What is Your Worth?

July 17, 2012

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.

What is Your Worth?


Do you ever experience that feeling of discouragement that tries to come upon you when others speak ill of you or go off on you or disappoint you?  Do you experience that spirit of discouragement when what you have worked so hard for or hoped so much for fails to materialize? There are times when life circumstances can be an assault of discouragement.  We may find ourselves hurting emotionally, financially and even spiritually.  We may be praying or asking, “God, where are you at in all of this?”  Life can get so miserable that I am ready to stop this merry-go-round of life and get off.
Isn’t it easy to get caught up in discouragement?  Then we get down on ourselves and begin to think what a miserable failure I must be.

STOP!

Who is setting upon the throne of your life?  Is it your circumstances or is it your God?  If you are living by your circumstances they can run you right into the ground, but if you are living out of the God that should be enthroning your heart then discouragement can’t overtake you, because you know that God is your source.
People and this world will always disappoint us, but I found that when I am feeling the hurt of those disappointments if I will just stop and remember who I am in Christ and what He is in me then I have the peace that my life is not dictated by my circumstances and what I see around me, it dictated by His will and purpose in my life. When I remember where I live, where I move and where I have my being suddenly the world makes sense again.  My worth as a person is not determined by what others think, how I am treated, what trials are assaulting my life or even what I think about myself.  My worth is in what God says about me.
He says in Roman 8:28-39, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Then, I say, “Lord, but I’m not anything.  I’m not that smart or talented or wise.  I didn’t come from an affluent family or background.  I’m not that attractive or popular, so why would you even want me?  Then He says back to me in 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, ” Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Oh, I get it!  My worth, my significance and my value are not in what others think or even in what I think; they are about what you think and what you have said in your Word about me.  Praise God!  “Let God be true and every man a liar!”
1 John 3:1-3 reminds us, ” How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”
You know what?  I am going to crawl up on Papa’s lap and live and move and have my being in Him.  He is my SAFE PLACE.  He is my value and my worth and if you despise me then you despise Him who has created, sanctified, loved and called me according to His purpose.  Regardless of what I am to the world, I am of immense value in His eyes and so are you!!!

Blessings,
kent

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Torch Bearers

July 16, 2012

Ephesians 5:11
Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.

Torch Bearers


Darkness surrounds the habitation of our earthly tents.  It is all around us and if it could it would overtake us, but light always dispels darkness and in its presence it must flee.  When we entertain darkness, we invite it in.  We set the light of who we are to be, aside, to explore the darkness.  When it can lead us into the places of fear, doubt and unbelief that is the place of its dominion.  When our souls embraces these feeling we give access for the enemy to bring  in defeat.  When we entertain the pleasures of darkness they are enticements to lead us out of the light and into the place of peril and destruction.  Whether it is fear based or pleasure based, the enemy will exercise his ploys to lead us away from the safety of truth and light that he may gain dominion in the realm of his darkness.
As God’s crusaders of light and truth, He commands us to have nothing to do fruitless with deeds of darkness, because the only fruit they can bear is the fruit of the flesh that leads unto death.  Rather we are exhorted to expose them, shine the light of God’s truth upon them, so that we see them in the truth for what they are.
Superman had his kryptonite and we still have these bodies of flesh with souls that can be moved by circumstances and feelings.  Our armor is our close alliance and walk in the Spirit with Christ.  There we abide in Him and live out of Him.  There we manifest the kingdom of light while we abide in its truth, but we are ever enticed to turn our head and look into some dark corner with our soul rather than with the light of the Spirit.  We can go into any place, but if we are not going fully  clothed upon with light and truth to expose darkness, we become the object of  darkness’ powers of repudiation.  That is not to say that darkness will never be able to assault us when we are in the light.  Perhaps it may find permission to touch the body, but our spirit remains one in Christ and still burns through the assaults that seek to press us into fear, doubt and unbelief.
It is our identity in Christ that is our light.  In that power of the love and truth we show darkness for what it is.  When people can finally see the reality of God manifesting through you they will either withdraw further back into the darkness or they will be drawn into the light of the presence of the Christ they see and hear from you.  Your truth, spoken not with condemnation, but with the power of love, will break the chains off of many that are held captive in darkness.  The light that you carry, live out of and speak from gives hope to the hopeless, brings liberty to the captive and breaks the bonds of wickedness off of the unbeliever.
You carry the torch of God’s love and truth to go into the dark places and expose them.  Verse 12-14 of Ephesians 5 goes on to say, ” For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:
“Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”
That is what we are to do; shine the light of Christ into every situation and every circumstance, move in the authority of God’s Word under His power and direction.  Most of all we want our motive to be the love of God operating out of the same grace that He showed toward us.
Some believers go in with extreme prejudice and try to destroy the sinners with the darkness.  God’s heart is to bring them out of the darkness and reconcile them back to Him.  That is our ministry of reconciliation and to do it by virtue of the light of Christ that we carry within and the release from darkness we bring about through His love.
If we carry the mixed vessel of light and dark we only pollute and defile the truth and the light we say we carry.  In that place we can falsify and nullify the power of the cross to those who observe our lives.  The purer the light we carry the greater its power to shine forth in truth.  The greater its power to displace darkness and expose its unfruitful ways.
” But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” 1 John 4:7

