The Yearning of our Spirit

February 22, 2013

The Yearning of our Spirit

James 4:5
Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?

James, in Chapter 4, is addressing the carnality, self-indulgences and pleasure seeking in the lives of believers. His words are strong as He tells us that wars and fightings among us come from our lust and desire to have our own way. The reason God isn’t hearing us and answering our prayers is because we are not operating out of the spirit, but out of the flesh. Then, in the midst of this he drops this scripture of James 4:5 that I believe the Spirit has lead me to this morning. While I may have read over it many times I never really thought about it or understood it. Another way of saying it is “does the Spirit who took up its abode in our spirit long enviously?” Is our spirit ever grieved because we follow our flesh and not our spirit? I recall times in my life when I was giving in to temptation and sin and could hear my spirit speaking within me, pleading the case of righteousness, asking me why are you doing this? The spirit within me was envying and coveting my allegiance, submission and obedience to the things of the Spirit and not the ways of the flesh. James says we are adulteresses, unfaithful to our Lord when we take up our friendship and fellowship with the world and its pleasures. We in effect set ourselves as enemies with God, because the world loves not God. Are we in a place in our lives, in our actions, in our circumstances where we are laying down our will with its selfishness and perverse ways? James 4:6-10 says, ” But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded. Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and [your] joy to heaviness. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.” If your spirit is crying out and envying that place of your will that has been yielding to the flesh, then come and do what James says. Humble yourselves and submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, cleanse your hands, your works and purify your minds so that you possess a single mind, no longer divided between flesh and spirit. The Spirit of God is yearning for all of your heart. There we find the peace and rest instead of wars and fightings. In that place of dwelling in God’s Spirit, instead of lust, killing and coveting, He gives us the desire for Him, love and contentment. “Draw nigh to God today and He will draw nigh to you.” His Spirit within you covets and desires all of you.

Blessings,
kent

Worthy of this Calling

February 21, 2013

Worthy of this Calling

2 Thessalonians 1:11-12
Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of [this] calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of [his] goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I would like for us to be very real and practical today as we consider our calling in Christ Jesus. We often try and talk spiritual and be spiritual around what we consider spiritual people or environments, but what is every day life like for us? How does our real faith play out in the everyday activities of our lives? In the light of that, many of us may not feel too spiritual. We may see ourselves getting angry, losing patience, arguing with the kids and the spouse. A lot of times we see some pretty unattractive words and attitudes demonstrated in our lives. Nothing we could really take much pride in as far as being spiritual or glorifying to the Lord. We may get pretty down on ourselves in the light of our many shortcomings and feel there is really no hope that I could be anything in Christ. “Look what a mess I am and how totally unchristian I can act.” Most of us can have those “flesh days” when we are just a mess spiritually. Our spiritual enemy preys on our vulnerabilities. I believe situations are often set up by the enemy, just to push our buttons and lead us off into unspiritual actions and attitudes. You may have really felt that you were drawing close to the Lord and then you are attacked in the areas of your vulnerabilities. You are tempted in the areas of your greatest weaknesses. As much as you don’t want too, perhaps you fail and stumble again in those areas where you thought you were experiencing victory. What follows is nothing less than a barrage of condemnation and discouragement as the devil condemns you for your failures. Perhaps he even uses those around you to assist in heaping on you the condemnation and failure you already feel. With feelings of shame, disgrace, added failure and condemnation we become discouraged. We think, “Why am I trying to be something I can never be?” Exactly the state of mind the enemy wants to bring us too.
Realistically our lives are a never-ending struggle of flesh and spirit. We hear about who we are and who we should be in Christ, but then we struggle to live our faith in Christ, often with feelings of being so unsuccessful. These are the reasons why we often grow weary, discouraged and want to just give up. You know what? We all have these feelings, discouragement, and setbacks. Our God is not just writing us off because we do, but He does want to use them to allow us to recognize our weakness, so that we may better lay hold of His strength. The Word tells us that the efforts of the flesh can never produce the righteousness of God. That is why religion is so futile. It is our attempt at finding and pleasing God in our own works.
We find in life that we are most influenced by those we associate ourselves with. If we hang around a worldly and ungodly crowd, it is not long before we find our own actions and attitudes becoming more and more conformed to theirs. It is that same old principle of sowing and reaping. What we are sowing into our lives is what we are reaping in our attitudes and actions. Hosea 10:2 tells us, “Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for [it is] time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.” Galatians 5:25 tells us, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” While we will have those times where we will experience failure and discouragement we must stubbornly and uncompromisingly not relinquish who we know ourselves to be in Christ. Our only hope of this is in our identification and relationship with our Lord. No matter how we may get sidetracked and bushwhacked by the enemy of our soul, our spirit and our soul must turn back to Him. He assures us forgiveness when we repent and promises to wash our sin away. Christ in you is your hope of glory. With all that is within us we must cling to Him, relinquish our lives to Him and stay in close fellowship and relationship with Him. He alone is the one that transforms us into His image and likeness. In order to be worthy of His calling, it is our patient and enduring faith in Him that is the manifest token of our salvation. It is maintaining the place of intimacy and relationship that we truly know our God and experience the workings of His righteousness in us. The reality of our faith and walk in the Spirit must be the greatest reality of our lives. Even when we wander or fail, it is the faithfulness of His Spirit in us that continually keeps us returning and drawing near to Him. “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth; So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: [Which is] a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer (2 Thessalonians 1:3-5)”

