The Name of the Lord

May 31, 2013

Proverbs 18:10
The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

The Name of the Lord

The Messenger bible states it this way, ” God’s name is a place of protection—
good people can run there and be safe.” The man and woman of God who walks with the Lord come to know that they abide in the name that is above all others. It the name of all authority, power and lordship. It is the name beneath which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. What is so awesome to us as believers is that He has imparted His very name into us. He has birthed us in His DNA and He has purposed us to rule and reign with Him. Many of us struggle with this because we still see ourselves after the flesh with all of its flaws, weaknesses and failures, but God see us after the Spirit. More importantly than how we perceive that we are, is how He sees us for what we shall be and already are in His eyes. As we walk into our destiny we must see much more with His eyes and much less with ours. Paul even says in 2 Corinthians 5:16, ” Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.” It is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are coming into spiritual authority and awareness. He is our place, not only of refuge and safety, but of power, authority and strength. We not only have a safe place to hide in Him. We have a mighty authority and strength to war out of Him.
Sometimes our church theology and mentality is all about escaping the woes of this world, but Jesus came and died so that He might raise up an overcoming people. We face adversity so that our hands may be trained in spiritual warfare. God is raising us up to see our victory, not our defeat. In Judges 15:11 Samson has paid back the Philistines for what they had been doing to Israel. The Philistines are coming down and the people of Israel are afraid because Samson has stirred up the enemy and the oppressors of God’s people. He has done ticked them off. “Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock Etam and said to Samson, Have you not known that the Philistines are rulers over us? What is this that you have done to us? He said to them, “As they did to me, so have I done to them.”” Many of us as Christians have this same mindset as the children of Israel in that day. We are passive and we don’t want to tick off the devil. Just leave him alone and maybe he will leave us alone. Who was really the Lord of Israel, the Philistines or the Lord God Almighty? Who is truly the ruler over us? God is raising up a people as Samson who know their might and power in the name and authority of their God. Do you know your destiny, your authority and your purpose? It is not in kow-towing down to the enemy. If you are experiencing adversity it is so that you might experience victory. If you are being put to death in your flesh, it is so the life of Christ might be made manifest through your mortal body. It is not our flesh God seeks to protect, it is the integrity of His Name.
Romans 8:1 says, ” THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.” It is in the name, the nature, the character, the authority and the Spirit that we stand vindicated and empowered by the Lord Jesus Christ. Your life is hidden in the Rock of Jesus Christ. He is your habitation and stronghold. He has created you and called you out not to just exist in His salvation, but to triumph and overcome through it.
Fear not the enemy and the adversary of your soul. It is the Lord God Almighty that goes before you into battle. When you go forth in the authority and obedience to that Name you will not know defeat, but only victory even as David went up against Goliath. 1 Samuel 17 says, “Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied. 46This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.
48When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.” In the power of the Name of the Lord He is teaching us, not only His safety, but His authority. He is teaching our hands to war in the Spirit. He is teaching us not to shrink back from the battle, but to run quickly toward our oppressors and giants, because the battle is the Lord’s. The Lord is a strong tower and because you are in Him you have victory in your life today. You are the head and not the tail, the blessing and not the curse, the conqueror and not the conquered and yea though all of hell rise up against us, ” Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

