An Extra Hour In Bed

Service in Jesus Kingdom Family

Daily Spirit & Word: 801: AN EXTRA HOUR IN BED.

Jesus is Drawing Near To Jerusalem.

“Can YOU Drink the Cup that I Drink?”

It’s the most wonderful night of the year, an extra hour in bed, because the clocks go back an hour, but will¬†you get a good night’s sleep? When that night comes don’t you just love having that EXTRA hour?

I’ve been thinking about that word, EXTRA:

“EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT” That’s what Newspaper Sellers used to shout. As if we’d want that newspaper over and above the others because we’re getting something EXTRA.

But what does EXTRA mean?

EXTRA = More, than is needed, desired or required. More is added than should be measured. More than you’d normally get.

When we hear the word EXTRA, we think MORE often we think “More for FREE“…

In shops you’ll see on a packet of Cornflakes “An EXTRA 10% Free”.

“WOWzer! That’s awesome, an extra 10% for FREE, give me two packets”. ūüôā

EXTRA LIFE: For some people, their whole life is consumed with looking for the EXTRA: As if what they’ve been getting is not enough. You know those types of people who hoard stuff, save coupons and get all the bargains with EXTRA to boot?

  • People want EXTRA: Money in the pay-packets: i.e. a surprise bonus from the boss (Extra Pay).
  • People want EXTRA: TIME… When the School closes down because of Snow and the kids get an EXTRA day off: Joy. EXTRA time off work. EXTRA time in bed ūüôā
  • People want EXTRA: ??????? What EXTRA do you like to get?

Extra:

  • Savings on fuel,
  • Returns on Tax,
  • Bigger percentage OFF: Not just 30% but an extra 10% off the normal asking price.
  • More time on this earth before we need to go into the next life.

NEGATIVE: However, there are Negative Connotations too: EXTRA as in “A minor actor in a crowd scene”… “A subservient part in a play”. An extra on a football team is called a Substitute or Standby.

Today, we’re going to see this in both contexts in our reading of God’s Word from Mark’s Gospel as we continue through chapter by chapter: EXTRA as in more… and EXTRA as in a minor part to play.

Mark 10:32-45 (NIV)
32  They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him.
33 ¬†“We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,
34 ¬†who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

35¬†¬†Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 ¬†“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 ¬†They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 ¬†“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?”
39 ¬†“We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with,¬†40 ¬†but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41  When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
42 ¬†Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
43  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
44  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
45 ¬†For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

  • First Jesus Prediction of His Death:

Jesus KNEW what was going to happen to Himself. Mark 10:33-34.

33 ¬†“We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles,¬†34 ¬†who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

JESUS DIDN’T SHRINK BACK FROM HIS DESTINY. Mark 10:32-34.

Jesus knew what was about to happen, but did He shrink back? Did He try to avoid it? Did He try and change the outcome?

No He did not, notice in our reading, “He’s LEADING THE WAY to Jerusalem”¬†He’s AHEAD of the whole crowd of followers.

It’s like Jesus just can’t wait to get it over with. Jesus wants to complete His mission on the earth. He came to die.

He’s revealed so far in Mark’s Gospel: three times, why He came down from Heaven:

  • He came to PREACH the Gospel of the Kingdom: Mark 1:38.
  • He came to CALL sinners to repentance: Mark 2:17.
  • He came to DIE a cruel death; betrayal, condemnation, mocked, spat-upon, flogged, killed. Mark 10:33-34.

Jesus Christ knew all of that, and set his heart on fulfilling that mission and completing it in Jerusalem.

“He set his face like flint”

Luke 9:51 (KJV)
51  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,

Oh yes my friends, Jesus knew and was fully resolved to get His mission done.

2) Second: James and John’s Request.

What would you want to do if Jesus had just revealed to you he’s about to be; BETRAYED, CONDEMNED, MOCKED, SPAT-ON, BEATEN, FLOGGED AND KILLED? I hope that I’d be a bit more sympathetic than James and John, that I’d not be thinking about myself, my desires, my wishes. I hope I’d be thinking about what my Master had just told me¬†would happen to him. Surely normal human compassion, sympathy and empathy would kick in and you’d CARE? Right? Well, that wasn’t the case with James and John.

