1 Samuel 17: 38-40
Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor.39David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off.40He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine.

Armor of Defeat and Victory

Many of you will recognize this passage from the story of David and Goliath. Saul, in his good intentions to protect David, gives him his heavy and encumbering armor. For David this was very confining, heavy, awkward and not the armor that He had learned to fight with. Saul’s armor represents the natural efforts of the flesh to defeat a spiritual foe. It represented why they had suffered defeat, because ‘the weapons of our warfare are not fleshly, but mighty through the Holy Spirit to the tearing down of strongholds’. In fact let’s take a look at this scripture in 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,4for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.5We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,6and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete.”
When we fight with natural weapons, rather they be physical, our words, our actions or our cunning; where are they based and where do they come from? They stem from fear, jealousy, greed, anger, rage, slander, contempt, unforgiveness, selfishness and natural mentality. What does James say about us as Christians when we do such things in James 4:1-10, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”
Like David, we have to learn that victory and power is not in conventional weaponry based on earthly design and natural wisdom. It is based on our faith and confidence in who He is. I hear a lot of spiritual brothers and sisters talking today about getting guns, concealed weapons permits, storing up goods and finding fortification. We do live in perilous times and we do have to use wisdom, but Father would never have us to forget that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. Little David was able to overcome and defeat mighty giant Goliath because of the Spirit of God in Him; that gave Him the confidence to know that God would fight His battles and all he had to do was show up and respond in faith. It wasn’t the natural armor that protected him, it was the spiritual armor of his right relationship with the Father and God’s faithfulness in his life through past experiences. He knew, not what he could do, but what God could do through him, if he made God his armor and weaponry.
Ephesians 6:10-20 instructs us, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” The Word teaches us that our spiritual armament is the strongest and most powerful kind. It teaches us that our real battle is not with flesh and blood, but with spiritual forces of evil in heavenly realms. This where we must remember that as Ephesians 2 says, ‘we are seated with Christ in heavenly places’. We are seated in a spiritual position above our foes, even though our natural man may be positioned beneath them. Where are we living out of, our natural man or spiritual man? It is the difference between above and beneath, between victory and defeat.
No matter what we see in this world, we must maintain our identity and position in Christ. David won the battle against the giant and the Philistines because he knew his identity in God and his position with Him. That is where our true victory lies and that is how we will prevail, not with the armor of the natural, but with the armor of the spiritual.

Blessings,
kent

Honor

March 14, 2013

1 Peter 2:17
Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

Honor

The Word of God teaches us to live in a culture of honor. What is honor?
The dictionary describes honor as, ‘to estimate, fix value, to revere, venerate, deference, honor which belongs or is shown to one, to hold in respect or esteem, to show courteous behavior towards, to worship, to confer distinction upon.’ It is how we value a person, office or group. We are taught first and foremost to honor God and His Son. “Thou shalt Love the Lord thy God and Him only shall you serve.” We do that through our expressions of worship, adoration of praise, thanksgiving and obedience. As we value and honor the Father we should, in no less way, honor the Son and our brotherhood in whom the Spirit of Christ indwells. The Word goes on to teach us to have honor for the king and those in authority over us. We are also to respect, esteem and value our fellow man, treating all with dignity, respect and value. Next to God Himself, the Word is very outspoken about the honor we are to have toward our parents, so much so that it qualifies as one of the ten commandments. “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the LORD your God is giving you (Deuteronomy 5:16).” Jesus reiterates what God said about parental honor in Matthew 15:4 when quotes, “For God said, ‘Honor your father and mother’ and ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ Dishonoring your folks was a capital offence in the Old Testament, which show it wasn’t lightly regarded as option by God. It is interesting that none of these commands are considered optional or conditional about how we have been treated rather actual or perceptually. It doesn’t mean those we are to honor are always in the right or even act honorably themselves.
In today’s society a lot of this culture of respect and honor has been lost. That is one thing that is very admirable about the Asian people; they live and teach a culture of honor. We tend to think it is our right to pick and choose who we honor. We can, but it is not what the Word teaches us to do. It teaches us to love or honor your neighbor as you would yourself. Put the same value, regard and esteem on them as you do on you.
In the Father’s eyes we all have value, because He doesn’t create junk and He has placed within us His image and likeness. We are all spiritual beings and precious to the Father, no matter what our station in life, our sex, race, religion or color; God loves and values each one of us. God has redeemed us to practice a culture of honor to them that are within and without the household of God, toward Him and toward our families. I want to leave you with Colossians 3:5-25 as an exhortation from the Word of how we should all live in honor to God and one another.
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
18Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for their wrongs, and there is no favoritism.”
Let us once again teach, live and exemplify that culture of honor.

