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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Click here to take you to Don’s Facebook PAGE…

 

The Book of Revelation: Encouragement

Jesus promises to overcomers

Daily Spirit & Word: 674: The Book Of Revelation.

Encouragement to OVERCOME.

Watch the Video: The Ashers Bakery Couple: The McArthur’s at the end of this page.

Good morning my friends, yesterday it was a privilege to conduct the funeral of a lovely man George Donald Smith. A wonderful husband, father, neighbour and friend to many people. May he rest in the peace of the Lord Jesus. Did you know that God wants us all to prepare for the time we’re going to be with the LORD forever? So, over the next few days I’m going to be studying the book of Revelation and letters to the Seven Churches in Asia Minor given by the Apostle John.

Why Revelation? Because I believe The LORD has led me to this.

Why? I’m still working on that, but at the outset I believe Revelations is speaking directly to every Christian who loves the LORD Jesus today. And our world is rushing headlong into the coming of the Glory of the return of our LORD Jesus Christ. He’s coming soon!

It is probably true that some of the prophecies in Revelation contain three elements; fulfilled in the past, about to be fulfilled in the near future, and to be fulfilled in the far distant future (but bear in mind it was written almost 2000 years ago, so that far-distant future may be referring to our present age).

John was given the visions and messages to deliver to the churches in Asia, and they were referring especially to some of the things that were happening during John’s lifetime, or in the immediate future after the Revelations had been delivered; much of the book is dealing with events in the coming ages after John was given his Revelations.

Situation: John was in exile on the Island of Patmos. He was the beloved disciple, he was exiled there because of his proclamation of the Gospel. He was a very old man.

Here is part of John’s Introduction:

Revelation 1:9-18 (NIV)
9  I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.
10  On the Lord’s Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,
11  which said: “Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea.”
12  I turned round to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13  and among the lampstands was someone “like a son of man”, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash round his chest.
14  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
15  His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
16  In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
17  When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18  I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

“I AM THE LIVING ONE; I WAS DEAD, AND BEHOLD I AM ALIVE FOREVER”

WOWzer! Just imagine hearing the LORD utter these awesome words.

SYNOPSIS (Overview) OF THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS.

Before delving into any study of the book of Revelation, it’s essential to try and grasp an overall perspective of the book. This will aid understanding. It’s like viewing a forest on a little screen broadcast from a drone hovering over the forest. You can see what the drone sees, so you can navigate your way through the thickest of forests. Revelation is a deep book, like a dense forest, but with this overview, you’ll be able to work out where you are going, the obstacles and the route you can take.

The book may be divided into a series of visions, some of which are partly or wholly veiled (the meaning and application are unknown, therefore we cannot be dogmatic about it), others are comparatively clear in their teachings.

Two EPOCHAL EVENTS should especially be kept in mind in studying the visions.

The birth of the male child, regarded by many as the incarnation of Jesus Christ,—Revelation 12.

The sounding of the seventh trumpet,—Revelation 11:15, which heralded His world-wide victory.

It is not always possible to tell just where one vision ends and another begins. But for convenience they may be studied under various numbers, according to the viewpoint of the student.

Chapter 1
Introduction and promise to obedient readers,—Revelation 1:1-3.
Salutation of John and of the glorified Christ,—Revelation 1:4-8.

First Vision.
Of the glorified Christ,—Revelation 1:9-16.

His command to write to the seven churches,—Revelation 1:19.
The message to the churches, chapters 2-3.

Chapter 2
To Ephesus, the backslidden church, persistent in service, strong in discipline, but with love growing cold,—Revelation 2:1-7.
To Smyrna, the poor but truly rich church, facing a period of persecution,—Revelation 2:8-11.
To Pergamos, the church of evil surroundings, steadfast, but infected with heresy,—Revelation 2:12-17.
To Thyatira, the church of good works but harboring a false prophetess,—Revelation 2:18-29.

Chapter 3
To Sardis, the dying church,—Revelation 3:1-6.
To Philadelphia, the weak but faithful church,—Revelation 3:7-13.
To Laodicea, the lukewarm, self-satisfied church, boasting of her wealth while poor and miserable and blind,—Revelation 3:14-22.

Recurrent thought, the promises to overcomers.

Second Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 4

The vision of God in heaven upon His throne, the creator of the universe, receiving the worship of the living creatures and the four and twenty elders,—Revelation 4:1-11.

Chapter 5
The opening of the seven-sealed book by the Lamb, the singing of the New Song, and the universal worship of the Lamb. Conjectural interpretation-Christ in His redemptive office alone can unlock the deepest divine mysteries.

Chapter 6
The opening of the six seals, (veiled),—Revelation 6:1-17. There have been many widely different interpretations; it is not worthwhile to add another. One clear lesson,—Revelation 6:9-11, the saints tested by divine delays. See Divine Delays, 3607.

Third vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 7
Suggested thought, God’s protection of His chosen people,—Revelation 7:1-8.

Fourth Vision.
Chapter 7: Comforting assurances
The innumerable host of the redeemed,—Revelation 7:9-10.
The means by which they appear in God’s presence,—Revelation 7:13-15.
Their activities and eternal felicity,—Revelation 7:15-17.

Fifth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 8
Momentous event, the opening of the seventh seal, causing silence in heaven.—Revelation 8:1.
Possible explanation: that all the harps and the voices of the angels were stilled by the fact that during the period of the seventh seal Christ was to leave for His earthly mission.

This is not purely imaginary. The fullness of time was evidently approaching-“There shall be delay no longer,” (Revelation 10:6). If this conjecture is correct, here in Revelation 8:1 we are at the very sources of the divine plan of salvation, and we shall see the events focusing toward the birth of the man child in the twelfth chapter.

In Revelation 8:3-4 the thought appears to be that the prayers of the saints are ascending to God for the coming of the messianic kingdom. (So we should be praying that Jesus Christ would come very soon to rule and reign upon the Earth).

Chapter 9
Then follows a veiled portion of the vision, the sounding of the six trumpets in chapters 8 and 9, apparently announcing impending judgments.

Sixth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapters 10-11
We can say no more than that the events seem to be moving forward toward the great consummation. This is indicated by the announcement of the mighty angel (Revelation 10:5-7), that there shall be delay no longer, but that the good tidings spoken of by the prophets are about to be fulfilled.

Among so many different opinions it is hazardous to suggest any interpretation of the “little book” in Revelation 10 and the “two witnesses” in Revelation 11. Possibly as these immediately precede the vision of the birth of the male child in Revelation 12, they may refer to the prophetic period prior to the coming of Christ.

In our studies we suggest that Revelation 12-20 contain partly veiled visions connected with the great Messianic conflict.

Seventh Vision.
Chapters 12-13
The great epochal event, the birth of the male child, Christ, and the simultaneous manifestation of the Satanic powers arrayed to destroy Him.

The justification for this viewpoint is that during Christ’s earthly life the powers of darkness were in frenzied activity. Note the attempt of Herod to destroy the child, the testing and tempting of Jesus Christ in the wilderness, the numerous cases of demoniacal possession, and the malignant persecution of the religious Pharisees, Saducees and Civil Authorities under King Herod which resulted in Christ’s crucifixion.

We are not seeking to give any detailed interpretation of the mysteries but to call attention to the spiritual weapons by which the victory was to be won (Revelation 12:11).

