Hearing and Doing

Maintaining the LINK between Devotion to Jesus and Kingdom Service

Daily Spirit & Word: 816: Maintaining The LINKS of LOVE.

Hearing the WORD and Doing the Word.

Maintaining the LINK: between:

  • Internal Spiritual Development (Spiritual Growth) = (POWER). Intimacy with God the Father, through the Son, in the Spirit.
  • External Practical / Ministry Development = (IMPACT). Obediently Serving the Lord in the POWER of the Holy Spirit.

(True Discipleship is always BOTH: Hearing and Doing: Power and Impact. Comes from Intimacy and Service).

God wants you to be Spiritually Fruitful.

Good morning my friends, How’s your GOOD WORKS going?

I was challenged the other day by a Bible verse about not just knowing Jesus and learning all about His commands and teachings, but putting them into practice in my daily life. You see I love nothing more than getting into deep Bible study, but actually going out and serving and being humble and gentle and loving and kind in the world, that’s difficult bit. But I’ve also come to realise that if I’m not doing what I’m learning, then I’ll lack the impact in this world for Jesus.

The Wise and Foolish Builders: Hearing & Doing God’s Word.

Matthew 7:24-27 (NIV)
24  “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
25  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.
26  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
27  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

The Apostle James said something similar to His Lord Jesus Christ, James 1:19-27. Perhaps after years of being a Disciple of the LORD he’d learned the hard way to put into practice the teachings of Jesus. (See James quote at bottom of page).

GETTING IT WRONG:

And one of the most common Christian discipleship problems today is related to the splitting-up of these two areas of development: Spiritual Growth and Ministry Growth.

Many churches are very good at hear-the-word discipleship, which they quite rightly consider to be very important, but they neglect the kind of do-the-word discipleship that God intends to flow from or follow on from our hearing the Word, E.G. They might consider feeding the hungry, visiting the prisoners or sheltering the homeless to be less important than one’s fellowship group, discipleship class, church attendance, or prayer life and personal daily devotions.

What happens when we do this? When all we focus on is internal spiritual development but we fail to do external ministry? The results will be that We lack impact.  Christ wants us to impact the world for Jesus and His Kingdom, because He wants His Kingdom to grow, but when we separate (BREAK THE LINK) both the hearing and the doing of the Word, we can’t make the IMPACT Jesus wants for us.

We can’t just swing the other way, either.  If all we focus on is external ministry and forget about our spiritual development, we are going to lack the power of Heaven. To get that POWER we need to maintain intimacy with Jesus first.

I’ve seen that happen to very sincere Christian organisations; they start out with a Word from the Lord to help the poor or those in need, but very soon forget all about the spiritual aspects. Prayer, Bible reading and devotion get pushed out because of busy activity, and the focus shifts almost entirely upon serving others. They soon lack the Spiritual POWER and the desire to save souls for Jesus Kingdom. In fact they begin to look down upon those who are engaged in evangelism and the sharing the Word of God, believing that ministry and service is much more important. It gets to be like sticking a plaster over a festering wound and the rot soon sets in.

So it’s always got to be both: Hearing and Doing. Learning from Jesus and putting what we’re learning it into practice.

After every sermon, Bible class or fellowship group, we should be asking the LORD: “OK I understand Your Word Lord, Now, what do you want me to do about this great teaching Lord?”

JOINED-UP WRITING: 

My granddaughter Aminata was overjoyed when she learned to join her letters together. It’s amazing when children learn to join their letters. She said, “Look Papa, I can do joined up writing”… I said, “That’s fantastic Ami”…

Hearing and Doing the WORD of God is like Joined-Up Discipleship.

We must never separate the two or we’ll fall into these two traps: Legalism (Just being religious and learning as much as we can. With the primary focus on Knowledge and Knowing stuff) or LICENCE (Just running around doing good works, and getting judgemental like Martha, about those who don’t do as much as you. You’ll begin to think that you can earn your place in Heaven by your good works)…

 

Joined-Up Discipleship is learning to keep both: Hearning & Doing inseparably linked together. (And the two shall become ONE)…

This HEARING & DOING: It’s all summed up in Jesus’ teaching of the Pharisees when they came to test Him.  LOVE God and LOVE Neighbour. (The Greatest Commandment). Matthew 7:15-23.

  • We show that we love God by HEARING His Word (POWER).
  • We show that we love our Neighbours by DOING His Word (IMPACT).

Quote: “A lot of people mean well, but their meanness is often greater than their wellness.”

The closer Christians get to Christ, the closer they get to one another.

