John 17:6-18
“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13″I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Final Thoughts and Prayers


    If this was your last day alive on this earth where would your heart, your thoughts and your prayers be?  As Jesus was on the doorstep of His passion we find that His thoughts and prayers are on us.  He is talking to the Father about the disciples and all that will follow after them.  His prayers are not for the world, or world peace, His focus is upon those that the Father has given Him; the remnant that believed Him and had not forsaken Him.  He talks about how He watched over those that God gave Him and kept them safe by the name that the Father had given Him.  Now He prays that the Father will continue to keep us by the power of that name; the precious name of Jesus.  His name is the mantle that He has passed to us.  It is our power and authority, it is our blessing and protection, it is our safety and provision and it is our salvation for spirit, soul and body.  It is what brings us together in one mind, one body and one Spirit.  We are individuals united and joined into one man by the power of that name. 
    Jesus prays and acknowledges that to this point He has fulfilled His purpose and destiny to give us the Word of God.  He gave it to us not only in His words, but in the in the revelation and unveiling of the nature and character of God with us in His own being.  Jesus ironically doesn’t pray for us to be taken out of the world or to not go through trials and tribulations, but that we would be protected from the evil one and that we might have the full measure of His joy within us.  He speaks to the truth that the world will hate us as it hated Him for we are no longer of this world as He is not of this world.  If we were of the world the world would love us.  Because we now carry and bear the Word of the Lord the world will hate us as it hated Him.  Yet there is always a remnant that will hear and receive that Word unto salvation and life. 
    Finally He ask that we be sanctified by the Truth and that Truth is in His Word.  For us, He sanctifies Himself that we might be sanctified.  What is that sanctification?  As I look it up, it says that it is “to be separate from profane things and dedicated to God.  It is to consecrate things to God, dedicate a people to God, to purify by expiation (free from the guilt of sin) and to purify externally and internally by the renewing of the soul.”  The purpose of Jesus was to call us out as His people and sanctify us unto Himself as His holy people. 
    The rest of the Lord’s prayer pertains to our unity with the Godhead and our unity as the body.  Jesus continues to pray, “”My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24″Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25″Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”
    The last thoughts and prayers of Jesus were for us and they have never ceased to be for us.  Even now Jesus is the High Priest of our profession and He ever lives to make intercession for us.  He has passed the mantle of His name, His nature and His character to us.  He abides in us to manifest the love of the Father through us.  He has sanctified us that we might now bring glory and honor to that name that is above every name in heaven and in earth.
    What would our last thoughts and prayer be for?  I am sure they would be for those that we love and care the most for.  That was the heart of Jesus for us. 

Blessings,
kent

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The Spirit of Adoption

July 30, 2012

The Spirit of Adoption


1 John 3:1-3
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 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. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Can you comprehend being adopted by the richest, most powerful, wonderful and loving  parent?  The very creator of the Universe has adopted us believers as His very own sons and daughters.  “Behold (take a good hard look) that we (the weak, the screw-ups, the failures, sometimes the rejects of the world) should be called the sons of God.
Why has he adopted us?  While it may not be evident now, the primary reason He has adopted us is so that we can be like HIM.  Did you ever think about your mentality as a child?  It was always centered on what you could get.  Especially at Christmas, you wanted this and you wanted that.  As you grew into adulthood and especially as you parented children of your own, your focus changed from what you could get to what you could give.  The world has an ideology like that of little children.  It is centered on what it can get.  The child of God is not like the world because their ideology is becoming more and more what can I give.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.”  No greater gift could He give.
We purify ourselves by putting off selfishness and self-centered behavior and putting on love which is manifested through outward giving.
God doesn’t give us everything our flesh desires because He is not in the business of raising spoiled, selfish children.  He is in the business of raising children of His Love; unselfish, caring, giving children that see the needs and wants of others before their own.   Jesus, being God, emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant, even to the laying down of His very own life for our behalf.  This is the example of LOVE; of the quality of love the Father wants and has bestowed upon us.   What an example of what it is to be conformed to His image.  ‘No, it hath not yet appeared what we shall be, but the more He appears in us, even now, the more we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is’; the perfect expression of the Father which is LOVE.  “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.  That is what we are…”