Eighth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 14

Without strained interpretation it is possible to regard this chapter as a prophetical summary of the coming conflict between the Lamb and His enemies,—Revelation 14:1-13.

If this view point is accepted, in the first five verses the one hundred and forty-four thousand would represent the ancient worthies of the old dispensation.

The opening up of the world-wide missionary campaign,—Revelation 14:6-7. See World-wide Missions, 2379. The preliminary announcement of the final victory (Revelation 14:8-11). The blessedness of the holy dead,—Revelation 14:12-13.

Ninth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 14
The harvest and vintage of grapes,—Revelation 14:16-20.

Tenth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 15
The early victors and their song,—Revelation 15:1-4.
The Seven Angels and the golden bowls,—Revelation 15:5-8.

Chapter 16
The outpouring of the seven bowls of wrath,—Revelation 16:1-21.

Eleventh Vision: Veiled.
Chapters 17-18
The doom of Babylon, the harlot city, and the enemies of the Lamb whom He shall overcome.

Twelfth Vision.
Chapter 19
The hallelujah chorus in heaven celebrating the spiritual victory,—Revelation 19:1-6.
The marriage of the Lamb,—Revelation 19:7-9. See Christ the Bridegroom,

Thirteenth Vision.
Christ, the spiritual conqueror upon the white horse, smites the nations with the sword of the Spirit,—Revelation 19:11-16.
Partly veiled. The beast and the false prophet and their allies overcome by Christ. See Christ the Victor.

Fourteenth Vision: Partly Veiled.
Chapter 20
The binding of Satan,—Revelation 20:1-3.
The first resurrection,—Revelation 20:4-6.
Satan loosed and his evil activity,—Revelation 20:7-9.
The doom of Satan, the beast, and the false prophet,—Revelation 20:10.
The last judgment,—Revelation 20:11-15.

Fifteenth Vision.
Chapters 21-22
The new heaven and the new earth.
The holy city, a type of the church, the Lamb’s wife.

Chapter 21
Characteristics of, Heavenly origin,—Revelation 21:2; radiant, 21:11; separated and protected,—Revelation 21:12; accessible,—Revelation 21:13; sure foundations,—Revelation 21:14; immovable,—Revelation 21:16; beautifully adorned,—Revelation 21:18-21; having a spiritual temple,—Revelation 21:22; divinely illuminated,—Revelation 21:23-25; glorified,—Revelation 21:26; undefiled,—Revelation 21:27.

Chapter 22
Paradise restored. Distinguishing marks of the river of life,—Revelation 22:1; the tree of life,—Revelation 22:2; removal of the curse,—Revelation 22:3; the beatific vision and the divine impress upon saints,—Revelation 22:4; eternal day and saints’ dominion,—Revelation 22:5.

The last teachings, faithful and true,—Revelation 22:6; emphasize the speedy coming of the Lord,—Revelation 22:7; God only to be worshiped,—Revelation 22:8-9; character tends to final permanence,—Revelation 22:11; the last promise,—Revelation 22:14; the last invitation,—Revelation 22:17; the last warning,—Revelation 22:18-19.

Benediction and prayer,—Revelation 22:21.

PROMINENT PEOPLE: The Lamb of God, at last victor over all allied powers of evil (mentioned about thirty times), Four Living Creatures, Twenty-four Elders, 144,000 Jews, the Two Witnesses, Satan, Beast of the Sea, the False Prophet, the Great Harlot, Angels of Heaven, Saints of Heaven, John.

The PROMISES / REWARDS to Those Who Overcome (The ones who live the victorious Christian life).

  • Spiritual Food : Revelation 2:7
  • A New Name : Revelation 2:17
  • Authority : Revelation 2:26
  • Robes Of Righteousness : Revelation 3:5
  • A Memorial Pillar : Revelation 3:12
  • Enthronement : Revelation 3:21
  • An Eternal Inheritance : Revelation 21:7

The Lord Jesus is cheering you onto victory in the Christian life.

He is encouraging you to remain faithful: Just like the young couple in Northern Ireland, the now infamous Asher’s Bakery Case (see little video): who took a stand for their faith and refused to produce a cake from their Bakery for the wedding of a gay couple. They felt their faith in the Lord would be compromised and if they’d gone ahead they’d be condoning something they believed to be sinful. It’s been very costly for that young couple, they’ve come under attack from; the media, the courts, the establishment, those in society who think everyone should support gay rights to marriage. The faith once delivered to the saints makes it clear that Homosexuality is a sin: praise the LORD for this very brave young family. They’ve stood together throughout their ordeal. Pray for their upcoming appeal case. No matter what the outcome, thank the LORD. Determine in your heart that you will live in accordance with God’s Word revealed.

Conclusion:

I hope you’ve found the overview helpful my friends. If you’ve just skipped down the page to the conclusion, can I encourage you to take the time to re-read and dwell patiently over the outline. When you’ve taken the time to read through the OVERVIEW: Just like the view a drone and give whilst hovering overhead a dense forest, I hope you can see that John was given an AWESOME privilege and responsibility to record the things he’d seen in visions on the Island of Patmos. The Holy Spirit and the visions of the LORD ensured the words recorded are contained in the final book of the Bible. These WORDS of Jesus Christ are POWERFUL for every Christian today: Helping us all to remain steadfast in the face of hardships, attacks and the headlong rush into God’s final days of the Creation.

When I first became a Christian I was afraid to read the book of Revelation, it was a bit scary to me, but then the LORD showed me in prayer one day; “It’s my WORD, my WORD is useful in many ways and this book is going to help you stay close to Me”…

Have an Awesome Day with Jesus.

(P.S. I’ve been feeling a bit poorly Sunday and yesterday, had to struggle through a funeral, shivering last night with a flu fever and my body aching with man-flue, but the LORD woke me up early and got me into His WORD again today. Praise be to our LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!).

Asher’s Bakery Couple:

Ashers Baking Company’s General Manager Daniel McArthur, and his wife Amy, speak out ahead of their appeal on Wednesday 3 February 2016. Please keep them in your prayers.

Be Still And Know At Christmas

The Baby Jesus is God

Daily Spirit & Word: 657: Be Still AND Know At Christmas

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I AM God”

Good morning my friends, what a fantastic visit we’ve just had. It was a whirlwind of a joy to see six of our young grandchildren being natural, playing, getting along and enjoying one another’s company. So much so, that when it came time to depart they wanted to STAY longer. When we get to really KNOW God, we’ll long to STAY in His company, to be with Him not just for a visit, but forever. We’ll never want to leave His presence ever again. How would you like to meet someone that you just love being with them? We imagine that’s what it’s going to be like when we meet Mr or Mrs RIGHT. We think that another person will satisfy our every desire and fulfil our every wish in life, but we were designed with that deep hunger inside us, and it will never be fully satisfied until we come and KNOW God.

When God tells you to “BE STILL AND KNOW”

What’s HE telling you to do?

1) He’s NOT telling you to be ‘religious’.

So often we imagine that to know God we’ve got to somehow become a ‘religious’ person. i.e. Be a goody two shoes and go to church or to kneel down and pray. To pray certain prayers in such and such a way. No my friends, I want to dispel that myth immediately, God is NOT telling you to become religious.

2) God wants you to KNOW something.

He wants you to be STILL long enough to KNOW HIMSELF.

When God tells us to do something, you must simply, like a child, TRUST that He’s telling you as a good father would, that this is going to be really GOOD for you. He wants you to know GOD. He wants you to experience Himself. But WHY?

3) When you are STILL in His presence, then you’ll KNOW:

When you are still in God’s presence then you’re going to know:

  • Comfort,
  • Peace,
  • Joy,
  • Satisfaction in life,
  • Happiness,
  • Deep joy,
  • Overjoyed,
  • Did I mention Happy Feelings 🙂

Oh yes my friends, no matter what’s happening in your life, when you are still for a few moments in the presence of God, the CREATOR of the UNIVERSE: You’ll KNOW all these things, you’ll know what He’s like, His Character, His will, His direction, His plans, His purposes for your existence upon His Earth. Oh WOWzer! All that just from being STILL in the presence of God.

NOT RELIGION: BUT KNOWLEDGE OF HIMSELF

It’s not ‘religion’ that God wants for you, but it is that deep knowledge of Himself. When you get that revelation, you’ll get HOPE, JOY and Assurance that EVERYTHING is going to be OK. Why? Because God can walk on water. God can change water into wine. God can change bad characters into Good Characters. God can do the impossible. God can make crippled people walk, blind people see, deaf people hear. God can make storms completely calm. God can make fish leap into nets. God can make vines grow in a day. God can make the Sun and Moon and Stars of Heaven with just a Word. How do we know God can do that? Because He’s already done all of these things, He can do it again. He will do it again. That’s who God is and what God is like: He’s the CREATOR. The maker of all things, including you.

Who is this God? Be still and KNOW:

God is Jesus, Jesus is God. (John 1)

How to be still and KNOW God?:

Recognise who you are first: A sinner: You’ve broken God’s commandments: AND you Know it. Your conscience bears witness with your mind. You’ve lied, knowing deep down that telling lies is wrong. You’ve coveted (an inordinate desire for the things of this world), that’s just two of God’s Commandments that He’s written upon your heart, but because of His immense LOVE for you, He sent Jesus His SON, the Son of God, God the Son into the world. Recognising that you need God the Son is the first part of Knowing Him. YOU need the forgiveness for your sins that Jesus won for you when He gave His life in your place upon the cross. Jesus died in order that you might truly KNOW God. When you know God, your life is going to be different.

Be still and KNOW Him.

Confess: Confess your sins to God. Confess that you need His forgiveness. Confess the way’s you’ve broken His Commandments. Confess the fact that You’ve NOT put God first in your life (None of us have). When you confess, it’s like you are surrendering to a powerful force, like when a soldier in a battle gets surrounded and all he can do is either die or throw down his weapons and surrender. That’s what you are doing to God. You’re saying “OK God, I give in, I give up, I surrender and admit that I’m defeated in Your presence, I KNOW I’m a sinner, I confess it, I admit it, I want you to know that I KNOW you are God.” That’s true confession of God. One day the Bible tells us, everyone will surrender to God. Every knee will one day bow before Him and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God, to the glory of God the Father.

Be STILL and KNOW God NOW! Do it today and find total freedom and peace with God.

Accept: Accept the offer of forgiveness and peace.

Most soldiers realise that once they are surrounded and completely defeated, that it makes sense to surrender and save their lives. It’s just futile to give your life once you’ve been beaten. It serves no purpose, the battle has already been lost, why would anyone throw their life away. You’ve been surrounded by God since the time you were born, but you’ve been battling, trying with all your might to live your own way. Now it’s time to surrender and admit that you’ve been defeated. God’s PEACE offer is on the table: Be at PEACE: Be STILL and KNOW HIM: He’s Good, He’s Loving, He’s Kind.

God wants you to know that once you recognise who you are and once you’ve confessed your sinful condition and are ready to turn away from it, that He’s going to forgive and cleanse you from ALL your sins. He’ll wash you clean. You cannot do it yourself, you can’t make sin go away, it needs to be washed out of your soul, it can only be washed out with something totally pure and holy. The holy thing that God has chosen to wash you clean is the life-blood of His Son Jesus. Only the blood of Jesus can wash you clean from your sins. Accept His total forgiveness and be clean in Jesus Christ. Then your soul will be completely at PEACE with God. Nothing, no storm in life can ever disturb that PEACE that forgiveness brings.

The war is over, the battle is won, Jesus is the victor, so surrender to Jesus.

Receive: Receive the Lord Jesus as your LORD.

It’s like taking down your own FLAG and Hoisting HIS FLAG of VICTORY.

Believe in Jesus, that He’s won the Victory: It’s OVER, the Battle is Won.

He wants you to KNOW Himself, but you can only really know God when you are prepared to allow Him to rule in your life. When you are ready to do that, you’ll know, because you are ready to TRUST Him with your everything in life. He’s got such great plans for you and your future, but you can only ever know them when you’re ready to TRUST Him with them. Let go and let God BE your God. He wants you to KNOW total love, freedom, power for life, joy and peace. That’s ALL God wants to give you, but that’s more than enough. It’s better than Gold, Silver or anything this world has to offer. It’s even better than the most expensive things in life. God is able to SATISFY you completely.

Can you see now why God wants you to be still and KNOW.

For me it makes sense to KNOW God.

Be still for a few minutes today and really get to KNOW God.

It’s great to be in the company of family and friends at Christmas, but it’s even more exciting and joyful in God’s presence. We’ve just got to be still and know Him. Don’t be religious, be real, be with God today. He’ll be with you forever. Amen!

So, I’m encouraging you, in the madness and rush of life, to take a few moments and BE STILL and KNOW HIM.

You’ll be GLAD that you did. Have a JOY FILLED Christmas.

Don.

Psalm 46:1-11 The KNOWING God Psalm.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3  though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.
4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.
6  Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.
7  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.
8  Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9  He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.
10  “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
11  The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Do Your Best

Do your best; stay connected to Jesus

Daily Spirit & Word: 604: Do Your Best.

Good morning my friends, how many times have we said or heard said, “I try my best” or “I’m trying my best to be good”. The feeling and thinking behind the statement: We all want THE BEST in our lives. As Christians who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who try and live by the Word of God, we want to be the best we possibly can be and we want others to think or know that we are God’s holy people.

However, the reality is, we’re only as good as our BEST. You see the Lord doesn’t want us to be as good as WE can be, but He wants us to be LIKE Jesus. Why? Because He knows that Jesus standard of goodness far exceeds our own, because Jesus was and is perfect. Hence the reason Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing”… We are only as GOOD as our closeness to Jesus.

John 15:5 “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.”

If we are ‘trying our best’ without getting close to Jesus Christ first: then our best means or is worth NOTHING. Even if you’ve got the whole Ten Commandment and are trying to live according to them, and you only fall down at just one point in God’s Commands, perhaps you covet a little. Then we’ve become God’s Law Breakers and we’ll be guilty before God on Judgement Day.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “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.

Jesus wants us instead of trying our best to draw near to Him then we’ll be doing what’s best, to come close, to live our life with Him: When we respond, then we WILL BE FRUITFUL.

You see my friends, it’s not OUR BEST that God is going to be looking for, but how much of Christ is in us, how much we’ve become like Jesus Christ, there’s only ONE WAY to do that: BE WITH Jesus. The more time, the more energy, the more focus you put upon actually being with Jesus as you go about your daily life in this world, the BETTER you will be at being what you know your heart’s desire is.

