As a Man Thinks

March 24, 2017

As a Man Thinks

Proverbs 23:6-7a

Eat thou not the bread of [him that hath] an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he…

Often we don’t give much thought to the power of suggestion and the input from various sources that we take into our minds.   Most of us have a belief and value system in place.  Somehow we think that value system stands as a wall to defend us from wrong thinking and consequently wrong actions.   Termites are just like little ants.  They don’t eat that much individually, but given enough time and numbers they can bring down an entire house.  The same is true with our values and beliefs.  They are not impermeable to wrong thinking and influence.  Paul makes this clear when he exhorts the Corinthians in 2 Corinthian 6:14, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”  As we live and walk among the world we are constantly exposed to the values and the mindset of the world which is most often contradictory to the Word and the will of the Father.  We can’t always avoid all that we are exposed to in the world, but we take in much of it by our own choice or by not actively turning from it.  Paul goes on to share at the end of this chapter in 2 Corinthians 6:17-18, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”  

Initially when we see or hear something that is wrong or offensive our reaction may be one of shock, disdain and turning away.  If we are exposed to these types of things enough times, soon our conscience becomes numbed, our spiritual senses dulled and more or less we begin to dismiss it as common place, in other words, it becomes acceptable.  

How do we react to common television shows today that twenty or thirty years ago would have caused a public outcry?   Over time, not only have we as Christian become desensitized to the moral depravity, but also so has our society as a whole.  I was reading about a study this morning where they estimated an 18% increase in teenage intercourse, simply due to the influence of television.  It wasn’t just in what they saw on the programs, but what they heard regarding sexual attitudes.  We generally perceive reality based on what are mainstream values around us.  We who are believers should know better, because our reality should be based on the standard of the Word of God.  Let us not think for a minute that a constant diet of worldly views and influences doesn’t have an effect on our relationship with God and our purity with Him.  When God brought the children of Israel into the Promise Land He commanded them to totally annihilate and destroy the societies that previously existed there.  That wasn’t because He was a mean and vindictive God.  It was because these nations had filled up the cup of His wrath by years of gross perversity and sin.  For them to be integrated into Israel’s society would bring pollution and draw their hearts away from God into the idolatry and perversity that God abhorred.  As we can see in the Word of God, this is exactly what happened causing the judgement of God to come upon the children of Israel many times over their history.  

There is tremendous power in the words we hear and take into our minds, either for life or for death.  As Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  It not only has power in what we speak, but in what we hear.  We become the products of our input.  Colossians 3:1-4 says, “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”  Again in Philippians 4:8 we are exhorted, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.”  We are in a day of preparation for the Lord’s appearing.  The Word warns us in Matthew 24:12 that in the last day, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.” Our love is waxing cold because we are allowing the spirit of this world to take hold of us through all of the things we partake of in the world.  This is not about throwing stones or do’s and don’ts, because we are all guilty to varying degrees.  This is about the mind and the will of God for our lives to be a separate and consecrated people unto Him.  It is a narrow way and few there be that find it.  It is His way, His Word and His Spirit.  We must each one judge ourselves, lest we be judged.  We must be eating a pure manna if we want to produce purity.  We must guard our hearts from the tremendous spirit of corruption and defilement that is all around us.  Let’s seek His grace and entreat the Lord’s help that our eye might be single and uncompromised before Him as we make right choices concerning what we take into our lives.

Blessings,

#kent

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”  Romans 8:28 

Tragedy Comes Knocking

      My oldest son just lost his wife.  She was still fairly young and what appeared to be in good health, when she died suddenly of a heart attack.  His wife was the love of his life and best friend. They had grown incredibly close over the past 6 months. Now, suddenly, with no warning, she’s gone.  

None of us are immune to the tragedies in life, but how we handle them and grow from them is tremendously important.  Usually, the first thing we try to do is blame ourselves for something we should or could have done to change the outcome.  Then many us want to blame God.  After all, He is sovereign.  Why did He let this happen.  Sometimes we are angry with God and we want to abandon whatever faith we had, because in our ignorance we believe it is His fault.  None of us have the wisdom or insight to always know and see how God moves and why things happen, but faith is really the definition of trusting what you don’t fully understand. 

When I arrived at my son’s the next morning he was totally broken, devastated and in shock. His heart was broken and his pain was deep.  As the day and time progressed on, he would go to his room, fall on his knees and say, “ God, I just need your strength.  Help me!”

