Working for Jesus? Expect Opposition.

when you work for Jesus, expect opposition from the enemy

Daily Spirit & Word: 800: Expect Opposition.

When the LORD calls you to do something for Him, expect opposition.

Good morning my friends, when you do a good work for the LORD you can expect opposition. If you are of the world, the world will accept you as one of it’s own, but if you are a Citizen of Heaven, working for another KING, then this world and it’s king (Satan) can never accept you and you are going to be opposed, persecuted and sometimes martyred. However, far from being in a position of weakness and fear, we’re going to be encouraged today to see that we can be God’s awesome power of LOVE in this world.

Opposition comes in many forms, but how can we react to opposition, no matter what form or guise it come in?

Let us take Nehemiah as one of our examples of what to do when opposition comes, and we’ll look at what God’s Word tells us about persecution and opposition for Him and for the Gospel.

First, Nehemiah:

An Example of how to proceed when your work for the LORD is opposed, ridiculed or hindered.

Nehemiah 4:1-23 (NIV)
1  When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews,
2  and in the presence of his associates and the army of Samaria, he said, “What are those feeble Jews doing? Will they restore their wall? Will they offer sacrifices? Will they finish in a day? Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble—burned as they are?”
3  Tobiah the Ammonite, who was at his side, said, “What they are building—if even a fox climbed up on it, he would break down their wall of stones!”
4  Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity.
5  Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.
6  So we rebuilt the wall till all of it reached half its height, for the people worked with all their heart.
7  But when Sanballat, Tobiah, the Arabs, the Ammonites and the men of Ashdod heard that the repairs to Jerusalem’s walls had gone ahead and that the gaps were being closed, they were very angry.
8  They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it.
9  But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
10  Meanwhile, the people in Judah said, “The strength of the labourers is giving out, and there is so much rubble that we cannot rebuild the wall.”
11  Also our enemies said, “Before they know it or see us, we will be right there among them and will kill them and put an end to the work.”
12  Then the Jews who lived near them came and told us ten times over, “Wherever you turn, they will attack us.”
13  Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.
14  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”
15  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to his own work.
16  From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armour. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah
17  who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did their work with one hand and held a weapon in the other,
18  and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
19  Then I said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “The work is extensive and spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
20  Wherever you hear the sound of the trumpet, join us there. Our God will fight for us!”
21  So we continued the work with half the men holding spears, from the first light of dawn till the stars came out.
22  At that time I also said to the people, “Have every man and his helper stay inside Jerusalem at night, so that they can serve us as guards by night and workmen by day.”
23  Neither I nor my brothers nor my men nor the guards with me took off our clothes; each had his weapon, even when he went for water.

INTRODUCTION:

When you get busy for God, opposition will inevitably raise its ugly head. So no matter how GOOD the thing that you are doing is; be it a service for the poor people of this world or proclaiming the Good News of Jesus or taking a moral stand. Like Nehemiah discovered, when you do something for the LORD, the world (influenced by Satan) hates it with a vengeance, and will oppose you. However, they are not really opposing you, they are coming against your God, who’s called you to that task.

But we must bear in mind what it is that’s driving any form of opposition:

Ephesians 6:10-13 (NIV) When Opposition Comes: Be strong in the LORD and STAND.
10  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11  Put on the full armour of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13  Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Read the FULL ARMOUR OF GOD Eph 6:14-20).

We must not resort to worldly ways of reacting to opposition:

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.

So how should we react to opposition?

Think and Act Like Nehemiah.

Who was Nehemiah? His name means “the comfort of Jehovah.” His purpose and calling by the LORD really was a worthy one; He was instructed by the LORD to reconstruct the walls of the city of Jerusalem and in the process to rebuild the faith of the people of Israel. Yet, as soon as he began, Nehemiah was confronted by the dreaded opposition. So don’t be surprised by opposition, instead; expect it.

1) PRAYER:

When you get busy for God and the expected opposition comes, the first ingredient that will lead to success is PRAYER. “But we prayed to our God,” the Bible says (Nehemiah 4:9). Prayer was a key ingredient in Nehemiah’s spiritual life (1:4). When OPPOSITION came, Nehemiah looked up to Heaven first taking captive those opponents of God’s word with Spiritual weapons, before he persisted in the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s wall.

2) PERSISTENCE:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the second ingredient that will lead to success is PERSISTENCE. Prayer is not a substitute for working at what you’ve been called to do. So often people will retreat and just pray, but you’ve been called to more than prayer. Instead, know that PRAYER preceeds PERSISTENCE. When opposition comes don’t just carry on regardless, get down to prayer first and then carry on regardless. PRAYER is a PRELUDE to PERSISTENCE. For the God’s Word says; “Nehemiah took their thoughts captive (He used Spiritual Weapons) Nehemiah 4:4.   “…the people worked with all their heart.” (Nehemiah 4:6).

I don’t know who said it first, but whoever it was, this thought encapsulates the KEY INGREDIENTS when opposition comes; “I pray as if everything depended on God. Then I work as if everything depended on me.” I love that saying, we’ve got to PRAY and WORK at what we’ve been called to do. (See James Faith and Works).

3) POWER:

When you get busy for God and opposition comes, the third ingredient that will lead to your spiritual success is THE POWER OF HEAVEN. When confronted by the fear of the people, the fear of man, the fear of looking like a fool, the fear of failure; then Nehemiah 4:14 says that Nehemiah arose and spoke to the people about the power of God, and about the purpose of their work. When we are reminded of the purpose to which God has called us, and the power with which to accomplish that purpose, then we will be encouraged to move on toward the completion of our task.

So simply remind yourself of God’s calling and purposes: To share the Gospel, to help the poor, to cure the sick, to make disciples, to follow the teachings of Jesus, to live by them and if need be to die for them. Remember also the POWER of HEAVEN, the Weapons are not worldly, we take our stand against opposition with the Armour of God in place: Ephesians 6:10-20. And bear in mind; Jesus is with you always. Holy Spirit has filled you and equipped you for this work for the LORD.

When you know and experience the POWER you will keep going at what He’s called you to do.

CONCLUSION:

Yes my friends, you will experience all kinds of opposition to what you’ve been called to do by the LORD: Demonic and Worldly OPPOSITION: Expect it, and react like Nehemiah the prophet and the LORD Jesus Christ.

  • Get down to PRAYER,
  • Get up to WORK by being PERSISTENT,
  • Get into the POWER of Heaven.

Through prayer and persistence with the power of Heaven, you will be able to overcome any of those troubling opponents.

As one great preacher has said,

“You’ll be able to turn those stumbling stones into stepping stones”

Also;

… Your troubles can be turned into triumphs.

Also;

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest Christian upon his knees.”

Have a blessed Saturday with Jesus.

For most people it’s a rest day, to be with family and friends, but remember Jesus is your BEST BFF (Best Friend Forever).

So make and appointment and keep it with Him first. Then no matter what happens today, you’ll be ready. Amen!

Don.

 

Loving The World Leads You Away

King Ahaz appealed to the King of Assyria for help, folloed worldly ways

Daily Spirit & Word: 731: Following The Patterns Of This World.

What happens when we follow worldly ways?

Good morning my friends, what are you going to do when trouble comes knocking at the door of your life?

2 Kings 16:10 (NIV) “Then King Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria. He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.”

King Ahaz, was the king of Judah, he was one of Judah’s baddie kings, because instead of following after and serving the One True God he’s followed previous kings and their evil practices that God had clearly forbidden. His life was a ‘Spiritual’ ruin and wasteland.

During his reign, Syria attacked Judah. But instead of going to God for help Ahaz appealed to the king of Assyria to come to his aid and help him defeat Syria. Imagine, he took the silver and gold from the Temple of God to bribe the Assyrian king to help him. The Assyrian king did assist Ahaz and together they defeated Syria.

However, After the great victory, Ahaz went to Damascus to meet the king of Assyria. Our verse today tells us about that very visit. We can note three things that happen to Ahaz and to us when we seek the world’s help in times of trouble instead of God’s.

You’ll notice in the verse these three things; The obligation of Ahaz, the observation by Ahaz, and the orders from Ahaz.

1) The Obligation of King Ahaz:

Obligation of Ahaz. “Ahaz went to Damascus to meet Tiglath-pileser king of Assyria.” Ahaz was obligated to go to Damascus to express his appreciation and give honour to the king of Assyria. Ahaz had forsaken Jehovah God, He’d wandered away from the God who had defeated the mightiest armies of Egypt and sought the assistance of a Worldly King when trouble came. Instead of going to God he appealed to the King of Assyria. So now he is the servant by choice (2 Kings 16:7) of the king of Assyria.

2 Kings 16:7 (NIV) “Ahaz sent messengers to say to Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria, “I am your servant and vassal. Come up and save me out of the hand of the king of Aram and of the king of Israel who are attacking me.”