When we’re close to Jesus, learning His teachings, and being submitted enough to actually put those teachings into practice, we’re going to get closer to our neighbours as well, because we’ll want to be doing the good that Jesus has been teaching us.

But there’s more: Praise the LORD: When we put what we know into practice, we’re going to get an even greater insight into all the good things that we have in our relationship with Jesus.

Philemon 1:4-7 (NIV)
4  I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers,
5  because I hear about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints.
6  I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.
7  Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints.

Can you see the LINK? In Philemon we see the link so clearly, Paul heard about Philemon’s love and faith in the Lord Jesus, and it was evident, he made an IMPACT by his love for all the saints (his brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus).

Jesus said, “It’s by your love for one another that people will know you are my disciples”… There’s the LINK: Hearing and Doing… Spiritual Development & Ministry Development.

CONCLUSION:

May you experience Jesus promises of blessings today, that no matter what STORM may come against your HOUSE, (wind and rain: Trials, Temptations, Troubles and Tribulations) you’ll be able to STAND. Because you are being obedient to what you’ve learned in Jesus presence, and you are putting it into practice in your daily life. Amen!

Maintain the LINK between: Hearing & Doing.

Don.

JAMES HEARING & DOING

James 1:19-27 (NIV)
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
20  for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
21  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22  Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23  Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
24  and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25  But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26  If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27  Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Is James also talking about bearing fruits? “By their fruits you will recognise false converts” “False professors of faith”… Matthew 7:15-23. (True and False Converts).

What’s Jesus saying to me today? Think about Mary and Martha: (Luke 10:38-42)  They are both SERVING the LORD:

Mary = Getting close to Jesus

Martha = Practical Ministry…

Which one was doing the right thing? Answer = BOTH of them, so don’t look down on the Mary or the Martha.

Jesus is saying to me, “BE a Mary and a Martha”: Hear the WORD of The LORD and SERVE The LORD by Practical Ministry of Serving Others.

The LORD said, “Mary has chosen what is best”… i.e. Getting close to Jesus and listening to his every word. That’s getting the POWER… However, Martha showed the servant’s heart, by opening up her home to Jesus and serving Him and the Disciples. That’s making an IMPACT. It’s got to be BOTH: inseparably linked, joined-up discipleship, hearing and doing. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord, I can see that the Christian Life that You have called me to has got to be balanced between being with You in worship, praise and adoration, in learning and knowing Your will, Your Commands, Your Teachings, then moving out into this world in Devoted and Committed Kingdom Service. Please Lord, give me the deep desire to learn and serve You with joy and gladness. Help me to Love You and Love others and always maintain those links. I know I need the POWER of Heaven in order to be able to SERVE You in this way, so please send the Holy Spirit afresh into my heart, mind and soul to give me the strength to serve You and build your Kingdom. Amen!

 

The Beautiful Rainbow and God’s Promises

Signs of the End Times, God's Promises, Judgement to come

Daily Spirit & Word: 714: The Rainbow After The Storm.

Genesis 9:13-15 (NIV) “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14  Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15  I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.”

Good morning my friends, hope all is well with you after Storm Katie, I know that many people were blasted by those winds. Yesterday, after all those devastating winds there was a beautiful double rainbow just outside our windows to the front and back of our house. So lovely to see all those colours even though the sky was leaden.

We see God’s repeated promise and Covenant with Noah and his sons and all human beings and animals, He will NOT destroy the earth with a flood again. Genesis 9.

Scientists have discovered incontrovertible evidence of a world-wide flood. On the Mountains there are sea shells. Many now believe the Dinosaurs were wiped out by the great flood, because most of them are trapped and encapsulated in mud. It must have been a sudden and terrific flow of mud too, because many of these dinosaurs are still standing up when they are encased in mud.

Many people don’t believe human beings were around during the dinosaurs era, but just one reading of Job will prove that these great and fearsome creatures lived with men. They say, “Why aren’t dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?” That’s because the word ‘Dinosaur’ was not invented until the 19th Century by a man called Sir Richard Owen in 1841.

From Forbidden History: “The word dinosaur literally means “terrible, powerful, wondrous lizards.” The word became popular after biologist and paleontologist, Sir Richard Owen coined the term “Dinosauria” in 1841. The word dinosaur derives from two greek words (deinos) “terrible, powerful, wondrous” + (sauros) “lizard”

http://www.forbidden-history.com/dinosaurfacts-owen.html

What did people call these great creatures when they saw them? “Dragons”… Dragons were known by human beings all over the earth.

You might laugh at those videos and the ‘evidence’ they produce, but I wanted to get you thinking today.

End Times:

So from the beginning in Genesis we have God’s Promise “Not to Destroy the Earth with a flood”. but we also have God’s warnings about the End Times: Just before he returns to Judge the Earth and the living and the dead.

From Got Questions: End Times: “Some interpreters point to every earthquake, every political upheaval, and every attack on Israel as a sure sign that the end times are rapidly approaching. While the events may signal the approach of the last days, they are not necessarily indicators that the end times have arrived. The apostle Paul warned that the last days would bring a marked increase in false teaching. “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). The last days are described as “perilous times” because of the increasingly evil character of man and people who actively “oppose the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1–9; see also 2 Thessalonians 2:3).” Got Questions?:

However, don’t worry about it, just turn and trust in Jesus and keep walking in the Holy Spirit, then you’ll be OK when Jesus comes back to Judge, no matter what happens to your body in the meantime, you’ll be with the Lord forever. Amen!

The Sign of God: The Rainbow:

Is a sign of comfort, but also a warning that our God is The Powerful Creator who has control over all his Creation. One day He’s told us in advance, He will destroy both the Universe and the Earth, but before that day comes, He’s being patient with mankind, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance and faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

It’s comforting to know God won’t destroy everything until He’s ready.

He also promised to give us signs, warnings, so that we can get ready for the coming Judgement Day:

But He’s also promised He’ll come at a time when we least expect it, like a thief in the night.

So when you see a rainbow, it’s a beautiful Covenant sign, it’s a comfort and a warning to get ready and get right with God who Created all things, let’s do it today. Because TODAY is the Day of Salvation.

Even if you don’t believe in Dinosaurs or Dragons, the signs are that the End is Near, but I’ve saved the best till last.

The BEST Word on The End Times: God’s Word: Jesus’ Words.

Matthew 24:29-44 (AMP)
29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not shed its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn and beat their breasts and lament in anguish, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [in brilliancy and splendour].
31  And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect (His chosen ones) from the four winds, [even] from one end of the universe to the other.
32  From the fig tree learn this lesson: as soon as its young shoots become soft and tender and it puts out its leaves, you know of a surety that summer is near.
33  So also when you see these signs, all taken together, coming to pass, you may know of a surety that He is near, at the very doors.
34  Truly I tell you, this generation (the whole multitude of people living at the same time, in a definite, given period) will not pass away till all these things taken together take place.
35  Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.
36  But of that [exact] day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
37  As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
38  For just as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, [men] marrying and [women] being given in marriage, until the [very] day when Noah went into the ark,
39  And they did not know or understand until the flood came and swept them all away—so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
40  At that time two men will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
41  Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken and one will be left.
42  Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming.
43  But understand this: had the householder known in what [part of the night, whether in a night or a morning] watch the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have allowed his house to be undermined and broken into.
44  You also must be ready therefore, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.

 

When you see a rainbow in the sky, praise the Lord of Creation and worship Him.

Don.

How to ‘THINK’ God’s Way.

how to think God's Way

Daily Spirit & Word: 619: How To ‘THINK’ God’s Way.

He’s Encouraging You Today: Your Anxiety is Going to Be Removed: Peace will come into your heart and mind today.

 

Philippians 4:6-9
6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Good morning my friends, I hope you remembered to put your clocks back an hour. It’s great to have an extra hour in bed once a year or an extra hour anyway. Imagine if they did it with a whole day? At midnight on a Saturday night, they decided to put the clocks back 24 hours so that it suddenly becomes midnight on a Friday… Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Or perhaps it would be better to do it on a Sunday, then for two days in a row we could gather together to worship the Lord. Which would you prefer? A Saturday shift or a Sunday? It’s never going to happen, but how we answer reveals something to us: How we would long to spend time and what our attractions in life are.

DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING

Following on from the teaching about DISASTER and learning not to WORRY, here, once again, we are reminded in such a loving way by the Lord through Paul not to get all anxious about anything.

I know, it’s easy to say, but so hard to do or to put into practice, but you can do it with the help of Jesus.

ANXIOUS: (Don’t Worry NLT and “Be Careful for nothing” KJV) Anxious in the NIV is a good choice of word.

Paul had already demonstrated to the Philippians exactly HOW to do what he revealing here: (Acts 16:16-40).

When in Philippi he and Silas were arrested, beaten severely and thrown into prison. What did he do? He and his companions began to sing and praise the Lord in the Prison. He could instead have been worried, moaned about his bruises and bleeding, fretted over how long they would keep him in prison, but NO! Instead of being anxious about the situation, Paul begins to praise the LORD. So much praise that the chains fall-off and Prison Guard gets converted. Awesome example!

What are we to do when we’re experiencing PRESSURES IN LIFE?

“in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

The Philippian Christians were experiencing severe pressures at the time; from both those not yet converted and also within the fellowship.

How did Paul want them to learn not to be ANXIOUS?

  • By PRAYER: Talk to God about it.
  • By PETITION: Take all your troubles to Jesus.
  • With THANKSGIVING: Praise the Lord, Sing Hymns / Songs of Praise and Thanks.
  • PRESENT: “present your requests to God”… Lay them all out before the LORD.

What is is that you want God to do for you right now? Then pray, petition and thank Him, laying your requests at the feet of the King. He’ll take those requests to His heart, because you are his precious child and He loves you.

What happens once we do that? The Lord reveals through Paul what happens “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

That phrase ‘transcends all understanding’ jumps RIGHT out at me today. Once you’ve prayed, petitioned and thanked the Lord and presented your requests to Him, then such a peace will come into your heart and mind, that you’ll wonder how it’s possible even in dire straits not to be worried.

What happened to Paul and Silas when they were in Prison and they Praised the Lord? Their chains fell off (Acts 16:26) Notice it wasn’t just the chains of Paul and Silas that fell off that day, but also all the other prisoners chains fell of too and the Guard came to know the Lord Jesus Christ that night as well. AWESOME… You are going to have such a PEACE when you take your troubles to Jesus. It will be a PEACE that will bring comfort to your heart and mind. It will be a PEACE that will also impact the lives of those around about you too.

THE WORLD WORRIES: THE WORLD GETS ANXIOUS.

To the world, we should always be worried, but you’ll experience a DIVINE PEACE in the midst of the storm.

Instead of loosing your head, running around like a headless chicken, flapping and getting into a state, you’ll be in a state of complete PEACE. HOW? Because you’ve taken it all to the LORD and then the floodgates of heaven have opened-up and drenched your heart with His PEACE… JOY UNSPEAKABLE floods your soul. and suddenly; worry, anxiety, drama is removed and you are at PEACE.

It’s such an amazing feeling: I’ve had that so many times in life my friends: When disaster strikes, and it will, every follower of Jesus Christ can sail through the storm, when every other ship would run for a safe harbour, the Christian can ride the storm in PEACE. Yes storms will come, but perhaps the LORD is teaching you in the STORM that you can still be a complete PEACE of heart and mind.

Once you are at PEACE: Your thinking will be transformed: You’ll be able to THINK like a BELIEVER: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:9.

True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent, Praisworthy: Think, dwell upon, meditate, concentrate, ponder about these things.

It’s like when you hear a great piece of news, passing it on to others, thinking deeply about it.

Our society tends to do completely the opposite of this advice the Lord has given us through Paul: It thinks, dwells upon, meditates, concentrates and ponders; disasters, murders, thefts, floods, market crashes, broken toys, who’s leaving who, gossiping, etc… That’s how the world thinks: Watch the BBC News: There’s not much focus upon the TRUTH, NOBLE things in life, Right, Pure, Lovely or Admirable or Praiseworthy things. Normally, they’ll have just ONE feel-good story as a short tag at the end of the news broadcast. It’s as if the STORMS in the world and around about us are more important than ALL the good that’s going on. It’s NOT!

I’m sure there are many more wholesome things that could be getting far more attention. Imagine if they had a live-broadcast of people helping out at the foodbank? or if they were to be there with a camera when you didn’t respond with road-rage, but let the other driver out or overtake. The Camera always seems to focus upon the STORMS in life instead.

Remember the Song / Hymn: “I Surrender All”?

All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.

Oh my friends, let us take it ALL to Jesus right now.

All our troubles, fears, worries and anxieties in life.

Let’s be different from the World:

Lets dare to be different and even when disaster, hardship or trouble does come our way, then we will be able to sail through the storm in complete peace of heart and mind in Jesus, because we’ve taken them immediately to Jesus: with prayer, petition and thanksgiving. Perhaps, like Paul and Silas, we’ll see those chains fall off ourselves and all those living around about us too.

Prayer: We all know friends, family and neighbours who’re going through storms at the moment. Let’s pray for them now and encourage them to take their troubles to Jesus:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know you want us to bring EVERYTHING we’re going through in life to You. Please help us to learn to let go and let You deal with the storm. It’s hard to take our eyes off the waves Lord, but we know that when we present all our troubles to you, the storms will die down and we will be a peace in our heart and mind today. We know that it will be in such a way that it will transcend all understanding. Help us to pray Lord! Help us all to let go!” In Your Name, Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen!

Have an awesome Sunday, fully rested, praising the Lord.

PEACE in the LORD!

Don.