Blessings,
kent

Parable of the Weeds

July 27, 2012

Matthew 13:32-43
Then he left the crowd and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”
37He answered, “The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man. 38The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, 39and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels.
40“As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. 41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

Parable of the Weeds


The Lord dropped this scripture my heart as I was asking Him about what to write.  As I read back over the chapter I guess I had heard the two parables, but it never really registered with me that there is “the parable of the sower”  and there is “the parable of weeds”.  Jesus’ disciples are asking Him to explain the parable of the weeds.   Let’s just list the metaphors to make it a little easier.
Sower of good seed = Jesus, the Son of Man
Good seed =  sons of the kingdom
Weeds = sons of the evil one
Enemy sowing the weed seed = devil
Harvesters = angels

Throughout the field of this world Jesus has planted His seed that are the sons of His kingdom.  But in the midst of this kingdom seed or kingdom son, the enemy, the devil has sowed weed seed.  Now, in the Lord’s wisdom, God has chosen to allow the two to grow together until the fullness of time or the harvest.
I find it interesting  and just food for thought that God didn’t just pull up His wheat first, put it in the barns and then destroy the weed.  He first dealt with the weeds in judgement. gather and burned them, then gathers the wheat. So when God comes to judge His house that is a good thing for the sons of the kingdom. “41The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 43Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.”  From this we can gather that up to the point of God’s judgement and harvest there is a mixture of good seed and the weeds growing together in the same field.  We can see through other parables, such as “the sheep and the goats” in Matthew 25 that God’s kingdom in the earth is a mixed bag.  Now the  distinguishing difference is the fruit that they produce.  Jesus told us that every tree produces fruit after its own kind.  When we look behind and in the way from where we have come from what kind of fruit trails behinds us?  What are we leaving in wake.  Is it life, blessing, goodness, kingdom fruitfulness in the lives of others, or is perhaps division, strife, backbiting, gossip, slander, jealousy, offense and unforgiveness, hurt and brokeness?   In 1 Corinthians 11:31-32 it is says, “But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. 32When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”  We definitely want God to deal with our issues now rather than later and we are exhorted to examine our own lives to be sure that the fruit we are producing and the kind of seed we are is a godly seed. We want to be sure we are allowing the Holy Spirit to prune and trim us so that we can be more fruitful and productive in the kingdom.
When we understand that not everyone who fellowships with the church and the body of Christ is of the body then we can be more discerning about who we follow and listen too.  The key sign here is the fruit of righteousness it is producing or the lack thereof.  Also, it important to note that God didn’t give us the job of tearing all of the weeds out, that is God’s job.
One analogy that I have heard is that this weed that was planted is also called darnel.  If it is eaten it will cause one to become lethargic, sleepy and ineffective.  It can eventually lead to death.  When it is fully ripe, it is distinguished from the rest of the wheat because its head is held high while the ripened wheat around it have their heads bowed low.
The lessons is that, yes, we should be aware of the weeds that surround us and understand that they are always going to be there until the harvest, so our focus is not on uprooting all of the weeds, but producing the fruit of what the DNA of the Sower of good seed has placed within us.  Allow your light to expose their darkness.  Allow your fruit to demonstrate what is truly of the kingdom and what produces fruitfulness for the King.

Blessings,
kent

Resurrection Life

July 26, 2012

Resurrection Life


John 11:25
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Resurrection means a rising up as from a seat.  In this scripture Jesus communicates to Martha that the resurrection isn’t just an event for a future date in history.  Resurrection is the Spirit of Life and it is resident in the person of Jesus Christ.  Romans 8:1-2 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”  Those who are in Christ Jesus walking according to the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, are walking also in the principle of resurrection life.  The other part of that is that we are no longer walking in the principles and laws of sin and death.   As faith is the inverse of fear and unbelief, so resurrection life is the inverse of death.  It is that which rises up and unseats death.  We see this truth in Romans 8:10-11,
“And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
Even now are we experiencing resurrection life in us as we are being transformed from death to life in Christ Jesus.   There is a spiritual principle of life at work in us that is powerful and life giving.  It is greater than death itself.  Death obviously is still having it’s time and place even among the most spiritual of men, but under the direction of the Almighty even the powerful enemy of death must bow to the resurrection life of Christ.  Even death could not hold Him in the grave.  The destiny of our walk is to know death to that man of sin in our former nature.  That death to self is bringing us into the resurrection life of Christ Jesus.  Hebrews 2:14 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.”  We see then that power of death is held in the devil’s hands.  Jesus dealt satan a deathblow at the cross through His death.   What we must grasp is through that principle of death to sin and self there arises the Spirit of Life.  The crushed grapes yield the wine.  The seed that is planted and dies, gives way to the life within in it.  What Christ has done as the head, He will accomplish through the body.  In Philippians 3:10-11 the apostle Paul declares, “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead (or more literally, “out of the dead”).” Christ is at work in us today to deliver us out of the power of sin and death that still is at work in our mortal bodies.  He is the Life Force within us.  The fellowship with His sufferings and the identification with His death are made more and more real to us the closer we walk with Him.  But the death that works in us is giving place to life, His resurrection life that is also at work in us.  It has the power to quicken and give life even to our mortal bodies.   We see it in a measure now, but soon without measure in those who are the partakers of the first resurrection.  In that first resurrection are those who rule and reign in Christ.  Revelations 20:6 says, “Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” As Paul goes on to say in Philippians 3:12-14, “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”     Pursue and lay hold of His Resurrection Life.

Blessings,
Kent

Fear of Man

July 25, 2012

Fear of Man


Psalms 56:1-6,9-13
Be merciful to me, O God, for men hotly pursue me; all day long they press their attack. 2 My slanderers pursue me all day long; many are attacking me in their pride. 3 When I am afraid, I will trust in you. 4 In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? 5 All day long they twist my words; they are always plotting to harm me. 6 They conspire, they lurk, they watch my steps, eager to take my life…
Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD, whose word I praise- 11 in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 I am under vows to you, O God; I will present my thank offerings to you. 13 For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Fear is a powerful force.  Most all of us have been influenced and moved by it.  But ironically it is the fear of God that will move us to faith, while the negative fears that we harbor and allow touching and influencing our lives will move us away from faith.  If we think about it most anything we fail to trust God for is either an act of disobedience through rebellion or it is disobedience out of fear.  Faith is a confidence in God and His Word, fear is the doubt and apprehension that God will fail us.  Romans 14:23 tells us that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”  One of our greatest fears is what others think about us, how they will accept us and what they can do to hurt us.   Fear is one of the strongest instruments at the enemy’s disposal.  It undermines our faith and gets our eyes and our confidence off of Christ and back on to us.  It causes us to see after the natural rather than the supernatural.
There are different levels at which fear can touch us from the most surface levels of fear to the deepest levels of psychological trauma.  On the surface levels we all deal with fear of social acceptance, failure and insecurity.  Think about a baby in the mother’s womb.  It knows no fear there.  It is safe, it is warm, provided for, accepted and secure.  It has all of the things that we loose the guarantee of as we come into this world and are forced into self- responsibility.  When these basic needs or wants are threatened it causes us to fear.  We fear when we are not in a safe environment.  We fear for our health, our daily provisions and needs as well as the needs of those we are responsible for.  We fear when we feel insecure and threatened, physically, emotionally or even spiritually.  Thus fear becomes a very powerful motivator and influence in our lives.  Jesus addresses this fear that stems out of worry in Matthew 6:25-34, “”Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Is all fear bad?  No, we can’t say that all fear is bad, because it is often fear that can motivate us to right actions or even protect us from things that could harm us.  The fear of God is a good fear because it moves us into Him and the more that we move into God the more we learn to trust Him.  He can bring us again to that place of peace we had as infant only it won’t be without conflict.  It won’t be without many things, people and circumstancse coming against us, as they attempt to rob our peace and confidence in the God that we’ve come to know, love and serve.
Many of the challenges to our faith come through the fear of man.  We fear that others will not accept us so we focus on what will be pleasing to the world.  Many of us get our self worth and esteem from what others think.  We often fear man so much that we let society and our circle of influence shape our values, our opinions and form the standard for how to act, what to wear, what we can and can not talk about.  In Jesus’ day people were fearful to talk about Jesus.  John 7:13 says, “Howbeit no man spake openly of him for fear of the Jews.”  Many of us fear to speak openly of Jesus today for fear that others will be offended or not accept us.  We want to have the heart that David had when he said in Psalm 56:4, “In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.”  Our flesh avoids pain and seeks pleasure.  We fear not living up the standards others have for us for fear of rejection.  Many of us live in a constant state of worry and anxiety, which is fear.  Yet the word teaches us in Philippians 4:6-7,  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Fear will always focus us on the natural and take our eyes off of our faith in God.  Deuteronomy 31:6 exhorts God’s people, “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he [it is] that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”  God speaks His Word into us to disperse our fears.  Isaiah 41:10-14 says, “For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. 14 Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,” declares the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.”
It is our faith in God that gives us boldness in place of timidity, that gives us eyes and a heart to see beyond our fears as we embrace the realities of God’s promises and His Word.  As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” And again in 2 Corinthians 4:18 he says, “While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal. “  The fear of the Lord will bring us into faith for it will cause us to exalt God’s ways above man’s ways and it will embrace His Word as truth even in the face of opposing natural evidence.  Our hope, our confidence and our faith are in the Lord.  When we embrace who we are in Him, then the fear of this world looses its power over us, “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, [even] our faith. (1 John 5:4)”

Blessings,
kent

1 Corinthians 15:33
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

Companionships and Friends

As you go through life choose your friends and companionship among the people you most want to be like and who represent the highest standard.  Among them you will always be challenged to come up higher and to be more.  From that foundation of godly friends, you can help influence others that need a higher vision and that struggle with baser issues.
Many times we are drawn into friendships with those we want to help, encourage and bring up higher, but the Word warns us that it can have the opposite effect.  We tend to become like the people we hang out with.  The Word asks us, “what fellowship has light with darkness”.  We can’t bring our light to them by partaking of their darkness.  When we are operating out of a place where our strong friendships are with strong believers then we strengthen each other to minister into those places of darkness where our love longs to help those who are still bound by sin’s cords.  We can never take for granted that we are beyond temptation.  With like-minded companions and a body of believers we can stand together in the power of prayer, the Word and the unity of our faith to bring others up into the light.
I used an illustration with my children one time.   I put two of them on the stairs with the one up higher trying to pull the lower one up, but when the one on the lower step pulled back, they could easily see that it was easier to pull someone down than it is to pull them up.  I used this to illustrate to them about the friendships they choose.  Our heart and intention can be good, that doesn’t mean we can’t be pulled down.
When Jesus sent the disciples out, He didn’t send them alone they went in pairs.  In Acts when the apostles went on their missions, they didn’t go alone.  When we want to bring our light into the realms of darkness, it is better that we don’t go alone, but they we take another strong believer or believers.  Together we have each other’s back and can see things that one of us alone may not see.
Let the company that is in darkness be the ones you reach out to in love, but love doesn’t become a part of their darkness.  It calls others up higher, but doesn’t dwell where they are.  It only identifies with where they are, so that it can bring them into the identity Father wants them to have.

Blessings,
Kent

2 Corinthians 4:7-18
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
13It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. 15All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
16Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

In Times of Discouragement


As believers we all face those times of discouragement, testing and trial where in the natural we would want to give up, give in and walk away from our faith.  Perhaps none faced more assault in the spiritual arena than did Paul.
How did he make it through?
It was because he knew his identity in Christ that he was able to endure all the assaults of darkness and the daily trials of life.  He knew the “all surpassing power” that didn’t come from self, but from “Christ in him.”  He had a revelation of that being identified with Christ is not just about the blessing, but drinking from the same cup that He drank from.  The cup of suffering.
I had a glimpse of revelation the other day as I was listening to the passage of James and John’s mother asking if her sons could set upon each side of the throne of Jesus. Jesus replied in Matthew 20:22-23 with this statement, “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said to them. “Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?”
“We can,” they answered.
23Jesus said to them, “You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.”
Jesus’ disciples, like most of us, have the perception that serving Christ is all about the glory.
When Jesus said, “now am I a glorified” in between where he stood and the glory was the cross.  Romans 8:17-18 Paul declares, “Now 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.
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  The suffering, the death and the cross are all elements that precede the glory.
Jesus finishes this passage in Matthew by saying, “and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”  Our faith in Christ is not first about getting, but about giving.  It is not about us being served, but about us becoming the servants of Christ in serving others.  It is in the death of our carnal and mortal man that the life of Christ is released, which we carry.  Paul realized that the troubles, the trials, the distress, the hardship, the death to self are merely the bridge that leads to the surpassing glory of our inheritance in Christ.
When we read this passage in Corinthians most of us have no idea or comprehension of that kind of suffering and sacrifice.  We are so easily discouraged by someone who has offended us or some trial that we pass through.  Men like Paul virtually lived in the place of trial and hardship and they did so because of who they were in Christ and who Christ was in them.  They did so because in the pouring out of their life, others were able to receive the gospel and live.  They truly were living sacrifices poured out to the glory of Jesus.  They didn’t live for the momentary blessings  and substance of this world like so many of us do. They were willing to be totally spent in life and  substance for the kingdom of God because they saw a greater eternal weight of glory before them that so outweighs these momentary earthly afflictions.
Paul says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
If Paul heard what our complaints are and where our discouragement comes from he would probably laugh and tell us we need to suck it up.  We need to get over ourselves and realize it is not about us, it is about Christ in us and the kingdom that we serve.  We have been so pampered in our faith and theology that we know very little about what it is to drink from the cup of suffering and yet this is a very real part of our faith.
When we are going through our momentary trials and feeling a little discouraged, let’s just look back at Jesus, Paul, the apostles and saints and what they endured and gave up.  Let us remember who we are in Christ and who He is in us that we  may be willing to face whatever is before us with our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.  Let us be encouraged by the lives of the saints that went before us and willingly gave so much at such a great price.  They did not lose heart, how much less should we?

Blessings,
kent

Activation

July 20, 2012

Acts 2:1-3
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tonguesa as the Spirit enabled them.

