When Hearts Are Ready For Jesus

Jesus is waiting for you

Daily Spirit & Word: 808: When Hearts Are Ready For Jesus.

He’s READY for You.

Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

Last night was brilliant, it was cold, windy and I’d had a dozy of a day and didn’t feel much like going out to share the Good News of Jesus in the cold again. Because I’d been out in the cold all day and gotten frozen to the core. Sitting in the car for hours waiting for the AA man to come and fix our flat tyre. Then standing around chatting while he changed my wheels around. In the old days you’d have a spare in the boot or under the car, but now Vauxhall Motors just give you a mastic sealing compound to inject into the burst tyre, only it didn’t work. We eventually got the car to QuickFix and they sorted it out in about half an hour. Whilst waiting though, the sun was shining on the fast moving storm clouds and the sky looked so awesome, so I just had to praise the LORD.

So although I didn’t feel like it, I arrived in church to find two of our men, David and Les, waiting to go out. Then Isaac arrived and we knew we’d have to go. We prayed and sang a song, asking Jesus to open hearts on this cold and windy night and give us some people who were ready to hear the Gospel Good News of Jesus. Oh my friends, when you’ve had a day like we’d had and pray to Jesus like that, He doesn’t disappoint.

Before going we folded some new little tracts: They’re brilliant for springboards into conversations with folks. You can get yours from this link: The 4 Points.

t4ptract2

We chatted with one man for ages, but he wasn’t really that open to the good news (yet). He was so wrapped up in what he’d experienced in life and was understandably bitter about being thrown out of his home whilst he was in hospital. All his belongings had been thrown onto the streets and most of his life-time’s treasures, mementoes and keepsakes had disappeared, lost forever. He’d been left with absolutely nothing. So after chatting we asked if he’d let us pray for him. All three of us knelt down on the cold ground and began to pray to the Lord for him. He was so warm and thankful afterwards. We left him with some tracts and shared the way to Jesus with him before leaving. It’s sometimes so right that we need to listen and hear their story first, before they are ready to hear what we’ve got to give. David made sure that he understood clearly about real repentance and trusting in Jesus.

Next we met a man who seemed quite open. He’d had a Roman Catholic upbringing and was a bit sceptical of ‘religion’, because the Nuns who taught him were quite severe  and strict with their discipline. He’d been serving in the church in various ways over the years. He’d even been paid as a pallbearer at funerals. After listening for a short while this time I asked him how a Roman Catholic gets into Heaven. He said, “We just have to try our best and be good”… I asked him, “Do you think you’ve been good enough?” He said, “No, I’ve been pretty bad”… Honest or what! So I said, “Where will you be spending eternity?” He said, “Oh I don’t know if I believe in a Heaven and Hell like that”…

Well after reasoning with him and opening up his conscience in the usual way, using God’s Commandments, he was then very open to hear about the Good News of Jesus and the prospect of being forgiven and receiving new life. He was so convicted, so after praying with him by the traffic lights we turned back to David’s car to get him a Bible.

Derek shared some amazing things about his life with us last night, it seemed to me that God had been preparing his heart to meet with us. He said, “I prayed for the first time in years yesterday”. He’d been praying to the Lord for other people and for the world. So when we prayed for Him, it was God’s way of showing him he’d heard his prayers.

Why is it always when we are praying that noisy motorbikes seem to stream past revving their engines? 🙂 Undeterred, we pressed the Gospel home and checked that Derek understood what he was going to do to be saved. I asked him when he was going to get right with Jesus? He said, “NOW”.

Walking back through the churchyard we joked and laughed, then Derek was very thankful and overjoyed to receive his new Bible. He was so open and honest, I hope we’ll see him again soon.

Although we gave out a few more little Gospel tracts and chatted briefly with a few folks, these two conversations were on my heart last night. So will you please pray for Everton and Derek?

