Write it, See it and Speak it

December 31, 2015

 

Habakkuk 2:2-3

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Write it, See it and Speak it

There was a time a few years back that we began to believe God for a new house to better meet the needs of our businesses.  We had lived in the same house for about twenty-seven years and raised our kids there.  Always in the past when we had looked some place else the doors seemed to be closed.  One day God put in my heart to go and look at new houses.  That in itself is a move of God, to which my wife will attest, but I didn’t look at price, I just looked at the desire of our heart.  We ended up looking at a house we liked very much, but it was well above our means and truly it would have to be a miracle of God to provide for it.  Now through that house God began to give us a vision and a faith to believe for this house.  We prayed about it and both of us had a confident faith that some how this house was going to be ours.

The Lord gave me a scripture that I typed in bold letters on a strip of paper.  It is still clipped to the pencil organizer on my desk.  It is from Numbers 11:23 and reads, “And the Lord said unto Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?  Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”  I kept that before me as my promise from God.  When I would begin to doubt I would read that out loud and remind God and myself that His hand was not short to fulfill what he said.  

As time went by that house sold and we were crushed.  “Lord, what happened to the promise?”  Meanwhile the Lord continued working and through a love gift we were able to completely finish paying off the house that we were living in.   What a blessing that was, but we still didn’t understand about the other house.  We even went by and stopped there one day.  I went up to the door at my wife’s urging and asked if they planned on staying in that house.  The girl that answered the door assured me that they were very pleased and planned to stay.  

At this point it is important to say that we can never put God in our box.  He won’t ever fit and just about the time we think we have Him all figured out He will do something different.  That is why we walk by faith and not by sight.  Life went on and one day as we were coming back from making a delivery for Sharon’s business we passed a beautiful home that was for sell.  Sharon made me go back and get the number.  She then called our good friend in real estate and asked if she could show it to us.  Arrangements were made and initially just Sharon and her went.  Sharon came home saying this is it, you have to come look.  So we went over and looked at it.  It was a beautiful home with an incredible view and yard.  It had all of the things that Sharon was looking for and it would work great for our businesses.  When we decided to make an offer on it, we found out that two other couples were also interested in making an offer.  We just had to give it to the Lord and make our best offer.  When the others found out that we offered, they weren’t going to get into a bidding war and so they backed off and to our joy and amazement our offer was accepted.  

Now as we live in this home we both agree that this home meets our needs so much better than the other one would have.  The Lord taught us that because things don’t always work out as you thought they were going too, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan and that He isn’t working to bring it to pass.  He says, “Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  Indeed the Lord’s hand is not waxed short and He can bring His word to pass in its season and in His time.  

It is important that when God gives us a vision and a direction that we write it down.  Ask Him to give you an assurance in the Word to go with it, then place it before you where you will always see it.  Stand on that word and confess it verbally before the Lord.  Exercise your faith in His promise.  See it as done and speak to it in the spirit as you would to it in manifestation.  Write it, see it and speak it.  What God has promised to you He will bring to pass if you will act upon it in faith.  It just may not look exactly like you thought it would.

Blessings,

#kent

Street Lights of Jesus

December 30, 2015

 

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Street Lights of Jesus

Think of how dark a city would be at night without the street lights that illuminate the surroundings helping people to find their bearings and direction.  That is what we are in Christ.  We are the street lights that bring the spiritual illumination to the darkness of our cities.  When we are faithful to always shine out the light, the truth and the love of Christ then we help those around us to find their bearings and find their way.  

As the lights of our city we are also a protection because we shine the light of truth upon every lie and perversion of men.  We expose wickedness and shine forth righteousness.  It is a dark city indeed that does not have the men and women of God to be its street lights.  They are the outshining of its glory in the night and a well lit city is seen from a great distance.  Even as moths are drawn to the light, may our light so draw mankind to Christ.  A lamp post  is only as bright as the light that it puts forth.  We are not a part of the darkness, but the expression of the light.  We are the diadems and jewels of every city as we allow Christ to shine forth through us when we just be what God has created us and called us to be then we will be there to help others find their way in the darkness of night.  We are the street lights of Jesus and the light of the world because His light shine forth through us. 