Activation


At the beginning of this year, what I was hearing the Spirit say was that this is a year of activation in body of Christ.  Quite honestly I haven’t yet seen the level of activation that I had hoped for in myself or others.  I was asking the question, “what brings about activation?”.  I was reminded that the body of Christ, the Church was activated at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came upon the 120 in the upper room in Jerusalem.  We see God activating these ordinary faithful believers in a supernatural way.  Now I don’t think activation for today is about getting goose bumps, and all worked up in our emotions.  I think it is when God really shows up in us.  When the Holy Spirit really shows up in us things go from the ordinary to extraordinary, because He is an extraordinary God.
When I look at Pentecost I don’t see an organization, a protocol, a program or any one man or group dictating what all the others should do or how they should worship.  I see a 120 people, in obedience to the command of Jesus, going and waiting upon the Holy Spirit to show up.  How many of us ever go to church and wait for that to happen.  No, everyone might get bored and leave or if the Holy Spirit did show up things might get out of control and it could get messy.
What does that say about our desire and hunger for God?  What does it say about our willingness to trust God to show up in us as believers and activate the body again into what it was birthed to be, the living expression of Christ in all of His members.
Yes, I am tired of church, man’s order, man’s ways, one man shows and ministries.  I am so ready to see the body of Christ rise up, be activated and be the Church, the expression of Christ, activated, governed and led by the Spirit of God.  I don’t want to just see another move of God.  I want to see His kingdom come and His will done on earth as it is in heaven.
Please excuse me while I am venting a little of my passion today.  I am just so ready for the real thing manifested in power and love through the body of Christ, where it is not about big names or “the ministry”, because that is who we all should be.  I am tired of the impotence that I feel in myself in the rest of the body.  I am tired of just sitting on a seat or in a pew on Sunday morning.  If I am tired of it, maybe God is tired of it too.  Maybe it is time to take church out of the building and into the streets, the neighborhoods, the nursing homes and even the bars.  Maybe it is time we exercise our faith and all the information that we have been assimilating for all of these years.  Maybe we need to quit waiting for someone to tell us what to do and start being and doing what Christ called us too.
A revolution comes when people become tired enough of the way things have been and are willing to activate to create a change.  That activation first has to happen in our heart and then that fire has to find expression through our actions.  It is time for the Church to look different than it has for so many years.  It was never put in place to just be a social organization where we could all get together and feel good.  It was birthed to change the world and touch the lives of all around it.
This is not to incite you against your pastor or your church, because they probably are as frustrated as we are.  It is time to change our paradigm of what Church looks like if we want to become activated into what God is doing in this hour.  Maybe we need to ask God what that looks like outside of the four walls of a building.  How do we go from ordinary to extraordinary unless we are willing, like the 120, to wait upon the Lord, seek His face and cry out for Him to activate us into who He desires us to be.  I think, that for many of us, this has been our cry and yearning of our hearts.
Father, hear our heart’s cry to be activated into living organism of Holy Spirit expression that you have created us to be.   Tear down our traditions and remove the complacency of our hearts and all the habits that keep us tied to the old dead ways of our doing things.  Set us free individually and corporately to find afresh the joy of Your presence and the activation of Your Spirit. Amen.

Blessings,
kent

Conversation with Father

July 19, 2012

Isaiah 55:6-11
Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near.
7Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts.  Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
8“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord.
9“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.  10As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it
without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish,so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, 11so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Conversation with Father


God:    “What if I were to ask you the wrong questions?”

Me:    “Why would you ask me the wrong questions?”

God:    “So that I might give you the right answers.”
“Would you like to see what is ahead of you?”

Me:    “Yes.”

God:    “Why?”

Me:    “So I could prepare myself and respond to it in a right way.”

God:    “Do you know what is coming?”

Me:    “I see and understand parts of it, but not all of it.”

God:    “Foolish thoughts proceed out of wrong thinking.  Foolish actions result in lack of preparation.  Ignorance is not an excuse when you have My Word to instruct you and My Spirit to guide you.  Spiritual hearing is developed by tuning your ear to the things of the Spirit.  It is not hearing the clamor of all that is around you.  It is listening to hear out of your spirit and not out of your head and natural thinking.
‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord’, is that what My servant John said?'”

Me:    “Yes Lord, it is. ”

God:    “Have you done so with your heart and your life?”

Me:    “In as much as I have known how.”

God:    “Preparation is in the intimate place of My presence.  It is in knowing Me, not just with your head, but with all of your heart.
What is the most important commandment?”

Me:    “Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength.”

God:    “Have you done that?”

Me:    “No Lord, not like I should have or could have.”

God:    “Then you are not preparing for My coming.  When you live out of the Spirit, You live out of Me.  I am your breath, your passion and your purpose.  I have been calling my people up for some time now, but most continue in their complacency and pleasure.  They say they have ears, but they do not hear.  They say their heart is for Me, but they live to their own pleasure and want.
How long, oh My people will you pursue your ways and not Mine?
If you want to prepare for what is before you, then forsake your ways and pursue me.  I AM your fortress and I protect all of those who abide under the shadow of My wing, but that is their place of habitation, not their place of visitation.  If you want all that My Word promises and provides for you then come up higher, coming into the abiding place of My presence.  There you will be single-minded and pure in your thinking and led in your doing.  There is a great calling upon those who are listening to Me in this hour, but so many have ears, but they do not hear, they have a heart, but do not understand.  If you would understand what the will of the Lord is for you in this hour then pursue Me with all of your heart and love me with all of your strength and I will reveal my ways to you to prepare you for the days ahead.  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches!”

Blessings,
kent

Lifted from Unworthiness

July 18, 2012


Lifted from Unworthiness


John 10:10-11
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

There are many who won’t come to Christ because of strong feelings of inadequacy, sin and failure in their lives.  Condemnation and judgments, from themselves or others, have left them feeling like, for them; there is no hope, no salvation or redemption.  Perhaps, if you are that person, you have had a “past”.  There has been sin that you don’t think God would ever forgive you of, because you might not even be able to forgive yourself.  You may be on a self destructive course, because you feel there is no hope, no more purpose to life and no more reason to live.
There is a word of hope and life for that person today.  Jesus tells us in John 3:16-17 the plan of God for us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”  What we must never let the devil rob from us is that no matter how deep our sin, God’s love goes deeper still.  His purpose is not to condemn and judge because you missed it, His purpose is to restore you to life, to lift you up from your unworthiness and cloth you with His garments worthiness and righteousness.
What a beautiful example of this we have in the story where the woman was caught in the act of adultery.  The Law, the Commandments said she should die.  Her accusers surrounded her and demanded Jesus judge and condemn her.  Jesus, with just a few words of divine wisdom showed that mercy is greater than the law, forgiveness is more precious than judgment.  When He told them, “Let the one that is without sin cast the first stone”, He allowed their own conscience to judge themselves rather than the woman.  Now instead of the finger pointing at the adulterous woman, they were confronted with the other three fingers pointing back at their own lives.  None had the right to judge and condemn, but Christ.  As our passage for today says, there was not a man that found place to condemn her based on their own righteousness. The mercy and love of God speaks to her and says, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”  That is what He is speaking to you and me today.  The Lord’s mission was not to judge us for our sins, but to deliver us out of them, to forgive us and set us free from the power of sin.
If there are things in your life that you haven’t been able to forgive yourself of, if there are things others won’t forgive you of; then know that there is one greater than your conscience.  There is one greater than the judgments of yourself and others.  It is the blood of Jesus that paid that price and there is no sin so deep and dark that the blood can’t cover it if it is simply brought to the Lord in sincere repentance.  The Lord wants to put purpose, joy and hope back into your life today. He wants to lift you out of that place of despondency and despair that you have been living in.  He is the doorway to that new life of righteousness that we can only have as we put on Christ Jesus by faith.  And when you bring that sin to the altar and you lay it before Him in true repentance then do as the woman was told, “go your way and sin no more.”  Don’t take that trespass up again and keep condemning yourself with it once it is repented of.  Then you grieve the Holy Spirit, because you have not really released it and left it under the blood.  As far as God is concerned that sin is cast as far as the East is from the West.  1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
He will wipe the slate clean for you today if you will let Him.  With your repentance you no longer have a “past” that was filled with sin and failure; you have a future to no longer be a slave to sin, but rather a slave of righteousness as we live our lives, by the power of God unto obedience to Him.  He has lifted you out of your unworthiness and clothed you with His righteousness.

Blessings,
kent

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