Shallow is the Grave, Deep is the Well

 

John 4:6-10

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with [his] journey, sat thus on the well: [and] it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.  Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

 

The word today is from the account of the woman at the well which many of you are familiar with, but if not take a few minutes to read it.  There are many wonderful truths in this short encounter.  The truth I feel impressed of the Lord to bring out today concerns areas that He is dealing with in my life and no doubt areas He wants to deal with in yours.  In the natural scheme of the life of that day, this encounter with Jesus should have never happened.  In the eyes of society and especially the typical Jewish outlook, this woman was way beneath good Jewish men, being considered little more than a dog.  You know, in our state of sin we are much on that same level in regards to God and His holiness and greatness.  Yet, God’s incomprehensible love humbles itself to come down to where we are in the messiness of our lives, in the squalor of our filth and sin and minister’s life to us.  All of our lives we have come to the well and drank the waters of self-efforts, our goodness and the accomplishments our own lives.  The very best of what it could do or offer always left us thirsting again.  Now, here is a man that is offering us living water that we would never thirst again.  Wouldn’t that be great to never have to rely on my self-efforts and goodness to satisfy that thirsting of my soul?  Here is a man that is offering to allow me to drink from the deep wells of salvation.  It is so much more than the well of my religion that my forefathers dug.  It is a well of deep relationship that forever satisfies.

As that woman, I would think, “this is wonderful, but who is this guy?  Are you greater than what we have had before?  Are you greater than our doctrine or religion or the belief system I have grown up with all my life?  And where do you get this water seeing you have nothing to draw it with (no degree, pedigrees or theological background)? ”

“Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life (John 4:13-14).”

“Okay Lord, I’m convinced.  Yes, give me this living water.   This has got to be so much easier and better than the old routine of drawing from the well that I am used too.”

Then Jesus says something that catches her off guard and goes to a place she doesn’t really want to go.  He tells her to go and get her husband and come here.  She says, “Well, I’m not married.”  Jesus sees right into her heart and says, ” You are right, you’re not married.  You have had five husbands and the one you are with now is not your husband.”  Immediately, though, no doubt taken back by His insight, she says, “Sir, I perceive you are a prophet,” and begins to engage in a religious discussion about where the true place of worship is.    When the Holy Spirit addresses the other husbands in our lives, our personal sins and idols.  We get pretty squeamish, defensive and want to get out of the light of His conviction by changing the subject.

There is an underlying truth here.  Jesus wants to give us the living water, but He also wants to deal with these other husbands who haven’t even been true husbands at all.  When we drink of this living water we enter into a relationship where Christ becomes our true husband that is our eternal supply, which is able to meet every need.  In order for us to drink the fullness of the deep wells of salvation we have to deal with these other husbands in our life.   If we have other husbands in our life we are in adultery and idolatry, because they will be taking the place of our true husband, Christ.  The only way for us to be in right relationship with our true husband is for these others to die and be buried.

Easily said, not always easily done.  These other husbands can represent strongholds, drives, habits, addictions and affections in our lives we don’t really want to let go of.  We still have a love or at least a lust for them.  We would rather the Lord not go there, but in order for us to experience the depths of the well of salvation and living water we must experience the death and the shallow grave of our idols and the husbands of affections that have ruled over us.   So it comes down to a choice, to exchange, a shallow grave for a deep well or keep a shallow well, wherein we continue to thirst and a deep grave if we continue to hold on to the things that only bring death and destruction.  Either way, there has to be a death, death to the spiritual to maintain the natural or death to the natural to experience the depths of the spiritual.  In what areas do you have other husbands or lovers?  Which well and which grave will you choose?

 

blessings,

#kent

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Matthew 14:32-33

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

“Truly You are the Son of God”

Our scripture today is taken as an excerpt out of the account of Peter asking to walk on the water when they are out in the boat and Jesus comes to them in the storm.  Peter has just attempted to come to Jesus, but then the fear of his surroundings robbed his faith and he began to sink.  Jesus catches and lifts him up, correcting him because his big faith quickly became little.  They climb into the boat and the wind dies down.  Suddenly the intensity of the revelation that this is the Christ comes upon them and they worship him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” 

There are so many times we are like Peter in that we are built up in our faith.  We believe and have confidence, but then when we take that bold step to come to Him in that faith, all of hell seems to rage against us.  This is a time when peripheral vision isn’t good, because in these times we can only be looking upon Jesus.  In our distraction, fear, doubt and unbelief are trying desperately through our circumstances to capture our heart.  If they can get a hold on us, they can pull us out of the supernatural back into the realm of the natural.  John 4:4 says, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

We have all heard the expression, “comfortable in our own skin.”  For those of us who are in Christ, this is not where we want to be.  We must become comfortable in His skin and He must be comfortable in ours, because our identity is not in us, it is in Him.  Isn’t it amazing to get the revelation that the Lord of the universe is under your skin?  When we catch the revelation of who He really is in us what can we do but worship Him? As we begin to get our eyes off of our natural man and see our identity in Him we will see the authority that is at work within us.  When we see that moving and working through us, we will be like the disciples saying, “Truly this is the Son of God.”  We know it didn’t come out of who we were; it will come out of who we are in Him.  1 John 4:12 says, “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  Then John goes on in verses 17-18 to say, “ In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the Day of Judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”  We are standing in the day of judgement, but God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of confidence in His love.  As love dispels all fear it generates great faith.  As we walk in the power of His love, His life becomes evident in us.  Heaven and earth will bow before the authority that is operating in that life and that love. 

We are not unlike Peter, fledgling baby birds trying to find our wings underneath us.  Our destiny is not to remain in the nest of earthly contentment and gain, but to fly in the heavenlies and know the wind of God’s Spirit beneath us, lifting us up into His glory and likeness. 

Friends these are exciting days.  They are not days to be feared for the people that know their God and who they are in Him, but our faith is being continually stretched as we are forced to step into the places where we have never had to tread before.  This is a new day, new experiences and day when we must have great faith operating out of love.  Know that the Son of God has come to us in the storm.  He ultimately stills the winds around us. 

Let us truly worship You Lord, for “Truly You are the Son of God”.

 

Blessings,

#kent

Focus

November 15, 2017

 

Focus

 

Psalms 1:1-3

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers

 

Don’t you find that one of the most difficult things about maintaining and living the Christian life is focus?  We have minds that are always active and going and often, before we even realize it, they are going the wrong way.  We love the Lord.  We want to serve Him, obey Him and walk in His truth, but sometimes it seems as earnest as we are in our endeavors to live for Christ, we are equally distracted by the world, the demands and the enticements around us.  We often catch ourselves and become frustrated that our lives and hearts can become so fragmented as we find ourselves loosing focus of our full committed walk in Christ.  We find ourselves in the description that Paul gives in Romans 7:14-25, “14We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!

“So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

Many of us have experienced the frustration of wanting and trying so hard to live godly in Christ Jesus only to turn around and find ourselves blundering in the very areas we want to be free of.   While inwardly we died to sin and our lives are hid with Christ in God.  Outwardly we are continually warring in our members with drawings and enticements of sin and the flesh.  This is an age-old struggle and certainly one that is not original with any one of us.  The question we struggle with is how do I maintain the victory?

Our heart tends to be where our focus is.  There is a reason that the Word exhorts us to meditate on the Word day and night.  What we think upon is what we become.  If our thoughts are often worldly, lustful, contentious, covetous, discontent, rebellious or whatever way they want to take us, they will lead us in that direction if we give place to them.  Paul cries out in his frustration,

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”  Then he answers his own question, “Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Outwardly we want to be ruled by the natural laws and circumstances of this World, but we live under a different law.  Romans 8:1-4 tells us, “1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  Our deliverance from our struggles with sin is not found in our efforts to fight it outwardly, but by our turning our focus and attention on the Spirit of God.  It is only as we walk in the Spirit that we overcome in the flesh.  In order to do that we must maintain a focus that is centered in the revelation of who we now are in Christ.  We so quickly forget or let go of the fact that we are not our own, we are His.  As such, we abide in Christ, in His Word, in His life, in prayer and relationship with Him, that we no longer live in our former desires, but our desire is His desire and our will is His will.  We must maintain our focus on who Christ is in us and who we are in Him.  That is Spirit life.

The Redeemed

November 14, 2017

The Redeemed

Psalms 107:1-2

O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say [so], whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

You, who have embraced Christ as your Savior, are the redeemed of the Lord.  You are the ones who have been purchased out of the earth by the precious blood of Jesus.  You are the ones that He glories in, delights in and puts His favor upon.  If we look with natural eyes we will not see the fullness of who we are in Christ and what we have been called to be.  Your vision may be clouded with present troubles, problems and afflictions.  Though it is often veiled, there rest upon you such a high and holy calling and anointing that only the redeemed may possess.  The redeemed must first walk in the way of the Lord’s suffering and the cross that they may also be partakers of His glory and inheritance.  True identification with Christ will often lead you, like Peter, where you would not go.  You have yielded your life to Him and now He directs your steps as you walk in obedience to His will in your life.  Many in the earth would despise, afflict and revile the redeemed, because they despise the things of God and are enemies to the cross, but they do not see the latter end.  In Isaiah 51:11-13, the Lord says, “The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. 12 “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, 13 that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction?  For where is the wrath of the oppressor?”  The redeemed walk in the hope and confidence of their God even when all natural circumstances witness against it.  ‘Let God be true and every man a liar.’

Isaiah 62:5-12 again speaks this word of promise and encouragement to the redeemed, “As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. 8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; 9 but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” 10 Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones.

Raise a banner for the nations. 11 The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’ ” 12 They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.”  There is a time when the Lord allows the world to have their way with His redeemed.  They must have the nature of Christ perfected in them in the midst of adversity and trial, but there will come the time when the Lord says, “Enough! No more!”  It is kind of like the Cinderella story where a princess and a queen has been hidden in a young maiden who has been treated shamefully by a wicked step-mother and step sisters and abused as a servant girl.  One, who has been looked down upon, despised, ridiculed and mocked.  There comes a day in the great story of God that the bride will rise up out of the cinders and ashes to take her rightful place at the right hand of Christ and God the Father.  There will be a day when the Lord will declare her ruler-ship and authority.  What was despised will now become the exalted of the Lord, His diadem and the jewel of the whole earth. 

Revelations 5:9-10 declares, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”  Redeemed of the Lord hold fast to your God and forsake Him not; for great is the recompense of His reward upon those that are called by His name.

 

blessings,

#kent

Good Conscience

November 13, 2017

Good Conscience

Acts 24:16

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and [toward] men.

Conscience is defined as what ‘the soul is distinguishing between what is morally good and bad, the prompting being to do the good and shun the bad, commending the one and condemning the other.’  It is the discernment of what we understand and grasp as being right and wrong.  Is the conscience in each individual created the same and hold the same values of right and wrong?  The Bible would suggest that we differ on certain points of morality.  Just as in our faith toward God there should be certain fundamental tenants that are common to all of those who profess Christ, while on other points of doctrine we may differ in opinion and understanding.  An example is in Romans 14 we find that there were obvious contentions and judgments being made because some ate meat and others felt you should be a vegetarian or some worshipped on Saturday and other thought it should only be on Sunday and maybe others thought it should be every day of the week.  There were obviously different perceptions of right and wrong.  Paul lays out here a couple of key principles concerning our conscience.  One is that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  If you feel guilty and condemned in what you do, then for you it is wrong and sin to do.  Now your automatic assumption might be that if I feel it is wrong then it is wrong for everybody.  If someone I respect or look up too is doing what I consider and feel is wrong I will probably react in one of two ways.  Either I will condemn and judge him for doing what I feel is wrong or sin, or I will reason that since it is okay for them it is okay for me, even if I feel guilty about it.  Both of those lines of reasoning will cause us to stumble.  Many who may be younger or less understanding of the liberty they have in Christ, still measure all things by the standards of natural laws.  Does that mean those who understand their liberty have a right to exercise their freedom at the expense of making a weaker brother stumble or fall into sin?  Paul teaches that the law of love is the highest law and regardless of our liberty, we will not exercise our liberties at the expense of another.   Our conscience should constrain us to do what is healthy and best for others, while at the same time not being brought again under a yoke of bondage. 

Often we use our conscience as the standard of righteousness by which we judge others, condemning or excusing them based solely on our values and interpretation of how things should be.  The Word says we are not the lawgiver or the judge and when we start becoming the judge of others we only end up condemning ourselves.  Romans 2:1-4 says, “1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?”  The bottom line is that we are all sinners saved solely by the grace of God and through no goodness or moral uprightness of our own.  Like Paul, our objective should be to live by the grace and Spirit of God within us, lives that are of good conscience toward God and man.  We would not desire to do anything that we know would be offensive or cause others to stumble do to our actions or words.  The responsibility we all have is to walk in good conscience, living in the light, not concealing our deeds in darkness and to build up one another and encourage each other in what is right according to the Word of God. 

 

blessings,

#kent

A Parent’s Desire

November 10, 2017

A Parent’s Desire

1 Kings 6:3-9

And Solomon said, Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as [it is] this day. And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king instead of David my father: and I [am but] a little child: I know not [how] to go out or come in. And thy servant [is] in the midst of thy people which thou hast chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude. Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?

There are none so bound to the heart of a parent as their children.  From the time we become those bumbling parents with a newborn baby, trying to adapt to parenthood our hearts are bonded to that child.  They are a part of us; an extension of our dreams, hopes and aspirations.  Somehow we hope to see accomplished in and through their lives the things we maybe never accomplished or were able to do.  We want to see their lives mature to be successful in life, marriage, but most of all, we usually desire to see them excel in the passions of our hearts.  For some parents that may be sports, for others it is financial success and higher education.  The parent that has a heart for God wants more than anything to see His children grow up in godly character and have a life and a walk with God that is even greater, deeper and richer than their own.  We want to pass that torch of a godly heritage and spiritual truth on to our children, that they in turn might pass it on to theirs.  We want to look back from heaven and see a long lineage of godly men and women, our ancestry, which has kept the faith and didn’t break from it.  We want to see our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren grow up in the fear and admonition of the Lord as our parents may have well planted that holy seed in us. 

This subject was brought home recently by a birthday card my parents sent me that was very edifying and encouraging as they reminisced about when they were young parents first starting out with me and about the little prayers that I prayed when I was three.  They spoke of a tenderness I had in my heart as a child toward God and how they were blessed that I had grown up to walk with Him and was sharing with others through this writing ministry.  I felt that unity and oneness of heart for my own children and their walk and relationship with the Lord.  It is almost a standard line when our children will ask my wife or I what we want for our birthday.  We simply say, “you know what we want and what we want money can’t buy.”  Our children know that our greatest desire is for them to walk and be in right relationship with the Lord.  We want them to fulfill the destiny and answer the unique call that God has for their lives.  We rejoice when they have good marriages, when they are financially successful and they have a good life by the world’s standards, but our heart’s cry is for Christ to be the utmost in their lives and for them to raise up their children by this same standard of godliness.  Psalms 127:3 tells us, “Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.”  Malachi 2:15 reveals to us the reason for the institution of marriage,”15 Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one?  Because he was seeking godly offspring. [a] So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”

God’s desire from our marriages and homes is godly offspring.  That is why it burns so deeply in the hearts of godly parents.  That is why many spend many hours, days and even years on their knees before the Lord, interceding on behalf of their children.  Their heart’s cry is for godly offspring to fulfill the will and purpose of God.  This is why the sanctity of marriage and the home is so important.  It is the cornerstone of perpetuating the Church and the heritage of the Lord. 

Children, understand the heart of every parent is for the welfare and well being of their children.  They can’t live your lives for you or make your decisions, but they will cry out to God for you and they will give you godly counsel out of a heart of love.  Just as my heart is for my children to become all that God has destined and purposed they should be, so that is my parent’s desire for me and their parent’s desire for them.  The desire of a godly parent is for a spiritual legacy, that passes the torch from generation to generation, uninterrupted and committed to the call of God on our lives.

 

Blessings,

#kent

Realities

November 3, 2017

Realities

Psalms 19:7-11

The law of the LORD [is] perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD [is] sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD [are] right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD [is] pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD [is] clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD [are] true [and] righteous altogether. More to be desired [are they] than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb Moreover by them is thy servant warned: [and] in keeping of them [there is] great reward.

The natural man builds his life on the realities of his understanding of this natural world and how it works.  Those things that are real to his sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell are the reality of his world.  They are truth to him.  When he looks out and sees the mountains, when he touches the soft skin of his wife, when he hears his children playing and smells the lilacs in spring, these are reality to him.  When talking or relating to that which is beyond the natural realm, what is reality?  What are the things that are as sure and reliable to the spiritual man, who is relating to those realities which are outside of the sense realm?  For the Christian, who embraces the Word of God as His reality, the Word of God stands as the cornerstone and foundation of spiritual truth and reality. 

This scripture in Psalms 19 gives us some very fundamental and foundational truths to build our house of faith and trust upon.  Because spiritual realities are not always evidenced in the natural world, except in type and shadow; we must have a resource that puts all believers in God on the same page.  That resource is the Word and the law of God.  It is the source of input that feeds spiritual truths and realities into our natural mind.  When we read and try to understand the Word of God with only a natural mind and understanding, many things don’t make sense to us and are conflicting. 

I once heard it put in such a way that it made a lot of sense.  If God is Spirit as it says in John 4:24, then it only stands to reason that He would write a spiritual book.  As we know, the content of our Bibles is the compilation of numerous authors down through the ages that have written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, God’s spiritual book.   It only stands to reason that if we are reading a spiritual book, we need a spiritual mind to receive and understand it.  This is why it is essential when reading God’s Word that we ask the Holy Spirit, the author of the book, for understanding and revelation to comprehend, assimilate and put into practice the truths of His divine counsel.  In John 16:13 Jesus tells His disciples, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  The one sure promise that each believer has is that he or she can possess the Holy Spirit that is able to lead and guide you into truth.  Peter speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit speaks this truth to us in Acts 2:38-39: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, [even] as many as the Lord our God shall call.”

While it is encouraging, edifying and instructional that we can glean much spiritual understanding from words and books of men, this should never become a substitute for our seeking God through His Word and the instruction we can receive from the Holy Spirit personally.  The Lord doesn’t want second hand children; He wants each one of us to be in relationship with Him so that we are hearing and receiving personal truth and revelation from Him.  What He reveals and shows us will not contradict the rest of His Word but will only further verify and confirm it.  The Lord desires to further teach each of us the spiritual realities of His truth that will make us rich partakers of His divine life and blessing.  His precepts and instruction are what leads us and helps us to grow in the path that leads to life and godliness.  There is nothing sweeter or more precious than His Word quickened by the Holy Spirit that leads us into the reality, presence and revelation of who He is.

 

blessings,

#kent

Take Responsibility

November 2, 2017

Take Responsibility

Genesis 3:11-13

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Even from the beginning of time people have not wanted to take responsibility for their own actions and consequences.  Even as we see Adam and Eve passing the blame for disobedience to someone else, so it continues today.   We are continually reading about lawsuits that people actually win where it is obvious that there own negligence, ignorance or stupidity was to blame, but someone else has to pay for it.  We obviously want to assume as little responsibility and accountability for our actions as is humanly possible.  As a result of the sue-happy society that we live in, insurance companies get rich on malpractice and liability insurance because any little thing gone wrong could result in a lawsuit and someone’s bankruptcy.  Obviously there are many occasions when someone’s omission or commission causes harm or loss to another.   That is where they need to take responsibility for their action or mistakes. 

How does that affect us as Christians?  Do we carry the same mindset and practice of the world?  Jesus gives us principles in the Word that definitely are contrary to the standards and responses of the world.  He says in Matthew 5:38-42, “”You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” “  The standard that Jesus gave was to go beyond what is required to give and forgive.  That pretty much flies in the face of our human nature that wants to do just the opposite and yet that it is a Christ standard of behavior. 

Most of us would say, but don’t you know if you do that you are just going to be a door mat for others to walk all over you?  You have to stand up and fight for your rights.  Is that what Christ taught us?  It doesn’t mean we are without principles and that we don’t stand for our beliefs, but when we go beyond the expected we become empowered because we choose to give beyond what was required. 

Paul addresses an even more disturbing situation that still exists among the church today.  It concerns the lawsuits among believers in 1Corinthians 5:1-11: “1If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints? 2Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases? 3Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life! 4Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!  5I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers? 6But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!

7The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated? 8Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers.

9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”  It is a sad state when brother defruads brother or when we have to go into the world’s court system to seek the world’s justice.  Matters of difference should be arbitrated by the church if, not forgiven altogether. 

Many of us still operate our lives by the natural laws that govern men.  Christ has given us an even higher standard to follow and it is one our flesh probably isn’t going to like, but we need to exercise godly principles.  Maybe you have a legitimate complaint against another but forgiveness needs to be the order of the day, because Christ first forgave us and gave us what we did not deserve and could not earn.  That is the heart He wants for us to live out of.  This is a foreign concept to many of us and not the way we have been brought up to think and believe.  Jesus practiced this principal most of effectively on the cross.  He took responsibility and paid the price for a debt that was not His own.  We will have our crucifixion experiences as well if we are in Him, because “as He is so are we in this world. “  Are we willing to take the responsibility for our actions while at the same time often forgiving the faults and sins of others against ourselves?  Such is the law of Christ.    

 

Blessings,

#kent

Many Trickles Make an Ocean

November 1, 2017

Many Trickles Make an Ocean

Isaiah 60:22

A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the LORD will hasten it in his time.

This is the last verse of Isaiah 60, which is a glorious chapter of the glory that shall fill God’s people, and the how the whole earth shall come to the brightness of their light.  Let’s look at the first portion of the chapter to get a flavor of it’s message in verses 1-5:  “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at [thy] side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.”  Doesn’t it just blow your socks off that All Mighty God wants to use the likes of us to express His great glory and power?  He wants to use these seemingly weak, frail and cracked vessels to fill with the treasure of His glory and presence that He might draw all nations to Himself.  Most of us look at ourselves and think, “what am I that God should be mindful of me?”  We are the little trickling streams and springs that feed the creeks that feed the rivers that flow into and fill the ocean.

This past weekend we had the privilege of spending a weekend at a ski resort.  Our last day we rode the ski lift to the top of the mountain and down below you could see the pockets of snow melting and releasing their trickles of water down the mountainside. These would in turn join with other trickles, which would flow into streams that ran down and flowed into mighty rivers that were essentially a collection of many small trickles that would eventually run down and fill the ocean.  It was such a beautiful picture of how all of God’s saints have a portion and gift of God to release from their lives.  If we are all faithful to the portion and gift God has placed in each one of us how it all comes together to become a dynamic flow of God’s life that impacts the nations and world around us.  As we all flow in obedience to the Holy Spirit within us there are no limitations to what can and will done through us.  If we hold back and dam up the life giving water within us then we become stagnant pools that become breeding places for insects and disease.  The life flow is hindered and some thirsty souls are robbed of the life you have to give.  We can’t use false humility to say we don’t have anything worthwhile, because that is a lie.  I find that with what I share if I am willing to step out in faith and act on the small portion God prompts in my heart He will give the increase and supply.  I could never boast and say it is because of my great spirituality and knowledge that I write these papers.  That is just God working through a willing vessel.  He wants to do no less through you and in many cases He wants to do much more.  John 7:38 says, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”  We live in dry and thirsty land spiritually.  We are God’s source for watering the earth.  We are the clouds filled with the Spirit of God.  We are the life givers that bring morality, godliness and balance back into an otherwise perverse and sin driven world on its way to the precipice of destruction.  God’s people are the instruments God has chosen to bring restoration and life.  Christ in us, the body of Christ, is what will bring the rule and reign of God’s kingdom in the earth.   What we experience now is a foretaste of what will one day be an outpouring of glory and anointing.  Are you ready?  Are you learning now to live and exercise and give forth what God has placed in you?  God is training His people.  All that He is working in us is to empower these little trickles of His life to become a force of godliness and Christ natured beings to be reckoned with.  You are the instrument of God’s glory, be faithful in His hands.

 

Blessings,

#kent

All Dried Up

October 31, 2017

Joel 1:7-12

7He hath laid my vine waste, and barked my fig tree: he hath made it clean bare, and cast it away; the branches thereof are made white.

8Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

9The meat offering and the drink offering is cut off from the house of the LORD; the priests, the LORD’s ministers, mourn.

10The field is wasted, the land mourneth; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languisheth.

11Be ye ashamed, O ye husbandmen; howl, O ye vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished.

12The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

All Dried Up

The time is coming when the Church as we know it will be dried up.  She will be stripped bare clean.  Her ceremonial functions will cease and God’s people will mourn.  The vine will appear barren and wasted, unfruitful and cast off.

“Lo, the day is at hand, the great day and terrible day of the Lord when the earth and the heavens will be shaken by spiritual forces and sounds.   The waster will come, the destroyer will mount his horse and death will ride in fury and darkness.  As the paps have ceased to suckle so my outward Church has ceased to bring forth the sincere milk and the meat of the Word.  The priest and ministers mourn, for what they once knew is gone. 

The true Church is not that which seen with the outward eye, but that which is hidden in Me.  It is the bubbling streams, fountains and brooks beneath the surface of the ground and hidden from the natural eye.  When all looks lost, when the enemy gloats in his victory then the water of My divine life and power will break forth to water the earth and life will spring forth in the desert places.  First, the wasting must come and the waster will have his season.  Just as the appearance of life is gone in the day of drought and famine, it is not gone but simply hidden awaiting the rain.  When the former and the latter rain do come they shall come with such life that they will dispel and cast out the spirit of death.  Life shall reign, fruitfulness shall abound and your enemies will be driven into the sea. 

Prepare for the day at hand.  Buy from Me true gold tried in the fire.  Get the oil of My Spirit and anointing and fill your vessels, for only the Spirit of Christ in you will sustain you in that day and those that know not my Spirit will perish.  Prepare and make ready.  Set your houses in order and enter into the temple of My presence, under the shadow of the Almighty.  Come and hide yourself in Me till the darkness is past.  The life that you have known shall pass away, but the life that I shall bring forth shall so surpass it.  Remain faithful and true, steadfast and obedient, for I the Lord am the Rock of your salvation and with a mighty hand I will cover My faithful ones.”

 

Blessings,

#kent

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