Blessings,
kent

2 Corinthians 5:16-17
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

The Old has Gone, the New has Come

Have you ever known somebody from a distance and based on your outward observation you formed opinions of who he or she was and what he or she was like? Later, you came to know this person on a much more personal basis and as you gained access to really know their heart, your opinions and judgements of them changed. You came into a fresh and deeper revelation of who they were as a person. Many people know Jesus from a worldly point of view. They may know Him as a prophet, as a healer, as a teacher and even as the Son of God, but do they still only know Christ only from a worldly viewpoint? Many of us have experienced a deeper revelation and more intimate relationship with Christ. He has become so much more than a great and good person who walked upon the earth and impacted the history of mankind. As we have come to know Him intimately we no longer see Him from that worldly viewpoint. We have come to know Him after the Spirit. We have come into an intimacy and knowing of the most personal kind. We are coming to know Him not as just a Savior who awaits us in heaven, but as the person we walk with and fellowship with daily. He knows our heart and daily He brings us more into the knowledge of His heart as we walk and share life with Him in that most intimate place. There isn’t anything that we can’t share with Him and nothing that He doesn’t know. The richest security and safety that we feel in Him is that even though He knows all of our weaknesses, our faults and our failures, He still loves us unconditionally. In our marriages we come to know each other’s weakness, frailties and faults quite well. True agape, unconditional love is when, in spite of all those shortcomings we can love them just as much anyway. It doesn’t mean we love the faults or we don’t want to see change, but personal dislikes or desires for their change doesn’t change the fact that we love them anyway and hopefully they love us the same way in return.
When we come into Christ our viewpoint and paradigm has to be changed. We are no longer that worldly person that we once were. It doesn’t mean that those old ways suddenly all fall off, but in our inward man, our spirit, a transformation has taken place. Old things have passed away and the new has come. If we are intent upon knowing Christ now in this more intimate way then what began in our spirit will begin to permeate very part of our being, spirit, soul and body. It will become our new paradigm and mindset that we now will operate out of. While the transformation and habitation of our spirit changes immediately, the transformation of our soul and body is a work of salvation in progress. Our salvation isn’t over and done with when we walk the aisle or give our heart to Christ. It is just the “I do” that begins this marriage in His Spirit and life. In 2 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul prays, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” There is a progression of salvation from the inward to the outward. This is completely the opposite of how the flesh approaches it. We often think the better we are outwardly the more acceptable we are inwardly. The Lord teaches us that if we learn to live out of the inward or spirit man, the outward will line up with our spirit. His will, becomes our will, His thoughts become our thoughts and His desires become our desires. In that intimate place we start living no longer after the man of the world, but after the man of the spirit. The intimacy and relationship brings the transformation. Little by little He deals with the different areas of our life and because we love Him we yield them obediently to Him, because we know that He has first loved us and gave Himself for us.
Indeed, may old things pass away and all things become new in the light and glory of all that He is in us.