My friends, when we forsake God we become obligated to the world, we become the World’s slaves and servants, and that obligation will only become a burden to us.

It reminds me of the church that went to the National Lottery for money to rebuild it’s church, now that church is full of practices and activities and groups that no normal Christian would ever entertain. When we go to the world for assistance instead of to God, then world will burden us and we’ll become obliged to serve it instead of God. Instead of being a light to the world, we become it’s servant and slave. When we go to the world for help, it’s then that our SALT looses is ability to savour.

1 John 2:15-17 (NIV)
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16  For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.
17  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives for ever.

It was obvious from King Ahaz’s conduct that he did not LOVE God or God’s commandments. It’s important to check where our affections are leading us, are they drawing us away from God and Kingdom living? or are they drawing us closer to Him and Kingdom service?

When we love the world then we’ll become IMPRESSED with what the world has to offer instead of God. This leads us to consider what Ahaz saw when he visited the worldly King of Assyria after he helped him.

2) The Observation by King Ahaz.

“Saw an altar that was at Damascus.” Ahaz was impressed by an altar he saw in Damascus. This altar was for heathen ungodly worship, but that did not seem to bother King Ahaz. Why? because we already know from previous verses in our chapter that he was already involved in heathen worship, even killing one of his own children. (2 Kings 16:3,4). So no wonder when Ahaz observed that magnificent foreign alter he was impressed with it.

1 John 2:16 “For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world.”

This world is always concerned with how things look, and that’s what impressed Ahaz. You may be tempted, when following worldly lusts to be impressed with how things look in this world. How people have fashioned their buildings, structures, clothes, vehicles and lives, etc… You might be impressed with their gadgets and gizmos, and tempted to long for them.

Having rejected Israel’s God, Ahaz was given to false religion which emphasizes ritual and outward form and appearance. All false religions aren’t concerned with the inner man or how to please or serve God. Their practice of religion is to see what they can get out of their god.

It’s never their inner character or conduct or the wishes or commands of God.

After being tempted and teased and impressed we now see where it leads King Ahaz.

3) The Orders from King Ahaz.

“He saw an altar in Damascus and sent to Uriah the priest a sketch of the altar, with detailed plans for its construction.”

King Ahaz wanted an altar just like the one in worldly Damascus to use at the Holy Temple of God.

What’s really strange is that in The Temple God there was already an holy altar. Judah didn’t need a new one. God had prescribed the pattern and form of Israel’s altar already.

Can you see what’s happening in King Ahaz’s life? He’d gone to the world for help, he’d become obliged to the world and now after being impressed with the world, Ahaz wanted to shape and pattern his whole life and worship to become more like the world. We shouldn’t be surprised by this, because our affections and desires will change once we wander away from God.

When we go to the world for help, we’ll end up far away from the Lord.

My friends, when we go to the world for help in times of trouble, then we too will become obliged to the world, we’ll become it’s servant instead of God’s, we’ll want to fulfil it’s desires and wishes and we’ll be obliged to do so. Secondly, because our hearts are already away from the Lord, our desires will begin to change and we’ll want to become more and more like the world, we’ll want to fashion and patter our whole life and our worship to become more worldly. We’ll become more concerned with what the world thinks about us rather than what God thinks.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15.

When Ahaz was attacked his life was already in ruins, so he naturally followed his fleshly instincts and went to the world for help. He must have thought, “I’m being attacked by a big boy, I’m going to get a bigger boy to come and help me”… What should Ahaz have done? He should have gone to the BIGGEST and STRONGEST and MOST ABLE: God, the KING of the UNIVERSE… Amen! If he had followed God’s desires, he would have been able to withstand ANY Enemy Attack.

My friends, Don’t GO to the world for help in times of trouble or hardship. Instead, first, go directly to your LOVING Heavenly Father.

Last night on Alpha we discovered just how much our Father in Heaven longs to give us what we need.

INSTEAD: ASK YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER FOR HELP:

Luke 11:9-13 (NIV)
9  “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.
10  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11  “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead?
12  Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13  If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Jesus said, “I AM the light of the world, whoever follows me will never walk in darkness again”… King Ahaz was walking in the deepest darkness, look at the rest of chapter 16 to see just how far away from the LORD Ahaz took the true worship.

John 8:12 (NIV) “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Sometimes we just don’t get because we forget to ASK.

Following Jesus will not make you immune from attacks or trouble, but when you face those trouble by faith, walking closely with Jesus, you will have total PEACE and even the deepest JOY that the world cannot understand.

When we forget to ASK, we’re walking in the darkness instead of the light and we’ll be led astray to follow worldly ways instead of God’s ways.

Ahaz made his choice long before an attack ever happened, my friends, if you are experiencing the blessings of peace now, keep close to Jesus, stay close to Him every day and He will guide your affections and heart’s desires.

Don.

 

Living In The Fountain of Life

Christian living in the power of the Holy Spirit

Daily Spirit & Word: 728:

Living In The Power of The Holy Spirit.

A Battle Royal: How to live a submitted life.

“When you do what pleases you, does what you do please God?

Good morning my friends, what a wonderful Alpha Experience evening we had last night. Our theme for the evening was all about The HOLY SPIRIT. We looked at the teaching, filling, empowering, seeking and yearning. We all admitted our NEED of God The Holy Spirit.

However, one of the main points of our discussion was what we’d talked about the previous week: How does God guide us? How does the Holy Spirit let us know His will? How can I live in such a way that I know I’m going to be victorious as a Christian?

We will understand and know His guidance the more we SUBMIT ourselves completely to Christ, but what we discovered afresh last night was, the more you submit yourself to God, the more you begin to realise how just un-submitted we really are. And therefore, how much we need God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, cleansing, power and presence every single day.

THE WALK OF GENUINE FAITH:

  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WILLS: God’s Will and Our Will. 
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of DESIRES: God’s desires and our own sinful desires.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of WANTS: What God wants and what we want.
  • The Walk of genuine faith in Jesus really is a battle of PLEASURES: What pleases God and what pleases us. 

Thankfully our wills, desires, wants and pleasures change as we submit ourselves to Jesus and seek the fullness of Holy Spirit, but then as we go on in the walk of faith, they sneak back into our souls, sometimes, undetected.

Thankfully Holy Spirit reveals our condition: He’s a gentle Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ, but he’ll not leave you, those who’ve received Him as Lord, in a condition of sin for very long. His heart’s desire is that you become more and more like Him: Holy, righteous, good and faithful.

When we follow our heart’s desires, wills, wants and pleasures instead of or in-spite of God’s revealed will, we become like an Adulterer: Unfaithful to the one who’s loved us.

James 4:4-10 (NIV)
4  You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (We become friends of the world when we do worldly things that God hates).
5  Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?
6  But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
7  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8  Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
9  Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
10  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

When Holy Spirit shows you your condition, He does not do it to make you feel guilty, but to bring you back, to stop you falling, to keep you on track with God’s good plan for your life. However, just like Adam and Eve hid in the garden when they sinned against God, our NATURAL tendency is to hide too, we want to cover it up, pretend it never happened, keep it in the darkness. As God looked for and called for Adam and Eve, he’ll be doing the same with you and me by His Spirit. “Adam, where are you?” … “Eve, come out of hiding”…. Notice what happens when we respond to the pull of the Spirit, when we draw near to God, “He draws near to us”. What grace, what love, what amazing mercy.

Encouragement:

  • Submit yourself to God:
  • Resist the devil (the worldly attractions, temptations and pleasures),
  • Come Near to God: When we draw nearer to God (Nearer my God to Thee)… He comes bounding towards us in Spirit. “He will come near to you”…
  • Wash, Purify, Grieve, Mourn, Cry: i.e. feel what God feels because of your sinful wills, desires, wants and pleasures and mourn about it. Decide in your hearts that you want to be cleansed and set-free again.
  • WHEN: When you submit, resist, draw near, wash, grieve and mourn and cry: i.e. HUMBLE yourself towards God: He WILL LIFT YOU UP.
  • WHAT IF?: What if I’ve failed again? What if I keep falling? My friends, if you feel guilty then you are in a good place, because God’s not giving up on you. It’s when you stop feeling guilty and keep sinning you should really start to worry, because “God resists the proud”. However, if you feel the sorrow of a sinner’s heart, then you will receive from the Lord “MORE GRACE” James 4:6.
  • Remember Psalm 103:12. When you come in true confession and contrition (sorrow for sin), then God takes your sins away from you and FORGETS all about them, as if they never happened.

Psalm 103:11-13 (NIV)
11  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him;
12  as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13  As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;

The Holy Spirit’s Intense Jealousy:

James 4:5 “Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?”

The Holy Spirit, that God caused to LIVE IN US, “Envies Intensely”: i.e. He’s jealous for God’s Glory and your own goodness in the Christian life. There’s an intense feeling of JOY when we walk in step with the Spirit.