Blessings,
kent

The Time for Full Bloom

July 13, 2012

Galatians 1:15-16a
But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me…

The Time for Full Bloom


A rose bud carries within it the full beauty and fragrance of the rose, but its immaturity keeps it revealed.  In its time it will be fully opened and revealed.  Its hidden beauty will be manifest for all to see and its fragrance for all to smell.  The difference between the two is time and maturity. That is the only thing that is keeping the world from seeing the fullness of the beauty of who you are and what you carry in Christ.  There is a pressure of maturity that keeps pressing in and pressing forth.  Much like an infant in the womb, it is growing out of sight and yet there is increasing evidence of its being and its growing.
The Spirit of Christ within you is wanting, pushing and pressuring into maturity.  It wants to come forth in your life and manifest the true nature and fullness of its being.  It is alive.  It is growing and it is coming.  It is no longer a matter of if, but a matter of when.  As Christ is being formed in you keep pressing, keep pushing your limits, exercising your faith, sprouting your wings, because one day little eagle you are going to fly and when you do, the sky is your kingdom and the heavens are your dominion.  Turn a deaf ear to the nay-sayers and the doubters.  Keep believing that Word of God, pressing into and declaring its promises.  God’s true children aren’t just looking for substance. they are looking for an inheritance about to be revealed through their joint-heir, Christ.
Fix your eyes upon Jesus.  Don’t allow yourself to moved from your faith and hope in Him.  Doubt, fear and unbelief would come to rob you.  Circumstances would only come to discourage you, but we don’t live out of the natural realm and thinking; we live out of the faith and confidence of God in Christ Jesus, who has loved us, gave Himself for us and has made us superabundantly more that conquerors in Him.
The enemy stands ready to devour the seed that you are about to bring forth, but God is going to catch it up to His throne.  The enemy can’t have what is birthed out of everlasting life and truth.  That is God’s inheritance in you.  He has invested Himself into you with a holy seed of His righteousness and life.  He is growing up and maturing in you the likeness and the image of His firstborn.  So hold fast to Vine from whence comes your life and your blood.  In Him you are sustained and kept until the hour of your revealing when the beauty and fragrance of His abundant life will be fully manifest.

Blessings,
kent

Making Things Straight

July 12, 2012

Luke 3:4-6
As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.
5Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,the rough ways smooth. 6And all mankind will see God’s salvation.’”

Making Things Straight


This scripture was spoken and prophesied of John the Baptist.  John the Baptist was like a chiropractor for the kingdom of God.  His job was to bring alignment in the body of Israel; to prepare the nation for the healing and the salvation that was coming through Christ.  He brought adjustment, rebuke and correction, as well as promise.
What happens when our body gets out of alignment or out of joint; when it becomes crooked, twisted or distorted?  It brings pain and infirmity.  It disables us from walking upright and straight.  It perverts our ways.  This is what sin and misalignment with God’s Word does for us, His people, as well as those in the world.
I used to work construction and when we built wall out of wood, we would eyeball down the length of the lumber to check for straightness, if it was too bowed, twisted or crooked, we would toss it aside.  If we didn’t we knew that it would distort what ever part of the building or structure it was incorporated into.  What we often saw was that the lumber that was bound together with other straight lumber was generally straight, but if a board was left to the side in the sun and weather, it would typically become warped and  twisted which speaks to the value of being bound together with other aligned members.
We are the lively stones of God’s kingdom, but like that lumber for building, God is looking for uprightness and straightness in our lives in order for Him to incorporate and use us in the building of His kingdom.  If we are twisted, distorted, crooked or perverted in our ways, then we will only corrupt what He would build us into.  Father is setting His house in order.  He is declaring this same word that He declared through John.  “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight paths for Him, be the upright material that He can use to build His kingdom.  He is wanting to align His people in a straight way and an upright path.  He is wanting to make the rough ways smooth.  In order to use us, He must plane us, sand us and align us.
We, His people are the gateways and avenues of how Father is introducing His kingdom into the earth.  In order to be represented and presented properly His kingdom structure has to be made with straight material that is in alignment with His Word and righteousness.   If it is your heart to be used in God’s kingdom then know that God has to do what is necessary to align you with His purpose and we must be willing and inviting that alignment into our lives that all of our ways may be made straight before Him.  Often we get so focused on trying to align everyone else or see the warp in their board when we don’t see and perceive our own.  Let’s get our own beam straight before we start judging the worth of some else’s board.  If you are the heartwood of God’s kingdom then your heart is to be in perfect alignment with His will and purpose for you.  Put your life on the altar of God’s mill and ask Him to straighten and align all of your ways with His.  He is preparing kingdom material and you want to be a part of that.

Blessings,
kent


Wearing Christ Inside Out


Colossians 3:17
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Perhaps, like me, as you think over your daily life and business you are convicted of how little Christ is brought out and made a part of the daily affairs of our lives.  Inwardly we are cognizant of Him.  We may even have a spirit of prayer and praise going on throughout our day, but how much do we compartmentalize our faith.  Perhaps the Lord is not really revealed and manifested in the outward man that deals with the world around Him.  I tend to be a very task oriented individual.  I become very focused on the task I am currently addressing and often zone out other distractions and demands until I finish what I am doing.  In a sense I compartmentalize myself to focus on the task that is at hand.  That tends to create in me a box type mentality.  Everything has its own box or space and depending upon which box I am in that is how I deal with it.  Sometimes it becomes difficult to integrate and mix our boxes.
What we know in our hearts is that Christ must be such an integral part of all that we are and all that we do so that He is automatically coming forth and present in every situation that I am dealing with in my life.  While some of us move from one compartment to the next we may find that in those different compartments we have developed different values.  We may have tough values for dealing with business issues, our compromising values for dealing with tax issues, our promiscuous values for dealing with sexual issues and so on.  With those different values systems and different compartments of our lives we send different messages to people about who we really are.  We can be all spiritual when we are with our Christian friends, “praise the Lord brother” and then talk a whole different language around our work or social crowd.  This description is fitting a lot of us who proclaim Christ today, at least if you get us in the right compartment.
Jesus didn’t ask for a compartment of our heart, He ask that we would love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength.  That means that He must become the essence of who we are.  Our identity is no longer in who we are in this world, what we do or the talents that we possess.  Our identity is in Christ, Christ in us and Christ living through us.  The Lord doesn’t have multiple personalities like many of us have been trying to live.  He is one God, with one set of values.  Isn’t it time that we confront who we really are and make one compartment that deals with everything through our Christ being?  After all the scripture does exhort us that whatsoever we do in word or deed that we do it all in the name or the nature and character of Christ, giving thanks to God through that same nature.  I guess it is time that we start wearing Christ inside out, so that He is manifest in our lives at every level for all to see.  After all we need to be true to who we really are.

