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.

 

FAITH is simply taking the first step

Knowing Jesus we need to take the first steps of faith

Daily Spirit & Word: 639:

The Friends V The Professionals.

It’s Possible Through Simple Trusting: To KNOW Jesus Christ Personally.

Good morning my friends, On Sunday at our Thanksgiving Service for the Blessing, Naming and Dedication of four lovely children (asked for instead of baptism), I was preaching on Mark 2 About The Calling of Levi the Tax Collector.

The previous week I’d been preaching about that wonderful account of the Miracle and the Authority of Jesus. In Mark Chapter 2 we find different groups of people; The crowds blocking the way to Jesus, the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees and the group of faithful friends who carried the crippled man and lowered him through the roof to Jesus.

In the Calling of Matthew we find; Sinners, Tax Collectors and the same group of Teachers of the Law and Pharisees.

I’ve been thinking a bit more about that and praying about how people can be so close to God’s REVELATION and yet be so far away from it.

Those TEACHERS OF THE LAW: THE SCRIBES – You know my friends, those scribes were highly educated men.

History: After the Israelites returned to the Promised Land from their exile and Babylonian captivity, it was the Scribes who were the leaders of the Jewish Nation. The Prophet Ezra was also a Scribe. Their task was to teach, preserve and copy the Scriptures. They were also professional interpreters of the Mosaic Law and administered both its religious and its civil codes. The scribes determined how the details of the law of Moses should be applied to everyday life.

In time, they became the custodians of the so-called “oral law,” which, by Jesus’ time, was already replacing the written law as the rule of life. The Scribes and Pharisees had added many man-made traditions to God’s Law. The scribes were regarded as the authorities on historical and doctrinal matters. They were the nation’s teachers, each scribe having a number of disciples around him. Their power increased after Malachi closed the Old Testament canon and prophecy ceased. The Sanhedrin had a number of them among its membership. They were bitter enemies of Jesus Christ, often you’ll see them portrayed in the Bible as sitting in judgment of Him and finding fault with almost everything He did and said. They were often trying to trick Jesus and trip Him up in His own words. However, they didn’t realise with all their knowledge that they were dealing with God on Earth.

How could people who were as educated as those Scribes, Teachers of God’s Holy Law, be so close to God’s revelations and yet be so far away from understanding who Jesus was, what He’d come to do and why He came to do it? Because almost everything Jesus did and said was prophesied about in God’s Word that they were so ‘expert’ in. Jesus birth and life were all written about by the Prophets of old, they should have known that He was their expected Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us).

Not only should they have known who Jesus was, but they should have welcomed Him, especially after the miracles proved that Jesus had the authority to forgive sins, because only God could do both; forgive sins and heal with just a word. It was so obvious, so how could they miss it?

Perhaps it’s easy for us, because we’ve been giving so much more in the revelation of who Jesus is in the New Testament, but my friends, I’ve known modern EXPERTS who know the Bible much better than I do, who don’t KNOW Jesus personally. They know all about Him, they teach all about Him, they write books all about Him, but they don’t know Him. It becomes obvious when you read what they write and listen to what they say about Him.

It was not the Religious Teachers of the Law, the educated elite, who were commended by Jesus, but it was the common folk, friends of the crippled man, who’d carried him to Jesus and lowered Him to Jesus feet who were commended for their great faith. It wasn’t the Pharisees and Teachers commended by Jesus, but the Tax Collectors and Sinners with whom He sat down to eat dinner with.

It’s strange that knowing lots of things can keep a person away from the Lord. Please don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with study or gaining great knowledge. I love it myself: I love reading about the latest inventions, the innovations in electronics (my first career was an Engineer). There’s nothing more exciting than discovering, examining, looking into, researching, fact-finding, questing for knowledge and understanding; but as far as KNOWING GOD, we may study, but it will come to a point when we must realise that KNOWING HIM is very different from KNOWING all about Him.

To get that kind of knowledge about the LORD, to KNOW Jesus personally, will take DIVINE revelation. He will reveal Himself to you my friends, not because of your in-depth study, but because of your FAITH and TRUST in Him. He’ll show Himself to you. WOWzer!

John 5:39-40 “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, 40  yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

1 Corinthians 2:1-5
1  When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2  For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3  I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4  My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5  so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Corinthians 3:18-20
18  Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a “fool” so that he may become wise.
19  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”;
20  and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.”

So my friends, study all you like, but it’s going to take DIVINE REVELATION to actually KNOW Jesus Christ.

It’s foolishness to the ‘world’ (Worldly Wisdom). It always will be 🙂

But it’s NOT intellectual suicide, it takes something else: Faith and Trust.

How do we get that DIVINE REVELATION? 

It’s obvious, we all need to come to Jesus. Oh I wish I could be like one of those four friends and carry you to the Saviour.

For people today, to get Divine Revelation of Jesus it is simply by doing what Jesus told the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law to do in Mark Chapter 2: but they didn’t have ears to hear or eyes to see. To get DIVINE, INWARD REVELATION and KNOW Jesus, we must; REPENT OF OUR SINS.

Mark 2:16-17 (NKJV)
16  And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to His disciples, “How is it that He eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners?”
17  When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

If they’d been open and honest with themselves, they’d have seen that they too were actually sinners as well.

Faith is simply taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

WE MUST ALSO BELIEVE IN JESUS.

  • Who Jesus was: The Son of God.
  • What Jesus came to do: Die upon the Cross for our sins and the sins of the whole world.
  • What Jesus did: Died and rose again from the dead to life. He also ascended into Heaven and is alive now, reigning in Heaven with His Father.
  • What Jesus does now: He sends the Holy Spirit into everyone who trusts in His Death upon the Cross for forgiveness and turns in repentance and faith to receive Him as Lord.

Once we do that, the Holy Spirit will come and give us New Birth (we’ll be born again).

Those TEACHERS of God’s Law and the Pharisees who knew the Scriptures so well, didn’t get it. So my friends, I’ve got a question for you today, think very seriously before answering. To KNOW Jesus is too important to miss, because your ETERNAL destiny depends upon HOW you answer these questions now:

  • Have you repented? (Matthew 21:32; Luke 24:46-48; Isaiah 30:15; Luke 13:3,5; Acts 17:39)
  • Have you believed in Jesus? (John 3:15-20)
  • Have you received Him as Lord? (John 1:12-13).
  • Have you trusted that He died upon the Cross for your sins? (1 Peter 2:24)
  • Have you been born of the Holy Spirit? (John 3)
  • Have you believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord? (Acts 2:38-39; Romans 10:8-17)
  • Have you confessed with your mouth that Jesus is your Lord? (witnessed to others about Jesus).

Check yourself to see if you are IN Christ Jesus and He is IN you (John 14, 15, 17, Chapters).

Check yourself to see if you are IN the FAITH of Jesus Christ: (2 Corinthians 13:5).

My friends, don’t be like those Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, who knew all about God’s Word, but remained far away from trusting in Jesus Christ, He was their own Messiah, Emmanuel (God with us). You can know Jesus personally today.

Believe, Repent, Receive, Trust, Be Born of God’s Spirit. Amen!

Faith is simply, taking the first step, even though you can’t see the whole staircase.

Don.

 

My Birthday Prayer

Daily Spirit & Word 580:

My Birthday Prayer.

Good morning my friends, it’s my birthday and what I would LOVE this day is that every single person that I know and love receives a Birthday present from me. I cannot possibly give you; gold, silver or precious things, so I want to give you all something even better and more valuable; the knowledge of God’s will through spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Colossians 1:9  “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

Once you receive this AWESOME gift, I know you are going to be blessed beyond your craziest imaginations of what ‘blessed’ means. Receive my birthday gift by turning in faith and repentance towards the LORD of all Creation; who created everything that is or has been or ever will be, out of nothing. Praise Him, because He gave you LIFE and Breath and Everything else this Universe contains. When you go out to discover NEW things in this Creation, be assured of this, there is ONE person who’s been there already, the LORD Jesus Christ, because He made it from nothing. (Do me a favour today and read Collossians chapter 1: you’ll see AWESOME, AMAZING THINGS).

Have a blessed day on my birthday. BTW I’m 56 years young today. LOL

BTW: I’ve just gotten off the telephone, my grandchildren; Aminata, Leila and Karamoko were the first to contact me today, they sang “Happy Birthday to Papa” and said, “Can we come over today?” Now what better present could a Papa want on his birthday than to see his treasures? LOL Have an awesome day with Jesus.

Don.