Blessings,
kent

Come up Hither

March 13, 2013

Come Up Hither

Revelations 4:1

After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

There is a door being opened in heaven for those that are earnestly pressing into the Lord’s presence. It is a door of revelation and understanding. A door and entrance that is leading us into the third dimension of His Presence, before His throne. It is a place, the likeness of which we have never seen or experienced before. It is place of lightning and thunder, a place so awesome that we are as dead men in the presence of the Lord. As I read this passage, I ask the Lord, “can I enter that door? Dare I ask to have privilege of experiencing such an awesome thing?” Immediately I thought who am I to ask such a thing? What am I to God that He should look upon me with such favor and privilege? There is such sin and unworthiness in my life that I should even aspire to enter such as dimension of heaven in this life. But what makes me any more worthy after I pass from this life? Why is it only then I could taste heaven, but not now? Isn’t the same thing that gives me confidence of heaven after I die at work in me in this life? It is all by the precious blood of Jesus. He alone is my righteousness and right standing with God. Yes, why isn’t it possible to taste of heaven, to look into the mysteries of the Most High, and to taste of the age to come? Our mind set has always been earth now, heaven later. Is that the mind of God? Doesn’t Paul say in Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” God is telling us even now we are raised up and seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. While the fullness of all that this entails may not be fully realized till future times, we do ourselves grave injustice to think that God doesn’t want us to exercise our faith to lay hold of an increasing depth and revelation of who He is and what He wants for us in this hour. All through the history of the Word of God, God has been ever revealing Himself in a greater and greater way. How does He want to reveal Himself today? Are we content with the former things, the present religious system that has become more Hollywood and entertainment than worship that brings us to His presence? The true worshippers aren’t waiting for someone to lead them in hymn 157 or listen to an inspiring special or even sing contemporary songs about Jesus. The true worshippers are pressing in, in Spirit and Truth. They are chasing after the heart of God. They are burning and hungering after His highest and holiest for them today. They are not content just to be among the throes of Christendom and churchgoers they want to “come up hither.” They are hearing a trumpet call from heaven that is calling them up higher to experience a greater depth in God than they ever have before. They are singing the song of the Lamb even now as they enter the heavenlies of their spirit man and come before His throne to worship Him who is forever worthy of all praise and glory. Their spirit man is crying, “Holy, Holy, HOLY!” They are passionate in their pursuit of His presence. They are intent upon tasting, even now of the ages to come and the glory that shall be revealed.

When Jesus fed the multitudes, didn’t He first tell the disciples to feed them? Luke 9:13 says, “But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.” Jesus was trying to teach them the principle of not looking at what they don’t have, but acting upon the little that they do have. We will never have the sufficiency in and of ourselves, but if we will act upon the little that we do have, heaven will become our sufficiency. ‘Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fishes looked up to heaven and blessed them.’ Our eyes have to be fixed on heaven, upon our Lord, for He is the sufficiency and supply for every need. The disciples were the key link between heaven and earth. They were the distributors of the miracles of Christ. Our lives have to be in that chain of distribution where we become the dispensers of God’s miraculous grace in whatever form He chooses to manifest it. Do we want to be one of the one’s in the crowd looking for a free meal or do we want to be the instruments through which God feeds the multitudes? God has so much more for us, but He is looking for the hungry ones, the ones willing to pay the price to pursue Him and run after Him. They are the ones who will not be distracted by the cares of life and the vanity of this world. Their eye is single and it is set upon the Lord. With all that is within them they will “come up hither” and pursue Him through the open door of heaven.

Blessings,
kent

Lonely?

March 12, 2013

Lonely?