When you have a horrible day, and things seem to be going all wrong, be ready, because Jesus just might be getting you into the right frame of mind to be His servant and witness of the JOY of the LORD. Thankfully we’d asked Him for the Holy Spirit’s anointing before going out. One man thought I was psychic, but I said, “No, it’s the LORD who gives us words to say”…

Sharing The Good News with folks on cold nights can be fun. However, we do pray for more of these kind of openhearted encounters, where hearts, minds, souls and wills are prepared, ready and open for the Good News of Jesus Christ.

We’re praying for more Labourers in God’s Harvest Field:

So that many more will be sharing Jesus, because those strangers and the ones you know and love who don’t know Jesus yet, need Him much more than they realise. It because we’ve all got a Divine Appointment we can’t escape: Hebrews 9:27 (KJV) “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”  My friends, everyone is going to give an account of their lives before Him on Judgement day, and from what the Bible tells us, we’re all going to fall short of Heaven’s entry requirements.  Romans 3:23 (NIV) “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” We don’t want anyone to end up in the place that’s been reserved for Satan and his demonic army. (Revelation 20:10-15). Let’s get a heart that’s been warmed by the love of Jesus and share the Good News, because FAITH comes by hearing and they’ll only hear if someone goes and shares Jesus with them.

Many people don’t think they know enough about the Bible or their faith, however, the truth is, we’ll only really get a complete and full understanding of our faith when we’re ready to share it with others. God spoke through Paul to us all when he wrote Philemon.

Philemon 1:6 (NIV) “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.”

The fullness of understanding comes when we are active in sharing the Gospel… God’s going to give you personal revelation of all the good things you have in Christ. The Scriptures will open up and reveal treasures… My friends, God shares His secrets with His obedient friends.  Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV) “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”

So don’t ever think you don’t know enough, because if you’ve got Jesus, been born of Holy Spirit, have a basic understanding of the good news, then you’ve got everything you need. It’s when you begin sharing that God will give you even more insight and understanding.

My tough day was nothing when compared to those who suffered and died yesterday in the Croydon Tram Accident. It’s so shocking. I can’t tell you how much this has affected so many people where we live. However, when you’ve had a tough day please remember that the LORD Jesus Christ is only a prayer away.

It hits hope to me the importance of being ready to share Jesus with folks. True JOY will come. Some people’s hearts have been prepared by Him ready for you to share the Good News. Jesus is working with us, He’s with us as we share. Oh the JOY of seeing someone come to Him.

Be blessed and filled afresh with Holy Spirit. He’ll give you a fire that cold nights can’t put out.

Praise the LORD!

Don.

PLEASE PRAY:

Yesterday in Tram Accident in Croydon: Mail Online Tram Accident.

Many of us have been shocked and saddened by the tragic accident yesterday in Croydon. Our prayers and thoughts are with the families of those who lost their lives. Five people killed and over fifty people seriously injured.

Because this is so local to us, we will be remembering all those affected and who died at our Remembrance Service on Sunday.

 

 

They ALL Need Jesus

They ALL Need Jesus. He's calling all people to himself

Daily Spirit & Word: 747: They ALL Need Jesus.

Doing the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus.

Read to the End Today, there’s a funny story to encourage you.

Good morning my friends, do you remember me telling you about Emma? She became a follower of Jesus last Tuesday, got baptised on Sunday and came out on the streets last night to share the Gospel with us. Emma admits she doesn’t know a lot, but is filled with the desire to lead others to Jesus to experience His promise of what she has received.

When you get to Heaven Jesus is not going to ask if you attended church, worshipped regularly, prayed every day or read your Bible, He’s going to hold you to account for your obedience to His teachings. Emma doesn’t know much, but she knows enough to know that Jesus wants us to bring everyone to Him and last night, fearful, trembling and unsure, she began to really walk in that obedience. You should have seen her face when she came back, she was beaming.