Blessings,
kent

Familiar Awesome God

July 10, 2012

Psalm 119:4
You have laid down precepts that are to be fully obeyed.

Familiar Awesome God


The Lord God is so awesome and holy.  He is so great beyond measure or comprehension.  All of His ways are right, just and lead to life.  How unfathomable that the great Creator God has chosen us, personally loved on us and cares about all of our little problems and needs.  How miniscule are our lives and problems in the light of Him who rules and reigns in the universe and yet He is so great that He even cares about the little things that touch us.  He is so great that He still desires to have a love relationship with us and invites us to know Him most intimately and personally through Jesus.  He, the God of all the universe, wants to interact with us personally in the relationship that only His unconditional agape’ love could provide for.
In that wonderful place where so many of us are coming to know the Magnificence of the universe as our Abba, Daddy and Papa. We experience a God who is approachable, that will hold us upon His lap and cares for our heart and the things that touch our lives.
The caution we need to hold in our hearts is that as loving, affirming and relational that Papa can be, reverent fear and awe of Him should always be maintained.  In our familiarity with Him, we must never forget or take for granted who our Papa really is.  It is so amazing that He would call us His sons and daughters.
In our love for Him there must always be that great respect for who He is and what He has called us too.  Sometimes we misinturpret God’s personal love for us as permission to continue doing things our way, cause, after all, Daddy still loves and He will forgive us.
I felt like God dropped today’s scripture into my heart to give us warning that in response to His great love for us, we need to walk in obedience and fully obey all of His precepts.  Precepts are not just laws of do’s and don’ts; they are life principles that guide us in the ways God has ordained and called us to live in.  They are given for our good, to allow us to continue walking in the light and truth of who we have been called to be.  They are to lead us into being and showing the excellence of Christ in us.  So in the freedom of love and familiarity that we share with Father, never take His ways lightly, but strive all the more to obey and walk in them by His grace.