Genesis 2:18
And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

Some of us experience times of great loneliness in our lives that brings sadness that we lack companionship, friendship. Even God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, for man, like God is a relational being. He has been created to communicate, interact, and be in relationship with other beings. Sure, there are times when it is good to be alone. Some of us are so involved with people we scarcely have time for just ourselves and our thoughts. We deal with people continually on a surface level, but not on a deeper emotional level. There are times when we can have people all around us and yet live in loneliness.
I believe God wants to speak to those who are experiencing that spirit of loneliness, where they feel separated, and cut-off and out of relationship with others. You may even be married, but you feel that your spouse doesn’t really know you or care to relate to your inner needs. Loneliness is a door that can lead us to depression and despair. It is an area where we can also come into place of self-pity. That is not meant in a derogatory way, it is just, in that place, the enemy begins to feed our mind with thoughts of worthlessness, unloveliness and a sense of rejection and despair can come over us. In that place of being alone we can develop misconceptions and wrong thinking. We can envision ourselves as being the only ones going through this experience. Even Elijah, the prophet saw himself in this place in His effort to stand for God. He began to see himself as ostracized and the only one left standing, all alone in his efforts to serve God. Romans 11:2-4 gives us this example, “God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to [the image of] Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”
The truth is many of us can have tremendous feelings of loneliness even in the midst of many people. Sometimes in that place, we blame others for our loneliness. We may blame our spouse or those close to us for not meeting those emotional needs in us. We may be lashing out in anger, because we feel it is their fault for not meeting our emotional needs of companionship and fulfillment. Unfortunately, through that bitter, critical and judgmental spirit you may be driving your companion, friends or relations further and further away rather than drawing them into a place where they can relate with you. You may be causing them to withdrawal more from you as they seek to protect their emotional well-being rather than you creating a safe-haven where they can feel safe to open their hearts to you without fear of reprisal, criticism, judgement and rejection. If you want to bring a turtle out of his shell then you put him in a place that he feels safe and not threatened. Our emotional person can be much the same way. It may be that we are expecting human relationships to meet needs in us that can only really be touched on a spiritual level. You know, we are never really alone. In the clouds of loneliness, the Son is still there. He desires to shine through and touch your need where you are. Jesus was constantly surrounded by people, pulling from Him and expecting of Him, but His real place of relationship, strength and renewal was in the alone time he had in relationship with the Father. If you are feeling that loneliness on the emotional level of natural relationships, then take that loneliness to the Father. Begin to come into the place of relationship with Him that can meet the needs that man will never meet. There is a place of need and relationship that only the Spirit of God can fill. You are forever precious and lovely in His sight. He will never leave you or reject you if you are seeking to relate with Him. He will love you unconditionally and like the woman at the well in John 4, you will find the water that satisfies and that makes you to never thirst again. Drink from the well of His salvation and grace. Enter into that fellowship and closeness to Him. You may find that as you are transformed through the time spent in His presence your natural relationships may improve as well. Allow Christ to satisfy the needs of your heart today as you abide in His presence and share with Him the longings of your soul.

Blessings,
kent

Three Dimensions of Jacob

Genesis 32:22-32
That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.”
But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”
29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there.
30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.”
31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.

Many of us will remember this story of Jacob. We often say that Jacob wrestled with an angel. As I was meditating upon Jacob this morning I felt like the Lord gave a little insight into this man Jacob. Jacob’s life is like our spiritual journey. Consider with me some of the analogies I felt like the Lord was showing me and I know there is so much more to this than what we will share here today.
When Jacob came into this world, he came in with his first-born twin named Esau. Now Esau was hairy, red and ruddy. He was a man of the earth and field. You might say he was the adamic nature. The scripture that gives us great insight into these three dimensions of Jacob, which is type of us, is found in 1 Corinthians 15:45-49. “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” While Esau is a type of the body, which is pretty much self-centered and driven by its needs and wants, Jacob is a little more subtle. Jacob is a type of the soul. The soul is where our identity lies. It is our mind, will and emotion. It is expressive of who we are as a person. Like Jacob, most of us have our spiritual side and then we have our fleshly side, for our soul is a mixture of flesh and spirit. Even the name Jacob means “heel holder or supplanter”. The truth was he was an artful manipulator. Even so, Jacob had a spiritual side that hungered for the things of God and the desire for the inheritance or birthright that would normally go to the firstborn. The trouble with the firstborn is that he had little or no appreciation for the birthright. Yes, he wanted the blessing that came through the birthright, but he didn’t have a heart or desire for the legacy and the responsibility that it carried with it. Jacob on the other hand did, but he sought to gain it through unscrupulous means, even though prophetically it had been spoken that the older would serve the younger. Jacob is like us in so many ways. He was always cunning and devising in the flesh how he might obtain the things of the spirit. Whether it was his life, livelihood, his wives or his children, Jacob set about with natural wisdom and understanding to obtain them. That is not to say that Jacob did not have his spiritual side. He encountered God at Bethel in the dream of the stairway or ladder with ascending and descending angels. He experienced God’s blessing, protection and wisdom in his life, but like us, we often seem to struggle and work so hard only to come up so short of our dreams and strongest desires. We have that Labon in our lives, Jacob’s father-in-law, that is always promising so much and delivering so little. No wonder, like Jacob, so many of us are frustrated physically and spiritually.
Even though Jacob knew God and had a relationship with Him, he had his shortcomings, his fears and demons to face. His biggest fear was his brother Esau, the one he had taken the birthright and the blessing from. It is like even though we possess the promises and blessings of God we face our own mortality. Faced with who we are in the natural, we fear. In the natural we perceive our weaknesses, our failures, the ungodly part of our nature. That is what Jacob faced in Esau.
In Genesis 32 we see Jacob escaping Labon and his stronghold to return to the promise land, but there he must face his Esau. In this place of fear for himself and his family, he is crying out for answers and favor from God. Try and scheme as he will, he fears the strength of the flesh that is represented in Esau and his ability to take all that he has labored to build. While he possesses the promises and the birthright they are of little value to him in his own identity. He sends his family and the others on ahead and takes them over the ford of Jabbok, which means emptying. He sent away his family and all that he had and now, empty, he is left alone. There he encounters this third man. The scripture doesn’t say it is an angel, but it is definitely an agent of God. There, Jacob wrestles with this man till daybreak. Could this be the spirit of Christ in us? The spiritual man that we need to change our nature? The first thing that had to happen in Jacob was an emptying and laying down of all that he loved and possessed. Then there was a battle, the struggle and wrestling with that old nature of Jacob, the heel-holder, supplanter and deceiver. These two men seemed pretty equally matched for strength for they wrestled through the night till daybreak. Is this our place of prayer and intercession where we are in a spiritual battle. Have we come to the place that we are going to lay hold of God and let go of everything else unto He blesses us? Are we the overcomers that will prevail with God and man?
What is our greatest blessing? Isn’t it to be delivered of our former nature?
That morning, at daybreak, the man said, “let me go, it is daybreak.” Jacob said, “I won’t let you go till you bless me.” In Genesis 32:27-31 it goes on to tell us,” The man asked him, “What is your name?”
“Jacob,” he answered.
28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.”
But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip. 32 Therefore to this day the Israelites do not eat the tendon attached to the socket of the hip, because the socket of Jacob’s hip was touched near the tendon.” It is there that Jacob prevailed with God and received a new name and a new nature. The new name is Israel, “God Prevails”. The man touched Jacob in the hollow of his hip, so that the sinew shrank and he crossed over Peniel, which means, “facing God”. Jacob would always walk with a limp, no longer dependent upon his own strength and ability.
We have a similar word to us in 2 Peter 1:19, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” There is a day for our transformation and new nature to come forth in its fullness, but we wrestle on through the night till we, like Jacob, prevail with God and lay hold of the promises of our inheritance. Then, no more do we need fear our strongholds like Labon or our mortality and flesh, like Esau. No longer are we afraid to loose the things we possess and love. The losses and the wounds we suffer are a small price to pay for what we lay hold of. God’s nature and character will prevail in us if we faint not. We will see the face of God, our Lord, and live; no longer after the flesh, but after the spirit. These are the three dimensions of Jacob, body, soul and spirit.

Blessings,
kent

Oracles of Soberness

March 8, 2013

Oracles of Soberness

Luke 19:26-27
“He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.”

The Son came to seek and save that which was lost, but many that were lost would not be found. Their rejection was their rebellion and their rebellion was their loss. Unto the faithful is more given and unto the faithless; even that which he was given will be taken away and given to another.

Fear of the Lord is the mark of wisdom, but a foolish man rails against his master. The foolish man exalts himself to be more than he ought, but the wise man humbles himself to be less than he is.

All will answer to the King, whether they accepted his dominion and lordship or not. All of us must answer for what we were given and what we have done with it. The faithful will be exalted, but the faithless will be cast out. The Lord is no respecter of persons, but He deserves and is worthy of everyone’s respect.

The God of Love is also a just and exacting God. In the spiritual realm, there are only two kingdoms. One is the kingdom of darkness and one is the kingdom of light. There is no kingdom of middle gray and compromise. The grays are an extension of darkness masquerading as light, but their deceitfulness draws men into darkness. The Lord does not compromise His own and His own cannot compromise His light with darkness.

Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom, but those that do the will of the Father. Our love for God is marked in our obedience and not in our words. Words can be deceitful and our appearances can be vain, but a heart that is given to Christ will bear the marks of His handiwork. It cannot go on unchanged, but each one must give account for the grace that was given. It is not given for a man to earn his salvation, but to work it out with fear and trembling. The garments of righteousness have been given, but it is up to each one whom receives them to put them on and wear them in faithfulness. There are no other garments acceptable before the Father than those that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.

As in the times before many that accept God in word, reject Him in heart. “The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)” “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)” Humble yourself before the Lord, examine your heart before Him and set your life to honor Him.

Blessings,
kent

How We Perceive Others

March 7, 2013

Philippians 4:8-9

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.9The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

How We Perceive Others

As I was spending time with Papa this morning this scripture came to mind and how it can pertain to how we see others, how we see and relate to one another as fellow believers and how we see those in the world around us.

As a Christian culture I think a lot of the world has an image of Christians as being the sin police, self-righteous, condemning, fault-finding, intolerant and often hypocritical. What they see so readily in others that don’t seem to see in themselves. They are quick to see the sin and faults in others while conveniently overlooking their own. Even among Christians I have seen how quickly brothers and sisters can take up an offense with one another and instead practicing forgiveness, long-suffering and forbearance, they hold grudges, speak evil of the other and only see them after the flesh or the fault that they perceive that defines that person in their mind.

2 Corinthians 5:16 says, “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” I believe what the Word is teaching us is that God doesn’t want us to be seeing and judging out or natural mind and thinking. He wants us to see Christ and others after the Spirit, even as He sees us. If God had only seen humanity from humanities’ point of view He would have destroyed us a long time ago, but even with all our sins and faults He saw something redeemable in us, because He saw past our faults and saw our need; so much so that He was willing give us His only Son to die for our sins and become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ. If God was that willing to see beyond our sin, faults, failures and offences, don’t you think He wants us to do the same for others around us? Don’t you think He wants us, not to focus on their negatives and all the things we can find wrong with them, but to focus their spirit and who they can be in Christ. We do that by practicing this scripture: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn the world, but to save it. He didn’t come with a stick, but with a cross. He laid down His life so that others could succeed where once they had failed. He saw us for what we could be and how He could transform our lives as we gave them to Him, not as in the mess that He found us. He saw beyond our flesh into our spirit where His image and likeness resides and said, “I am going to bring that back to Myself no matter what the cost.” Do we have that heart for others? Do we even have it for one another? Are we so focused on the faults and shortcoming of others that we can’t see their good and potential or have we already written them off as not living up to our standard, a standard that we probably don’t even live up too.

Grace, which God has given us, doesn’t hold on to wrongs, offenses, disappointments and failures, it is willing to put those under the blood of Jesus and move on. When we are unwilling to do that with others then we are living under the law and not under grace. Unforgiveness puts us again under the law of condemnation and we are then judged by the same law that we judge others. That is why the Jesus says, ‘judge not lest you be judged and with the same judgment that you administer to others you will be judged by the same standard.’ You see, living under unforgiveness and judgment is no longer living under grace. Grace says, “even though you may not deserve it, I forgive you. Even though you disappointed me, I forgive you. Even though you didn’t live up to my standards and perceptions, I forgive you. Even though you failed me and offended me, I forgive you. When you free others through that kind of forgiveness, you not only set them free, you set yourself free.

God is wanting us to see the best in one another, not the worst. We all fail. We all have chinks in our armor. We are all cracked pots and broken vessels, but the love of God is the glue that fixes all of that. When we walk by Spirit in His love then we see others in the light of how He sees us, redeemable, forgivable and worth saving. It is not about our personal preferences, opinions or values. Those are different for every person and not everyone is going to fit in your box. That means your love has to be outside of the box. It has to be more than human love. It has to be His love. In His love we can give to others the same grace that He has so freely given to us. We can begin to see the good in others, rather than just their faults and all of the things we don’t care for. We can use the Word of God to heal rather than to just cut and maim. We can love even the unlovely, because that certainly is how God found us. All God asks of us is that we are willing to give to others what He has given to us. If He forgave our debts which were so many how can we not forgive others whose debts are so few?

When you look at others, in or out of the body of Christ then see them after the Spirit and no longer after the flesh. Even what they are now, might not be what they can be and are becoming. Only God has a right to set in the judgment seat and before Him alone we stand or fall. Look for the truth, the honorable thing, for what is right, what is pure, what is lovely and of good report. Look for the excellence and that which is praiseworthy. Any fault finder can find faults, but it takes one whose eyes are fixed on the positive to always see the good. Find the best in people and not the worst. It is far more edifying and reaps much greater benefits. Let us be that expression of Christ to one another and to those without the household of God.
Blessings,
kent

WHO YOU ARE IN CHIRST

March 5, 2013

WHO YOU ARE IN CHIRST

Here some scriptures that are by no means exhaustive of the subject concerning our identity in Christ. It is important that we get these scripture deep into our heart and confess them over our lives daily, so that we are constantly brought into rememberance of who we are in Christ. The enemy’s greatest device is to try and separate us from our identity in Him. When he does, he can bring in condemnation, unworthiness and failure to discourage us in our faith. Stand strong and take these scripture into you heart, along with others that you may add to them.

John 17:20-26
” “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.”

John 17:11-12
I 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.

Galatians 3:26-29
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Romans 8:28-39
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,j 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.

Philippians 4:13
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

1 John 4: 17
By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.

Colossians 3:3
3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthyg when God called you. 27Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28God chose things despised by the world,h things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. 29As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.
30God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. 31Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

2 Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Ephesians 1:11
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.

Ephesians 1:18-23
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

Ephesians 2:21-22
In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 3:17b-20
…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Galations 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;10for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.

2 Peter 1:2-4
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;3seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.4For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

1 John 4:4
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Colossians 1:27
To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Blessings,
kent

The Peace of Christ

March 4, 2013

Colossians 3:15
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace.

The Peace of Christ

The peace of Christ is a gift that Jesus gave and left for His followers to have. It is an attribute of the Spirit that we carry within us. Remember when Jesus said in 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.” Christ is the peace in the midst of all of life’s storms. It is found in our spirits, not our mind, will or emotion. His peace is that secure place of His rest wherein we abide under the shadow of the Almighty and under the wing of His protection. In that place there is no fear or anxiety because it is the attribute of His presence and the storms of this world can not enter into that place. This place and attribute of peace is what the Lord wants us to live out of. It is what is to rule in our hearts, our decisions and is to guide our actions. That place of peace is His salvation actively working in our lives.
Ephesians 2:17 says, “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” That peace is His salvation that not given just to take us to heaven when we die, but to make us realize that are to be living out of heavenly places right now. Colossians 3:1-4 says, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” If you died and your life is hid with Christ in God, then where do you live and where do you live out of? When we know how to live in our position, then we will learn how to live in our peace, because “the kingdom of heaven is not meat or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).”
When we are living out of emotions, or our intellect or self-will, then we are living out of the realm of the soul and not the spirit. If we have died and our life is in Christ then His Spirit and His peace must have dominion over every aspect of our soul and all aspects of our soul need to be in submission to the spirit, that is the temple and habitation of God’s Holy Spirit. God is never moved, or upset or worried about the conditions and circumstances of this world. He is always at peace and that is that place He has called us to live out of and be ruled from. It is out of the peace of God that we move in the will of God. That is the place of His rest and we abide there by our faith and confidence in Him.
Don’t make major decisions out of place of strong emotion, but subject all of your soul to the peace of His Spirit and He will lead and direct you into right decisions and choices. God is here to bring order to our lives through the sovereignty of His Being. As we walk in the Spirit, guided by the peace of the Spirit, our hearts are ruled by that peace and in Him we live, move and have our being.

Blessings,
kent

%d bloggers like this: