The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship

The REAL Lord's Prayer: Forgiveness

Daily Spirit & Word: 746: The KEY to Unlock AWESOME Fellowship.

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

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Good morning my friends, there’s something I hear from time to time in church gatherings, people feel slighted or left-out of things, so they stop coming to church. They forget that our battle is NOT against flesh and blood, but against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. That ‘flesh and blood’ includes our own flesh and our own blood; our thinking and our feelings.

What needs to be done when we’re feeling left-out?

Get ever closer to Jesus.

I’ve asked countless people who’ve felt miffed by church members, hurt or offended, “How’s your Bible reading going?” “FINE” they’ll say, but it’s the way they answer that I’m listening to, more than what they say. “How close to you feel to Jesus today?” You know what they respond with, “Oh I’ve always loved Jesus”… My friends, let me say this as gently as I can, if you are feeling hurt or offended, then unless you deal with it by taking it to Jesus, you are opening the door of your heart for Satan to come in, when you do that, he will steal from you, kill your passion for fellowship with Jesus and those in His family, and destroy your walk with the LORD.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

  • You’ll know your are loosing the battle for your soul, if you’re desire for close fellowship with other brothers and sisters in Christ is slipping.
  • You’ll know you are loosing the battle for your soul, if you don’t want to read God’s Word, pray, praise and witness for Jesus.
  • You will feel isolated, hurt, offended, alone.

So what can you do about it?

How can those hurts be healed?

Turn AGAIN to Jesus: Repent of the bitterness you’ve been feeling towards someone.

Satan is a great LIAR, the Bible calls him the father of lies. He’ll want you to be nursing your hurt. He’ll want you to hold onto it for a long time. He knows it will DESTROY you.

He wants you to get upset with your brothers and sisters in Christ. He loves nothing more that a wounded soul festering in their hurt.

What’s needed is FORGIVENESS:

When you get hurt, learn to forgive each other quickly or it will turn to bitter anger and hatred which is MURDER.

  • You can’t forgive someone or a group of people if you are far away from Jesus.
  • You can’t run away from that hurt either, by staying away from church gatherings.
  • You can’t fool God, He knows what’s happening on the inside.
  • Unless you forgive, then neither will your own sins be forgiven.

We’ve been praying the LORD’S PRAYER every day (as part of the lead-up to Pentecost), but as part of that prayer, Jesus taught us to pray about FORGIVENESS, he told us about FORGIVENESS TWICE.

Why did Jesus do that? Because He KNOWS we’re going to be offended and hurt by one another.

LOOK VERY CAREFULLY AT THE LORD’S PRAYER:

It doesn’t finish with “For thine is the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory, forever and forever Amen”

THAT’S NOT IN THE BIBLE

THAT’S NOT THE END OF THE LORD’S PRAYER AT ALL.

Matthew 6:9-15 (NIV)
9  “This, then, is how you should pray: ” ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10  your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11  Give us today our daily bread.
12  Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
14  For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

The Real LORD’S Prayer is all about forgiveness.

So, let’s pray the LORD’S PRAYER properly, as Jesus taught it. It’s all about forgiveness, letting God’s Kingdom rule and not allowing Satan to get a foothold into our lives by harbouring grudges and not forgiving others.

  • We all want to be forgiven by the LORD.
  • In His Kingdom there isn’t going to be any lingering thoughts of hatred or bitterness any more.
  • Your sins are washed away by Jesus Christ, His blood purifies you from all sin.
  • But that forgiveness can be BLOCKED.

Jesus knew that, that’s why He taught His disciples twice in his prayer about FORGIVENESS.

UNFORGIVENESS OPENS THE DOOR FOR EVIL TO COME INTO YOUR HEART.

“Lead us NOT into temptation” We are tempted NOT to forgive. Especially when we get hurt by someone who’s meant to be following Jesus.

Jesus said it SO CLEARLY: ”

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

When we’re walking around with UNFORGIVENESS in our hearts, we just can’t get close to Jesus.

UNFORGIVENESS is the sin that blocks our access to Him and to our own FORGIVENESS.

You may not think that you’ve got anything to worry about, you are a ‘good’ person, but don’t be deceived my friends. Every one of us SINS every single day, we all need forgiveness, all the time.

If you want to get better fellowship, if you want to feel close to other Christians again, to get closer to your brothers and sisters in Jesus, then you are going to have to face the hurt head-on, take it to Jesus, ask Him to forgive you for holding onto it for too long, then release your friends by forgiving them. You will very quickly discover a NEW JOY comes flooding into your soul. Some people have likened it to their first EXPERIENCE of coming to Jesus. He’ll wash you clean and give you instant fellowship with Himself. He’ll restore your LOVE for each other. He’ll enable you to totally forgive them to such an extent that you’ll want to bless them and see them being blessed by Jesus.

My friends, the LORD’S PRAYER is all about FORGIVENESS.

God’s forgiveness of your sins and your forgiveness of EVERYONE who hurts or offends you in some way.

It IS the LITTLE FOXES that ruin the vine.

When we let little hurts linger, we’re allowing the little foxes to pull the vine to pieces.

Song of Songs 2:15 (NIV) “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”

Those little thoughts that we nurse, we allow them to ruin the VINE. God wants you to be so full of fruit, but the little FOXES will tear it to pieces.

  • Get right with Jesus by FORGIVING others.
  • Get close to Jesus by RELEASING your friends from their debts, trespasses and sins against you.
  • Get close to Jesus and you will get closer in fellowship with the saints in your church fellowship.

FORGIVENESS is the KEY to UNLOCKING AWESOME FELLOWSHIP

But what if it’s YOU that has HURT or OFFENDED someone?

They don’t want you to come and say “Sorry”, because that would release you.

What they NEED is HEALING:

G.K. Chesterson said, “A stiff apology is a second insult … the injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged, he wants to be healed because he has been hurt”

They NEED our LOVE: Not our apology.

LOVE: “Love covers over a multitude of sins”… LOVE heals those wounds and hurts.

“Love one another, as I have loved you.” How did Jesus love us? He died so that we could be forgiven. So my friends, we too must be prepared to DIE every day, in order that LOVE may abound within our fellowships. Die to pride, even if you think you’ve done nothing wrong, go and get right with the offended party quickly. In that way you can stop the little foxes tearing the vine to bits.

Amen!

“We take captive EVERY THOUGHT to make it OBEDIENT to Christ”

Even those thoughts of hurt, anger, bitterness, hatret, wounds, feelings. Then we’ll get close to Jesus and our fellowship will be restored.

Forgiveness really is the KEY to Unlocking AWESOME Fellowship.

Don.

 

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.

 

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.