Blessings,
kent

A Father’s Heart

July 9, 2012

John 14:23-24
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

A Father’s Heart


We live in a society where so many of our children grow up fatherless.  What is true in the natural is also true in the spirit and that is why there is such an orphan spirit that is prevalent in the church today.
I am asking Father, “What does it mean to have Your heart?”
It reminds me of David and what it says about him in Acts 13:22, “After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.'”  One of the key ingredients we see in our leading scripture and this verse from Acts, is a father’s heart is one of obedience.  It operates out of the authority of submission.  It is almost a paradox, but we can’t have Father’s heart unless we are first fully submitted to it.  We see Jesus, the Christ, and through His earthly ministry He declares that He operates out of the authority and in submission to His Father.  In John 8:28-29 it declares, “So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.”  The authority that Jesus carried was because He was one under obedience and the authority of the Father.
Again in John 5:30 Jesus says, ” By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
If we would have a father’s heart, it is evident that it is birthed out of a heart of obedience to do what is pleasing to the Father.  That is why God could use David to become the foundation of His house, because David had a heart to obey the Father and do what was pleasing to Him.  It wasn’t because David was always perfect in all of his ways, but even when he failed he had a heart of repentance and contrition.
One of the things that makes an orphan is the unwillingness to continue in submission to a true father.  A father will always act in the best interest of his children, but not necessarily to their liking or expectations.  When a child becomes offended, he runs away from the authority of the father, removing themselves out of the place of obedience and submission.  That is where many of us are at today.  We have independent and renegade spirits that think we don’t need to be submitted to anyone but God and yet we are not submitted to God, because we fail to honor and obey those He has placed under as fathers in the house.
Another reason I think David had the Father’s heart is because he had the heart of a shepherd.  A true shepherd is not just a hired hand, but loves his sheep to the point that he will lay down his own life to protect them.  A hired hand would not fight a lion and bear as David did, because they are not invested in some mangy old sheep, but David did because he had the heart of a shepherd and God used this same heart to shepherd Israel through his monarchy.
Fathers, in the spirit, as well as in the natural, are subject to rejection, hurt and ridicule.  They are subject to criticism and slander.  There are always those that would usurp their authority and seek to undermine their integrity.  Like our Father God, those that He has put a father’s heart into will often be rejected and turned on by those they have loved the most, but their heart for the people remains in love.
Jesus saw the people of Israel  in His day as sheep without a shepherd.  Today, it is much the same because the sheep move from pen to pen with little or no commitment to stay and remain where Father would have them.  We are those orphans who say we love God, but move according to our self-will rather than Father’s will.  We have to understand that sometimes we are planted in a place, not so we can feel good and get all of our needs met, but so that we can grow up and even in the adversity and trials remain faithful.  We can never become father’s until we know what it is to be a faithful son.  A son learns obedience through the things that he suffers (Hebrews5:8-9)  It is in that place that we can become a foundation and wellspring of salvation even as Christ has for us.
Father’s always have a heart to gather the lost, correct the disobedient and care for those they have responsibility over. They are there to help us grow up into the maturity of sons and in the DNA of every son is that of a father.
When I see a father, I see one who is willing to sacrifice and lay down his life, for the life of the orphans, the children and the sons.  His authority is birthed out of his faithfulness and obedience to authority, even as Jesus was submitted to the Father.  His heart is for the people that come under his care and he loves them even in the midst of abuse, disobedience, hurt and slander.  His correction is firm, but always in love and he models before others where he has learned to walk for himself.
Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:14-16, “I am not writing this to shame you, but to warn you, as my dear children. 15Even though you have ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16Therefore I urge you to imitate me.”  A father is going to look like Christ, because they are like Him in obedience and submission.  Their heart is to do His will and exemplify Him in all that they do. They are the picture upon the wall and the sign post in the road of who we want to be like and who we want to follow.

Blessings,
kent

Matthew 7: 21-27
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
4″Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

It is not in the Hearing, but in the Doing


We can hear and have knowledge of many things through our life.  Some things we will embrace mentally, philosophically, morally and spiritually.  There are many things that can play into our belief system, but how does it come out in who we are as a person and how we live.  Jesus came as the Way, the Truth and the Life.  Many people heard of Him and still do.  Many people read the Bible, go to church and listen to the Word of God being preached and taught.  Many people embrace the ideas of Christianity and even claim to be Christians, but here in this passage Jesus is defining what a true Christian and disciple is.  Strangely enough He is telling us that there will be those who operated out of the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit.  There will be those who actually performed miracles and prophesied in the name of the Lord, but that in itself does not qualify them for the kingdom of heaven.  You see we can experience the Lord and even know all about Him, but what counts is our relationship with Him.
I can know another woman.  She can be my friend and I can know all about her, but it doesn’t make her my wife.  For her to be my wife we need to enter into a covenant relationship with one another where our lives and purpose are no longer two but one.  I must enter into a level of intimacy and commitment with her that I can have with no other.  I come to know her in the most intimate sense of relationship and she knows me in that same way.  The same is true of our commitment and relationship with Jesus.  We can’t just rub spiritual shoulders and say that we really know Him and are in that intimate relationship with Him.  Our covenant with Christ is a spiritual union where we come to know Him as our husband.  He gave His life for us and now our life becomes lost to self-identity and one in Him.  The proof of that relationship is in the doing.  It is not just good works, religious deeds or even miracles and spiritual manifestations.  It is in practicing His presence where He is a part of all that you are and do.  His Words go from our head to our hearts and they become expression through the way that we live our lives.  They become the expression of His love and life that we are to others.  We learn to walk by the Spirit and no longer in the flesh.
Jesus likens His Word to building a foundation.  The sand is like the Word without the substance.  If we just build on the Words and the ideas we are building a house on a sand foundation.  It may work okay for awhile, but when the storms and adversities of life come it will fall because there is no substance that binds the sands of God’s truth to our lives.  If we take sand and mix it with cement and water we have come away with concrete which is like the rock.  It takes the Word, the embracing and practicing of that Word in practical life experience along with the water, which is like the Spirit that helps the sand and cement to become one.  As we know Christ we are able to endure things and withstand temptation and trials, because His life has become solidified within us.  We know longer see ourselves apart from Him, but one with Him.  The manifestation of His life is in our actions and not just in our words.   When we face the storms of testing and trials our faith will stand because our lives are embedded in Christ and in Him we live and move and have our being.
We can’t build a house on the sand of what we know or even what we believe in our heads.  It has to be built upon an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ wherein we know Him intimately and personally.  We have need of the water and the cement that binds that sand to our hearts and lives and makes us one with Him.

