Foolishness of D.I.Y. Faith

Boast ONLY in the Cross of Jesus Christ

Daily Spirit & Word: 698: Boast Only About Jesus.

What a DAY of D.I.Y. Taught me.

Good morning my friends, I had a wonderful day-off yesterday. Over at my daughter’s house, I was put to work on DIY. I don’t know how you feel about DIY, but I don’t relish the thought. However once I get started it’s quite good fun. Of course I was shadowed by my two year old grandson, Karamoko. He had his tools all ready too, but once he saw my new electric screwdriver, he wanted to play with that. I’ve never seen a kid so enthusiastic about helping with DIY, he loves toolboxes, tools, carrying, lifting heavy things and putting screws in. He also loves to watch “Bob the Builder”… He’s going to be absolutely brilliant at DIY one day soon. He helped me; put up a curtain rail, take apart a huge table, put together a new table, take apart his old cot and put together his brand new big-boy’s bed. He learned about taking care of the small packages of screws, following instructions, being careful with sharp things and how two are better than one.

DIY: Means “Do It Yourself”… As is my weakness or strength, I followed a rabbit trail yesterday and again this morning. The rabbit trail I’m talking about is Bible Study. Yesterday I wrote about us not being able to pull-the-wool over God’s eyes and how “God cannot be mocked” from Galatians 6. Well, I kept on reading and this little verse jumped out at me. It’s a bit like Karamoko going through the toolbox and finding an interesting item that he’s never seen before. You know what question he always asks don’t you? “What’s this Papa?” next “What’s it for Papa?”… Then I’ll have to say, “Here Moko, let me show you”…

Here’s what the LORD gave me to share from His Toolbox with you today.

Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

“May I never boast”: Truth is we all LOVE boasting. We long for others to know how brilliant we are, don’t we? Paul is not talking about the normal things in life here, he’s talking about boasting about how morally good he is or isn’t. The young Church in Galatia had been infested with Judaizers, Christians who wanted to keep the Jewish ceremonial laws and to belong to Christ at the same time. They were known for their boasting about it too and there was a real danger that some of the believers, who were young Christians, might be influenced to emulate their folly. That why Paul exclaimed, “Oh foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you?” Galatians 3:1.

NOTE: Judaizers is a term for Christians who insist that their co-religionists should follow the Law of Moses as well as being committed to Jesus Christ.

Their thinking was that because they kept the Jewish laws, they were like a kind of elevated Christian, a super Christian, better than ordinary Christians who merely trusted in the Grace, Mercy and Love of Jesus Christ. They boasted about the fact of how ‘religious’ they were and how observant of Jewish customs, traditions and laws.

You know my friends, religiosity counts for NOTHING in practical Christianity. It’s foolish to try and be ‘more’ religious. If you want to be a better Christian, and to be honest we all need to be better at following Jesus, don’t get more religious, get closer to Christ Himself.

That verse from; Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” reminded me of another similar teaching the LORD has already given to us.

Jeremiah 9:23-25 (NIV)
23  This is what the LORD says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, 24  but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the LORD.
25  “The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—

WOWzer! Did you know that verse from the Lord’s toolbox? Now we can see what Paul was talking about can’t we? No wonder he declared: Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

You see my friends, Paul had been very ‘religious’ and he now counts all his religious knowledge, experience and understanding as rubbish, dross, empty and foolishness in comparison with knowing Christ Jesus as His Lord. That’s why he only wanted to boast about the Cross of Jesus. Not only that but, he couldn’t boast about Himself or his religious observance, because it didn’t bring him closer to God, it pulled him further and further away from God. Why? Because religion is DIY faith in Jesus and His Cross means “He did it for me”… It’s not our goodness that we’re trusting in, but the goodness of Jesus Christ.

Here’s is Paul’s argument about this in full, this is what he said to the young Christians in Philippi who were being troubled by Judaizers too.

Philippians 3:1-11 (NIV)
1 Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
2  Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh.
3  For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4  though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5  circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6  as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7  But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
8  What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10  I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11  and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Question: Why would anyone who’s been saved by God’s Grace, Mercy and Kindness go back to being religious? Answer: They wouldn’t, couldn’t, but only FALSE Converts would think there is anything in being ‘religious’. Once you KNOW Jesus personally, it’s like being an unfaithful husband or wife to try ‘religion’ again to make you righteous in God’s sight. It’s DIY religion.

Going back to Judaism or the Law of Moses is a DIFFERENT faith entirely from that of following the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s a DIY religion, you will be depending upon your own goodness not Christ’s. The reason it’s foolishness is because NO ONE, nobody will be declared righteous by observing the LAW. Romans 3:20. Because we all fall short, we all break God’s law and when we do, we’re contaminated with SIN.

So it’s no wonder Paul and the LORD got so upset when the Galatians, Philippians and many others began to practice ‘religiosity’ all over again.

Empty ritualistic religion will never save anyone, it’s a DIY faith.

  • Let’s be very careful that we boast ONLY in the Cross of Christ.
  • Let’s be JOY filled as we remind others that we’re NOT GOOD, because we’ve broken God’s Laws.
  • Let’s be EXCITED by the fact that Jesus alone is GOOD and He is the only way for mankind to be SAVED.

Galatians 6:14 (NIV) “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I can see that there are times when I think I’m better than others at keeping the faith, help me always only to boast in the Cross of Jesus, His goodness, His love, His strength and the fact that I’m only saved by Your Grace, kindness and goodness and that You’ve drawn me to Yourself so that I can know You, the true and living God. Forgive me Lord for the times when I’ve been tempted to DIY my faith instead of relying upon the Holy Spirit to keep me from falling. Amen! Thank you so much for practical D.I.Y for when we’re doing the ordinary things in life, we can learn so much about the Spiritual aspects of life with You. Amen!

Have an awesome weekend with Jesus my friends.

You can learn a lot from grand-kids and DIY can’t you 🙂

Don.

 

The Importance of Persevering.

Sharing the Good News with people on the streets of London

Daily Spirit & Word, 627: The Importance Of Persevering:

When Witnessing To Professing Believers In Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

Good morning my friends, it was with great joy we returned from the battle for souls, sharing the Awesome Good News of Jesus on the Streets of West Norwood last night. It is a battle and each encounter leaves you feeling strength has been sapped from you. Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood,  Ephesians 6:11-12 “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

But why were we so filled with the joy of the Lord?

Because we won battle after battle last night.

But before we went out, we really took to heart what God’s Word tells us about our need for Jesus and for His strength and power and presence to be in us.  Zechariah 4:6 “… ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”

Out Of The Darkness: Into The Light:

You know something my friends, sharing Jesus enlightens not only those we share with, but also we ourselves. We come face to face with our motives for witnessing, our heart’s desires and our own shortcomings and limitations. It reminds us afresh just how much we need Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit in everything we attempt for His glory. We go out in His strength and we come back rejoicing. However, if we were to go in our own strength, in the strength of the flesh, we would have returned with our battle banners trailing in the dirt and our armour stained with blood.

We must go out recognizing our own weakness and lack of ability to do anything unless the Lord goes out with us.

Charles Spurgeon said, “He will only reap that corn, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love.” From Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotional for 4th November.

Secondly, we were witnesses of what the Lord was doing in the lives of those we shared with. How He had already prepared people’s hearts for the Gospel last night.

The Gospel really does open the eyes of the blind: for many we met last night professed a belief in Jesus almost immediately, but as we continued to witness, through discernment and the gift of the Holy Spirit, we could see quite clearly they’d gotten into ‘religion’ without coming to a true faith and trust in Jesus Christ. So many had attended church, but had stopped short of going the whole way to trust in Jesus for themselves. However, initially, they were so blinded by their own self-assurance that they didn’t seem concerned at all about their own eternal welfare, thankfully the LORD was and He was ready to open their eyes.

As we chatted, we asked this simple question: “Do you think God will allow you into Heaven?” and to some others, “Have you been good enough to get into Heaven?” to which their answers were a resounding “Oh yes!”. When we asked “Why?” We then knew instantly they were not trusting in Jesus for Salvation, but themselves and their own goodness. More than that, they had a standard of goodness that was far below that of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most thought that their own good deeds would far outweigh their bad deeds and that God would look at their whole life and see they were more good than bad. Sadly we could see they had been trusting in a false Gospel, which gave them a false assurance.

It’s a common misconception amongst church going people today, that if they “try their best”, then God will just wave them through into glory in Heaven. How often have we heard on the streets, “I try my best to be good”… Of course we should try our best, but we should never rely or depend upon our own goodness to get into Heaven.

My friends, Satan loves it when people are kept in the darkness about their spiritual condition before a holy and righteous God. Yes God is loving and forgiving, but He’s also just and in His righteousness, He must punish every single sin. Sin has it’s wages and God is so faithful that He must give sin it’s due. If anyone was to appear before Him, trusting in their own goodness, their good works, He would then simply show them their SIN and turn them away from Heaven. (No SINNER can enter into the Kingdom of God).