Sadly, too many Christians get into other things, these good things get in the way of our relationship with Christ, we become like a detached branch, we become like a branch that’s actually been cut off from the Vine. What happens when a good Christian looses his first love, looses his connection with the vine? We begin to wither and die: Our Joy goes: Even our desire for worship and being with other brothers and sisters dries up.

It happens very Slowly of course:

Did you know a vine branch can live for a little while apart from the main branch? You can plant a vine branch in the soil a couple of weeks after it’s been cut off from the vine and it will still begin to put down it’s own roots and grow. I know this, because I’ve done it. We had an uncultivated vine for a while, but it only ever produced tiny little bitter grapes.

However, when a branch begins to grow on it own; apart from the Lord, it’s a wild vine you’ll have, not a cultivated one. It will not have the root-stalk of the old vine and will have it’s own nature. A cultivated root is selected for it’s characteristics of the wine it produces, and the actual vines that are grafted into it will be protected by the cultivated root vine.

Jesus said, “I AM the Vine, you are the Branches: We’ve been grafted into this Heavenly Cultivated Vine. It’s Holy life giving sap flows through our veins. Jesus gives us the NEW WINE of the KINGDOM.

YBH: Yes But How? How do we “Do our Best”?

It’s easy to say something and much harder to actually do it. How do we stay close to the Vine and connected to the Lord Jesus Christ? Jesus said it and the Apostles applied it in the rest of the New Testament.

Jesus said: “If you obey my Commands, you ARE my Disciples”: so it’s obedience to Christ’s Commands.

Paul said to Timothy:  2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV) “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved (tested and tried), a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Do Your Best: Stop saying “I’m trying my best” start thinking “I’m DOING my best”: The BEST thing you can do is get close to Jesus every single day. You are to strive with all your might to get ready to stand before God: You will already have been; tried and tested by Him. You do your best: to handle correctly the word of truth. This means: To understand and apply God’s Word to your life. To live according to what you know and understand. It’s going to take your own personal effort to draw and remain connected with Jesus Christ and to read, understand and apply God’s Word to your own life.

There are many ways to do it today: Thank God for the internet, the WWW (World, Wide, Web), here you can find so much “Good Teaching” and “Application” of God’s Word: This will help you to understand it. However, don’t just stop at getting an understanding of God’s Word: Stay close to Jesus Christ yourself: pray, be with Him in prayer, and He’ll guide you. Get filled up with God’s Holy Spirit every day. Pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, fill me with the Holy Spirit, I need Him, I’m asking in the Name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Saviour. Amen”….

Draw near to God, and He’ll draw near to you.

John 15:5 “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.”

Monday is magnificent, be with Jesus today, start your week right and keep at it every day.

So;

STOP saying, “I’m trying my best” START saying, “I’m DOING my BEST to stay connected with Jesus Christ” Amen!

Don.

One of the best and most practical ways to Keep Close to Jesus: Is to take captive every thought and bring it into subjection to Jesus Christ’s teachings:

2 Corinthians 10:5 (NIV) “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’s our Thought Life: where battles are won and lost. Let’s take captive EVERY thought that’s going against what we KNOW is God’s Word.

Amen.

 

Faith NOT Fear: It’s a choice to believe God’s Promises

God is bigger than all our fears

Daily Spirit & Word, 584: Faith NOT Fear

“Risks and Dangers Are Real, but FEAR is a choice”

Good morning my friends, the Lord has been challenging me again today, about my fears. You know FEAR can be crippling?

Isaiah 41:10 (ANIV) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

My friends, have you ever experienced a ‘crippling’ fear? A fear that was so bad that it stopped you doing something you knew that you should have done?

A friend told me the other day about how FEAR came upon him, but instead of listening to his fear, he overcame it and stepped out in faith. It was on a Tube Train in London. He saw a man and felt the Lord’s impulse to share something of Jesus with the man, but immediately FEAR gripped him. Fear of what others would think if he talked to someone on the train about Jesus. Praise the LORD! He managed to overcome that FEAR.

We’ve probably ALL had similar experiences when we felt the Lord prompting us to speak or to act, but we’ve rationalised it away.

How many more souls could be saved if we managed to conquer our fears? Those Demonic attacks that come when the Lord is moving us to act or speak?

I’ve had it too my friends and I’ve later repented and asked the Lord to forgive my weakness and fearfulness. I’ve listened to my fears too many times; now I am asking the LORD of Creation to assist me in overcoming my fears. It works you know or should I say the Lord works? He longs to give us the courage to be obedient to His prompting. Yes we still have to take the steps to say “NO” to our fears. And say “YES” to the Lord.

YES: It’s risky. YES: It takes courage. YES: You can do it: Because FEAR is a choice.

Here’s what listening to FEAR can do:

FEAR:

  • Clouds our judgment.
  • Paralyses our actions.
  • Causes us to delay, drag our heels, put-off what we should be doing now.
  • Makes us rationalise or Over-Spiritualise things: We’ll ask for signs like Gideon instead of trusting God when prompted.
  • Makes us paranoid: thinking the whole world will laugh at us or is against us.
  • Makes us irrational; we can loose our ability to analyse objectively.
  • Destroys our trust in others.
  • Doing or Acting for God: Fear Diminishes our ability to believe, to risk or act for God.
  • Pride: Makes us think too much about how we’ll look in the eyes of others. 
  • Refuses to believe God is there; is in control, and can be trusted or taken seriously.

“Risks and Dangers Are Real, But FEAR is a Choice”

My friends, the LORD wants you and me to act in FAITH instead of listening to our FEARS.

How can we possibly overcome our FEARS when they arise? How can they be defeated?

Firstly: REMEMBER: Our battle is NOT against flesh and blood (not even your own flesh and blood) it’s against:

Ephesians 6:12-13 (NIV) “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.”

FAITH

FAITH: Is to believe and act upon the promises of God.

FAITH: Is Trusting God’s Promises.

My friends, I’m praying for you all right now. If you are struggling with fear, battling fears, that you will be free, to find the Lord’s help. I’m praying that you’ll have the courage to believe God, to trust God, and rely upon ALL His promises. He’s with you, He will uphold you with HIS righteous right hand. Awesome!

PRAY: Pray this verse into your heart today: God Speaking to YOU!

“Let Your FAITH Be Bigger Than Your FEAR”

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Every blessing for a fantastic Friday and glorious weekend with Jesus.

Don.

NOTES: Verses from God’s Word: Promises to help you overcome your FEARS.

2 Timothy 1:7 (NIV) For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.”

Psalm 34:4 (NIV) “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.”

Psalm 34:17 (NIV) “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”

Psalm 46:1-2 (NIV) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,”

Psalm 46:10 (NIV) “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Remember how Peter was walking on the water, but when he listened to his fears that he began to sink. Don’t look at the STORMS look to the Master of the waves, who walked on water and commanded the storms to subside. Jesus Christ is LORD over ALL Creation: Lord of Heaven and Earth.  (Matthew 14:22-34).

 

Life Overcomes Death

Jesus Victory Over Death

Daily Spirit & Word, 488: Life Overcomes Death.

40 Days With Jesus: Day 3: Life Overcomes Death.

Good morning my friends, I’ve just come back into the study after being out in the garden for prayer. As I reflected upon last night’s Street Evangelism and the people we met and had discussions with, I’m filled with excitement, expectation and wonder. We talked before going out about the meaning of being ‘Born Again’. We had a little tract to give to people and though it’s a phrase many Christians use every day, it’s my experience of regular ministry that most don’t know what it actually means or how a person gets born again. All they know is that it’s an imperative, that unless a person IS born again, they cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. It was good preparation, because the conversations we had with people enabled us to engage them on a Spiritual level rather than merely focusing upon reason or argument. The best conversation I had last night was with a dedicated / devoted young Muslim man. We got chatting about the real meaning of Easter and Eternal Life and after inquiring, he explained the Muslim’s hope for Heaven. We gently shared that we believe that Jesus is God and that we who believe and trust in His death upon the Cross can gain assurance that we have a place in Heaven from the moment we trust in Him.

When we think about Mary Magdalene’s first encounter with Jesus and the first two disciples; Peter and John, we’re going to see some of humanity’s greatest fears blown out of the water. Sorry, that’s the Submariner in me speaking again 🙂 But one of the greatest fears human beings have is that DEATH is approaching and though we try to avoid it as best we can, there’s really not a lot we can do about it, because history proves that TEN out of TEN people will actually die, for those that know what that means, it’s a 100% success rate for DEATH.

If we’re not snatched away into eternity in our infancy, youth or young adult life, then from the age of about 45-50 we’re on the downward slope heading for certain death. Throughout history, in every generation, people have tried various ways to avoid the inevitable. Some have even tried to ensure that they have a good afterlife, like the ancient Egyptians and south Americans who mummified their corpses and provided material wealth and everything someone might need on the others side of life. No matter how hard we try, even with the best anti-aging treatments available, we eventually are hit with the reality we’re all going to die.

Great News For Believers:

The great news for those who believe in Jesus Christ is that we have a hope of being resurrected too. Jesus Christ overcame DEATH and came back to life after dying. However, many argue against Christianity on that basis, “Christians a just living in delusion and vainly hope for something that’s impossible”. But as you look at the historical evidence within the texts of the Bible and some manuscripts from non-believers at the time, you’ll discover that it’s based upon certain facts. The historicity of the resurrection is beyond question the most attested fact in the history of the human race. John devotes two whole chapters to the fact of the resurrection after the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ. So my friends, our faith is not based upon wishful thinking or vain hopes for something that might never happen. It’s a sure and certain HOPE, because it’s already happened once, Jesus did rise and the evidence of those who met the risen Lord Jesus shout out the reality. Not only that, but millions of Christians all over the world will tell you today, “I KNOW Jesus”. We don’t just know about Jesus, we actually know Him from experience of walking, talking and being with Jesus every single day. We can’t see Him today physically, because He’s in Heaven, but we can know Him by Holy Spirit who’s within everyone who’s trusted in Jesus and His death upon the cross to wash us clean from our sins.

The Resurrection Was A Surprise

The Followers of Jesus DIDN’T expect Him to rise from the dead. That’s something we can see very clearly from John 20:2-9.

John 20:2-9 (NIV)
2  So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4  Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5  He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6  Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7  as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9  (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)

Mary was on the way to the tomb not to see Jesus but to perform his funeral rites and anoint his dead body. The Disciples didn’t expect Jesus to be alive either, they didn’t understand. So if the RESURRECTION was a hoax or trick, they’d surely have included the certainty that they expected Jesus to rise from death. That’s what I love about the Bible, it doesn’t hide the fact that those we hold up as pillars of the faith today, didn’t KNOW or UNDERSTAND Jesus message or mission even though they’d been with Him for over three years and witnessed his miracles and teachings. This for me is one of the greatest pointers to the authenticity of the Gospel accounts.

Peter an John didn’t hang around to find Jesus, they simply returned home. It was only Mary Magdalene who lingered and looked, perhaps that’s why she was the first to experience and see the resurrected Lord.

LIFE and DEATH

John’s Gospel is filled with contrasting elements; yesterday we looked at Light and Darkness, today we’re touching upon another greath theme that runs through and is weaved into almost every page of his Gospel account; Life Overcome Death. The Gospel begins with statements about Jesus being the source of LIFE and that He is in fact LIFE.

John 1:1-5
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was with God in the beginning.
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

 

Then John goes on to tell us about the New Life that we can all have by receiving Jesus Christ as Lord. In many places you’ll see LIFE juxtaposed with DEATH. John 3:16-21. Tells us how we can know that we’ve passed from DEATH to LIFE. There are many incidents that John records where people in conversation with Jesus are given the revelation of LIFE and it’s fullness in Him John 4, John 6, John 10 and John 14. It’s full of LIFE and DEATH, but more importantly how believing and trusting in Jesus we can have both; fullness of life and eternal life in Him.

The Witness Of The Grave-Clothes.

The second fact of the resurrection’s historicity you’ll notice in John 20:2-9 above, is the presence of the grave-clothes. If Jesus body had been stolen or smuggled away as some suggest, then surely they’d have taken the most valuable things as well. Cloth was not cheap in those days, it was a luxury item and it would have been taken too. But the grave clothes were in place, Jesus body was not unwrapped like Lazarus’ was (John 11:44), but his resurrected body emerged out of the cloths without disturbing them. The head-covering was neatly folded.

 The Tomb of Jesus

The third fact of the authenticity of the resurrection is that the followers of Jesus didn’t venerate his tomb like those of other religions do today. That’s because Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb, he’s alive, He’s not there anymore, His Holy Body is gone and is ALIVE today in Heaven. There’s no body here on earth for us to find or worship or venerate. We serve a living Saviour.

Points to Ponder Day 3 of 40 Days With Jesus:

  • Consider the evidence given for the resurrection of Jesus in John 20:2-9. Which fact or facts do you find most convincing or compelling?
  • Are you living in a way that reflects the reality of the resurrection?
  • How do you feel about the fact that because Jesus has triumphed over death, you can have abundant life now and eternal life as gift from the moment you trusted Jesus?

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus, I thank you that You have provided such convincing proofs of Your resurrection. I’m rejoicing now that You didn’t stay in the tomb, but rose from the dead. I’m inviting You Lord Jesus to make Yourself known to me today. Oh Lord, grant me a spirit of wisdom and revelation that I might have a deeper and more lasting conviction of the historical reality of Your resurrection and how You have shown us that Your Life has Triumphed OVER Death, And that Life Overcomes Death. Amen.

Praying for all my friends who follow Daily Spirit & Word today. It’s been difficult to TAG people on Facebook, because when I try it locks me out and I have to enter a new password, they keep reporting my page has been hacked, but I know it hasn’t as it keeps a rocord of login attempts. So I’ll just have to rely upon people’s LIKES and SHARES  😎

40 Days With Jesus HomePage.

40 Days With Jesus Resources.

40 Days With Jesus Outline.

 

 

 

 

 

Flesh and Spirit at War

Daily Spirit & Word, 467: Flesh and Spirit at War.

or Mankind’s Inability to LIVE According to God’s Standards of Righteousness.

Good morning my friends, I was reading through Paul’s letter to the Romans again this morning, chapters 7 to 9. I was struck again by how Paul illustrated the struggle to live righteously in chapter 7 and though his whole heart’s desire was to live the way he knew he should, he just couldn’t. No matter how hard Paul tried to live according to God’s ways, there was always sin in his heart to bring him back down to earth with a great crash. In the end, he saw the utter futility of trying to obtain righteousness in his own strength or willpower alone.

This reveals the futility of the works based effort of all who try to earn Heaven by human determination or by their own goodness. Let’s look at those verses again in Romans 7.

Romans 7:7-25  “What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.” 8  But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. 9  Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10  I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11  For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. 12  So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. 13  Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognised as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. 14  We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17  As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18  I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19  For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21  So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22  For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23  but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24  What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25  Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

 The Struggle Against Sin:

This very struggle that Paul recognized within himself before he was regenerated (made new, born again, transformed) by the Holy Sprit, after he came to faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ when his eyes were well and truly opened. This is what’s leading people to the Lord today, because there a many people in the world who sincerely desire to live righteously before God, and many devout people from other faiths who struggle to live righteously. They know God’s Holy Standards, because He’s revealed His LAW of righteousness to every single human being alive today. He’s written His LAW upon every human heart so that we know the good we should do, but honest people, people who’s hearts are open to God, know that though they try their best, they are still, like Paul was before regeneration, prisoners to sin.

 The LAW of God is good: but it’s POWERLESS to enable anyone to be good.

All the LAW does is REVEAL God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness.

God’s LAW awakens in mankind a desire to live in holiness, but doesn’t give the power to enable it.

 That’s WHY Jesus Christ came, to set the captives free.

Satan blinds people to their need of a Saviour, but the LAW of God brings about a transformation of understanding, it awakens within the human soul an awareness of our need that something needs to happen within to enable us to live according to God’s LAW revealed in our hearts.

Many Muslims, Jews and other Religious People are coming to the Saviour today. They come because they’ve tried to live righteously, they’ve tried to seek God and to live according to His ways, but they’ve recognised they just can’t do it. So when they hear the Gospel or read the Bible their eyes are opened and hope springs to life. Because in the Gospel is revealed the POWER of God to enable people who seek Him with all their hearts to truly LIVE Righteously.

The Power comes, not through human effort, not through religious observance, but through FAITH in the Lord Jesus Christ. Once we trust in Him, He comes to live in our hearts by His Holy Spirit, now when people live according to the Spirit they find the freedom from sin and it’s ability to control them and keep them captive to it’s will, is broken.

2 Corinthians 4:3-7 “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4  The god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5  For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7  But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

Paul was well aware that the power to live righteously, to know the Gospel, was from God.

Of course there is an Enemy who doens’t want that to happen. Satan longs to keep people in the darkness. He’s overjoyed when people are unconscious of their need of a Saviour. He loves it when people get religious and try to be good enough for heaven in their own strength. And He’s dancing with joy when they perform, try and struggle to live according to God’s revealed standards of Holiness. Because as long as he can blind them to their need of Jesus, their need of freedom, their need of Salvation, they belong to him. Satan knows that if religious people die in their religious state, he’ll have them with him for all eternity instead of the place that God wants them to be, in Heaven.

 

In Romans Chapter 9 Paul reveals the predicament of ‘religious’ Jews / Israelites.

Romans 9:30-33 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31  but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32  Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling-stone”. 33  As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Can you see it my friends? They or all people who try to pursue RIGHTEOUSNESS (Being right in God’s sight, or holy, goodness, ) by following ‘religious’ practices or by sheer human resolve will never attain the very thing they seek. Because, religious practice without FAITH in Jesus Christ is just human effort or works. As the Corinthian reading above revealed, those who don’t understand the Gospel are perishing, even though they try with all their might to be good, they will never be able to be good enough, because they’ll still continue to sin.

 Pockets of Resistance:

When the Second World War was over and Japan had surrendered, their were still pockets of resistance, soldiers who would not accept defeat. Some Japanese soldiers continued to fight on for many years even though they’d lost the war.

For the Christian, there are still pockets of resistance within to the Holy Spirit’s will, within our fleshly nature. But the BATTLE is OVER the WAR is WON: Satan and Sin are DEFEATED.

 How do we get the FREEDOM from sin? How can we LIVE Righteously?

It begins the moment we trust in Jesus Christ and we’re born again by God’s Holy Spirit.

The pockets of resistance against the Holy Spirit, human fleshly nature is not completely over, but the WAR is won. Jesus defeated Satan when He died and rose again from death. He defeated sin and it’s ability to control humans. His death upon the Cross made it possible for people to become RIGHTEOUS in God’s sight the moment they trust in His death, because all their sins are washed away.

Romans 8: Reveals the way that Believers in Jesus now must choose to live. We are filled with the Holy Spirit, but we still have a responsibility to live according to the Spirit and not according to the desires of the flesh. It’s a moment by moment choice; there are two ways to live and He’ll enable us to live His way if we let Him. One day we’ll see the Lord in Glory and the remaining pockets of resistance will be completely wiped out, we’ll be totally pure and holy like Jesus, but until then, we’ve got little skirmishes to fight along the way. We will win, if we live according to the Holy Spirit and not according to the sinful nature.

The Reality:

Out of the vast ocean of humanity on the face of the Earth today, there is only a small trickle who desire to live righteously before God. The majority are happy to be in the darkness and to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, they don’t want people to shine the light of the Lord and His ways upon them, they do not desire to be enlightened and Satan loves it too.

We know this, because every week we come across many people who’ll say, “I’m NOT religious” as if that is the end of the conversation, but when we say, “Good, you are the very person we need to talk to tonight”, they are stopped in their tracks. You see we’re not out to make people ‘religious’ but to help people see their need of Salvation and of a Saviour from sin. We’ll open up conversations with things like, “Do you know what Easter is all about?” or “What’s Christmas really about?” at these times of the year. We’re off into a Spiritual conversation, not a religious one.

Most people are unaware that they are like people on the Titanic who whilst the boat was sinking, they were enjoying the music and dancing, until it was too late to save themselves. They are also like a group of people having a party in a house that’s ablaze with roaring fire. They are going to die in their sins and if they do, then they’ll be judged according to God’s Holy Standards of Righteousness. That’s why they need to be awakened out of their slumber and ignorance. I’m sure many more could have been saved on the Titanic if they’d been made aware of the condition of the vessel. Satan hates it when we open the eyes of those he’s blinded.

Conclusion:

For those who’ve trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ; Instead of using, “I’m human” as an excuse to live according to the sinful fleshly desires of your heart. As a believer in Jesus Christ you must begin saying, “I’m SAVED so I’m going to live according to the Holy Spirit”. Then you’ll know that the mind controlled by the Spirit is LIFE and PEACE. (Romans 8:6).

Are you walking with the Spirit today? Read Romans 7, 8 and 9 again. You’ll see what condition your soul is in. If you need to come to the Lord Jesus Christ, and we all do, then I encourage you to come and be made righteous by God’s Spirit and then to walk through the rest of your life here on Earth living according to the Spirit’s desires.

Galatians 5:16 “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

If you’ve never heard these things before, then read about what Jesus Christ came to do in the Gospel of Mark, it’s one of the shortest Gospels and through reading it, you’ll discover God’s desire for you is good. He wants you to be saved from sin, from Satan and from self.

Galatians 5:16 (NIV) “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

Have an Awesome Sunday worshipping Jesus Christ as you gather with the saints in praise and adoration today.

Seek to be filled afresh with God’s Holy Spirit right now.

Every blessing,

Don.

 

Holy Spirit Counsellor Forever

Home Version 2 – Daily Spirit and Word

Daily Spirit & Word, 453: Holy Spirit Forever.

Will be with you forever. Christian LIFE in the Spirit Today.

Good morning my friends, Praise the LORD! It’s the LORD’S DAY!

Worship the LORD with gladness. Come before His presence with songs of joy upon your hearts. Give thanks to Him for He is GOOD. His LOVE endures forever. Amen!

Our focus today is; The Counsellor: The Holy Spirit of Truth.

John 14:15-26 (NIV)

 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16  And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever— 17  the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19  Before long, the world will not see me any more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20  On that day you will realise that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. 21  Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” 22  Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” 23  Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24  He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. 25  “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26  But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

Introduction:

John 14 is the great chapter in the Gospel where Jesus reveals explicitly and clearly that He’s going to be leaving the Disciples very soon. But it also reveals Jesus heart for everyone who comes and puts their trust in Him. He knows that if the Disciples were left on their own they’d soon desert Him (as they did when He was arrested, tried and crucified). Even Peter, the great rock of a man, denied Jesus when a young servant girl noticed him. Three times Peter denied Jesus, but that was before Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, that Jesus had promised them here in this section of chapter 14 of John. You’ll notice by contrast the DIFFERENCE in Peter, when He’s been filled with the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2).

Jesus knows what it’s like to loose someone you love. He felt it when Lazarus died remember how Jesus wept; when He saw Mary and Martha and how they grieved for Lazarus? Jesus knows what it’s like. So in Chapter 14 The Gospel Writer is showing us how Jesus was preparing them for His departure; His betrayal and death. Giving them HOPE of a new life even after death.

Jesus was leaving, but He’s promising something wonderful: They are going to see Him again. They are going to be filled with the Holy Spirit and as they experience the Holy Spirit they’ll KNOW: Jesus is with them, the Father is with them, the Holy Spirit is with them: Not only that God in Trinity is with EVERY true believer (a true believer is someone who has Jesus Commands / Teachings and is obedient to them), but He’s going to be IN them.

Holy Spirit For Everyone:

It a promise for everyone / anyone: v23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Jesus said that in answer to Judas’ question about Jesus revealing Himself to the disciples. He thought that Jesus meant only the disciples would ‘see’ Jesus. Judas has a good heart, he’s concerned about EVERYONE who wants to trust in Jesus. He’s already, even before he’s got the Holy Spirit, got a heart for others.

What will the Holy Spirit do? Belonging / Commands.

In this chapter we’re only given a brief introduction to the great work of the Holy Spirit. His first a most important work for the believer is to help us to know that we belong to Jesus.

Notice: The way to know if you BELONG to Jesus: Is to HAVE His Commands and live in obedience to them. (v21)

To HAVE Jesus commands, is to have them INSIDE YOU: They become a part of your being, your nature, your everything. You’ll LOVE them, you’ll want to LIVE in obedience, complete obedience, to Jesus Commands.

Note: Spiritual Conflict: Ongoing battle because even after you’ve received the Holy Spirit, you are NOT yet perfect or completely like Jesus. You still have a SIN / Fleshly Nature within you too. When you are filled with the Spirit there’s an ongoing war in your being; between your old sin nature and the New Spirit nature the Lord gives you. The Spirit and the Flesh are in conflict; each vying for your attention and obedience. Whichever one you submit to will determine your peace or not. (Romans 7 and 8).

However, the way to overcome the conflict is to be filled afresh with the Holy Spirit.

Explained: Yes, whenever a person comes in faith to trust the Lord Jesus as Saviour, who repents of their sins and forsakes them and begins to live in obedience to His Commands / Teachings (Discipleship), because those commands are written upon our hearts and become part of our new nature; the New Nature we receive when we’re Born Again of God’s Holy Spirit (John 1 and 3), the old nature is defeated, but it’s not dead. It’s still within you and me and everyone who trusts in Jesus.

It’s a kind of ongoing test:

I was speaking with the Youth about EXAMS and our attitude towards them. I asked them, “Do you like taking exams?” They all said, “No, exams are horrible, they’re hard and you’ve got to work hard if you want to pass them”…

I said, “There was a time in my life when I hated exams too, but now I look forward to them and love getting ready for them”…

My friends, being tested about what we know is one thing, but being tested for what we are is quite another. The TEST that we experience as believers is not what we KNOW about Jesus, the Bible, Church, Traditions, etc…. It the TEST to see if we are truly His. That’s an ongoing test. It’s a TEST we’re subjected to every single day.

  • God wants to know if you are His.
  • Jesus wants to know if you are His.
  • The Holy Spirit wants to know if you are His.

The TEST is obedience to the Commands and Teachings of Jesus Christ (God’s WORD: Jesus is the WORD, the Holy Spirit inspired men to write down God’s WORD. God the FATHER is the ultimate source of the WORD / TRUTH / LIFE. Because the Son and the Spirit subject themselves to the Father’s will. The Holy Spirit subjects Himself to the Father and the Son. But they are ALL ONE, they are ALL equal.

Perfect obedience does not make you less of a person; otherwise Jesus would be less…

Perfect obedience elevates you as it did and does the Lord Jesus Christ.

You’ll experience the LIFE that Jesus intends, the more you live in obedience to His commands and teachings.

Comforter: Holy Spirit. 

That Bible has so much more to say about the Person and work of the Holy Spirit than is revealed in this little portion from John today. However, here we can be comforted that He’ll guide us and reveal to us EVERYTHING Jesus had commanded whilst He was on the earth. That’s what Jesus is promising. Even if the Disciples hadn’t written the Bible (we’re so glad they did), we’d still be guided and enlightened about the teachings of Jesus Christ by God the Holy Spirit on the inside. The Holy Spirit teaches and trains us according to the will of God the Father. He’ll guide you in all your ways.

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”

When we become followers of Jesus teachings and commands, we are His Disciples (That’s what He was telling Judas), anyone, everyone who obeys.

As Jesus Disciples we’re given the greatest gift; the Presence of God within, the Holy Spirit will not just be with us, he’ll be IN us.

They’d already known that the Holy Spirit was with them: They’d healed, delivered and seen all the miracles of Jesus. NOW Jesus was promising them; “You’ll HAVE the Holy Spirit in you too”.

The Holy Spirit:

This passage from John above is only an introduction to the work of the Holy Spirit.

The Gospels: Reveal the PROMISE of what life is going to be like with the Holy Spirit. As does the Old Testament.

The Rest of the New Testament is ALL ABOUT LIFE IN THE SPIRIT.

  • Acts: Called the Acts of the Apostles: But could equally have the full title; “The Acts of the Apostles when they are Filled with the Holy Spirit”. Witness, Work and Life.
  • Romans: Teaches us the Gospel, but also What Victory we have when we LIVE according to the guidance and teaching of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 7 & 8).
  • Corinthians: Teaches us about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
  • Galatians: Teaches us HOW to Walk and be LED by the Spirit, the CONFLICT between our natures and about the Fruit of the Holy Spirit in the Believers life.
  • Ephesians: Has teaching about the Holy Spirit in every single chapter.
  • Philippians: Teaches us about the UNITY of the Holy Spirit: Making us ONE.
  • Collossians: Teaches us about the LOVE for others that the Holy Spirit empowers us to have.

The Holy Spirit: Christians SPIRIT LIFE: is

  • Illustrated in the Old Testament: Prophets, Priests, Kings.
  • Promised in the Gospels: Jesus promises in John 14, 17. John the Baptist “Spirit & Fire” promised.
  • Expanded and illustrated and Explained in the Rest of the New Testament.

The Holy Spirit Today:

  • He convicts of sin and of righteousness: Our Need for Jesus. John 17.
  • He Gives Believers New LIFE.
  • He Testifies to Believers that God is our FATHER. (FAMILY).
  • He Equips Believers to LIVE.
  • He Guides Believers in LIFE.
  • He Gifts Believers for SERVICE.
  • HE Unifies BELIEVERS for BLESSING.
  • He Fills Believers with God’s LOVE.

My friends, if you’ve ever doubted that you need the Holy Spirit in your life, if you’ve ever been tempted to think, “I’ve got Jesus I don’t need anymore”, then I encourage you to think again. Re-Read the Bible with a Marker / Highlighter in your hand and whenever you come accross Holy Spirit or The Spirit: Mark it. Make a note: What is it teaching me here about the Holy Spirit, what does the Holy Spirit do in this part of the Bible? What does it teach me here about what the Holy Spirit means for a Believer.

Your eyes will be opened. 

Your understanding increased. 

Your heart will be encouraged. 

Your life will be transformed.

Be filled with the Holy Spirit every single day. Take time now and ask Father God to send the Holy Spirit into your life afresh. Pray to Jesus and tell Him of your NEED of the Holy Spirit. Say to the Holy Spirit: “Come and take Your place in my life.”

I’m hoping and praying that you will be filled. I know that God has promised the Holy Spirit to all who ask. I know that once you are filled your life will never be the same again.

God has promised the Holy Spirit to ALL who ask to be filled.

Just pray, “Lord Jesus, I was baptised for the forgiveness of sins, I know I’ve been born of the Spirit, but now I want to be empowered and renewed and transformed by Holy Spirit today”…. Can you say that and mean it? 

Every blessing for a Spirit filled and powerful day.

Don.

Holy Spirit Counsellor Forever

Choose This Day Whom You Shall Sever

Daily Spirit & Word, 440: Choose This Day Whom You Shall Serve.

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Choose this day whom you shall serve
Choose this day whom you shall serve

 

 Daily Spirit & Word, 440: Choose This Day Whom You Will Serve.

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.

Good morning my friends, it was a wonderful Saturday which began with the Preacher’s Breakfast and ended with picking up the Grandchildren from Kids Space in Croydon. They enjoyed the whole day with their father, but by the time we got home they were all fast asleep in the car and it meant a tip-toe up to bed and gingerly getting them ready, trying not to rouse them from slumber.

Grandchildren at McDonalds Purley Way
Grandchildren at McDonalds Purley Way

If that is how we love our children and grandchildren, then as Christians we need to know our Heavenly Father loves us even more. We get warm-fuzzy-feelings when we see them happy, imagine Father’s joy when He knows we’re thrilled with His company and blessings?

Joshua 24:14-15
14 “Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshipped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.
15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

My grandchildren have been staying with us over the last few days whilst their bathroom is being re-decorated and walls in the hallway and one bedroom being re-plastered, by the time they get out of bed I’ve been up praying and studying the Bible, but they come into my study and want to know everything. They’ll say, “Papa, what are you doing?” I’ll tell them, “Why are you doing that Papa?” they are naturally full of questions and interested in what Papa is doing, but what are they really doing? They are trying to get Papa’s full attention. Because I love them, I can’t deny them my heart, they win and we end up eating breakfast together.

For us, Christians, our FATHER is longing for us to wake up and be with Him. To ask Him the question, “What are you doing Abba?” (Daddy, Father) Knowing the Father’s will and what He wants us to do is critical to our walk and witness in the world. When you wake up in the morning you are faced with the same choice Joshua put before the People of Israel: to cast aside all other worldly desires, all those things that would tug your heart and devotion away from your Heavenly Father and to choose each and every morning “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve”.

Joshua brought them to this point after leading the people for many years. What was it that Joshua had discovered in all that time? He’d been selected by the LORD as Israel’s leader, but before he took the reigns the Lord said to him; take time to read this for it’s very important in answering that question:

Joshua 1:1-9

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, the LORD said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant:  “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Great Sea on the west. No-one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Now can you see why Joshua would say, “Choose this day whom you will serve” and “But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD”.

  • That LORD has been with Joshua.
  • The LORD had given him victory.
  • The LORD had given him the land of promise.
  • The LORD had defeated and driven out the enemy before them.
  • The LORD was with them all they way.

His repeated promise to Joshua, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Choosing the LORD over the Promises and Pull of the world 
Guarantees SUCCESS and VICTORY in the Christian life.

Jesus gave the same kind of invitation many times and in different ways; “Take up your cross daily”. “Follow me and I will make you …”, “Take my yoke…” “Learn from me….” “Come to me…”

My friends, when we choose each day to be with our Father, the same God as Joshua’s, offering the same promises to you and me, we’re choosing VICTORY, we’re choosing SUCCESS, we’re choosing Divine COMPANIONSHIP and we’re choosing BLESSINGS beyond belief.

 

Joshua was reflecting back in chapter 14 what the LORD had done and decided he and his family were going to continue with the LORD. As you reflect back over your Spiritual Walk with Jesus, can you see that choosing Him over the world and it’s powerful pull has been better by far?

 

I know that I can, because each time, as a Christian, I’ve wandered away from Jesus will for my life, when I’ve neglected being with Him, when I’ve left off reading His Word, my life would become darkness, the Lord would seem distant and every decision I made whilst not being with Him was doubtful. However, when I’m with Jesus, being in His presence daily; in prayer, worship, study, desiring His will and way in my life, there’s everything He promised Joshua and more. My heart cries out to Him right now; “Oh to be in your Presence LORD! To sit at Your feet… this is my desire”

 

Just as my grandchildren know they can get Papa’s attention, you too will be assured of Father God’s Holy attention and He’ll be with you; BUT you’ve got a solemn choice to make each day.

 

The pull of the world, it’s false promises of delight, joy, happiness, success, prosperity, fulfilment and prestige in the eyes of others is POWERFUL. There’s no doubt about that, but when you weigh it up, all of that, against the overwhelming JOY in being with, walking with, talking with and enjoying FATHER’S presence with you all through the day, we can easily say to the world with all it’s glittering glow, “No, as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD”.Come AND be in your Heavenly Father’s will today.

 

Come AND be in your Heavenly Father’s presence today.

Come AND be and He’ll be, as He promised, with you everywhere your feet touch and you’ll know true VICTORY in life.

Have and AWESOME Sunday with your Heavenly Father.

Don.

Song of Praise.
To be in Your presence,
to sit at Your feet.
Where Your love surrounds me,
And makes me complete.

This is my desire,
Oh LORD,
This is my desire.
This is my desire,
Oh LORD,
This is my desire.

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