Blessings,
kent

When Men Cry Out

July 5, 2012

Psalms 14:1
The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” They are sinful and their actions are sinful. There is no one who does good.

When Men Cry Out


Wisdom, salvation and the knowledge of the Lord comes to him who seeks for light and truth.  The man that opens his heart and listens with a spiritual ear will hear the truth and it will bring him into liberty and life.   ‘It is a fool who says in their heart there is no God’ when all around all of creation bears testimony and witness of His existence and divine wisdom.  The order and delicate balance of the universe and life on this planet aren’t a matter of chance.   Only a fool would believe and embrace such a concept.  The Word says if we had no other witness than the creation itself, that would be enough to bear witness to God.
Even though the truth of God is self–evident all have turned their hearts from Him.  Psalms 14:1 goes on to say, “They are sinful and their actions are sinful. There is no one who does good.”  Sin and disobedience to God has been the fault of all men, even those who were His chosen people.  Romans 2:9-12 says, “What about it then? Are we Jews better than the people who are not Jews? Not at all! I have already said that Jews and the people who are not Jews are all sinners. 10 The Holy Writings say, “There is not one person who is right with God. No, not even one! 11 There is not one who understands. There is not one who tries to find God. 12 Everyone has turned away from God. They have all done wrong. Not one of them does what is good. No, not even one!”   Have we not all foolishly turned from the God of our creation and salvation?  God gave the law that we might know the error of our ways and that we might know what sin is, but even in that knowing, none of us could honor, obey and fear him as His holiness required.  The law could only reveal our sin, but it could not justify us before God, because we would always fall short of the law.  Romans 2: 21-26 says, “But now God has made another way to make men right with Himself. It is not by the Law. The Law and the early preachers tell about it. 22 Men become right with God by putting their trust in Jesus Christ. God will accept men if they come this way. All men are the same to God. 23 For all men have sinned and have missed the shining-greatness of God. 24 Anyone can be made right with God by the free gift of His loving favor. It is Jesus Christ who bought them with His blood and made them free from their sins. 25 God gave Jesus Christ to the world. Men’s sins can be forgiven through the blood of Christ when they put their trust in Him. God gave His Son Jesus Christ to show how right He is. Before this, God did not look on the sins that were done. 26 But now God proves that He is right in saving men from sin. He shows that He is the One Who has no sin. God makes anyone right with Himself who puts his trust in Jesus.”
When men are faced with their sin and they come to really face and acknowledge the depravity of their souls, then God has made a way of reconciliation and the way is Jesus Christ.  When men cry out to Him in repentance and desire to change from their wicked ways, God has heard and answers them through the love of Christ.  We have all played the fool with our sin and our disobedience, but the God of all wisdom and love has taken pity upon our low estate.  He has provided the way for us to be lifted up, know Him and come into fellowship and relationship with Him.  It is not a hard thing, all it requires is the simple understanding that ‘God so loved you He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever should believe upon Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’  It simply requires that we bring back to Him what He gave us in free will, our hearts and our souls.  In exchange we receive His eternal life, for our current life of sin and death.  Only a fool would refuse such a trade.
When men cry out, God will hear their cry and answer them in the face of Jesus Christ.  ‘If He be lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself.’