Blessings,
kent

A Principle of Life

February 19, 2013

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A Principle of Life

If given the choice, most of us would be quite content to live a nice, safe, secure, healthy and relatively uneventful life. In many ways, a lot of us have. We need to ask ourselves is that really living or is that comfortably dying a slow death?
One thing fear does, is it gets us out of our comfort zone. It often gets our heart racing and our adrenaline pumping. Our senses come alive in the face of danger and uncertainty. If we can see our lives in the light of the spiritual couch potatoes we would become if we never faced any trials, testing or adversity, then we can better appreciate why God allows them to come into our lives.
In order for our faith to grow it must be challenged so that our faith can come up to the level of our challenge. Since fear doesn’t come to us from God then we must realize that faith is the antidote to fear. Faith sets our eyes and attention back where they belong. Looking to the Father. When we realize that fear comes from our inadequacy, weakness and inability to control a situation, we either have to face it in the frailty of human ability or have a revelation of what God has given us to counter it with. God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but what He has given us is the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. We have a mighty arsenal to combat fear and to overcome it. Fear only works as long as you are afraid. When you are no longer afraid, fear has lost its power. What the Word of God is telling us is that you don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to fret, worry or anxious. What you need to do, is lay hold with faith and confidence upon God’s Word, His promises and assurance. The more you fill your self with the Word of God and spend time in His presence; the more bold, confident and faith-filled you become. For the enemy and the spirit of fear, you then, become a force to be reckoned with. The person who really has a revelation of their identity in Christ, who knows their position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and operates in their God given and appointed purpose is a dangerous person to the enemy of fear and darkness. The gates of hell can not prevail against that person.
An example of such a person was seen in David. He was called, appointed, anointed and knew who he was in God when he confronted Goliath. He didn’t fall into that trap of fear like the rest of the camp of Israel. He came from a place of faith and authority, not his, but the Spirit of God in him. Later, we see Saul, with all the resources and armies of Israel at his command pursuing David’s life, but unable to capture and take it. He was that spirit of fear that pursued David, but was unable to prevail, because David put his trust and confidence in the Lord.
Was that an easy place for David? No, it was a very difficult place, but at that time David lived and walked with God closer than at any other time in his life. Adversities are often allowed in our lives to stir us into faith. They cause our spiritual senses to come alive and get our focus off of the world onto the Lord. Fear isn’t always a bad thing, not because we want to succumb to it, but because we want the faith to arise in our hearts, along with the resident power, love and the mind of Christ to overcome all fear and the adversary that stands before us. The force of opposition only serves to make us stronger.
We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. Our Captain, King and Savior has conquered death and the grave. He has set down at the right Hand of the Father until His enemies be made His footstool. We are the body and feet of our Captain and King, Jesus. He is putting the enemy beneath our feet, because we are His.
Someone once said, “You need to either get busy living or get busy dying.” Our time for being complacent, lethargic and comfortable is soon coming to an end. We need to make the choice to live or to die, life or death. If we are going to live then we need to live out of the place where we pursue fear and it doesn’t pursue us. We have to come into that place of having assurance of who we are and what God put us on this earth for. We were not put here to be subject to this kingdom that lives under the rule and power of sin and death. We live under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. We were put here to invade this earthly kingdom with the kingdom Heaven, Life and God. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” We are God’s portals, conduits and well springs through which He invades the kingdom of this earth. That is not going to happen through spiritual couch potatoes that are content with the leeks and onions of Egypt. It is going to happen through an army of believers that are hearing the trumpet of war sounding in God’s camp and are responding to it. If we don’t respond to God’s calling and come into that place of abiding in the Almighty and under the shadow of His wing, then soon the spirit of fear will arise and cover the earth and those who have not found their place in Him will be overtaken by it. Father has not given us that spirit of fear, He has given us the Spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”. We are His kids and we were born for this, so don’t allow fear to rule your hearts, but come up into the faith and confidence of who you are in Christ and trample fear beneath your feet!