Blessings,
kent

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Kindness

May 30, 2013

Kindness

Colosians 3:12-13
Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

“Kindness”, an obvious word with an obvious application, it is often descriptive of one of the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit. Kindness is so obvious and so simple and yet so missing among so many of us. It is simply goodness and favor toward another person. Many families and relationships are missing this little social grace from their words and actions. Even in our every day encounters with strangers and people that we interact with, we fail at this little thing called kindness. Oh yes, we feign kindness through superficial words and platitudes, but is it an issue of our heart? True kindness pities, it empathizes, sympathizes and identifies with another’s need. Kindness puts itself in the place of its neighbor and then responds appropriately according to how it would want to be treated. Kindness isn’t a social mask that we put on to give the illusion of our graciousness; it is something that issues out of the foundation of who we are in Christ. Kindness genuinely cares for another and will not think about going out of its way to minister or help another. Kindness overlooks the opportunity to be right when it is at the expense of another. It compliments the rest of the attributes of the Spirit and it chooses the high road even at its own expense. Kindness is what covers another with grace and favor even when they may not deserve it. Kindness is slow to be offended and it returns good for evil. True kindness is often the brunt of abuse and is commonly taken for granted. Yet, it is the kindness working in us that causes our Father to smile and reminds Him of Himself.
Today and each day of your life, develop the habit of random acts of kindness, not just on the deserving but on the undeserving as well. Practice that kindness on the ones you say you love and yet always rub you the wrong way. While others may not always appreciate it and it may be abused by some, you will never regret the warmth it leaves inside and the smile it puts on the face of God.

Blessings,
kent

A Word of Wisdom

May 24, 2013

Psalms 36:9
For with thee [is] the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

A Word of Wisdom

It is in the light of God’s truth and wisdom that we find light . As we pursue and meditate upon His word He is our eternal fountain. All through Proverbs 8 wisdom speaks to us about whom She is and what She desires to impart unto those who will seek Her. In verses 7-8 it says, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom [is] better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” The most valuable things in life are not in the material world they are found in the wisdom of God who is our fountain of life. Wisdom says in verse 17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” In all of your getting, get widom for she will not fail you and She will deliver you in your day of trouble. She will prosper you and give you good success.

Blessings,
kent

Life in Liberty

May 23, 2013

Life in Liberty

Psalms 119:42-45
Do not snatch the word of truth from my mouth, for I have put my hope in your laws. 44 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. 45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

Our life in the Spirit and in obedience to Christ is one of liberty and freedom and not restrictions. Freedom is not in the exercising of our will to sin because sin is bongage and a very terrible taskmaster. It gives the allurement of freedom, but it is only the bait of ensnarement that brings us into its trap. Once it has fed off of our life and worked its destruction it cruelly abandons us to our hurt, pain and destruction. This is why the Word and the precepts of the Almighty are life to the spirit and health to our bones. They cause us to walk in true freedom and liberty. The purpose of the Lord Jesus coming to earth was to bring liberty and freedom to man. In Isaiah 61 it speaks of the liberty that He brings and even Jesus declared that He was the fulfillment of this passage. “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Jesus is our liberator from the tyranny of sin that has so ruled and ruined our lives. The very sacrifice of His life was for our freedom. He has not only set us free from sin, but from the curse and the condemnation of the law. He has caused us to pass from death to life and from bondage to freedom. In light of this we can see how foolish we are when we allow ourselves to come again under the bondage of sin. The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord and the respect and obedience to His Word.
Galatians 5:1 exhorts us, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Again we are exhorted in Galatians 5:13, “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only [use] not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.” Liberty is an exercise of faith and whatsoever is not of faith is sin. When we walk in liberty we must be walking in faith and good conscience toward God and man. Thereby we have our peace and confidence toward God. There are some weaker who may not have our faith in areas and would stumble in the areas where we feel freedom. It is the love of Christ in us that constrains us, not the law or the ordinances of men. For the sake of others we will restrain ourselves in the areas where we have freedom if it is a stumbling block to another. If they attempt to follow our freedom, but do not have the faith in that area it will be sin unto them. James 2:12 says, “So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.” The law of liberty is freedom, but it is freedom that seeks not its own, but the good and well being of others. Its foundational principles are love.
1 Peter 2:15-17 describes our liberty this way, “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using [your] liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all [men]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” Liberty is in not letting anything possess you or rule over you, but the love of Christ. He has set us free to be the servants of righteousness and bring the liberty of heaven to the earth. Be faithful in the liberty that He has afforded you and let not anything bring you again under the bondage of sin.

Blessings,
kent

2 Corinthians 6:9-11
6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9As it is written:
“He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

You Don’t have to Give

Giving should never be a mandate, a law, a legalism or a guilt trip. Those should never be the reasons for our giving. For so many giving has ceased to be a joy and has become an obligation and burden.
The truth is so many of us are continually being pressured to give. I am a business man and I wish I received half as many calls from people that wanted to do business with me as I do with people wanting me to do business with them. Then I go to the mail box and the majority of the mail is again full of requests for what I can give to them. Then I may go the kids school or have the kids coming to me raising funds for school projects. By the time I go to church or I have the opportunity to give unto the Lord, I may well feel tapped out and resentful at one more person or organization wanting “my money.” By the time the pressure of the holidays come people often feel overwhelmed and unable to live up to all of the expectations put upon them without going into debt to do it. Is this the way giving should be?
First we must get rid all of the guilt and manipulation when it comes to giving. Can I tell you that God doesn’t want you to give if it is not in your heart to do so. God meant for our giving to be a joy and not a burden. One of the things that really affect how we give and the attitude with which we give is our mindset about what is mine and what is God’s. If I see everything that I get as mine then it comes under the limitations of my mindset. If I see all that I posses as God’s, with Him entrusting it to my stewardship, then that shifts the ownership from me to Him. While God wants me to enjoy what He has put into my care, I know it is not His nature to be selfish with it. If I believe that God is responsible for all that I have rather than just the works of my own hands, then I have to understand a kingdom principle. It is stated in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” The way to harvest more seed is to sow a portion of the seed I have already harvested. No seed planted results in little to no harvest reaped.
Giving is not as much about the amount or the percentage as it is about the attitude of our hearts. Why has God so generously and bountifully given to His children? He doesn’t do it out of obligation. He does it because it is His nature and joy to give. He wants us to experience this same heart in our giving.
Can I just be honest from my own heart. God was speaking to me today that I have a fear of giving, because deep down I always think there won’t be enough. “I’ve got to horde this back or I’ll run out.” But He showed me fear is not faith. It is quite the opposite and fear will always rob you of what faith can produce. If I give out of fear then my giving is begrudgingly, reluctantly and without joy. That is not the Spirit of my Father, that is an orphan spirit. A spirit of lack, rather than a spirit of abundance. I need my Father’s heart to have that giving spirit. God knows that I can’t give what I don’t have, but first I must be faithful in what I do have. Doesn’t He say that if you faithful in the little, He will make you faithful over much?
Do we really dare to believe God or are we content with the little while we rob God through our lack of faith and obedience? Let’s dare to prove God with a joyous heart of outrageous giving. It doesn’t have to be just monetarily, it should flood over into every aspect of our lives. When aligning our minds and paradigms with God’s mind and kingdom thinking there will be no lack for we will see and meet the needs in one another and provide for God’s house. We will see God’s abundance begin to flow through us as we are willing to open up resources for His use rather than just ours. He tells us in Proverbs 28:7, “He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.” What Father is trying to show us is that we are robbing ourselves when withhold from those in need. It doesn’t mean that we have to give to every thing that comes along, but that we should have the Father’s heart in our attitude of giving. While I am still of the mind to consider my finances, “my money”, it will always come up short and always experience lack. When I see it as His money for blessing others then I am brought into a whole new freedom and joy of dispensing His wealth and not my own.
You don’t have to give, but that would be to rob yourself of the greatest joy. It was God’s joy in giving us the greatest gift of all, His son Jesus to die for our sins, that we might see the Father’s heart for unconditional giving. Why wouldn’t we want the joy that is in His Spirit of giving? Why would we want to rob our own selves through our spirit of want, fear and lack? Luke 6:38 promises, ” Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” We can’t out-give God!