        He would get up and every time after He leaned into God, God would meet him with a person or answer that met his need.  He would just shake his head and say, “Really God, did You just do that?”

God’s finger prints were all over this tragic time in the way He ministered personally to the needs. Healing and restoration of relationships that had been broken for years began to take place and in the midst of our darkness we saw God’s light, HIs love, His comfort and faithfulness. 

Later, in the week, we had a meeting with His pastor and my son shared his testimony of how God had prepared and given them time together before this tragic event.  It was truly powerful and moving.   Finally, the pastor leaned into Sean and asked him if he could pray for him.  I was amused by son’s answer.  He said, “You might want me to pray for you.  God and I are pretty tight right now.”  

Nothing can take away the pain, when we lose a loved one or tragedy strikes, but what a testimony to the power of leaning into God when these times and events touch our lives.  He is there to comfort and strengthen those who call upon Him, lean on Him and trust in His name. 

        God truly can work and bring good things out of bad situations, if we have the faith to continue to trust Him. 

Blessings,

#Kent

Blessing and a Curse

March 22, 2017

Deuteronomy 11:1,26-28

Love the LORD your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always.

See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse- 27 the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28 the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD your God and turn from the way that I command you today by following other gods, which you have not known.

Blessing and a Curse

Love is obedience to those things we might not other wise choose.  Love is, yes Lord, not my will, but thine be done.  The Lord set before us two laws and principles, blessing and cursing.  The Word reveals here that blessing is the fruit of obedience and the curse is the fruit of disobedience and unfaithfulness to God.   What are we pursuing and what are we incurring today?  

The prophet Haggai speaks this from the Lord in Haggai 1:2-11, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the LORD’s house to be built.’ ” 

3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 

5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 

7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.””  Does our blessing not come because we are too busy in pursuit of building our own house, success, dreams and ambitions while the Lord’s house lies in ruins within us.  The Lord says, “Take a look, how’s that working out for you as you pursue your things and neglect mine?  Doesn’t seem to be much blessing in it does there?”

The Word of the Lord comes again through Haggai in Haggai 2:15-19, “” ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD’s temple. 16 When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. 17 I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,’ declares the LORD. 18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. 

” ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”  The Lord is giving the call to our hearts and lives because the foundation of the apostles and the prophets has been laid and Jesus, the Chief Cornerstone, has been set.  Now is the time to come build His temple both corporately and individually.  Now is the time for us to turn from our ways to His.  In our own ways, pursuing our own interest we have only experienced lack and coming up short.  If we will set our hearts to His work in obedience and faithfulness, we will experience His blessing.  Let us prove 

Blessings,

#kent

Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you,

Spiritual Birth and Beyond

Paul is addressing the church at Galatia here.  Through persecution, prayer and sacrifice he had no doubt labored to bring this church to birth.  He poured out his life to establish them in the faith and in the principles of Christ.  Now he writes them as he hears that they have forsaken their faith in exchange for legalism and the law.  Once again he is travailing to bring them back to foundational principles of salvation through faith and who they are in Christ who died to set them free from the law and its condemnation.

Paul knows that if you lose that revelation of whom you are in Christ you will only be led again back into bondage.  “Christ in you,” is what sets you free.  It is what brings you into heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  It transcends earthly laws, limitations and dynamics.  Christ in you is what allows you to walk and live in the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  When our salvation ceases to be about what Christ did and is still working in us and becomes about us and what we can do to please God or earn His favor, then we’ve lost our way.  We’ve lost the revelation that only as Christ lives in us and through us can we even hope to live pleasing to Him, for it is the faith in His accomplished work that will complete ours.  

Most of us can look at our lives and see where even now or in our past we have lost or never really laid hold of this revelation of “Christ in us”.  Perhaps that is key to so many of our defeats in our Christianity.  We still see ourselves as trying to do for God when our doing has to be through His life expressing itself through us.  So often we fail to discern the difference.  We may be going and doing good things all of the time, but if it is still us trying please God then it is just works of the flesh.  Works of the Spirit issue out of a Christ committed life that isn’t just intent on trying to do what they think is good.  They are first tuned into what the Holy Spirit’s guidance and will is for them.  They are always exercising their listening to hear His voice and direction.  ‘Good intentions do not a Spirit led life make’.  We have to keep our spiritual ear pressed to the Holy of Holies, to listen and act out of the unction of Christ in us according to His Word and purpose that He desires to work through us.  