FOUNTAIN OF LIFE:

The Holy Spirit: Becomes in us (Inside Us) a SPRING or FOUNTAIN… i.e. we get filled up with the Holy Spirit from within… It’s not external, but internal filling we need. Some people erroneously, mistakenly, foolishly “Call Down” the Holy Spirit, but how can you call down someone who’s already there? He is in you if you are saved by Jesus. You are full of Holy Spirit, but we leak… All we need is a greater filling, more of His fullness, more LORD!…. “Go on being filled with the Spirit” Ephesians 5:8-18.

Awesome! Because when God lifts you up, you’re going to have one of those MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCES.

Focus on God’s desires, focus on Jesus, focus on His awesome tender compassion, kindness and love.

  • He give GRACE to the Humble.
  • He RESISTS the Proud.
  • The Spirit’s Presence is like a FOUNTAIN.
  • Go on being filled… i.e. every day. 

Amen!

Don.

Worship: Wonderful Grace.

The Fragrance of Life or The Stench of Death

The World hated Jesus, don't be surprised when it hates you too

Daily Spirit & Word: 708: Smell: Life or Death

Dear Christian Don’t Be Surprised.

“If the World Hated Jesus, that it hates you too.”

When you are not surprised or shocked, then you’ll be able to LOVE them and LEAD them to Jesus.

Good morning my friends. On Good Friday (This Friday) we’re going on a Walk of Witness through the streets of London. We’re walking like in Triumphal Procession, because of what Christ Jesus did for us upon the Cross. But don’t be Surprised or Shocked that the World doesn’t like it one little bit, because;

to ONE: We are the Smell of Death.
to Another: We are the FRAGRANCE of LIFE…

2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (NIV) “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17 Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.”

To those who don’t yet know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour, Master and Friend, then my dear friends, don’t be shocked or surprised that to them, we who do love the Lord are like a bad smell of death under their noses.

Dead Mother’s Day Flowers: Yesterday my wife finally began throwing out some of her Mother’s Day flowers, she just loves to get lots of flowers on Mother’s Day, but the water in one of the containers was reeking really bad. As I took them up to the compost heap, I got some of the liquid on my hands, then inadvertently rubbed my nose, it stank. No I mean it really, really was STINKING. I had to run into the house quickly and wash my face off… Yuckkkkyyyyyy….

To the people of this world who’ve yet to submit their lives over to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we Christians are just like that bad smell under my nose. Yesterday, I wanted to get away from that smell as quickly as I could, but I couldn’t because it was right under my nose, right under it… And it’s because followers of Jesus are like a bright shining light, which reminds the world of God’s righteousness, of their sin, of their need to get right with God, that we are that bad smell of death.

I don’t know if you’ve ever smelt a dead animal or person before, but it’s a horrible stink. It’s the kind of smell you’ll never forget and it stays with you for a long time. Even after you’ve had a bath, you’re imagination thinks you can still smell it on you. “The smell of death” what a horrible thing for the Bible to say… The Lord told me the other day, “Donald, you stink”… I said “What do you mean Lord”… then I Googled, stinking people in the Bible… Google is amazing… But so is God’s Word: It’s the TOP ranking Google search every single day. People want to know what the Bible says about stuff. I don’t know if Google will admit that???? But when I searched “Stinking People In The Bible” Google came up with some astonishing things.

When I did that search I came across a sermon by John McArthur about Lazarus: A man in the Bible who’d died and was dead four days, at the end of those four long days, Lazarus body had begun to decay and was stinking…

So my friends, do not be surprised if this world hates you as much as it hated the Lord Jesus Christ.

One of the reasons it hates you is because you do not belong to this world.

You are an alien and a stranger in this world, you’re just passing through. Just like those poor Syrian refugees who’re passing through Greece and Macedonia to get to Germany and the rich countries of the North. You are passing through to get to your own rich Homeland, Heaven. So you don’t belong to this world and it hates you because you are not one of it’s citizens. But you are an Ambassador of Heaven: An Ambassador has Diplomatic Immunity in this world. Praise be to God.

Jesus warned us that this world will hate us:

John 15:18-21 (NIV)
18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
20 Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me.

The reasons why the World Hates Christians are too numerous to mention, but it’s mainly because they’re not ONE with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

BUT, WAIT, THERE’S GOOD NEWS TOO:
Because, we are also, “THE AROMA OF CHRIST”

Yet to those who are being saved, we are the wonderful aroma of Christ.

Do you like wonderful aromas?

  • Like cooking bread in the morning.
  • Like freshly brewed coffee.
  • Like the smell of cakes baking in the oven, WONDERFUL all over the house.
  • Like the smell of onions on a cold day.
  • Like the smell of roses on a warm Summer’s day,
  • Like the fragrance roasting lamb… (Join with us tomorrow night as we celebrate the Lord’s Last Supper with Roasted Lamb)…
  • Like a bacon sandwich with crispy grilled bacon.

We are the aroma of Christ to those who are on their way to Salvation.

But just a little word of warning, we shouldn’t be surprised when the WORLD hates us, but loves those who tell them they are OK.

CAUTION: THE WORLD LOVES FALSE PROPHETS…

“If you belong to the world, it will love you as it’s own” John 15:19.

It loves pretend ministers who’ll assure them “everything is OK between you and God” when they are really far away from God, cut off because of their sinful condition.
It loves pretend ministers who’ll give false hope, false assurance and a false Gospel. “Just believe in Jesus” Satan loves false converts because He knows they are headed for Hell to be with Him forever. You see my friends, it’s possible to believe in Jesus and not be SAVED.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+7%3A21-23&version=NIV

Matthew 7:21-23 (NIV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’
23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

I witnessed this, a false prophet, with my own eyes the other day. Deep in my heart I grieved for those to whom false assurance was delivered. Thankfully, I’d shared about the need for; repentance, faith and trust in Jesus beforehand. The TRUTH is always stronger than fiction or false hope. Yet I also noted the nodding heads of people in the crowd who’d been won over by the false messages of “Being OK with God already”… The people of this world, those who belong to the world, LOVE messages that will massage their false hope and foolish thinking that God accepts all people, no matter what they’re like. He will not, because one reading of Jesus words in the Bible will correct that false assumption, i.e. “Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven” Matthew 7:21.

“Peace, Peace, when there is NO PEACE” Jeremiah 6:13-14. The eternal cry of the FALSE Prophet and FALSE Convert… They imagine they are at peace with God, when in reality their sins have cut them off from the Living God. Nobody can enter into Heaven covered in sin, sin contaminates and has the stench of death upon it, “The soul who sins will die” Ezekiel 18:20….. Not speaking of mortal death, but eternal death and confinement in Hell. It’s no wonder that Christians have the fragrance of death to those who refuse to repent and trust the Saviour. If a person’s name is not written in the Lambs book of life, they will be cast into the lake of fire with Satan and all his demons. Revelation 21:27 (NIV) “Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

How do we know if we are SAVED? Mark 1:15. Have you; forsaken sin, repented of sin, turned and trusted in Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sin and Salvation from Sin? He died upon the Cross to make your forgiveness possible, but it’s not automatic, we’re not forgiven just because we believe He died for sins of the world. Even Satan believes that, but we are forgiven when we repent of those sins and trust (take) Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Then we can be born of God’s Spirit… When you receive Christ as Lord, the Holy Spirit comes in and takes up residence in your life, giving you new life, new hope and new beginning with God. You’ll KNOW if you’ve been born of the Spirit of God. He really does give you a PEACE that the World cannot understand or accept. John 1:12-13, John 15, John 17.

We live in a world that hates righteousness, it hates God’s standards of goodness and morality, and it hates those people whom the Lord has chosen out of this world to a better life, a life that says, “NO! to the world’s ways of living” Ephesians 5:8. Those who respond to His call to go forth and proclaim the Good News are either; the smell of death or the fragrance of life. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17.

You are the fragrance of LIFE to those whom the Lord is saving.

He’s calling people to faith and trust in Jesus Christ, those people who are going to be saved will smell a sweet fragrance when you proclaim the Good News. You are like their FAVOURITE Scent.

So no matter who you are dear Christian, you STINK, either in a nice way or a bad way, but you STINK all the same.
Be a really good stinky sheep of the Good Shepherd today, and determine in your heart that you’ll be obedient to His Command and share the light, share the Good News that can bring life to the dead. The people of this world are those whom Isaiah talked about, “The People walking in Darkness …” Isaiah 9:2.  They’ll see a GREAT LIGHT when you proclaim the Gospel. Faith comes by hearing the Good News about Jesus. Romans 10:17.

Yes this world will hate you, but there are a few who’ll be SAVED, by the words that can bring life to the dead. You smell of death, not your own stench, but it’s the DEATH that they’ll experience if they were to die in their sins, that’s what the world smells my friends their own stench of death upon their flesh. “He Stinketh Lord” John 11:39 KJV.  No wonder it hated Christ and if it hated Christ, then be sure of this, the world will hate you too, if you belong to Christ. John 15:18-21.