 
 
Blessings,
#kent

Who is this Zerubbabel?

December 29, 2015

 

Zechariah 4:6-10

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. 

7 “What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’ ” 

8 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. 

10 “Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. 

“(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth.)” 

Who is this Zerubbabel?

Zerubbabel was the grandson of king Jehoiachin and leader of the first group of returning exiles from Babylon.  His name means, “sown in Babylon”.  He was a descendent of David.  I believe he stands as a type and a shadow of a man today.  He is the man that has laid the foundations of God’s true temple and his hands will complete it.   This is one that was born into, but came out of the confusion of this world and its religions of many voices and messages.  He came out for a purpose and a reason.  It was to lead people out of the traditions and captivity of a religious system and to establish again the true temple of God.  We might be quick to say, “Oh, this represents Jesus.”  In one sense we might be right, but there is more here than Jesus.  Zerubbabel is represented as a man of the earth, but with a royal seedline and a holy calling.  He is a man not operating out of his own strength, vision or purpose and yet he is a man of strength, vision and purpose.  What he is able to accomplish is ‘not by his might or his power, but by my Spirit,’ saith the Lord.  He is a man of authority in God.  A man before whom mountains become level ground.  One other interesting point here is that he not only laid the foundation, but “he will bring out the capstone to the shouts of ‘God bless it, God bless it!’” So who is this man of which Zerubbabel is such an interesting type?  

The Lord reminds me of a scripture in Hebrews 11.  In Hebrews 11 we have the hall of faith where we read the tributes to many of the great men and women of faith, but in the last verses, verses 39-40 it says this, “These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. 40God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.”  Concerning the foundations of the temple which Zerubbabel laid we read this in Ephesians 2:19-22, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens (Babylonians, born in Babylon), but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In 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.”  In Ephesians 4:13-19 (Amplified) it further expounds upon this concept,  “He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest). 11And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers. 

12His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church), 

13[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.”  It should be becoming apparent that this Zerrubabel is not just one man, but the enchristed one, Christ in man, the body of Christ, God’s holy temple not made with hands; from the foundations of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ the Corner stone to the head and Jesus Christ the Capstone.  It is Christ in His people.  It is the government and the kingdom of God in our midst.  It is the Spirit of God operating in the people of God to bring us all into the unity, maturity and the full stature of Christ.  The climax being when the Capstone is set and Christ returns in the fullness of His people, one new man from first to last, complete, resurrected and established in Him. 

Zechariah 4:10 says, ““Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel.”  This is God’s kingdom come in the earth to bring judgement and justice, to set every crooked path straight and dispense righteousness in the earth.  We are a part of this man.  We are the Zerrubabel of this hour.  God is awakening us and calling us to attention.  He is calling us to throw off all of those old paradigms of who we think we are not and come into the full revelation of who we are in Christ.  We are God’s people and His workmen to complete this task in these final hours.  You are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a peculiar people for God’s own possession.  What He has called you too, He has empowered you to do.  Take up the authority of who you are in Christ and begin to walk in that authority, vision and purpose.  You are the Zerrubabel, sown in Babylon, but called out of Babylon for such a time as this.  Rejoice and lay hold of your calling.

Blessings,

#kent

The Path of Life

December 28, 2015

 

Psalms 18:21-23

For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God. 22 All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. 23 I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin. 

The Path of Life

The Word of God is like a beacon of light that illuminates the path enshrouded in darkness.  That darkness is our ignorance of God and His ways.  The Word is the light of knowledge, wisdom and understanding that dispels that darkness to show us the pathway of Life and Truth.  The Path is the walk that we walk, the direction, purpose and intent of our living.  Far too often we can be standing in the pool of light, having our understanding enlightened, but unless our actions walk in the light of that truth then we are not experiencing that truth.  It is only head knowledge and verbiage.  Aren’t we often content to set by the path, rejoicing in the light, but not really walking in it?  It is as we set our eyes and our hearts upon God’s Word and begin to take each step in faith, keeping and fulfilling that Word, that it begins to be substance in us.  

