Daily Spirit & Word: 817: Longing to be at the FEET of Jesus.
Mary and Martha.
“Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things,”
Good morning my friends, last night’s Christmas Feast Carols Rehearsal was wonderful. Although I was tired, with puffy eyes, those voices and the songs lifted my spirit and encouraged me to worship the LORD again.
Look at my Puffy Eyes 🙂
I was reminded this morning of something I shared yesterday about Mary and Martha, so decided to look at these sisters in the Bible. Do you know that every time Mary is mentioned, she’s at the feet of Jesus. It’s so important that we keep our daily time with Him. Just being in the LORD’s presence for a while each day, will transform your life. Martha is the practical one.
Luke 10:38-42 (NIV) 38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
That little family at Bethany was very dear to our Lord Jesus, he loved Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus (John 11:1-5).
We are given three wonderful insights into Mary, Martha, and Lazarus (Luke 10:38-42; John 11; John 12:1-11). Each time you’ll find Mary in the same place: AT JESUS FEET.
Martha, however, is the practical one, always ready to serve the Lord. But, when she complained to the Lord about her sister, she was told in no uncertain terms, that Mary had chosen what was best, to be at Jesus’ feet listening and learning. It wasn’t wrong for Martha to prepare a meal, everybody has to eat sometimes; but it was wrong for her to be so preoccupied with it, that she began to criticise someone else for not working with her, she should have just got on with the work she felt she had to do.
However, we’re given an insight into Martha too, her labour had become a “burden”, but the LORD had even more insight than that, he revealed she was “Burdened by many things”: Perhaps that Mary was not helping Martha was just the straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back, she snapped at Mary. It is annoying when we’re doing stuff and everybody else is just sitting around chatting and not bothering to help. However, we always need to be asking ourselves, “Why am I doing this?” If it’s to serve the LORD from right motives, what anyone else is doing won’t even bother us.
EXPLOSIONS DO HAPPEN:
The Straw That Broke The Camel’s Back
I’ve noticed that too, sometimes people will explode at something that seems insignificant, but that little things is just the tip of the iceberg of burdens, and they can’t take any-more. Sometimes, when someone we know and love explodes like that, we need to button-it, give them a hug and some encouragement. They are often BURDENED by many more things than the thing they’ve erupted over.
Jesus knew that Martha was “anxious and troubled by MANY things” as she tried to serve the Lord. When we’re serving Jesus, it seems that SATAN loves it when TROUBLES come and tries to cause even more division and troubles.
Had it not been for the LORD’S intervention that day, perhaps Mary and Martha could have had a big fall-out and not talked to each other for a long time. I’ve seen families like that, falling out over something so small, but PRIDE gets hurt and families get divided.
Whilst Martha was pre-occupied, Mary was focused: She was focused and fascinated by and with Jesus. I’ve no doubt that Mary longed to serve the LORD too, and she did. However, Martha was preoccupied and that clouded her vision.
What we do with Christ is far more important than what we do for Christ, because when we are in submission, at the feet of Jesus, listening and learning from the Master, this will lead us towards even greater obedience and service.
We can check our heart today: Am I ready to be with Jesus, to sit at His feet and worship, learn and obey Him?
We can check our heart today: Am I serving the LORD? really serving Him? or has my service turned into something else?
We can check our heart today: Am I pre-occupied and burdened by many things? Let’s before we explode at someone else, get those burdens lifted from off our shoulders by Jesus.
COME LIKE MARY: To the FEET of Jesus.
I love Jesus invitation to come into His presence:
Matthew 11:27-30 (NIV) 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. 28 “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.”
If you are weary and burdened or upset about many things like Martha, then come like Mary and sit at the feet of Jesus for a while. You’ll discover those burdens have been lifted from off your shoulders. Praise the LORD!
Let’s come to Jesus afresh before the Weekend is upon us.
Let’s come to Jesus and unload our burdens.
Let’s come to Jesus and REST,
Let’s come to Jesus and learn from Him,
Let’s come to Jesus and receive His easy yoke and light burden. Amen!
Be blessed and have an awesome Weekend with Jesus,
Daily Spirit & Word: 816: Maintaining The LINKS of LOVE.
Hearing the WORD and Doing the Word.
Maintaining the LINK: between:
Internal Spiritual Development (Spiritual Growth) = (POWER). Intimacy with God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
External Practical / Ministry Development = (IMPACT). Obediently Serving the Lord in the POWER of the Holy Spirit.
(True Discipleship is always BOTH: Hearing and Doing: Power and Impact. Comes from Intimacy and Service).
God wants you to be Spiritually Fruitful.
Good morning my friends, How’s your GOOD WORKS going?
I was challenged the other day by a Bible verse about not just knowing Jesus and learning all about His commands and teachings, but putting them into practice in my daily life. You see I love nothing more than getting into deep Bible study, but actually going out and serving and being humble and gentle and loving and kind in the world, that’s difficult bit. But I’ve also come to realise that if I’m not doing what I’m learning, then I’ll lack the impact in this world for Jesus.
The Wise and Foolish Builders: Hearing & Doing God’s Word.
Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV) 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The Apostle James said something similar to His Lord Jesus Christ, James 1:19-27. Perhaps after years of being a Disciple of the LORD he’d learned the hard way to put into practice the teachings of Jesus. (See James quote at bottom of page).
GETTING IT WRONG:
And one of the most common Christian discipleship problems today is related to the splitting-up of these two areas of development: Spiritual Growth and Ministry Growth.
Many churches are very good at hear-the-word discipleship, which they quite rightly consider to be very important, but they neglect the kind of do-the-word discipleship that God intends to flow from or follow on from our hearing the Word, E.G. They might consider feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners or sheltering the homeless to be less important than one’s fellowship group, discipleship class, church attendance, or prayer life and personal daily devotions.
What happens when we do this? When all we focus on is internal spiritual development but we fail to do external ministry? The results will be that We lack impact. Christ wants us to impact the world for Jesus and His Kingdom, because He wants His Kingdom to grow, but when we separate (BREAK THE LINK) both the hearing and the doing of the Word, we can’t make the IMPACT Jesus wants for us.
We can’t just swing the other way, either. If all we focus on is external ministry and forget about our spiritual development, we are going to lack the power of Heaven. To get that POWER we need to maintain intimacy with Jesus first.
I’ve seen that happen to very sincere Christian organisations; they start out with a Word from the Lord to help the poor or those in need, but very soon forget all about the spiritual aspects. Prayer, Bible reading and devotion get pushed out because of busy activity, and the focus shifts almost entirely upon serving others. They soon lack the Spiritual POWER and the desire to save souls for Jesus Kingdom. In fact they begin to look down upon those who are engaged in evangelism and the sharing the Word of God, believing that ministry and service is much more important. It gets to be like sticking a plaster over a festering wound and the rot soon sets in.
So it’s always got to be both: Hearing and Doing. Learning from Jesus and putting what we’re learning it into practice.
After every sermon, Bible class or fellowship group, we should be asking the LORD: “OK I understand Your Word Lord, Now, what do you want me to do about this great teaching Lord?”
My granddaughter Aminata was overjoyed when she learned to join her letters together. It’s amazing when children learn to join their letters. She said, “Look Papa, I can do joined up writing”… I said, “That’s fantastic Ami”…
Hearing and Doing the WORD of God is like Joined-Up Discipleship.
We must never separate the two or we’ll fall into these two traps: Legalism (Just being religious and learning as much as we can. With the primary focus on Knowledge and Knowing stuff) or LICENCE (Just running around doing good works, and getting judgemental like Martha, about those who don’t do as much as you. You’ll begin to think that you can earn your place in Heaven by your good works)…
Joined-Up Discipleship is learning to keep both: Hearning & Doing inseparably linked together. (And the two shall become ONE)…
This HEARING & DOING: It’s all summed up in Jesus’ teaching of the Pharisees when they came to test Him. LOVE God and LOVE Neighbour. (The Greatest Commandment). Matthew 7:15-23.
We show that we love God by HEARING His Word (POWER).
We show that we love our Neighbours by DOING His Word (IMPACT).
Quote: “A lot of people mean well, but their meanness is often greater than their wellness.”
The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.
When we’re close to Jesus, learning His teachings, and being submitted enough to actually put those teachings into practice, we’re going to get closer to our neighbours as well, because we’ll want to be doing the good that Jesus has been teaching us.
But there’s more: Praise the LORD: When we put what we know into practice, we’re going to get an even greater insight into all the good things that we have in our relationship with Jesus.
Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV) 4 I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers, 5 because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints. 6 I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. 7 Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.
Can you see the LINK? In Philemon we see the link so clearly, Paul heard about Philemon’s love and faith in the Lord Jesus, and it was evident, he made an IMPACT by his love for all the saints (his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus).
Jesus said, “It’s by your love for one another that people will know you are my disciples”… There’s the LINK: Hearing and Doing… Spiritual Development & Ministry Development.
May you experience Jesus promises of blessings today, that no matter what STORM may come against your HOUSE, (wind and rain: Trials, Temptations, Troubles and Tribulations) you’ll be able to STAND. Because you are being obedient to what you’ve learned in Jesus presence, and you are putting it into practice in your daily life. Amen!
Maintain the LINK between: Hearing & Doing.
JAMES HEARING & DOING
James 1:19-27 (NIV) 19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. 26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Is James also talking about bearing fruits? “By their fruits you will recognise false converts” “False professors of faith”… Matthew 7:15-23. (True and False Converts).
What’s Jesus saying to me today? Think about Mary and Martha: (Luke 10:38-42) They are both SERVING the LORD:
Mary = Getting close to Jesus
Martha = Practical Ministry…
Which one was doing the right thing? Answer = BOTH of them, so don’t look down on the Mary or the Martha.
Jesus is saying to me, “BE a Mary and a Martha”: Hear the WORD of The LORD and SERVE The LORD by Practical Ministry of Serving Others.
The LORD said, “Mary has chosen what is best”… i.e. Getting close to Jesus and listening to his every word. That’s getting the POWER… However, Martha showed the servant’s heart, by opening up her home to Jesus and serving Him and the Disciples. That’s making an IMPACT. It’s got to be BOTH: inseparably linked, joined-up discipleship, hearing and doing. Amen!
PRAYER: Oh Lord, I can see that the Christian Life that You have called me to has got to be balanced between being with You in worship, praise and adoration, in learning and knowing Your will, Your Commands, Your Teachings, then moving out into this world in Devoted and Committed Kingdom Service. Please Lord, give me the deep desire to learn and serve You with joy and gladness. Help me to Love You and Love others and always maintain those links. I know I need the POWER of Heaven in order to be able to SERVE You in this way, so please send the Holy Spirit afresh into my heart, mind and soul to give me the strength to serve You and build your Kingdom. Amen!
It’s the most wonderful night of the year, an extra hour in bed, because the clocks go back an hour, but will you get a good night’s sleep? When that night comes don’t you just love having that EXTRA hour?
I’ve been thinking about that word, EXTRA:
“EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT” That’s what Newspaper Sellers used to shout. As if we’d want that newspaper over and above the others because we’re getting something EXTRA.
But what does EXTRA mean?
EXTRA = More, than is needed, desired or required. More is added than should be measured. More than you’d normally get.
When we hear the word EXTRA, we think MORE often we think “More for FREE“…
In shops you’ll see on a packet of Cornflakes “An EXTRA 10% Free”.
“WOWzer! That’s awesome, an extra 10% for FREE, give me two packets”. 🙂
EXTRA LIFE: For some people, their whole life is consumed with looking for the EXTRA: As if what they’ve been getting is not enough. You know those types of people who hoard stuff, save coupons and get all the bargains with EXTRA to boot?
People want EXTRA: Money in the pay-packets: i.e. a surprise bonus from the boss (Extra Pay).
People want EXTRA: TIME… When the School closes down because of Snow and the kids get an EXTRA day off: Joy. EXTRA time off work. EXTRA time in bed 🙂
People want EXTRA: ??????? What EXTRA do you like to get?
Savings on fuel,
Returns on Tax,
Bigger percentage OFF: Not just 30% but an extra 10% off the normal asking price.
More time on this earth before we need to go into the next life.
NEGATIVE: However, there are Negative Connotations too: EXTRA as in “A minor actor in a crowd scene”… “A subservient part in a play”. An extra on a football team is called a Substitute or Standby.
Today, we’re going to see this in both contexts in our reading of God’s Word from Mark’s Gospel as we continue through chapter by chapter: EXTRA as in more… and EXTRA as in a minor part to play.
Mark 10:32-45 (NIV) 32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?” 39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
First Jesus Prediction of His Death:
Jesus KNEW what was going to happen to Himself. Mark 10:33-34.
33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”
JESUS DIDN’T SHRINK BACK FROM HIS DESTINY. Mark 10:32-34.
Jesus knew what was about to happen, but did He shrink back? Did He try to avoid it? Did He try and change the outcome?
No He did not, notice in our reading, “He’s LEADING THE WAY to Jerusalem” He’s AHEAD of the whole crowd of followers.
It’s like Jesus just can’t wait to get it over with. Jesus wants to complete His mission on the earth. He came to die.
He’s revealed so far in Mark’s Gospel: three times, why He came down from Heaven:
He came to PREACHthe Gospel of the Kingdom: Mark 1:38.
He came to CALLsinners to repentance: Mark 2:17.
He came to DIEa cruel death; betrayal, condemnation, mocked, spat-upon, flogged, killed. Mark 10:33-34.
Jesus Christ knew all of that, and set his heart on fulfilling that mission and completing it in Jerusalem.
“He set his face like flint”
Luke 9:51 (KJV)
51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
Oh yes my friends, Jesus knew and was fully resolved to get His mission done.
2) Second: James and John’s Request.
What would you want to do if Jesus had just revealed to you he’s about to be; BETRAYED, CONDEMNED, MOCKED, SPAT-ON, BEATEN, FLOGGED AND KILLED? I hope that I’d be a bit more sympathetic than James and John, that I’d not be thinking about myself, my desires, my wishes. I hope I’d be thinking about what my Master had just told me would happen to him. Surely normal human compassion, sympathy and empathy would kick in and you’d CARE? Right? Well, that wasn’t the case with James and John.
NO, that’s not what happened: Listen to James and John’s request.
“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
They are NOT thinking about Jesus, about what He’s going to suffer, but about themselves. They are ALL WRAPPED-UP IN SELF.
Imagine that, how insensitive can anyone possibly dare to be?
How would you feel if you’d just related to your best friends or family how you are suffering and they change the subject back onto themselves? I’m sure you be Hurt, right?
You know, some people are following Jesus in that exact same way as James and John today:
They’re following Jesus only because of what they can get out of Him.
People want to be blessed,
People want to be healed,
People want to be happy, successful, rich, powerful, anointed, have a long life and EXTRA years on this earth, and eternal life as well. (It’s like getting a Cornflake Packet that will never run out).
So they start following Jesus for what they think He’ll give them or what they can get EXTRA (Over and above the normal) out of Him. They are not that bothered about what Jesus really wants them to be doing with the rest of their lives. He had a mission Himself, but He’s also got a mission for each and every one of us as well. But sometimes we can’t hear Him because we’re all wrapped up in self, just like James and John. We’re not satisfied with our lot, so we ask Jesus for more.
Today, we’re going to see that Jesus turns ALL of these NOTIONS of EXTRA on their heads.
Jesus asks them a question: Mark 10:36. “What do you want me to do for you?”
It’s like this my friends, “I’ve just told you I’m going to die, but OK what is it that you want?”
They have the EXTREME AUDACITY: To ASK for EXTRA… (Over and above what the other Disciples are getting).
It’s a bit like Oliver, in Oliver Twist, “Please Sir, can I have some more?”
Listen to what they are after my friends, and listen carefully;
Mark 10:37. They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
They want the POSITIONS of HONOUR & GLORY:
They’re still thinking that Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to be crowned KING: When that happens, they want the right and left hand positions when Jesus is on His throne. They’re after; Honour, Glory, Power, Rule, Dominion. To be ABOVE other people: They want to be like KINGS themselves. They didn’t realise yet that before every CROWN of Glory, there’s SUFFERING, SWEAT and TEARS.
SORRY For James and John: I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit sorry for James and John (The Sons of Thunder). They were really THICK…(Thick skinned as well as Thick-headed). Thankfully they were transformed at PENTECOST and that thickness didn’t last too long, they went on to become two of the most beloved and devout Apostles of Jesus Christ. (Read James’ book and all of John’s writings, including Revelation). However, here, at this point in their journey towards glory, they’re really hurtful to Jesus and their fellow Disciples (Mark 10:41). No wonder the others got a bit annoyed with them.
3)Thridly, Jesus tells them about His BAPTISM and His CUP:
His Baptism: He’s talking about the CROSS and DEATH. Luke 12:50 and Psalm 69.
His CUP: Refers to His submission to His Father’s will: Mark 14:36 and John 18:11.
Jesus is determined to go through with it.
He’s asking if they are willing to go through with it too.
They said they would, but they didn’t fully understand what Jesus was talking about. So Jesus knowing their minds are upon earthly things, explains what Kingdom Service under God’s Authority is going to be like.
4) TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP:
So Jesus goes onto explain; TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP: He contrasts it with worldly leadership: Mark 10:42 (LORD it OVER)…
If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you are not going to LORD IT OVER people, instead you’ve got to learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL.
I’ll say that again, “If you want to be GREAT IN GOD’S KINGDOM, then you must learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL”. Mark 10:43.
Do you Remember that Children’s Gospel Song?
Jesus goes on to tell them why?
Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Jesus gave His LIFE: As a RANSOM:
A Ransom: Is the the PAYMENT required to set a slave FREE.
A Ransom: It’s like what you have to PAY a Kidnapper to set their CAPTIVES free.
Jesus death brings freedom in so many different ways;
Freedom from Judgement.
Freedom from Sin,
Freedom from Satan,
Freedom from Fear of Man,
Freedom from Fear of Death,
That’s why Jesus could say, “Know the Truth and the TRUTH will set you FREE”
He also said, “I am the WAY, I am the TRUTH and I am the LIFE.” John 14.
And that is why Jesus came to DIE, that’s why He set his face like flint, to complete His mission in Jerusalem. He died to set us free so that we too could complete the Mission to which He’s called each and every one of us; to be SERVANTS of God and others.
We can forgive James and John, because they didn’t realise that before you can wear the Crown of Glory, you’ve got to Suffer the Cross of service of suffering of sweat and of shame and pain.
Service in God’s Kingdom: Means; Sweating, Self-Sacrifice (Time, Effort, Money,), Sympathy, Empathy (walk in people’s shoes, feel what people feel), Not like James and John who were so wrapped up in themselves they didn’t even take in what Jesus was about to suffer.
Listen to people, listen to their hurts and do whatever you can to life them out of the slippery-pit of despair they’ve fallen into.
Service in God’s Kingdom is NOT an EASY ROAD to GLORY, it’s crowned with the thorns of service along the way.
CAN YOU BEAR TO BE LIKE ‘An Extra’ IN GOD’S KINGDOM SERVICE?
My friends, when we come to Jesus, we really do get EXTRA: More and above what we can ever expect or deserve or imagine.
But, it’s NOT an EXTRA Hour in BED.
However, we don’t FOLLOW Jesus for what we can get out of Him do we? We’re not like that at all, are we? We all want to serve Jesus as SERVANTS don’t we? We’re not like James and John, are we?
No, once we truly come to Jesus, in repentance and faith, we’ll want to serve God the Father, just like He did.
Like the Apostles James and John eventually did:
James was the first Apostle to be a Martyr and
John was put into exile on a Roman Prison Colony on the Island of Patmos. (They did get their own Baptism and their own Cup).
We do want to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom. Of course we do. But to get there we must learn to be; “THE SERVANT OF ALL”…
Before we can wear the CROWN of Glory, we must Endure the Cross of Service: Then we’ll win a Crown and gladly cast it at Jesus feet in His Glory in Heaven.
How is Jesus calling you today? In what ways can you learn to be SERVANT in God’s Kingdom: At home, at work, in your neighbourhood? Is there anything the Boss at work has been asking you to do, that you’ve done begrudgingly? Get Jesus attitude at work as well as in the home and in church, be the SERVANT Jesus wants you to be in the SMALL THINGS and He’ll give you even greater things to do as well.
Is God calling you to EXTRA: Service? (Above and Beyond).
Does He want you to do MORE: in His Kingdom?
I’m sure you’ll be learning: God’s Spirit will be leading, calling, guiding and prompting and equipping you into DEEPER SERVICE in God’s Kingdom.
Have a blessed week with Jesus: Don’t MISS OUT on the EXTRA He’s got in store for you.
Stay close to Him, be filled with Holy Spirit, be blessed,
BTW (By The Way): On Sunday I thought the clocks had gone back one hour, that’s next week 🙂 What an booby I am 🙂 We all make mistakes right? I thought I’d had an extra hour in bed, and I felt fantastic… You know there are thousands of people in this world today who call themselves Atheists, well, could they too be mistaken? Watch Atheism the movie NOW
Yesterday was a dozy of a day. I got ready for the school visit to church, set-up the OHP ready for a powerpoint presentation on the miracles of Jesus. Only to find out after setting it all up that they were not going to show. Ahh Well, that was a good test-run 🙂 LOL.
So I visited a lady in the parish who wanted a thanksgiving for her granddaughter. Then following a long conversation, in which she said, “I’ve been coming to that church longer than you”. Which made me smile inside because I’ve only met her once before. I’ve been at St Luke’s for just over eight years now. However, our conversation ended with one of the best Gospel encounters I’ve ever had. She was ripe and ready for the Good News. God’s timing or what? Please pray, because she wants me to share the Gospel with her daughter this morning.
Then when I was just putting my feet up for the evening I got a call from a distressed lady who was upset because a man, crippled down one side of his body, had been locked out of his apartment by the Landlord. He was sitting outside in the cold. I telephoned a few of the Emergency services, who all said they couldn’t help him. I even phoned the police, but they couldn’t legally do anything either. So in the end, we rang our resident lock-smith who came to the rescue. God sends his angels in all sorts of disguises. We got the man into his flat and he was happy, because now he could get his much needed medications. Then I got a lift back home from the locksmith and we had a little prayer…
Yesterday reminds me that serving Lord Jesus is not always going to be easy or convenient, but it always turns out to be AWESOME.
Mark 7:32 (NIV) “There some people brought to him (Jesus) a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.
That verse today gives us some really helpful instruction about God’s Kind of Kingdom Service: Because you’ll notice in our text five things; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and Scout.
SWEAT: “They brought.” The bringing of that deaf man couldn’t have been easy, it required some effort. “They” That indicates to me we are not always to work alone in God’s Kingdom. We need our brothers and sisters to help too. But bringing him to Jesus was not easy to do, but they did it. Service for God is not always an easy task, it might require some sweat at times. However, when you sweat in Kingdom Service there’s always, always God’s rewards; in this life and in the life to come. Praise the Lord for the privilege of sweating for Him.
SACRIFICE: “They brought.” Kingdom Service often requires a price is paid by the servant. “They” had to give up their own time for this man. Time today is such a hard thing for busy people to find. It might not even be convenient, but it’s always time well spent if you are bringing someone to Jesus. The time and effort to get this deaf and dumb man to Jesus Christ, yielded a miracle for that man. You won’t really be serving very well if you are not willing to pay some kind of price and make a few sacrifices of time and effort and anything else that might be necessary in order to serve in Jesus Kingdom.
SYMPATHY: “They brought that man to Jesus.” Those who brought the deaf and dumb man to Jesus that day had to have compassion for him. They must have known what life was like for that poor man, felt his agony, not being able to communicate. Any kind of Kingdom Service means we’ll soon begin to feel God’s Compassion for the needs of others. We all know that it was God’s compassion for us, his love and mercy that moved him to send Jesus to die. No one has ever had more sympathy or compassion for anyone than God, “for God so loved the world that He sent His One and Only Son” (John 3:16). So it shouldn’t surprise us that we’ve got to share in that same kind of sympathy and compassion for others to serve Him.
SKILL: “They brought and begged.” Not everyone has the same skills, talents or abilities. We’ve all got different natural and spiritual gifts, so because we’re not the same, we’ll be able to use the skills that He’s given to us. Your Skill might not be that of an Evangelist, but in your service for Jesus you might simply be able to bring people to church to hear about Christ, letting someone else use their gifts and skills to bring them to faith. My friends, just because you’ve got different skills don’t despise them or get jealous of others. Just use the gifts and skills, passion and compassion He’s given to you. Each and every skill is required in building God’s Kingdom Family.
SCOUT: However, even though you might have different skills, it’s important that you know where Jesus is and how to bring people to Him. Can you be a good Scout to lead people to Jesus? The deaf and dumb man was brought to Jesus Christ. Those people BEGGED Jesus to just touch the man. We can come to Jesus and beg Him to touch those we want to be saved by Jesus. Those Scouts did a good job that day, because only Jesus Christ could help the deaf and dumb man.
Last night, whilst we were waiting for the Locksmith to come, we got chatting with a Cafe owner across the road. Although he was just closing up for the night, he allowed us to sit a wait, he also gave the crippled man some food. It was meant for him, but he had a tooth-ache. I asked if he believed in miracles to which he said he did. I asked, if I could pray. I placed my hand on the side of his face and asked Jesus to take away his toothache. I don’t know if he was cured instantly, but he shook my hand warmly a few times afterwards and helped me across the road with the man.
There’s no one better for you to bring your friends and family. Even complete strangers need you to show Jesus kind of compassion. The Lord Jesus knows the best ways how to meet all their needs. Be a good Scout for Jesus and beg Him to come and touch your friends.
You know my friends, this world will take people everywhere and to every kind of expert, sometimes they can help, but like last night, it’s ONLY Jesus who really knows what is best for them. Be like those people in Mark’s Gospel, who made a decision that day to take a deaf and dumb man to Jesus and begged Him to touch the man. He did, and he got his miracle.
Do all you can to bring your friends to Jesus Christ: it might involve some; Sweat, Sacrifice, Sympathy, Skill and the ability to Scout out Jesus for them. However, the rewards of Kingdom Service are totally awesome. I’m sure we’re going to see so many fantastic miracles in that kind of Kingdom Service. Amen!
Be blessed today, stay close to Jesus and be filled afresh with Holy Spirit for His Kingdom Service.
Daily Spirit & Word: 790: When You Are Grateful Because Of God’s Calling.
Good morning my friends, it’s been an awesome week of ministry, service and witness for the Lord Jesus.
There have been high moments, like getting a call-back from someone we met while out witnessing on the streets, then low moments when you hear some heart-breaking news the very next day. It all makes me think back to the time when I knew the Lord was calling me into the ministry and how unworthy I felt. I was so convinced of my own unworthiness, that I wanted just one minister who was already ordained to tell me I was just dreaming, that I’d never be able to live up to that calling. However, in my quest to find that all I got was, “I think He may be calling you Donald”. I asked a Church of England Priest with whom I’d had regular debates (some bordering on arguments), The Venerable Reg said, “I was wondering when you’d come to me and ask me that question”. He was convinced it was God. I then went to the Church of Scotland Chaplain, I was sure he’d say yes, but I wanted to hear it from his mouth. “He was so overjoyed, Malcolm lifted me off my feet, gave me a great bear-hug and said, “Oh yes! I know He’s calling you Don”. When I telephoned my own minister back home to ask, he almost burst into tears on the other end of the phone.
Yet that feeling of not being worthy, of feeling insecure, of not knowing enough, never left me, but then it hit me, if I ever felt able then I’d not be depending on the Lord for His strength but on my own; knowledge, experience and ability.
You see my friends, I didn’t realise it at the time, but when I felt how unworthy and ill equipped I was, I was in good company. How refreshing it is now to know that thousands of ministers, in fact most genuine Christians, who’ve felt God’s call to come and serve Him, feel the same thing.
Moses felt unworthy and ill equipped.
Gideon was so sure he wasn’t the man, he put out a fleece.
However, it not until you get to the great apostle Paul in the New Testament that you get a full picture of how unworthy anyone has ever felt;
Listen to Paul’s gratitude towards the LORD:
1 Timothy 1:12-16 (NIV) 12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.
So my friends, if ever you feel God’s calling you to do something for Him, but don’t feel up-to the task, you are in great company.
Many of the greatest saints of old, have experienced the same feelings of unworthiness.
The TRUTH: We are unworthy, we are all sinners, we were dirty, naked, blind, foolish, blasphemous, ignorant; until the LORD opened our eyes and let us see the amazing mercy and grace of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How we can be washed clean, made pure, made holy, gifted for service and equipped with the power of Heaven.
It’s Jesus, by His Holy Spirit, who takes us and shapes us for His service.
Just look how Moses, Gideon and Paul turned out; each in their own time shook the world with their devotion to and love for the LORD.
They all maintained their walk with the LORD through intimacy with Him. Spending time in God’s presence.
My friends, when you feel God’s call, get into the presence of Jesus, pray, praise, worship and let His WORD soak into your soul. Because when you do, He’ll transform you more and more into His own likeness. He’ll fill you with His deep love for those in the world who don’t know Him yet. He’ll give you everything you need to be able to serve Him.
Moses, Gideon and Paul all felt unworthy and ill-equipped because they were unworthy. They’d all sinned and fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, but through His mercy and grace God called and equipped them for His service. He’s calling you too.
Brothers and Sisters For The Work:
It’s also obvious, that Moses, Gideon and Paul had companions for the work the Lord called them to do. They would not have been able to accomplish much without them. Moses had Aaron and Joshua, Gideon had thousands, but the Lord whittled it down to 300. Paul had many who joined him in spreading the Good News of Jesus; Barnabas, Lydia, Timothy, Mark, etc… And I’ve also had great brothers and sisters in the Lord wherever I’ve been since I was called to follow Jesus; most recently; Robert and Valerie, David, David, David, Amanda, Pat, Ben and Judy, Sherrie, Isaac and Caroline, Judith, Pam, Gemma, Hayley, George, Prince, Anthony, Marcela, Betty and Budget, Jonathan, Celestin, Lloyd, John and Josie, Maria and Harold and many, many more. Of course I’ve got to mention my wife Julie and our children and grandchildren, what a family. It’s amazing how the LORD sustains us in our calling and keeps us going in His service with great joy and encouragements along the way.
Yes there are hard times, like saying goodbye to Stewart this week, who’s gone to be with the LORD. Getting a call from a distressed person. Visiting a heart-broken person.
Yes there are jubilant times, like hearing how someone is getting a breakthrough in their walk with Jesus.
And there are the slog times, like keeping going at night, when you’ve been up since before dawn, when all you want to do is put your feet up. Sometimes, it’s moments like that you’ll see awesome revelations from the LORD.
It happened to me this week: I was exhausted and ready for my pillow. Walking back home at 10.00pm I bumped into two women we’d witnessed to and prayed for about four months ago. I recognised her by her tattoos. She said, “I’m not pregnant yet, but I’ve got real HOPE in my heart since you prayed”. Even though I was tired, it put a skip into my step on the way home.
When you are feeling weak and unworthy, remember these wonderful verses from God’s Word:
Jesus knows you are not worthy, but He still calls you into His service in His Kingdom. None of us are worthy; Moses wasn’t, Gideon wasn’t worthy, Paul wasn’t worthy, I’m not worthy and neither are you, but He’s calling you into His service in His Kingdom for His Glory.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)
14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.
16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for calling me out of the darkness into your marvellous light. Thank You for the amazing mercy and grace in times of need.
Thank you Jesus that you are calling everyone who knows You as Lord, Saviour, Master and Friend, into full-time service in Your Kingdom.
O LORD, give us all ears to hear Your calling, eyes to see where you want us to serve You, and hands willing to work in obedience. Amen.
Have a blessed weekend my friends,
For those who gather with us in St Luke’s this Sunday: A gentle reminder that it’s Harvest: Please bring something for the Foodbank (They need supplies to give to those who’re going through a time of crisis in their lives). Put any money offerings for Foodbank in an envelope and write “For the work of the Foodbank”.
Some might like to make an offering to the Church: For the ministry of Jesus Kingdom in West Norwood. You can do that this weekend, just put it in an envelope and write; “For St Luke’s Church: Building for Jesus Kingdom”.
Stay close to Jesus, get equipped for Kingdom business,
That’s what some people say, “God’s not just or fair”
Good morning my friends, you’ve probably all heard non-Christians and atheists say, “How can there be a God when there is so much evil, hatred and injustice in this world?” It’s like they are judging God and therefore reason that they don’t need to bother believing in him.
In our verse today, you’ll note that it was a constant complaint of the Israelites about their own God. “God is not fair”
Listen in to what God is saying in response to them:
Ezekiel 18:25-29 (NKJV) 25 “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ Hear now, O house of Israel, is it not My way which is fair, and your ways which are not fair? 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and dies in it, it is because of the iniquity which he has done that he dies. 27 Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness which he committed, and does what is lawful and right, he preserves himself alive. 28 Because he considers and turns away from all the transgressions which he committed, he shall surely live; he shall not die. 29 Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?
In the Hebrew in which the Old Testament was written, the actual word for “fair” used in these verses was “unequal” referring to the unequal scales. Scales were used to measure grain and they were balance scales, when they were balanced a trade was fair and sealed, it’s done because we can see the scales are balanced, but what they are accusing God of is using unbalanced or unequal scales.
However, the LORD turns their argument on it’s head and accuses / complains back to the Israelites:
“It’s YOU who are not fair” or “It’s YOU Israelites who are using unbalanced / unequal scales”.
Both God and Israel are complaining in our passage.
The People said, “The way of the Lord is not fair”…
God responds, “Your ways are not fair”…
This verse is repeated three more times in Ezekiel. It is basically God answering Israel’s complaints and setting the record straight.
Complaint about God. “Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not fair.”
First, it accuses God of being unfair. So the people here are accusing God of being unfair to man, of being unfaithful, untruthful, unjust towards them.
Yet when we look at God’s answer: You’ll note it’s because of the wickedness the Israelites have committed they are suffering.
Do not blame God for all the evil in this world; it is not God’s fault.
Think about Syria, the bombing and destruction, and all those poor people suffering; but when they showed a Christian Minister on the News last night, his church was blown to bit, dust and rubble. Most of the Christians had either been killed or had fled Syria. He remained in the land, but he was not screaming at God or accusing God. All he talked about was PEACE. Christians, Jews and Muslims seemed to get along in Syria for many generations, but now, they are killing the Christians and the Jews, they’ve been driven from the land of Syria or they have been murdered and now the Muslims are bombing each other.
Who’s to blame? It’s NOT GOD!
Sometimes, we do the same things as the Israelites: We may not say it out loud, but we might say it in our attitude or in the ways we serve the Lord.
For example: We know God wants us to live a certain way. We pray and ask God for something. He doesn’t respond as quickly as we’d want Him to. So we drag our feet in our Christian service. We become slack in our worship, praise and adoration of God. Just because He’s not doing things the way we want Him to.
We want God to bless our ways, but He wants us to serve Him always.
Also we cry out to God to bestow financial blessings in our lives, while we are tight and stingy when the offering plate is passed in our gatherings.
One of the ways the LORD has decided to test us is in the way we GIVE: It’s also one of the ways that we can and are encouraged by God to TEST HIM…
My friends, if we are FAIR in the ways we serve the LORD, He will OPEN up Heaven into our lives.
It’s NOT God’s WAYS that are unfair, unjust or unbalanced, but our own.
God doesn’t hate us, He loves us so much, and wants to bless our lives, but; death, destruction, cheating and craftiness are man’s ways; so mankind reaps what he sows.
God Speaking: “Yet the house of Israel says, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, is it not My ways which are fair, and your ways which are not fair?”
Let’s determine in our heart today, to be the people God wants us to be.
He’s revealed in the Bible: “Love your neighbour as yourself”
He’s also revealed: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength”…
When God looks at your life today, will He see you being fair or unjust? Will He see you being; loving, kind, generous, faithful, gentle, good and self-controlled?
From yesterday’s teaching, we know that these things are the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit in our lives. If you are struggling in any of these areas, then God’s got some resourses He’s longing to pour into your life today: The fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit.
I’m praying for all my friends today that God will richly bless you in every way.
I’m also praying you’ll be the joy filled servants of the LORD! That You’ll KNOW God is ALWAYS FAIR.
Psalm 145:17-19 (NIV) 17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving towards all he has made. 18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfils the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
Over the summer we visited lot’s of historical sites, one was the Bluebell Railway. We took a trip on an old steam-train and it was awesome. So many childhood memories flooded back into my mind, things I thought I’d forgotten. Just the smell of the smoke evoked memories of the old railways in Edinburgh and day-trips to Kinghorn and Burnt Island in the 1960s and of course the Forth Railway Bridge.
On the Bluebell line, trains would sit and wait on a sidetrack whilst another train passed, we observed the old fashioned way they changed the tracks by hand, pulling a lever. It got me to thinking about our relationship with Jesus, and how when something happens it is so easy to get sidetracked in our walk with Him.
Getting sidetracked is so easy. As you begin a lifetime of following Jesus, it is important to understand that whatever you do for Him will only be a reflection of the relationship you have with Him. If you want to do great things just like Jesus’ Disciples and the Apostles, and I’m sure you do, then you need to have a great relationship with Jesus like they did. If you want to have a ministry for Jesus that is strong, your relationship with Jesus must be strong.
Getting back on track is just as easy: Jesus is only a prayer away.
Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon…”
After Pentecost, full of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles maintained a daily routine of prayer. They were keeping close to Jesus by gathering for worship and prayer.
Oswald Chambers was a man others recognized as being abandoned to God. He was a Scottish itinerant preacher and Bible college founder. In his early forties he died far away from home in Egypt of a ruptured appendix while ministering to the troops during WWI. His meditations on the Christian life collected in the daily devotional classic “My Utmost for His Highest” have enriched generations of Christians. He deeply understood the essential nature of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus.
J.C.Ryle an Anglican Evangelical Bishop. Knew about Daily Prayer and wrote some of the most powerful books to keep you close to Jesus. I read through a portion of his works every single day whilst at Theological College. It was a tough time, because I had to read so much garbage from liberal theologians and ordained men who didn’t know Jesus personally, but this sound man of God kept me on track with my own walk with Jesus.
Selwyn Hughes: Wrote “Everyday With Jesus”. I got into reading those little daily devotionals when I was a very young Christian in the 1980s, and I can testify they kept me going on track with Jesus. Every day I’d pick up my Bible and the little booklet and read, pray, praise the Lord. Soon I realised it’s much more than reading, but listening and talking with Jesus.
How you serve Jesus is simply an overflow of your time with Jesus.
So my friends, the main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain with Jesus, and the character, power and zeal you’ll have is a by-product of that relationship. That is all God asks us to look after, and it is the one thing that is being continually besieged by all the things that will try and get us sidetracked.
You’ll see, because it’s easy to justify not spending quality time with Jesus, but you’ll also see that not spending time with Him will be equally evident.
STAYING ON TRACK:
The most important thing you will ever do as a Christian is: SPEND TIME WITH JESUS DAILY.
It’s a KINGDOM PRINCIPLE, PRECEPT and PRACTICE.
Your own responsibility in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ to maintain your own personal relationship with the KING. Why? Because nobody else can do it for you. The best question you can ask your brother or sister in Christ is this, “How’s your walk with Jesus?” or “Are you meeting with Jesus every day?” Nothing else really matters, because what we do for Jesus will be shown by how close we are to Him.
I’ve met many Christians who’re struggling with basic things, I’ve counselled so many, but when we take a closer look at how they are spending time with Jesus daily, we’ve found that’s the one thing they’re not maintaining, so problems come. We’ll avoid so much heartache and troubles if we just keep closer to Jesus. He’ll warn us when things are coming our way. He knows the future. He knows the past. He knows everything. You have the privilege of coming to the sourse of the best NEWS you’ll ever hear every day.
But more than that; Jesus wants to talk with you too. He’s waiting for you every day. When you get up and go to Jesus, He’s waiting for you.
How’s your walk and time with Jesus going?
Living for Jesus flows out of your relationship with Jesus.
WARNING: We often get it the other way around.
Notice that the “with Jesus” is the basis of the “for Jesus.”
So often we Christians get so caught up in what we are trying to do for Jesus that we totally overlook the source of power for anything we can do for Jesus, which comes out of who we have become by spending time with Jesus.
I’ve made the mistake so many times of forgetting Jesus. It’s as if we’re serving the LORD but forgetting to involve Him in what we’re doing. Never forget it is Jesus you are living for and serving.
YBH: Yes but HOW?
How do you spend time with Jesus?
It’s not about “Saying Prayers”… “Reading a BOOK” … etc…
If you’ve ever been in a significant relationship, then you’ll know that the strength of your feelings of love, devotion, care and concern are dependent upon how close you feel towards that other person. So many times I’ve heard from couples, “We’ve just drifted apart emotionally”… It’s so true. We stop caring. We stop being concerned about them. We begin to live for ourselves. If that’s true in our earthly relationships, then it’s also true in our Spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. You’ll notice over time that you just don’t care if you don’t spend time. A wake-up call is coming your way if you’re living your Christian life like that.
So you’ll stake everything on maintaining the most important relationship you’ll ever have in life; the one with Jesus Christ.
Make and Keep A TIME with Jesus:
Acts 3:1 (NIV) “One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon.”
Here’s how many Christians do it:
Fix A TIME that’s right for you: I do it first thing every morning. And so did many of the powerful men of God in the past, but I’m aware that might not be the best time for everyone. But FIX a TIME to be with Jesus every day. Don’t let anything push that time with Jesus out of the way. Treat it like an appointment with the Queen or President or Prime Minister. It’s your appointment with the KING of Kings.
Pray, Read God’s Word, Pray, Praise, Sing, Pray, Listen, Meditate upon what you’ve just read; Pray in the Scriptures, Ask Jesus questions about what you’ve just read. Worship and sings songs based upon what you’ve just been reading in God’s Word. Use YouTube and Google to search out songs related to your Bible theme. (The JOY of the LORD is my strength). Read about the Saints who’ve gone before you and how they got on FIRE for Jesus, but more importantly, how they maintained that fire and stayed on-track with Jesus.
Keep a prayer / devotional journal: Write things down. It’s amazing how Jesus brings you back to a prayer you’ve written and shows you how He’s answered it.
As you spend time with Jesus you will be able to do so much for Jesus.
It’s amazing what you can learn from a trip on an old fashioned steam train, I’ll never forget my trip on the Bluebell Railway and what it taught me about staying on track with Jesus.
Have an awesome week my friends.
BTW: by-the-way, we’ve got our Monthly Prayer Meeting tonight at 7.30pm in St Luke’s Church: I’ll be sharing more about the MOST IMPORTANT THING in Christianity. Be blessed in Jesus.
Philippians 2:1-8 (NIV) If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
So in the light of the above passage today, followers of Jesus Christ, when you are UNITED with HIM: In all your relationships with one another, have the same MINDSET as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
We SHOULD WANT TO BE;
Doing NOTHING out of selfish ambition or vein conceit.
Considering OTHERS better than ourselves.
Not ONLY thinking or looking out for ourselves, but also the interests of others. i.e. we are to look after ourselves as well, but ALSO others.
Having the ATTITUDE OF JESUS: The Nature of a Servant: i.e. how can we SERVE: God and Others.
So much of what we call ‘Church’ these days is all about ME rather than the Jesus ways we’re meant to emulate, copy and model.
How often have you thought to yourself: “I didn’t like that worship song”… “That Sermon just didn’t feed me” … “I’m not the one God’s calling to serve on the cleaning, tea making, Sunday School or welcoming rotas” …
Are these the thoughts of a self-sacrificing servant?
Perhaps the majority liked that song.
Perhaps that Sermon spoke to someone on their way to faith in Jesus.
Perhaps God’s bringing someone to church that day, that only YOU can reach by welcoming them.
Perhaps you make tea in just the way that a first time visitor really likes.
Perhaps you’ve got just the message or personality that a child can relate to.
When we’ve got the SAME MINDSET as Jesus, we’ll not be thinking primarily about what BEST FOR ME or What I LIKE or Prefer, but how we can SERVE both God and Others in such a way that the whole body of Christ can be UNITED, built-up, strengthened, encouraged and brought even closer to the Lord than they’ve ever been before.
So this coming Sunday, come to worship the Lord Jesus with His ATTITUDE and MINDSET.
Think to yourself,
“What can I bring to fellowship that will make EVERYONE happy and full of joy?”
“What can I do that will make someone’s day on Sunday?”
It might be something SMALL to you, but it could be the most significant EXPERIENCE of genuine love that someone needed at just that moment in their life.
Your hands, your feet, your mouth can be used to serve Jesus every day. Not just in Church gatherings. How can you SERVE like Jesus at home, work, family and in the community? When people see you every day, do they KNOW you are a follower of Jesus because of your MINDSET of Jesus? Is your ATTITUDE the same as that of Jesus with people outside fellowship?
PRAYER: O Lord Jesus, as we get ready for PENTECOST again this year, and remember how you filled the first followers with Your Spirit, please so fill me with your Holy Spirit today, that I may be more like Peter was on that day, help me Lord to think less of myself and my likes or dislikes and think about You and others and how I can serve them in such a way that their lives will be transformed and set of fire with love for You. Help me to be SALT and LIGHT that brings JOY to You and Others. Amen!
It’s my wife’s birthday today, Lord help me to make it SPECIAL for her. Amen!
Have an awesome weekend with Jesus,
Jesus Washes The Disciples Feet
John 13:1-17 (NIV) 1 It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. 2 The evening meal was being served, and the devil had already prompted Judas Iscariot, son of Simon, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel round his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped round him. 6 He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied, “You do not realise now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” 8 “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” 9 “Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 10 Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11 For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean. 12 When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. 13 “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’, and rightly so, for that is what I am. 14 Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. 15 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. 16 I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. 17 Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
1 Corinthians 12:7 “Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.”
Good morning my friends. When you became a Christian (If you are a Christian), God gave you the great gifts of Salvation and the wonderful sure and certain HOPE of Eternity in Heaven in your heart. You became a member of God’s Family with brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. He also gave you a deeper sense of purpose for life and made you feel significant (important to Him) in your life now. He has also given each one of us the opportunity to serve (Minister to) others and make a real difference in someone else’s life and in this world for Jesus. When you serve others in Jesus’ name, that’s called MINISTRY.
God didn’t design ‘MINISTRY’ for just a few with THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE DEGREES. In St Luke’s Church and most mainline Evangelical, Charismatic, Baptist and Pentecostal Churches, we all believe that EVERY MEMBER of our church is a MINISTER, with a ministry for the LORD first, and secondly towards others.
Hold Up A Mirror:
Do you want to know what a priest looks like? A Minister of Jesus Christ, then just hold up a little mirror and take a look at the face that’s looking back at you and think: “That’s A Minister of Jesus Christ”…
This Every Member Ministry is what today’s TEACHING is all about. During this session of Spirit & Word, you will discover how God can use your; S. H. A. P. E. for His glory.
S: SPIRITUAL GIFTS: Special Spiritual Gifts, to build up the body of Christ.
H: HEART: Your Heart (passions: what areas of ministry you are passionate about),
A: ABILITIES: your Abilities: What unique abilities do you have that would enable you to serve Jesus and His body?
P: PERSONALITY: Personality: What kind of a person are you? e.b. timid, outgoing, extrovert, exuberant, etc…
E: EXPERIENCES: Experiences to minister to others in need. What you’ve been through in life.
This is ALL ABOUT DISCOVERING YOUR S.H.A.P.E for the MINISTRY Christ has called and gifted you for.
Why are we looking at this SHAPE stuff?
Because as part of our VISION WEEK: Seeking the LORD for His Vision for St Luke’s Church: We discovered that He wants to enable us to continue what we’re doing here in St Luke’s, but to do what we are doing better. It’s a bit like going back to basics. We followed through with this idea and felt for everyone to be able to know how to SERVE Jesus better, we first needed to know what our GIFTS from the Holy Spirit were. But it’s not just about SPIRITUAL gifts; because each individual has a unique role to play in the family of God. We’re all made up in different ways and the LORD uses that fact to get a much more rounded ministry. We felt every member should know themselves better, in order to be able to serve the LORD.
Today we’re going to focus upon the first part of S.H.A.P.E: SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
But there will be ample opportunity to discover the rest as well.
1 Corinthians 12:1-31 (NIV) 1 Now about spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be ignorant. 2 You know that when you were pagans, somehow or other you were influenced and led astray to mute idols. 3 Therefore I tell you that no-one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no-one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men. 7 Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8 To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10 to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptised by one Spirit into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honourable we treat with special honour. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honour to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But (you) eagerly desire the greater gifts. And now I will show you the most excellent way.
NOTE: We must, when reading Paul’s letter to the Corinthian church, remember that it is a LETTER. Paul was writing for many different purposes, but mainly in this letter to encourage, instruct and correct the church in Corinth, because it was not living the Christian life in a way that was honouring to the LORD or a healthy witness in the world. Sometimes we take chunks of this letter and read them in isolation, however it’s important to bear in mind the whole thrust of the letter. 1 Corinthians 12 is linked to chaper 11 and 13 and 14 and 15… So we need to just glance back (if we’ve read it before) or READ it ALL (if you’ve never read it at all).
The MOST EXCELLENT WAY:
of operating in the GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IS (1 Corinthians 13).
At the end of chapter 12 Paul tells the Corinthian Christians, “You are seeking the greatest gifts (prophesy, healing, miracles etc), but now I’m going to show you the most excellent way, then he proceeds to write chapter 13. We’d do well to remember that LOVE is the most excellent gift of all. But we also NEED every other gift to build up a strong church.
God’s GIFT PEOPLE & Purpose in giving them: To build up the church:
Ephesians 4:11-16 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fulness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
God’s Holy Spirit GIFTS are given to build you up into Christ’s body.
So that you can:
Be UNITED (where brothers and sisters dwell together in unity, there the LORD commands His blessings),
KNOWLEDGEABLE (about Christ) and
BE MATURE: = A mature Christian, follows the teachings of Jesus and realises that to stand any test or storm they need to be fully relying upon the Lord.
FULLNESS: Heading towards the fullness of Christ (becoming more Christ like every day of our Spiritual lives).
“The Holy Spirit displays God’s power (Manifestation of the Spirit) through each of us as a means of helping the entire church.” 1 Cor. 12:7 (LB)
A Spiritual Gift: Is a special supernatural ability, which is given by the Holy Spirit to every believer at their conversion, to be used to minister to others, and therefore extend and deepen the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth. However, there are some things that are of vital importance to know about your special Holy Spirit gifts.
In Church yesterday, we gave everyone time to read the Bible and fill in the blanks. Then we talked through the answers.
PRINCIPLES TO PONDER REGARDING SPIRITUAL GIFTS:
Only _____________ have spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. 2:14
Every Christian has at least _______________ gift. 1 Cor. 7:7
The ________________ decides what gifts I get. 1 Cor. 12:11
No one receives __________________ the gifts. 1 Cor. 12:27-30
No single gift is given to __________________. 1 Cor. 12:29-30
You can’t _________________ a spiritual gift. Eph. 4:7
The gifts I’m given are __________________. Rom. 11:29
I am to __________________ the gifts God gives me. 1 Tim. 4:14
(they are given in seed form; they are like muscles)
It’s a sin ___________________ the gift God gave me. 1 Cor. 4:1-2 & Matt. 25:14-30
Using my gifts ___________ God. John 15:8
NOTE: What do you think about the following statement?
“It’s easier to discover your Ministry and Spiritual Gifts through ministry involvement rather than discovering your gifts through ‘gift investigation'”
For many in church today, they’ll do a course or follow a series of teachings on the ‘Spiritual Gifts’, some will go as far as discovering what their own gifts are, but few, very few, followers of Jesus today will take the opportunity to use their gifts. Some churches don’t even encourage their members to exercise their gifts, so the church doesn’t grow strong ‘Spiritually’ and therefore doesn’t progress towards the fullness of Christ.
I said yesterday, holding a piece of paper with their blanks filled in, “wave your paper like this” demonstrating how we get a fire going by fanning the flames, then I explained; “We all need to fan the gifts of the Holy Spirit into a blazing fire that will burn brightly for everyone to see and glorify God”.
Using Your Gifts:
The Manifestation of the Spirit: is given for the common good so;
In the WORKPLACE: A woman in our fellowship felt guided by the Lord to begin a prayer meeting at work and invited some of her colleges to come and pray, they did so. Then one day she turned up for work and got filled with a crippling fear, and instead of going to the prayer meeting, she just got her Bible and began to pray in a quiet room on her own. Then one of her colleagues came and found her and said, “Ah there you are, we’re waiting for you to come and to start the prayer meeting”. The LORD was moving, her Spirit was willing, but her flesh was weak. She said, “I felt a bit like Jonah, running away from the Lord’s calling, but He wouldn’t let me go”…. My friends, your flesh will want to run and hide the light that’s been given to you, to run away from the calling of the Lord. That’s natural, that’s just the flesh and the devil loves it when we get too fearful to do what we’ve been asked by the Lord. How often do we shirk the responsibility and miss God’s golden opportunities, but God’s doesn’t give you gift to sit idle or to hide them;
Matthew 5:15-16 “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 so shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
Your light, your gifts, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, are given to you; to show, to be and to demonstrate the Spirit to the world, they will build-up His Church and will lead many to praise God.
So my commitment to the LORD and to His Church is that I’m going to use the gifts that the Lord has given to me, to fan into flame my own gifts and to exercise them, so that others in the church will be built-up and encouraged to fan their own gifts into flame too. I want to see our church full of folks on fire to serve Jesus with their lives, and in turn be used by Him, Spirit ignited, to see others brought into the Kingdom.
One Practical Way:
I shared about a prayer triplet that I’m in with two other men in the church. How we meet-up with one another to pray, read the bible, praise the Lord, hold each other accountable, share about our lives, and contact one another almost every day.
I encouraged others: “Do you know two others, brothers or sisters, that you could get together with during the week? This is on-top of or as well as your weekly fellowship group.” I explained, “This is getting smaller to grow bigger. Much smaller, and soon we’ll all be much bigger or better and stronger in the Lord”. Let’s form hundreds of prayer triplets to ensure every Christian is a growing Christian.
When you’re on your own, Satan can easily stop you, when you are two it’s a bit more difficult, but as the Bible tells us, “A Cord of Three is not easily broken”. Are you going to get into smaller groups to grow stronger for Jesus?
Have and awesome week, stick close to Jesus and be filled afresh with God’s Holy Spirit today.
P.S. We’re on a journey of Discovery: Practical Ministry is a wonderful way of discovering your own Spiritual Gifts. The Holy Spirit has gifted you and I encourage you to get involved, you’ll discover your gifts along the way. I.E. When you pray and lay hands on people for healing, you’ll very quickly discover if the Holy Spirit has given you the gifts of Healing.
Daily Spirit & Word, 512: Beware The Comparison Trap.
40 Days With Jesus: Day 28. John 21:18-23.
Thank you for your prayers; last night’s meeting of the PCC was wonderful. There were some new members so I got everyone to introduce themselves; tell who they are, where they come from and how long they’ve worshiped in St Luke’s Church. We had a lady who’s new to the Church who wanted to ask questions about everything. It’s amazing, I’d forgotten what it’s like to be NEW in an organisation; there’s just so much we don’t know and it’s a very steep learning curve.
Beware The Comparison Trap:
We’ve got some wonderful blue / purple cornflowers and forget-me-nots in the garden in Springtime, they are stunning, but as they fade, the aquilegia (ladies bonnets) takes over and begins to put a different kind of delicate dance in the wind, they are beautiful, but in a very different way. Each has it’s own glory and unique beauty. So have each and every one of you. You are ALL different and God’s got very different plans for your walk with Him than for anyone else; so beware of the comparison trap.
Do you remember what it was like when you first began reading God’s Word? My first thought was, “What a BIG book, it will take me years to learn to get to grips with this.” Indeed it has and to be honest, though I read the Bible every single day and have done for over 30 years now, I’m constantly surprised by what the LORD shows me. When I read a familiar old passage, one I’ve read hundreds of times, I’ll see something new, some new light is shed upon the glorious holy phrases. God’s Word is always fresh. Today, the Lord has done it again with Peter.
John 21:18-23 18 I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!” 20 Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them. (This was the one who had leaned back against Jesus at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is going to betray you?”) 21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?” 22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumour spread among the brothers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”
“WHAT ABOUT HIM?”: Beware The Comparison TRAP?
I’ve read this particular passage many times, preached upon it a few times, read countless commentaries about it, but it’s only when the Lord seems to highlight something within it the TRUTHS PENETRATE MY HEART, it sinks in and seeps through into every fiber of my being. When God does this through His Word, the result is a transformed life. It’ll be the same for you my friends. A man or woman can write about God’s Word or share about their experience of walking with Jesus, but until we begin to read and walk ourselves, it’s all going to be second-hand. We must not fall into the trap of merely taking what others have said and staying with that, we must seek the LORD for ourselves and for the unique calling and gifts that He’s expecting us to use in our own walk with Him. When we do, we’re going to be used by the Lord to encourage others on their own journey with Jesus.
Peter had just been recommissioned by Jesus, but then almost immediately, after having had his interview with Jesus, wants Jesus to deal with the other disciples; “WHAT ABOUT HIM?” It’s like turning around and pointing the finger at someone else. Jesus rebuke is quite wonderful. “Peter, YOU must follow Me” You’ve got your own calling and destiny. I’ve got plans for you Peter. And Jesus has got plans for you too my friends. So don’t fall into the trap of just hearing Jesus and not doing what He’s calling you to do. Stop looking around at other people and expecting them to do and be the ones.
God has said in so many different ways in His Word: “Don’t merely listen to the word, but do what it says”.
James 1:19-25 19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyoneshould be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
What do I get from this?
God wants to BLESS you in ALL that you do. However, look again and you’ll see that to be blessed, we must do both, we must LISTEN and ACT upon what we’re learning. Peter almost slipped; he’d just listened to Jesus and learned a valuable lesson about being recommissioned and forgiven, then almost immediately he points the finger at someone else. To be someone who’s constantly drinking in information, and not doing anything with what you are learning; is like a barrel of fine wine with a crack, the wine inside can be of the finest vintage, but if it’s leaking out all over the place, who’s ever going to taste it? God’s Word is the finest wine in His Kingdom that you can ever get into your heart, however, If we don’t do what God has revealed, we’re going to dry up or get clogged up with information overload. It’s only when you act upon what you’ve been learning, hearing and being taught by the Lord, that you’ll get a true understanding of all that He wants you to be and to do.
Thankfully, Peter learned his lesson from Jesus that day. He stopped looking at others and began to live the life Jesus had called him to in the power of the Holy Spirit. He did indeed die a wonderful martyrs death being crucified. However, tradition had it that Peter was crucified upside down, because he didn’t feel worthy to be crucified in exactly the same way as Jesus. I don’t know if that part is true, but we do know that Peter was led with outstretched hands to death for Jesus and His Kingdom. That was after a lifetime of serving Jesus so powerfully.
Don’t BE a Sponge Type of Christian: Only soaking-up Information.
I’ve know people in some great teaching churches, they love to hear the Gospel’s and the Word of God being expounded. Then they’ll go home and listen to some more great teaching on the internet. They’ll buy the CDs or Tapes and even Download hours of sermons. Some will even makes some notes. Then they’ll move onto the next sermon series, the next great teaching, the next fantastic, wonderfully gifted preacher, expounding God’s Word, but they’ll never get around to actually APPLYING what they’re hearing and learning. There’s a danger that we’ll become like the people of Athens in Paul’s time, who just wanted to hear the latest teachings. It’s like people who’ve got to be listening to the latest news 24/7… My friends, at some point in our walk with Jesus, we’ve got to get out and begin to DO what He’s gifted us for. Christ didn’t call you to be a knowledge sponge, soaking up great teaching, He called you to serve HIM with all your heart, mind, will and strength. Serving the Lord means doing, it means, acting, it means getting out into the world and using your unique gifts and talents to lead others to faith and trust in the Saviour as your first order of priority. Then, you’re calling also means serving Him in your gatherings, but let’s not pretend that’s all He’s called us to. So many Christians and whole gatherings of the saints settle for just serving Jesus once a week for an hour. I’ve known some Christians who get exhausted doing just that very little bit of service, as if they’ve been working at it all week. It makes me laugh sometimes when I hear people moaning how exhausted with the service they’ve become. For goodness sake, it’s ONLY AN HOUR or TWO once a week. We gather only once or twice a week, what about the other five days? We’re called to be active in His kingdom not for an hour on a Sunday, but for every waking hour. We’re God’s Ambassadors and an Ambassador is never off duty; He’s being constantly monitored by his host country. Even in the embassy, they’ll be watching, and waiting and looking for him to slip-up or to see if he’s really serving his government with all his heart.
Like Peter, You are an Ambassador for Jesus Christ in this world, so you need to act like one and let others see the light and experience the goodness of you’re LORD’S Kingdom. To do that, you’ve got to be ready to serve. Yes, you do need the gatherings of the saints to be equipped, you do need to hear great teaching, you do need to get equipped to serve, but at some point, and I would say the sooner the better, you’ve got to begin to use what He’s given you. Get out and get on with what the Lord has graciously poured into your life. You’ve got the goodness of the wine of the Kingdom within you, now it’s time to let the world taste the best vintage of all. Let them savour the wine of the Kingdom through your life. Stop looking at others and saying; “LORD, WHAT ABOUT HIM?” or “LORD, WHAT ABOUT HER?” Jesus has got His own plans for you my friends, and with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, you’ll be of great use in His Kingdom. Be His Ambassador today.
You’ve got the goodness of the wine of the Kingdom within you, now it’s time to let the world taste the best vintage of all; serve Jesus today.
I don’t want any of you to fall into the traps of comparing yourself with anyone else or of hearing Jesus Word and not doing it. You’ve got the goodness of the wine of the Kingdom within you, now it’s time to let the world taste the best vintage of all; serve Jesus today.