It’s my hope and prayer that we’ll all see many people coming out of the darkness into His wonderful light. It’s always a great joy when a sinner repents and trust the Saviour and we see a transformed life. However, don’t be surprised or shocked if the world hates it when you proclaim Jesus Christ as the only way to be saved in the world today. It hates that message with a vengeance. Yet Jesus declared boldly, “I AM the way, and the Truth and the Life, no man can come to the Father but by me”… John 14.

So my friends, don’t be surprised or shocked that the world hates you, it’s because they don’t know the Father or the Son whom He sent upon His rescue mission. Love them into God’s Kingdom. Amen!

May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you, and I hope and pray that you have an awesome stinky day 🙂
Don.

P.S. I’ve not posted for a few days, because I needed to rest my hands. On Monday morning I couldn’t grip anything, my hand was in agony. On Tuesday (Yesterday) morning it swelled up and was hot. Today, Wednesday, it’s almost back to normal and I can type again. I thank that Lord for His healing. I thank my brother Matthew, a member of my fellowship whom I asked to pray for healing. From that moment on it started to get better. Praise the Lord! If you have anything wrong with your body today, go to a brother or sister in Christ and get them to pray over you in the Name of Jesus Christ. Believe that the LORD Jesus Christ hears you when you pray in faith.

P.P.S If you are FREE tonight: Come and learn to share the Good News the way that Jesus did. We’re meeting at St Luke’s Church @5.00pm for training and then going out onto the streets of London to share the Good News of the Gospel with folks. It’s always awesome when we see how Jesus is with us as we go.

Don’t Be Surprised:

1 John 3:11-15 (NIV)
11
 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
12  Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.
13  Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.
14  We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers. Anyone who does not love remains in death.
15  Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.

 

The True Light Is Shining In The Darkness

Jesus Christ is still the LIGHT of the World.

Daily Spirit & Word; 656:

The True Light Keeps Shining In The Darkness.

Good morning my friends, have you noticed it’s getting DARK? Not just the physical darkness of night, the longest night in our calendar is approaching, but the ‘spiritual’ darkness. This year has been so dark, with thousands of thousands being displaced, leaving their homelands and heading for the obviously wealthy countries looking for basic human dignity; what did they find? Barriers, razor wire, barbed wire and a cold and hostile reception. We’ve had far too many killings; not just in warfare, but in the most cowardly terrorist attacks; Paris and schools in America. In the UK we’ve escaped relatively unscathed, but we’ve got ours coming too, because we’ve abandoned God’s holy standards of morality and profaned His gift of marriage, we’ve let confused and deluded people live with the feeling that they are the wrong sex, living in the wrong body, instead of assuring them that God knew what He was doing when He made them male and female, as He knitted them together in their mother’s womb (Psalm 139), be assured His swift judgement will come upon our land too.

Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

How are followers of Jesus meant to keep the light shining?

We are to live and declare God’s Truth with Love:

Truth mingled with LOVE: We must “Say it as it is” but we must do so in the most loving ways we can. There’s no point in upsetting people or making them angry, because they’ll already be angry with us anyway, because God’s ways are not the ways of the people of this world who have yet to see and know the light. God’s ways seem to them; harsh, abrasive, rough, unyielding, intolerant. The world asks: “Why on earth does God’s Word say Homosexuality is a perversion? Surely it’s “My Choice” that counts? Why does God’s Word say murder is wrong? When the baby in my womb, at this time in my life, is so inconvenient, it’s “My freedom of choice” that counts and I can plan my parenthood as I like.” My friends, the world wants to go it’s own way, but God so LOVED the world, He sent His SON to bring them back to Himself.

We must SPEAK UP, but we must speak up in LOVE.

Ephesians 4:14-16
14  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
15  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Speaking the Truth, even in the most loving ways will provoke a very strong and angry response from the world, because it’s already made up it’s mind that it’s not going God’s way any longer.

Well the world can stick it’s fingers up to God and stick them in their ears and cover their eyes all they like; but God’s Word, the True Light will keep on shining in this spiritual darkness. Our God doesn’t change like the shifting shadows, He is the same; yesterday, today and forever.

Malachi 3:5-7
5  “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud labourers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
6  “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
7  Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’

Our Lord Jesus Doesn’t Change Either:

Hebrews 13:8 “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.”

God’s standards do NOT CHANGE just because the world calls evil good or perverse ways pure, the Bible’s teachings, God’s Word, will always remain.

How are we to help those who are living and convinced the ‘Spiritual Darkness’ they are living in is good?

The Gospel: It’s the POWER of God for SALVATION.

  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not miracles alone that will save them, it’s the Gospel.
  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not mincing our words that will save them, but the TRUTH: “Know the TRUTH and the truth shall set you free”. (But always share the truth with LOVE and respect).
  • If they are going to be saved, it’s not going to be by STRENGTH: We cannot force people against their will (that just gets their backs up, it raises their hackles, producing a fearful and angry response).  Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
  • If we are going to KEEP God’s Light Shining we need to stay filled with God’s Holy Spirit, stay close to Jesus (John 15), do what Jesus did and in HIS POWER, might and strength, through the Holy Spirit of God, we will work miracles to draw people to Jesus.

If you, dear follower of Jesus, want to bring your loved ones, the friends and neighbours and the people of this world to Jesus, then you are going to be even more full of the Holy Spirit of God: When you are filled you are going to be even more loving like Jesus, powerful like Jesus, full of joy, like Jesus. You will KEEP SHINING THE LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.

Romans 5:5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

This Christmas; Jesus Christ is STILL: The Light Of The World.

  • He brings light into the spiritual darkness and chaos.
  • He bring hope and healing.
  • He brings love and acceptance.
  • He brings joy and peace.
  • He brings satisfaction and delight.

People in DARKNESS: Need the light of Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

JESUS IS THAT LIGHT

Isaiah 9:6-7
6  For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
7  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and for ever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

Isn’t that awesome, “A child is born, a son is given”: He will be called; “Mighty God”… Jesus is the LIGHT and He’s also “Mighty God”…

  • Pray: That many more people will see the LIGHT of Jesus this Christmas.
  • Pray: That God’s people on this earth will keep shining as LIGHT for Jesus.
  • Pray: That the DARKNESS will never overcome the LIGHT. Amen!

Hope all my friends and followers have a WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS with Jesus Christ,

HE is that TRUE LIGHT, THAT STILL SHINES IN THE DARKNESS.

Don.

 

How to ‘THINK’ God’s Way.

how to think God's Way

Daily Spirit & Word: 619: How To ‘THINK’ God’s Way.

He’s Encouraging You Today: Your Anxiety is Going to Be Removed: Peace will come into your heart and mind today.

 

Philippians 4:6-9
6  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Good morning my friends, I hope you remembered to put your clocks back an hour. It’s great to have an extra hour in bed once a year or an extra hour anyway. Imagine if they did it with a whole day? At midnight on a Saturday night, they decided to put the clocks back 24 hours so that it suddenly becomes midnight on a Friday… Wouldn’t that be brilliant? Or perhaps it would be better to do it on a Sunday, then for two days in a row we could gather together to worship the Lord. Which would you prefer? A Saturday shift or a Sunday? It’s never going to happen, but how we answer reveals something to us: How we would long to spend time and what our attractions in life are.

DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING

Following on from the teaching about DISASTER and learning not to WORRY, here, once again, we are reminded in such a loving way by the Lord through Paul not to get all anxious about anything.

I know, it’s easy to say, but so hard to do or to put into practice, but you can do it with the help of Jesus.

ANXIOUS: (Don’t Worry NLT and “Be Careful for nothing” KJV) Anxious in the NIV is a good choice of word.

Paul had already demonstrated to the Philippians exactly HOW to do what he revealing here: (Acts 16:16-40).

When in Philippi he and Silas were arrested, beaten severely and thrown into prison. What did he do? He and his companions began to sing and praise the Lord in the Prison. He could instead have been worried, moaned about his bruises and bleeding, fretted over how long they would keep him in prison, but NO! Instead of being anxious about the situation, Paul begins to praise the LORD. So much praise that the chains fall-off and Prison Guard gets converted. Awesome example!

What are we to do when we’re experiencing PRESSURES IN LIFE?

“in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

The Philippian Christians were experiencing severe pressures at the time; from both those not yet converted and also within the fellowship.

How did Paul want them to learn not to be ANXIOUS?

  • By PRAYER: Talk to God about it.
  • By PETITION: Take all your troubles to Jesus.
  • With THANKSGIVING: Praise the Lord, Sing Hymns / Songs of Praise and Thanks.
  • PRESENT: “present your requests to God”… Lay them all out before the LORD.

What is is that you want God to do for you right now? Then pray, petition and thank Him, laying your requests at the feet of the King. He’ll take those requests to His heart, because you are his precious child and He loves you.

What happens once we do that? The Lord reveals through Paul what happens “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

That phrase ‘transcends all understanding’ jumps RIGHT out at me today. Once you’ve prayed, petitioned and thanked the Lord and presented your requests to Him, then such a peace will come into your heart and mind, that you’ll wonder how it’s possible even in dire straits not to be worried.

What happened to Paul and Silas when they were in Prison and they Praised the Lord? Their chains fell off (Acts 16:26) Notice it wasn’t just the chains of Paul and Silas that fell off that day, but also all the other prisoners chains fell of too and the Guard came to know the Lord Jesus Christ that night as well. AWESOME… You are going to have such a PEACE when you take your troubles to Jesus. It will be a PEACE that will bring comfort to your heart and mind. It will be a PEACE that will also impact the lives of those around about you too.

THE WORLD WORRIES: THE WORLD GETS ANXIOUS.

To the world, we should always be worried, but you’ll experience a DIVINE PEACE in the midst of the storm.

Instead of loosing your head, running around like a headless chicken, flapping and getting into a state, you’ll be in a state of complete PEACE. HOW? Because you’ve taken it all to the LORD and then the floodgates of heaven have opened-up and drenched your heart with His PEACE… JOY UNSPEAKABLE floods your soul. and suddenly; worry, anxiety, drama is removed and you are at PEACE.

It’s such an amazing feeling: I’ve had that so many times in life my friends: When disaster strikes, and it will, every follower of Jesus Christ can sail through the storm, when every other ship would run for a safe harbour, the Christian can ride the storm in PEACE. Yes storms will come, but perhaps the LORD is teaching you in the STORM that you can still be a complete PEACE of heart and mind.

Once you are at PEACE: Your thinking will be transformed: You’ll be able to THINK like a BELIEVER: “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Philippians 4:9.

True, Noble, Right, Pure, Lovely, Admirable, Excellent, Praisworthy: Think, dwell upon, meditate, concentrate, ponder about these things.

It’s like when you hear a great piece of news, passing it on to others, thinking deeply about it.

Our society tends to do completely the opposite of this advice the Lord has given us through Paul: It thinks, dwells upon, meditates, concentrates and ponders; disasters, murders, thefts, floods, market crashes, broken toys, who’s leaving who, gossiping, etc… That’s how the world thinks: Watch the BBC News: There’s not much focus upon the TRUTH, NOBLE things in life, Right, Pure, Lovely or Admirable or Praiseworthy things. Normally, they’ll have just ONE feel-good story as a short tag at the end of the news broadcast. It’s as if the STORMS in the world and around about us are more important than ALL the good that’s going on. It’s NOT!

I’m sure there are many more wholesome things that could be getting far more attention. Imagine if they had a live-broadcast of people helping out at the foodbank? or if they were to be there with a camera when you didn’t respond with road-rage, but let the other driver out or overtake. The Camera always seems to focus upon the STORMS in life instead.

Remember the Song / Hymn: “I Surrender All”?

All to Jesus I surrender, I surrender all.

Oh my friends, let us take it ALL to Jesus right now.

All our troubles, fears, worries and anxieties in life.

Let’s be different from the World:

Lets dare to be different and even when disaster, hardship or trouble does come our way, then we will be able to sail through the storm in complete peace of heart and mind in Jesus, because we’ve taken them immediately to Jesus: with prayer, petition and thanksgiving. Perhaps, like Paul and Silas, we’ll see those chains fall off ourselves and all those living around about us too.

Prayer: We all know friends, family and neighbours who’re going through storms at the moment. Let’s pray for them now and encourage them to take their troubles to Jesus:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know you want us to bring EVERYTHING we’re going through in life to You. Please help us to learn to let go and let You deal with the storm. It’s hard to take our eyes off the waves Lord, but we know that when we present all our troubles to you, the storms will die down and we will be a peace in our heart and mind today. We know that it will be in such a way that it will transcend all understanding. Help us to pray Lord! Help us all to let go!” In Your Name, Lord Jesus, we pray. Amen!

Have an awesome Sunday, fully rested, praising the Lord.

PEACE in the LORD!

Don.

 

Knowing Your Enemies: The World.

A Christian faces three enemies on the battlefield

Daily Spirit & Word 566: Know Your Enemies: The World.

Good morning my friends, it’s amazing but true that when you begin following the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ, you come under attack from His ememies. Who would want to be an ‘enemy’ of the Lord Jesus? And why would anyone or anything want to take a stand against someone soooo loving, soooo kind, soooo gentle?

Well the truth is as a follower of Jesus Christ you have entered a Battlefield.

On a Battlefield, the missiles are exploding, guns are blazing, bombs are falling and booming, and casualties are mounting. Our first and natural inclination is to get off the Battlefield and save ourselves, but as a Christian you can’t.

As the wisest of Generals know, we should never underestimate our Enemies, but we need to know something from the off: Jesus is the WINNER of this Battle, but the Enemies will just not accept it yet. Satan has been defeated, when Jesus died upon the Cross, rose again from the Dead and Ascended into Heaven: So Satan now runs around like a wounded lion, but as you know a wounded lion is sometimes more dangerous and desperate than an uninjured lion.

Followers of Jesus need to know their Enemies: It’s been said that we have THREE major enemies: The World, The Flesh and The Devil.

Lets take them in turn over three studies:

Your First Enemy: “The WORLD”.

You might object about that, as I did, because isn’t the World that God made a beautiful and stunning place? I do love this amazing and awesome world and all that God has provided for our enjoyment. However, there is something that not quite ‘right’ with God’s Created World: Part of the Created World is Polluted: I’m not talking about Carbon emissions or global warming or nuclear waste though, but the pollution is; rebellion, rejection of God as King.

It’s that polluted part of God’s Good Creation that is in Rebellion against Him: That World System that loves the Darkness and Hates the Light:

John 3:18-21  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
19  This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil20  Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21  But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.” 

Everyone: Who does EVIL hates the Light (Jesus).

The World System that hates Jesus is “EVERYONE” who does EVIL.

What is EVIL?

You might say, well I’m not ‘EVIL’: Simply put, ‘evil’ is rejection of God and all that’s good. We do ‘evil’ when we; lie, steal, cheat, lust, disobey our parents, covet (inordinate desire of things of this world) and blaspheme God (by using God’s name or Jesus Christ as a swear word). Now we know what the Evil World is: But there’s more….

However, we don’t really know the full effects of the sinful decisions that Adam and Eve made in the Garden of Eden and how that decision has infected every human soul since. We’re born into that same kind rebellion, we’re born on the opposite side, we’re born opposing Jesus, we’re born an enemy of the LIGHT.

Whenever anyone comes into the Light it’s as if they are like those who escaped from Communism during the Cold War: They had to sneak out of Russia or those Eastern Block countries that were part of the Russian Federation. The were called “Defectors“: When you come over to Jesus camp, when you come across over to the side of light, you are defecting against the rule and reign of Satan and the world system under his authority.

Evil is what we are when we are born: Because we’re born into sinful rebellion against the Creator and His wishes. We’re in the camp of the enemy until we defect (Repent and Trust in Jesus side).

We’re Born LOVING Rebellion:

Just as the Russians viewed Defectors as Enemies of the State: So Satan and his world system views everyone who comes over to the side of Jesus as Enemies: So your first enemy is the World (Governed by it’s Ruller: Satan). It’s the Evil World System, but not the world that God Created Good. (Hope you can now see how the world is polluted?).

What is this Rebellious World Like:

We know what living in rebellion against God is like, if we’ve traveled from the Darkness into the Light: We must have come through the darkness ourselves, we must have passed over into the light or we would not be Christians, we would not be followers of Jesus yet.

From DARKNESS to LIGHT: From Satan’s Evil World Order to the Rule and Reign of King Jesus.

Isaiah 9:2  “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. “

Remedy: The Soul that Seeks The Light:

“The People Walking In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light”

It’s like there’s light, hope, joy, love, peace at the end of a long-dark-tunnel.

Those Defecting from Russia were escaping a cruel and hard Dictatorial Communist regime and crossing over to freedom in the free Western world governed by Human rights ruled by Democracy.

A Christian is Defecting: A world system ruled by Satan, who wants to enslave people and keep them in bondage. He wants to blind people so that they cannot see the light. He wants to keep people in Darkness and ignorance of their true condition.

Isaiah and John wrote the same thing;

In John’s Gospel we get a clear indication of How we can know the difference between the Kingdoms of Light and Darkness:

John 1:1-13
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jesus is God).
2  He was with God in the beginning. (Jesus is the Eternal God).
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (Jesus is the Creator).
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men. (Jesus GIVES life to everyone).
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. (Jesus came into the world).
6  There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. (John the Baptist).
7  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe.
8  He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
9  The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. 
10  He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him.
11  He came to that which was his own (the Jewish People), but his own did not receive him.
12  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— (Every Christian who comes over into Jesus side in this battle becomes a child of God).
13  children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (The Holy Spirit of God brings about the new birth, you are born-again into God’s Eternal Family when you trust in Jesus Christ for Salvation or when you defect out of Satan’s World System)

The DARK Night Of The Soul: In this amazing and difficult book, John of the Cross reveals the dilemma for mankind; crossing over from Darkness into the Light: He calls it’

“Dark Night Of The Soul:”  goes on to say; “We may say that there are three reasons for which this journey made by the soul to union with God is called night. The first has to do with the point from which the soul goes forth, for it has gradually to deprive itself of desire for all the worldly things which it possessed, by denying them to itself; the which denial and deprivation are, as it were, night to all the senses of man. The second reason has to do with the mean, or the road along which the soul must travel to this union — that is, faith, which is likewise as dark as night to the understanding. The third has to do with the point to which it travels — namely, God, Who, equally, is dark night to the soul in this life. These three nights must pass through the soul — or, rather, the soul must pass through them — in order that it may come to Divine union with God.

Ascent of Mount Carmel.”

The Three:

Worldly Things: Love for the world and it’s pleasures, the sensual world, the rebellious world.

FAITH: Darkness, we don’t naturally possess faith. We don’t naturally understand faith.

God: We’re not born knowing God, we know that He exists, but we don’t know Him personally, we’re born estranged from God, we’re born in Darkness needing the light of faith and Jesus before we can ever see the light and cross over from the Darkness of this world into His Kingdom of light.

There’s nothing wrong with the things of this world, but it’s our inordinate affection for them: We want the world too much. We want to possess the world and have it all for ourselves, but this inordinate affection is nothing short of Idolatry: Making the World our God: Loving the World more than the Creator who made it.

Escape: The Bible tells us the Christian has escaped the ‘corruption of the world’.

2 Peter 1:3-4 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

So we need to say, “Goodbye” to the World System and it’s Ruler.

The first enemy is the World for the Christian, the next Enemy is our own flesh and our arch-enemy is Satan.

PRAYER: Oh Lord Jesus Christ, we’ve seen today just how important it is to know about our enemies. Today we’ve thought about the fact that when we are born, we’re born into a world system that is in rebellion against You. Lord Jesus, since I’ve come over to Your side by believing and trusting in You as my Lord (KING) and Master, please help me to live in this world, knowing that I’m part of a different Kingdom, that I am Your Ambassador Lord, please help me to represent You with love, gentleness, faithfulness and honour today. Please keep me from loving this world so much that I’m falling away from You. I don’t want to have an inordinate affection for this world Lord, so help me to LOVE YOU with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Thank You Lord for setting me free from the World and letting me see the awesome light of Your Kingdom. Amen.

Have an Awesome Saturday in the Kingdom of the KING of Kings my friends.

Don.

NOTE: The Gospel Good NEWS of Jesus.

Discover: The Spirit Filled Christian Life.

 

The Christian’s Call To Holiness Today

The Christians's Call To Holiness

Daily Spirit & Word: 551: The Christian’s Holiness Today.

“There will come a time when the love of most will grow cold.”

Good morning my friends, I’m so sad that I couldn’t post yesterday. However, I’m re-assured by some of you who’ve been telling me that’s it’s given you a chance to catch-up on some of my writings. I know it’s HARD to follow, when someone writes as I do, sooooooo much 🙂 You’ll find countless, hundreds of other daily devotionals that are much shorter, more pithy and pointed. You’ll get a truth from them that will sustain you for a day or a whole week. Praise the LORD for them! I also read some of them too. However, I’m not called by the LORD to be short or concise. Sometimes, I’ll be short, but mostly, I just share what the LORD has put upon my heart to share.

 Matthew 24:9-14
9   “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.
10  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,
11  and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.
12  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,
13  but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.
14  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

THE LOVE OF MOST WILL GROW COLD

Today, the Lord Jesus is speaking to me (personally) about Holiness. How He called me and every Christian to be Holy. Now holiness is NOT easy, especially as we live in a fallen world, where the love of most for the things of God has gone completely cold, even amongst the churches. It seems to me that the world and the church have fallen away from the high calling of Jesus Christ in the new testament to be a holy people. However, there are a few faithful left, but the world and the worldly church hate them, because we stand out like a sore thumb. It’s evident to the world today who the true followers of Jesus Christ are; because they will not go along with the ways of the world, they love the Lord and His Word too much for that. But in doing so, in being committed to living according to Jesus teachings, they’ve become targets. Nobody likes to be singled out or viewed as different or odd, yet that’s exactly what Jesus warned His own disciples they would become or be to the world and the worldly church.

FOR INSTANCE: Reverend Melvin Tinker:

He is a Minister in the province of York who protested about the blessing and prayers offered by the staff of York Minster for the ‘Gay Pride Parade’. His public protest hit the headlines and even reached Parliament. He was ridiculed on the BBC and by the Prime Minister, because he dared to stand up for God’s standards revealed in the Bible about morality. The world really does hate the saints when we declare boldly God’s standards of holiness and life.

The LOVE (Holiness, Devotion, Dedication and Faithfulness) of MOST will grow cold.

If Jesus was physically upon the earth today, I’m convinced that He would shout loudly and say, “The End IS Near: Repent and turn to God and walk in Holiness: Judgement is imminent”.

His call has always included a sacrifice from those who respond; the sacrifice for sins is finished with in His own blood upon the Cross, but the sacrifice He expects in return is death to self (selfishness, self-determination, self-will). Jesus’ call is for ALL His followers (Disciples) is to BE Holy. Romans 12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.”

Holiness of LIFE:

It’s living a separated life. That’s what HOLY means:

The word translated ‘Holy’ in the Greek of the New Testament is ‘Hagios’ (Scottish Christians love that, because it reminds them of their favourite food ‘Haggis’).

Hagios: Is translated in three main ways:

  • Holy: 161 times.
    Saints: 61 times.
    Holy One: 4 times.
    Miscellaneous translations 3
  • [Total Count: 229] Strong’s Talking Greek & Hebrew Dictionary.

The Temple Was Holy: (Because of God’s presence in God’s Holy Place).
The Jewish People Were Holy: (Because He made them Holy by selecting them out from among all the people on Earth).
The Christian Is Called To Be Holy: (Because God the Holy Spirit lives in the Believer: 1 Corinthians 6:19-20)
The Christian Is NOW Part of God’s Holy Called-Out People:

1 Peter 2:9-12 “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
10  Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11  Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
12  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”

God’s calling His Church and Jesus calling His Followers (Disciples) to BE HOLY.

William Barclay said; “In the first days of Christianity there was a glory and a splendour, but now Christianity had become a thing of habit, “traditional, half-hearted, nominal.” Barclay’s Daily Study Bible (NT).

William Barclay was not writing about the state of the church today, but the state of the church by the end of the first century. He was commenting upon the state of affairs that the Apostle John was writing to address at the end of his life in his first Epistle ‘1 John’. A ‘nominal’ Christian is one who loves being religious, but his ‘religion’ doesn’t affect his behaviour in the world. He lives like everyone else in society. He’s become a false-convert that Jesus warned about in the Parables; someone who has a form of holiness, but doesn’t live according to his professed belief. John said that a person like that, who “Claims to walk in the light, but continues to sin, cannot have fellowship with God” i.e. He cannot really be converted, the Holy Spirit has never done His work of conversion upon that person’s heart.

What is it that makes many half-hearted, false-believers fall away from their half-hearted ‘nominal’ form of Christianity? Jesus tells us clearly; “Because of the increase of wickedness…” Matthew 24:12. Be sure of this, no true believer will ever fall away from Jesus Christ, only those who were false-converts to begin with.

Romans 8:35-39
35  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
36  As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37  No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NOTHING can or will be able to separate the true follower of the Lord Jesus Christ for their Master: NOTHING.

However, there will be a pull, a tugging of the heart-strings and a war of the Saints: Because nobody likes to live at odds with those around them. Compromise and half-hearted responses to worldly ways (just like York Minster’s response to the Gay Pride Parade) will be the condition of MOST, but not all. There will always be few who’ll remain faithful to the Lord, His Word and His Teachings until He returns.

His call to you and me is “BE HOLY”.

But the Christians’ response, because our nature has been transformed by the Holy Spirit, is to welcome holiness as a way of life, it’s not a burden, it’s a strong inward desire to live in accordance to the will of God. Our Spirit, will and desires are in line with His, we want to be walking as Jesus walked. We are daily being transformed into the likeness and character of the Lord Jesus Christ. We’re going to become; more loving, good, pure, holy, happy, joy-filled, peaceful, righteous, forgiving, patient, kind, generous, giving, gentle and self-controlled. What a wonderful full and abundant life we’ve been called to and set-apart for, but it’s not going to be EASY as the world moves further and further away from God’s revealed standards of holiness.

Holiness is NOT a lifestyle choice for Christians, it’s a loving response to His Call upon our lives.

Don’t be surprised that the world hates you because of what you believe and the way that you want to live for Jesus, because Jesus warned us all in advance that this is what it’s going to be like just before He comes back again. There will be an increase of wickedness (sinfulness) in the last days. That’s obvious is we watch the News for just a few moments. However, you, dear brothers and sisters, be strong and of good courage as you live in the last-days.

Praise the LORD because, despite it all, we can be FULL OF THE JOY OF THE LORD.

Be Holy, be ready, be full of the JOY of the Lord.

Don.

 

How to get your Glory Glow

Daily Spirit & Word, 469: How to get your Glory-Glow.

Come Up To The Mountain Top.

How to get your Glory-Glow.

Good morning my friends, it’s good to be up early today, it’s still dark outside and it’s drizzling, but it’s warm rather than the cold of winter. I love the smell of the fresh rain on the grass. The foxes scampered away today when I approached, they might have young pups again, but I’ve not seen them yet. I prayed the Lord’s prayer in the rain this morning 🙂

Now I’m back in my study and I’ve got one verse on my heart today;

Exodus 34:2 “Be ready in the morning to climb up Mount Sinai and present yourself to me on the top of the mountain.”

You’ve heard of Mountain-Top Experiences right? They are the moments in life when we’re overjoyed with something; it might be landing that dream job, getting pregnant, having a baby, getting engaged to your dream girl, your wedding day or the day you left college with a qualification. Each one of us has had at least one moment in life when we felt elated, full of high-spirited delight and it’s a truly awesome feeling.

Moses was invited to get ready early in the morning to climb up the mountain and be with the Lord. You know my friends, we’re invited too; every day we can get up early, get ready and climb up the mountain to be with the Lord. We don’t know how Moses felt, but we can imagine, however, we do know that Moses was not the same when he came back down the mountain, because he shone with the glory of the Lord. Moses got his glory glow.

You’ve received a Mountain Top Invite From The LORD.

How? How do we climb up a mountain when we live in the City or on the flat plain? How can I climb up the mountain when I’ve got five kids to look after? How can I climb up the mountain when I’m getting ready to go to work?

Oh my friends; if we were invited by our favourite artist, actor, singer or sports hero to come and spend some time with them, how eager would we be to be ready? to be there on time? to get as close to our favourite personality as we possibly could? I’d love to meet some of the ‘Stars’, but we must be careful what we wish for.

Once, whilst attending a Christian Conference in London at Westminster Hall, it was glorious and awesome. We’d been singing in the morning for about an hour; praising and worshipping the Lord, and then being fed with God’s word for over two hours. As we walked around the corner to look for a place to have some lunch you’ll never guess who I literally bumped into? It was my favourite comedian from the 1970’s, every time he walked onto the stage on TV I’d be rolling around the floor laughing, I love and laughed at his every move. To me he was just so funny, tears of joy would stream down my face watching him perform. And I longed to meet him to watch him live. Well here he was, I’d bumped into him. He was shorter than I imagined, he stank of booze and was unshaven, he could hardly string a sentence together and I felt so sorry for him. My STAR had faded, but he was still a human being, just a human being. His name? I’ll save him embarrassment for now.

I think the LORD was showing me something that day about the things we treasure and value and take delight in here on this earth. I’d just been praising the Lord and being fed by Him, I’m not joking, it was truly awesome to be in His presence with hundreds of other Christians, then I saw what worldly fame could do to an once great Nationally popular man. In my heart I knew right there and then, “What the LORD gives in praise, worship, adoration and when we give Him our undivided attention to His Word, far exceeds the glittering promises of this world”

It was already a habit of mine to get up early in the morning to be with the Lord, but now after that Conference and meeting my fallen hero, I was convinced that my eternal hero, my joy and delight was waiting for me every single day, and Jesus would enthral, enchant, enrapture me far more than anything the world could ever offer.

So for me, going out into the garden or the woods whilst it’s still dark to pray and walk with the Lord, then come back and praise Him and get into His Word is like Moses encounter on the Mountain Top: Except I can do it every single day, not matter where I am or what I’m tasked with doing that day. If I’ve got a lot on on any particular day, I’ll get up to be with the LORD even earlier. Why? Because once you start meeting with Jesus in the mornings, you’ll never really want the sun to come up. You’ll want those precious mountain-top moments to last for ever, but time ticks, the sun rises and the day approaches and we reluctantly leave the Master’s presence, but full of JOY and ready to face the day with our Glory Glow shining for the world to see.

This Mountain Top Invite is for you today, to come and meet with Jesus, meet with Him every day, to be filled with His presence and to know Him and experience the JOY He desires for your life, He’ll give you the Glory Glow.

Will you come? Will you come and worship the Lord on the Mountain Top?

Do it on the bus, on the train, in the car or as you walk to work.

Come up to the mountain top and experience the fullness of LIFE Jesus wants for you. As you praise Him, your Heart is going to be filled with His glory and you’ll come down from your Mountain Top just like Moses; radiant with the glory of the Lord. He got his glory-glow from being with the LORD and you will too my friends. It may not be obvious to everybody, but you’ll be transformed into the likeness of the Lord.

How’s your glory-glow today?

You may also wish to visit my NEW PAGE: Discover The Spirit Filled Life.

Have an truly AWESOME Tuesday on the Mountain-Top with the LORD.

You may like to sing along with these fantastic worship songs today: 10000 Reasons, This is my desire, Lord I give you my heart, To Be In Your Presence.


How to Get Your Glory Glow?

“Come Up To The Mountain Top and Present yourself to ME” says the LORD.

 

Jesus said, “I AM the Light of the World”

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Daily Spirit & Word. 138: Jesus said, “I AM the Light of the Word”.

“He who follows me will never walk in darkness” John 8:12.

Good morning my friends, what an absolutely glorious day yesterday; The SON was Shining; first at Dulwich Park with our grandchildren, sliding, climbing, swinging and ice-creams, then in the evening with one of our Old folks from St Luke’s Church, Sybil was celebrating her 90th Birthday with family and friends, I was invited to speak and open the evening in prayer. Sybil knows her Bible, and whenever I read with her, she mouths the verses along with me (I’ve got to read from the King James Version though). She’s got the light of Jesus in her and I always come away from her home more encouraged, blessed and strengthened in my own faith walk with Jesus. Oh my friends, how we need old saints who love the Lord.

Today we’re thinking again about Jesus and how He’s revealed to us by the Apostle John; we’re thinking about Chapter 8 where Jesus is revealing how He is the Light of the World. We’ll be discovering how that applies to us today and how much we need the light;

In John 8:12 we see that Jesus made; A GREAT CLAIM and A GREAT PROMISE.

John 8:12 (NIV) When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Introduction: Every human has a great need. However, they are not always aware of it, but the need is still there. Human beings are walking in the darkness. How?

⇒  Mankind cannot see into the future nor into the next world.

⇒  Mankind cannot see God, who He is and what He is like.

⇒  Mankind cannot see the real meaning, significance, and purpose of life.

⇒  Mankind cannot grasp perfect knowledge nor assurance of eternal life.

Therefore, man’s greatest need is to see “the Light of the world.”

Thankfully, the Greatest Need of Mankind is met by Discovering that Jesus Christ IS the LIGHT of the WORLD. Because when that need is met we get the awesome promises of God embedded into the depths of our souls; “We’ll never walk in darkness, and we will have the light of life.

Many old hymns have been written about the experience of OLD SAINTS who’ve suddenly come from the ‘Darkness into the LIGHT of Christ’. (See end of today’s message).

We also have many more hymns; of the experience of Living in the Light and Not walking in Darkness.

To see what life is like in the Light, we first need to peer into the Darkness, to see what life is like in the Darkness.

A Dire WARNING: In almost every chapter of John there are many revelations about who Jesus is and why he had come into the world, but equally there are also many promises in those chapters that encourage and strengthen our faith walk with Jesus. Crucially, there are also dire warnings in every chapter and John Chapter 8 has a warning for us too; listen now;

John 8:23-24 (NIV) But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world.

24  I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”

Jesus said, “I AM the light of the World” The Revelation.

Jesus said, “You will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” The Promise.

Jesus said, “If you do not believe in ME, you will indeed die in your sins” The Warning.

Man’s Greatest Need:

Is to discover that he’s in DARKNESS and NEEDS the LIGHT of the WORLD (Jesus Christ).

Man’s Greatest DANGER:

“To die in your sins”….

Satan’s Greatest Deception:

If we were to die in our sins, we would be going to the Judgement Day like this; Everybody that I’ve ever met, who’s in the Darkness, thinks they are ‘good enough’ to get into heaven. (That’s Satan’s most brilliant deception). They’ve been convinced first, that God is ‘good’ and ‘loving’ and ‘kind’. He’ll never send anyone to Hell, because a God of LOVE would never do anything as evil as sending someone to Hell, right? No my friends, Satan has deceived you and most of mankind into believing that God will not do that.

