve done all that then you’ll KNOW Jesus.

When you get married, you don’t need someone else to introduce you to your wife again do you? When you take a driving test, you don’t need someome to tell you about it, you’ve done it and you’ve got the certificate to prove it. When you are born of God’s Spirit, the Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are Children of God. We KNOW because He doesn’t keep quiet, the Holy Spirit reveals it to us and enables us to KNOW: Jesus the Son and God the Father. We KNOW that we KNOW…

Romans 8:13-16 13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body (Repentance), you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15  For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16  The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

You KNOW because the SPIRIT makes us know. If you don’t know like that then guess what? You need the HOLY SPIRIT.

That’s Good NEWS: Because Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive”. Does it say, “Ask and you might receive”? No! Of course not, Jesus wants every single one of us to be CERTAIN. He gives a sure and certain hope. Once you are born of God’s Spirit, REGENERATED, TRANSFORMED, you’ll know it. A sure sign that it has happened is your desires change and you’ll earnestly, wholeheartedly desire what God wants, to see others being TRANSFORMED and REGENERATED and SAVED as well.

Jesus Transformed us so that we can TRANSFORM others.

We’re TRANSFORMED by Jesus in order that we are to be involved in His Great Commission, to TRANSFORM the lives of others. We’re SAVED to SAVE.

It’s like we’ve been plucked from the sea by the life-boat, but once we’re aboard, we’ll be pulling others aboard as well, so that they can be saved.

Conclusion: Amongst our ranks we’ll have those who’re on fire and ready to fulfill the GREAT COMMISSION. We’ll have others who are on thier way to Jesus. We’ll have some, like the Disciples, who’ll be doubting. We’ll have some who are ready to fall down and worship the Lord Jesus Christ.

Don’t be tempted to give up or give in. Don’t get disheartened, disappointed or downcast. Keep going because men and women don’t always receive the Gospel the first time they hear it. It’s like a wood-splitter’s wedge, thin on one edge and thick on the other, but each swing of his hammer drives the wedge deeper into the wood, until eventually it breaks apart and forms a lovely plank. Keep preaching snippets of the gospel many times with many people and eventually some of their hard-hearts will be broken by God’s Holy Spirit. Sometimes, you are just planting seeds, but some seeds take time in the soil to germinate. But the seed never dies! Praise the Lord.

Be certain that you’ve been TRANSFORMED first, then go out with Jesus and transform the lives of others.

Have an awesome day fulfilling the Great Commission with the Lord Jesus in you and with you always.

Don.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page.

Notes: Charles Spurgeon’s Sermons:

Grace for Grace. Charles Spurgeon. Number 2087.

“She Was Not Hid” Sermon Charles Spurgeon Charles Spurgeon Sermon: Number 2019.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 30: Transformed by Jesus to Transform Others.

 

At The Cross, At The Cross

At The Cross, At The Cross of Jesus Christ.

Daily Spirit & Word, 475: At The Cross, At The CROSS.

Now, I AM Happy, All The Day. Every Day.

Jesus knew the Cross was getting nearer, and as it weighed upon His precious soul, so His message of the Kingdom grew more intense. The heart’s desire of the Lord of life is that, not just the Nation of Israel be turned in repentance back to their God, but the whole world come to know the offer of Salvation. The Nations will put their hope in Jesus.

 Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 12:18-21  “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. 19  He will not quarrel or cry out; no-one will hear his voice in the streets. 20  A bruised reed he will not break, and a smouldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. 21  In his name the nations will put their hope.”

These two passages above show us a definite full-stop, a switch in the message Jesus is giving. Up to this point the Lord Jesus and all God’s messengers had been teaching; “Repent, the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Having presented His CV as the Messiah and been rejected by the majority of religious leadership of the Nation. These cities which have been mentioned in chapter 11 of Matthew, turned their backs on Him, and so had Jerusalem. Now the Lord turns His back upon the nation of Israel, no longer presenting to them the Kingdom. He is on His way to the cross, and His invitation is to the individual and to the whole world. Listen to Jesus crying out:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30.

This language is in stark contrast to what Jesus had been proclaiming in the rest of this chapter. And from that point on Jesus is headed for the Cross and instead of focusing upon the Nation, he’s revealing the Kingdom of God to the individual and to the world.

My friends, it’s really windy out this morning, I love it, but I had to hang onto my hat it’s just so strong. When we come into the warm from such a blustery storm, it’s amazing how warm the house seems, how calm when you can’t hear the raging of the wind.

The change in Jesus message is just like that; It is like coming out of a winter blizzard into the warmth of a spring day. Just like passing from a raging storm into a sea of calm. It’s like going from the darkness of night, into brightness of daylight. This is the same message from Jesus, but presented in a radical new way; He’d switched from a National perspective to a new message for the Individual. He changes from speaking to everyone in the Nation of Israel to EVERYONE in the WORLD. It is no longer the national announcement about a Messianic Kingdom but a personal invitation for everybody to find the much needed “rest” of Salvation.

When Jesus speaks of being “heavy laden,” He is referring to the individual being burdened with sin. “I will give you rest” Jesus is the one who will enable you to find rest from your struggle to be good.

This same idea and focus is used by Isaiah and the Psalmist:

Isaiah 1:4 (NLT) “Oh, what a sinful nation they are— loaded down with a burden of guilt. They are evil people, corrupt children who have rejected the LORD. They have despised the Holy One of Israel and turned their backs on him.”

Look back at chapter 11 of Matthew and you’ll see Jesus crying out to those Cities where He’d performed Miracles and they’d not REPENTED,  they’d not received the Message of the Kingdom.

Psalm 38:4 (NLT) “My guilt overwhelms me— it is a burden too heavy to bear.”

So when Jesus is crying out to everyone, come to ME ALL you who are weary of carrying your load of sin and I will give you rest from your struggle to try and be good, I will lift your heavy burden of sin.

My friends, sin is way too heavy a burden for you to keep carrying all your life. When you try and lift things that are too heavy for you, you can give yourself a hernia, and trying to live righteously without coming first to Jesus Christ to have the burden lifted is the exact same, you’ll really get a spiritual hernia if you try to carry your load of sin yourself.

The only place in this world to put that heavy unbearable burden of sin is at the Cross of Jesus Christ. When He died there, He bore your sin and took it away from you onto Himself. Now He invites you individually and the whole world to come individually  bringing your burdens of sin to Him. Jesus can forgive you because on the cross He bore the burden of sin for you and for everyone else in the world.

 But we must respond to Jesus Invitation:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” This is referring to the Salvation of the sinner through Jesus Christ. But the next phrase of Jesus, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” is referring to the practical sanctification of the believer.

Oh WOWzer! I’ve just come back into the study after a short break from writing this, and I’ve seen the LIGHT. What a glorious sunrise, great colours in the sky and clouds. The storm is still raging, but the sky is full of light. The LORD spoke to me, “That’s what it’s like for those who follow me, there is a storm still raging, but there’s more light than they can imagine for their souls”.

Jesus REST

There is a REST that Jesus gives, and it is the rest of Redemption and Salvation from the heavy burden of sin.

There is also a REST which the Believer Experiences, and it comes through; conversion, commitment and consecration of our lives to Jesus Christ. You don’t have to struggle to be Holy any more, because Jesus, with the help of God’s Holy Spirit, will enable you, but your part is to stay close to the vine, remain in Christ, to remain committed to living for Jesus, to be willing to submit to His burden of obedience to His commands. Remember what Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and My burden is light”.  Yes you will probably fall from time to time, but Jesus transforms your heart’s desires. Once He’s lifted your heavy load of sin from your shoulders and carried them to the Cross for you, you will not have to struggle ever again when you are in Him and He is in you.

 The VAST Majority Are NOT burdened with sin:

We go out every week and share the Gospel with people on the streets, the vast majority are NOT burdened by their sins, they don’t care, they love sin and don’t want to hear about it. They’re happy to be without church, Jesus or religion. They’ll happily declare and some quite loudly, “I’m NOT religious”, what they’re saying is, “I don’t need someone telling me how to live.” and “I don’t want a God in the sky, who’s trying to control my life”… That’s why they need to hear the LAW of God before we share the GRACE of the Cross of Christ.

 It’s Un-regenerate believers in Jesus who are burdened with sin:

It’s my experience that those who are burdened with sin are those who believe in Jesus, but have not yet been converted, regenerated or born again of God’s Holy Spirit.

Yes they believe all the tenets of the Christian faith, they’ll willingly ascent to the creeds, but it’s all head knowledge, because they’ve not got to the point of letting go of their burden of sin and receiving Jesus as their Lord. It’s a simple transaction, but so many have not taken that step of faith.

How have they come so far and a yet so far away?

Because they may have responded to a ‘false’ gospel. One that says “Simply Believe in Jesus and you are a Christian.” Without REPENTANCE and without RECEIVING Jesus Christ as LORD, we’re still in our sins no matter how much we believe in Him.

They’ll come in with their burden of sin, they’ll say confession in church, recite the creed and even receive Holy Communion, then they’ll walk out with their burden of sin still on their back. They are still trying with all their own strength to be good enough. It’s those un-regenerate believers in Jesus who’ve not been converted my friends, they are the ones who feel the burden of sin. They are like the Nation of Israel who had ‘religion’, but who didn’t know the Saviour and rejected the Messiah.

We must preach, preach and preach again CONVERSION: IT’S the GOSPEL that leads sinners to repent of their sins and trust the Saviour. It’s the Holy Spirit who works on their hearts to enable them to feel the heavy load of sin, and it’s the law that leads people to an awareness of their need of a Saviour. However, until they come to Jesus and finally put their trust in Him for their Salvation, turning away from sin in repentance and from their own efforts to be good enough, realising that they can’t do a thing to shift the heavy load, they’ll finally dump their burden of sin at the cross. At the Cross, At THE CROSS.

I love that old hymn: At the Cross, at the Cross… but we often miss out the most powerful first verse these days and just begin with the chorus, we’re happy to think of the cross, but not the conversion from sin that’s needed. Isaac Watts who wrote the hymn, knew what he needed to do to have the burden of sin lifted by the Lord Jesus Christ.

 Alas! and did my Savior bleed

And did my Sov’reign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Refrain:
At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give myself away,
’Tis all that I can do.

Refrain;

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Author: Isaac Watts (The Scientist and Inventor of the Steam Engine).

My heart’s plea and the LORD’S today, is that you, you who are reading this, you who may believe in Jesus, but are still burdened with sin, will come and be converted, changed, transformed and translated from darkness into the glorious light. Your burden will be lifted once you trust the Saviour and take Him as your Lord.

Matthew 11:28-30  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I shared on Saturday at the Wedding in St Luke’s how people believe that Jesus died for them, but the vast majority of those who believe this, have NEVER been born of God’s Spirit, because they’ve NOT Repented, Trusted and Recieved The Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. All the right belief in the world will count for nothing when we stand before the judgement seat of Christ and He says, “Depart from me, I never knew you”…

Matthew 7:21-23 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!’

My friends, do you know Christ? Does Christ know you? Do you know Him as your LORD? Is Jesus Christ your Saviour? Come to the Cross of Christ and let Jesus remove your burden of sin, of guilt and of shame, then you’ll be able to enjoy the Son’s Light and “BE HAPPY ALL THE DAY”.

AT THE CROSS, AT THE CROSS.

You believe that Jesus died for you, good and so you should, but Satan also knows this, but he’s not turned in repentance, he’s still a rebel against the cause of Christ. You must believe and repent and trust and take Jesus as your Saviour. Believe, Repent, Receive.

Stay blessed and keep close to Jesus today.

Don.

 

A Simple Prayer:

  • Lord Jesus Christ, I believe that you died upon the Cross for my sins.
  • I know that I’ve broken your Holy Law revealed in the Commandments, that you died there so that my heavy burden of sin could be lifted from me and transferred onto You.
  • I turn now from all sin in my life and trust in Your amazing grace and ask for Your forgiveness.
  • I receive You, Lord Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.
  • I believe that You will send the Holy Spirit and give me new birth, new life and everlasting life.
  • Please help me now Lord Jesus to live from now on for You and I want to serve in Your Kingdom.
  • Help me to find fellowship with other Christians.
  • I’m going to read and feed upon Your Word every day. Please open up the pages of the Bible by Your Spirit Lord, so that I can understand and apply them to my own life.
  • In your most blessed and Holy Name I pray, Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

If you prayed that prayer, let us know by leaving a message here or on our Facebook Page, we’d love to be praying for you. It’s good that Christians or those who think they are Christians, re-visit this kind of prayer regularly, to remind ourselves of our commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ and His commitment to us. Read John’s Gospel today.

At The Cross, At The Cross.

 

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.

 

An Anchor For Your Soul

Daily Spirit & Word, 459: An Anchor for Your Soul.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #5 God’s Word in your heart is like an anchor for your soul.

You know the old Hymn: “Will Your Anchor Hold”?

We have an anchor that keeps the soul

Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,

Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,

Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

That Question: Will your anchor hold? Will you remain steadfast following the Lord through all the storms and waves and temptations of this life?

 An good, heavy anchor can hold a mighty ship when the storms come.

Fastened to the Rock: The rock that the Hymn is talking about is Jesus Christ. The Bible reveals that He was the ‘rock in the wilderness’ that Moses struck to get water for the people of Israel in the desert, He was also the rock that Moses was placed in a crevice by the LORD as He passed Moses by. Jesus is the rock that makes men stumble, He’s the Cornerstone of the building. Is Jesus YOUR Rock today. Are you holding onto Him as a ship’s anchor does to the rocks at the bottom of the sea. A ship depended upon the anchor getting a good grip upon the rocks.

John W. Crawford wrote in Discipleship Journal;

“When I was in the Navy, one of the games played aboard ship was the anchor pool. Each participating sailor would put in his money and guess what time we would drop anchor as we came into port. The exact time was always recorded in the ship’s log, and the closest guesser would win the pool.

It seemed innocent enough at the time, and my shipmates would encourage me to join in–”Ah, Crawford, be a sport.” I realized later that they couldn’t care less about me being a sport; they wanted my money. But I decided I would not get involved, and I memorized some passages to strengthen my conviction.

One was Proverbs 13:11–”Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished; but he that gathereth by labour shall increase.”

Another was Proverbs 23:5–”Wilt thou set thine eyes upon that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; they fly away, as an eagle toward heaven.” Not only was it wrong to win money by gambling, but I wouldn’t be able to keep it anyway.”  “An Anchor for Your Heart.” by John W. Crawford Discipleship Journal Issue #9 May/June 1982.

THE GREAT HABIT OF EMBEDDING GOD’S WORD:

My friends, when we get into the GREAT HABIT of Embedding God’s Word in our hearts the way John Crawford did, we’ll be fast-tracking our way to Christian Spiritual Maturity.

Robert Morgan said, “The practice of memorizing and meditating on the Bible is the primary way to accelerate spiritual growth in your life. It speeds up the transformation process and leads to holier habits. After all, spiritual maturity is simply thinking more as God thinks; so as we implant His thoughts into our minds, using Scripture memory, and as we use the process of meditation to convert those verses into regular thought patterns, we’re developing the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5), yielding mature thoughts, pure habits, and holier lives. The psalmist said, “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11 NKJV).” From; “100 Bible Verses Everyone Should Know by Heart.” by Robert J Morgan.

So we’ll become more like Jesus the more we know and think like Him. Spending precious time in His presence and in His Word will produce spiritual growth. I’ve seen this in many people over the years since I’ve been following the Lord Jesus. So many of my friends have fallen back into the world, given into sin, self and the world’s ways of living. Having talked, counselled and challenged many of them, I’ve become convinced of this; It’s because they left off personal time with Jesus, they didn’t get into God’s Word and they didn’t get God’s Word into their hearts or heads.

There have been times when I’ve stopped my daily time with Jesus, either through work of pressures in life, each time I have, I’ve felt the tendency and temptation to fall away increase. Thankfully, Jesus doesn’t leave me alone too long and by His Holy Spirit, He brings conviction and reveals what’s happened and leads me back into the narrow way.

Having served in the Royal Navy on Ships and Submarines, I love the Bible’s naval terminology, I love the old hymns that speak of anchors, storms of life, waves, billows, etc… They speak to me because I’ve experienced them and they do help to keep me on the Lord’s narrow pathway that leads to eternal life.

 Part ll of “Will Your Anchor Hold? on Monday.

Have an awesome Saturday with your family, friends, fellowship and the Lord.

Sunday is the Lord’s Day: Don’t neglect the gathering of the Saints as some are in the habit of doing and have shipwrecked their faith.

Every blessing in Jesus name,

Don.

Do All Religions Lead To God?

Daily Spirit & Word, 441: “Do All Religions Lead To God?”.

 

Do ALL Religions Lead To God?
Do ALL Religions Lead To God?

Daily Spirit & Word, 441: Do ALL Religions Lead To God?

Questions & Objections to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Good morning my friends, I thought I’d start a week thinking through some of the common objections and questions that people have, give or say when we are out sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We go out each week onto the streets of London and we talk to all kinds of people. London, believe it or not, is a very ‘religious’ place, because almost every week we encounter folks who follow lots of different religions and faiths. This makes sharing Jesus challenging, exciting and sometimes perplexing, but definitely always interesting, because people have strongly held beliefs. But there are many we come across, probably the majority, who believe in God’s existence, but don’t follow any one particular path or religious sect.

London is a VERY religious place.

The reasons for that are many. London is a hub of peoples from all over the world so many come with their own religious traditions; we’ve got people from Poland who tend to be nominal Roman Catholics. I say nominal because they are normally baptised as babies, but don’t continue to follow the faith or do so quite sporadically. Chinese people who follow Pagan ancestral worship, Buddhism and some Christians (these are the folks we’ve met, but I know there are many more religions in China). We’ve met Muslims from many nations and they’ll even say to us; “We must be tolerant of one another, because we all worship the same God”… But we’ve met other Muslims who believe that ‘Allah’ revealed through the teachings of their Prophet Mohammed is the only way.

So to answer the question: Do All Religions Lead To God? We first need to consider the statement is normally given in response to our sharing about Jesus with folks. You see we don’t normally get to the point of someone saying “All religions lead to God” immediately, it comes after we’ve talked about Jesus or the Christian faith for a while. The reason people are responding with the statement is because they are like a fish wriggling on the fishing line. When you catch a fish with the bait of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, they normally put up a strong fight, sometimes all the way, until they are landed safely on the bank and in the net. They’ll often-times only give up the struggle when you’ve knocked them on the head with a fisherman’s knock 🙂 But we don’t do that with those we hope to win to Jesus.

When you catch a fish on the hook baited with the Gospel, they’ll normally put up a fight. No fish wants to be landed 🙂

What’s the REAL problem for the FISH that’s wriggling against the tug of the Gospel? We’ve normally presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ by that stage, and though they can see and understand the good news of Jesus, they’re still not prepared to come to the Saviour. They’ve understood what Jesus did upon the Cross and how He died there for their sins, because we’ve taken time to show a person how they’ve offended against a Holy God by breaking His commandments. They’ve admitted to themselves, that they’d be in deep trouble if they were to die and face a Holy Just and Righteous God on Judgement Day. We’ve shown them that Jesus is the answer to the dilema of sin, He’s the solution for Mankind’s SIN problem. But they want it to be more open than that, their thinking is; “It’s too narrow, it’s too dogmatic, there must be another valid way of being saved other than Jesus or the vast majority of people in the world will be condemned to eternal torment in Hell”…

Also, they’ve been raised in an Education system that devotes a great deal of time and teaching on being tolerant of other people’s faiths and beliefs, the end result is that we’ve raised a few generations of people in the UK now, who believe there is NO one way, that all faiths must be respected and that ultimately leads to the majority thinking that all faiths MUST lead to God.

Some believe that being ‘Sincere’ in what you believe is what’s most important to God. They believe that a genuinely ‘sincere’ person will be welcomed into Heaven, because they’ve been sincere about the religion they’ve been taught since a baby.

There is also a big problem of not wanting to offend family, friends and country; If they were to accept that Jesus is the only way to God, they’d loose out big time, some would be rejected or shunned by those they love the most in life, if they trusted in Jesus Christ. In some places in the world they would be in danger of loosing their lives if they converted to Christianity from another religion.

So they’ll say, “All religions lead to God”: because they don’t want to offend others, they want to appear open-minded and tolerant or because they want to stick with what’s become familiar or for fear of what might happen to them.

Another abjection to the Gospel we’ll hear often is, “People should be left to choose their own way and make up their own mind”. This is the objection of ‘Free Choice’. Yes my friends we too agree with you on that one, and so does God. That’s why He will not force anyone to accept Jesus. No one can make another person become a Christian; Evangelists can’t neither can; Priests, Popes or Pastors. They can’t make people into Christians just by baptising them in water or by being religious or by making them attend church. God will not force people to be saved against their wills, but He will hold them to account and they will be responsible for their freedom of choice, so we have an human, loving, responsibility to show them the error of this kind of thinking. You ARE free to choose, but you’d better make certain you choose the right one or the right way, because your eternal destiny is at stake.

These arguments and objections to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the fact that He is the ONLY way to heaven are just ways of trying to evade the need of commitment to one way or one person. You can sometimes see what’s happening, the fish get uncomfortable and wriggle harder close to the point of submission and being landed on the shore. Their flawed thinking is that by saying these things it allows them some wriggling room, some way of evading the hard choice of responding and being committed to Jesus Christ.

Therefore, How can a Christian land and net this wriggly fish?
I think it is wise to admit that God can and does give people the light of His self-revelation, to know that there is a God who created everything and that people respond to that revelation by being religious and worshipping. However, what people normally worship in response to God’s self-revelation, is man-made religious rules and regulations. Or they’ll often worship what’s been created by God instead of God Himself: The Bible calls that Idolatry – it’s making a god to suit yourself.

Did you know that the statement “All Religions Lead To God” is a form of idolatry too? Because we’re saying something about the God of the Bible that’s NOT true, in a way we’re making a god that we’re comfortable with, that doesn’t demand too much from us and that ultimately will accept people no matter what they believe.

Does it matter what people believe? Are there others ways of being SAVED from God’s wrath and anger against sin and rebellion apart from Jesus Christ? Is it too narrow-minded to declare that Jesus is the ONLY way of Salvation for human beings today?

DEBATE: It’s good to debate with people and get their viewpoints, it’s interesting to hear what they are thinking in regards to faith and religion and to know what path they are currently following. But when you get to this point and they say; “All Religions Lead To God”… What are you going to say to help them see the error of that kind of thinking?

Remember first; we’re in good company, because the Apostle Paul often debated with people in the streets about faith and trust in the LORD Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself was out and about with the people, doing exactly what He’s called Christians to be doing: Sharing the Message of the Kingdom and how people can know God for themselves today.

Secondly: Admit that what they say would be really nice. If all religions really lead to God, then we wouldn’t be out on the streets telling people about Jesus Christ, because if what they are saying is true, then we could just leave people alone and let them be comfortable with their decision that no matter what you believe, God will let you into Heaven.

Thirdly: The REALITY: Every religion teaches a different way to God, so they can’t ALL be right. You could ask the person who says this too you; “All Religions Lead To God” you can respond with, “That’s really interesting, what teaching in each religion leads people of all religions to the same God?” They’ve responded to me by saying things like, “Most religions offer peace and harmony and tolerance and being a good person” That’s right they do, but is that enough to satisfy God?

You see Christianity teaches that we can never be good enough to enter into heaven, no matter how hard we try.

Some will say that the Ten Commandments revealed in most religions are the way to be saved, but we then gently show people that following the Ten Commandments just leaves every single person on the earth condemned, because no one has ever kept all of them and God’s standards of holiness and perfection are just too hard and impossible achieve. Most religions teachings and that of Jesus on goodness overlap, but Jesus always goes further than every other religion in the world. He says, “be perfect as my father in Heaven is perfect.” None of us can be perfect and we are all left failing and condemned because we’ve not obeyed the Ten Commandments.

Once they understand the difference between Christianity and every other religion, they are ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that Jesus died to make it possible for people of all faiths and none to be saved from God’s wrath and anger against sin. It’s not too narrow to show people Jesus is the only way, when you know that what they are believing will leave them condemned by God and on their way to certain judgement. The loving thing to do is to show people the folly of their thinking; “All Religions Lead To God”, and showing them the TRUTH; “ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE YOU”.

Winning An Argument: My friends, when we engage people with the Gospel, we’re not out to win arguments with people, we’re not going out to brow-beat people into submission, we’re going out to win people for Jesus Christ and His love compels us to reach out and save them. God wants all people to be saved, but He’ll not force them and neither should we. If we win an argument we can loose a friend for life. We’re going out to share and we must depend upon the Holy Spirit to guide us, lead us in conversations, because every individual is different and though they sometimes say the same old things, their thinking and beliefs about them can be as varied as the colours on a black-bird’s wings.

We know that Jesus is the only way, because we know Jesus. He’s revealed Himself to us and brought us out of darkness into His marvellous light. We know that all other religions are false, but we must be gentle with folks who hold fast to the faith of their fathers, who have no faith at all and who doubt the very existence of God. When they say, “All Religions Lead To God”, that’s their safety net, but with gentle persuasion and revelation of truth in humility, hopefully in God’s good timing, they’ll see, they know and they’ll understand that what we were telling them was TRUE.

My friends, look carefully at what Jesus said about Himself being the ONLY way to Heaven.
John 14:5-14
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.
7 If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves.
12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

And that one day, every KNEE will bow to Jesus.
Philippians 2:9-11
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

You’ll not convince anyone of these truths without first ploughing up their hard hearts with the revelation that comes from sharing the LAW of God, revealed in the Ten Commandments, because they show everyone of every faith that we all need a Saviour. The LAW is a Schoolmaster who teaches us our need for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrificial death in our place upon the Cross for sin.

Don’t be afraid of the objection or statement, “ALL RELIGIONS LEAD TO GOD”, because God will equip you by His Holy Spirit to enable you to demonstrate the folly of that kind of thinking.

Have and AWESOME Monday and a whole week of SOAKING yourself in God’s Word and Truth.
Don.

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Recommended Reading:

For more information on why there are so many religions in the world and an answere to the question; “Do all religions lead to God?” A great source of information is Got Questions Website. Enjoy the extended reading. May the LORD bless you. Don.