When the LIGHT within is DARKNESS

Lust, Pornography, Sexual Sin, Freedom in Christ,

Daily Spirit & Word: 758: The Eye is the Lamp of the Body.

But what happens when the LIGHT within is DARKNESS?

Jesus said, “The eye is the lamp of the body”

i.e. what we look at will bring it’s light into our souls. It’s either dark-light (darkness) or goodness (Light).

Good morning my friends, for the last couple of weeks the LORD has placed those words on my heart, I’ve been reading His WORD and praying about what I should share. It may be that now is the time to share it.

LUST OF THE EYES.

One of the greatest chapters in the Bible to deal with LUST of the EYES is Job 31…

Job 31:1-12 (NIV)
1  “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.
2  For what is man’s lot from God above, his heritage from the Almighty on high?
3  Is it not ruin for the wicked, disaster for those who do wrong?
4  Does he not see my ways and count my every step?
5  “If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit—
6  let God weigh me in honest scales and he will know that I am blameless—
7  if my steps have turned from the path, if my heart has been led by my eyes, or if my hands have been defiled,
8  then may others eat what I have sown, and may my crops be uprooted.
9  “If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or if I have lurked at my neighbour’s door,
10  then may my wife grind another man’s grain, and may other men sleep with her.
11  For that would have been shameful, a sin to be judged.
12  It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.
Whatever harvest you’ve been working for in your life will be BURNED TO DESTRUCTION if you allow your eyes to contaminate your soul with darkness.

The EYE is the LAMP: It can either allow in darkness or light.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

Question: What have you been allowing your eyes to dwell upon?

Darkness or Light?

Confession Time: Newspaper Shop: W. H. Smiths. For a long time I had been witnessing to my friends whilst serving in the Royal Navy on Submarines. I had shared the Gospel with them. One day whilst in a Newspaper shop in the 1980s, I was standing in front of the row of Magazines. It was a large Newspaper shop with lots of customers. On the TOP SHELF in those days you’d have Pornographic Magazines with everything on display (I’ll not go into too much detail). In the Navy, officially pornography was banned, but unofficially, everybody used to have some PORN. We’d see it on a daily basis; on watch, off watch, on duty and off duty. In the mess they’d have pornographic videos playing, before videos came along it was reel-to-reel films. After becoming a Christian, nobody told me, but I knew in my heart I should no-longer indulge in pornographic material. Back to the Newspaper shop: I was standing there looking for a computer magazine, but my eyes drifted upward, until they were glued on the pornographic scene, hundreds of them, all lined up on the Top Shelf for me to enjoy. Just then a man walked in and stood beside me, he was looking upwards as well, he said, “And you a good Christian too”… I turned and it was one of the men I’d been witnessing to for ages. I’d been praying that he would come to know Jesus and here was I, looking at pornography. Immediately my face turned beetroot red, I stammered an excuse, denied it initially, but I’d been caught out big-time. My witness was ruined. At the moment I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.

Consumed with guilt and shame, as soon as I could I got home and fell to my knees in prayer, asking the LORD to forgive me. Why? Because I’d done the opposite of what Job had done, I hadn’t followed God’s Word or God’s Spirit and I’d ignored my own God given Conscience: I’ll never forget it, deliberately ignoring it. You know when smoke alarms get so annoying you take out the battery, from that moment on the smoke-alarm is useless. When we ignore our conscience or go against it, then it’s as if we’ve taken out the battery to silence the alarm.

When we allow our eyes to be tempted, to dwell upon things the Lord, the Holy Spirit and our Conscience are telling us we shouldn’t, then we are inviting the darkness into our lives. We are igniting a fire that cannot be quenched “It is a fire that burns to Destruction; it would have uprooted my harvest.” I don’t know if that man I’d been witnessing to about Jesus ever became a follower of Jesus, but perhaps my hypocrisy, my weakness and my sin kept him from seeing the light of the Lord. I can’t tell you how much I regretted that day, it even makes me feel ashamed right now. It took such a long time for me to feel NEW again, to feel close to Jesus, to feel the warmth and love and light of the Holy Spirit in my heart again. Praise the LORD I was not exposed at that time to public shame. There were no newspapers with the caption “Royal Navy Christian Gazes Upon Porn”…. However, now that I’ve been SET FREE from shame and guilt, I can share with you my experience of deliberately allowing my eyes to dwell upon an unclean thing, and the consequent shame, guilt and horror that it brought into my life.

Matthew 6:22-23 (NIV)
22  “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light.
23  But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!

It was a dark time for me, oh my friends, be very careful what you allow your eyes to feast upon. I encourage you to be like Job (make a Covenant with your eyes) and like Joseph who declared when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife to commit adultery, this is how he reasoned in his heart;

Genesis 39:9 (NIV) “No-one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?”

Every SIN we commit is against God: Yes, even when we think lustful thoughts, we’re guilty, as Jesus said, of adultery, it’s against our spouse or partner, but if we’re not married is it wrong to lust? Yes it is my friends, it’s a SIN against God, because we’re being unfaithful to HIM. But what if you are married or committed to someone? Imagine how they’d feel if they knew you’d been unfaithful in your thoughts? It would crush their spirits and tear-trust to shreds.

God has given us, followers of Jesus Christ, the whole world to richly enjoy. He’s not a spoil-sport, that’s why His Creation is so beautiful, but when we allow dark-light into our souls, when the light becomes darkness within, then we’re in danger my friends, “HOW GREAT IS THAT DARKNESS”…

I can tell you this, because I’ve been in the darkness or the darkness has been in me, even after following Jesus, it’s a terrible darkness to be sure. It brings with it FEAR, DREAD, (Dread is a fearful expectation or anticipation that something terrible is about to happen)… It brings GUILT… However, when we’re walking with the LORD Jesus, being guided by His Holy Spirit and listening to our God given conscience then know this my friends, “There is NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus”… We’ll experience FREEDOM not to look with lust. We’ll have POWER to walk in the LIGHT and stay in the LIGHT… How does that happen? If we see a lovely figure, that before we were tempted by, we’ll be able to thank God for the beauty and not begin to think lustful thoughts. HOW? Because the Holy Spirit gives us His power and freedom and self-control. It’s a fruit and gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit, but we’ve got a choice to make every day and moment by moment throughout the day. Temptation will never go away, but how we deal with those temptations, that’s what will preserve our hearts and enable us to be full of light, full of goodness.

The Day That FREEDOM Comes:

As many of you know, I used to live in Plymouth, on the way back from a tour on my Submarine, I was driving into Plymouth and noticed this sign on the A38 just outside the City. It had a picture of a Tower with the words in Latin. “Turris Fortissima Est Nomen Jehova”, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower” It wasn’t long afterwards that I regained my freedom in Christ. Through tears of joy and peace, I was back with my Lord Jesus. Oh my friends, I can testify “How GREAT is that DARKNESS” but what’s even more blessed “HOW WONDERFUL IS THE LIGHT”…

Proverbs 18:10 (NIV) “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Jesus Christ will keep you safe from temptation, He’s like a strong tower, a fortress that cannot be broken into, but we need to run to Him. We need to flee temptation and run to Jesus in prayer at that moment. We’ll be SAFE as long as we run to the Saviour.

NO TEMPTATION HAS CAUGHT YOU.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

“Common to man”, means we’re ALL TEMPTED, but how we deal with it, that’s the answer… Run to Jesus, the Strong Fortress that cannot be conquered.

Where your treasure is, there you heart will be also. What are you treasuring in your heart today?

“No one can serve two masters”. If you are trying to serve Jesus and also serving your lusts, then you are only fooling yourself. The Darkness within is GREAT. Walk in the Light.

Amen!

That’s how we can know we need the LORD Jesus every single day.

There will never be a time when you don’t need Jesus.

Stay close to Jesus this week my friends.

If you are tempted or if you’ve allowed the DARKNESS to reign in your heart too long, you may need prayers of deliverance. Go to a trusted brother or sister who’s walking closely with Lord Jesus and get them to pray with you. Confess your sins to one another… Be set free today by the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, help me to love you today, more than I love this world or the beautiful things in this world. There’s so much You’ve given me to be thankful for, please keep my heart close to Your Heart Lord. Let me appreciate and love the things that You love. Let me walk in the Light as You are in the Light. Let me live in Freedom. Give me self-control, the fruit and gift of the Holy Spirit. Fill me with your Spirit right now Jesus, I need you LORD…Amen!

Be blessed and stay close to Jesus today. Amen!

Don.

 

When Temptation Rears It’s Ugly Head.

flee temptation, run away,

Daily Spirit & Word: 721: When we give in to temptation.

What we’re saying to ourselves is; “Evil, be thou my good.” From Paradise Lost, book 4. Line 110.

Good morning my friends, what a dread-filled statement it is above; “Evil, be thou my good” yet the reality is that when we’re turning from the light towards the darkness, it’s like we are declaring to ourselves, “Evil, be thou my good”… Imagine the turmoil Judas must have been in at that last supper. He was with Jesus, with the other Disciples, eating, drinking, chatting away, but then the LORD brings the DARKNESS within Judas into the LIGHT.

John 13:18-30 (NIV)
18 “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfil the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’
19  “I am telling you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe that I am He.
20  I tell you the truth, whoever accepts anyone I send accepts me; and whoever accepts me accepts the one who sent me.”
21  After he had said this, Jesus was troubled in spirit and testified, “I tell you the truth, one of you is going to betray me.”
22  His disciples stared at one another, at a loss to know which of them he meant.
23  One of them, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was reclining next to him.
24  Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, “Ask him which one he means.”
25  Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?”
26  Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, son of Simon.
27  As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. “What you are about to do, do quickly,” Jesus told him,
28  but no-one at the meal understood why Jesus said this to him.
29  Since Judas had charge of the money, some thought Jesus was telling him to buy what was needed for the Feast, or to give something to the poor.
30  As soon as Judas had taken the bread, he went out. And it was night.

Temptation is what Judas caved into when he betrayed the Lord Jesus Christ, the desire for other things, things other than the LORD Himself.

However, think about Judas and we’ll not have to look long to see ourselves. He must have followed a downward spiral, one temptation given into, then another, then another. The Bible records that Judas was a thief, he was the trusted treasurer, but he helped himself to the money given for the Lord.

JUDAS WEAKNESS:

Judas was a thief. He was in charge of the group’s money bag and sometimes stole from it. He was disloyal. Even though the other apostles deserted Jesus and Peter denied him, the degree of Judas’ betrayal was much worse, because he lead the soldiers to Jesus, then identified Jesus by kissing him. Imagine, the lips that praised the LORD, the hands that served the LORD, they are now employed in cruel betrayal. It was the LOVE of MONEY that was a root of evil within Judas.

Think how it’s possible to be close to Jesus Christ and yet in your heart be far away from Him.

  • What ‘things’ have gotten such a hold on you?
  • What ‘things’ have more light than the divine light of Christ?
  • What ‘things’ are more appealing than Jesus?
  • What ‘things’ are offering you more; satisfaction, gratification, payment or pleasure?

My friends, Christ has more, offers more, gives more, satisfies more than anything else in all creation.

Once there was a group of teenagers who started heckling us when out preaching the Gospel in St Budeaux Square in Plymouth. One, a very big chappie, with dark sunglasses on his face, walkman-headphones on his head, shouted, “I take drugs over Jesus any day”… Funny, I’ve never forgotten those words uttered over 27 years ago. “I’ll take drugs over Jesus any day”… He was obviously still in the darkness or he would never had said that. But would he? Judas was with Jesus when He performed miracles. Judas witnessed Jesus healing, blessing, teaching… Is it possible to be so close to Jesus and yet be a devil?

John 6:67-71 (NIV)
67  “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
69  We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
70  Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!”
71  (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

YOU DO NOT WANT TO LEAVE ME TOO: DO YOU?

What a Question to ask! Would we ever choose to leave Jesus? How can we leave Jesus? Well, it begins with just a thought, “One bite won’t hurt”… “One little taste” … “Just once”… “Only for a little while” You can almost hear Satan whispering in your ears, “God didn’t mean you”.

No wonder the Scriptures, God’s Word, scream out to us: “Take CAPTIVE every thought”… “Take captive EVERY thought” “Take captive every THOUGHT”… 2 Corinthians 10:5.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV)
3  For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.
4  The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
5  We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us FREE:

Judas fulfilled Scripture prophesy, that one would betray the Christ, but Judas, like us, was FREE to choose, he choose foolishly, yet without a Judas, Jesus would have been alive, we’d all still be in our sins, and we’d have to face an SIN angry God on Judgement day. Why is God ANGRY: Because God hates sin. So Judas was a part of God’s plan of Salvation. However, though Jesus knew all about Judas, though it must have grieved him, though it obviously hurt him, He allowed Judas the freedom to choose. Amazing to think; so close to Jesus Christ yet so far away.

The hand that dipped the bread and handed it to Judas would soon be pierced with nails.

That’s the PAIN we cause the Christ when we give in to temptation.

It’s like we’re saying “Evil, be thou my good”… We’re choosing something God has forbidden. We’re choosing DARKNESS rather than Walking in the LIGHT.

YIELD NOT TO TEMPTATION

I love the old blues hymn sung by Al Green “Yield not to temptation”. To be honest, I’ve sang that song so many times when temptation has reared it’s ugly head.

Yield not to temptation, for yielding is sin;
Each vict’ry will help you some other to win;
Fight manfully onward, dark passions subdue;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

Refrain:
Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you,
He will carry you through.

Shun evil companions, bad language disdain,
God’s name hold in rev’rence, nor take it in vain;
Be thoughtful and earnest, kindhearted and true;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

To him that o’ercometh, God giveth a crown,
Through faith we will conquer, though often cast down;
He who is our Saviour, our strength will renew;
Look ever to Jesus, He’ll carry you through.

When faced with TEMPTATION: Run Away: Escape.

2 Timothy 2:19-26 (NIV)
19  Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”
20  In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble.
21  If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
22  Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue (RUN AFTER) righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23  Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.
24  And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
25  Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26  and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

Look to Jesus Christ. Fix your eyes on Jesus. “Flee the evil desires”

i.e. LOOK AWAY.

Run away, flee, fly, scarper, take to one’s heels, cut and run, escape, leg it, hightail it, head for the hills, avoid, shun, don’t look, think about Jesus, a favourite hymn, open the bible, call a Christian friend, get a brother or sister to pray for you, be honest, be open, don’t give the devil a foothold.

FIX YOUR EYES ON JESUS… 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Hebrews 12:1-4 (NIV)
1  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses (Moses and all the others), let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
2  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
3  Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
4  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

Conclusion:

Say out loud “Jesus, be my good” … “Jesus, be my God” … “Jesus IS my God in whom I will trust”…

Think about the Sacrifice: His hands that touched in healing, giving bread, giving life to a dead girl, sight to a blind man, now pierced by nails.

Think about the LOVE of God: “For God so loved the world (YOU), that He gave His ONE and ONLY Son to die upon a Cross, so that you could be forgiven, cleansed, renewed, filled with the Holy Spirit, given the gift of eternal life, filled with God’s love, empowered by Holy Spirit, gifted to serve, anointed and blessed with the powerful presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, who promised, “I’m with you, even to the end of the age”… Jesus is with you right now, turn to Him, who is the LIGHT, shun the DARKNESS and it will flee away.

I am confident that you will overcome every temptation. Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 (Commit it to your memory banks).

Have an Awesome Saturday.

Don.

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Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

Every Eye Shall See Him: Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 680: Jesus: He’s Coming Soon.

After I came to know the LORD in 1984, there was a little praise song my church sang: “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the LORD”. My understanding of God’s Word was limited back then, so I was half expecting Jesus to come back during the week. It radically changed the way that I was living, because I wanted to be ready for Jesus. As the years have gone on, I look back and wonder, “Should I have been continuing with that same sense of expectation all along?” Of course the answer is “YES” for we don’t know the day or the hour. Then there’s the great question Jesus asks, “Will the Son of Man find faith on earth when He returns?”

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

Revelation is written to both encourage followers of Jesus and to warn those who’re slipping away from a genuine walk with Him. It’s also written and available to the enemies of Jesus as a stern and stark warning; “He’s Coming BACK AGAIN SOON.”

EVERY EYE SHALL SEE HIM:

This is a wonderful encouragement for the believers in the major towns mentioned in Revelation; the Seven Churches in Asia Minor, but also for you and me today. We’re going to see the LORD! At that time it was dangerous to be a believer in Jesus. John was exiled to Patmos, some of the other believers were being killed and put to death in horrific ways. But John wanted to encourage them in the walk with Christ and their commitment to the end.

Who’s going to see Jesus? “Every eye shall see Him”: Believers and non-believers alike. Even those who pierced Him: The Jews and Romans who put Christ to death will see Him. However it’s also those who are opposed to Christianity in every generation, it’s as if they are the ones who are piercing Him all over again. Remember what Jesus said to Saul (Paul) when He appeared to him on the road to Damascus:

Acts 9:3-5 (NIV)
3  As he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.
4  He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
5  “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied.

“Why do you persecute me?” Paul was involved in killing Christians and hunting them down. There have been thousands who’ve been persecuted for their faith in Jesus. This text in Revelation today shows us, that one day they will mourn.

What will they do when they see Jesus returning on the clouds? They’ll “MOURN” All peoples on the Earth who don’t know Jesus Christ as LORD and Saviour or who’ve rejected the Gospel, will be grieving, mourning and wailing.

Do you know that there are TWO references in this one verse to Old Testament Prophesy. In his old age John, the Apostle and dearly loved Disciple of Jesus, was full of the Holy Spirit and steeped in the Old Testament Scriptures. He’d been given insight into a fuller understanding of their meaning, and by the Holy Spirit was able to APPLY those Scriptures to his own “Here and now”…

Two Old Testament References:

(Dan 7:13-14). The Son of Man Coming on Clouds.

Daniel 7:13-14 (NIV)
13  “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.
14  He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshipped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”

It is from that passage in Daniel there emerges the recurring picture of the Son of Man coming on the clouds (Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64). These are wonderful encouraging messages for every Christian, the unchanging truth that the day will come when Jesus Christ will be Lord of all and every eye shall see Him. It is that kind of hope that can keep you going through the toughest of trials on this earth. Imagine how John’s message would have been received at a time of great persecution of Christians. How much more is it and encouragement for us today as we see our own world rushing headlong into oblivion?

The Second OT reference is: “Mourning for the one they have pierced”

Zechariah 12:10 (NIV) 
“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.”

One Day SOON: We are going to see the LORD! Hallelujah. Praise the Lord!

But on that day, every enemy of Christ; every Atheist, every false religions, every wayward non-religious person and every bitter-back-slider, even the hypocrite; will MOURN: Because they’ll suddenly discover how wrong they’ve been; they’ll mourn as one does the death of an infant as Zachariah tells us, that’s a terrible kind of grieving indeed.

Read this Revelation verse again and praise the Lord, because you know HIM who’s coming back soon.

Revelation 1:7 (NIV)
7  Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

No matter what your circumstances are today, this is encouragement to LIVE your life every day with the expectant hope He’s coming soon. Life will be much better for you if you do.

Sing; “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the Lord”.

Praying that you’ll have an awesome week, full of exciting adventures in the Holy Spirit with Jesus your Lord. Amen.

Don.

 

 

Has Jesus Promised More Than He Can Deliver?

Power for the Christian Life

Daily Spirit & Word; 648:

Has Jesus Promised More Than He Can Deliver?

Good morning my friends, I want to encourage the Saints in Christ today, those who have surrendered their lives to Him as LORD and Saviour. Why? Well it’s because sometimes, there are brothers and sisters in Christ who seem to be a bit down. They seem to want or need something more, but with shoulders down and arms drooping, they walk in and out of ‘church’ not getting what it is they need. And I’m feeling so sad, because I know there’s POWER waiting for them, if they’ll just tap into it. It’s as if they’re living with this feeling or question, “Has my Lord Jesus promised more than He can deliver for me?”

“Has my Lord Jesus promised more than He can deliver for me?”

  • Perhaps, you came to Jesus expecting life to be a bed of roses.
  • Perhaps it’s because you thought you would always feel powerful and strong in the Spirit.
  • Perhaps it’s because you expected to never have to suffer or go without the good things in life.

Whatever the let-down is, you NEED encouragement today; because Jesus can deliver all things in abundance. His promises are always TRUE and can be found to be true for every truly converted believer.

Jesus Christ CAN and WILL sustain you in everything. Believe it again, believe it afresh today.

Did you get to the verse in your Bible that promises; “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ who strengthens me”… If, like me, you make notes of powerful Bible verses at the front and rear of your Bible, then turning to these often will give encouragement. Especially when you find them to be true when you live them.

Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT) The Secret Strength For Contentment.
11  Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.
12  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
13  For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

It’s NOT a Secret my friends. Jesus has revealed it in the experience of the Apostle Paul and countless thousands of other followers of Jesus; we can FACE ANYTHING when we get the strength for our weakness through Jesus Christ.

  • If you have ANY need in your life today; come afresh to Jesus Christ.
  • If you have SOMETHING you need help with today, come to Jesus Christ first.
  • If you want a SITUATION SORTED, then come to Jesus, because He wants to give you His strength.

Avail yourself of the POWER that’s available today: You won’t just be contented, but overflowing.

If you are feeling downcast, disheartened, discouraged today; then bring it to Jesus.

He’ll lift up your soul. He’ll fill you afresh with Holy Spirit. He’ll give you the NEW WINE of the Kingdom. It will be like a fountain within, you will not be able to turn it off. Joy overflowing from within. Do you want that? Come to Jesus NOW in prayer and be strengthened and encouraged.

Has Jesus promised more than He can deliver? No my friends, but there’s more, much more than you can ever imagine stored up for you, tap into the power source of the Universe, come to the Lord Jesus Christ and you’ll see.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for those times that I’ve doubted You. I come to you now and trust You afresh in everything. I know Lord that I can do ALL THINGS in the power and strength that You provide through Holy Spirit living in me”. Amen.

Determine in your hearts today; “I’m going to share with Jesus all my desires and longings today.” Amen.

Every blessing in Jesus for a wonderful week,

Don.

 

He gives me ‘LIVING WATER’ and I thirst no more.

Living Water, Soul Satisfaction, Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 605:

He gives me living water and I thirst no more.

John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Good morning my friends, do you know there have been so many wonderful praise and worship songs about how the Lord satisfies the needs of the follower of Jesus Christ? I’ve found myself moved so many times, in tears I’ve praised the LORD and He’s come to meet my needs.
  • He gives me living water and I thirst no more…the joy of the Lord is my strength.
  • There’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Deep and wide, deep and wide, there’s a fountain flowing deep and wide.
  • Take us to the river, take us there in unity to sing, a song of Your Salvation…
  • Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord, come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
  • I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest, lay down my weary one”…
  • All the way my Saviour leads me …
It’s amazing the way that the Lord does take away all the cravings for the things of this world. The follower of Jesus has enough in His Lord to satisfy every soul longing in life. All these praise and worship songs have been written because the Lord has shown Himself to be faithful to those who wrote them.

Hymn Story: “Here’s My Cup Lord”

For instance, I read somewhere about the little song “Here’s my cup Lord, fill it up Lord” that the Pastor, Richard Blanchard was waiting for a couple that he was preparing for marriage and they were late. He was sitting at the piano, impatient and his heart was getting angry that they were late. So he began to tinkle the ivories and this song came to Him:
Life was never to be a bed of roses for Richard Blanchard.
       A severe lung problem developed, and Blanchard was left with one-third of his lung capacity. But a diminished physical well-being did not stop young Blanchard.
       In 1953, he became the pastor of a church in Coral Gables, Florida, and one day, was asked by a young couple to perform their marriage ceremony. However, the couple was quite late for their counseling appointment.
       Blanchard told his secretary, “I will wait for thirty minutes and I’m leaving.” He then went to a nearby Sunday school room and sat down to play the piano for a while.
       He later said, “When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.” In less than thirty-minutes, as he waited for the young couple, God gave him the inspiring song “Fill My Cup, Lord”
“When I was not in the mood to be used of God, God was in a mood to use me.”
(1) Like the woman at the well I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy;
And then I heard my Savior speaking:
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

CHORUS: Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, feed me ’til I want no more-
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

(2) There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasure earthly things afford;
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

(3) So, my brother, if the things this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you,

If you kneel to Him and humbly pray:
Even when you are feeling your worst and most un-usable by the Lord, then the Lord Jesus can and will use us for His glory. Think about Jonah, Moses, Gideon and Solomon: reluctant to take the call and the role the Lord had allotted them, they were all used in such mighty ways by Him who changes situations, people and even desires.
Jesus really is the true SOURCE of our HAPPINESS, JOY, PEACE and PROVISION in life.
It’s truly awesome the way that He comes;
When you are feeling weak, He gives you strength.
When you are lonely He there in a moment of praise.
When you are broke, He sends the ravens to feed you.
When you are thirsty, He sends the rain to give you to drink.
When you are hurting, His stripes are for your healing.
When the storms in life come, He invites you to walk on water.
When you are hungry, He can turn stones into bread or send mana from Heaven.
When you are rejected, abused, neglected, you’ll find Jesus is the one who sticks closer than a brother.
John 4:14 (KJV) “But whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
Jesus really does give us living water so that we will thirst, hunger and want; no more. He’s enough, He’s enough to SATISFY all our longings in life. His WELL will NEVER run dry.
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
Oh how I love Jesus,
because He first loved me.
Have an awesome day with your Lord and Saviour.
Don.

How Are You Getting Things Done Today?

Doing it God's Way

Daily Spirit & Word: 571:

How Are You Getting Things Done Today?

The Camping Trip:

One day a father and son went for a camping trip in the woods and they needed to build a good fire-surround for the duration of their stay. So the father and son started to gather rocks to make a wall for the fire. The little boy was helping gathering stones, but the father said, “Son we need rocks, big rocks, not little stones” So the son went out and found a great big rock, but after trying for ages he couldn’t lift it. The father saw his son’s sweat, frustration and exhaustion, so he asked his son, “Are you using all your strength?” The boy said, “Yes Daddy”, but then the father said, “You’re not son, because you haven’t asked me to help you”. He explained, “Son, you don’t just have muscles, but you have a brain, you know that you and I can lift that rock easily together.” So they did and together they built the best fire-surround-wall, now they could sit and relax and enjoy the warmth and utility of the fire for the whole camping trip.

My friends, so many Christians are doing things in our own strength today, but the Bible tells us how we can do it so much easier;

NOT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH:

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

not might, not strength, but by Holy Spirit
Spirit POWER

The Bible says it’s NOT by our own might or power that we’re going to get anything done, but by God’s Spirit. The HOLY Spirit.

My friends, Jesus said some things very like that too;

John 15:5-8 5  “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6  If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7  If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8  This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

Jesus wants you to be able to be fruitful, but He knows that apart from Him that it’s impossible for you.

So many Christians are trying their best to be ‘good’ Christians, but they are NOT availing themselves of the POWER to be what God has called them to be, they’re trying their best in their own strength.

My friends, we NEED to stop being like that little boy, stop trying to get things done all by ourselves and cry out to our Father in Heaven, cry out to your loving Lord Jesus and cry out to the Holy Spirit: When you do, do you know what? You’re going to get a fantastic surprise, your Father in Heaven is like the father in the story, He’s waiting, He’s watching, He’s Longing for you to just admit you can’t do it all by yourself and you need His help.

  • He’s waiting! 
  • Are you tired of the struggle?
  • He’s Longing!
  • Are you weary of the battle?
  • He watching!
  • Are you ready to give up and try the BEST way to get this Christian life done?

Have an awesome day in the power and presence of GOD: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Oh dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for my pride and foolishness in thinking I can do it all by myself. I admit that I need You just as much today as I did when I started to follow You as my Lord and Saviour. Please Lord, help me to trust You with everything and when I feel the struggle, to cry out to You quickly for the help that I need, and I know now that You are just watching, longing and waiting for me to shout out to you for that help. I know You are available and ready when I’m going to call. Amen!

My friends, call to Jesus Christ today and know that He’s just longing to help you in everything.

Stay blessed in Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Discover The Spirit Filled Life

Doing it God's Way
Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD Almighty.

 

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

fighting against your enemies, the Devil, Satan, Christian

Daily Spirit & Word 569:

The Christian’s Enemies: The Devil (Satan).

Good morning my friends, we’ve been looking at our three main enemies in the Spiritual life; remember an enemy wants to see you defeated, downhearted and destroyed; most certainly that is true of our arch-enemy Satan. Jesus tells us this about him;

John 10:10  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ”

Satan even had the audacity to try and tempt the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, so don’t be surprised when you are feeling the pressure of ‘spiritual’ oppression. After trying to tempt Jesus in the wilderness and failing, listen to what God’s Word tells us that he did next:

Luke 4:13  “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.”

As we all know Satan plays dirty and he’s waiting for just the right moment in your own life too, that opportune moment to come and make his move. He’s the ultimate opportunist. Just as we are commanded by the LORD to make the most of every opportunity, so Satan will be waiting for the right opportunity in your life to come. However, with the Lord’s help, armour and power and presence, we can stay one step ahead of him: To be fore-warned is to be fore-armed.

1) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling Weak & Fatigued:

When you are drained of energy and very tired from your life’s labours or even illness. That’s when Satan comes along and make the most of his opportunities.

You see sometimes when we’re weak, we begin to question if God really loves us as His child. When we’ve not got enough money, when we’ve run out of food and need to feed the kids, when we’ve got more month at the end of the money, when we’re realy tired and have no energy even to think straight. Satan strikes and will tempt you in all sorts of ways, but ultimately he’s out to destroy you.

It was after 40 days in the wilderness when Jesus was at His weakest moments in life that Satan made the most of that opportunity and tempted Jesus in EVERY way.

When things aren’t going right in your marriage; He’ll provide an opportunity: A way to get out of the relationship, A new prospective mate; a good looking man or woman, who’s ultra nice to you, who’s going to meet your every need and ‘really’ love and appreciate you. NO my friends it’s a TRAP and a FALSE trail. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Elijah felt the attack even after a great victory over the Prophets of Baal.

2) He’ll Strike When You Are Feeling STRONG and SUCCESSFUL:

Whenever we’re feeling strong there comes a time when we’re also fooled into thinking we’re ‘Spiritually’ impregnable too. God has warned us that we are NOT immune from Satan’s attacks;

1 Peter 5:8 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Even the most morally strong and spiritual person will be a target for Satan’s devices, remember what happened to King David with Bathsheba and King Solomon with the Queen of Sheba. (must be something about that name Sheba)… They were both at the height of their success as Kings in Israel, yet something happens when we’re successful, we begin to think we’re immune from attack or impregnable, but in reality we’re only one step away from a tumble. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to BE Self-Controlled and BE Alert… Watch out my strong friends.

Someone said to me the other day, the Bible is full of mistakes, it most certainly is my friends, but as our text tells us, they were written down as a WARNING and an EXAMPLE of how we must be wary;

1 Corinthians 10:11-12  “These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the fulfilment of the ages has come. 12  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!”

“Satan hates it when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees”

When you are on your knees to the LORD, you’ll be able to STAND against any attacks of the Evil one.

3) He’ll Strike When You Go Against God’s Commands:

There’s a wonderful account in 1 Chronicles 18 when the Kings of Israel and Judah are allied and want to go to war. They ask the Prophets of the Lord and they all tell them to “Go to war and they’ll win the battle”, but just one Prophet tells the Kings something they just don’t want to hear, “Don’t Go To War: If you do you’ll die”… Guess what, they chose to go against this one man and sided with the crowd who were telling them what they wanted to hear.

“THE FEAR OF THE LORD IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM”

When you’re fleshly desires get hold of you my friends, you’ll be tempted to go against God’s commandments, you’ll be listening to flattering words or words and advice that will tell you what you are doing is OK, but don’t be fooled, listen to your Conscience.

In that account in 1 Chronicles 18 a lying spirit (Satanic Demon) had entered into all the Prophets who were telling the kings what they wanted to hear, but one Godly Prophet stood out and was prepared to die for God to tell them the truth. (Read 1 Chronicles 18 you’ll be amazed).

KNEEL to the LORD and You Can STAND Against Anything

4) Satan will strike when you least expect it:

So be “EVER-READY” like the battery 🙂 Always charged and prepared.

Twice in Ephesians we’re encouraged to “PUT ON THE FULL ARMOUR OF THE LORD”…

Ephesians 6:11  “Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Ephesians 6:13  “Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

NOTE: When God tells us TWICE to do something, He probably thinks it’s a BRILLIANT idea or an ESSENTIAL thing for us to be doing;

So with that in mind my friends, I’m thinking we’ll try and get prepared, but there are so many avenues of opportunity that Satan will take, it’s best that we’re completely covered in all the ARMOUR that the LORD has provided; then we’ll be standing in His might power.

Ephesians 6:10-18 (The Gospel Armour).

10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  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.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
14  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
15  and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
16  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17  Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Pray for each other, pray for me too 🙂

  • The Belt Of Truth: 
  • The Breastplate of Righteousness:
  • The Gospel Shoes:
  • The Shield of Faith:
  • The Helmet of Salvation:
  • The Sword of the Spirit:

All of these elements will help you to “BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER”

Your battle is NOT against flesh and blood:

“BE STRONG IN THE LORD & IN HIS MIGHTY POWER

“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.”

The Christian’s Enemies: The World (Worldly system and authorities in rebellion against God’s commands), the Flesh (inner-self against the Spirit) and the Devil and all his demonic forces in the heavenly realms.

You can do it, when you are walking in the Spirit and wearing the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD in the Battle.

Keep fighting my friends, don’t give up, because God really does LOVE you with an everlasting LOVE.

Don.

 

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Drought, Dryness, Thirst, Hunger,

Daily Spirit & Word 558:

Like A Withered Tomato Plant.

Good morning my friends, I’ve had a wonderful week so far and I’m looking forward to an exciting weekend. The School came to church yesterday for their end of term assembly, it was so good hearing all the children singing and watching their dance before the Lord. You can learn a LOT from children: out of the mouths of babes.

I’ve shared with folks a few time how a few days ago, I ventured into my garden and was horrified. It strange when you’ve set your mind to relax and enjoy a break from your labours then disaster strikes. Well it was only a little disaster, but well worth sharing, because the LORD has been speaking to me about it since.

I was just sitting down when I glanced over to my tomato plants, they’d all began to wither, their leaves were curled-up and the tops drooping terribly. What had happened? I’d not watered them for a day, it was a HOT day, and though I’d planed to water them, as usual, in the evening, they’d already begun to wilt in the heat of the sun. So I quickly got my garden hose and sprayed them, then soaked each plant in turn, the soil in their pots was so dry and hard that the water just floated and would not sink into the soil. I kept soaking them for over an hour. Then I returned to my labour in another part of the garden, fearing the worse that the tomatoes had been withered beyond salvation. They gotten so dried up they’d never be able to soak in the life-giving water.

However, after another hour, I glanced at my plants again, and though their leaves were still much softer than normal, they’d begun to lift and their heads were standing up again. Another hour passed, I’d watered them again and then they were standing tall, firm and ready to face the heat of the sun again.

Well, since then the LORD has been showing me from His Word in so many places that we NEED to come to HIM every single day if we’re going to prosper and live as Christians. If you truly want to be known by God as a Follower of Jesus Christ, then you need to stay connected to Christ or you too will wither and die. It will be as if you are just like a non-Christian, you will be so dried-up Spiritually that your head will droop, your desire for spiritual things will not be there, you’ll be hardened against instruction and correction. Just like the plant that had gotten so hard that it couldn’t drink-in the very thing it needed to survive.

CURSED: Cursed is the man (person).

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no-one lives.

Let’s read that again in another translation:

Jeremiah 17:5-6 5  Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
6  For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited.

  • Whenever we’re tempted to BE independent of God.
  • Whenever we’re fooled into THINKING “I can do it by myself”.
  • Whenever we’re tricked into doing things in WORLDLY ways.

Then we’re CURSED. (Be shocked my friends, because it’s introduced to us like this, “This IS what the LORD says”, i,e. it’s not a man saying it to you, it’s not a book saying it to you, it’s the LORD Himself. It’s a warning from Heaven; “Don’t trust in yourself, don’t trust in man’s cunning, man’s wisdom, man’s strength or anything else MANKIND tells you how to be, how to live and how to succeed in this world. TRUST ONLY IN GOD. (He’s revealed HIS will in HIS Word).

Let’s see it unpacked just a little more for today: On Sunday I’m going to be opening up God’s WORD on this subject a little more.

BLESSED: Blessed is the man (person).

Now just sit and soak in God’s WORD (Like my tomato plant; and BE revived, be renewed, have your thirst quenched, feel the goodness surge through your veins, let Him lift your head).

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

Notice in the KJV “Her leaf shall be green” That’s awesome, I hadn’t noticed that before. AWESOME! This really does apply to both men and women my friends.

 

BLESSED by the LORD is the person who trusts in HIM.

 

But NOTICE: The reason why?????

The reason God doesn’t want you or me or anyone to TRUST in their flesh or the advice of other men or women in their ‘worldly’ wisdom, is this:

Jeremiah 17:9 9  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Why? Because your HEART is: DECEITFUL (it will trick, fool and lie to us).

Because our HEART is: DESPERATELY WICKED: the heart will lead you away from God into wicked and foolish things. It will be desperate for the things that God has said are NOT GOOD for you. Your Heart will lead you away from God because in our natural un-redeemed condition our HEART is deceitful and desperately wicked. (Even for Christian’s who’ve begun to walk in the flesh, the heart will lead you further away from God if you trust it’s inclinations).

It’s like my tomato plant, it desperately needed water, but was rejecting the water at first. Even though I was soaking it, it had gotten so HARD, it would not and couldn not drink in the precious life-giving fluid.

Oh my friends, is the LORD shouting out to you this Friday? Stop, stop trusting in your flesh, the arm of your strength, your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, it’s telling you things that are lies about God, lies about how to be a great success in this life. STOP listening to your flesh and the wisdom of the men of the world. STOP trusting in your own desperately wicked heart and trust the LORD.

BE BLESSED: You will always have what you NEED from the LORD, even when disaster strikes, you will continue to flourish.

Have an awesome weekend and SOAK in God.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 7  Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.
8  For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.

It’s funny how the ordinary things in life, like my withered tomato plant can teach us God’s TRUTH so that we can remember it forever.

When we turn away from the LORD (or neglect to do or be in His presence daily), we’re beginning to trust in the flesh for our Spiritual survival, we’re going to get dry, thirsty, parched. It will be like we’re all alone in a desert place, away from all that’s good. Don’t trust in the flesh or the strength of human wisdom, but turn again and trust in the LORD.

I need YOU LORD JESUS, every single day. Fill me up Lord. Amen.

Don.

Read: John 4: John 15, Luke 15, 1 John 3:16,

Especially the Woman at the Well:

 

 

The foolishness of the Cross of Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word 549:

The Foolishness of The Cross:

The CROSS MEANS Many Things:

It’s often surprising how many times the Cross comes up in our daily life. But first as I spoke yesterday in church on this subject, I asked the children to come to the front, I’d set up an easel with a flip-chart pad, with pre-drawn pages. Once they were all in position I asked if they’d ever played the game of “Arm-Wrestling”?. Most people had at one time in their life. I asked how many people had won and they all put their hands in the air. Then I asked the children, picking on the smallest child, “If I were to arm-wrestle her, who would win?” They said, “You would” I said “Why?” answer, “Because you are bigger”… Then I asked, who’d win against God??? “No one would!” It’s amazing, but kids just KNOW 🙂

Bible Reading:

The Text from the Bible for Sunday was;

1 Corinthians 1:18-25 
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19  For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20  Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22  Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23  but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24  but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25  For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

Let’s Look at some ways the Cross is used in daily life and what it can mean.

1) Sums: (Mathematics, Arithmetic, Problems)

I shared with the kids that at school, I was brilliant at mathematics. I had some example problems on the board: 3+5=???? I’d left the answers blank. I ask the kids if they knew the answer to keep quiet, they were all bursting to shout it out.  Getting them wrong in School meant getting a red cross next to the answer. I said, “My teacher loved me in school when I was five, she used to put big red corsses next to my answers, the cross means a kiss.” The kids said, “No! It’s because you were wrong”. I pretended I didn’t know. They loved it.

I said, later on I discovered that the RED X on my schoolwork was indeed because I was WRONG.

It’s funny that, the X means we’re wrong.

We’ve ALL Sinned. All Broken God’s Commandments (by lying, stealing, being disobedient to our parents).

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

2) LOVE: Valentines Card:

Next: I said, “Later on in life, I knew that the X mean love, because there was a Valentines Card with my name on it, it said; Roses are red, violets are blue, this world feels much better, because Donald, I’ve fallen in love with you” I explained, there were lots of Crosses: Which really did mean Kisses.

A message of love to the one you love: The Cross on a Valentines means “I LOVE YOU”.

Kiss, Kiss, Kiss,

Do you know that the Cross of Jesus Christ is like God’s Valentines Card to you?

God’s saying, “I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU”.

  • Even though you’ve done wrong: Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
  • There is NO greater love than God’s LOVE: John 15:13 13  Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
  • 1 Peter 3:18 “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,”
  • How We KNOW He LOVES US: 1 John 3:16 “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.”
  • God LOVES the whole world: John 3:16  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

“Can you see everyone: The Cross can mean your: Wrong, and it can mean LOVE: but God LOVES you.”

3) Treasure Map:

Here’s another meaning of the Cross: Treasure:

X marks the spot of the Treasure on a Pirate’s Map. (We spent a bit of time talking about Treasure Maps).

Jesus is the TREASURE of the CROSS.

Because of Jesus Death:

  • We get to go to Heaven.
  • We get the Holy Spirit.
  • We get Jesus living in our hearts.
  • We are given Holy Spirit Gifts to use in the world.

(BTW: The children came up with these answers on their own).

4) Voting Time. (The X Marks Decision).

At voting time, when we choose the Government, we’ve got a choice to make: Which Party Will We Support?

In the UK: Con, Lab, Lib-Dem, UKIP etc… (BTW Labour won in Church yesterday).

In Greece yesterday it was “Yes” or “No”.

We’ve got to put our X in the Box of our choice.

Cross: of Jesus: Means that You’ve got  A DECISION to make.

John 1:12 (NIV) “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—”

Revelation 3:20 (NIV) “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.”

It’s so strange: The Cross can mean; we’re wrong, God loves us, there is treasure at the Cross of Jesus, but to discover all of that, we’ve got to make a decision for Jesus.

Have you put your X in the Spot for Jesus?

I finished with this QUESTION: “Do you want more of God’s POWER in your life?” and “Remember; God’s foolishness is wiser than man’s strongest wisdom”.

We stood in prayer and asked God for more of His Power, Presence and Wisdom, to enable us to live the life that He’s called us to live.

Have an awesome week with the power of God’s love in your hearts.

Don.

P.S. Read first Corinthians chapter 1 in context.

1 Corinthians 1:1-17
1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and our brother Sosthenes,
2  To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be holy, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:
3  Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
4 I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
5  For in him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—
6  because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you.
7  Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed.
8  He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9  God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
11  My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.
12  What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptised into the name of Paul?
14  I am thankful that I did not baptise any of you except Crispus and Gaius,
15  so no-one can say that you were baptised into my name.
16  (Yes, I also baptised the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptised anyone else.)
17  For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel—not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

 

 

The POWER to NEVER be ASHAMED with Jesus.

Not Ashamed

Daily Spirit & Word, 544: The POWER to Never Be Ashamed With Jesus.

Loyalty: It’s Rewards and Losses.

Good morning my friends, I’m often surprised afresh with something the Bible reveals and today I’ve had another revelation from God’s Word. It’s about LOYALTY to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Luke 9:24 24  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

Luke 9:26 26  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

THE MAFIA: (The Family – Cosa-Nostra).

I was watching a documentary about the Mafia the other day. Trevor McDonald (ITV Correspondent and Interviewer). He traveled to America to meet some of the most notorious leaders, past and present of the Family The Mafia. It was very well done, because you got a sense of the fear and foreboding that must have permeated the society in New York and Chicago amongst Family members and those with whom they did business. Trevor focused upon some key individuals who’d betrayed the Mafia bosses many years ago, to save their own skin, but who were living in constant fear, with the knowledge that they could be killed any moment, because once you are Cosa-Nostra your in the Family for life.

To be a member of Cosa-Nostra; you have to swear an oath of obedience and fealty to the God Father, which is indicated by kneeling and kissing his hand. You’ll do what Godfather wants, when he wants it done, without any questions. As soon as you begin to question, the Family takes note and your loyalty is called into question. Any overt disloyalty within the Cosa-Nostra is met with swift justice: death.

Loyalty to Jesus will be rewarded, and disloyalty has its punishment.

Just before this section in Luke’s Gospel Jesus revealed to His Disciples that He would suffer and die upon the Cross. Perhaps, Jesus was not just showing them that He would soon die, but that when it happened, He was hoping His closest followers would prove to be faithful. We know how the story unfolds and how disloyal to Jesus they all were, how they abandoned Him and ran away when Jesus was arrested, how Peter even denied that He ever knew Jesus.

  • They were frightened for their own lives.
  • Peter was ashamed of being an associate of Jesus.

However, all of that took place before the Disciples were born of God’s Holy Spirit; After Pentecost it was very different, we see the Disciples transformed from timid, frightened, fearful individuals into the mightiest men of God, who were prepared to die for Jesus: And most of them did die, in some horrendous circumstances.

Jesus wants all of us to know that If we are true to him in the time we have on earth, then he will be true to us for all eternity. If our desire is to follow the teachings and words of Jesus in this world, no matter what the world says about us because of it, then in the Kingdom of Heaven Jesus will be proud to display us as one of his people and reward us. There are REWARDS IN HEAVEN.

However, if by our lives, the way we live here on earth, we disown Him, even if with our mouth we confess Him as Lord and sing praises every week, the day will come when Jesus can’t do anything other than disown us.

You see my friends, LOYALTY has it’s REWARDS and LOSSES. In God’s Kingdom when we are faithful, we’re going to be rewarded, when we are unfaithful, we’re going to be punished. It’s a simple as that. God our Heavenly Father keeps a record of every act, every thought and every attitude from the moment we’re born into His Family.

This is revealed in so many places in the Bible: The Cloud Of Witnesses:

Hebrews 12:1. “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

The Witnesses: They are the ones who’re watching our lives from Heaven. When we appear before the Lord to receive our rewards in the Kingdom the Witnesses will come out. God Knows already, because He’s in us from the moment we confess Christ as Lord, but like any civil court here on earth, justice must be seen to be done and the witnesses will be called.

We often complain that “Big Brother” is watching us: Here in London you can’t go more than a few feet without being monitered by security cameras. Every street in London is littered with cameras. Also our Mobile phones can track all our movements down to a few inches. People complain that records are being kept, but my friends, Records have been kept IN HEAVEN on our every thought since the day we were born.

When you get to Heaven, will you be rewarded by Jesus? Will He be happy to see you? Will He run up to you and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, come and receive the rewards awaiting you, because you’ve been faithful since the moment you were born of the Holy Spirit” or will it be something else?

EXCUSES: “I’m Only Human”:

It grieves me to my heart the moments I’ve deliberately chosen to be unfaithful to Jesus since I’ve known Him as my Saviour. I’ve excused myself in the past, by saying to myself, “I’m only human” or “It’s just my weakness, God will understand”. However, Jesus has made certain that we are without excuse, because He’s provided everything we need to remain faithful to Him every single day.

Just as the Mafia God Father provides back-up and security for his faithful Cosa-Nostra (Remember the Mafia is an Evil Force upon the earth), Similarly, Our Heavenly Father and Our Lord Jesus have provided everything we need for our back-up, security and success in the Kingdom Christian life. He’s given to each individual the POWER, the PRESENCE and the GIFTS of the Holy Spirit. He’s given us; Pastors, Teachers, Evangelists, Prophets and Apostles to guide, teach and strengthen us. He’s given us brothers and sisters to encourage us and to make life on earth a joy. We really have NO excuses for failure and we’re going to be suffering loss in the Kingdom for all our unfaithfulness. We are SAVED from Hell but not from lack of rewards. My friends, Jesus died for your every sin upon the Cross, so let’s serve Him every day as if He was coming back that day.

Luke 9:24 24  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.

Luke 9:26 26  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Serve Jesus Because You LOVE Him.

Surely such a prospect should propel us towards faithfulness. However, we don’t serve Jesus because we fear not being rewarded or even because we fear being punished for failures, we serve the risen Saviour because we LOVE Him. When we’re unfaithful, we just need to check out our LOVE for the Lord. If we love Him, we will obey Him. It’s as easy or hard as that. Get more loving for Jesus; be kind, compassionate, gentle, forgiving, humble, generous, faithful. When you NEED something in any of these areas of life; Just ASK and Jesus will be there to help you, immediately.

With Jesus we have the POWER to NEVER be ASHAMED: So let’s live every with with Jesus, in Jesus and for Jesus. Amen!

I’m looking forward to being welcomed into Heaven by Jesus; I’m longing to hear the words from His lips; “Well done, good and faithful Donald”… So I’m praying that with His help, I’m going to be FAITHFUL TO THE END.

RESPOND: Call upon Him now and ASK for the resources He’s longing to give you in order to help you be His faithful servant to the end.

Don.

Further Teaching on NOT ASHAMED:

God Rewards Faithfulness

Possibly the greatest Sermon EVER Preached:

Dr S. M. Lockridge “That’s My King”

When I listen to this sermon, I can’t help by have tears flowing down my face. Jesus is MY King too.