What was great about last night? There was a wonderful TEAM spirit, we split into twos and one group of three. Some went up-town, others went down-town. We’ve been praying slightly differently as I shared a few weeks ago. We’re not asking God to come with us, because we KNOW Jesus is with us, we just thank Him for His PROMISES that when we go in obedience to His Commands that He’ll be with us. We’re not asking for the POWER of the Holy Spirit as much as thanking Him for His PROMISE to empower us and equip us. Oh yes we cry out for the Holy Spirit to work in the lives of those He’s pulling to Jesus and to lead us to the ones He’s already been tugging at their hearts.

Beverley and I were paired together. The first man Bev and I bumped into, David, it was strange, because he said a few times, “This is deep, I don’t know why I’m pouring my heart out to you, I feel like you are my counsellors”. But we knew, because we’d been praying the LORD would be drawing them.   He said, “I never share this with anyone, but I feel I want to with you” He told us about how he was a bad man, was into trouble all the time, got into fights etc, but when his baby came, he knew his life must change, but it didn’t. Then his baby died at 18 months old. His precious baby’s death broke his heart and David began to changed his ways, it was a wake up call. I said, “David, God’s calling you to himself”. You see, David was already humble, he knew he’d sinned against God, but didn’t know about God’s offer of New Life”…

We had a few short conversations with some other folks, but then we got chatting with another young man, this time he told us; “I used to go to church, got baptised as a baby, attended Sunday School, went to a Church School and got confirmed, but it meant nothing to me”… I said, “Do you think you are good enough to get into Heaven when you die?”… He said, “I hope so”. He believed in Heaven, God and Sin and Hell. We began to go through the Commandments and the surprise on his face was evident, he said, “That means no one is good enough to get into Heaven, because we’ve all fallen short of God’s holy standard”. WOWzer! He got it, but still I pushed his understanding a bit more. “Do you know what God has done so that nobody needs to end up in Hell?” He said, “Yes, Jesus, He died upon the Cross to save us from our sins”… I said, “How do you get that forgiveness?” He said “Ask God to forgive you” I said, “Partially, but the Bible tells us we must; Believe that Jesus died for our own sins, those nails being hammered into his hands were for our lies, theft, lust and hatred of others, then we must repent of those sins and receive Jesus as our Lord and Saviour”. He said, “That makes sense”… I shared what it means to actually trust in Jesus, i.e. You wouldn’t jump out of a plane without a parachute would you? No you’d put the parachute on, it’s the same with Jesus, just believing that He can save you is not enough, you’ve got to actually trust in Him and receive Him by faith. I gave him my calling care, and we’re going to meet up for a coffee in Costa (or somewhere 🙂 ) to talk about it a bit more about Jesus.

Ben and Judy have opened my eyes to see that just sharing the Gospel of making Converts is not enough: Jesus didn’t call us to make ‘converts’ but to grow Disciples, followers of Jesus and to see that people begin to be obedient to what they know, as soon as possible after being converted.

But long before Ben and Judy came, the LORD had already been working on my own heart about this, because we’ve been preaching through the Gospel of Mark. I’d already seen that Jesus called people, demonstrated the Kingdom and then sent them out, almost immediately after calling them to follow himself, then when they came back, they were amazed that when they used Jesus’ name, even the Demons submitted to them. However, this surprised me, listen to what Jesus said to them (read it out loud my friends).

Luke 10:1-24 (NIV)
1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
2  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.
3  Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.
4  Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.
5  “When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’
6  If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you.
7  Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.
8  “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you.
9  Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you.’
10  But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say,
11  ‘Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.’
12  I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.
13  “Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
14  But it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon at the judgment than for you.
15  And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths.
16  “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
17  The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
18  He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
19  I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.
20  However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
21  At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
22  “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No-one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no-one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
23  Then he turned to his disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
24  For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Can you see now why we encouraged Emma to come out with us last night?

Emma is not ‘wise or learned’ she was a very recent convert, much like the 72 that Jesus sent out above, but they’d seen enough, they knew enough and they went out in obedience and returned with great JOY. Why?