Galatians 5:13-17 reminds us, “13My friends, you were chosen to be free. So don’t use your freedom as an excuse to do anything you want. Use it as an opportunity to serve each other with love. 14All that the Law says can be summed up in the command to love others as much as you love yourself. 15But if you keep attacking each other like wild animals, you had better watch out or you will destroy yourselves. 

16If you are guided by the Spirit, you won’t obey your selfish desires. 17The Spirit and your desires are enemies of each other. They are always fighting each other and keeping you from doing what you feel you should. 18But if you obey the Spirit, the Law of Moses has no control over you.”  Paul goes on to distinguish the difference between the works of the flesh and the works of the Spirit.  

Spiritual birth brought a holy seed inside you.  Christ is that seed and accordingly you must grow in light of the fruit that He is producing in you as you see consistently, your life in His and His life in yours, till there is no more two, but One.   Let no person, organization or religion, rob you of who you are in Christ.  The power and victory of a Spirit led life is, knowing yourself in Him.

Blessings,

#kent

2 Timothy 3:12-17

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Continue in What You have Learned

If you want an easy road to travel then being a true disciple of Christ is not one you would probably choose.  We like to focus on the blessings, but the reality is that this is also a road of suffering and persecutions.  Many like to wear the label of Christian when it benefits them, but if they really have to start enduring the cross, then they are out of here.  In this day and age we are moving into that time when evil will become more forward and perverse, from bad to worse, just as the scripture says.  We need to be aware and have come to the commitment, that though it cost us everything, we have decided to follow Jesus.  When the Lord winnows and thrashes the wheat in His judgement.  He is separating wheat from chaff and is judging who is really His and who is not.  If our faith is just about God’s blessings then we might want to exit now.  Romans 8 tells us “if we suffer with Him then will we be glorified with Him.”  Jesus is the pattern Son; the prototype of what He is conforming us into.  Certainly His life was not without suffering and persecution.  He even told us that if we were of the world the world would love us, but because we are not of the world the world will hate you.  This is why it is so incredibly important that you have a revelation of who you are in Christ.  When the fire comes it will reveal what the house is made of.  All that is wood, hay and stubble will be consumed and only that which of gold (God’s nature), silver (His redemption) and precious stones (His glorious truth) will remain.  If our house is not built upon the rock it will perish.  So it doesn’t matter how much we know or how often or long we have been going to church.  If you don’t have the inward relationship of obedience and trust, you will not stand.  Jesus didn’t tell us that if we love Him we would hear what He had to say, He said if we love Him we would keep His commandments.  If Christianity is just churchianity and knowing of the truth, but not living the truth, then that will not preserve you when persecution comes.  The baptism of fire is purification; it brings to the surface the dross so that it can be purified.  God is judging His own house today to allow us to see the dross in our own lives and deal with it, before we must truly be judged for it.  

If you want to live “godly” in Christ Jesus then expect persecution and don’t be surprised when it comes upon you.  Let us be as Paul exhorted Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  The Lord has imparted Himself into us through His Word and through the Holy Spirit. We have all that we need to endure and make us wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.   We know that Christ is synonymous and one with the Word of God, because, “ in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. (John 1:1-2)” Paul testifies of this truth as he states, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”  We are the Lord’s army in training, preparing for the day of battle.  Our battle is not with flesh and blood, although it will most likely be manifested through them, it is with principalities, powers, rulers and dominions of darkness.  But Revelations 12:11 reminds us, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”  One of the things that is very difficult for us, especially in this western culture, is our love and affection for self and the flesh.  For us everything is about survival and preservation of the natural man.  God has simply given you this natural body as a cocoon and preparation to carry you into your eternal being.  When and if we are ever faced with the choice of our faith or preserving our natural man, what could be more glorious and a greater opportunity than to offer ourselves up as a sweet –smelling sacrifice to our Lord.  Walk with Him, obey Him, honor Him and “KNOW HIM” without doubt or reservation in your inter-most being. 

Blessings,

#kent

Perfect

March 17, 2017

Matthew 5:48

Ye therfore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Perfect

Most of us would look at ourselves and readily agree that we are anything but perfect.  Even if we didn’t acknowledge that we weren’t perfect, there is no doubt a spouse or near relative that would set us straight.  Why would Jesus make a statement like He did here in Matthew 5:48? 

Throughout this chapter and through the next couple Jesus is addressing a higher order of living than what would be considered normal to the world.  He is talking about kingdom living and values.  How can God change the lives of others through us if we are not first changed ourselves?  If we want to see a greater move of God and we want to be a part of that move, then we must realize that the move of God begins within our own heart and being.  

Jesus is making a bold statement here.  He doesn’t ask if we want to be perfect, or if we think we can, He is speaking a command to us.  He is speaking a living word to us. The natural mind is like Sarah in the tent when the angel tells Abraham they will have a child in their old age, it laughs in unbelief.  “How is this possible?”  With God all things are possible.  If we want to begin seeing the possibilities of God then we have to have faith enough to take and believe Him at His Word rather than looking to see if the natural bears it out or not.

When we enter into Christ we are entering a new realm of being and living.  With us still being in our natural bodies and operating in a natural world, with natural minds, we are like little birds floundering to find our wings.  Baby birds aren’t born flying; it is something that they mature into because that is what they do by nature.  In Christ we are of a different order and different nature of being than what we formerly were.  Jesus it painting us a spiritual picture of the difference between living in the flesh and living in the Spirit, through these passages that we read here in Matthew.  There are two different mindsets.  Jesus is calling us to mature into our Christ nature.   This is where we must have our hearts set.  Yes, we will flounder and miss that mark, but our eye is set upon our destiny and our destiny is in God and kingdom living.  No, we will never perfect ourselves into God’s nature, nor can we, of ourselves, be like Him.  It is a God work through faith.  It is a transformation that can only take place as we are in union and oneness with God and His purpose.  He doesn’t violate our freewill, therefore we must daily yield up our will for His.  Not my will, but His be done.  

While many generations have not seen the fullness of God manifested in His saints, the Word declares that there is a season when Christ is birthed through us.  The ages are growing ripe for this promise child to come forth, even as Christ came in the fullness of time.  2 Thessalonians 1:7 says, “and to you that are afflicted rest with us, at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might when He shall come to glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed in that day).  To which end we pray always for you that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfil every work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and ye in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  

God is calling us in this hour to set aside our unbelief and worldly mentality.  We are to put on the mind of Christ, living and viewing our world from a kingdom perspective.  You don’t have to change yourself.  As you embrace Christ in every aspect of your life and thinking, the branch will take upon it the nature of the vine and the two will share one life source and one nature.  Your perfection is resting in Him and walking with Him daily in obedience and faithfulness.  He is at work in you to perform His good will and pleasure as you are abiding in the vine.  Our perfection is in Christ, it is not in this natural man.  The perfection is manifested as we mature in the grace, the nature and the love of Christ, it is a process of His Spirit working in us and we are growing up into who we are in Christ. 

Blessings,

#kent

The Simple Life

March 16, 2017

The Simple Life

Matthew 6:25-27

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”

Does life with all of its demands overwhelm you?  Are you caught up in a flurry of activity just trying to survive till the next day?  Often life can become this way.  Life has a way of running over us and possessing us instead of us possessing it.  

I was reading the scripture in 1 Timothy 6:6-10 that says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”  The dream of most of us as human beings is to try and get ahead, to have just a little more and before we know it we are consumed in our pursuit for material gain.  What compounds the problem is that the more we have the more we become enslaved to keeping it up, maintaining and repairing all that we possess.  All of those things that we wanted for our enjoyment now run our lives.   It can be a hard merry-go-round to get off of.  In some ways we do want to get off of it and in some ways we don’t.  The sad part is that often when we come to the place in life where we have what we want materially we find that other essential parts of our lives are suffering and we may be losing what are the most important things.  Often it is at this time in our lives that we find our marriage falling apart or our children are out of control or we lack a true spiritual relationship with the Lord like we used to have.  

Sometimes we have to take the time in life to reevaluate our priorities, goals and purpose.  I believe this scripture in 1 Timothy 6 is directed at us as Christians.  There is nothing evil with money itself; it is what it does inside of us through greed and covetousness that can end up devastating our lives.   Maybe it is time for some of us to change our focus from our paycheck to what life is really all about, our relationships.  Many of us look back at earlier times when we struggled financially, but we were so much happier because at least we had love, the Lord and each other.  Somewhere along the way we can loose those precious things that money can’t buy.

Maybe today is the day to begin to simplify our lives, returning more to the basics and just working for the essentials.  Our greatest assets are not in our bank account, portfolio or investments; they are in our families, our faith and our relationship with the Lord.  Love is the most important thing and money can’t buy you love.  Check your compass and correct your course as needed. 

Blessings

#kent

Rise UP

March 15, 2017

Matthew 24:27

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Rise UP

The earth shakes and the oceans roar,

The earth is shaken at its very core.

Tempests toss and clouds loom dark,

The Spirit speaks and we do hark.

Triumphant are the sounds I hear.

Ageless saints echo in my ear.

Praise and victory of the Almighty they sing,

They rally heaven and proclaim the King!

Paradigms are shifting in the earth.

Transforming through a spiritual birth.

Rising up in the light of who we are,

God’s people in the image of the Morning Star!

Lightnings, thunders and angels proclaim,

The King of Kings and His Holy name,

Victory precedes Him as He rides,

As the lightning upon the eastern skies.

Trembling and sorrow will fill the earth,

For all of those who have not partaken of a second birth,

His patience has tarried and His Word  gone forth,

Now it is the day for the armies of the North.

Rise up my Beloved, the morning does break,

Rise up in me as the heavens quake.

Creation will now know who has set them free,

As my children now rise in the image of Me!

kent stuck

John 1:12-13

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. 

Conformed to the Image of the Son

“Who I am is not what I am in the eyes of the world, but who I am is what I am in the eyes of the Father.  He sees me completed in Him and conformed to the likeness of His Son, because I also have been given the privilege of sonship and He has placed His DNA in me.  I am growing up into His name, His nature and His likeness.” 

Is this your statement of faith, your belief and your conviction?

You may be saying to yourself I would like it to be, but you don’t how I really am and how I struggle with some things.  Faith in Christ is not a statement of your circumstances and how things appear to be.  Paul says this in 2 Corinthians 4:18, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  What are you fixing your eyes upon today?  Is it your shortcomings, your sins, your failures, your inadequacies and all the reasons and condemnation as to why you don’t feel like a son or daughter of the Most High God?  The Father sees you in the righteousness of His Son, because He became sin for you so that you might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  If you can only see the negative things about yourself then you are only focusing on what the accuser is throwing up before you and not what God is saying and thinking about you.  Jesus Christ is the way past all that we can’t be in our old self.  His blood still stands to wash away all filth and shame, so that we might enter in and boldly come before our God in the righteousness of Jesus name.  A new creation man can make a statement like we began with, because he or she knows who they are in Christ and what their identity is.  Why do we still want to hold on to that which has been crucified with Christ when such a marvelous legacy and identity has been given to us.  Put on Christ and with the mind of Christ put away your former ways of thinking, especially about yourself. 

We are currently in concert with the Holy Spirit to live and bring our lives in alignment with the Christ within us.  Romans 8:12-13 says, “Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”  It is no longer you or I trying to overcome sin in the strength of our flesh.  We now have an ally that makes possible what was not possible under the law.  The law only exposed our weakness and inability to save ourselves.  But now we have the Spirit of God within to enable us in the areas of our weakness and failure.  It becomes evident that this is a journey in which God isn’t going to do it all apart from you just because you made a statement of faith.  That statement and commitment of faith is a covenant.  The covenant is between you and Him.  He will do His part, but it is dependent upon your commitment to do your part.  It is this marriage of your soul with His Spirit that produces sonship as we faithfully abide in Him.

Do you know who you are now?  You need to know who you are in order to become what you are.  He has made you privy to His mystery as revealed in Colossians 1:26-27: “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” This a basic revelation truth you must lay hold of if you want to come into the fullness of who you are in Christ.  He has given you His NAME.  Everything He is is contained in that NAME, His character, His nature, His power, His authority and His love.  He has given us the most precious and powerful gift that could be had in the entire universe.  He has given us Himself.  Now He is asking that in the acceptance of that gift you begin to identify and walk in all that is contained in who you now are IN HIM.  

RISE UP IN YOUR SONSHIP AND BECOME CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF THE SON!

Blessings,

#kent

Abiding in the Vine

March 13, 2017

Abiding in the Vine

1 John 2:24

Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that He has promised us—eternal life. 

