Psalms 147:5-6

Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.

6The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground.

The Benefits of His Promises

                Tender is the heart of the Father toward His own.  Faithfully He watches over them.  His steadfast love never forsakes us and He keeps us in the shadow of His wing. 

               Faithful are the wounds of a friend as He corrects us, guides and matures us.  Often, through the sufferings we endure, we learn obedience, trust and reliance.  We know that we are not our own, but we were bought with the price of the blood of the Lamb.  He who redeemed is faithful to complete that good work that He has began in us. 

               Holy Spirit blow upon Your people the breath of divine power and life.  Bring through our lives everything that will conform us to the image and likeness of You.  Guide us into and help us to submit to the “all Truth”\ that You are.  Position us, align us and set us in Your order and not that of our choosing.  Help us to hear, know and understand You in all of the ways that You speak and move in our lives.  Sometimes you may seem so quiet and so distant, but even in those times we know that You are as close as our breath; for Christ has promised us that He would never leave us or forsake us. You promised You would not leave us as orphans, but that You would come for us.  Your Word tells us that, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as he is. (1 John 3:2)” 

               Your Word has encouraged us with the identity of who we are in You.  1 John 4:17 speaks to us, “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He is, so are we in this world.”  In Romans 8:15-17 we are encouraged, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  Then once again we are encouraged as to the nature that we have received from You in 2 Peter 1:3-4, “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” We know that our purpose is that you may be glorified in us even as 2 Thessalonians 1:10 declares, “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”

               What great and awesome encouragement You have given Your saints as the Three agree in One.  Thank you that Your love is so great and unconditional that if You be for us who can be against us, nothing can separate us from it as you promise in Romans 8:31-39, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

37Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

               Thank God that He has put within us the overcoming Spirit of His Son.  It is not that we will not have to endure much, but in all that we endure we have the power to prevail through Him who has loved us and gave Himself for us.  Thank You Father for Your great love that envelopes us through the sacrifice of Jesus and the blood He shed.  Thank You for the Holy Spirit that is actively working in our lives as we are in relationship with You to bring us into all that You have promised to us. 

               This is the day the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad in it because you live in us, Your glory to display.  Be glorified as we give You all of the glory, honor and praise for the awesome God of love and salvation that You are.  Amen

Blessings,

#kent

He Must Increase, I Must Decrease

John 3:30

He must increase, but I [must] decrease

               These were the words of John the Baptist as his disciples questioned him about this other man, Jesus, and why everyone was going over to Him.  John understood his life’s purpose and that all that God had given him and all that he had become was to point the way to Christ.  He was a forerunner sent before to prepare men’s hearts to receive Christ and the salvation only He could bring.  Our purpose is very much the same today.  Our lives are not about us being glorified and put upon a pedestal, it is about bringing Jesus before men that they may see all that He is and all that He has provided.  Sometimes Christians miss this.  They get caught up in what the Lord can do through them and instead of really building His Kingdom, they end up building their own.  We must guard against the glory men may want to bestow on us when they see Christ working through us especially in love and the demonstration of miraculous works.  There are signs that Jesus said would follow His disciples, but in whatever the Lord chooses to bring forth through our lives, we must be careful to give the praise and the glory back to Him. 

Isaiah 48: 9-12 tells this about what He thinks of His glory, “For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off.  Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction. For mine own sake, [even] for mine own sake, will I do [it]: for how should [my name] be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another.  Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I [am] he; I [am] the first, I also [am] the last.”  When we deserved God’s anger and judgement He did not cast us off, but He is refining us through the furnace of affliction.  If we aren’t trained up in humility and brokenness, understanding the true grace and goodness of God, we will pollute His name.  In fact, we are seeing the Lord’s name being polluted in Christendom today.  Much of why the world rejects Christ and Christianity is not because of who Christ is, but because of who we are.  We proclaim His name, but we don’t proclaim His nature.  Because we do not truly live to His glory, we rob from Him the glory and praise due to His name by our selfishness, greed, and worldliness.  Is the world really seeing anything in us different than what they see in themselves?  I believe Christianity spread like wildfire in the early years of Christianity, even in the midst of great persecution, because people saw the glory of God.  It was not because these Christians glorified themselves, but it was because they allowed Christ to be glorified through them.   They truly learned what it meant that He must increase and they must decrease.  Aren’t most of us still caught up in our increase, in our success, our name and our fame?  Who is really being glorified in and through our lives, Christ, or ourselves?   Galatians 5:26 warns us, “Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” God has called us out to be a people for His possession and for the praise of His name.  Where is our focus in life; is it on us or on Him? 

               The greatest honor the Lord could bestow on us is the privilege of allowing Him to be glorified through us.  When He is glorified through us then men no longer see us, they Christ in His glory and splendor.  They just see a vessel that is the facilitator of His majestic glory and wonder.   This is the desire and purpose of God, to be glorified in His saints.  2 Thessalonians 1:10 tells us that with the Lord’s coming He will be glorified in us, “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”  The Lord may well grace our lives with some miraculous things, but we must never presumptuously take the glory from that to ourselves.  There is only one who is worthy of all the glory and all the honor and all the praise and we are simply the lamps that allows His glory to shine forth.  We are privileged to be the instruments of His praise and His glory.  We must decrease and He must increase, so that in all things we point the way to Jesus and defer all praise and glory to His worthy Name.  As we decrease in this life and the things of this world, He will increase within us and His kingdom will come in us.  His will, will be done in us as it is in heaven.  Let us not pollute or diminish that light by allowing ourselves to have the preeminence of all that belongs only to Him.

Blessings,

#kent

The Streams of our Hopes and Dreams

Psalms 127:3

Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward.

Springs bubble up from the melted winter snow

Pure little streams trickle down to larger ones below.

How precious the resource of these little bubbling springs

They are like the wellsprings of all our hopes and dreams.

They bubble to the surface birthed into their little stream.

They are so rich in hope as they start off pure and clean.

Hopes and dreams cascade over the rocks smoothing them to stone,

They cascade over waterfalls showing a splendor all their own.

Sometimes they are muddied as they flow to rivers below,

Sometimes they are unappreciated among the river’s flow.

Still they exist in the heart of the spring from which they came.

Even when they become muddied they are cherished just the same.

Our children are often the seed of so many of our hopes and dreams.

We hope and desire they are not just milk, but rise to be the cream.

Even when life doesn’t bring to pass all that we had dreamed for,

Forever we cherish our dream in them and for them pray the more.

They are our legacy to carry on the resource of our life,

Sometimes they turn from us and it cuts us like a knife,

But we look beyond what we see as we hold on to our dream,

We hope, as long as there is life, that our waters again become clean.

Never lose your hopes and dreams though they become clouded along the way,

Bath them in prayer and faith as you look to a brighter day.

Look to the promise of the seed that you planted within their precious hearts,

Believe that when they are old, from God’s grace and love, they will not remain apart.

Blessings,

#kent

Anger

January 21, 2022

Anger

Ephesians 4:26

Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

               Anger is an emotion that we all experience, some of us more than others and some of us more frequently than others.  Anger is not a sin in itself any more than our other emotions are a sin.  We see many scriptures throughout the Word of God that speak of His anger and wrath.  There are times when anger is good.  Without it we can become too lethargic and complacent about things.  Mediocrity can be just as destructive as anger.  We all need a little passion and fire in us. 

               While God has given us emotions from which we express ourselves and our souls through our feelings, desires and passions, He doesn’t want us to be ruled by them.  Anger is such an emotion.  There are going to be times when we are angry.  That is just an emotion and feeling we are going to have.  We may have great justification for our anger. Anger can be the pressure relief valve on our soul.  It can allow us to get out of us the pressure of emotions that have built up within us and that can be a good thing. What we must be careful of is that our anger does not rule over our spirit, because it is an emotion of the soul, but rather it should be subject to the control of our spirit.  If left uncontrolled, it can and will become ugly and destructive. It can cause us to say and do things that are harmful and unwise.  It can fester into bitterness and unforgiveness that are destructive and self-defeating to us.  It can alienate and destroy relationships. It can bring us to a place of hate, strife, malice and murder in our hearts.  If we become given over to anger, then the flesh will rule and destructive things will happen.

               Galatians 5:22-23 talks to us about the fruit of the Spirit, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”  If we are living under the control of the Holy Spirit, most of these attributes serve to keep our anger in check.  It doesn’t mean we won’t ever experience anger and we shouldn’t ever have it.  Anger can be good if it motivates us to action in a positive way.  Sometimes it causes us to quit tolerating some sin or injustice that we have allowed for far too long.  There is a righteous anger that comes out of our spirit.  Sin and rebellion are a couple of the things that we see angering God quite often.  The thing about God’s anger that we must always be mindful of is that His nature is Love and even His anger is motivated and controlled by His nature.   

               The Word exhorts us not to be quickly given too anger.  If you are a hot head that flies off the handle at every little thing, the Spirit of God is not rulin’ your emotions.  You are out of control.  When anger does come, be careful to get yourself in the spirit of prayer so that God may work through your anger and not your flesh.  After it has had its place, then get over it.  Let it go and don’t hold on to it to let it fester and bring defilement to your spirit and to others.  If you leave food too long it becomes moldy, spoiled and full of bacteria, which is rottenness.   Anger can be the same way.  Allow the Love of God to be greater than your anger and have dominion over it.  Go ahead and be angry at times, but don’t let sin work through it and don’t hold on to it for more than a day, “let not the sun go down upon your wrath.”   Give it to the Lord and allow Him to work through it a positive thing.

Blessings,

#kent

The Sincere Milk of the Word

1 Peter 2:2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

               Today, those that read this will be at many different places of maturity in their walk with the Lord.  Some may be young in the Lord and some may be Fathers in the faith.  The Lord would take us back to our roots for a moment and remember that we were nurtured and nursed with the sincere milk of the Word in our beginnings.  That “sincere” means guileless, such as in things unmixed, unadulterated and pure.  Hopefully our faith has been built on a foundation of pure, unadulterated doctrine where we have the unshakable truths that are the basis for our growing into maturity.  These are the moorings that anchor our souls to the Rock.  They keep us through the storms of life and they are the cornerstones upon which everything else is built.  Holding on to these truths is like returning to our first love in Christ.  We had best not forget them and move away from them even though we don’t want to remain in that state of milk fed babies of the Word.  Such is the state of many in the church world today who are content with their bottle once or twice a week of regurgitated Word from ministers that never move beyond a salvation type message.  The majority of their congregation know little to nothing about feeding themselves in the Word and allowing the Holy Spirit to teach and lead them into a deeper understanding and revelation of His truth.   1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”   God never wants us to lose those moorings of the first principles of His Words, but He doesn’t want us to be content just to stay there either.  God is an ever-dynamic river of truth moving and revealing Himself in ever greater truth and dimension.  It doesn’t mean His truth changes, but it does expand and the Holy Spirit is what is imparting that expanding truth to us.  Church history is lined with denominations who got a hold of a truth of God then built a doctrine, church and school around it and remained camped there as the river of God’s truth moved on to reveal more of His unfolding Kingdom.   

               I have set under teaching where the man talked about having personal revelation of the Spirit that was not always consistent with the Word of God.  That is false teaching.  God will never give revelation that is in contradiction to His written Word.  He gave us that Word so that we wouldn’t be moved by every wind of doctrine.  Just as a flower grows from a bulb by means of a sprout, then it adds a bud and the bud finally blossom into a beautiful flower unfolding the potential that was in that bulb.  God’s word is growing up in us constantly unfolding new dimensions of truth that are challenging us and taking us to greater depths in our walk and experience with Him. 

               The Lord has given us the sincere milk of the Word; the principle tenants of our faith to become rooted and established Him.  Hebrews 5:12 speaks of the balance when it says, “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”  It also says the reason we are still on milk is that we are dull of hearing.  Prayer, meditation and study of the Word will allow the Holy Spirit opportunity to begin to speak into our hearts more of the meat and substance of His Word.  We will develop a spiritual ear to hear as we are attentive and obedient to what He is showing us.  God is not just running a nursery school for children that never want to grow up.  He is maturing us into His sons, his royal priesthood to set creation free in its due season.

Romans 8:19 says that, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.”  Jesus is the prototype and first fruits of what God is bringing His people into.  He is not doing that with infants, but with mature saints of God.  Let us grow up continually in the grace and knowledge of Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Righteous is the man whose God is the Lord

Genesis 15:6

And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

               Man can not truly know righteousness, apart from or outside of God.  He can perform good deeds and may even exceed many of the people of God in good works, but no matter how good, he can not be righteous outside of God.  Righteousness is the byproduct of faith in God.  Genesis 15:6 is the first place that righteousness is used in the Word.  It is used in regards to God speaking to Abraham about giving him a promised son and it says, “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”  Righteousness is embracing God and His Word in faith.  It is believing and acting upon His Word and that which He quickens to us through the Holy Spirit.  Faith acts in obedience to that which it believes in.  Obedience is the other attribute of righteousness.  Deuteronomy 6:25 says, “And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.”  You might say then that the formula for righteousness is faith in God plus obedience to God equals the righteousness of God.  We see such a picture of righteousness in the life of Abraham who is like the father of faith.   Abraham knew a closeness and fellowship with God that is rarely paralleled even among the other great men of the bible.  Why was Abraham such a friend of God?  What made him so special?  He was a righteous man.  He was righteous because he believed what God told him and he obeyed whatever God told him to do.  Even when he had Isaac the most precious and beloved gift that God had ever given him, one in which he had believed in faith for, many years; God said I want you to sacrifice him to me.  Abraham didn’t argue, he didn’t bow his neck in rebellion or resentment, he obeyed God. God led him to a place three days from where he was so he had plenty of time to think it over and change his mind.  We see here a picture of full and unconditional surrender of his will to God, a willingness to obey God no matter what the cost and a faith in God that he knew God would fulfill His Word to him regardless of what circumstances told him.  That is the picture of righteousness. 

               The first time the word worship is used in the Word of God is in Genesis 22:5 when Abraham says, “Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”  Even in the words Abraham speaks is the evidence of his faith when he says, “and come again to you.”  The very act of obedience, of faith and the willingness to sacrifice the love of his life was an act of worship.  

               John Bevier brings out in his teaching on “Drawing Near” that God spoke to him one time and said, “Worship is not a slow song”.  Worship is not just singing songs, or going to church or praying.  “Worship is a life!”  It is a life of righteousness lived out in faith and obedience to God in everything.  That is why Jesus says in John 14:12-15, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].  If ye love me, keep my commandments.”  Many of us pray “in Jesus name” today, but we see limited results, why?  Could it be that we are not fully keeping the conditions of the promise?  Like most kids, we want all of the benefits without all of the responsibility, but they go together.  

               Finally, in John 15:10-14 Jesus tells his disciples, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and [that] your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”  If we want to move from the status of a servant to a friend it requires faith and obedience, these are the righteous ones that commune with God, who know the Son and have intimacy with the Holy Spirit.  These are the friends of God.  This is the righteousness of God by faith, wherein Christ is our righteousness, not by works of the law, but by a life fully surrendered in a continual living act of worship to Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Has God Forgotten You?

January 13, 2022

Has God Forgotten You?

Psalm 77:6-12

I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth [his] promise fail for evermore.  Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. And I said, This [is] my infirmity: [but I will remember] the years of the right hand of the most High. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.

               Have we ever had those times when we felt like the Lord was no where to be found?  Our prayers just seem to bounce off of the ceiling and fall to the ground.  Most of us have struggled with those times when the voices came in to say; “do you really think there is a God? How long have you been going through this trial and God hasn’t answered your prayers.  People pray and worship all kind of gods, what makes you so sure you are right and everybody else is wrong.  Doesn’t God see?  Doesn’t He care about the things you are going through?  If so, why isn’t He doing something?”

               Sometimes we feel that spirit of discouragement come over us.  We become disheartened and like David we are saying in our hearts, if not out loud, “Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth [his] promise fail for evermore.  Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies?”  Even David, who had a close relationship with God and had seen God’s mighty wonders through his life, had those moments of discouragement, questionings and doubts. 

               Both hands of God work in our lives to shape and mold us.  There are times we experience the right hand of God’s blessing, health, prosperity, deliverance and salvation.  Then there are times in our life when we might be experiencing the left hand of God.  In Job 23:8-13, Job says, “Behold, I go forward, but he [is] not [there]; and backward, but I cannot perceive him: When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him. But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food]. he [is] in one [mind], and who can turn him? and [what] his soul desireth, even [that] he doeth.” Even the most prominent of God’s saints have had their dark times when they endured the judgements and testing that God allowed to come into their lives.  Can we always make sense of those times?  No.  Sometimes we feel like the blind man feeling his way around trying to find his way in the Lord. 

               The one lesson we learn from these men of God is that even in those dark times when God seems so far from us He is nevertheless faithful and true.  How did David cope when he could not perceive God?  He began to recall the works of God and praise the Lord for all the mighty things he knew God had done.  He says, “but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.”  Remember, recite and give thanksgiving and praise for all the past blessings and miracles God has done for you and for others.  Dwell on His goodness and talk about all His great doings. 

Job, likewise in the midst of his great darkness and adversity, though God’s ways are darkened and hid from him says, “But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food].”  Job, though he doesn’t understand the entire why and wherefore, never questions God’s faithfulness or integrity.  He sees with the eyes of faith that God is faithful and has his highest good at heart even though the natural circumstances and facts would testify to the contrary.  He esteems God’s Word as more important and faithful than even the necessary food of life. 

               When those times of darkness, discouragement and trials are upon us, our spirit within us must rise up to encourage our soul that God is faithful and worthy of all praise no matter what the outward circumstances proclaim.  Our Lord has promised that He would never leave or forsake us, but natural feelings and senses are not the gauge of God’s closeness or faithfulness.  Paul gives us all great words of encouragement to hold on too through these times in Romans 8:33-39, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? [It is] God that justifieth,  Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us, Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  We must know and believe that our security and confidence in Christ does not rest in what we are going through or what we see around us, or how we feel; it rests in God’s sure Word to us that He will always love us and never leave us.  Whether in life or death, He is ever there with us.  Nothing can separate us from His love.  Encourage your soul in the Lord if you are in this place of discouragement and doubt.  He is forever faithful and true.  You can be sure He hasn’t forgotten you.

Blessings,

#kent

The Dance

January 12, 2022

The Dance

Acts 17:28

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

               Life is like a dance, an expression, if you will, of our emotions, our being, our dreaming, and our every day living.  Our dance can take on many expressions, moods and demeanors throughout our life.  In many ways it is choreographed as life and circumstances unfold.  We don’t always know the setting that we will be placed in or the stage upon which we will dance, but our dance, our life becomes the expression of our soul and what is contained therein.  How it expresses and moves itself is all contained within the individual.  Some will dance to a mournful tune, expressing regret, sorrow, despondency and discouragement.  Yet another may take the same stage and same melody, and dance with hope, faith and love.  How can they both be cast in the same drama and yet dance and express it so differently.  It is all contained in the song that lives within your heart.  It is contained in how you view and see your stage.  Do you only see darkness, moodiness and depression or do you see yourself as that light in a dark place having come in to illuminate your stage, to lift its spirit with hope, joy and a light in you that dances to a higher song. 

               Dances can be soulish, sensual and even devilish, but it depends upon the song you are dancing too.  Your dance can also be spiritual, joyous and the expression of your highest praise.  Psalms 149:3 says, “Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.”  2 Samuel 6:14 tells us, “And David danced before the LORD with all [his] might; and David [was] girded with a linen ephod.”  What was David wearing in the dance?  It says he was wearing a linen ephod.  Linen speaks of righteousness, a material not causing sweat or that that is not created in self-efforts.  The ephod was a garment worn by priest.  There is a reason the Word has told us what David was wearing.  It is not much of a stretch to see the priestly act of worship and joy that was being expressed through David, who technically was not a priest under the law, but certainly he was one in spirit and in truth. 

               What is the spirit under which we dance and express our lives?  Dance is a communication through action.  What are we communicating through our actions?  What is the music playing in our ears and how is our soul moving to it?  Are we listening and singing the song of the Lamb and His redeemed or are we still dancing to the darkness of the earthly soulish beat?  We have One that has gone before us, masterfully and perfectly choreographing the dance, but only each dancer can give it his or her interpretation and personal expression.  The more we possess the Spirit and mind of the Master Choreographer the more perfectly we can express His dance. 

               How are you dancing today?  Are your feet light and your jumps high?  Are you reaching up, stretching and extending with each movement?  Are your toes on point or are you flat-footed plodding a mournful dance through life.  Life is not in the stage or the setting or the props, it is in the dancer and how they choose to interpret their dance.  Be like David; dress yourself with your linen ephod and dance your life to the Lord with all of your might!

Blessings,

#kent

Vindication for the Upright

January 11, 2022

Vindication for the Upright

Daniel 6:3-5

Then this Daniel was preferred above the presidents and princes, because an excellent spirit [was] in him; and the king thought to set him over the whole realm. Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he [was] faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find [it] against him concerning the law of his God.

               If we are going to get into trouble for something let it be because of something like Daniel.  The excellent spirit that Daniel possessed was the Holy Spirit.  He walked with such integrity and righteousness that he was like a light in a dark place.  The objective of darkness is to extinguish the light, so men, moved by the unseen forces of greed, jealousy and treachery, sought Daniel’s destruction. 

               Most all of us know well the story of Daniel and the Lion’s den and how these evil men persuaded the King to pass a law to worship only him; which they knew Daniel would have to violate because of his uprightness and faithfulness to God.   It looked like the plan had worked and Daniel, by law was thrown into a Lion’s den to be devoured for his disobedience to civil law.  This was much to the dismay of the King, but he couldn’t go back on his decree. 

               Daniel walked and lived in Kingdom principles.  He obeyed and submitted to civil law in so much as it didn’t cause him to violate the higher law of God.  His integrity and uprightness stood as a beacon and testimony of his commitment and faithfulness to God, as ours should in this time. 

               Many of us have experienced times in our lives when we were persecuted, defrauded and even legally prosecuted for making a righteous stand.  It wasn’t because it was the easiest thing to do, but we knew it was the right thing to do and so we made our stand.  We were in effect, thrown into the lion’s den.  Our confidence is in our God.  We know that whether He vindicates us in this life or the life to come He is our shield and protector.  He is our righteousness and our life is hid in him.  Daniel 6:22 speaks of God’s faithfulness to Daniel’s faith and confidence in Him, “My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt. Then was the king exceeding glad for him, and commanded that they should take Daniel up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no manner of hurt was found upon him, because he believed in his God”.  God can be glorified when we stand for him on issues of righteousness.  Is there a price to be paid? often there is, but Romans 8:17 says, “if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.”  Not all have experienced the miracle of deliverance that Daniel did, but God was no less faithful.  We have confidence that our faithfulness and commitment to God is rewarded with an eternal weight of glory. 

1 Peter 4:12-16 expresses this position so well in that it declares, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy [are ye]; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.

 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or [as] a thief, or [as] an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if [any man suffer] as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.”  It is often not the easy way when we make a righteous stand.  Often the cost is high and painful, but when we stand in Christ we will never be disappointed, for His Spirit stands with us and His angels surround us.  He will vindicate us in due season if we are careful to not to become reliant upon the flesh and our abilities, but wait upon Him and trust Him through it all.  When God is involved outward circumstances never have the final say.  Let God have control as you make your stand in righteousness and integrity.  The battle is in the spirit and not in the flesh.   

Blessings,

#kent

From Fear to Faith

January 10, 2022

From Fear to Faith

2 Timothy 1:7

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

            After being away a good part of the day, that night we brought a couple of our grandkids home with us to spend the night.  Before I had finished getting everything out of the car, the wife was telling me the back door was unlocked and open.  She said she was sure that she had locked it.  On the way into the house I grabbed a trusty little aluminum bat and went into to secure the perimeter.  As the grandkids followed we walked all through the house and did a search to make sure no one was there.  Everything was in tact and nothing was disturbed so it appeared to be just an oversight on our part that the door was open.  As the grandkids followed me talking. I could hear the apprehension and a degree of fearfulness in their voices as they wanted us to set the alarm.  Now these grandkids are about six and nine years old.  As we got them ready to put to bed I began to talk with them about fear and the author of fear.  I explained about the One who is our life and security, the One who has His hand upon our lives and all that touches us can only be by His permission.  We talked about “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world”; how we are “more than conquerors through Christ that loved us” and how God has “not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  As I began to speak these things to them, faith began to rise in their hearts as they began to remember and realize that even though they were just children, Someone, much greater, resided in them and watched over them.  I began to recount Bible stories of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, of Hezekiah when great armies came up against Jerusalem and the Lord told Him to send the praise team and worshippers out first.  I asked them how they would like to go out in the frontlines of battle with just a tambourine or a horn or just their voice.  We talked about how that praise and worship of faith and obedience released God to discomfit and utterly destroy those great armies so that by the time they reached them all there was to do was gather the spoil they left behind.  We talked about the story of Paul and Silas, beaten for their faith and thrown into dark dirty jail, their hands in chains as they began to sing hymns and songs unto the Lord.  Through that praise and worship, in the midst of such discouraging circumstances, God sent an earthquake that opened the cells and freed everybody, but nobody escaped.  As the distraught jailer thought everyone had fled he drew his sword to kill himself, Paul stopped him and assured him all of them were there.  We saw how what had seemed to be a day of utter defeat and failure had been turned by God to result in the salvation of this jailer and his household. 

            The kids wanted to hear more and more stories, but finally I said it is time for us to go to bed.  Now there was no more fear or apprehension as we turned in.  It was as the scripture says in Romans 10:17, So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  Are you fearful today about some circumstance in your life?  Don’t look at how great the problem or the circumstances are, rather look to the Word of God and see how great your God is.  Look at all the times He delivered His people, because they put their faith and trust in Him.  Don’t look to how great the name is of the disease or burden that you bear, look to the Name above every name that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord to the glory of God ( Philippians 2:9-11).  Our God can take us from fear to faith as we read and meditate upon His Word; remembering how great and mighty our God is, how He loved us and gave himself for us and how if we fear anything let us fear the Lord and trust Him.

The Psalmist David says it so well in Psalms 56:11, “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.”

Blessings,

#kent

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