Helping People SEE their NEED for Jesus:

So Through The Right Use Of God’s LAW: We, with the inward working of the Holy Spirit, bringing the Conscience back to life, in those we witnessed to, we used God’s LAW (Revealed in the Ten Commandments) to show a person their NEED for Jesus.

Romans 3:9-20
9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. (We’ve ALL sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory).
10  As it is written: “There is no-one righteous, not even one; (Nobody is good enough in themselves for Heaven).
11  there is no-one who understands, no-one who seeks God. (We can only come to God if He pulls us to Himself).
12  All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no-one who does good, not even one.” (Even the best things that we do are tainted by some kinds of selfish motives).
13  “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practise deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.”
14  “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
15  “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16  ruin and misery mark their ways,
17  and the way of peace they do not know.”
18  “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19  Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (those who are “under the law” are anybody who is yet to trust in Jesus Christ).
20  Therefore no-one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

It’s through the LAW of God: The Ten Commandments, that we become CONSCIOUS of our SIN.

i.e. Our Conscience comes back to life again and we can see sin for what it is: rebellion against God.

Let’s just look and see if that’s true?

  • What do you call a person who commits murder? “A Murderer”. How many murders do they need to commit in their lifetime to become a murderer? Just ONE. It’s the same with every other Commandment of God.
  • If we’ve told just one lie in our life, then we’re liars in God’s sight. He’s declared, “No liar can enter into the Kingdom of God”.
  • If we’ve stolen something, no matter what it’s value in the eyes of the world or who we’ve stolen it from, just one act of stealing makes us into a thief. God has declared, “No thief can enter into the Kingdom of God”…
  • Just one act of disobedience by Adam and Eve brought God’s curse of DEATH upon the whole human race and banishment from the Garden of Eden forever.
  • That’s just a few of the commandments: God sees the sin of lust as adultery. Saying “OMG” as Blasphemy. And we all know that no adulterer or blasphemer can enter into God’s Kingdom don’t we?

Every truly born again believer knows that in and of themselves, they are not good enough for Heaven and never will be or can be. Why? Because a converted and Holy Spirit filled person knows that even ONE SIN will keep a person out of Heaven for all eternity. We know that to enter the Kingdom of God we must be cleansed from all sin and made pure, holy and righteous by Jesus. No amount of “trying our best” can remove past sins.

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

It’s like getting a Tattoo: it’s the indelible ink-stain of sin that cannot be removed by human actions.

Most People: (Who don’t know the LORD) Initially object that this is too black and white. They state, my god is not like that. I believe in a god that forgives sins. (So do we, but there is only ONE WAY that those sins can be forgiven, and it’s NOT by trying harder to be good enough).

However, what they are actually doing is putting their faith in a god of their own making, the Bible calls that idolatry. It breaks the second of God’s Commandments “Not to make an Idol and bow down to it”. Their idol is a god that just winks at sin like an unjust earthly judge who can be bribed. No my friends, God is much more Holy than everybody realises. The God who inspired Holy Scripture said, “NO SINNER CAN ENTER INTO GOD’S KINGDOM” He cannot wink at sin and just allow people into Heaven with sin still upon their souls. God’s punishment for sin is banishment from Heaven to a place that He’s reserved for the Devil and his Demons.

The Good News:

Thankfully, once a person is fully aware of their spiritual condition, they are in the right place then to receive the Good News of Jesus Christ.

It’s not true, that everyone is aware of how much they’ve sinned. We know that from weekly experience of sharing the Gospel on the streets in London. In fact nearly everyone we meet thinks that deep down they are ‘good enough’ for heaven. It’s only when we take the time with them to gently show them God’s standards of holiness through His Commandments. Those Commands really are like a Schoolmaster who teaches us our need for Jesus cleansing and forgiveness.

Galatians 3:24 (KJV) Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

They are then ready for the Good News of Jesus: That God doesn’t want to punish anyone, but that everyone might be saved by Jesus Christ. It’s why Jesus came into the world: God wants everyone to come to REPENTANCE.

1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.”

HOW DOES JESUS SAVE SINNERS?

Jesus took the place of every sinner upon the cross. He died in our place. His death sets us free from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

Romans 5:8-9 (Two of my favourite verses in the Bible).
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9  Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Jesus can save anyone from their sins and deliver them from God’s wrath and anger against sin.

But we must do something to be SET FREE from God’s wrath against our sins.

We must TRUST in Christ’s Death & Turn to Him in Repentance and Faith to Receive Him as Lord.

It like coming to this understanding: “Father God, I know now that I’ve broken Your Commandments and I’ve sinned against You, I’m a sinner in Your sight and deserve Your just punishment for my rebellion. I also know that Jesus Christ, Your One and Only Son, died in my place upon the Cross. I now turn to You Lord Jesus and ask for your forgiveness. I confess my sins to You Lord (Name them) and I turn away from all sin in my life (repentance). I receive You Lord Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. Please Lord, come into my life and give me the promised New Life. Let me be born again by Your Holy Spirit and become a child of God so that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He is my Heavenly Father. Amen”

A person must see and understand: (Even a ‘churchgoing’ or ‘religious’ person).

  • A) That they’ve sinned against God.
    B) That they need His forgiveness to enter into Heaven.
    C) No amount of ‘good’ works or deeds can bring that forgiveness.
    D) That Jesus Christ has died upon the Cross in their place, taking their punishment and paying the price of sin.
    E) That they need to turn to Jesus in repentance and faith and receive Him as Lord.
    F) When they do all that, then God will grant them New Life in Christ, New Birth of the Holy Spirit and Eternal Life.
    G) They’ll also be members of God’s Family forever. He will be their Heavenly Father. They will be His children. Saints forever.
    H) Begin to live the new life in Christ: Pray, Worship, Read God’s Word, Gather with Brothers and Sisters in Christ. Share the Good News of Jesus Christ with others who don’t yet know Him as Lord.
    I) The Holy Spirit: Also will give them Heavenly gifts to enable them to serve God as He directs them.

A Christian is SET FREE from Sin:

Romans 6:22 “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.”

When you are set free from sin’s ability to control your life, you are set free in Jesus to be like Him: Holy, and this leads to an assurance that you have received the gift of eternal life.

A Christian is DEAD to SIN:

Romans 6:2 “By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?”

Conclusion:

Last night was so awesome, no wonder we returned with banners flying high (not literally), but full of the JOY of the LORD.

We met a man and a woman last night, who I initially thought were father and daughter, but they’d just, at that moment, met each other after not seeing each other for over 20 years. It was amazing! The woman and man were so thankful after our conversation about the Lord.

She had been trusting in her own way to Heaven. He was a lapsed Roman Catholic who never attended church, but believed he was going to Heaven because he’d been baptised as a baby. We took the time to go through the Commandments with them and what an amazing, eye opening time it was. They both could see and understand their need for Jesus Christ. The woman even after that said, “I’ve got my own beliefs and I’m going to try my best in my own way”. Sherrie said to her “Can I just say something, I want to say this gently and respectfully, but you are trusting in your own way instead of God’s way.” She simply nodded in agreement. She responded, “I don’t think that our meeting up tonight was an accident” and continued to explain they’d not seen each other for over 20 years and how she knew she’d never be able to forget what God had just spoken to her. With warm handshakes they both thanked us so much for taking the time to stop and talk with them about the Lord. Awesome!

Share the Good News, go out in your weakness and He will fill you with His strength and you will return with banners flying high. Who knows, you may even reap some of the seeds that have been sown in their hearts by the Divine hand of Glory.

Don.

BTW: In the past when someone said, “I’m a believer” I would just say, “Praise the Lord”. Now, sometimes, the Lord prompts me to just check to see who it is they are actually trusting in; Jesus or themselves for their Salvation. More often than not these days, the LORD opens up the can of worms, empties them out and fills them with His own LOVE. Because there is ONLY ONE WAY to get into Heaven and that’s through what Jesus Christ has done to make us pure and ready for it.

BTW: Every truly born again believer will not be annoyed that you want to check they are trusting in Jesus, they’ll thank you for it, pray for you and encourage you on your way. Don’t forget to encourage them too, to share Jesus regularly.

 

 

Walking in the Light: Means being DEAD to SIN.

Born Again believers will walk in the light

Daily Spirit & Word: 607: Dead to Sin: Alive in Christ.