John, the apostle and disciple of Jesus, was very passionate about certain things.  Two of the things he is most passionate about is love and relationship.  I believe John was a man of the heart and when he committed his love to you it was constant from then on.  One area of emphasis is the place of “abiding”.  This word speaks of a place where we remain; we don’t depart from, we continue to be present.  It is a place we last and endure in and a place where we survive and live.  It speaks of a state or condition that is constant and a place where we wait for someone.  This concept of abiding is one that Jesus is passionate that we catch a revelation of.  

Abiding is a two way street.  It is a place of exchange of living and giving, and loving and receiving.  That place where we live and abide in our heart is the key to what our life produces.  Jesus shares the reality of this truth in John 15: 1-8, ““I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”  Our place of abiding in Christ is the place where we grow up into Him in all things.  It is the place where He loves us, trains us, corrects us and prunes us.  It is the place where He makes us productive and fruitful with regards to the kingdom.  It is the place where we learn that our life is one with His and the blood that flows in Him, flows in us.  We are of one life and one nature as we abide there.  If or when we sever and separate our life from His then that fellowship and circulation of His life ceases to work in us and we begin to spiritually die.  Outside of Him we perish spiritually.  

God is a God of mercy and restoration and I believe that through repentance and the redemption of the blood we can be restored should we leave this place of abiding.  Many of us may have walked away from Christ for a time, but hopefully all of us realize how dead we are inside without His life and fellowship.  It is in the place of abiding that we are living in eternal life, for we are living in Christ.  1 John 2:1-2 tells us, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”  1 John 1:9 has told us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  There is a place and provision for restoration when we fail, but our heart should be that we don’t want to fail Him.  1 John 2:17 tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  Our abiding in eternal life is our abiding in obedience to the will and purpose of God.  1 John 3:6-9 tells us about the state of the believer in that place of abiding, “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”  Our continual abiding in Christ is going to make us want to be like Him in every way.  We are learning to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  We are being conformed to His mind and transformed into His likeness from glory to glory.  It is a process and a maturing, but it takes place as we abide in Christ.  

It is important that we connect in our understanding of our unity and oneness with Christ, if we are always seeing ourselves as outside of and apart from Christ then we always see ourselves separate and detached from Him.  While our unity and oneness may not be in the manifest glory that it one day will be, we are robbed if we see ourselves as anything but one with Him.  Otherwise we are trying in our efforts to live Christian lives and looking to heaven for God to help us.  He has helped us sometimes more than we comprehend or have revelation of.  He has placed His life in us and our lives are in Him so that we might live out of Christ and unto Christ.  He is our being, we have become identified with His life in us, and we have disowned and are putting to death the former man that we were before Christ.  We have to always remind ourselves that we are dead to our former identity and now our identity is in Christ where we abide in His love and His life.  Lay hold of the truth of where you live, abide and have your being.  It is Christ in you and His love that now lives through you as you abide in Him.

These things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.”  1 John 1:9 has told us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  There is a place and provision for restoration when we fail, but our heart should be that we don’t want to fail Him.  1 John 2:17 tells us, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  Our abiding in eternal life is our abiding in obedience to the will and purpose of God.  1 John 3:6-9 tells us about the state of the believer in that place of abiding, “Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”  Our continual abiding in Christ is going to make us want to be like Him in every way.  We are learning to love what He loves and hate what He hates.  We are being conformed to His mind and transformed into His likeness from glory to glory.  It is a process and a maturing, but it takes place as we abide in Christ.  

It is important that we connect in our understanding of our unity and oneness with Christ, if we are always seeing ourselves as outside of and apart from Christ then we always see ourselves separate and detached from Him.  While our unity and oneness may not be in the manifest glory that it one day will be, we are robbed if we see ourselves as anything but one with Him.  Otherwise we are trying in our efforts to live Christian lives and looking to heaven for God to help us.  He has helped us sometimes more than we comprehend or have revelation of.  He has placed His life in us and our lives are in Him so that we might live out of Christ and unto Christ.  He is our being, we have become identified with His life in us, and we have disowned and are putting to death the former man that we were before Christ.  We have to always remind ourselves that we are dead to our former identity and now our identity is in Christ where we abide in His love and His life.  Lay hold of the truth of where you live, abide and have your being.  It is Christ in you and His love that now lives through you as you abide in Him.

Blessings,

#kent

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