NO, that’s not what happened: Listen to James and John’s request.

“Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

They are NOT thinking about Jesus, about what He’s going to suffer, but about themselves. They are ALL WRAPPED-UP IN SELF.

Imagine that, how insensitive can anyone possibly dare to be?

How would you feel if you’d just related to your best friends or family how you are suffering and they change the subject back onto themselves? I’m sure you be Hurt, right?

You know, some people are following Jesus in that exact same way as James and John today:

They’re following Jesus¬†only¬†because¬†of what they can get out of Him.

  • People want to be blessed,
  • People want to be healed,
  • People want to be happy, successful, rich, powerful, anointed, have a long life and EXTRA years on this earth, and eternal life as well. (It’s like getting a Cornflake Packet that will never run out).

So they start following Jesus for what they think He’ll give them or what they can get EXTRA (Over and above the normal) out of Him. They are not that bothered about what Jesus really wants them to be doing with the rest of their lives. He had a mission Himself, but He’s also got a mission for each and every one of us as well. But sometimes we can’t hear Him because we’re all wrapped up in self, just like James and John. We’re not satisfied with our lot, so we ask Jesus for more.

Today, we’re going to see that Jesus turns ALL of these NOTIONS of EXTRA on their heads.

Jesus asks them a question: Mark 10:36.¬†“What do you want me to do for you?”

It’s like this my friends, “I’ve just told you I’m going to die, but OK what is it that you want?”

They have the EXTREME AUDACITY: To ASK for EXTRA… (Over and above what the other Disciples are getting).

It’s a bit like Oliver, in Oliver Twist, “Please Sir, can I have some more?”

Listen to what they are after my friends, and listen carefully;

Mark 10:37. ¬†They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

They want the POSITIONS of HONOUR & GLORY: 

They’re still thinking that Jesus is going up to Jerusalem to be crowned KING: When that happens, they want the right and left hand positions when Jesus is on His throne. They’re after; Honour, Glory, Power, Rule, Dominion. To be ABOVE other people: They want to be like KINGS themselves. They didn’t realise yet that before every CROWN of Glory, there’s SUFFERING, SWEAT and TEARS.

SORRY For James and John: I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit sorry for James and John (The Sons of Thunder). They were really THICK…(Thick skinned as well as Thick-headed). Thankfully they were transformed at PENTECOST and that thickness didn’t last too long, they went on to become two of the most beloved and devout Apostles of Jesus Christ. (Read James’ book and all of John’s writings, including Revelation). However, here, at this point in their journey towards glory, they’re really hurtful to Jesus and their fellow Disciples (Mark 10:41). No wonder the others got a bit annoyed with them.

3)Thridly, Jesus tells them about His BAPTISM and His CUP:

  • His Baptism: He’s talking about the CROSS and DEATH. Luke 12:50 and Psalm 69.
  • His CUP: Refers to His submission to His Father’s will: Mark 14:36 and John 18:11.

Jesus is determined to go through with it.

He’s asking if they are willing to go through with it too.

They said they would, but they didn’t fully understand what Jesus was talking about. So Jesus knowing their minds are upon earthly things, explains what Kingdom Service under God’s Authority is going to be like.

4) TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP:

So Jesus goes onto explain; TRUE KINGDOM LEADERSHIP: He contrasts it with worldly leadership: Mark 10:42 (LORD it OVER)…

If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, you are not going to LORD IT OVER people, instead you’ve got to learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL.

I’ll say that again, “If you want to be GREAT IN GOD’S KINGDOM, then you must learn to be; THE SERVANT OF ALL”. Mark 10:43.

Do you Remember that Children’s Gospel Song?

Jesus goes on to tell them why?

Mark 10:45 ¬†“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus gave His LIFE: As a RANSOM:

  • A Ransom: Is the the PAYMENT required to set a slave FREE.
  • A Ransom: It’s like what you have to PAY a Kidnapper to set their CAPTIVES free.

Jesus death brings freedom in so many different ways;

  • Freedom from Judgement.
  • Freedom from Sin,
  • Freedom from Satan,
  • Freedom from Fear of Man,
  • Freedom from Fear of Death,

That’s why Jesus could say, “Know the Truth and the TRUTH will set you FREE”

He also said, “I am the WAY, I am the TRUTH and I am the LIFE.” John 14.

And that is why Jesus came to DIE, that’s why He set his face like flint, to complete His mission in Jerusalem. He died to set us free so that we too could complete the Mission to which He’s called each and every one of us; to be SERVANTS of God and others.

Conclusion:

We can forgive James and John, because they didn’t realise that before you can wear the Crown of Glory, you’ve got to Suffer the Cross of service of suffering of sweat and of shame and pain.

Service in God’s Kingdom: Means; Sweating, Self-Sacrifice (Time, Effort, Money,), Sympathy, Empathy (walk in people’s shoes, feel what people feel), Not like James and John who were so wrapped up in themselves they didn’t even take in what Jesus was about to suffer.

Listen to people, listen to their hurts and do whatever you can to life them out of the slippery-pit of despair they’ve fallen into.

Service in God’s Kingdom is NOT an EASY ROAD to GLORY, it’s crowned with the¬†thorns¬†of service along the way.

CAN YOU BEAR TO BE LIKE ‘An Extra’ IN GOD’S KINGDOM SERVICE?

My friends, when we come to Jesus, we really do get EXTRA: More and above what we can ever expect or deserve or imagine.

But, it’s NOT an EXTRA Hour in BED.

However, we don’t FOLLOW Jesus for what we can get out of Him do we? We’re not like that at all, are we? We all want to serve Jesus as SERVANTS don’t we?¬†We‚Äôre not like James and John, are we?

No, once we truly come to Jesus, in repentance and faith, we’ll want to serve God the Father, just like He did.

Like the Apostles James and John eventually did:

  • James was the first Apostle to be a¬†Martyr and
  • John was put into exile on a Roman Prison Colony on the Island of Patmos. (They did get their own Baptism and their own Cup).

We do want to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom. Of course we do. But to get there we must learn to be; “THE SERVANT OF ALL”…

Before we can wear the CROWN of Glory, we must Endure the Cross of Service: Then we’ll win a Crown and gladly cast it at Jesus feet in His Glory in Heaven.

How is Jesus calling you today? In what ways can you learn to be SERVANT in God’s Kingdom: At home, at work, in your neighbourhood? Is there anything the Boss at work has been asking you to do, that you’ve done begrudgingly? Get Jesus attitude at work as well as in the home and in church, be the SERVANT Jesus wants you to be in the SMALL THINGS and He’ll give you even greater things to do as well.

Is God calling you to EXTRA: Service? (Above and Beyond).

Does He want you to do MORE: in His Kingdom?

I’m sure you’ll be learning: God’s Spirit will be leading, calling, guiding and prompting and equipping you into DEEPER SERVICE in God’s Kingdom.

Have a blessed week with Jesus: Don’t MISS OUT on the EXTRA He’s got in store for you.

Stay close to Him, be filled with Holy Spirit, be blessed,

Don.

BTW (By The Way): On Sunday I thought the clocks had gone back one hour, that’s next week¬† ūüôā What an booby I am ūüôā We all make mistakes right? I thought I’d had an extra hour in bed, and I felt fantastic… You know there are thousands of people in this world today who call themselves Atheists, well, could they too be mistaken? Watch Atheism the movie NOW

Being Great In God’s Kingdom

if you want to be great in God's kingdom, learn to be the servant of all

Daily Spirit & Word: 780: Being Great In God’s Kingdom.

If You Want To Be Great In God’s Kingdom,

Learn to be the Servant, Slave, Minister (Deacon) of Everyone.

Good morning my friends, I’ve been on holiday for a few weeks now, I’m learning afresh what it means to be a SERVANT of Jesus Christ.

We stayed in a Hotel that trains students to become Hotel Managers etc… The whole focus of the place was on SERVICE, giving the customer the best service… I thought about that, that’s what God’s Kingdom Service is like too, being the BEST SERVANT you can be for Jesus.

It’s not about position, power, prestige or personal¬†glory, but learning to be and striving to be just like Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “…whoever wants to be first must be slave of all” Mark 10:44. And Jesus went onto say, “For even the Son of Man (Himself) did not come to be served, but to serve (Minister, Slave, Servant), and give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45.

Being GREAT in God’s Kingdom: Means being or having a SERVANT Mentality, SERVANT Attitude, SERVANT Character; just like Jesus. Be honest with yourself today, who is it that stands out for you in your fellowship, church, group of Christians that you know well? Who is the most like Jesus Christ in your circle of brothers and sisters in Christ? They will be self-effacing, serving others, others orientated, thinking of others more than themselves.

Far too often in Church (fellowships), we get it so wrong; we think it is all about titles, positions, power, and a great name amongst our brothers and sisters. We want to stand out and be known for our closeness to Jesus. Imagine what it must have been like to be one of the other TEN when James and John approached Jesus to ask to be His right and left-hand men?

Mark 10:35-45 (NIV)
35¬†¬†Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”
36 ¬†“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.
37 ¬†They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”
38 ¬†“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with?”
39 ¬†“We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptised with the baptism I am baptised with,
40 ¬†but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.”
41  When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John.
42 ¬†Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
43  Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
44  and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
45 ¬†For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

In the Passage above The Disciples Demonstrated SELFISH AMBITION:

Philippians 2:3-8 (NIV)
3  Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
4  Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.
5  Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
6  Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
7  but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
8 ¬†And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death‚ÄĒeven death on a cross!

My friends, we are not in competition with one another, we are to seek to make others even better disciples than¬†ourselves. If someone you are leading to Jesus goes onto be even greater in God’s Kingdom than you’ve ever been, don’t get jealous, feel honoured that Jesus has allowed you to be just like Himself. Remember what Jesus said of His own disciples, “You will do even greater things than I have been doing”… What an awesome SERVANT attitude to have, to strive to make others even better than you are. Have I got the same attitude as Jesus?

So if you want to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom; and you should want that my friends, then we must strive to be the servant, slave, minister, deacon of ALL.

Now being a SLAVE or SERVANT is WONDERFUL.

When you get it, you’ll be SET FREE from striving, competition, seeking to be better than others…

This really touched me the other day; From a little book called “Ministry Is”

“Notice that Jesus said real greatness comes from being a “servant” (őīőĻőĪőļőŅőĹőŅŌā) and a “slave” (őīőŅŌÖőĽőŅŌā). Jesus wanted His young followers to understand that unlike the world system, when it comes to Christian leadership, the measure of real success is service. It is being willing to get dirty in order to benefit others.

Real Christian ministry is not about being over people and bossing them around. It is about getting under people and lifting them up. It is not about getting but about giving. It is not about being served; it is about serving and sacrifice.

If Jesus’ words were not enough, He wanted them to consider His example. After all, if Jesus Himself left His high position to serve and sacrifice for us, shouldn’t we, as His disciples, do the same?

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life‚ÄĒa ransom for many. (Mark 10:45)

Jesus is God. Prior to coming to Bethlehem, He had existed in heaven throughout all eternity. As God, He was the richest, most powerful being in the universe. Angels served His every need. Yet, when He came to earth, He did not come to be served but to serve.

Jesus did more than come to serve. He also came to give, and not just a convenient, comfortable amount. He gave it all. He gave His life in order to provide a ransom for our sins. ”

Ministry Is…: How to Serve Jesus with Passion and Confidence.

‚ÄĒQuotes on Kingdom Service‚ÄĒ

If you don’t want to serve, you don’t want to be in the ministry.

‚ÄĒDavid and Warren Wiersbe

You say you’re a servant of Jesus Christ, show me your scars.

‚ÄĒJohn Macarthur

God is not necessarily looking for leaders, at least not in the sense we generally think of leaders. He is looking for servants (Isa 59:16; Ezek 22:30). When God finds men and women willing to be molded into his servants, the possibilities are limitless.

‚ÄĒHenry and Richard Blackaby

Ministers are servants who lead and leaders who serve.

‚ÄĒDavid and Warren Wiersbe

Being Great in God’s Kingdom: Is about getting down and dirty in order to lift others up higher, so they will be cleaner and more pure and …

My friends, Jesus was God, but he took the form of a servant and came to earth to give His life.

Have you noticed in Rugby when there’s a line-out for a throw in, some in the line will lift one of their fellows up higher to catch the ball. That’s what Kingdom Service is like, enabling others and lifting them up in order to win the prize.

Prayer: O Lord, help me today to be more like You. I want to be great in Your Kingdom, but I don’t want to be in competition with others Lord. Help me to live in such a way that I’ll be able to lift others higher and even closer to You. I want to be making dust by being busy in Your Kingdom Service. Amen.

Have an awesome day my friends, Ministering for Jesus and God’s Kingdom.

Stay close to Jesus, be full of the Holy Spirit and let’s make some DUST by our Kingdom Service today, Amen.

Don.

Dave said, “I once spoke at a church that was exploding in growth by reaching public university students with the gospel. I was somewhat surprised to see several obviously postcollege age adults diligently serving the students as they arrived. The pastor of the church pulled me aside and commented that the cheerful man carrying the chairs was the city manager, the smiling gentlemen at the door welcoming every guest was a downtown lawyer, the grinning man taking the offering was a distinguished professor, and the happy lady running the nursery was a nurse. Each was also a member of the leadership team.

Unlike some churches that nominate and vote on deacons in a sort of popularity contest, they had a different approach. They chose those who were the greatest servants. The pastor said that they looked for “a cloud of dust” and selected the ones who were so actively serving that they left “the cloud” in their wake. ”

Ministry Is…: How to Serve Jesus with Passion and Confidence.

 

Kingdom Greatness

Daily Spirit & Word, 463: Kingdom Greatness.

©Daily Spirit & Word. © www.spiritandword.co.uk

Good morning my friends, it’s Wednesday and we’re going to focus today upon being great in God’s Kingdom. I love that old song, “If you want to be great in God’s Kingdom, learn to be the servant of all”

We all want to be significant in the eyes of others and competition for recognition is nothing new, even amongst the followers of Jesus Christ, there were those who, before they were born of the Spirit, didn’t quite grasp the true nature of the Kingdom of God. It’s almost amusing that Jesus confounds the wisdom of this world by turning what it values most upon it’s head and saying this is now much better.

It’s like a fashion expert telling us that white is the new black ūüôā Or red is the new green.

Jesus said, that to be GREAT in God’s Kingdom, you must become the servant of ALL (of everyone).

 Worldly Greatness:

Normally, when you think of great people, you think how they are served by a host of servants; they’ll be driven places by a Chauffeur, they’ll be welcomed into their home by a Butler or House Manager. They’ll have a bath run for them by a personal servant, they’ll even have their back scrubbed by another servant. The cook will prepare meals for them, the gardener will look after flowers and the grounds. Personal assistants will ensure you never need to go into shops again. Wherever you go people bow down before you and sometimes tremble in your presence, because of your majestic greatness.

Now imagine, being with Jesus and recognising His GREATNESS, then asking if you can be one of His special people, his right-hand-man. Well that’s what the mother of two of Jesus Disciple wanted for her sons. It’s obvious they wanted it too as you’ll see from the passage below;

Matthew 20:20-28¬†Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favour of him.¬†21 ¬†“What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”¬†22 ¬†“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?” “We can,” they answered.¬†23 ¬†Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”¬†24 ¬†When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers.¬†25 ¬†Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.¬†26 ¬†Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,¬†27 ¬†and whoever wants to be first must be your slave‚ÄĒ¬†28 ¬†just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Here we see three people seeking greatness in the eyes of others: A mother and her two sons. They wanted to be viewed and thought about as SPECIAL, Important, Selected,¬†Preferred,¬†best-loved,¬†chosen,¬†favoured,¬†favourite,¬†preferable, preferential. Over and above their already privileged calling as Jesus’ Apostles.

 Who were these sons of Zebedee?

This account is repeated almost word for word in Mark’s Gospel, but in his account we’re told expressly who the sons of Zebedee are; James and John. Mark 10:35-45.

What do we know of James and John? They did indeed become great in God’s Kingdom, but they also became two of the most blessed servants the church has ever known. Their greatness didn’t come about by LORDING it over people, but serving the brothers and sisters; James in Jerusalem and John gave us awesome teaching in his Gospel and the 1, 2 and 3 John and the book of Revelation.

John became known as the beloved Disciple, he was the closest friend of Jesus whilst Jesus was on the earth. He took to heart what Jesus said, and this gentle rebuke of the Saviour took hold in his life.

Before James and John, the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus, with their mother as Matthew records, Jesus had already explained that Kingdom Greatness comes from service towards others;¬†Mark 9:33-35¬†They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”¬†34 ¬†But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.¬†35 ¬†Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

So my friends, it’s true in every sphere of life: At work, in the home and in your community. If you want to be GREAT then we must learn to become the SERVANTS of everyone. No matter who they are.

St Paul’s Service in God’s Kingdom:

  • Acts 20:25-31 25 “Now I know that none of you among whom I have gone about preaching the kingdom will ever see me again.
    26 Therefore, I declare to you today that I am innocent of the blood of all men.
    27  For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God.
    28  Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
    29  I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
    30  Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
    31  So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.

You know, without first coming to Jesus Christ and submitting to His Kingship or Lordship, you’ll never be a servant in His Kingdom. I’ve seen people try and they always end up bitter about others, they’ll try and serve in humility, but without Christ in our hearts we’ll become frustrated, tired and bitter towards others who don’t appreciate what we’re doing for them. We’ll get exhaused and begin to moan about others. My friends, when you are serving Christ, you’ll never get tired of His Kingdom Service, because you know deep down you are not doing it for recognition or greatness, you are serving others out of appreciation for all that Christ has done for you. He’ll fill your heart with His love for people and you’ll just serve, no matter what the response is from others, you’ll keep serving, because you are not trying to win their approval or respect or praise, you’re serving a much higher and more noble calling; You are serving God’s Kingdom.

You’ll serve wherever you are:

  • At HOME: You’ll be the best husband, the most loving, patient, kind and gentle man.
  • At HOME: You’ll be a wife who loves to serve and take care of her family, not counting the cost, because you are serving Jesus.
  • ¬†At WORK: You’ll be the best employee the company has ever had. You’ll try your best, you’ll serve your collegaues rather than climb over them. You’ll make certain that your boss never fails. All because you are not serving the company or for reward, but you are serving Jesus Christ.
  • ¬†In the COMMUNITY: Your neighbours will know they can come to you and ask for help. You’ll be there for everyone and you’ll help them whenever you can. You’ll be generous with your time, your talents and your money for your neighbours. All because you are serving the Kingdom and the King of Kings.¬†¬†
  • In the WORLD: You’ll look for ways to help people, make peace, fight for justice, promote fairness and look after those who cannot look after themselves. You’ll never look down on anyone and you’ll think of others as better than you.

We’ll do all of this willingly and full of joy and praise and peace, because we’ve learned what it means to be the Servant of All: We’ve become more like Jesus Christ and we’re full of the Holy Spirit and love.

My friends, How is your Kingdom Service?

“If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”

If you need a heart to serve better today, then can I encourage you to come to the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ and learn from Him, for He is gentle and kind and will show you what it means to serve and not count the cost.

Have a blessed day in the Service of the Kingdom. Glorify Jesus with the way you live as a servant of all.

Don.

Kingdom Greatness.

 

433: You need FREEDOM to be able to Follow Jesus.

433 Free to Follow Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word, 433: You need FREEDOM to be able to Follow Jesus.

What You Are FOLLOWING In Life: Reveals who you belong to.

Good morning my friends, we had a great night of making Pancakes with the CRU (Youth Group) last night. We did it so they would know about Shrove Tuesday, the day before Lent begins. Lent is the 40 Days before Easter Sunday.
Today, I want to focus on FOLLOWING, because what we follow reveals so much to us. The following little passages from Ephesians and John show that only through Jesus Christ can we be¬†truly¬†free to live God’s way in this world.