Blessings,
kent

Not the Outward, but the Inward

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

The church is not so unlike the Jewish nation before us. We have taken the principles of the kingdom of heaven and have fashioned them into laws and burdens that are placed on the backs of men. So many of our denominations have taken a revelation and a truth, dug their foundations and built their denominations and that is where they have staid. God is not stagnant. He is an ever-moving river of truth. He is continually unfolding and unveiling His plan before us. His truth is all there in His Word, but the revelation of that truth has not been fully manifested. It is a progressive thing. One of the chief kingdom principles is never think that you have it all and never be content to build your faith and religion on present day truth. That is not to say it isn’t truth, but it may be only a facet and part of the whole.
From the early days of Christianity men have done what the religious leaders of old did with Judaism. They try and make our faith a mandate of rules and regulations. Men still try and dictate and control by taste not, touch not and eat not. If Christ taught us anything He taught us to change the outward there must be a change inwardly. Jesus once told the Pharisees, “ It is not what goes into a man’s belly that defiles him, it is what comes out.” Jesus knew that unless the condition of the heart is changed no amount of rules and regulations will really change men. They may try to act correctly outwardly, but inwardly they are still the same. The kingdom of heaven in us begins with a heart change. It must change from the desire for earthly enrichment and expression to the desire for the Spirit of God to have expression through us. No longer my will, but Your will be done. What we find is that when we really get in step and in sync with God’s heart and the Holy Spirit, we have set out on a God adventure and there is no telling where it may take us. It is exciting and it is ever fresh and new. The neat thing is we are not struggling to control it, but we have relinquished control to the Holy Spirit. Now our chief desire and ambition is to flow in harmony and obedience to Him. It is no longer about religion telling us we have to do this and we can’t do that. The law that governs us lives within our hearts and we know that our obedience to Him leads to heightened relationship and fellowship. We have found that our faith is not of the ceremonial outward protocol, it is righteouness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. Instead of ceremony we celebrate who and what we are in Christ and all that He is becoming in us. Perhaps that would explain why there is such a large movement away from traditional religion and more of a move toward non-denominationalism. The kingdom of heaven is not about the organization it is about the organism in which the Holy Spirit is released and free to move in and through His body according to His will and purpose and not the dictates of men and their programs. Where the Holy Spirit is free to move is where you will find that it will be as the apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4:20, “For the kingdom of God [is] not in word, but in power.” Isn’t that what we desire and seek today? We have heard countless words, but God we want to behold your power. We want to see the kingdom manifested in the lives and affairs of men. This is what we press into as we seek the deeper experience of the kingdom of heaven. We want to find the lover of our soul, our King. We want to find the place of intimacy and relationship with Him where we have true communion and dialog with His presence.
May our hearts become inflamed with an everlasting passion for our Christ and His coming as well as His manifest kingdom. When we are consumed in our love for Him, the things of this world become strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. Righteousness then becomes a state of who we are by association and relationship with Him who is righteous rather than something we seek to achieve through outward efforts and works. The kingdom of heaven in you is allowing and giving place to Christ being all that He desires to be in you. Allow the kingdom to flood into every part and fiber of your being and your life. As He is in you, so will you be in this world.

Blessings,
kent

Ephesian 5:25-33
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The Prominent Woman of the New Testament