Psalms 18 is all about the faithfulness of God toward David, because He has set the Law of the Lord before Him and sought to be faithful in walking in it.  That path often led him through the perils and dangers of death, but in those places He found the strength, the faithfulness and the protection of God to keep him.  David declares that because he has been faithful to keep the law of the Lord and not turn from it the Lord has been faithful to keep him.  Psalms 18:28 says, “You, O LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”  God will turn our darkness into light.  He will give us direction and understanding.  He will even be our enabling ability to walk in this path, but we have to take the steps to follow the path.  We must commit our hearts to not turn aside from the path or divert and take another.  There is one path that leads to Life and the Word of the Lord shows us the direction.  It is our choice that chooses to follow it.  This why David felt the Lord was so faithful to him, because he declares in verse 21, “For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God.”  Again, in verse 23 he says, “I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.”  David maintained an attitude of righteousness and of doing what was in keeping with the Word of God.   The relationship with God in His Word kept David in the path of God and in that path He found His provision, safety and well being even when he passed through the valley of the shadow of death.  He didn’t have to fear evil for He knew the Lord to be the shepherd of his soul that walked before Him.  It was as He walked in the Word of God that the Lord led him into green pastures and beside the still waters.  He even prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies.  The Word of God is the headlight that illuminates the High Way of His holiness and righteousness.  Let us follow on to walk in that light and not turn from it. 

 
Blessings,
#kent

 

Isaiah 30:15-18

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. 16 You said, ‘No, we will flee on horses.’ Therefore you will flee! You said, ‘We will ride off on swift horses.’ Therefore your pursuers will be swift! 17 A thousand will flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you will all flee away, till you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop, like a banner on a hill.” 18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. 

Blessed are all who wait for him! 

“Blessed are all who wait for Him!”

Do not be moved by what you see and hear, but be moved by the Spirit of the Lord.  Many of us are looking to our means of escape and survival in this hour.  We are operating out of the fear of what we see around us and not out of the Spirit and mind of God.  Listen to what the Lord says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”  This is God’s word to us in this hour if we are listening with the ears of the Spirit, but as the Lord says, many will not listen.  Many will grow frightened and anxious and flee on the horses of their own means and devices.  Many will flee when threatened, but those who are left behind, those who are hearing by the Spirit and are not moved by what they see will find their salvation.  There will be the remnant that is like the flagpole on the mountain and the banner on the hill.  They remain as a standard of the faithfulness of God.  Yet God is still gracious to His people and arises to show them compassion.  

The adversities that we face in this natural realm are unsettling to our souls.  We are not unlike Elijah’s servant who beheld the multitude of the armies that surrounded the city where they were.  He didn’t see a way out.  There seemed to be no escape.  2 Kings 6: 15-19 reads, “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked. 16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”  The same is true in this hour as we face these difficult times.  We cry out what shall we do?  The Lord is saying, ““In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…” Let us be the voice of repentance for our nation and the abominations that have come to dwell among us in our society.  Let us be the voice of intercession and prayer that rises to Father.  You are His righteousness in the earth.  He is jealous over you with an everlasting jealousy.  Do not be turned from who you are and what you know of Him.  We serve a God of strength, virtue and justice, but often His justice is not fully executed until the fullness of iniquity has filled the cup.  Hold fast your faithfulness and don’t allow the spirit of fear to grip your hearts.  Fear God only and know that He is your sure foundation and your everlasting salvation.  

Let us in quietness and trust discern the voice of the Holy Spirit and only move as our true Lord and Shepherd leads us.  He has given His angels charge over us and His protection is as a wall of fire around us.  Be still and know that He alone is God. “Blessed are all who wait for Him!”

Blessings,

#kent

The Blessing of a Godly Woman

December 23, 2015

 

Proverbs31:30-31

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades. The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God. Give her everything she deserves! Festoon her life with praises! 

The Blessing of a Godly Woman

We live in a world that is strongly focused on the beauty, fashion and sexiness of our women, but Proverbs brings out here the true worth of a woman.  As we know, youth and beauty soon fade.  If that is all that a woman has to offer then her time is short.  Our scripture brings out that the woman that is to be truly admired is the godly woman, because out of this woman the treasures of God abound within and without.  