We’re going to Judgement Day: To appear before the Lord Jesus Christ (He’s the Judge); What are we trusting that will enable us to get into heaven on that day?

Our own Idolatrous God (one we’ve made that suits ourselves), He’ll not send us to hell. That’s a fiction, false notion and false foolish belief system.

Our own Goodness: Most people believe they are not that bad, that they’ve not done that much wrong, that they are good enough to get into heaven.

Our own Good Works: Most people on earth today believe that their ‘good deeds’ will earn them a place in Heaven. “Oh yes, I’ve done wrong, I’ve broken God’s commandments, but I’ve also done a lot of ‘good’ things too, surely God will look at my life and see that I’ve done far more good than evil” That’s what people in Darkness say and that’s what they believe.

No wonder Jesus gave us such a dire WARNING; “If you don’t believe in me, you will indeed die in your sins”… People in Darkness rely on themselves and false notions of God’s goodness, they don’t think that their sins are that bad, so they are prepared to risk it, prepared to go to God with their sins still on them, and justify themselves and plead their cause themselves.

It’s like going into the Highest Court in the Land and saying, “I don’t need a QC (Queen’s Council Lawyer / Advocate) I’ll represent myself”. How Foolish, the Prosecution would tear you to pieces.

We are all going into the Courtroom of Heaven one Day; We’ll stand charged with breaking God’s Moral LAWS and we’ll all be GUILTY even before we speak, because we’ve all broken God’s eternal LAWS (The Ten Commandments).

When Jesus said, “You will indeed die in your sins”, that’s what we will be doing. Self-Representation before a Holy and Righteous God. We’ll have the most brilliant Prosecution Council ever: They know we’re guilty and can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. We’ve ALL Broken God’s Holy Law. (Lying, stealing, cheating, coveting, lust (adultery), not keeping the Sabbath Holy, making a God to suit ourselves (Idolatry), not living God first and with all our heart.).

That’s what it’s like to live and walk in the Darkness. We’re fooled into thinking we’re OK. We’ll be judged by a holy and righteous God. What’s it like walking in the light?

The People Walking in the Light:

Isaiah 9:2-3 (NIV) “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. 3  You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as men rejoice when dividing the plunder.”

However, those people who’ve come into the light of Christ, who’ve believed, trusted and received Jesus Christ, are not walking in that Darkness anymore, they have been enlightened. They’ve seen that they are indeed sinners, they’ve broken God’s moral laws and deserve to die, they deserve God’s punishment for all their sins = Hell forever, but they’ve TRUSTED that Jesus Christ died upon the CROSS for their sins, they can now see much more clearly than ever before, their need for Jesus Christ. They now know that wonderful promise of Jesus; “You shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life”… They’ve got the light of life, they are living daily in that light and following Jesus Christ.

When people who’ve believed that Jesus is the LIGHT of the World appear before the Judgement seat of Christ, they know they’ll have not a QC but a KC… They’ll have the King himself as their own personal counsellor, they’ve already passed from Judgement into LIFE. They’ve been Judged already, because they’ve Accepted Jesus words, they know and believe that He is the Light of the World. They will never walk in darkness again, not for all eternity. They’ll be in the LIGHT of HEAVEN.

The only things they’ll be appearing at the Judgement Seat of Christ for are not for Judgement for Salvation; but for Promises of Rewards in Heaven. He’ll look at our walk since we’ve trusted in Him, and He’ll either reward us greatly in Heaven for all eternity or we’ll suffer some loss, but we’ll still be in Heaven. (How have you been investing in Heaven? Have you been storing up treasures here on Earth or are you investing in your Eternal Destiny?).

Oh how Glorious to be in the Light of Christ: We’ll know why were here in earth, we’ll discover our purpose in life, we’ll know what’s on the other side of this life on earth = Heaven forever. We’ll discover what life is all about when we’ve got Jesus, the Light of the World living on the inside of us. Have you got the LIGHT of the WORLD yet? Is He in you? Are you walking in the Light?

Mankind’s Greatest Need:

Is to see the light of Christ and to walk in the light. Is only met when we wake them up in the Darkness.

How can we do that?

If you saw a BLIND Man walking towards the edge of the cliff top at Beachy Head, would you sit there on the grass enjoying your picnic with the family and just let him slowly walk to his certain death? NO! Would you just sit a back and chomp on another sandwich and drink your juice as he slowly stumbled close to the edge? NO! Would you shout out to him; “Blind man, your heading towards a cliff edge” No! You get up, you’d throw your sandwich down, you run up to him and grab him and warn him, you shake him up in order to save his life.

My friends, countless millions of people are like that poor blind man, walking in darkness, walking towards certain death, they are all going to die in their sins, they are going to the judgement of Christ and they are going to go to Hell, because of their sins. Will we just sit back and enjoy the fact that we’re saved, that we’re OK that we’re going to Heaven? NO! If there is any compassion in us at all, we’ll be moved to shake them up, to open their blind eyes and let them see the light of Jesus Christ.

How, How can we open the eyes of people born in Darkness?

It’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ that can open their eyes and let them see the light.

But Satan had done a great job, he’s blinded the eyes of people, so that they can’t see:

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV) “The god of this age 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.”

Jesus IS; ‘The LIGHT of the WORLD’ but the world cannot see the LIGHT because they’ve been blinded, blinded from birth, they are in total darkness and headed for a great fall. They need to be stopped in their tracks.

As you share the GOSPEL, it’s the Good News of Jesus Christ; listen now; Romans 1:16 (NIV) “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

It’s the Gospel that IS the POWER of God to Salvation: People walking in DARKNESS can have their eyes opened, they can see the light of life, that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World, when we SHARE the GOSPEL with them.

Their GREATEST NEED can be met when you share the GOSPEL.

How do we do that?

Firstly, those of us who’ve seen the light, who’re walking in the light, must let the LIGHT shine in the darkness.

Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

14  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.

15  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.

16  In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

You’ve believed and trusted that Jesus Christ IS the Light of the World. You are not walking in the Darkness anymore, you have the light of life, so now you must ; “Let the light that is in you shine.” Jesus is in YOU, let Him shine His light on the lives of others who’re walking in Darkness. How? by your good deeds.

Secondly, Share the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus Christ; How he lived, how he died, why he died, how He’s come back from the dead and is now in Heaven, How he’s coming back one day to Judge all mankind. How people need to be SAVED by Jesus Christ. What His death upon the Cross was for; for our sins. How we can have all our sins washed away. How we can pass from Darkness into the Light, by trusting in Jesus, by receiving Jesus, by believing in Jesus Christ; THE LIGHT of the WORLD.

In that way, you’ll be shaking the blind man walking to certain death over the cliff edge of death and dying in their sins.

Conclusion:

I’d like to end by reviewing this sermon today;

People’s Greatest NEED is to see the LIGHT (Jesus IS the LIGHT of the World). Revelation.

God’s Greatest Promises: “You will not walk in DARKNESS, but will have the LIGHT of LIFE.”

God’s Greatest and MOST DIRE Warning: If people don’t accept the LIGHT they’ll die in their sins and face the judgement.

God’s Greatest Challenge: “Let your LIGHT Shine” “Share the GOSPEL”.

My friends, have you;

believed that Jesus is THE LIGHT of the WORLD?

are you walking in His Light right now?

Will you let your light shine and will you share the Gospel?

People are blind, heading for eternity still in their sins, have compassion and open their eyes. Amen.

God bless and keep you walking in the light, when you find you’ve been wandering in the darkness, repent and seek His forgiveness and continue in His light again. Let the light shine today and share His Good NEWS of the GOSPEL with those He puts across your path. They need to be snatched from the flames of Hell.

Don.

Two Hymns that can really help us focus upon this teaching of Jesus being; The Light of the Word.

Worship:

Two Hymns that can really help us focus upon this teaching today:

An Army of Ordinary People: by Dave Bilbrough.

Light of the World (Here I am to worship) by Tim Hughes.

Daily Word and Spirit can also be read at St Luke’s Church Facebook Page.[/fusion_text][three_fourth last=”yes” spacing=”yes” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” class=”” id=””][/three_fourth][flip_boxes columns=”3″ class=”” id=””][flip_box title_front=”Jesus is the Light of the Word” title_back=”Follow HIM” text_front=””I AM The Light of the Word”” background_color_front=”” title_front_color=”” text_front_color=”” background_color_back=”” title_back_color=”” text_back_color=”” border_size=”1px” border_color=”” border_radius=”4px” icon=”” icon_color=”” circle=”yes” circle_color=”” circle_border_color=”” icon_flip=”” icon_rotate=”” icon_spin=”yes” image=”” image_width=”35″ image_height=”35″ animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”1″]Whoever follows me shall never walk in darkness.[/flip_box][/flip_boxes]