P.S. Do you KNOW Jesus? The Good News.

Are you filled with the Holy Spirit? Discover the Spirit Filled Life Today.

Making The MOST of Every Opportunity

Making the Most of Every Opportunity.

Making the MOST of Every Opportunity
Making the MOST of Every Opportunity

Daily Spirit & Word, 449: Making The Most of Every Opportunity.

And WHY? “Because the days are evil”.

Knowing & Understanding what the Lord’s will is.

Good morning my friends, I hope Tuesday finds you well. Last night’s prayer meeting was tremendous. We began as usual with catching up with one another, then prayer to open the meeting, then singing, sharing from God’s Word and listening to what the Lord was saying to us as a Church and as individuals. I had upon my heart Ephesians 5:15-16 and the Holy Spirit seemed to be saying, “Stop making the least of the opportunities I’m giving you”… WOWzer! I thought to myself and shared with everyone, “Are we making the ‘least of God’s opportunities?”

 Here’s what He tells us in Ephesians 5:15-20.

15  Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are times when we make half-hearted-responses to the awesome opportunities the Lord sends our way. Reflecting upon that word ‘OPPORTUNITIES’ we could see there ARE some given to us every single day. As Christians we carry the light of Christ into a dark and, as verse 16 tells us, an evil world. We are to make the MOST of these opportunities for a reason, “Because the Days are EVIL”.

However, we’re also to be very careful HOW we live, not as unwise but as wise. It goes on to say that a wise man instead of a foolish man will understand what the Lord’s will is.

When the Lord is giving us an opportunity, we’ll get an impulse, a feeling, a deep knowing, that we must do something; that’s the Holy Spirit nudging you, prodding you and propelling you to act in any given situation. Knowing or listening to the Lord’s will is NOT easy. Women are much better at it than men, because we men tend to think and analyse things too much, where a woman will act more readily on her intuition. I don’t know what that is, we’re all different, but in my own expereince women seem to be the first to take up the torch when the Lord presents it. They carry the torch and then slowly the men get the picture, as if they are saying to themselves, “Ahhh Haaaa, the Lord wants us to do this” then they’ll get it and they’ll run with it. 

I’ll give you an illustration: I was part of a team of people that would visit churches, fellowships and leadership meetings to enthuse them about a forthcoming Evangelistic Mission that was coming their way. In Kent I visited many, many churches and made presentations about how the Mission would go. I always gave a challenge and invitation; “Is God calling you to be a part of this mission? Will you join us?” The Mission was called; “The Walk of 1000 Men”… Do you know my friends, whenever I gave that invitation, it was always and I mean always; WOMEN who responded first and most enthusiastically. Even though it was a mission to reach out to men with the Gospel in our land, it was the women who could see that the LORD was indeed behind this initiative.

 Intuition = Instinctive knowing (without the use of rational processes). or “An deep impression and or conviction that something might be the case without an empirical evidence”. 

Holy Spirit Intuition: Deep knowing, impression, instinct, conviction that the Lord wants us to do, say or be something. It’s that “Knowing what the Lord’s will is” … Yes we are NOT to be foolish, but Spiritually wise. To be like that we’ll need to practice certain things regularly; Prayer, Meditating upon God’s Word, Studying God’s Word, Meeting up with other believers regularly to seek the Lord… Our reading today instructs us HOW? to do it; Instead of living like people in the world, we’re to live differently, we’re not to get drunk on wine, but on the Holy Spirit; by singing, making music in our hearts; Hymns, Songs and Spiritual Singing. “Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs”.  As we’re with the Lord in the Spirit He’ll make His ways known to us. We’ll just KNOW… Last night as we sang and prayed and meditated upon God’s Word a woman in our meeting, Doreen said, “I didn’t come here to say this, but I believe this is what the LORD wants, He wants us to get youngsters involved in worship too”… We’ve been talking about that for a long time in our church, it was an opportunity the Lord has been giving us, but we’ve NOT made the MOST of that opportunity. Lord forgive us! Thank you Lord for opening up our understanding and letting us know afresh what your will is for us today.

We’re going to DO something about that deep impression and knowing that was shared last night, we’re going to make the MOST of God’s opportunity.

So I’m giving a challenge today, I know the women will be more than ready to listen and respond, but I want to REACH those men who think deeply first; here it is: “People of God, Men, Women and Youngsters, Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, are WE making the MOST of EVERY Opportunity the LORD is sending our way?” … I’m not talking about this attitude, “Oh I’ll give it a go” or “Well we’ll try and see if it will work” I’m asking and I believe the LORD is asking us today, are we READY, WILLING AND ZEALOUS to make the MOST of those God given opportunities today? We really need to be, because the days ARE evil.

Let us determine in our hearts that we will “Make the MOST of every opportunity the Lord is giving us today”.

It would be great to hear what you’ve been prompted by the Lord to do today????
Have an awesome Tuesdays with Jesus, be filled afresh with Holy Spirit now.
Don.

Nebuchadnezzar was to be CUT DOWN

Daniel Reveals the Meaning of the Dream
Daniel Reveals the Meaning of the Daily Spirit & Word, 442: The Meaning of the Dream Revealed.

Nebuchadnezzar was to be CUT DOWN until he acknowledges God Controls Everything.

Daily Spirit & Word, 442: Daniel Reveals the Meaning of the King’s Dream.

Good morning my friends, I’m back in the study now, it’s definitely getting lighter in the mornings. Spring is on the way with all the promise of new life after the deadness of Winter. In our reading in Daniel today you’ll observe that he interprets King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream for him, and I see some similarities between Winter and Spring or life without Jesus and the life of believer filled with God’s Holy Spirit.

 

Daniel 4:19-27

19  Then Daniel (also called Belteshazzar) was greatly perplexed for a time, and his thoughts terrified him. So the king said, “Belteshazzar, do not let the dream or its meaning alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered, “My lord, if only the dream applied to your enemies and its meaning to your adversaries!
20  The tree you saw, which grew large and strong, with its top touching the sky, visible to the whole earth,
21  with beautiful leaves and abundant fruit, providing food for all, giving shelter to the beasts of the field, and having nesting places in its branches for the birds of the air—
22  you, O king, are that tree! You have become great and strong; your greatness has grown until it reaches the sky, and your dominion extends to distant parts of the earth.
23  “You, O king, saw a messenger, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump, bound with iron and bronze, in the grass of the field, while its roots remain in the ground. Let him be drenched with the dew of heaven; let him live like the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him.’
24  “This is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree the Most High has issued against my lord the king:
25  You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.
26  The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.
27  Therefore, O king, be pleased to accept my advice: Renounce your sins by doing what is right, and your wickedness by being kind to the oppressed. It may be that then your prosperity will continue.”

Devon Hedge Layering
Devon Hedge Layering

In Devon and Cornwall they have a technique that keeps the hedgerows neat and tidy for a few years, before it needs to be repeated. They cut out the long thick and straggly branches of the boundary hedges until they are almost bear, and those that are left are partly cut, then forced down and kept in place with pegs. It looks terrible, you’d believe they’d killed the whole hedge when they are finished. However, this is an ancient practice and they know that within just a few weeks those dead branches will all burst forth into life again and after about four or five years, they’ll need to come back and repeat the whole process again. Some of those hedgerows are really ancient and they are host to countless forms of wildlife.

Devon Hedge Layering
Devon Hedge Layering

When a person like Nebuchadnezzar was cut down, you’d have been forgiven for thinking he’d never make it back again. Once a person has lost the plot and gone as wild as he was going to be, you’d normally think about locking them up and throwing away the key. Notice what it says he’ll be like in Daniel 4:25 “You will be driven away from people and will live with the wild animals; you will eat grass like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven…” Total Madness… But with God ALL Things ARE Possible.

Doesn’t that remind you of the Demoniac that Jesus encountered amongst the tombs?

Mark 5:1-20. The Healing of the Demon Possessed Man.

1  They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.

2  When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil (unclean) spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
3  This man lived in the tombs, and no-one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.
4  For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No-one was strong enough to subdue him.
5  Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6  When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.
7  He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”
8  For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”
9  Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”
10  And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11  A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.
12  The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”
13  He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14  Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.
15  When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
16  Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well.
17  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.
19  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
20  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. 

  • Notice the similarity: He was wild, like an animal, and he ran and fell at Jesus feet.
  • Notice also what the unclean evil spirits acknowledged about Jesus: “”What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”” They KNEW who Jesus was.

Nebuchadnezzar would be cut down and become possessed like a wild animal until: “Seven times will pass by for you until you acknowledge that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes. The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that your kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules.”

He’d become wild until he repents and accepts that there is a much higher power than his own.

My friends, that’s what ALL human beings are like until they come to know and acknowledge and receive Jesus Christ as LORD of their lives. They are all like un-tamed beasts, wild and out of control. Well, at least they would be if the LORD had not been gracious enough not to let men go completely. You see God is still calling all men everywhere to come to Himself, to acknowledge that there is a Creator of ALL Things. As the Holy Spirit reveals to us in Colossians: Jesus sustains the whole universe. But look very carefully at this verse, for it tells us not only that Jesus created and sustains, but what WE Human Beings are like until we come to Him.

Colossians 1:16-23 The Supremacy of Jesus Christ.

16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
18  And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
19  For God was pleased to have all his fulness dwell in him,
20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
23  if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

Did you notice verse 21? “Once you were alienated (cut off) from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.”

Eveil Behaviour??? That’s a bit strong isn’t it? But we need to look upon the human heart from God’s point of view. He sees every act of sin and rebellion as ‘EVIL BEHAVIOUR’. Sin and Rebellion cut us off from God.

Though He sustains and keeps in perfect order the whole Universe; He also allows Mankind to choose if we are controlled or wild. We become wild and we get worse throughout our lives, until we regain the self-control that comes through the Holy Spirit. Thank God that He’s not let humanity go completely, but the fact remains we ALL need to come to Him to be restored to our right minds, the minds that God intended Human beings should have from the beginning when He made Adam and Eve.

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, interpreted by a nervous Daniel, reveals what happens when we think we are the masters of our own destiny, that we are like a god to our own lives.

You’ll hear it many times in different ways from the Philosophers of this world: But they’re all saying the same thing: “You are the master of your own destiny”

In the film, “The Dead Poet’s Society” The well liked schoolmaster didn’t like the rules and traditions of the respected grammar school. He began to teach the boys they needed to take control of their own destiny, they looked at the existentialist poets who spouted such nonsense and the boys lapped it up with devastating consequences. It’s good story, but it reveals the world’s ways of thinking that we are better off without the shackles of faith, religion, decency, order, rules and regulations.

When a person gets renewed in the Lord Jesus Christ, the mind of Christ is imputed to us, we receive the mind of Christ, therefore we begin to think a behave as Christ did, in perfect obedience to His Father. We submit willingly to God’s order and we see His Ten Commandments differently, rather than rules to inhibit our enjoyment or life, we see them anew as liberation from the power, dominion and control of sin. When we submit and acknowledge Jesus Christ true freedom reigns in our hearts and lives.

Daniel revealed that Nebuchadnezzar would one day be restored to his position of Emperor King, once He acknowledged the KING of Heaven. We too will be lifted up once we humble ourselves before our Creator.

Life without Christ is like winter or a cut down hedgerow, but life with Jesus is truly AWESOME!

I can’t wait for Wednesday, when we go out into the streets of London to reach those who don’t yet know Christ as LORD. I want to see thousands come to experience the freedom and NEW LIFE that He brings.

Enjoy the blessings of the freedom you’ve been granted in Jesus Christ today.

Let’s endeavour to continue, as Paul reminded us in the Colossian reading above, continue in the faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Don.

 

NOTE: Can also be read on St Luke’s Facebook Page.

423: God’s Anointing For Education

Daily Spirit & Word, 423: God’s Anointing For Education
The way to GET a Divine Education.
Knowing and Understanding with God’s Help.

Good morning my friends, hope you are all ready to jump right into God’s Word today 🙂
Daniel 1:17-20 “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.
18  At the end of the time set by the king to bring them in, the chief official presented them to Nebuchadnezzar.
19  The king talked with them, and he found none equal to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah; so they entered the king’s service.
20  In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.
Notice first, or the first things that jumped out at me today, was the fact that our Bible text seems to ignore their Babylonian names and reverts to referring to them according to their Jewish names again.
It’s perhaps because within each name is an aspect of God’s Character and to show us all today that once empowered by God, the glory always belongs to the LORD. For it was our LORD who gave them “Knowledge and understanding” So that whilst they were undergoing the Babylonian education process, they could understand and know the meaning of what was being presented to them.
Notice secondly; the focus is definitely upon Daniel, he’s been specially selected by God and given an entirely different form of gift; “To understand visions and dreams of all kinds”. Daniel would later become the interpreter of the King’s dreams and much later he would also be given his own dreams from the LORD.
What does all this mean?
We send our children to schools to learn the ways of the world, to get what we call a ‘Secular’ education: The aim is to produce children who are well balanced and educated in many different ways; mathematics, language, science, history, geography, music, drama, arts, domestic science,  etc, etc, and to keep them healthy as well as wise; physical education with sports, games and athletics.
Education is very important, but there is something we should ponder here, these young Jewish boys, who were part of God’s family on the earth at the time, we’re specially gifted by God to understand and know. As Christians, we also believe that secular education is vital for life, but so is Spiritual education, we all need the LORD’S anointing, not just for success and hopefully a good career afterwards, but so that we can have His wisdom to apply what we’ve learned to our Christians walk with Him. What encourages me to keep learning both from secular sources and divine (God’s Word) is that the LORD promises to give us Spiritual gifts and also a further promise to have wisdom; which is a ability to know and understand what it all means on a different level. Oh my friends, do we need this gift today? Oh YES we do.
 Daniel and his friends succeeded before the king.
After being brought before the king to be examined after the three years of training, out of all the trainees, Daniel and his three friends stood head-and-shoulders above all the others. It wasn’t because of their own natural talent, but because of God’s gifting.
With God’s help and anointing our own children will fare well too in all their secular teaching:
However, a word of caution: They not only had the gift of understanding, but also of knowing. Knowledge and Understanding should always go hand in hand. We don’t want our children to be gifted just to acquire lots of knowledge about the world, but to be able to taken that deep knowledge and then apply God’s understanding to it. We want that for ourselves too, don’t we?
I don’t know about you, but I’m still in love with learning; even more interested in science today than I was before I became a Christian, I love looking into and understanding how things work; I’ve delved into Electronics, and love understanding the latest technology. Photography and how it can be applied in it’s various forms. Wine making, and even looking into what it is that makes cement hard, the history of cement making 🙂 I’ve got an amazing and enquiring mind, so have you.
But why? Why do we need to keep learning and knowing and understanding? Paul was our great example of this in the New Testament, because as he travelled about the Empire preaching the Gospel, he looked for ways to communicate God’s eternal truth in such a way that those who heard him could understand and relate to what he was saying. He studied the poets of Greece in order to communicate to the Greek Philosophers. We know this because Greek poets are quoted in Paul’s writings, but he doesn’t stop short at just quoting them, he gives God’s Anointed Application to what he’s previously learned.

Warren W. Wiersbe has said, “If you want to make a living, you get training; and if you want to make a life, you add education. But if you want to have a ministry for God, you must have divine gifts and divine help. Training and education are very important, but they are not substitutes for the ability and wisdom that only God can give.”
Bible Exposition Commentary – “Be Resolute (Daniel).

Thankfully The LORD has promised to help you and I with this Diving Ability too. Listen afresh to what James tells us now;
How To GET God’s Education System:
James 1:2-8 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3  because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5  If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8  he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
So if we lack or need wisdom for anything, what do we need to do? ASK God. He’s promised in His WORD to give generously to all without showing favouritism.
I’ve been asking the LORD ever since I came to faith to give me His anointing to understand and know the times in which we live and how to apply that knowledge to daily life and to help me to teach others too. For you to understand how much He’s helped me, you need to know what I was like when I began. Only the LORD and I know how much He’s helped me, and He alone knows even better than I do myself. But I’m continuing to trust Him and I’m convinced that when I’m presented before the KING of Kings, hopefully, with his help and anointing, I’ll be found to have been faithful in all that I’ve been discovering, all the glory belongs to my LORD Jesus Christ.
The Jewish boy’s success: Daniel 1:20 “In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom.”
It was the LORD who gave them both their ‘natural’ ability and ‘supernatural’ ability, for we were knitted together in our mother’s womb by the LORD. Psalm 139.
When you get gifted, give the glory to HIM.
Have an awesome day with Jesus my friends, what you learn and know and understand, use for His glory.
He’ll lift you up head and shoulders above the world’s ways of understanding and knowing, because His ways are higher than our ways, and with Jesus Divine gifting and anointing, you will surely enjoy this gift of life to the full.
But you must ASK of Him.
Don.