Ephesians 2:1-5
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2  in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3  All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4  But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5¬†¬†made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions‚ÄĒit is by grace you have been saved.
What a wonderful passage of the Bible, it’s pregnant with meaning for the Saints in Christ Jesus today. Just look at the list of themes in these five short verses;
  • Dead
  • Transgressions
  • Sins
  • Following the ways of the world,
  • Following the ways of Satan,
  • Satan at work in those who are Disobedient (those not yet brought to the obedience of Christ)
  • All of us were like that,
  • Gratifying the cravings,
  • Sinful nature,
  • Following it’s desires,
  • Following it’s thoughts,
  • We were objects of wrath,
  • God’s great love for us,
  • God’s great mercy,
  • LIFE, made us alive with Christ Jesus,
  • We are saved by God’s Grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
WOWzer! When you look at it like that, there is a whole sermon in each topic. But today I hope to unpack it in as few words as the LORD gives me today.
The word that jumps out most for me today is FOLLOWING. Can you see from the passage above that before we come to Christ and begin to follow Him as our Lord and Saviour, before His Commands and instructions become a priority in our life, we are simply DEAD (Spiritually) following Satan’s lead in every aspect of our Character;
Following the ways of the world: The world is following the plans and purposes of Satan, the ‘world’, meaning everyone who is not BORN OF THE SPIRIT. The world’s ways are obviously evil; just think about our own country for a few minutes. In the News recently we’ve seen how people (ordianry people) who don’t pay their TAX to the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) will be taken to court and forced to eitheir pay a fine or serve some time in prison. But the ways of the world dictate that we should “AVOID PAYING AS MUCH TAX AS WE CAN GET AWAY WITH” am I right? There are Tax Advisors who’ll tell you all the legal loop-holes that will help you avoid paying as much tax as the Inland Revenue wants from you.
Jesus on the other hand, Commanded Christians to PAY THEIR TAXES IN FULL:
Mark 12:17 (NLT)¬†‚ÄúWell, then,‚ÄĚ Jesus said, ‚Äúgive to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.‚ÄĚ His reply completely amazed them.”
NOW it’s been revealed in the Media: on TV and in the Press, that the richest people in the land have been avioding paying their taxes for years in some cases this amounted to Millions of ¬£¬£¬£¬£¬£¬£¬£¬£…. AND they were NOT prosecuted. It’s not a fair system, a poor man gets prosecuted and the rich man goes free. That’s unjust, unfair, not right. It’s obviously the way of the world, but it’s only following the Spirit who’s at work in the hearts of those who are disobedient, those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord. For if they did, they be fair, they’d be just, they would not give preferential treatment to the rich and powerful.
Following: the ways of world, Satan,
Following the ways of the sinful nature,
Following it’s desires and thoughts:
The Sinful Nature: lives in disobedience to the ways of Christ Jesus, will not submit to Him, indeed the Bible tells us it cannot, until it has been set free from Satan’s grip, the Sinful nature desires the exact opposite of the Holy Spirit, they are at war with each other.

NEW LIFE: In Christ Jesus.

Freedom to Follow Jesus.

