Get Forgiven

 “Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.’” Romans 4:7.

Don’t be deceived into holding into things that are in the past. Jesus frees us from these wrong things that we have done in the past to set us free in the future. These things in the past that we have done wrong need not have hold on us now but we decide to change. We need to turn to Jesus who alone can forgive us and we need to make the decision to follow his ways and in making that decision, we are claiming the forgiveness that God offers through Jesus. 

“Blessed is the one whom God corrects;   so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty.”  Job 5:17

If you know that you’ve done things wrong and you haven’t asked God for his forgiveness, if you are in the habit of doing something that you know that is wrong, then it’s time to decide to change. If you’re holding on to wrong things that have been done for you and refusing to forgive, now it’s time to forgive. To decide to let that go and if we do that, if we don’t despise the chastening of the Almighty, we allow ourselves to be corrected if we decide to change and align ourselves with Jesus’ ways, then we will find that we will be happy.  If we find in other words the true fear of the Lord, we will have find true wisdom.

“Blessed is the one who always trembles before God, but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.” Proverbs 28:14

For examples of the wisdom in Proverbs listen to this episode of Daily Devotional Preaching.

Fear the Lord, go his way, align yourself with his will. Make the decision to do it. Don’t delay. Don’t think that you’re being kind to yourself by leaving it. The sooner you do this, the sooner you’ll be on the path to learning, to happiness. And this is a habit for you to develop. Always do this. Always do this. Fear with the Lord always. Always decide to as soon as you do something wrong in the future, ask God to forgive you and decide never to do it again. Don't harden your heart, always be willing to change. Align yourself with the ways of God.

A magnet works by all the little domains of magnets inside lining up. You can do an experiment by putting a magnet under a piece of paper and getting some iron fines, sprinkling them on top of it. When you sprinkle the iron finings on top, they line themselves up with the magnetic field, and as they line themselves over the magnetic field, you can see the shape of the magnetic field. The place where there are more iron finings clustering together, the force where they are ready to jump off the paper, the place where that is, the head of the magnet itself. The place where all of the iron finings are lined up is where they stuck to the magnet and are in line with the magnetic field. We must stick to God and stick to his ways, align ourselves up with his magnetic fields, or his rules and then we will be happy.

How Francis Lived

"For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice..." (Zechariah 4:10)

St Francis of Assisi was a man of action, impetuous and impulsive and totally committed to the Lord Jesus.  The song below with lyrics by Donovan is meant to be a reflection on the life of Francis.  It talks of simplicity and heartfelt service for the Lord.  However Francis' great achievements in preaching and teaching were gained at a rapid pace before he died at the early age of 45.  The slow pace of the song seem at odds with that.  Nevertheless I like  the idea in this song of taking care day by day of the small things and remembering the ultimate goal.

If you want your dream to be, 
Build it slow and surely. 
Small beginnings greater ends. 
Heartfelt work grows purely. 

If you want to live life free, 
Take your time go slowly. 
Do few things but do them well. 
Simple joys are holy. 

Day by day, stone by stone, 
Build your secret slowly. 
Day by day, you'll grow, too, 
You'll know heaven's glory.

The Joy of Resurrection


In the Sunday services at Mill Hill East Church, we are featuring a series of sermons answering the question, "Jesus is Alive, what does that mean to you."  A summary of the topic and the Bible verses featured on on the slideshow on this website.





Here is a poem by John of Damacus, a Syrian monk from the 8th Century AD, called: “The Day of Resurrection”.

The day of resurrection?
Earth, tell it out abroad;
The Passover of gladness,
The Passover of God.

From death to life eternal,
From this world to the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over
With hymns of victory.

Now let the heavens be joyful, 
Let earth her song begin;
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein.

Let all things seen and unseen
Their notes in gladness blend,
For Christ the Lord hath risen,
Our Joy that hath no end.

 The fact that Jesus is Alive brings great joy.





Death


On the eve of his death in Gethsemane, Jesus was "greatly distressed and troubled" (Mark 14:33) and said to his disciples, "My soul is very sorrowful, even unto death" (Mark 14:34). For Jesus, death was not a great friend but a dreadful enemy, because it would separate Him from His Father. He did not face death with the composure of Socrates who met death peacefully as a friend. When confronted with the reality of death, Jesus cried to God saying: "Father, all things are possible to you; remove this cup from me; yet not what I will, but what you will" (Mark 14:36).

The Bible speaks of the decomposition of the body. When Adam and Eve sinned, they were deprived of the tree of life and hence of physical immortality (Gen. 3:22; Rom. 5:12). It is, therefore, man’s lot to return to the dust of the ground (Gen. 3:19; Ecclesiastes 12:7).

Paul speaks of the earthly house of our tabernacle being “dissolved” by death (2 Cor. 5:1). The Greek term for “dissolved” is kataluo, literally meaning to “loose down,” a vivid expression for fleshly decomposition. It is sad that some refuse to acknowledge the fate of the body, spending vast sums of money in attempting to preserve their mortal remains in hope of resuscitation. In spite of claims to the contrary, physical immortality will never be achieved by the medical profession.

Death is a serious subject but it should be viewed in the proper perspective. The apostle Paul understood this well, as he wrote to Timothy:
“For I am already being poured out as a drink offering now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only, …but unto all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy:4:6-8

For more on death, listen to my daily podcast episode.

A lesson in preaching from history

John Chrysostom was around at the turn of the 5th century AD, he lived and died preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. His preaching led to his posthumously assigned surname, Chrysostom: "golden mouth." The same preaching also exiled him twice, the second exile being three years under armed guard which would lead to his death.   He became known as "John the golden-mouthed" because of his anointed preaching. It was said that Preaching improves me,” he once told his congregation. “When I begin to speak, weariness disappears; when I begin to teach, fatigue too disappears. Thus neither sickness itself nor indeed any other obstacle is able to separate me from your love... for just as you are hungry to listen to me, so too I am hungry to preach to you.”

And people loved to hear him preach, historical records of his preaching say: "As he advanced from exposition to illustration, from Scripture to practical appeals, his delivery became gradually more rapid, his countenance more animated, his voice more vivid and intense. The people would hold their breath. They felt as if drawn forward toward the pulpit by a sort of magnetic influence. Some who were sitting rose from their seats. By the time the discourse came to an end, the great mass of that spellbound audience could only hold their heads and weep with tears."  

 As I argue in my recent podcast episode, we must preach and preach with urgency: we need more golden mouths today. 

God's logistics



God is great at logistics, what ever he plans to do he provides the means to do it. Jonathan was Saul’s son who became a devoted friend of David, who later be a great king of Israel.  While  the Israelites were suffering from poor planning and poor logistics with no proper weapons for war, Jonathan received a vision from God which faithfully.


“Jonathan said to his young armour-bearer, “Come, let’s go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised men. Perhaps the Lord will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the Lord from saving, whether by many or by few.” (1 Samuel 14:6 NIV)

Consider Jonathan and follow his example here, when God gives you a vision step forward in faith.  If the vision is from God there will be provision of resources to carry it out. In my daily internet radio show, Daily Devotional Preaching episode 11,  I show how Moses was able to provide resources for 3 million people in the desert.  Whatever the vision, if it's of God, the resources will be available.