Good morning my friends, we had a wonderful time last night sharing the Good News of Jesus on the streets just up the road from St Luke’s outside Norwood Train Station. It was rush-hour so lots of people. Rush Hour really is well named in London, because most people do seem to be in a real rush to get somewhere. It’s amazing how many people took tracts last night, I’m so thankful for that, but few had the time to stay and chat. Those that did stop were awesome conversations: A man who lives with his mother and is her carer, who believes in Jesus, but doesn’t see the need to come to church. Another man, a Scotsman, who said, “I used to be born again, but now I’m a Hare Krishna”. I asked him, “When did you get un-born-again?” We all laughed: You see my friends, when you die to sin and are born of God’s Spirit it’s forever. You cannot be un-born-again, you may experience a FALSE CONVERSION or you may fall into sin like King David, but you cannot be un-born-again once you’ve come to the Saviour by faith and true repentance. There are many false converts though, such is the case with everyone who declares “I used to be born again”. There are certain Scriptures every Christian should know well: because they contain so much truth that they will keep you from the error of sinful ways and false teaching about being born again. So many people think they are ‘born-again’ simply because they attend church or pray or praise the Lord enthusiastically. You’ll never experience the New Birth until you Repent and Turn from Sin and Seek Salvation from Sin by trusting in Jesus.

The Scriptures you should know well:

  • The Parable of the Sower (because this parable unlocks all the other parables of Jesus). This parable teaches us about true and false conversion and spurious faith. Mark 4:1-20. 
  • The Death and Resurrection of Jesus in all the Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
  • The Knowledge of Sin: The Commandments (God’s Law) (these lead everyone to a knowledge of what sin is and they are like a schoolmaster, they teach us, that we are sinful and need a Saviour). Exodus 20:1-17. Galatians 3:24 KJV. 
  • How to Get and Give Faith: Romans 10 (The Gift of Faith comes by hearing the Word of God).
  • The Need for Repentance: It’s not simply saying “I believe in Jesus” because even the Devil believes in Jesus, but it’s turning from sin and trusting in the finished work of Christ Jesus on the Cross. Without repentance no one can be saved. Psalm 51, 
  • The Way to Live the Christian Life in the Power of the Spirit free from slavery to sin: Romans 6, 7 and 8.
  • The Fruit of the Sinful Nature and the Fruits of the Holy Spirit: Galatians 5:16-26. (Life by and in the Holy Spirit).
  • Putting on the Gospel Armour: Ready to take your stand against evil.

 

These are just a few portions of God’s Word: (Real Meat) I’m sure you’ve got your own favourite bits of God’s Word: but these above and below today will keep you strong if you know them well and try to live by the light of the understanding of God’s Word, not in your own strength, for we are all weak in our sinful nature, but by the power of God’s Holy Spirit living in you, you will be strengthened. So read all those passages above, and re-read them often. Everyone who loves Jesus will need constant reminding of all the good things we have in Christ. Write out a list of all these passages and copy it to your Bible. Write them out by hand, it’s a good exercise and helps you to know God’s Word even better. Sing Hymns and Songs with these Scriptures in them. Make new hymns and songs. Meditate upon God’s Word: Read a few verses and then sit back or go for a walk thinking about them.

Romans 6:1-14 Dead to Sin.
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase?
2  By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
3  Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptised into Christ Jesus were baptised into his death?
4  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
5  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.
6  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—
7  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
8  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.
9  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him.
10  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
11  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
12  Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.
13  Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
14  For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Galatians 5:16-26. Life in the Spirit.
16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

The NEED for Repentance:

Before you can ever live by the Spirit though: You must REPENT from Sin and Trust in Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord.

The Scriptures below show that God commands EVERYONE to REPENT.

Jeremiah 25:4,5 – A typical summary of the message of the Old Testament prophets: “Repent now everyone of his evil way and his evil doing…” [35:15; Ezekiel 18:30; 2 Kings 17:13]
Matthew 3:2 – John the Baptist taught, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!”
Mark 1:15 – Mark’s summary of Jesus’ message includes: “Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
Luke 13:3 – Unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Mark 6:12 – Jesus sent the apostles to preach that people should repent.
Acts 2:38 – In the first gospel sermon, Peter preached, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you for the remission of sins…”
Acts 17:30 – God commands all men everywhere to repent.
Revelation 3:19 – “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.”

Examples of Repentance:

King David: When he committed adultery and murdered the husband of the woman he’d committed adultery with. Psalm 51. How King David was made aware of his sin by Nathan the Prophet 2 Samuel 12.

Jonah 3:4-10 – When Jonah preached, the people of Nineveh gave heed, were sorry, and turned from their evil ways (vv 8,10). “Turn” and “return” are common Old Testament words meaning “repent.” Jesus said these people “repented” at the preaching of Jonah (Matthew 12:41).

Matthew 21:28-32 – A son refused to work for his father, but later repented (regretted it – NKJV) and went. He “changed his mind.” Jesus applied this to sinners who repented at John’s preaching in contrast to priests would not repent (relent – NKJV).

God is Patient: Waiting for EVERYONE to REPENT:

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

Can a Believer SIN? Yes my friends, you just have to look at King David to know that, he was a man full of God’s Holy Spirit, a man after God’s own heart, but SIN grabbed hold of King David and made him a slave and in the end it led to adultery and murder. But God was gracious to King David and He will also be gracious to you too, but if you are a believer and you are in sin or have sinned, then you will NEVER experience the peace or the presence of the Lord until you truly repent: it will feel like you are dying on the inside, turn from sin and seek His forgiveness. Turning from sin is a desire not to live in sin anymore: That’s true repentance. If we do not truly repent then we are living in the darkness, it’s like the Spiritual Life that God has given to us has died. 1 John 1:5-10.

Walk in the Light:

1 John 1:5-10
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
6  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.
7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
10  If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.

Today, I’ve given a message about getting into God’s Word: The importance of KNOWING it and UNDERSTANDING it and by the Holy Spirit LIVING by it. It will keep you from error and help you to lead people to the Saviour. Let’s do it regularly, faithfully and wholeheartedly; when you do, you’ll be feeding and nourishing your Spiritual nature, walk in the light of the understanding of God’s Word in the power of the Holy Spirit. He’ll use you in His service of the Kingdom.

Being a truly ‘Born Again’ follower of Jesus means: You’ll have seen your need to repent and trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour and Lord; you’ll hate sin, walk in the light of God’s Word and seek the fullness of God’s Spirit.

Have an awesome Thursday.

Don.

Further Study: If you want to go deeper into the study of TRUE REPENTANCE: Then this PAGE is Simply AWESOME!

 

God Has Planted ETERNITY into EVERY Human Heart.

The Gospel is NOT always good news

Daily Spirit & Word: 599: How is the Gospel Good News?

God Has Planted ETERNITY Into EVERY Human Heart.

It was amazing last night going out into the streets of Brixton in London. After sharing with a few people it became abundantly clear that we were in the right place at the right time, God was leading us to people and many responded. We met up with quite a few ‘Christians’, (note the inverted commas), people who thought they were Christians, but who’s lives were not matching up to their profession of faith.

Also, there were so many ‘weird’ ideas coming from people’s mouths. One man thought that he was god, he determined his own future, his own life, his own feelings. As we talked it became clear that he wasn’t open to the good news, but we shared some things that hopefully were gems to dwell upon. He believed that this life is not all there is, that somehow he’d go on after death. I asked him, “Do you know why you believe that? It’s because God has planted Eternity into the heart of every human being?”

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT) “Yet God has made everything beautiful for its (His) own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”

You know what his response that statement was? “Ahhh so God plants thoughts and I’m just a robot then, I’ve got to respond to His input” he was touched and quite angry that God was the one responsible for his belief in ‘eternity’….. I said “Oh no! God does indeed reveal that this life is not all their is, but He’s definitely not made us His robots, He has given us free will, to either obey or disobey the Commandments which He’s also planted within our hearts, so that we’ll know His ways and be accountable for our life one day”.

We then went through a few of God’s Commandments: but each time, though he admitted his failure, he wasn’t touched nor was his conscience bothering him. Such a terrible condition for a human soul to be in at such a young age. I’m praying that the Lord will continue to use our conversation last night.

We got chatting about photography and things of this world for a while, but I finished with saying, “You know Grant it’s been lovely sharing with you tonight, but let me finish with this, God has planted eternity and His commands in your hearts, He’s also provided a way for man to escape His judgement for not living according to His ways, Jesus died for our sin on the Cross, for all our wrong choices, all you have to do is turn from your ways and trust in Jesus Christ.” He knew the Gospel, because his grandparents were Christians.

You see my friends, the Gospel is for those who are ready: It’s good news for those who’ve come to believe, understand or know that without a Saviour they are doomed, but for those who want to live life as if they were god, it’s definitely NOT good news, because they hear that one day, they are going to be made to account for their life of rebellion and sin. It would be a waste of time giving them the good news first, that really would be like casting your pearls before swine. So we finished off with a teasing glimpse of what the Lord has done to provide a way for Grant to be saved on judgement day.

The Gospel is NOT ‘good news’ for everyone, because some have already decided in their hearts that God’s ways are NOT for them. The Gospel becomes bad news, because it reveals there’s a consequence for choosing our own ways.

At the end of our conversation Grant thanked us for taking the time to share the things of the Lord. We thanked him for listening and sharing his views with us. Treating people with respect doesn’t cost a penny. We’re not out to win arguments but to bring people to the Saviour.

Other people were much more open to the Good News of the Gospel. There were believers, committed followers of Jesus and they were very encouraged and commended us our efforts in reaching out to the lost. There were also believers who’s lives had slipped and they too said, “This is a wake-up call” One lady said, “You know since we’ve been chatting, I feel my faith has gotten much stronger”… It’s amazing what the Lord does when we go out of our way to share the Gospel with folks. All those fears that we get vanish like the morning mist once we open our mouth for the Lord. He then replaces that fear with a holy boldness, but we become like Jesus, gentle, humble and ready to do the Father’s bidding.

I repeat yesterday’s little gem of a verse to encourage others (YOU) to go out and give it a go: Share the Good News with those who don’t yet Know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour:

Philemon 1:6 “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.”

How does that happen? Well the Bible tells us that “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God”, when you share the Gospel with folks, you’ll be speaking out God’s Word, your own faith will be strengthened, you’ll get an even deeper insight into what it means to be saved, you’ll get a full understanding of every good thing that you have in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s AWESOME!

The Good News IS always great news, the best news that anybody could ever want to hear, IF their hearts are ready.

Today, we’ve got the Blessing of Yeateman’s Funeral Home Chapel. 🙂 It’s Open Day. Praise the Lord!

Don.

 

Who told you that you were naked?

Sin and Disobedience

Daily Spirit & Word: The Fall of Mankind into Sin.

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Good morning my friends, my holiday is over, I’m back at work, it’s been awesome to have a long break from my usual routine, but it’s also good to get back to ‘normal’. It’s early morning and I’m up with my Lord Jesus. You know something, I’ve been meeting with Him every single day of my holiday, because you cannot have a holiday from being a follower of Jesus.

Yesterday someone came around to my house and asked me this question; “How many times can you go away from the Lord before you finally and fully fall away?” It was a simple and honest question. When someone asks me a question like that, I know that it’s like a loaded-gun or an iceberg, there far more below the surface than above the water. Some people have said to me, “How can you fit 120 men inside one of those, referring to my Submarine?” Then I have to explain, “You know my friend, an Submarine is much like an iceberg, there’s far more beneath the water than there is above” If you could see a Submarine in a dry-dock then you’d realise what I mean, it’s an immense piece of exciting engineering which always reminds me of a whale.

My response was, “You only need to go away from the Lord ONCE before it becomes permanent.” His face fell immediately, because, as I’d guessed, he was looking for a way to excuse his life of sin. You see my friends, we cannot have a holiday away from the Lord once we’ve started upon the journey of faith with Jesus. Do you remember the Lord’s words on this subject?

Hand to the Plough:

Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

But I’m going through Genesis at the moment and a phrase jumped out a me this morning:

Genesis 3:7-11 7  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 
8  Then the man and his wife heard the sound (voice) of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
9  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 
10  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 
11  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 

Thankfully, those who’ve trusted in Christ Jesus have been SAVED:

Colossians 1:13-14 13  “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

When we come to Jesus who knows the end from the beginning, He knows your whole life, even before you gave in and trusted Him as your Saviour, so He knows those times that you’ll yield to temptation, that you’ll be weak and fall into sin. And He still gives you the blessings of the knowledge of forgiveness and a new heart to obey Him. What amazing grace and mercy.

Yes Jesus has ‘rescued’ you from the dominion of darkness: However, we still get those same, Adam like, feelings of separation when we sin. Remember how Adam and Eve, once they’d eaten the forbidden fruit, made coverings for themselves out of leaves and hid themselves in the garden of Eden. What was it that made them hide? They heard the voice of the Lord in the garden. The Lord was either singing or saying something out loud, and the voice of the Lord became a terror to them. They knew that they were naked; i.e. that the Lord could see what they’d done, it was open before Him who’s eyes see and know everything. It’s the same with anyone who sins, even just a little, the mere fact and act of disobedience has the exact same effect, we all want to run away and hide from God, from his presence, from His Holy voice. We don’t want to see Him, we don’t want to hear Him, we don’t want to be anywhere near Him, so we run away and hide and try our best to cover-up our shameful nakedness.

Asking that question, “How many times can we go away from God before it becomes permanent?” is like asking “How many times can I choose to sin and get away with it?” The answer is “NONE” You’ll never get away with it, God knows it all and He’s right there as a witness to every single act or thought of disobedience.

Alexander Maclaren has said it brilliantly: “These are still the two lies which wile us to sin: ‘It will do you no harm,’ and ‘You are cheating yourselves out of good by not doing it.’ Alexander Expositions of Holy Scripture – Genesis.

When God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” He KNEW that Adam and Eve had eaten and had received the knowledge of Good and Evil.

My friend related how he’d been feeling; that there was an emptiness, a barrenness, how God seemed distant, far away. Then he said something amazing, “You know, I know, that God has not moved away, it’s me”…

Temptation to sin: We’ve already lost the battle when we’re thinking to ourselves; “I wonder how many times I can do this and get away with it?”

Disobedience: Acting or Thinking sinfully; results in cutting us off from the Lord. Even after we’ve come to faith and trust in Jesus. Until we get right with Him again we’re separated from Him, we’re not walking with Him, we’re in the darkness and there is a feeling that we want to cover-up our shameful nakedness, to hide our inner-self from the Lord. There is no peace when we’re walking in the darkness. There is no joy in our hearts.

“Who told you that you were naked?”

When we choose to sin, afterwards it’s like the LORD is not there, as if our relationship has died, we’re cut-off from Him. We’ll also get fearful and want to run and hide from God, because we become aware that He can see right through us. 

When Temptations Come:

We’ve got a choice: We can listen to God’s voice, His witness within, our Conscience, that will be crying out to us; “This will lead to the death of your relationship with God”. Or we can reason with ourselves and con ourselves into believing; It’s not that bad, everyone else is doing it, everybody thinks it’s OK, it won’t do me any harm, why not enjoy yourself, you deserve it, you’ve earned the right to enjoy it”

But Moses Chose A Different Way:

Hebrews 11:25  “He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”

When we choose to follow God’s WAY: It’s costly in terms of dying to self, in saying “No!” to the pleasures of sin for a season.

Hebrews 11:25  “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”

Yes we can enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but whilst we’re doing so, we’ll be doing it away from Jesus and it will be as if He’s dead to us, as if He’s not real, as if there is no God. The realisation will come to us that we’re NAKED and we’ll want to run and hide like Adam and Eve. But just like a dark-cloud hides the sun, the sun still continues to shine behind it’s dark lining; so God continues to reign and rule behind the darkness of our disobedience.

Just as God called out in the Garden of Eden for Adam: “Adam, Where are you?” He’s calling out to you and me today: “Where are you?”

  • Are you walking with the Lord?
  • Are you seeking to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season?

Have an awesome day with Jesus. Choose LIFE, JOY, PEACE and FELLOWSHIP with God today. It’s going to be FREEDOM and FOUNTAINS of LOVE flowing within.

Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I pray today that when temptation comes, I’ll be listening to You in my heart. Help me to know that choosing to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season is like death to my relationship with You. This day Lord; I’m choosing LIFE and the joy that comes as I walk with You. Help me Lord! Amen.”

Don.

 

Antiques Appreciate With Age

Heirlooms depreciate in value, because they are viewed differently

Daily Spirit & Word 565: Antiques Appreciate With Age.

It was one of those nights again, I had another dream that I believe was from the LORD. I don’t know who it’s for though, so I’m just sharing it generally for all to enjoy.

In the dream, I was upstairs in an old dusty attic loft, with wooden balustrades and open slatted bannisters. There was a very good looking woman (I know who she is), who was acting like a Princess (in her own eyes), but everybody else thought she was a grown-up-spoilt-brat of a woman. Over the years she’d used her good looks to get what she wanted in life; the best boy in school, the best and biggest circle of friends were attracted to her, because she was bright, intelligent and politically lethal. Of course she had money and she was daddy’s little girl, even though she was a grown-woman and married.

As I gazed upon the scene she was in the full-throws of an argument with her handsome husband, she wasn’t going to get her own way for the first time in her life, she ran down the stairs and tripped on the bottom step landing in a heap on the straw-strewn floor beneath. She began kicking her legs in anger and a massive tantrum erupted, she was sobbing and crying out, and banging her fists upon the floor. I heard myself saying in a loud voice, loud enough for her to hear, “I’ll bet she was a spoilt-brat as a child”. She stopped crying immediately and looked around at me with a red tear-soaked face and glowered at me. But as I looked around the room, it was full of people, hundreds of them, all familiar to me, and they were all nodding their heads in agreement some even saying openly out-loud, “She was, she was and she is”…

Then the LORD said something that startled me awake; “Antiques appreciate in value with age, but heirlooms tend to loose their value” I said, “What does that mean LORD?” He answered me, “Antiques are valued by collectors and looked after by dealers, they are maintained and treasured. However, Heirlooms are handed down from one generation to the next, and more often than not they are not valued by those who receive them, they are viewed as an encumbrance and an embarrassment and often hidden in the attic or loft.”

“Antiques appreciate in value with age, but heirlooms tend to loose their value”

“Heirlooms are handed down from one generation to the next, and more often than not they are not valued by those who receive them, they are viewed as an encumbrance and an embarrassment and often hidden in the attic or loft.” 

After a while, I was fully awake by now, but then the LORD said again, “So it is with the Christian faith, as a man or woman who’s become a convert to My Son Jesus Christ grows older, the rest of the Saints value him or her and treasure their God given wisdom and gifts. They are looked after and honoured in their meetings and I LOVE them too. However, when that same Christian faith is second or third generation, then those born into a family of faith, with real saints in their family line, they more often than not view their hand-me-down faith as an encumbrance, they have a form of Christianity, but it’s devoid of My power. They know all about My Son, but they don’t know My Son Jesus and so they do not treasure their faith as their relatives once did.”

The woman in my dream was born into a family with a strong Evangelical tradition, she’d been brought up to go to church, was the sparkling gem of a child, who because of her family heritage was even spoilt in Sunday School. (Spoilt means = Having the character or disposition harmed by pampering or oversolicitous attention) and you know how she turned out, but there is real HOPE: Because that woman became a born-again believer in the LORD JESUS CHRIST. She is just as on-fire with the Holy Spirit today as her ancestors were. What happened? She met Jesus for herself: Repented, Received Him as Lord and got baptised.

My friends, you cannot be born a Christian, you must be born-again. You cannot be a Christian because Granny was a strong believer or Grandaddy was an Elder or Deacon in the Church; you must be born-again yourself.

“Nobody can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, unless they are born again of God’s Holy Spirit.”

You cannot get born-again, by just attending church, being baptised, going to Sunday School or taking Holy Communion. No my friends, you too must come to believe that Jesus died upon the Cross for your own sins, all those Commandments of the LORD that you’ve broken will one day land you in Hell, unless you too repent and trust the Saviour for your Salvation. Why? Because God must punish sin and until you come to the Saviour in repentance and faith, you are carrying your own load of sin. You’ll carry it all the way to the judgement unless you hand it over to Jesus at the Cross.

Time is short, time is running out, each day that passes is one more step towards Eternity. So take the leap into Jesus arms right now, and let Him catch you before you fall into the pit of Hell.

Be certain today that you’ve turned from your sins, stop trusting in your own goodness and begin trusting in Christ’s goodness to save you from God’s wrath to come.

Ardian Rogers explains it so clearly; “All sin will either be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell. No sin and no person who sins will slip by, adjudged.” Adrian Rogers. Love Worth Finding.

“All sin will either be pardoned in Christ or punished in hell. 

No sin and no person who sins will slip by, adjudged.”

A ‘faith’ that’s handed down from one generation to the next, without becoming personal and real, is no faith at all. No wonder so many people who think they are Christians because their family were strong believers, are treating their faith as if it’s an encumbrance or an embarrassment.

My friends, when you KNOW Jesus, your faith in Him is valued above everything else in life.

  • You’ll treasure your Bible because you’ll know it’s God’s love letter to you. That He speaks to you through it’s pages and guides you in life and corrects your thought and desires.
  • You’ll long to gather with the brothers and sisters to worship with all your heart and sing your praises to the Lord until it hurts, because you love HIM.
  • You long for and look for opportunities to share you faith with others and spread the good news, because you can’t bear the thought of anyone, even your worst enemy, spending one moment in Hell with the Devil.
  • You’ll also look for ways to be used by the LORD for good in the world. Instead of avoiding the poor, the weak, the lame and the outcast, you’ll search them out an help them. Why? Because you’ll be filled with the LOVE of the LORD.
  • You’ll look for and desire to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit every day and moment by moment throughout each day of your life; Why? Because you know that trying to get by in your own strength and ability leads to spiritual failures.

As you grow into an old Saint in Christ my friends, growing up in that kind of faith, then you too will become a treasured antique; treasured by your fellow saints and by the LORD Jesus Christ.

God bless and I hope you all have an AWESOME weekend.

(Now I can go back to bed, it’s only 2.45am 😎 😆 😛  ).

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I thank you that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139), that you’re calling everyone out of darkness into your marvellous, magnificent, amazing light. Please help me today to be the person You want me to be. Fill me with the Holy Spirit Lord, because I need Your power to live each moment for You. Amen!

Don.

For Further Study / Scripture Notes: 

If You Sin: You’ll Die: Why? Because each person will pay for their own sin: Ezekiel 18:20  “The soul who sins is the one who will die. The son will not share the guilt of the father, nor will the father share the guilt of the son. The righteousness of the righteous man will be credited to him, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against him.”

(Don’s Side – NOTE: Therefore, no one can be saved because their mum, dad or granny or granddaddy were Christians. You must become ‘righteous’ in Christ yourself, but trusting in the Lord’s death for your own sins.)

All Have Sinned: Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

(Don’s Side-Note: Each one of us has broken at least one of God’s Commandments; lying, stealing, lusting, cheating, coveting, dishonouring our parents).

DEATH because of SinRomans 5:12  “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”

God’s Wages For Sin: Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

What IS Sin? (KJV & NIV) 1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”

1 John 3:4 “Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness.”

So SIN is: Breaking God’s Moral Law: Revealed in His Ten Commandments. (NOTE: The Ten Commandments are NOT ten suggestions, but Commands by God to be obeyed, we break them and become guilty law-breakers)

HOW do we get to be ‘righteous’? 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He [God the Father] hath made Him [Jesus Christ] to be sin for us, Who [Jesus] knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him [Jesus].

(Don’s Side-Notes: We become righteous in Christ the moment we receive Him as our Saviour after believing that He died on the cross for our sin and rose from the dead to show that God the Father was satisfied with His Sacrifice for sin, then we repent (turn from all sin in our life) and receive Him as our Lord).

There are NO second-hand Christians, only first-hand Believers. You can be purchased (redeemed) by Jesus today.

The Gospel Good News of Jesus Christ.

The Spirit Filled Life: Discover it today: 

Adrian Rogers Study on The Judgement Seat of Christ.

 

A Darkness That Can Be Felt: Walk In The Light

A great darkness covered the land

Daily Spirit & Word, 550: Walk In The Light

Great Is The Darkness: “A Darkness That Can Be Felt”

Good morning my friends, I was half-dreaming half-awake this morning at 4.30am and the Lord was speaking to me about the DARKNESS. I got up quickly and opened my Bible and the Software and began to study the ‘darkness’ in the Bible.

The Word the Lord gave me was; “A Darkness that may be felt.”

Exodus 10:21 (NIV) “Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand towards the sky so that darkness will spread over Egypt—darkness that can be felt.””

  • When Mankind walks away from God, they walk away from the light into a DARKNESS that can be felt.
  • A moral darkness covers the land.
  • To be in the darkness is to be without the light of Christ.
  • To be in the dark, is to be blind, blinded, can’t see.

They are blinded to their need of salvation. 2 Cor 4:4.
They are blinded to their moral condition. (Call sin good).
They are blinded to their destiny. (Don’t believe, choose not to accept, deny; Hell).
They are robbed of a sense of fear of God (They are bold, brazen about sin).
They are darkened in their understanding of anything good.

Great IS the Darkness.

Last night at the Monthly Prayer Meeting in Church, we touched upon the subject of the moral condition of those that don’t yet know Christ as Lord. A great discussion ensued about homosexuality being the NEW Schism in the church. How many who call themselves Christians are now saying that it’s OK to be homosexual, even so called Evangelicals are walking over to the dark side.

We got that from just re-reading Sunday’s lesson from 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.

Ten of the most well known Christian preachers / teachers were interviewed and asked their opinion on the subject of same-sex-marriage and homosexuality: You can watch their answers by clicking the link at the bottom.

Note: The one’s that gave the clearest answers were those who have the highest regard for the Word of the Lord. When the Bible says something, it’s as if God has said it. It’s true my friends, the Bible IS God’s WORD on any subject. Note those that gave the weakest answers were those who had a higher regard for what people feel. Joel Osteen, for instance, was determined that he didn’t want to upset anyone. Almost as soon as he acknowledged homosexuality was a sin, he immediately tried to cover-up that fact and that he believed it. So frightened is he of upsetting his ‘Positivity’ message.

DARKNESS: Is a kind of moral blindness in the Bible.

It’s an inability to see what sin is. It’s a failure to acknowledge sin as sin.

It’s an sensual-feeling darkness. A darkness that can be felt.

I’ve had one of those nights when the LORD was speaking to me about the DARKNESS and how great is that darkness. It wouldn’t go away. It came at me again and again in the night: Benighted.

We’ve also had that feeling of Darkness too; when out sharing the Gospel of Jesus. There are some individuals, that when you speak with them about Jesus, they give off a kind of darkness that can be felt. You can feel it in your soul the moment you begin speaking with them. More often than not this happens when people declare that they’ve rejected God or turned away from Him because of their lifestyle. Read Sarah’s Story (Link at bottom of page) and you’ll see that the Darkness is real.

However: BLIND people don’t need our condemnation.

They need to be brought into the light.

They need our LOVE no matter what it is they’ve done.

They need to be saved from the darkness.

Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction (Link at bottom).

Nor can we boast; (By ‘we’ I mean Christians).

  • We did not save ourselves.
  • We are not saved because of our own goodness. (Rom 3:20)
  • We are ALL sinners: Because we’ve ALL fallen short of God’s goodness (Rom 3:23).
  • We are SAVED by God’s GRACE not by our own good works. (Ephesians 2:8-9).

2 Corinthians 4:2-6
2  Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.
3  And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing.
4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.
6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

If a blind man was walking towards the edge of a cliff???? Surely LOVE would compel you to shout a warning.

Blind are they that walk in darkness.

If a blind man had tripped over something, you would not blame the Blind Man would you? No! You’d blame the person who put the obstacle in the Blind Man’s pathway.

Satan has blinded:

Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood.

Isaiah 5:20  “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

The Darkness that can be felt: Is for those who are perishing, those on their way to death and destruction in Hell. Love, compassion and kindness compels us to share the good news of Jesus that we may save some from the darkness.

WHO IS IN THIS DARKNESS? (Don’t be Deceived).

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders,
10  nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
11  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

Those in Darkness: We don’t normally think that a ‘greedy’ person is wicked or in DARKNESS do we? Let us NOT be deceived.

The human tendency is to point the finger at something that we are not; thinking that we are ‘something’ when we are not. We didn’t save ourselves, Jesus did that. We are in Christ, because of Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:30).

1 Corinthians 1:29-31 “so that no-one may boast before him. 30  It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31  Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.””

PRAY: That the LORD will, by His Holy Spirit, lead our Nations out of this great darkness. That He’ll so fill His people with a deep compassion for those that have been blinded, who are in darkness, that we will do everything we can to bring others into the light of Jesus Christ, and that by His grace and kindness He’s given to each one of us, we’ll draw others to HIM.

FEAR OF THE DARKNESS:

Before I came to know the Lord Jesus, I was afraid of the DARKNESS. I hated being in dark places. I could feel the darkness. It was horrible. Once, when I was alone in bed in a darkened room, I could feel the presence of evil. I called out to the LORD Jesus Christ and asked Him to be with me, in the darkness. Since that night, I’ve NEVER been afraid of the DARKNESS again. I was set free from the fear of the darkness by Jesus. My friends, many who are walking in the darkness are afraid, they’re frightened of the light, they don’t want to come into the light for fear; fear that they are going to be exposed / reproved (John 3:20).

John 3:20 “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” KJV.

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

Finally, Jesus declared; John 8:12 “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.””

  • Everyone can be set free to walk in the light.
  • Everyone has a Conscience (they know what they are doing is wrong).
  • The Darkness can be felt.

Walk in the Light. (1 John 1:6-8)

1 John 1:6-8 “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.

7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”

I’m praying that I can be walking in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ today.

Set me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Keep me free from the DARKNESS Lord.
Help me to be an instrument for good Lord, to lead others into the Light. Amen.

Don.

P.S. LINK to Ten World Renowned Church Leaders Thoughts on Homosexual Marriage / Same Sex-Marriage.

Sarah Mourer
Sarah’s Deliverance From Same-Sex-Attraction.

P.P.S: Read Sarah’s Story of Deliverance from Sam-Sex-Attraction

 

From The Miracles to The Miracle Maker

Jesus cares and provides fish and bread at the resurrection appearances on the beach

Daily Spirit & Word: 509: From The Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: John 21:7-14.

Good morning my friends, Saturday’s are always so special for me, because it’s the day of; rest and relaxation, a time to be with family and friends, a time to rebuild what the working week has drained out or us. Some of my friends relax so much on Saturdays that they spend the whole day in bed or in their night-clothes relaxing on the couch. Why? Because their working week is so stress-filled or exhausting and demanding, by the time Saturday comes around all they are ready to do is FLOP.

Today we’ll discover the tired, exhausted and hungry Disciples and the Lord Jesus coming to their assistance with a cooked breakfast for them to eat, also that Jesus is your friend and as a friend He comes to you for fellowship: He’s promised to do this many times in His Word, the Holy Scriptures, and today we’ll see the very first time that it actually happened after His Crucifixion and Resurrection from the dead.

John 21:7-14 7  Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
8  The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.
9  When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10  Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
11  Simon Peter climbed aboard and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
12  Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
13  Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
14  This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

Jesus Close Friends Get The Revelations:

The first thing that happens after the Miracle of the catch of fish that didn’t sink the boat or break the nets, was one of the Disciples, the one whom Jesus loved, recognised who it was that told them to drop the net on the right side of the boat. That revelation comes to the one who was closest to Jesus, “the disciple whom Jesus loved”. We know that disciple was John, the Gospel Writer and the very same John who wrote 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelations. How close are you to Jesus today? If you are close like John, then you are going to get a some amazing revelations of the Miracle Maker.

As I pointed out yesterday: Jesus PROMISE is that He will come (John 14) He’ll come and REVEAL Himself to us and in us. He’ll come and have fellowship. He’ll come and we’ll EAT together (Rev 3:20)… It’s Awesome to know this as a TRUTH, but it’s even more awesome when we experience the risen and resurrected Lord’s presence and we get our own REVELATION. Not just once, but regularly. No wonder John wanted to communicate it so clearly throughout his Gospel and all his letter and the book of Revelation. Jesus wants a closer walk with you today and He’s waiting and watching and calling out to you today to come to Him.

It’s been my own experience that the Lord has made known to me that He is present, many times. I’ve had that feeling and knowledge that Jesus is HERE: Whilst washing dishes (I hate washing dishes, but I began to sing praise songs, then suddenly Jesus came, and the task that I was doing seemed so much easier and even joy filled, I was in the presence of Jesus and I began to cry with joy). He’s with us always, of course, from the moment we decided to follow Him as Lord and receive Him as Saviour, but there are times when He manifests Himself and makes Himself more KNOWN. Just like He did with the Disciples in all His resurrection appearances, somehow they didn’t recognise Him immediately, until the right moment when they eventually get the revelation: “It’s Jesus”. As we’ve just read above, that’s what happened to the beloved Disciple John whilst in the boat. Everyone else had their eyes on the Miracle, but John was focused upon the Miracle Maker.

It’s always going to be the friends of Jesus who’ll get the REVELATIONS. This is something that’s true throughout the whole Bible, it’s the friends of God, that He chooses to reveal His secret plans: Moses, David, Abraham, Elijah, etc… So I’m going to ask you that question unashamedly today: “How much of a close friend of Jesus are you?” One of the ways to know is this; how obedient are you being to Jesus commands? (see yesterday’s reading). You see my friends, we’ll also get a revelation of who we are when we come to Jesus. We’ll know that He loves us and we love Him. We’ll know that He loves us, WHEN we love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We can only love Him like that with the HELP of the HELPER, the Holy Spirit who indwells every true follower and believer.

It’s the friends of the LORD who’ll get His Revelations.

The Fallen Believer Runs To Jesus:

Notice secondly the impulsive Peter: Every time I read this portion of John’s Gospel, a great big smile comes over my face. I always think “I want to be like Peter” I want to run to the Lord, to be rushing up to Jesus. Upon hearing the news from John, that the person who’d told them to cast the net, the one standing on the shore, was Jesus, you’ll note that Peter does two things:

First: Peter Puts on His Outer Garment:

It’s an amazing few words; “he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off)”. Why did Peter feel the need to put on his outer garments? He’d have been naked from the waist-up: Reminds me of Builders working on site on a hot summer’s day when I was a boy, they’d all be lying around with their shirts off at lunch-time. Peter, had obviously taken it off because working the net was much easier without the clothing getting in the way. However, what was it that made him put it on? Well, many have speculated different reasons, but I believe it was like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, who hearing the Lord’s footsteps in the Garden after eating the forbidden fruit run away and hide. Then the Lord makes clothing for them, for they were naked. It’s SHAME that Peter feels my friends, for he knew he’d sinned when he betrayed the Lord Jesus. When Peter denied the Lord three times and the cock crowed, it was then that he remembered the Lord’s words, warning that he’d deny him. Now Peter is ashamed when he hears John’s words, “It’s the Lord” and tries to cover up his shameful nakedness. He’s aware of his sinful condition before the Holy and Righteous Lord Jesus Christ.

From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker

That shame is what we experience sometimes when we’ve been living in sin. We too want to run and hide ourselves away from the Lord. That’s why so many fallen Christians won’t come back to church, they know that in the company of other believers, the Lord is likely to show up and make Himself known to them. They’d rather stay at home safe from the presence of the Lord.

That shame is also why non-believers refuse to come to the Saviour. It’s because they love sin and they are ashamed and frightened that their evil deeds will be exposed. Of course no sinner would articulate it that way, we only know this by God’s revelation on so many places in the Bible.

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

Peter had to put on his outer clothing to cover up, it was in instinctive thing, something that the Police know when they are interviewing suspects. When someone is guilty, they’ll try and put something in front of them; their hand over their mouth, something between the interviewer and the suspect. So sinners need to try and hide behind something in God’s presence. That’s what Peter was doing when He heard it was Jesus, trying to cover up his sinful, shameful nakedness. Have you ever felt exposed when you heard a Sermon that hits home to where you’ve been sinning in life? I have and I just wanted to hide in the pew. God knows how to get to our hearts doesn’t he, but His purpose in doing so is always to restore us and clean us up so we can be of further useful service in His Kingdom.

However, even though Peter’s natural instinct is to hide his sinful, shameful nakedness, he does something extraordinary next;

Next: Peter Dives Into The Water:

Yes my friends, that’s the sinner diving into the water to get to Jesus faster than the boat is able to carry him. Peter can’t wait for the boat to get to the shore, so he jumps into the water because he’s desperate to get to Jesus. No thought is given to the others who need to tow the net full of fish ashore, now Peter knows that it’s Jesus, all he can do is get to Him as fast as he can.

This is one of my favourite passages in the whole Bible my friends, I just LOVE Peter. Because it reveals part of what happened to me and many other brothers and sisters I’ve known since I started following Jesus. When I realised just how much a sinner I was, how I’d fallen short of God’s Holy Standards, How I’d broken His commandments, there is nothing else that I could possibly do to remove the stain of sin in my soul. None of my good works would balance the scales of God’s Justice, sin must be punished or purged and I knew it. Unless I responded to the call of the Gospel, I knew I was headed for hell. But then I responded the Good News, “I don’t need to suffer God’s wrath and anger against my sins, I could trust in Jesus.” I knew I didn’t deserve Jesus’ forgiveness, but I knew that I could be forgiven, because of Jesus love for me. So many of my friends had turned to Jesus as well, they know they don’t deserve God’s amazing grace, but He gives it freely to all who will come to Him in Repentance and Faith in Jesus Christ. Once I knew what to do, and why I needed to do it, nothing on earth would have stopped me trusting in Jesus Christ for Salvation.

That’s what Peter was doing, He was coming to Jesus as fast as his body could carry him. He know Jesus was the ONLY way to be saved. My friends, I’ve actually seen people RUNNING down to the front of church to give their lives to Jesus, when they Holy Spirit convicted them of their need of The Saviour. I’m going to encourage you to listen to His voice today; to be like Peter, to be like my friends and so many that I’ve seen. I’m going to encourage you to come running to Jesus Christ right now. Don’t listen to your brain, be impulsive and just do it. Come!

From the Miracles of the Catch of Fish and the Un-burstable Nets: Peter comes running to the Resurrected Miracle Maker: The Lord Jesus Christ.

When they get to the Miracle Maker, they find the fish cooking and He’s giving them bread and fish.

Jesus wants to eat with you too my friends, to have fellowship with you. To be in your company and to provide for your nourishment in life. Oh what a glory it is today, to get this awesome awareness that Jesus is right inside you… Word’s can’t explain. But you need to try hard and take your eyes off the miracles and mover from the miracles to the miracle maker.

Imagine though, if your church was to have a fellowship breakfast on the beach with fish cooking on the fire: how many would show up? I’d be in that number as quick as a flash 🙂

Points to Ponder:

  • When was the last time you KNEW Jesus was with you?
  • How quick are you to recognise the voice of the Lord in your life?
  • Tomorrow, we’ll see that after the breakfast Jesus takes Peter aside and has a conversation about His love and devotion. Today let’s ponder on what we’ve been thinking about:

Jesus performs a Miracle in order to reveal Himself to His closest friends, and then because He knows they a tired from fishing all night, Jesus provides a meal of fish and bread for them to eat with Him. He’s right there today with you my friends. He loves you so much and wants you to experience His presence. That means not just knowing about Jesus, but actually getting your own revelation that He’s actually with you by His Spirit.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ; Thank you so much for who You are, how You reveal Yourself to us and how it happened with the first followers. Please help me to recognise Your interventions in my life quickly, help me not to focus so much on the Miracles that I miss the Miracle Maker, it’s Your face that I long for more than the Miracles You can perform. Help me to realise that being in Your presence is far more precious than anything else that I can have or that will happen in my life. Amen.

Have an awesome Saturday, relax as much as you can, because the LORD needs you tomorrow to Worship, to Fellowship, to Encourage you and build you up and to strengthen one another in the faith. I’ll see you on Sunday 🙂 I hope and pray you’ll get closer to Jesus today. Don.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 25: From the Miracles to the Miracle Maker.

Jesus Gives A New Peace

Daily Spirit & Word, 499: Jesus Gives A New Peace.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 15: Jesus Gives A New Peace.

Good morning my friends, as we begin the third week of 40 Days With Jesus, we’re considering His appearing to the Disciples when they are all gathered together in a locked room frightened about what the Jews would do to them. You know my friends, as you walk with Jesus and continue in the faith there will be times when you experience these sudden and unexpected moments when you know that Jesus is specially present. He promised that whenever we’re gathered in His name, He’ll come. Matthew 18:20.

Many shared at last night’s meeting about their struggles to continue, they tried living the Christian life and being a Christian, but they either forgot or didn’t quite understand that the Christian life in not about our labouring or our effort to be a Christian, but of surrender and acceptance and being filled and equipped. Once we know the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, we’ll realise that being a Christian is effortless on our part, because He’s taken complete control. We’re not called to walk by might, nor by power by by the Spirit. Here’s a wonderful verse from the Old Testament that conveys this awesome truth, let it soak into your heart today;

Zechariah 4:6 6  So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

During this third week, we’ll see that truth explained and applied to our lives, it’s when we know the Lord Jesus and receive all His blessings and promises that we’re going to run the race of faith in His fantastic supernatural power.

The Third Week’s Bible Reading: John 20:19-31. Jesus Appears in their Midst.

John 20:19-31 19  On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
20  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
22  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
23  If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
24  Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.
25  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”
26  A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
27  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28  Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29  Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
30  Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.
31  But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

When we meet Jesus, He gives ‘A New Peace’.

As stated earlier, Jesus comes when we gather in His name. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this yet or not, but wheter we perceive it or not that’s Jesus promise. Of course we can’t see Him physically, that’s because, apart from the 40 days after the resurrection when Jesus ascended into Heaven, and since the first Pentecost, people get to know about Jesus by His Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the one who revealed Jesus to us, He leads us to faith and trust in Jesus and then indwells every single believer, but there’s an even greater witness when we’re gathered. I believe the Lord has done this on purpose, because He never indended us to be Lone-Ranger Christians. When He called us, He called us into a family, we’ve got brothers and sisters in the faith, like any family, we’ve got family obligations: To LOVE one another and that’s how Jesus has chosen to reveal to the world that we truly belong to Him, if we love each other.

Notice first How the Disciples were Gathered:

They were all together, locked in a room for fear of the Jews. It was fear in their hearts. Fear for their own lives. They must have been thinking, “If they can kill Jesus, who never did anything wrong and who only ever did good things to and for people, surely we’re doomed”

It’s a bit like Private Frazer in Dad’s Army on TV, his favourite saying is, “We’re Doomed Captain Manwarring”.

He’d been through a lot in life, so perhaps he had good reason to come up with that catchphrase, “We’re Doomed”. So the Disciples are locked in, in fear for their lives, when suddenly Jesus appears in their midst.

Oh WOW! Some of them had heard from the others that Jesus tomb was empty, Mary said she’d seen Him and spoken with Him, now these two Disciples claim they met Jesus on the Road to Emmaus and tonight, that same evening, Suddenly Jesus APPEARS IN THEIR MIDST. My friends, I don’t know about you, but that appearing is awesome. His first words to them “PEACE BE WITH YOU”.

Jesus knew what they were going through, He saw their terror and fear and He comes to them and meets their deepest need at that moment. They may have had other needs, hunger, thirst, healing from various aches and pains, but Jesus meets their deepest need and it was for “PEACE”.

When you come to Jesus or when He shows up in your worship services, fellowship groups, house study groups, and fellowship prayer meetings, that’s what Jesus does, He comes to give His PEACE. It’s a new kind of peace. His peace in not like the PEACE that the world can give us. Yes my friends, in this world their is pleasure, joy and peace, but it’s nothing like the Heavenly PEACE that the Lord Jesus can and will give to every true follower. It’s not something we have to work at to get either, it’s not by works of righteousness, it’s Jesus Himself who just give us, by His grace, this PEACE from Heaven.

Jesus had appeared, He didn’t open the door like normal people and let himself in, He just miraculously appeared. That’s the definition of a miracle, it happens beyond the realms of Scientific possibility. I.e. The laws of Physics say, you can’t walk through a solid door, but Jesus did. You can’t just pop out of a wrapped up sheet (grave clothes), but Jesus did. You can’t walk on water, but Jesus and Peter did. You can’t raise the dead, but Jesus did. You can’t heal a blind person, but Jesus did. You see my friends, Jesus resurrected body is totally awesome. he can appear and disappear and yet be touched and known. He’s real, He’s alive, but He’s different. He who does these amazing things, wants to give you REAL PEACE today.

What is this PEACE that Jesus Gives?

In our reading Jesus gives them this blessing of PEACE (Shalom). The full meaning of God’s PEACE is not like the world’s understanding of peace. When we think of peace with think of tranquility or stillness and lack of strife. However, the PEACE of God is far more than that. When Jesus died upon the Cross, He won for us a peace that the world and all our efforts to attain it couldn’t and can’t give us. Jesus death and resurrection proves that God was satisfied with what He did and now the longed for PEACE with God can be had by everyone who trusts in Christ. When you trust Christ as Lord, you get this awesome PEACE within.

Notice that when Jesus came into that room He didn’t criticise the disciples for their failure, for their running away at His greatest moment of need. Jesus know us better than we know ourselves and when you come to Him in faith, He’ll not criticise you for your failures and weaknesses either, because all Jesus wants to give you is a deep PEACE within. Human beings look for peace, there’s a restlessness in every single one of us that cannot be satisfied until we find our peace with God. We do try and satisfy it though, with material wealth, with relationship and love and sex and things, but nothing can give us this peace that’s the kind of PEACE that only knowing Jesus can give. It’s more than tranquility, it’s more than not being anxious or perplexed, it’s an eternal peace with God.

In Romans 5:1-8 Paul reminds us about this PEACE that Jesus will give to every follower today:

Romans 5:1-8 1  Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
2  through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
3  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
4  perseverance, character; and character, hope.
5  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.
6  You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.
7  Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die.
8  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

We are justified by our faith and trust in Jesus and then we have peace (or experience peace) with God, through our LORD Jesus Christ. WOWzer!

My friends, have you got that PEACE in your life today?

Once we know this ETERNAL PEACE with God, we also get the INTERNAL PEACE that we are all craving for. There’s more, once we get eternal and internal peace, we’ll also leak peace out into the world. It will come our from inside us to those around about us. They’ll sence the PEACE of God in us, even non-believers will notice this strange phenomenon, this peace that’s almost tangible and touchable, Jesus PEACE is not something that can be manufactured or  worked for, we cannot earn it, it’s by grace that we receive it and reveal it to the world.

Be blessed with the PEACE of God today.

Don.

Points to Ponder:

  • In your experience, how do people imagine they’ll find peace?
  • What does it mean for you to be a peace with God? How will that affect the way you live today?
  • Becoming a Christian means knowing God as Father. How does our new status as children of God help bring peace into our lives?
  • Imagine someone who truly was at peace with God. What do you think would strike you about the way they talked and behaved?
  • How well do you manifest this PEACE to those around about you today?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus Christ. You are the Prince of Peace. I thank You for paying for my sins on the Cross so that I can have this eternal peace with God the Father. Lord, it is life’s biggest privilege to know You as Lord and Saviour. Knowing that when you see me, You don’t see my failures and sins, you see me whole, forgiven, cleansed and renewed, I receive this wonderful truth again by faith. Holy Spirit, continue to remind me of this when circumstances around me try to steal my peace and when people around me are living in anxiety. You are my Rock, My fortress, Me Deliverer, in Whom I take refuge (Psalm 18:2). Lord, please fill me afresh with your Heavenly PEACE so that I can bring that peace to those around me. In Jesus wonderful Name. Amen.

40 Days With Jesus Home Page:

Jesus Gives A New Peace: Day 15 of 40 Days With Jesus.

The Weakest Link

Daily Spirit & Word, 461: The Weakest Link.

“You are ONLY as STRONG as your WEAKEST Link”

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #6 Knowing God’s Word Helps To Maintaining My Purity.

“You are ONLY as STRONG as your WEAKEST Link”

On Saturday we talked about the Lord being the Anchor for your soul, today our focus is upon being able to maintain your purity as a Christian through Bible Memorisation. Bible Memory Training is good for the soul in so many wonderful ways. God’s Word encourages us to know ourselves, our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

The Anchor Chain:

You know that an Anchor is attached to a ship by a great big chain, with chunky links, but a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link. It’s the same with you in your walk with Jesus. What weakness or weaknesses are there in your life that will keep you away from the Saviour.

Jesus was tempted in every area of personality by Satan and each time He was tested Jesus would quote a portion of God’s Word to combat Satan. He used the sword most effectively when at his weakest moments in life. When starving hungry, Satan tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread and he answered Satan by stating, “Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord”…

That’s what Satan is like, when you’ve been deprived of something that you need or think you need for survival he’ll come and offer you something on a plate, but know that when Satan is offering you something like that, it’s going to lead you away from your walk with Jesus. You see my friends, Satan’s purpose is to see you fall, fail and fracture, he wants to break your connection to the Anchor for your soul.

The Chain Is ONLY as STRONG as it’s WEAKEST LINK.

In your battle to maintain purity, you’ll need to get to know your weak areas and strengthen them.

When an Anchor Chain is suspected of having a weak link, those links are inspected and when one is found to be cracked or damages in some way, it’s either replaced or welded. When you weld a piece of metal, then that weld makes it stronger than every other part of the link.

Possible Weak Links:

You know my friends, every weakness and sin is covered in the Bible many times and the LORD has ensured that within His revelation to you and me, there’s a portion that deals with your WEAKEST LINKS.

  • If your weakest link is depression, then Psalm 40 and Psalm 42 will definitely help you.
  • If you weakest link is materialism and greed for the worlds things, then you’ve got 1 Timothy 6.
  • If your weakest link is anger or swearing with a foul mouth, bad temper and an angry spirit, then you have Ephesians 4.
  • If your weakest link is lust, pornography or an immoral thought life, then you’ve got Ephesians 5 to help you.

In each of the areas above I’ve given only one scripture, but my friends in every case there are many more, because God’s Word is filled with awesome principles and precepts that will help you with every WEAK LINK in your life. There’s NO sin you can imagine doing that God’s Word has not covered.

I don’t know who coined the phrase; “Sin will keep you from the Bible, or the Bible will keep you from sin.” But it’s so true. When we get God’s Word into our hearts, minds, life and soul, then it’s more likely to keep us on the pathway of purity. Knowing the Lord Jesus Himself is of course key, being filled daily with the Holy Spirit cannot be forgotten, but the next most powerful way to strengthen every single one of your LINKS in the chain connecting you to your anchor (The Lord Jesus Christ) is to weld them in place by storing them in your inner being; Bible Memory Training.

Key Bible Verses:

These will enable you to know the precept that storing God’s Word is fundamental or foundational training in Discipleship and the pathway to Christian maturity.

Proverbs 23:7 (KJV) As A Man THINKETH.

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.”

Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV) “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Hebrews 12:1-7 (NIV)

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Tactics: Knowing Your Enemy:

Sun Tzu (Also Satan’s Tactics against Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ).

The Enemy: “When strong, avoid them. If of high morale, depress them. Seem humble to fill them with conceit. If at ease, exhaust them. If united, separate them. Attack their weaknesses. Emerge to their surprise.” Sun Tzu.

I want to fill it out a little;

  • When your enemy is strong, avoid them.
  • When they have high morale, depress them.
  • When they seem humble, then fill them with conceit.
  • When they are at ease, exhaust them.
  • If they are united, then separate them.
  • Attack their weaknesses.
  • Emerge to their surprise.

When you look at these tactics of the Chinese Tactical Warfare Expert, Sun Tzu, you’ll notice they are some of the ways that Satan attacks the Believer. So my friends, knowing your Weaknesses must therefore be a key to your victory in the Christian life. For when you know your weaknesses, then you can be strong. Christians are not to focus upon those weaknesses, but opon the LORD who’ll enable us to gain victory by meditating on His revelation in those areas. He’ll enable us to overcome all our weaknesses.

It’s my hope and prayer that you’ll be seeing the need to Memorise, Internalise, Meditate and Think about God’s Word every single day. Strengthen every WEAK LINK in your life with God’s Word and you’ll be well on your way to Christian maturity and Spiritual growth.

Have and AWESOME week my friends.

Don.

Seven Benefits of Bible Memorisation.

Benefit #6 Knowing God’s Word Helps To Maintaining My Purity.

The Weakest Link.