As a man and a husband of a godly woman I can tell you that I tend to take my blessing from the Lord for granted far too often. It is the godly woman that fears theLord that is to be praised and admired not the woman of outward physical beauty.  Physical beauty is a wonderful attribute if it is there, but it is not foremost in God’s mind and it can often lead to greater temptations and distractions in the flesh.  

God is speaking to us men who are so fortunate to have a godly wife, to not take what we have for granted, but to truly appreciate the gift we have been given and to bless them in the way that they deserve.  When we are critical, our mouth should instead be singing her praises.   No, they aren’t perfect, as we aren’t, but if we reap what we sow, then we want to sow what we want to reap.  We want to praise them and truly appreciate them for then we will receive good and blessing from them all the days of our life.  

Take time to really thank God for the blessing that He has given you and return God’s blessing upon you by blessing her in every good thing.  In this you both will be blessed and live happy and contented lives.  

Blessings,

#kent

Honor and Respect

December 22, 2015

 

1 Peter 2:17

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Honor and Respect

One of the areas our society that has greatly deteriorated is this value of honor and respect.  When we loose that value and principle of honor and respect then the structure and foundation of godliness and righteous deteriorates.   It starts first in our honor and respect of God our Creator, Lord and King.  When we fail to bestow upon our God the honor that is due then all honor and respect beneath Him begins to fall away.  Where honor and respect fail to be present, abuse, slander, oppression and discrimination are quick to fill the void.  

A Pharisee questioned Jesus about the greatest commandment in Mark 12:28-32.  “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.””  

How does this scripture pertain to honor and respect?  

One of the primary attributes of true agape’ type love is that it greatly honors and respects the object of its love.  Why did Jesus have honor?

Jesus tells the Pharisees in John 8:54, ” Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom ye say, that he is your God.”  Men have honor because they were made a little lower than the angels and they were made in the likeness and image of God.  Because each person was created in the likeness of God and has an eternal spirit, they also have a purpose and destiny bestowed upon them from creation.  God told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, ““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.””  So we see that God knows each of before we were formed in the womb what our destiny is.  Because we are His creation and meant for His expression and relationship, honor and respect should be given to all men, even as 1 Peter 2:17 says.  

Our first commandment is to love and honor God.   Then God gives us the commandment in Exodus 20:12,” “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”  For God to make this one of His top ten commandments means that He considers the honor and respect of parents to be of utmost importance.  These are the people that birthed you, raised you and laid down their lives for you.  They are worthy of the greatest honor and respect.  It is never a pretty sight to see a child who dishonors and disrespects their parents.  

When Jesus gives the greatest commandments of love for God, He tells us to first love God, but then the second is ‘to love your neighbor as yourself’.  In order to love your neighbor properly you first must love and have a proper paradigm of yourself.  Now there are many people that have no idea how to love others because they don’t first love and respect themselves.  We must realize that we are God’s creation and though we have fallen from our estate with God and are sinful creatures God has honored us in His love by giving Jesus, His only begotten Son, to die and bear the judgement of sin on our behalf.  If we simply appropriate what He has already done for us by faith and acceptance then we can experience restoration back to who God created us to be.  Now our life has been refurbished by the love of God and He loves and accepts us no matter what our past has been.  We are a new creation in Him.  God has created us to be His temple and habitation.  Because God has loved, honored and respected us, we must have that same love, honor and respect for others; seeing in them what God saw in us, which is that we are worth His love and honor.  If God loves, honors and respects us, should we do any less in the way we treat and view others.  He loved us even when we were still His enemies and in that state Jesus came and gave His life for us.  

God wants us to recognize and embrace the value of our worth to Him and in so doing extend that same honor and respect to others.  It is not dependent upon their viewpoints, philosophies, politics, race or religion.  God’s love through us should supercede all of those things.  

We, as the body of Christ must by our own practice and obedience, become the expression of true honor and respect for others, not matter what their relationship is to us.  It doesn’t mean that we necessarily embrace or agree with their values or behavior, but we see them through the filter of the love and blood of Christ and in that place we count them of honor and worth to God.  Our respect starts with our honoring the Father, then our parents, ourselves, our spouse and children, our brethren and our neighbors.  The Word says our spiritual leaders are worth double honor.   God is love and one of the greatest expressions of that love is the honor and respect with which we treat others and one another. 

Blessings,

#kent

 

Isaiah 30:21

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. 

This is the Way, Walk Ye in  it

Day by day we walk with ears and heart open, straining that we might hear that still small voice that speaks unto us the mind and the will of God.   As we abide and spend time in His Word we listen as the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, convicting us, teaching us, exhorting us and imparting unto us wisdom and understanding in the revelation and knowledge of Him.  Each morning we come to Him and we humbly say, “Father, give me this day my daily bread.”  We know so well that we can not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.  

What does God speak to us about walking in Him and His ways?   Deuteronomy 5:33 gives us a commandment with a promise. “Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and [that it may be] well with you, and [that] ye may prolong [your] days in the land which ye shall possess.”  We are still possessing that land today.  It is the land of promise and inheritance that we have in Christ Jesus.  It is a land filled with the life, the nature and the character of God.  It is His kingdom come in the earthen man to fill us with the glory and the knowledge of God.  Each day we walk this land, exploring the scenery and the landscape as we listen, watch and obey the still small voice within us.  Some days we walk or stumble in dusk and darkness as we stray from the light of His Word and truth and look back to that from which we came.  The Lord exhorts us, ‘don’t look back to Egypt and the world from which you came, for you were no one and I have made you my own.  I have called you out of darkness into My marvelous light and life.  Here you will find abundant life if You will abide in Me.’  

Jeremiah 7:23 says, “But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.”  We are the sheep of His pasture and the children of His calling.  In Matthew 18:33 Jesus speaks, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  As trusting, relying and obedient children we must trust and daily rely upon the Father to lead us in the way of righteousness.  Each day as we trust and give our hearts to Him anew in faith He will lead us step by step into our destiny and calling.  Often that is not a direct route, but He may take us by the way of the wilderness so that He might teach us, prepare us, season us and establish us, before He ever really uses us.  Many of us tend to faint in the heat.  We begin to murmur and complain.  Far too often we can allow fear, doubt and unbelief to fill our hearts.  When we do, we grieve the heart of God.  It is not important that we understand why God does what He does, it is only important that we remember what Romans 8: 28-30 teaches us.  “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.” The call of God is upon you and I to walk with Him day by day in all His ways, for He is leading us in the pathways of life.

2 John 1:6 says, “And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.”  The proof of our love is that we embrace the commandments of God, His truth, His principles and His ways and that we walk in them day by day.  Our spiritual life and health are dependent upon the way we walk.  Are we walking the High Way of Holiness or have we diverted to the low road of death and destruction.  

God is holding out to us His word of Life and saying, “This is the way, walk ye in it.”  It is not an easy walk and it is not always what our flesh would want to choose, but it is the way of life and we don’t have to walk it alone.  We have the Holy Spirit, God’s own voice and presence, “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This [is] the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.” 

 
Blessings,
#kent

Our Shortcomings

December 18, 2015

 

John 21:15-19 (Amplified)

15When they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these [others do–with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Feed My lambs. 16Again He said to him the second time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion, as one loves the Father]? He said to Him, Yes, Lord, You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. He said to him, Shepherd (tend) My sheep. 17He said to him the third time, Simon, son of John, do you love Me [with a deep, instinctive, personal affection for Me, as for a close friend]? Peter was grieved (was saddened and hurt) that He should ask him the third time, Do you love Me? And he said to Him, Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You [that I have a deep, instinctive, personal affection for You, as for a close friend]. Jesus said to him, Feed My sheep. 18I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself [put on your own belt or girdle] and you walked about wherever you pleased to go. But when you grow old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go. 19He said this to indicate by what kind of death Peter would glorify God. And after this, He said to him, Follow Me!

Our Shortcomings

When I was a young boy I used to spend a lot of my summers down on the farm with my grandpa and grandma.  Somewhere around 13 to 14 years old my grandpa had taught me how to drive.  I remember he had, I believe it was about, a 1949 old red Chevy pick-up truck that he let me drive around the farm.  I remember a time I was watching some pheasants out in the field and looked up to find myself driving in the bar ditch.  I also remember a time I was driving in from the road to the house to park the truck.   We use to come in the driveway make a U-turn and park between a couple of big elm trees.  This time I came in a little too fast and didn’t quite make it between the trees.  I hit one.  Fortunately it wasn’t fast enough to do much exterior damage, but of course I was quite upset that I had wrecked grandpa’s truck and had to go tell him.  He didn’t get upset or yell at me.  We looked over the truck and found that I broken one of leaf springs.  We took it off, took it town and had it welded.  Then we came back home, put it back together and we were good to go. 

I see somewhat of a parallel in this story to how Jesus dealt with Peter after he had denied Him.  Peter thought he would not fail.  Jesus already knew the weakness in Peter, as well as the rest of the disciples.  We know Peter, no doubt, hated himself for his failure and denial.  At this time after the resurrection when Jesus is with Peter He is not using this opportunity to scold Peter or punish him for his failure.  Just as three times Peter denied Christ, Jesus gave him three opportunities to reaffirm his love and commitment to Him.  He let him know that if He truly loved Him that commitment would eventually cost him his life.  Peter would not make that mistake again; in fact he would become one of Christ’s most bold and avid spokesmen, even in the face of persecution and death. 

Sometimes it takes our mistakes and failures to take us to the next level in our growth as people and as children of God.  It is a wonderful thing to have someone give us grace even when we fail.  It takes someone who believes in us, to trust us and to give us the freedom to learn from our shortcomings. 

Blessings,

#kent

The Golden Rule

December 17, 2015

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.

The Golden Rule

One of the most detrimental, selfish and skewed ways for us to live as human beings is to only see life from our point of view and only how it benefits us.  A young toddler or child is normally this way.  That is all that they know.  They know what they want and they do whatever works to get it.  Maturity and correction should teach them that life is not all about “me”.  Unfortunately for many of us as adults we still hold on to this mentality.  

There is an old saying that you need to walk a mile in someone else’s moccasins to understand where they are coming from.  I believe that goes hand in hand with what the Lord is teaching us here.  We may not be able to fully experience what somebody else is experiencing, but that doesn’t mean we don’t need to have empathy and sympathy in an effort to understand and imagine if we were in their situation.  When we are willing to weigh the needs, concerns and care we have for others in the same way that we do for ourselves, then we are beginning to move in a direction of loving our neighbor as ourselves.  When we are actively asking ourselves as we deal with others in business and personally, how would I want this person or business to treat me in this situation?  Am I being fair and reasonable or am I only focused on getting my way?  Human relationships can be complex and difficult at times.  We certainly can’t control how another treats us, but we can make the decision of how we respond or choose to treat another.  The Lord is teaching us throughout the New Testament to be proactive in our choices of how we respond and treat others.  

In Matthew 5:38-48 Jesus teaches, ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’  39But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. 43″You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.  What Jesus is telling us to do here goes against the grain of our natural reasoning and response, but He is telling us to have a love that exceeds that of the world.  There are many good people in the world doing good things, but if we just love those who love us then what is that more than the rest of the world is doing?  Christ’s love is that of 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails…”

The golden rule is such a powerful principle that if we all lived by it we would all have one another’s interest at heart and not just our own.  While we are blessing someone else, some else is blessing us.  We are watching one another’s backs and having the same care and concern for others as we have for ourselves.  It is a simple principle, but one we soon forget, neglect or fail to practice.  It is hard for us to excel and get ahead using this principle, but then that should tell us something about that mentality in the light of God’s purpose and plan for us.  God tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.  Like we have said before, the greatest principle we can learn from life is that true fulfilling life is not found in the getting, but in the giving.  Let us remember and practice this simple principle, because upon it hangs the sum of the Law and the Prophets. 

Blessings,

#kent

%d bloggers like this: