1 Corinthians 4:1-11
There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
7Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. 8To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, 10to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,a and to still another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.

Where is the Functioning Body?


Isn’t is a wonder that the Holy Spirit, through Paul, takes several chapters here to explain and lay out the gifts of the Spirit and the functionality of the body of Christ and yet when we look at churches and service, with few exceptions, we don’t see this happening.  We may in a measure, but generally it is controlled, kept in the program and limited to very few individuals.  Somehow in our worship and assembly our eyes have been directed to the “ministry” and  “pastor” and not to the Holy Spirit.
Don’t get me wrong.  There are a lot of pastor and teachers that deliver a great word, but where is the body functioning in the Holy Spirit through all of this.  We have put God in our neat little boxes and they vary in appearance from place to place, but does it really look like the Holy Spirit intended it too?  Is the body at large truly brought into participation through the leading and gifting of the Holy Spirit?
I think most churches and organization may consider this too dangerous.  It is too apt to get out of control and we can’t regulate it, so we don’t want to go there.  As a result the majority of the players set on the side line, while just our star players or coaches perform and play, usually in a well scripted manner of our own design.  Is that really what the Holy Spirit’s intent was for His Church? I believe many times the Holy Spirit Himself is setting out in the pews waiting on the sidelines while we have church as usual.  The Holy Spirit is in all of the body.  It is not just in the few that get up on stage.  Where is this Holy Spirit church operating in the freedom and “order” that the Word of God lays out for us?  We have become so dumbed down as the church, it is seldom we ever ask these questions, because this is the way we have always done it.  To us, that is what church is suppose to look like.  Is it?
As I read through the scriptures in 1 Corinthians 12-14, I see a many member body presented with multiple giftings, different kinds of services, but One the same Lord.  I see that these giftings are to flow in harmony, in order and most of all out of love, not self, for the edification and the building up of the body of Christ.
As we were coming into this new year what I have been hearing in my spirit from the Holy Spirit is “Activation”.   I believe in this hour we are moving away from big names and singular people that headline our church, worship and ministry.  Holy Spirit needs to be put back in the forefront of our churches and assemblies, not any one man.  Do we still need pastors and teachers?  Of course we do.  We need all of the fivefold  and all of it’s functionality which is resident in all of us as Spirit filled believers to one degree or another.
We are all at different levels in those Holy Spirit gifting that we possess, but how can they mature in us and through us unless they’re given place and opportunity to manifest and be cultivated in the right environment, which should be the church.  As we grow up and are built up in our faith and confidence in our giftings then those gifts need to be spilling over into our every day lives and how we can minister through them to the world around us.  Jesus gave us signs and wonders to confirm His Word.  How often do we see that operating?
Maybe we have become impotent in seeing the power of God move, because we have sterilized Him.  We have kept Holy Spirit in the confines our religious box and thinking while we go through the motions of having church.  We weren’t birthed into Christ to play church; we were birthed into Christ to be the Church, in authority, power and love.  The five fold ministry of Ephesians 4 wasn’t given just to rule over and direct the services of the church.  Let’s look at what the Word of God says their function is for.  Ephesians 4:10-13 says, “He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.  The five-fold’s functionality is preparation and maturing the body.  Do football coaches go out and play the game while they leave their players on the bench to watch?  That’s what we do as the church.  We have a control issue, perhaps without even realizing it, because it has become to engrained in our thinking.  The coaches or the five-fold now want and are doing it all.  They teach about how to play the game and then they do all of the playing.  I wonder why so many pastors are getting burned out today and quitting the ministry?  They were never meant to do it all, but that is what has become the standard.
People of God, Holy Spirit wants to activate us in this hour.  He wants us out on the field operating out of the giftings, service and abilities that He has placed within us.  We have become just as guilty as our leaders because we are content to be complacent and  just set back while we are taught, fed and someone else does all of the work.  I believe the Church, as a whole is out balance, and that balance is only going to be brought back as we are activated both within and without the walls of church to come into the fullness of what Christ designed each one of us to be.  If we want to see the power and love of God come back into the Church, then we have to put the Holy Spirit back in the driver’s seat, not just in word, but in action.

Blessings,
kent

Galatians 3:2-4
2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

Legalism Seeks to Nullify Faith


The law is a static force, which is good in itself, but serves only to show man his weakness outside of God.  The law in and of itself doesn’t stand as our salvation, but rather our condemnation.  Rather, it is faith that is the dynamic force in union with the Spirit of God that produces life changing events and substance.  ‘Without faith we know that it is impossible to please God.’
Most of us aren’t steeped in Judaism, but we might be surprised how much we try to please and earn God’s favor by our works rather than by our faith.  We allow others to impound us or we put ourselves under bondage, rituals, ceremonial and dietary restrictions, the keeping of days and numerous other legal restrictions that allow us to feel somehow more superior and holy than those that do not observe and keep such things.  The Word plainly tells us that righteousness is not of the law.  Galatians 3:21-24 says, “Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.”  The Law then was but an instrument and a tool to prepare us for Christ, who is our righteousness by faith.  The Law was not an end in itself.  Verses 26-29 goes on to say, “26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  Our position in God is not about who we are, where we came from, what sex we are or what race or background we come from.  Our position in God is “Sonship” through faith in Jesus Christ.  Our position is in Christ and He in us.  It is out of this position that we will move into our full inheritance in Christ.  This is why we must put on Christ by faith and no longer live out of the mentality of our natural minds that perceive us as separate and away from God.  We are united with Him and it is our faith that lays hold of this truth and lives it out to produce victory and overcoming in our lives.  This is the place we must learn to abide; the place of living out of His Spirit and His Life.  This is the truth that declares we are the seed of Abraham and heirs according to promise.  It is no longer the identification with the flesh and our goodness.  That is legalism.  It is our identification with “Christ in us” that will set us free and lead us into the expression of righteousness and justification that is by faith alone and no longer by works.  Our works will be the fruit and expression of our faith and no longer the means of obtaining our goodness and righteousness.

Blessings,
kent

Lay down the Law

March 14, 2012

Lay down the Law


Romans 8:3-4
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Have you ever laid down the law to your household, your children or employees?  Have you demanded that they be and act a certain way?  What is the reaction and response we see to this kind of dominance?  We may obtain obedience and submission out of fear and intimidation, but in their hearts we have only fostered resentment and anger.  No matter how good laws may be, unless we can embrace them in our hearts that they are for our benefit and safety, we are probably going to resent them.  We can see then that laws and rules are only as strong and effective as the people who are willing to follow them.
God gave us laws through Moses that were fundamentals for life, health and righteousness.   It wasn’t that God’s laws weren’t good enough, it was our hearts; which, at some point or another, were in rebellion to the laws of God.  Even if we agreed with the laws of God, embraced them and loved them, at some point or another we have broken them.  The law has served to show us our own weaknesses, the flaws and the cracks in these earthly pots.  Our sin has been our perpetual weakness and flaw in serving God and living up to His standards.  All of us can relate that no matter how much we love God and want to please and serve Him we have all stumbled over sin in our lives.
God says, “Here is the way we are going to fix that.  I will send my only begotten Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, only without sin.  Through His sinless life and because He is the only one qualified to take and pay the penalty for the sins of the whole world, He will take all of your sin upon Himself.  He will pay the price and die the death, so that you may, in exchange have His life and righteousness through faith.
God wants our hearts.  He wants our obedience and submission to His will, but because He gave each of us a will of our own, it is a personal decision that each of us must make.  Will I submit my will to Christ or will I keep it for myself.  If I keep it for myself, I can live and do as I please, but then I have rejected the sacrifice Christ paid for me and then I must pay the price for my own sins.
If I ask Christ into my heart, because I accept and believe what He has done for me, will I not sin anymore?  No, we are not already made perfect, except in our spirit, but we begin down a road of transformation.  The Spirit of God comes within us and alongside us to help in our journey of surrender and submission to Him.  The blood of Jesus ever stands as our fountain of washing and cleansing when we do fail.  His Word is a lamp unto feet and light unto our path to show His ways and the Spirit inside us is the strength and help we need to walk the walk of righteousness.   We are not righteous in our own merit, but we have been clothed upon, through faith, with the garments of righteousness and salvation through the blood of Jesus.
Every day we need to be humbled and submitted before Him as we ask for life, strength and guidance to grow and walk in our new nature and identity.  We identified that old former man of sin as crucified with Christ upon the cross and now our heart, our mind, our focus and our faith is set in Christ, to be conformed to Him in all of our ways.
It is no longer a chore, or burden or a mandate to keep the law that compels us.  It is the love of God in us.  We love Him because He first loved us and gave Himself for us.  We understand that it is only God and His life in us that completes us and helps us to fulfill our destiny and our reason for being.  If we choose to live outside of that, then we only deceive ourselves and choose only the path of death and an unfulfilled destiny that God had for us.
Yes, we become discouraged at all of the times and ways that we still fall so short, but it is important that our eyes and our heart remained fixed on the One who is greater than all of our sins. He is the One who is delivering us out of death into life as we endeavor to walk after the Spirit and no longer after the flesh.  We have laid down the written law of sin and death and we have taken up the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  This law is leading us into the liberty and freedom of all that we have been purposed for in God.  He is the fulfillment of who we are and who and what we are destined to become

Blessings,
kent

Every Day

March 13, 2012


Every Day


Revelations 20:12
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

It occurs to me as I sit and write that all of us are composing and writing our lives upon God’s books.  Each of us has a life’s novel that tells the story of our lives and what we did with them.  Though the memories of us may fade and we are forgotten in the earth, there is a record that stands, a book that we wrote.
What are we writing in our book?  How will it read back to us as we stand before God and give account for our lives and what we did with them?  If we feel we have nothing else, our life is our talent, to use for God’s glory and purpose or for our own.  The sad part is, none of us can ever go back and erase what we did the day before or the years before.  The ink is already dry upon the page.  The good news is that today is still to be written and our tomorrows after that.  What are we writing upon the pages of our life?  Will it be a story that pleases the Father or one in which we stand ashamed at a life wasted and that brought forth no lasting value in its life’s pursuits?
All of us have our regrets, our failures and our pages we wish that we could write over.  The important thing for us not to forget is that we are still writing this book.  Ecclesiastes says that as long as there is life there is hope.  Will your book be a story of transformation from death to life?  Will it be a story of how your life was a blessing; not only to God, but also to the lives you touched?  What are we going to write in our book today and through the coming weeks and years?
Psalms 118: 4 says, “This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  There is a Latin phrase, “Carpe diem”, simply, “ cease the day”, make the most of every moment that we have breath and life.
Solomon was a man that had and could have all that his heart desired. He set out to find the meaning and purpose of life.  At the end this is what he had to say and we will conclude with his words of wisdom in Ecclesiastes 12.  “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”- 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; 4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; 5 when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets. 6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
or the wheel broken at the well, 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!”
The Conclusion of the Matter
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”
May we consider carefully each day how we write our book.

Blessings,
kent

Matthew 14:34-36
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

Progressing in Faith and Power


At the name and presence of Jesus the multitudes would gather and the sick were brought.  Jesus was like no other.  He was a “God sent” that wasn’t just words, but love, power and demonstration of God Himself.  Many didn’t fully comprehend who this Jesus was, but they certainly wanted to receive what He had to give.  He could do what no man could do and could speak such marvelous things that was different from the dry manna that was presented at the temple.  This man was able to make it come alive with stories and parables that they could relate too.  He didn’t come speaking down to them, but speaking into them the love and calling of God upon their  lives.
Jesus hadn’t always manifested who He was in such a manner.  It wasn’t always evident to so many that He was the extraordinary man that He was.  While, He may not have always demonstrated the power and the outward miracles, my guess is that He was always willing to talk to those who were interested about His Father.
We as believers carry that same Spirit that Jesus carried.  It is His Spirit that abides within us.  While the fullness of our time may yet to be seen; it doesn’t lessen the potential  of who you are and what you carry inside of you.  We all carry Christ within us, but because we are His body we carry different stronger expressions of Him in one area or another.  We are being instructed by the Spirit how to unify and fitly join together those strengths of expression that we may more fully operate as the body of  Christ.  We will move in the fullness of His time, but we must always move by faith.  As faith increases so will the manifestation of that faith.
We see these people coming to Jesus having no problem believing Jesus for healing for their bodies.  Yet, Peter in the previous passage waivers while walking on the water, but he is stepping into areas of faith that he had not yet experienced.  As we grow in Christ we must continue to step up our faith as well as step out in faith, not looking to our ability or spirituality, but to His Spirit within us to bring us into that greater revelation and release of His power.  That power has to flow out of His love that is the expression of the Father through us.  He is training us.  We are learning.  Don’t be discouraged, but ever pressing in; not allowing the “What ifs” to over take us.  We don’t do the miracles, we are simply the messenger and carriers of them.  We simply follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and do as He directs.  He is the one that then brings about a supernatural change in the events of man.  Our responsibility is simply faith working through obedience.  In John 5: 19, “Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”  In the same way, we don’t move out of ourselves in demonstration Father’s power and love, we follow and obey the Spirit.  That is why it is so important that we spend the time building a relationship where we readily hear and recognize the Spirit’s voice.  What ever He says do, do it without trying to second guess or doubting.  When the Spirit is in it, it will happen in His time and His way.
Keep trusting. listening and stepping out.   Holy Spirit is growing us up into Him.

Blessings,
kent

The God of all Comfort

March 9, 2012


The God of all Comfort


2 Corinthians 1:3-7
3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 7And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

We don’t always have explanations for the things we go through in life.  God does not always move in the realm of our time or our way of thinking.  We obviously would pray ourselves out of every trying and suffering circumstance, but God doesn’t always remove those hardships and the unpleasantries of life from us.  It is reassuring when we look at Paul and the apostles lives to see that though none probably walked closer and nearer to God than they did, they were not immune to hardship and suffering.  Yet here in this passage Paul speaks of our God and Father as being the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. Yet the God of all comfort spared not His own Son.  Hebrew 5:7-9 tells us, “Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him.” Even God’s own Son offered up strong prayers to be delivered from death and yet He had to go through it.  It tells us that even Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered “being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him.”  So, is God sadistic?  Does He enjoy seeing people suffer?  You know, Adam and Eve didn’t have any trouble obeying and living sinless lives as long as there was no temptation or trials.  The difference is, where they failed in that they had never known hardship or suffering, Christ, the last Adam, overcame through death and suffering.  Trials and hardships are a part of our lives, but they aren’t there because God is mean and sadistic.  The fact is, that there are many times we wouldn’t be able to survive them if it weren’t for His comfort and grace.  Opposition is the element that forces us into a place of strength.  When we face oppositions that are beyond our strength, it forces us into someone stronger than we are.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul tells us what the Lord spoke to Him in that place.  “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  It is in our weakness that we find our true strength, which is our God.  Our natural inclination is to want to be delivered and get out of the place of hardship, suffering and pain, but in that place is often the greatest work of transformation in our lives.  As we experience death outwardly, it forces us into life inwardly.  We begin to trust and rely upon God in ways we never would have otherwise.  And God is not insensitive to your pain.  He indwells you, so He is sharing your sufferings, your trials and your hardships.  His Word and the Life of His Spirit are there to comfort and encourage you.  Likewise others who have traveled this road come along side of you and identify with you, encouraging you in the place where you are.  What is being worked in us through our suffering and hardships is working in us the nature of comfort and compassion that we could not have had if we never walked that way.  With our suffering, God gives us comfort and reassurance.  We know that we are His; that He purchased us with a great price of suffering.  We have been privileged to share in that suffering as well as in the blessing, so that we also might learn obedience through the things we suffer and might be made perfect as Christ perfects us.
No precious vessel of honor becomes that way instantly or naturally.  There is a process that takes it from a place of rough raw materials, through crushing, purification and separations, to tooling, hammering crafting and polishing, till finally from the Master’s hand immerges the prize of such intense dealings and pain.  Is God preparing you as His mantle piece today?  See through the suffering into His heart of compassion and love, for whom the Lord loves He chastens.  Know that He is there with us in those hard places and He shares in our hurts, disappointments, sorrows and sicknesses.  See through the darkness of the hardships of this life into the light of His eternal love and comfort.  He has not left you or forsaken you, but is mighty in you to bring you through to victory.

Blessings,
kent

God’s Treasures

March 8, 2012

Psalms 119:11
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

God’s Treasures


I want to talk to you personally from my heart today.
In my personal life this year I have been seeking to become more attuned to the Lord’s voice and leading.  In that process I am attempting to say “yes” whenever I feel His prompting and leading.  He spoke in my spirit yesterday that He would call on me, but that it would not be at an opportune time.
I had a very unique night last night as the Lord woke me at about 2:00 a. m. in the morning to spend time with Him.  Not a very opportune time, as I was reminded of what He had told me.  What we find in the inopportune times that aren’t on our radar or agenda is that when we are willing to obey God, He has some rich treasures for us.
As I went into the other room and began to seek the Lord I had about three hours of just special time with Him.  He shared with me Ezekiel 33:23-29, “Then the word of the Lord came to me: 24“Son of man, the people living in those ruins in the land of Israel are saying, ‘Abraham was only one man, yet he possessed the land. But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.’ 25Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you eat meat with the blood still in it and look to your idols and shed blood, should you then possess the land? 26You rely on your sword, you do detestable things, and each of you defiles his neighbor’s wife. Should you then possess the land?’
27“Say this to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: As surely as I live, those who are left in the ruins will fall by the sword, those out in the country I will give to the wild animals to be devoured, and those in strongholds and caves will die of a plague. 28I will make the land a desolate waste, and her proud strength will come to an end, and the mountains of Israel will become desolate so that no one will cross them. 29Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I have made the land a desolate waste because of all the detestable things they have done.’”
I thought, “wow, one man, Abraham, was able to possess the land that God had promised.” Then it went on to say, “But we are many; surely the land has been given to us as our possession.” Yet here is Israel coming into judgement and are in fact losing their land.  As we are entering into possess our spiritual inheritance why was Abraham able to posses his and yet a whole nation was falling short of possessing theirs?
I thought, will you know Abraham was a “YES” man.  He always said yes to God.  God didn’t make him out to be a perfect man, but he was a man of faithfulness and obedience that always said “yes” to wherever God said go and would do whatever God said to do without question or argument.  Even to the willingness to sacrifice his own son of promise because God said so.  Isn’t it a testimony to Abraham that God used him to build the whole Judeo-Christian faith and the Arabic people as well.  He was only one man, but God confided in Him and made covenant with Him.  He was God’s friend and God gave to him the great possession of promise.
Why did the Israel nation fall short in their possession of the land in Ezekiel’s day?  It was because they were hearers of the word, but not doers.  Like so many of us as believers, we here the word over and over, nod our heads in agreement, say “amen” and then go away living our lives as if we never heard it.
One of the things that so grieves my spirit is the spiritual impotence that I see in my life and in Christianity as whole.  I want possession of that power and love that is the inheritance of Christ’s covenant with us.  Could it be that we are not seeing it because we are too much like Israel of old?
Now one of the things I have started doing this year is journalizing my dialogues with God.  So to journal I have to do a lot more listening and a lot less talking.  It is part of teaching my spirit to hear and respond to His voice.
One of the next things the Lord spoke to me is that “you have been playing in a sandbox where the cats have came and buried their waste.”  That’s not something I really cared to hear, but it spoke to me of our  playing in our fleshly sandboxes and not even seeing the filth that surrounds and that we are exposing ourselves too.   That began to awaken me to the need to move into the heart and spirit of Abraham that God found so pleasing.
Well, the Lord went on to speak and give me insights into my business and other matters.  It was a very blessed and rewarding time.  Even in the Lord’s correction their is such encouragement, but He desires even more than we do that we would move into His highest for us.
As I was sharing these things latter with my wife Sharon, I said, “You know, it is like the Lord is always raining down fine gold dust of truth upon us, mixed with nuggets that may be more significant to us, but how much of what the Lord is speaking to us do we let fall to the ground because we don’t capture it, meditate upon and then put it into effect in our daily living.  The Word of God is a treasure house of gold and yet we so often regard as common what the Lord has called holy.
God is not trying to condemn us.  He is exhorting us to come up higher and possess the land of our inheritance.  He is not discouraging you or I, but rather exhorting and encouraging us by showing us what is hindering us from entering into our greater fullness.
I want to encourage all of you to seek that place of intimacy with Father;  learning to listen, write down and put into practice what He shows you and teaches you.  He is willing to answer so many of our questions if we spend the time to listen.  That is where we are going to find God’s treasures.

Blessings,
kent

Ugly Duckling

March 7, 2012

Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, [saying], Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

Ugly Duckling


Most of us remember the story of the ugly duckling that was such a misfit.  He didn’t fit in with the other ducks.  He didn’t look like them and act like them.  He grew up being made fun of, rejected, the object of ridicule, scorn and mistreatment.  Do you think that duckling had an identity crisis?  Do you think he ever thought why couldn’t I just be like all the other ducks in the pond?  Why do I have to be so different?
Some of us have grown up and lived with that same kind of complex.  We may have a bit of an identity crisis.  We don’t seem to fit in and be accepted like everyone else.  The important thing we must always remember, especially when we get so down on ourselves, is who we really are.  Our identity and importance isn’t to be judged by our peers or other people.  Our value and importance is determined by the One who created and made us; the one who formed us in the womb and numbered our days before the foundation of the world.
Like the ugly duckling, we may be awkward and ugly in the eyes of the world, but we are not of the world.  Just as the ugly duckling wasn’t really a duckling at all, but a swan that when it came into maturity was more beautiful and graceful than any of the other fowl in the pond.  Your beauty, your worth, your value and your identity are intrinsically intertwined with who you are in Christ.
Isaiah 51:16 says, “And I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou [art] my people.”   God is raising us up not to be approved by the world, but to be approved by Him.  We are His Zion and His people created for good works.  For many, Jesus was the ugly duckling of His day.  Isaiah 53:3 prophesies of Jesus, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were [our] faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”  Maybe that is how you feel.  Don’t allow those of feelings of failure and rejection overtake you, for God loves you and He created you as you are for a reason, His reason and His purpose.  Find out and know who you are in Him for that is your quest in life.
1 Peter 2:6-10 says, “For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” 8and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for.
9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  We are a peculiar people, who once were no people, but now we are the people of God, chosen out and set aside for His purpose and His glory.  Don’t be ashamed of who you are, regardless of how the world treats you.  In God’s eyes you are not the ugly duckling, you are the beautiful swan, graceful in motion and regal in beauty.  You are the way that you are because it is His life and His nature that resides within you.  No longer shrink in shame and disgrace, but be humbly confident in the authority of who you are.  You are His priest and king.

Blessings,
kent

I Will Wait for Him

March 6, 2012

Lamentations 3:22-27
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.
23They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
24I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
25The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;
26it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
27It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.

I Will Wait for Him


One of the richest and most fruitful times of the day is the time I spend with Papa.  Out of that time and communion with Him I find the strength, direction and the attitude I need to carry into my day.  The most special of those times is when I hear Him speak to me or even speak through me as write.  Indeed, “His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
There are times in our lives as God is growing us, maturing us and seasoning us that we have our times of lamentation.  We don’t always feel God’s closeness or sense His presence.  Circumstances that surround us might suggest that maybe God has left us or abandoned us.  Then we hear the jackal voice of the enemy as he taunts us with doubts,  fear and unbelief .  He whispers his condemnations to us because we think somehow we are not good enough or worthy of God’s love.
The Lord has not forsaken us.  It is not because you aren’t good enough or worthy of His love.  It has never been about our worth.  If Father didn’t consider us worth saving He would have never sent His Son to die for us.  Our worth is found in our identity with Him, not in the efforts or failures of our goodness.   He alone is our goodness and our righteousness and because of that God does not turn His back on you.
What God is looking for is the man that is steadfast and faithfully waits upon the Lord even in the midst and length of trial and adversity.  Of course it easy to love God when we speak and it happens, when we pray and He answers, when we sense His presence and love all around us.  What happens when we don’t have that and our heavens seem as brass?  Will we say like Jeremiah, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”  Isn’t that basically what Job said when his world turned upside down and God seemed no place to be found?  God is wanting sons and daughters that are so sold out that they totally love God for who He is, regardless of what He can give them or how He can make them feel.  Faith is the “feeling” of the Spirit.  It will believe when all else says otherwise.
God has never forsaken us.  “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  God can so blow us away with all He could do for us and provide for us and there will be a day for that, but first God wants to know our heart.  Are you willing to hang with Him in the rough times, those lonely and desert times?  Are you willing trust Him and praise Him even in adversity and lose?
It says of Jesus in Hebrews 5:8, “though he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” If Jesus is our prototype and pattern should we think that it would be different for us?
Shore up your resolve and know that God is always on His throne and His promises are always “yes” and “amen”, but that doesn’t mean the ride can’t be rough.  Jesus says, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  Tribulation is part of our portion if we live godly in Christ Jesus.  Why would you be an overcomer unless there was something to overcome?  It is what builds the fabric of your faith and relationship with Father.  When He knows nothing will move you from Him then He knows He can trust great responsibility into your hands.  “It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”  The yoke speaks to the burden and the testing of our faith.  When we have been seasoned through our youth, then in latter years we can more fully move into what God wants to impart through us because of the experience He has worked in us over the time.
There is no place like God’s presence, but know that this is not always a warm and fuzzy place based on our feelings.  Remember that the feelings of the Spirit is faith.  In that faith we stand in confidence of God as we wait upon Him, knowing that He is our portion.
Isaiah 40:29-31 reminds us, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
James 5:7-11 exhorts us, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
Wait upon the Lord.  Persevere.  The Lord has great things ahead for those who stay the course and don’t faint.

Blessings,
kent

Right Alignment

March 5, 2012

Romans 8:19
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

Right Alignment


What the Lord shared with me prayer this morning concerning the body:

Right alignment is where I am taking you.  My people love Me, but they have been out of alignment with My thinking and My ways.  They have to fully believe who they are to step into what they have been call to be.
Take off all limitations of what you think I can and will do through you.   Open up your box and by faith let Me out of the confines of your mental limitations.  Just because you haven’t seen it or heard of it before doesn’t mean it can’t happen.
My Kingdom has to become your primary agenda.  Nothing less will do.  You have been created and call to such a time as this, so don’t allow any earthly distractions to hinder you from the high calling I placed upon your lives.  As the priest goes before you, you will follow them through the Jordan.  Old things will pass away and all things will become new.  You are stepping into your Promise Land.  That which I formerly destroyed I will now redeem back to Myself.  Instead of war and destruction, you will bring with you the ministry of peace and reconciliation.  You will love the unclean.  What the law formerly condemned and destroyed, My grace now resurrects and sets free.  You are my agents of grace and freedom.  You do not operate out of judgement and condemnation, but you love and call forth My image in the least of men.  It is My sons that will set creation free and that is what I have called you to be.
You are the outshining of My glory and your light will dispel the gross darkness of the people.  Arise and shine, for My glory rests upon you.  The reason I give you my glory is because you don’t take it unto yourselves, but you give it back to Me.

Blessings,
kent

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