Blessings,
kent

Rest or Stressed?

July 3, 2012


Rest or Stressed?


Hebrews 4:3-11
For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh [day] on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works And in this [place] again, If they shall enter into my rest. Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief:
Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, Today, after so long a time; as it is said, Today if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.
There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God
For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Have you ever seen or experienced one of those events where a person will stand upon a platform of some type and allow themselves to free fall backward into a crowd of people they are trusting will catch them?  It is a great example of the principle of trust.  You have to overcome your fears and anxieties of being hurt.  You have to put your confidence in someone else to catch you and prevent you from being harmed.  That is a hard thing for us to do.  It is essentially what God wants us to do in regards to trusting Him.  Often we start too and then we chicken out because we are afraid He will drop us.   It is a hard thing for us to relinquish being in control of our life and circumstances.  Even though we know that we are a mess, make mistakes, and are full of faults and weaknesses we would still rather rely upon our abilities, our strength and our wisdom.  As a result we have a society full of stressed out people and many of them are Christians.
If you are like me, it is hard to lay down our work and activities even for one day.  It is like it has this hold on us that draws us to it.  Somehow if we don’t work on it, it won’t get done and the world will end.  It is easy to look back on it and say, “yeah, that is stress, that is not rest.”  God gave a Sabbath to teach us a principle of rest.  God says, “There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.”  This passage teaches that there is only one way into this rest and that is through the avenue of faith.  Faith, no longer in our abilities, and ourselves but in Him.  In a way, God has taught me some of this principle as I write these Trickles of Truth.   I couldn’t begin to produce all that God has given me.  Each morning as I fall back into His arms and say, “Father, what do you want to share with us today?” That little act of faith results in the words you read from these writings and often I’m probably more amazed at what comes out than you are.  Certainly, it is often not what I would expect.    As God leads in our daily lives we need to learn the principle in every area of our lives of what it means to rest in Him.
You know Jesus didn’t get up each morning, look at His day planner and think, “will I’ve got fourteen healings today, three sermons, ten deliverances and I have to feed a multitude. I had better have my cup of coffee and get hoppin’.”  He entered into the presence of the Father.  As He communed with Him there, the mind of the Father was revealed to Him and He just did what the Father showed Him and spoke what the Father gave Him.  As He rested in the Father, He became the expression of the Father.  As we learn to rest in Christ, we will become the expression of Christ.  It is not in all of the do’s and don’ts that we are made righteous, it is as we fall back into the arms of Jesus in every aspect of our lives and just let Him be Lord and have His way in and through us.  As we knock a hole in the bottom of our self-reliance then instead of being a self-contained vessel we become a conduit and pipeline through which the Spirit of God can flow through, touching not only our lives, but the lives of others as well.  The results we see are not our righteousness, but the righteousness of Christ revealed and not our will, but His will being done.  It is all a matter of faith and reliance on Him, not just mentally, but experientially as we are willing to let go of our grip on this life.
The Word almost speaks a paradox in Hebrews 4:11 when it says, “Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.”  Isn’t that contradictory to say we labor to enter into rest?  No, because it is not in our natural man to relinquish control of our life.
Romans 12:1 says, ” I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.” This presentation of our lives as a living sacrifice is an act of continual obedience and faith on the part of the believer.  He is laboring against all that his natural man and instincts are telling him.  Like the old joke goes, “the problem with living sacrifices is they keep crawling off of the altar.”  We laugh, but we know it is all too true.  It is a labor to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow Him, but at the same time it is a rest when we do, because then He becomes our life and strength.
Where are we at today, in a place of rest or stress?  Perhaps it is a good day to crawl up on the lap of Daddy God and just rest in His arms of Love, knowing that He has your life and the whole world in His hands.  Just REST.

Blessings,
kent

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