Blessings,
kent

Words of Destruction

February 18, 2013

James 1:26
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

Words of Destruction

Perhaps no other author in the Bible addresses the tongue quite like James does. He sees in this small member of the body, the ability not only to do great good, but also great harm. In this scripture he basically says, “it doesn’t matter how religious or spiritual you think you are, if you don’t have control of your tongue and what comes out of your mouth, your religion is worthless.”
That word worthless means vain, useless, devoid of force, truth, success and result. In other words, if you want your words to be effective and powerful, you can’t spout off everything the pops into your head or erupts out of your emotion. It is a member that needs self-control.
James addresses the tongue further in James 3:22-12.
“When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”
A tongue left to its own devices can be a very destructive member. It is like putting a sharp sword in the hand of a man that has no regard for life and has no conscience as to who he wounds and kills. It is a primary communicator of what is in a man’s heart, for the Word says, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
The tongue is a two edged sword that can cut on one side, but can bring healing from the other. Proverbs 18:21, the Living Translations says, “The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences.”
I have seen examples in life where people could be so Christian in their words of praise and exhortation, they could teach and preach the Word, but if you dare offend them, out of that same mouth could come venom and curses that would send you to hell. You see it is usually in our offenses that the control of our tongue is best tested. Can we still speak life when we have been wounded or threatened? When the Holy Spirit still has control of our tongue, even in the most adverse circumstances then we’ll know that it is an instrument of life and not of death and God has the reigns.

Blessings,
kent

Confusion

February 15, 2013

John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Confusion

When the centrifugal forces of life’s unsettling circumstances pulls you away from your center and secure place. When you are standing in confusion with your head still spinning.
When life has ceased to make sense, your landmarks have shifted, and the world offers no true answers or solace. There is still one place you can go, one truth you can hold on too.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ~ Jesus
He is your center and your safe place, your Savior and your friend.

Life can throw you some strange twist and turns. None of us are immune to trials and tribulations that are common to man. They can come in so many forms and ways. Some of these storms can be quite devastating to the point where we don’t know how to cope. We don’t have the answers, the resources or the means to solve this problem. The world offers little solutions, only many means of escapism, like alcohol, drugs, sex, sleeping and so on. These, at best, can only numb the pain and usually only exacerbate the problem. There are times we just don’t know what to do and sometimes when we think, “It couldn’t get any worse,” it still does. Our problem is greater than our ability to resolve it.
In the world you lose hope. You may even entertain suicide or some other drastic measure to end the problem.
Wait a minute. There is hope and God’s got an answer. He may not share it with you in the moment, but if you will trust Him and enter into His peace, He will work it out.
Some people may remark that “Jesus and Christianity is just a crutch.” No, He is the whole package and anybody that thinks they can play God and do a better job is a fool. God created us. He knows everything about us and He didn’t create us to be complete in ourselves, but to be complete in Him. Sometimes we think we can control and manipulate God, but God is the one that is always upon the throne. Even for Christians, there will be times when God doesn’t move in the ways we think He should move. He doesn’t do things the ways we think they should be done and many times He doesn’t answer our prayers the way we thought they should answered. We operate in the finite of what we know and understand. God works in the infinite, far above our ability to understand and comprehend.
So what is the answer?
We learn to trust Him, to totally rest in Him, to praise Him in all things and to know that He is LOVE. Everything that God does comes out of that place.
Jesus promises us His peace, not as the world gives. He tells us, “Don’t sweat it and don’t be afraid. I’ve got your back. Your mine, I love you and if you will trust Me, I’ll work it out My way and for My glory. Nothing in heaven or earth can separate you from My love. I am working all things to the good of those who love Me and are called according to My purpose.”
We can’t believe everything we see around us, because in Christ, that is not our reality. Our reality is our faith and trust in Him and in His Word. Enter into His REST. That is the place of peace, joy and comfort; even in the midst of life’s most unsettling storms. Don’t be confused, just know that Father has it all figured out.

Blessings,
kent

God’s Love Letter to You

February 14, 2013

Jeremiah 31:3
The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

God’s Love Letter to You

My child, I love you more than can be ever written or expressed. I loved you so much that I was willing to give My only begotten Son to die for you, so that I could redeem you back to My heart.
With My own blood I purchased you again from your sin. I blotted out your transgression and imparted to you the right and privilege to partake of My righteousness. I have called you out as a people to carry My very own name in all of it majesty and glory. As My children, all that I have is yours, because you are in My Son and He is in you.
You see and know so little and you aren’t even able to comprehend with your finite minds the length, the breadth and depth of My love for you. My love isn’t the revelation of material things that soon perish with the using. My love is you being transformed into My likeness and glory. It is bringing you into the full expression of who I AM.
Rejoice, even in your trials, for all things are working together for the good of those who love Me and who I have called according to My purpose.

Romans 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.”

Blessings,
kent

Life Principle

February 13, 2013

Matthew 7:12
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Life Principle

The base nature of man is selfishness and self-centeredness. Life starts out being all about me; my wants, my needs, my hunger, my well being, my dry diaper. A lot of people grow up without deviating much from that principle of “what about me”. As we grow up and mature, even natural law teaches that as I become responsible for a spouse and family, it isn’t as much about me anymore, in normal development it becomes more about them.
Jesus gives us life principles in His Word, that if we follow them, we can live a fuller richer life than our natural ways would or could ever provide for us. Our natural man is prone to live after the flesh in what gratifies and satisfies our natural needs and wants, but Jesus comes along and awakens in us the reality of our spiritual man that has been pretty much lying dormant. He makes us aware through His Word and Holy Spirit that life isn’t just about living to our own gain and dying. It isn’t about the person that dies with the most toys wins.
What do they win, an award for being the most selfish, greedy, self serving, covetous, and immoral? That is a hedonistic and totally selfish philosophy.
Jesus taught us two primary life principles that everything else operates out of and both of them are based in love. Matthew 12:28-33 gives these principles, “One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”29Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD;30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’31“The second is this, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”32The scribe said to Him, “Right, Teacher; You have truly stated that HE IS ONE, AND THERE IS NO ONE ELSE BESIDES HIM;33AND TO LOVE HIM WITH ALL THE HEART AND WITH ALL THE UNDERSTANDING AND WITH ALL THE STRENGTH, AND TO LOVE ONE’S NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.””
The life principle we should come to grasp is that God is Love and the light of the spirit is love. When our spirits comprehend that love then our bodies, souls and lives should become the expression of what our spirit has attained. We should come to grasp that it is only as we live out of love that we are transported into Love which God is. Love is the transport system that brings us into God’s presence and will. It first starts vertically with us and Him. As that relationship and communication is established then what fills our spirit should be spilling into our soul which is our mind, will and emotions. As that is filled then it should be transmitted horizontally through our lives into others. As we maintain that place of fellowship, intimacy and relationship with Father, then what and who He is begins spilling out of us into others.
We come to understand that selfishness and self-centeredness, only kept us from being the full expression of who we were meant to be, the expression of God’s love which is the essence of Him.
We come to understand that in the blessing of others we are blessed. The principle has a reciprocal effect upon our lives. In our giving and extending to others, it gives back to us. Even if it is not always seen, Jesus says we are storing up for ourselves riches in heaven where thieves can’t break in and steal, and where moth or rust cannot destroy. Our being spent for others is our investment in heaven. Everything that we gain in this life quickly perishes as does as our mortal man, but the higher purpose is to live to impart God’s love into others through our extravagant giving and generosity. That doesn’t just speak to material things, but our time, out attention, our grace and forgiveness, our willingness to see past the faults in others, as Jesus saw past ours, to meet our need, even as we endeavor to meet the needs of others. Loving God and loving others is the gateway of kingdom living and being. As believers in Christ, our physical beings, should simply be God deposits in the earth, conduits and transmission lines through which He can bring His power and love into the earth and all of mankind. It is the key principle of true life.

Blessings,
kent

Water into Wine

February 12, 2013

Water into Wine

John 2:5-10
And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare [it]. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: [but] thou hast kept the good wine until now.

There is a truth here in the first miracle of Christ where He turns the water into wine that goes beyond just the outward event and story. It is a story about the transformation that He is doing in you and I. There were six water pots of stone. Six being the number of man. It is in man that Christ does His transforming work. These stone jars were for the purpose of ceremonial purification. They could only serve to clean the outward man through religious means and ceremonial ways. The day came when Jesus came and said fill the pots with water. The Spirit of God moving over the waters brings about a transformation through the blood of Christ to produce a new wine. A New Covenant relationship where as we abide in the Vine (John 15:4), Christ, we bear the fruit of the Vine (John 15:5). John 3:5-7, Jesus is explaining the new birth to Nicodemus and he says, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The water is the natural state that was in the stone jars. There was nothing unusual about it or supernatural. It was the Spirit of God moving through Christ Jesus that did a supernatural thing to that water. It transformed its natural state of water into wine. There is a supernatural event that occurs in us when we are born again. When Jesus shared the Lord’s Supper with His disciple, He took the cup of wine and declared, “This cup [is] the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you. (Luke 22:20).” It was the wine that was symbolic of the blood of Christ that transforms this natural into the supernatural, that causes us to be born not only of the natural as in the water, but also of the spirit as seen in the blood or the wine.
God has saved the best for last. In these last days Christ shed His blood upon that cross that by faith in that blood we might me be transformed into a new creation in Christ Jesus. As that new creation we become like that water that was transformed into wine. It is not like the former wine that produced carnal results, but it is the finest and the best wine of a new testament. It has been saved for the last and manifested in the lives of His people that are bringing to the table the best of what God has to offer. Christ is the bridegroom and you are his best because you are blessed with a transformed life that is being conformed to His nature. You are the wine that is being offered to a world that has only known the wine of lust and drunkenness. You bring the joy and the life of Christ to that world. When they drink of the life that is in us they too, can become partakers of the transforming power of Christ.

Blessings,
kent

Acts 4:36-37
And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, [and] of the country of Cyprus Having land, sold [it], and brought the money, and laid [it] at the apostles’ feet.

Barnabas, Son of Encouragement and Consolation

Barnabas is a rich example of a tremendous man of faith and godliness. Barnabas is one of those ministries that was not at the forefront and limelight, but he was the backbone of those who were. God used Barnabas tremendously in helping Paul to gain acceptance as an apostle and come into the ministry and office that God had for him. Barnabas served as a co-missionary with Paul in the outreach to many of the gentiles. We see him as a very dignified man of wisdom, generosity and encouragement. Barnabas was the type of man and ministry that would see the gift of God in others and bring it out of them. Even when Paul and Barnabas took John Mark with them and he failed the first time; Barnabas didn’t give up on him. He and Paul had strong words and disagreement later on when Barnabas wanted to take him again. It was to the point that they went their separate ways, but Barnabas saw the ministry gift that was inside of John Mark and his ministry was to develop it and bring it out. John Mark goes on to write the gospel of Mark and even Paul later admits that John Mark is of use to him.
Many of us are not ministers that are seen or acknowledged by position, office or gifts of oration. Many of us may not be missionaries, pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophets or apostles, but we may be the means by which others may come into the fullness of their ministry and gifting. Each one of us in the body of Christ is essential for the success and development of others in the body of Christ. It may come through encouraging words, helps, financial support or mentoring. There are many ways that we can make a difference even though what we do is not seen or even acknowledged.
I love Barnabas because he brought out the best in others without seeking attention or recognition for himself. His office and calling was really much higher than many give him credit for. Your office and calling may be much higher than you actually realize. When we allow God to work through us in whatever means He chooses too, we become the instruments and distribution of His blessing. If we always deny that we are anything and are never willing to give ourselves to whatever it is that God would have us to do, we not only rob ourselves, we rob the body of Christ. We deny it the talent and gift that God has given us to give. ‘The greatest in the kingdom of God are the servants of all.’ They are simple people who just offered themselves to God’s service and purpose. Be careful not to neglect the calling and election that you possess. God has fashioned you for a purpose and He will reveal it as you seek Him and serve the body of Christ. People of the lowest stations in life can often be the greatest in the eyes of God. Don’t let who or what you are prevent you from being and doing what God has created you for. It is not about us or our strength or ability. We are simply the emptied glass that God can fill with the water of His life and be given for others to drink. Fulfill your calling and come into the fullness of what He has for you. In the process help others to do the same.

Blessings,
kent

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