  • Because all the things that Jesus had told them were TRUE (Jesus only ever spoke the TRUTH, Jesus is “The way, and the Truth and the Life” John 14:6)
  • Because they’d seen how the KINGDOM of God was near when they shared the Good News about the Kingdom. We’ll see that too, but only when we’re obedient and begin to share the Kingdom, the Good News of Jesus.
  • Because “even the demons submit to us in your name”… They’d seen the battle head-on and the power of the Kingdom to subdue the demonic. You’ll see that too, but only when you go out in obedience to Jesus Kingdom Commands.

We too can rejoice, but we should rejoice much more, that because we’ve trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness and salvation, that our names are now written in Heaven.

My friends, Jesus is working in Emma’s life, She’s seeing the Kingdom Power and she’s only one week old as a Christian. God is revealing it to babes in Christ. It’s not about learning more or knowing more about God, the Bible etc, it’s about being obedient to what we know already. That’s what’s been challenging me lately, because I know so much, but I’ve discovered just how disobedient I’ve been to what I know. Let’s get more of a desire to do what Jesus told us to do, to learn His teachings and to do them.

Bev and I paired up last night, and she and I saw the Kingdom Power to bring conviction, encouragement and enlighten people in the darkness. It’s when we share what we know, that we’ll see the Kingdom Come. Let’s get going and see a mighty move of God in London, the UK, the world. Amen! “Thy Kingdom Come”….Amen.

Luke 10:23-24 (NIV) Jesus said “…. Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.”

Whoever has ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church, let them hear. Amen.

Have an awesome day,

Don.

P.S. I must share a funny story: On Tuesday we had a Pastor’s Meeting in West Norwood: Five of us met to discuss the vision for an event in St Luke’s Gardens on Saturday 16th July, we’ve been led to call it; “Oh Happy Day”. But after the meeting I was walking down the road with Dennis, the Pastor of World Wide Mission Fellowship. He was on the phone to a young man. When he finished his call he said to me, “I’m meeting a young man in a minute, will you ask him “How is Jesus the Lord?”” I said, “OK Dennis, I will” but just at that moment I spotted a huge man, he’s massive, built like an OX, I said, “Dennis, you say the same thing to him”… Dennis just looked at me…he said, “No, you share with that one” I did, I said, “Do you know Jesus is Lord?” … The huge man was Dave from our fellowship, Dennis and I laughed and laughed. You see, it’s wanting to be obedient, that’s what counts. Afterwards, we met the young man, his name was David too. Is the LORD calling the DAVIDS in our Community?

Are you prepared to SHARE Jesus with ANYONE? Don’t go by appearances, don’t go by what a person looks like, because the LORD doesn’t look at the outward appearances, He looks at the HEART. He’s calling ALL people to himself. If we just looked at the outward appearance we’d miss the people the Lord wants us to talk with. If someone is dressed in a smart suit, looks nice and clean, they need Jesus just as much as a man dressed in shabby clothing. All have fallen short of God’s Holy Standards. All need to come to repentance. All need a Saviour from Hell. No my friends, don’t look at how big they are or how small they are, how smart or intelligent a person appears to be, God’s calling EVERYONE into His Kingdom family, they all need Jesus.

You can do the IMPOSSIBLE with Jesus: Peter walked on water with Jesus.

Jesus said, “Apart from me you can do NOTHING”… i.e. everything we try and do, that doesn’t involve Jesus, is NOTHING.

However, Jesus also said, “You will do even greater things”…. Awesome!

P.P.S. Please pray for our West Norwood: “Oh Happy Day”, it’s coming on Saturday 16th July in St Luke’s Gardens. An event for the whole family, Christians united together to share the GREAT things God is doing in this world today. There will be Bands, Choirs, Dancing, Singing, Stalls with Photography, Face-Painting, Exercise (for every ability Kingdom Stretch), Food stalls, Books, Booklets, etc etc… Come to “Oh Happy Day” St Luke’s Gardens, West Norwood. Saturday 16th July. EVERYONE is WELCOME.

 

The Joy Of Sharing The Good News

Be active in sharing your faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 693: The JOY of Sharing Good News.

What happens when a young woman comes out to learn how to share the Gospel?

“BE ACTIVE IN SHARING YOUR FAITH”

Good morning my friends, it’s been such an amazing experience over the last few days, being a Grandfather to NINE and there’s still another one on the way as Laura (Joe’s wife) is pregnant with her No 4 as well. What’s also been wonderful is how many people “like” baby pictures and especially new babies.  My Facebook pages has been going loopy 🙂 Praise the Lord for that obvious joy.

However, when someone becomes a Brand Newborn Babe in Christ, do we LIKE it just as much? We should be even more OVERJOYED, because that baby won’t just last for a few years here on Earth, but for all eternity in God’s Kingdom Family. A Christian is destined to LIVE forever, now that should make all of us stand up and shout for JOY to the Lord. Also, do you get EXCITED at the prospect of sharing your faith in Jesus with other folks? You should, because when you do God’s promises are mindblowingly awesome!  😛

STREET EVANGELISM:

Last night a small group of us, five in all, went out on a freezing cold February night to share the Good News of Jesus with folks on the streets of West Norwood in London.

I was teamed up with Gemma, a West African woman who’s just finished University. She’d come to me on Sunday at the end of worship and said, “When you were preaching about going and sharing the Good News, and you said “Sharing is Caring” I was on fire, I have so wanted to learn how to share the Gospel with my friends and colleagues”… I said, “Gemma, why don’t you come out with us on Wednesday and learn how to do it like Jesus did?”… She said she’d been frustrated in her attempts at winning folks for Jesus in the past, but wanted to learn. Well, last night Gemma turned up and came out with me. It was not long before Gemma was giving out tracts (£1,000,000 pound notes), sharing how own faith in Jesus and even praying for people on the streets.

But Gemma didn’t come to learn to give out tracts, but to engage people with the Good News of Jesus, it was not long before she experienced that, because two minutes out on our walk we met a man called Aaron. Aaron’s father was a Preacher and Leader in his church, his father had run Alpha Courses and Aaron had attended St Luke’s Primary School, a “Christian” school. However, it was soon obvious that Aaron had not come to fully understand the Gospel. I checked to see what Aaron actually believed, but it was the way that we got chatting that Gemma later said she loved. I said to Aaron, “You look like a good man, did you get your £1,000,000?” He responded with, “Why do you call me good?”   Immediately, I remembered Jesus asking a man that very question, “Why do you call me good, there’s none good but God alone”… (That account is recorded in two of our Gospels: Mark 10:17-27 and Matthew 19 16-22. See below)

Aaron had a wonderful privileged upbringing, but he’d rejected the Christian faith and it’s claims, because he had not EXPERIENCED anything and didn’t know if God was real. He had also reached the conclusion that he never could discover God. I don’t know about you, but when I hear a young man, an honest young man, express his doubts so openly like that, it makes me very sad and a bit angry too. Why don’t we preach the Gospel more clearly in our churches? Why are we so busy in church being religious, having fun, being culturally relevant when there are sincere young men like Aaron headed for hell?

What also became obvious to me was, that the LORD was not finished with Aaron yet. Just a few days before he bumped into Gemma and I, he’d had a similar meeting with another Evangelist from our Church. How many times have you had someone come up to you and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with you? I can count them on one hand, but Aaron had two people come and share about Jesus with him.

After reasoning with Aaron for a while about life after death, God’s reality, etc… I asked Gemma to share her own experience of how she knew that God was real, alive and knowable. As she was telling Aaron, I was watching him, and I knew what his response would be even before he opened up his mouth, “That’s nice for you, but I’ve not had that experience yet”… “I’m happy for you both, because you seem to have found God, but He’s not real to me”… It really is so sad when someone so young believes so strongly that God cannot be known.

Matthew 19:16-25 (NIV) The Rich Young Ruler.
16 Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?”
17  “Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
18  “Which ones?” the man enquired. Jesus replied, ” ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony,
19  honour your father and mother,’ and ‘love your neighbour as yourself.’ ”
20  “All these I have kept,” the young man said. “What do I still lack?”
21  Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
25  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”

Notes: The Disciples had come to realise that EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE SAVED verse 25. How did they arrive at that conclusion? They’d witnessed Jesus, time and time again brining up the LAW of God, the Ten Commandments, with folks as He chatted with them. They NEW that nobody had kept the whole LAW and were ready to be judged by God, that is why they said to Jesus, “Who then can be saved?”… Jesus answer was, “with man it is IMPOSSIBLE” i.e. no one, none, can SAVE themselves, because we’ve all become guilty of breaking God’s Commandments, (Romans 3:23) but with God all things are possible, i.e. God alone can SAVE mankind, as explained in that section of God’s letter to the young Roman Church:

Romans 3:21-28 (NIV) We’re Justified by FAITH through God’s GRACE: Not by living according to God’s LAW revealed in His Commandments. 
21  But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.
22  This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference,
23  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24  and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
25  God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished
26  —he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
27  Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith.
28  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.
However, those Commandments reveal our NEED of Salvation, as Jesus’ Disciples discovered above.

Mark’s Account of the Rich Young Ruller:

Mark 10:17-27 (NIV)
17  As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
18  “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No-one is good—except God alone.
19  You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honour your father and mother.’ “
20  “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
21  Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22  At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23  Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
24  The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
25  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”
26  The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”
27  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

NOTES: Notice first, Jesus corrected the man’s understanding of ‘GOOD’, there’s none good, but God alone.
Notice second, Jesus revealed God’s Standard of Goodness and the entry requirement for the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven: Perfection. Unless a man or woman is perfect, i.e. they’ve kept God’s LAW revealed in His Commandments perfectly all their life, they cannot enter into His Kingdom. The Rich Young Ruler thought he’d kept the Commandments, but it was obvious he was not listening to Jesus, “There’s NONE GOOD but God alone”… i.e. If we take an honest look at God’s Commandments, we’ll conclude that we’ve broken most of them in our lifetime and are guilty Law Breakers in God’s sight.
Well, I’d love to share with you that Aaron was won over by our discussions, but at least he thanked us for stopping to chat with him. I asked if he had a Bible at home. He said, “My dad’s got at least four Bibles open on his desk every day”. I said, why don’t you go home, ask your dad for one of them and read it. Say to God, “I don’t know if you are real, but I’m ready to discover if You are, please speak to me through Your Word”… I do hope we bump into Aaron again. Please pray for this honest young man Aaron, who wanted to discover “Why do you call me good?”.

First Night Of Evangelism:

Gemma’s first night was a brilliant lesson in sharing the Good News of Jesus with folks the way that Jesus did. It was also an eye-opening experience of listening to the Lord as you go, because we also prayed for folks and chatted about God’s Kingdom, Heaven, Hell, Faith, Hope, Healing… We received “Words of Knowledge” you should see people’s faces when you speak God’s Word and their own situation in life lines up with what God is saying to them.  The rest of the team came back and shared their experiences too. My friends, can I encourage you, if you don’t do it already, to keep sharing your faith in Jesus and lead others to the Saviour, because as Jesus own disciples discovered, everybody NEEDS to be SAVED, without Jesus they will die in their sins and end up in Hell, because God has declared He will give them His justice on the day of Judgement.

Here’s the TRUTH:

Here is WHO will NOT Enter God’s Kingdom: Anyone who’s broken God’s Commandments. We ALL NEED SALVATION.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)
9  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.

Every single person needs to be: Washed, Sanctified and Justified through faith in Jesus Christ.

Also, like Gemma, Sherrie, Ben, Matthew and me last night, you’ll discover Kingdom Knowledge and you’ll experience more of what God’s got in store for you. Note below, the importance of not only loving the Saints as Philemon obviously did, but what will happen to him if he listens to Paul’s instruction when he shares his faith in 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.

It’s obvious we should love the saints, our brothers and sisters in Christ, but it’s not so obvious the NEED for Christians to be actively sharing our faith in Jesus or the reasons why. When you share Jesus, your own understanding of all the good things you have in Jesus will grow, the more you share, the more you’re going to understand. How awesome is that? Philemon also highlights one of the major problems in our modern churches today, we’re really good at LOVING THE SAINTS but forgetting the importance of being active in sharing our faith. There’s so much good going on we’re missing the point of Jesus Commission and Call. It’s not to have a great time being ‘church’, but to win others for His Kingdom before He comes back again. We’re also great a doing ‘good’ in the community, hoping that people will be so impressed with our ‘goodness’ that they’ll want to discover more about Jesus. It doens’t work my friends, the church is getting exhausted serving the world, but the world is heading straight for hell, because we’re too busy doing ‘good’ to share the Good News of Jesus with them.

It is much harder to be ACTIVELY SHARING YOUR FAITH in Jesus with folks, than it is to be LOVING, gentle and kind. Yes we should be doing good and being loving, kind, generous, helpful and faithful, but it’s going to have far greater dividends in Eternity when you take steps of courage and determine in your heart that you are going to make the most of every opportunity to go out of your way to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, that’s what really counts for Jesus’ Kingdom and Eternity.

I could also write about the many other conversations we had last night; the second person we chatted with was also called Aaron, then a young woman who attended church all her life, but hadn’t received Jesus as Lord. A woman who used to come to church, who needed prayer. It’s just too much to write them all or share them all now… Praise the LORD! Pray for the people and don’t forget to BE ACTIVE IN SHARING YOUR FAITH.

Have a fantastic Thursday.

Don.

 

A Day’s Rest From Labour

Matthew 10:16 cunning as snakes and innocent as doves

Daily Spirit & Word: 672: A Day’s Rest From Labour.

Matthew 10:16 (NIV) “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Luke 10:3 (NIV) “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.”

Good morning my friends, it’s my day off today, so only a short share 🙂

We had another brilliant evening of evangelism last night out on the streets of West Norwood. Sharing Jesus with folks is just so exciting and fascinating. Because God brings people to us who really need to know Him. Most people are totally unaware of this need for God. We can testify to the truth in God’s Word that “the god of this age” (Satan) is doing a brilliant job of keeping people blind and completely at ease with the lack of Spiritual life. He doesn’t want them to know or understand the Gospel.

When approaching people with a Gospel Tract: The vast majority will say, “No thank I’m OK”… or “No thanks, I’m not religious”. They believe that their life without God is; normal, OK, cool, good, free, etc… So can you see what a fantastic job Satan has done?

Now when we approach folks we’ve got to be, as Jesus directed, “shrewd as snakes and gentle as doves”… So we engage them in ways that they’ll be familiar with, with things that they are already interested in: Money, Silver, etc… How? We carry notes that look like £1,000,000. That’s right folks One Million Pounds. They are funny, they bring a smile to people’s faces and they open up the way to have a ‘Spiritual’ conversation. So before they know it, we’ve managed to tear down all their defences and barricades against being got at by Jesus.

We also use brilliant, bright, shiny, large silver coins; with the Ten Commandments on one side and the Gospel of Jesus on the other. We say, “Did you get one of these limited edition Commandment Coins”… Because they are still in the natural, human beings are in competition with one another, they love to get one-up on their neighbours, so they’ll want something that nobody else has got. It’s another brilliant way to engage folks with what they’re naturally inclined to want.

Are we tricking people? You’re right, we’re using earthly things for the purpose of getting a springboard into their heads with spiritual things. However, we’re only doing what our Lord Jesus did, because that’s what the LORD did all the time; the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus used water and her need to drink so she could discover her need for Salvation. John 4. At the Wedding Banquet, Jesus turned water into wine to introduce the abundance of God’s Kingdom.  He used stories / parables to instil intrigue and excite deeper thinking about God’s Kingdom. Jesus use the NATURAL to engage people in Spiritual conversations. He used what people know and are familiar with, to bring them to an awareness of their need for God in their daily lives. He actually commanded His followers to do the same;

Matthew 10:16 (NIV) “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Praise the LORD! With the help of the Holy Spirit, we were doing that last night out on the Streets of London.

I said to many people last night; “Did you get your £1,000,000?” As they took the note from my outstretched hand, I asked this question, “If this was a ‘real’ million pounds, what would you do with it?” We were then into conversations about life with loads of money. Most said they’d spend it on the family first. Then I asked, “Would you do anything ‘good’ with the money?” They immediately said they would, some said they’d give something to the poor, etc… I then said, “What is ‘good’?” or “Do you think you are a ‘good’ person?” As usual nearly everyone said they are good. We were off into a presentation of the Gospel: to show them their need of a Saviour.

Please Pray:

Keep praying for the people we met and chatted with last night:

We engaged many, but a few stand out in my heart today; A man called Dennis who works seven days a week. A Muslim man from Algeria called Ali, who was open to talking about Jesus. A Russian Jewish man with a big beard, who was also open to the Gospel. A Pentecostal AOG Pastor who was in London for a Conference. A lady with her little girl, about to get into her car, she was really open. A Scottish lady, who was very interested in chatting about Jesus (probably because I’m Scottish too)… Praise the LORD for all the ways He used us last night, making the most of the golden opportunity to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.

I’m looking forward to a day off with my grandson Karamoko. We’re looking after him because our daughter Stephanie is getting ready to go into labour.

Have another fantastic day with Jesus my friends.

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.

 

 

Street Evangelism UK

Don and Dave

Street Evangelism:

Witnessing one-to-one / Face-to-Face.

Good morning friends, I’m a bit late today, but hope you’ll forgive me for that.

Last night David Wilson, Isaac Fofie and I went out onto the Streets to share the Good News of the Lord Jesus. West Norwood is a busy little part of London, it’s growing in popularity and more City folks are moving into the area, pubs are going up-market and being turned into fantastic ‘Gastro-Pubs’, but one thing it does do is make sharing the Gospel much harder (I tell you why in a minute), but it’s good for the area, because things are getting sorted now that were ignored for years. Funny how it takes money movers moving in to shake things up (Just saying politicians).

Don and Dave July 2015

Anyway, David, Isaac and I began sharing Jesus, right in the gardens behind this photo: We met a man who was sitting on the bench from North Africa who was an Orthodox Christian. He was smoking something stinky 🙂 Anyway, as we began sharing it became obvious within just a few words that he didn’t understand even the most basic tenets of the Christian faith. He believed that all religions are OK and we should just let people do their own thing regardless. It’s amazing just how many people actually believe this these days. Believe what you want and the world will leave you alone. Apart from Biblical Christianity that is. Why? Because Biblical Christianity (we believe) is the ONLY true religion in the world. In fact we’d go as far as saying it’s NOT a religion at all, it’s an ongoing relationship with the Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We’ll call him Farouk (Not his real name, to protect his identity), but close enough. As we shared all about Jesus, Farouk said he didn’t read the Bible, but believed in a loving God who’ll forgive everyone and welcome everyone into heaven. I responded with, “That’s so interesting you should say that Farouk, because ….” Then we were into the Gospel.

What really broke the ice with Farouk was, after sharing all about Jesus, we asked if we could pray for him. His whole demeanour changed afterwards and he thanked us so much for taking the time to stop and chat with him about the Lord.

Don’t ever be afraid to open up a conversation about Jesus, because Jesus is with you when you GO in His Name. Amen!

I’ll add some more about our sharing later, but do go and give it a try…

Don.