However, though this passage is filled with so much revelation of what we were once like, before we came to trust in Jesus Christ by His awesome Grace through faith in His death upon the cross for our sins, now it’s revealed what He actually gave us;
Life: We are no longer DEAD in Transgression and Sin, but we are ALIVE in Christ Jesus. What does that new life in Christ mean?
We are no longer pulled by the ways of the world.
We can see the ways of the world (Satan’s ways) for what they are, evil.
We can understand now why people do things they way that they do, because they are objects of God’s wrath, they a filled with the evil spirit of Satan, they are only blindly following his commands and demands and, following the impulses of their hearts and foolish sinful fleshly lusts.
We can know just how much we’ve been set free from when we trusted Christ,
It really brings home the truth of what Jesus said in the following passage, please take time to read it very carefully. If you are following this teaching on Daily Spirit & Word Website then you’ll see how I’ve highlighted the very important words in this passage below. The words in brackets are my commentary upon that verse.
John 8:31-44 (NIV)
31¬†To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.¬†32¬†¬†Then you will know the truth, and the¬†truth will set you free.” (Coming to Jesus you’ll be set free from Sin & Satan).
33¬†¬†They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” (They didn’t understand they were in bondage to Satan 2 Cor 4:4 “blinded by Satan”).
34¬†¬†Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth,¬†everyone who sins is a slave to sin. (When we can’t stop sinning, we’re in¬†bondage¬†to it).
35  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever.
36¬†¬†So¬†if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (You’ll now if you’ve been set free if you are free from sin and Satan’s ability to control your thoughts, passions and desires. Jesus sets you free).
37¬†¬†I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word.
38¬†¬†I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you do what you have heard from your father.”
39¬†¬†“Abraham is our father,” they answered. “If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do the things Abraham did. (They thought they were saved, so many are blinded by Satan like this in the Church, they think they are saved because granny was a Christian or because they come to church, but they’ve never come to faith and trust in Christ Jesus yet).
40  As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things.
41¬†¬†You are doing the things your own father does.” “We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.” (Jesus is hinting here that Satan is their father).
42¬†Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me.
43¬†¬†Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. (Satan blinds the eyes and ears, so they can’t see the Good News or Hear it and be saved).
44¬†¬†You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (Now Jesus has told them plainly, until they TRUST IN HIM they are in bondage to sin, slaves to sin and Satan is their father.)
Can you see now my friends, until we come to Christ we are Following Satan; who influences and rules over the affaris of this world that will not submit to Christ Jesus as Lord. Until we come to Christ, we are also following the impulses, desires and thoughts of our own sinful and rebellious evil nature.
To be FREE from Satan and Sin: We must come to Christ.
When we come to Christ, we are made ALIVE in Him. We’re given NEW LIFE (Born Again)…
John 1:12¬†“Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
¬†My friends, God is your FATHER if you’ve trusted in Christ Jesus.
Satan is your father if you’ve not been set free and given this new life yet.
Come to Jesus, receive Him as your LORD now, trust in His death upon the cross for your sin and you too will be set free and able to follow Him in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday my friends, it’s so good to know what our FREEDOM IN CHRIST looks like. If you’ve got time read the passages below for further help and study. They are so closely linked to the theme today, it would be a real shame to miss what the Holy Spirit is saying to you.
Don.
NOTE: Can also be read at Daily Spirit & Word: http://spiritandword.co.uk/category/daily-spirit-word/
Catch Up on previous Spirit & Word Devotions by clicking above.
I’ll be moving over 400 Daily Devotions for you to enjoy at your leisure.
It’s difficult to archive on Facebook, but a website allows so many more ways to search through material
For Further Study: Following: Holy Spirit / Christ Jesus as LORD.

Freedom to Follow Jesus

Following the Way of the Holy Spirit: IN Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1-17
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
2  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
3  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man,
4  in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
5  Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7¬†¬†the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
8  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.
10  But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12¬†¬†Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation‚ÄĒbut it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.
13  For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,
14  because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
15¬†¬†For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
16¬†¬†The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
17¬†¬†Now if we are children, then we are heirs‚ÄĒheirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
The Acts of the Sinful Nature Are Obvious:
Galatians 5:1-26 (NIV)
1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
2  Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.
3  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is required to obey the whole law.
4  You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
5  But by faith we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope.
6  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
7  You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth?
8  That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.
9¬†¬†“A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.”
10  I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view. The one who is throwing you into confusion will pay the penalty, whoever he may be.
11  Brothers, if I am still preaching circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offence of the cross has been abolished.
12  As for those agitators, I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves!
13  You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
14¬†¬†The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.”
15  If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.

The Acts Of The Christian Controlled by the Holy 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.
Can also be read at Daily Spirit & Word: On St Luke’s Church Facebook Page
Catch Up on previous Spirit & Word Devotions by clicking above.
I’ll be moving over 400 Daily Devotions for you to enjoy at your leisure.
It’s difficult to archive on Facebook, but a website allows so many more ways to search through material