I was thinking this morning, “If I were to identify the most prominent woman in the New Testament, who would it be? Would it be Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth or one of the other godly women? Then it struck me that the most prominent woman and the one to whom the whole New Testament is dedicated too, is the bride of Christ, us, His Church.
He loves us so much that He laid down His life to redeem us for His bride. His love for His bride becomes the model of every husband’s love for his natural wife. For Jesus, the life that he lived, the love that He proved in action, the Word that He gave and His Spirit that now indwells, all speak to the passionate love that He has for us. He did nothing for Himself, but all was for us.
The Word teaches here that even with the same love and care you extend to your personal self, you should extend to your wife; loving your wife as your own body. Our wife is an extension of our own flesh and blood. Spiritually she is united and one with us. This scripture teaches us that all that Jesus did and is still doing, even His very life was dedicated to this woman, His bride. All that He has done and is still doing is to make us all that we were called to be in union with Him. We were called and betrothed to holiness, so He cleanses us with His blood for the forgiveness of our sins and He washes us with the water of His Word that renews us in our identity with Him; His mind, His heart, His love. By the sacrifice of His own self He imparts into us His own righteousness and virtue to remove every stain, wrinkle and blemish. As husbands who follow this example, we are compelled to provide an atmosphere and environment where our bride is treated in the same manner. When she submits herself to us there is no fear or trepidation in her, because she is so secure in our love and best interests for her. In that love she finds such a place of security and peace. She knows that she is at the forefront of all that we do and provide. She delights to submit, because her joy is to reciprocate the love that is so freely and unselfishly lavished upon her. Her husband has cut all ties to his former obligations and earthly commitments that He might put her first. She is His treasure and He will protect and cherish that treasure with His very life.
This may all sound very idealistic, but it shouldn’t. It should be the way, we, as Christian men and husbands should think and believe, because it is the Word of God. It is the way that Christ loves us. Since we have inherited this same love, it is incumbent upon us to love our wives in this same manner. God gave us all of His Word, but in particular the New Testament as His love letter to His bride. His one desire is to bring us into all that He is and all that He possesses. Jesus loves us with undying, unfailing and unending love. Just as He is so in love with us; He wants us to be so in love with Him. He gave us marriage to practice that love affair. In the same way that we love one another in that marriage relationship, it is the same way we love Jesus. You may think your spouse is so stubborn or has such issues that you can’t get along and love them in that way. Do we think that it has been any easier for Christ to love us through all of our issues and sins? Yet He does. His love never fails, it never gives up and never runs out on us. He looks past our faults and sees our needs. While He would have every justification to divorce us, He doesn’t. He patiently loves us, forgives us, ministers life and blessing to us, even when we live in defiance and rebellion to Him. Love never fails when it comes to this prominent woman in the New Testament. He has committed to stay with Her until He brings Her into His highest and into the fullness of Himself.

Blessings,
kent

A Heavenly Perspective

May 16, 2013

Colossians 3:15-17
Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 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.

A Heavenly Perspective

Today is a day to be glad, rejoice in life and embrace your life with hope. We are a blessed people. Some would say, “if you saw my condition you wouldn’t think I was very blessed.” I can certainly appreciate all that life throws at us sometimes. Outward circumstances can get incredibly harsh, cruel and difficult to bear. The apostle Paul says this, in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” For most of us, our biggest stumbling block is that we are always focusing on what is seen, rather than what is not seen. We tend to base our life, our success, our happiness and our worth on what we see as reality in the natural world around us. What the Word is teaching us is, if that is the case, you are living out of a wrong perspective and viewpoint. Colossians 3 gives us some perspective in where our mindset and viewpoint of life must now come from. “1Since, 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 we are living in discouragement and defeat it most likely has to do with the perspective of our minds and our hearts. This present life can offer some crushing blows and some real discouragement, but when we begin to understand that if we are in Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, then nothing can really touch our life without first going through the Father. If these things are allowed to touch our lives then it is our opportunity and privilege to know that as we keep our eyes upon Him, He is giving us the grace to walk through whatever it is. Often times, we come to the point where there is really nothing more that we can do outwardly. The Words tells, “Having done all, stand.” Stand in the faith that the Lord is God and He is upon the throne of our lives working all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Perhaps the Lord allows us to go through some of these things so that we can begin to practice living out of the mind of Christ, rather than the mind of our flesh. The mind of Christ will look with the eyes of faith, resting in the Lord to work all things out according to His will and purpose. It will rejoice in hope and confidence in the God of its salvation. The mind of the flesh will be agitated, fearful, and full of worry, anger, frustration and doubt.
Many of the saints of old went through great times of trials and testing. It was their faith and confidence in the Almighty that sustained them and brought them through. Most of us would rather avoid and run away from our problems, but that is not where growth is or that which builds our faith. Like the song by Andre Crouch goes, “if I never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them. I’d never know what faith in His Word can do.”
Don’t allow your countenance to fall today. Look up and make the decision to have joy in your life in spite of any circumstances that may be pressing on you. God will see you through.

Blessings,
kent

Body Ministry

May 15, 2013

Romans 12:4-5
Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Body Ministry

The Word gives us the illustration that our marriages are like Christ and the bride. We who are many are made one in Christ Jesus and we who are many members, having many and different functions in the body are to all function as one in Him. One of the mistakes we make in marriage and in the body of Christ is that we often want to try to fit others in our box. We tend to think, others should think as we think, have the same doctrinal views that we have and fit our idea of what a Christian should look like. We do that in our marriages and that’s why a lot of our marriages have severe problems or don’t work. Instead of loving and accepting the other person for being the unique expression that they are, we want to clone them into us. We forget that one of the things that probably first attracted us to them may be those very things we have been trying to change in them. They can no more be you than you are them. What we miss in marriage and in body ministry and functionality is that we were created to be different. Love is the key ingredient in us that helps us to defer and give place to another. If God’s love isn’t present, then it becomes all about us and our world. It is kind of like how scientist use to think the sun revolved around the earth, rather than the earth around the sun. It has to do with our perspective and understanding. In a good marriage there are two individuals that have learned that they belong to one another and their function is to complete the other, not to try to change the function or individuality of their spouse. In the compliment of the two lives, you see one complete life.
There is a key here in these two verses that we really need to get a hold of, “each member belongs to all of the others.” You see, our particular gifting and abilities are not about us, they are for the benefit and the building up of the rest of the body. If I wrote what I do and then just kept it to myself, I would be denying the rest of the body of what Christ has put in me. He has put something just as important in you, but if you fail to recognize that it doesn’t belong to you, it belongs to the body, then the body is deprived and robbed of that expression of Christ that only you can bring. We are all just parts of the bigger picture, but the picture can’t be complete unless you are in it, doing and being what you were created to be and do. I need you. You need me. Our completion comes from Christ functioning through all us, not just any one of us. This is one of the reasons I believe God is moving away from one man ministries. The expression of the body is being denied, but don’t think that your expression can only happen in church. That may be the last place it happens. Does that make you any less significant or important? No.
We often have the perception that our identity is related to a title, ordination, or an acknowledged position. We need to know that Christ has already acknowledged our position and it is in Him. He is our ordination and He has given us the title of sons and children of God, which is our identity. You are in Christ regardless of the title of man. Titles are simply houses our identity sometimes lives in, but regardless of title, it doesn’t change who we are or what we do. Some of the most significant members are those that are least seen. Our significance and worth has nothing to do with how men perceive us, it is all about how Father sees us and are we being true to what He has created to be in our expression of Him.
Just remember, in marriage or in the body of Christ, it is not important that others are like you or that they believe just like you, or do things your way. It is not about you. It is about Jesus and our individual faithful expression of Him. When we get a revelation that we are not our own and the Son doesn’t revolve around us, but we were created, formed and called into Christ to belong to the body, then we can be effective for the body. We are here to give what Christ has put in us to give and not get offended when others don’t always seem to appreciate that. Our value comes from Christ, not the kudos and acknowledgement of others. There are parts on your body that get little to no praise or recognition, but you would sure notice if they quit existing or functioning.
It is the love of Christ and the oil of the Spirit that lubricates and unites us to function in the unity of the body of Christ, If we are missing those ingredients, well then we begin to wear on each other. Let us remember, we are not our own, we belong to each other, so let us be there for each other in whatever need we can meet.

Blessings,
kent

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