Continued Renewal

February 15, 2016

 

Psalms 51:9-10

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Continued Renewal

As we travel this earth daily the dust and dirt of sin and its influences are continually around us and upon us.  Christ has cleansed us within, but outwardly the world and the spirit of this world presses upon us.  The scripture here is when Nathan the prophet had confronted David after he had gone into unto Bathsheba.  David was a righteous man, but he was human and the influences of the flesh had caused him to stumble greatly into sin.  Our endeavor, like that of David’s, is to walk with God in righteousness and uprightness.  Like David and before we would fall into sin or temptation, our cry should be daily, “Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” 

When Jesus, at the Last Supper, washed the disciples feet, Peter protested in John 13:8-10, “No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9″Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!” 

10Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” 11For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.”  We have been washed and cleansed in the blood of the Lamb.  Our sins are forgiven, but there is a constant washing that must take place, a continued humility and contriteness before the Lord and cleansing from our daily defilement and pollution.  Every day we need to renew our minds in Christ and our spirit that we may maintain a clean heart before the Lord.  Have we washed our feet lately?  Have we gone before the Lord daily to confess our sins and ask his forgiveness?  1John 1:8-9 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”  We all have need for that continued renewal of fellowship and right relationship before the Lord.  Let us not neglect our spiritual hygiene and need for a right spirit before the Lord. 

 
 
Blessings,
#kent

 

1 John 3:16

Hereby perceive we the love [of God], because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 

Put Your Love where Your Mouth is!

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  Isn’t it ironic how John 3:16, the love of God through Christ and 1 John 3:16, the love of Christ through us, coincide so closely together?  Both of these scriptures involve the giving of a sacrifice in love.  Both of these scriptures involve the laying down of a life as the ultimate expression of love. 

My conviction today is how shallow and conditional my love is.  It is not nearly so focused on others as it is on its own agenda.  That self-love wants to preserve and cater to this life rather than sacrifice and give it.  Rather we think it out loud or not, how much of our life is motivated by, “what’s in it for me?”  What is even more convicting is how we so often treat the ones that are the closest to us and that we say that we love the greatest with the most contempt, disrespect and selfishness.  Where does all of that line up with the love of God in us?  We talk about the love of Christ, we preach it to others and we go through the motions, but is that love, that agape love, alive in action in our personal day to day relationships.  

Husbands, why are we not bringing the love into the home?  Why do we not love our wives, like Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it?  Why do we not love our brethren, rather than using and taking advantage of them?  Should it surprise us that the world has so much contempt for us as Christians?  A good deal of the contempt and mockery of Christianity has little to do with how much we are like Christ.  Our hypocrisy betrays us.  When Christians and churches don’t pay their bills, borrow and don’t return, and only take, but never give, what does that speak about the love of Christ in our lives?   Many of us need a reality check about what the love of Christ is, because it isn’t being seen in us.   Where has the depth of God’s agape love gone?  When that love is operating people will be drawn to Christ and they will know us by our love.  How do others perceive and know us now?  Is that self-giving, sacrificial love what we are known for?  

Our prayer should be, “God make me a giver like You are a giver.  Make me a lover like you have loved me.  Make my life a living sacrifice daily poured out to You as I serve and love others as You have served and loved me.  Help me to experience in daily deed and reality what it is to love my neighbor as myself.  Help me to put Your love where my empty hollow words have been.  Amen.”

 
 
Blessings,
#kent

 

Matthew 10:6-20

These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. 6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 9Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts; 10take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his keep. 

11″Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. 12As you enter the home, give it your greeting. 13If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. 14If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. 15I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. 16I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 

17″Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 

Kingdom Principle of Power and Provision

One of the principles that Christ taught His disciple in this exercise and that He would have us to learn is that your power and your provision are in your assignment and commission.  What God has called you to do He will enable you to do and provide for you to do.  Along with these provisions is the responsibility to walk in obedience and the direction of your calling and assignment.  

I pray we are all getting a revelation in this hour that God is through with the time of segregation between “Ministry”  and “Laity”.  God has called us all in one capacity or another to “Ministry”.  It may not look like what it traditionally has, but the body of Christ has been crippled so long by the paradigm that the congregation or general church body is only to be preached at and often members have set in pews and heard the same message of salvation spoon fed to them a thousand different ways.  That is like repeating the first grade a thousand different times.  God doesn’t want us to be content with remaining on the milk of the Word and the foundational principles.  We each have a calling of ministry in our lives that we need to grow up in and be empowered to act upon.  Hebrews 5:11-14 gives us somewhat of a rebuke in this area when it says, “We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”  The Word of God is exhorting us, “Body of Christ it is time to grow up and become of full age and maturity.”  We, as the body, have often been quite content to sit back, pay our tithes and relegate the spiritual responsibilities to those in “Ministry”.  If we are to move into the things of God and the calling He has upon our lives in this hour then our free pass is over.  Let’s grow up and find what it is that God has called us too.   Ministry leadership’s responsibility is to help you through their gift and calling to come into yours.  The body of Christ has been lethargic far too long.  It is time we become activated.  When we do and we act upon what the Holy Spirit is directing and calling us to do our power and provision will be in  our obedience to respond to that calling and direction.  

Jesus didn’t tell the disciples to take anything extra with them on their assignment, for a workman is worthy of his hire.  Many of God’s people may be lacking because we are not responding to meeting the needs in one another.  We may often rob the servants of God because of our selfishness and unwillingness to see our responsibility in adequately providing for those who are operating in their calling.  For the body of Christ to be whole it has to operate in unity and oneness under the headship of Christ and the direction of the Holy Spirit.   We are no longer about “us four and no more”.  We are our brother’s keeper, his provision and his blessing.  Likewise, he should be ours.  Let us arise from our complacency and come into our function in the body.  Do not worry that you don’t feel worthy or able.  Christ is your worthiness and the Holy Spirit is well able to help you fulfill the assignment He has given you.  Just be faithful and obedient and He will empower and provide.  Like I heard one dear Christian lady say, “His will, His bill.”  First of all, let us get in His will.

Blessings,

#kent

I Will Wait for Him

February 10, 2016

Lamentations 3:22-27

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

24I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

25The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;

26it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

27It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.

I Will Wait for Him

One of the richest and most fruitful times of the day is the time I spend with Papa.  Out of that time and communion with Him I find the strength, direction and the attitude I need to carry into my day.  The most special of those times is when I hear Him speak to me or even speak through me as I write.  Indeed, “His compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”  

There are times in our lives as God is growing us, maturing us and seasoning us that we have our times of lamentation.  We don’t always feel God’s closeness or sense His presence.  Circumstances that surround us might suggest that maybe God has left us or abandoned us.  Then we hear the jackal voice of the enemy as he taunts us with doubts, fear and unbelief .  He whispers his condemnations to us because we think somehow we are not good enough or worthy of God’s love.  

The Lord has not forsaken us.  It is not because you aren’t good enough or worthy of His love.  It has never been about our worth.  If Father didn’t consider us worth saving He would have never sent His Son to die for us.  Our worth is found in our identity with Him, not in the efforts or failures of our goodness.   He alone is our goodness and our righteousness and because of that God does not turn His back on you. 

What God is looking for is the person that is steadfast and faithfully waits upon the Lord even in the midst and length of trial and adversity.  Of course it easy to love God when we speak and it happens, when we pray and He answers, when we sense His presence and love all around us.  What happens when we don’t have that and our heavens seem as brass?  Will we say like Jeremiah, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.”  Isn’t that basically what Job said when his world turned upside down and God seemed no place to be found?  God is wanting sons and daughters that are so sold out that they totally love God for who He is, regardless of what He can give them or how He can make them feel.  Faith is the “feeling” of the Spirit.  It will believe when all else says otherwise.  

God has never forsaken us.  “The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”  God can so blow us away with all He could do for us and provide for us and there will be a day for that, but first God wants to know our heart.  Are you willing to hang with Him in the rough times, those lonely and desert times?  Are you willing trust Him and praise Him even in adversity and lose?  

It says of Jesus in Hebrews 5:8, “though he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered.” If Jesus is our prototype and pattern should we think that it would be different for us?  

Shore up your resolve and know that God is always on His throne and His promises are always “yes” and “amen”, but that doesn’t mean the ride can’t be rough.  Jesus says, “In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.”  Tribulation is part of our portion if we live godly in Christ Jesus.  How could you be an overcomer unless there was something to overcome?  It is what builds the fabric of your faith and relationship with Father.  When He knows nothing will move you from Him then He knows He can trust great responsibility into your hands.  “It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young.”  The yoke speaks to the burden and the testing of our faith.  When we have been seasoned through our youth, then in latter years we can more fully move into what God wants to impart through us because of the experience He has worked in us over the time.  

There is no place like God’s presence, but know that this is not always a warm and fuzzy place based on our feelings.  Remember that the feelings of the Spirit is faith.  In that faith we stand in confidence of God as we wait upon Him, knowing that He is our portion.  

Isaiah 40:29-31 reminds us, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” 

James 5:7-11 exhorts us, “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. 8You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. 9Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

10Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”

Wait upon the Lord.  Persevere.  The Lord has great things ahead for those who stay the course and don’t faint.

Blessings,

#kent

God’s Plans

February 9, 2016

 

God’s Plans

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What is God’s plan for your life and are you fulfilling it? It doesn’t matter if we are twelve or ninety-two, God created us for a purpose, have we found it?  Like Jeremiah, the Lord has good plans for your life, but if we never find it, if we never grow and develop in it, we miss His perfect and best for us.  Our success story in life is not about our wealth, our natural accomplishments or talents.  If all of that is accomplished outside of God’s plan then all we have gained is worthless chaff.  God has us all in different and unique places. He has furnished each of us with different and unique talents and abilities.  The truth is, we have the basic raw materials to fulfill the plan of God for our lives.  The one thing we may really lack is God’s direction and a heart that wants first and foremost to fulfill God’s destiny and purpose for ourselves and not our own.  Self-made men are often godless men, who have become gods unto themselves.  Our God is a God of destiny, plan and order.  Each of us is not random genetic materials living out lives with no reason, hope or purpose.  God doesn’t make junk, that’s what happens when we pursue a direction outside of His purpose.  

Isaiah 32:5-8 speaks this concerning men, “5 No longer will the fool be called noble 

nor the scoundrel be highly respected. 6 For the fool speaks folly, his mind is busy with evil: He practices ungodliness and spreads error concerning the LORD; the hungry he leaves empty and from the thirsty he withholds water. 7 The scoundrel’s methods are wicked, he makes up evil schemes to destroy the poor with lies, even when the plea of the needy is just. 8 But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.”  Here we see the two types of men, the fool and the wise, the man of self and the noble man of God.  What is deceiving is that often the godless are given by the world the cloak of nobility, but noble isn’t in their character, it is only a mask of appearance.  The fool even uses the appearance of godliness to self-gain and to carry out his wicked devices, but the noble man of God is established on godly principles “and by his noble deeds he stands.”  

Where are our lives in the scheme and plan of God’s order and purpose?  Proverbs 29:18 tells us, “Where [there is] no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy [is] he.”  God has given us His Word, His prophets, His Christ, His apostles and those who minister His Word all to give us vision.  If we fail to see, it is because we have refused to look into the perfect law of liberty whereby God has called out of darkness.  Ephesians 2:1-6 reminds us, “1At one time you were dead because of your sins. 2You followed the sinful ways of the world and obeyed the leader of the power of darkness. He is the devil who is now working in the people who do not obey God. 3At one time all of us lived to please our old selves. We gave in to what our bodies and minds wanted. We were sinful from birth like all other people and would suffer from the anger of God. 4But God had so much loving-kindness. He loved us with such a great love. 5Even when we were dead because of our sins, He made us alive by what Christ did for us. You have been saved from the punishment of sin by His loving-favor. 6God raised us up from death when He raised up Christ Jesus. He has given us a place with Christ in the heavens.” God has a plan for you and I that will only be realized as we walk in His will and purpose for us, seeking and desiring His perfect personal direction and will for our lives.  Our lives are often meaningful and purposeful in ways we don’t even recognize, like the kind words of encouragement you speak to someone, the random acts of kindness and the deliberate acts of mercy.  When we live and move and have our being in Him, we are living out His will and purpose in our lives.  

We often quote a scripture in 1Peter 2:9-12 because the trails we travel keeps leading us back to our destiny.  “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. Dearly beloved, I beseech [you] as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.”  We are destined for greatness in Him, let us not choose to live anything less than His perfect will and plan for our lives. 

Blessings,

#kent

The Fear of Death

February 8, 2016

 

The Fear of Death

Psalms 23:4

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou [art] with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

The fear of death or bodily harm can be the most compelling fear of all.  The one reality we are sure of is the one we are living in; everything else is by faith.  If this life and body are the only hope and reality we know then death can be particularly disturbing and fearful.  Life, as we know it will cease to exist; then what darkness, nothing, back to dust?    

Some who read this could be walking through the valley of the shadow of death today.  It is built into us to protect and preserve our lives.  That fear will motivate us to do everything within our power to avoid death.  When we are really brought face to face with our mortality it is a sobering thing.  It makes us look deep within ourselves to think about the meaning of life and what the loss of it holds for us.  We examine our values and what we truly believe.

David was certainly faced with the awesome possibility of death as King Saul hunted him to take his life.  He was often faced with enemies that desired his death.  I believe David had learned a principle as a shepherd.  He knew that his sheep were totally dependent upon him, as their shepherd, for protection.  They had no real ability to protect themselves.  They knew that if they staid close to the shepherd, his rod and staff, his authority and power, would protect them.  Their greatest peace and our greatest peace are in knowing that we are walking with the Shepherd and that our life is not in our hands, it is in His.  We are at peace and we have comfort even in the midst of the certain threat of death because He is there and our life is hid with Christ in God.  The faith we have in our Shepherd is able to dispel the grip of fear that is seeking desperately to lay hold of our hearts.  Faith will dispel fear, but the lack of it will give place to it.  If we walk in the light, then we will not fear the darkness, for even if darkness surrounds us, it can not extinguish the light and the hope we have within us through Christ Jesus.  Often it can become a battleground between faith and fear as the fear of death seeks to lay hold of us.  

One scripture that brings us much encouragement in this fear of death is found in Hebrews 2:14-15.  It says, speaking of Jesus, “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— 15and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.”  We have peace and assurance through the blood of Jesus and the confidence that through our trust in Him, He has paid for our sin, and robbed the devil of the fear eternal punishment and condemnation he once could put upon us.  Now we have the peace and confidence that when death comes we step out of the limitations of our mortal body into glory and into His wonderful presence.  We can almost view death as no longer as a curse, but as a promotion.  No wonder so many Christians through the ages have been able to hold fast their testimony and give up their possessions, their livelihood and their very lives.  They had their eyes fixed on One far more glorious that quenched the fear of death and loss.  It was the One who walked with them through the valley of the shadow of death.  

One of the greatest fears and terrors is that of the unknown, but the knowledge we have in Christ and the faith that we have placed in that knowledge of Him has robbed satan of his power of fear and intimidation.  

When Israel had come out of Egypt and was going up to battle against their enemies, this is the word that was spoken to them and what I believe the Lord wants us to hold fast in our hearts as we enter our battles.  It was spoken in Deuteronomy 20:1-4, “When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt, will be with you. 2 When you are about to go into battle, the priest shall come forward and address the army. 3 He shall say: “Hear, O Israel, today you are going into battle against your enemies. Do not be fainthearted or afraid; do not be terrified or give way to panic before them. 4 For the LORD your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory.””  If we know that we are already victorious in Christ what have we to fear?  The worst that could happen is that we would wake up in His arms.   In Psalms 27:1 David says, “The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” It is like when you were a small child and something frightened you.  You could run and jump up on daddy’s lap, bury your face in his chest and he would put his powerful arms around you.  You knew then that you were safe; that anything that touched you now had to come through your daddy first.  That is exactly how it is for us in the Lord.  Colossians 3:1-4 tells us, “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 we are truly dead to the things and the affections of this world then what power of fear does the devil have over us seeing that we have died and our life is now hidden with Christ in God?  If the devil touches us, he has to come through God to do it.  If I know that God has control over all that touches my life then I have no room for fear, only for trust.  He is my good Shepherd that will lead me and keep me wherever I must go and through whatever valley of the shadow of death I must pass, I will fear no evil.

Blessings,

#kent

 

Psalms 139:23-24

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Cleaning up the Mind and Heart

As I came in and turned on the computer monitor today I found that my computer had crashed.   I had to shut it down and reboot it.  I knew that it was time to run software that would go in and clean out all of the junk and corruption that was slowing it down, making it inefficient and ultimately making it crash.  I was thinking how we get to be a lot like our computer.  We accumulate all of these dead things that way us down, hinder us and make us inefficient for the Lord.  Hebrews 12:1-3 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  We, like our computers, pick up things along the road of life that weigh us down and hinder us from our higher purpose in Christ.  We are slow and sluggish to get where God wants us because we have all of this excess baggage.  It may be habits, indulgences, addictions, behaviors, worries, anger, unforgiveness, the cares of the world or the pleasures of life.  It can be any number of things and most of the time it is more than just one.  

What we need is God’s cleaner, His fuller’s soap and fire to go through and search out our hearts and our minds.  The Holy Spirit is within us to perform such a function.  If He showed us our true heart in the light of His Holiness surely we would all perish and despair of all hope, but it is the precious blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all of our sin and unrighteousness.  He has made a way of deleting and reformat ting those old ways, those old hindrances, weights and sins that have defiled us and have made less than the effective saints of God that He has called us to be.  The Spirit and the Word is the spiritual software that sweeps through our heart and minds.  As He shows us those things in us that are our problems we are given the choice to keep them or delete them.  We can hold on to them and we can expect the same results in our lives that we have been seeing, or we can confess and release them, embracing God’s righteousness and the mind of His Spirit in the process.  He wants to go in and clean the registry of our minds.  All of those areas of corruption and impure thinking and all of those wrong perceptions and judgements that we make, He wants to renew.  As we put on the mind of Christ we are putting within us a registry and process of godly thinking where we view our world and circumstances through the filter of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit.  That changes us from who we used to be and allows God the permission of our will to bring us in to who He has purposed us to be.  We are human processors for His glory, so search us, O God and know our hearts.  Test us and know our anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in us and lead us in the way everlasting.  Amen

Blessings,

#kent

Forsaking all Others

February 4, 2016

 

Forsaking all Others

Luke 11:34

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when [thine eye] is evil, thy body also [is] full of darkness. 

When our eye is focused on one thing it sees well.  It simply transmits and communicates what is in its focus.  If we try to view multiple objects in addition to the one we are focusing on, we will find our vision less clear, more confused and more out of focus.  It isn’t long before we find our eye wondering off of the object of focus onto the other distractions in our periphery.   Before we realize, we are hardly looking at the first object of our focus at all.  This is what we do spiritually with our eyes and heart and what we often do naturally with our spouse and family.  We are an easily distracted people and can all find ourselves at times loosing focus on the object of our first love and affection.  

God wants us focused on Him.  If our eye is single, undivided in its vision, then we will see clearly to walk in the light, but when it is distracted and loses focus, evil and darkness can set in.  Like anything we do in life, we do it best when we are focused and our full attention and concentration is given to it.  God wants us to remain that way concerning Him and our divine purpose.  He has called us to forsake the world, not Him.  If our light has become darkness then perhaps it is because we are out of focus, our eye has ceased to be single and it is time to refocus our heart, affections and whole being upon our first love.  Are we forsaking all others and all else?  Is our eye single or has it wondered onto the world?  Has evil and darkness made us shortsighted and blinded us to the truth.  Perhaps it is time we examine what we really have our eyes on and how we need to correct our vision and our focus.

Blessings,

#kent

A Little can do a Lot

February 3, 2016

John 6:5-12

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

7Philip answered him, “Eight months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

 8Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9″Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

10Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and the men sat down, about five thousand of them. 11Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

12When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” 13So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

 

A Little can do a Lot

 

               Most all of us, I am sure, are familiar with this story of the little boy whose five loaves and two fishes, fed over five thousand people.  What would have been a staggering task logistically and monetarily was taken care of by a little boy’s willingness and a mighty God’s faithfulness.  The message I hear pressing on my heart today in this message is that if we are willing to unselfishly give the little that we have, God is willing to increase it to give back the abundance that we need. 

               How many times are we robbed because our vision of faith isn’t great enough to see past the fear of not having enough?  What if the little boy would have refused to give up his meal for fear that he would go hungry, after all, his mom had made it for him, not for everyone else.  Are we willing to put in the Master’s hands what is just provision enough for us?  Are we willing to not only trust Him for our own needs, but the needs of others met through us?  Those are questions we might all like to answer yes, but in reality, when it comes down to it, we are reluctant to let go of what is in our hand. 

               Five is the number of grace and the bread represents Christ, who is the bread of life.  It is His grace that is sufficient for all of our needs according to His riches in glory.   Two is the number of witness and fish are those which carry provision.  The great fish carried Jonah to Nineveh  and the fish had in its mouth the money to pay the tax for Peter and Jesus.  The fish bear witness that Christ is our provision to do impossible things in impossible ways.  Our eyes have to be opened and our faith vision increased to see what God can do through our apparent little if we are faithful to give it to Him. 

               This is where we will learn kingdom economy and kingdom living as we are the supply for one another’s needs.  As we meet the needs in others we will see our needs met.  Let us have the faith of this little boy to trust God with our five little loaves and two little fishes.  It is not in seeking the miracles, it is in the relationship that we have with the Person of miracles.  Let us have the faith to put our lunch and life in His hands.

Blessings,

#kent

Just Follow Me

February 2, 2016

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

 

Just Follow Me

 

               A while back my wife and daughter had left to go do something and I had my two grandsons 9 and 14 at the time.  I am always trying to think of ways that I can mentor and teach my grandchildren valuable lessons.  It is difficult at that age, because they are into their games and their own things, so I asked the Lord to give me some ideas.  Well they were both engaged in doing their own thing when I announced the command to get in the car because we are going someplace.  Immediately the question came, “Where are we going?” 

               I said, “You don’t know have to know where we are going you just have to get into the car so we can leave.” 

               Well, that wasn’t a sufficient enough answer so they continued to press me about where they were going. 

               I told them, “You know, there are times that God asks or speaks to us to go somewhere or to do something, but He doesn’t always tells us where or why.  He just asks us to trust and obey Him. We don’t always have to understand the “why” of God to do the will of God.”

               Anyway the boys were loaded in the car and away we went.  The first stop was the dollar store.  I asked the boys if they would like to go in with me.  They decided, no, they would stay in the car.  So I went in and bought some different kinds of candy for a project that was later to follow.  When I came back to the car with the candy the boys were disappointed that it wasn’t for them, but I explained if they had just followed me they could have gotten the candy of their choice.  I explained that when we choose not to follow Jesus  at times we can really miss out on the blessing. 

               The next stop, I took the boys to the drive through ice cream place.  As we were in the car line I gave the boys the opportunity to step out of the car and wait till after I got my ice cream cone and I would pick them up on the way out if they would like, so they didn’t have to go with me.  Well, needless to say, I didn’t have any volunteers for that offer.

               We purchased our ice cream cones and just set and talked as we ate them.  As we did, I was showing them the correlation of what we were doing and our walk with Jesus, how it was much the same.

               After we finished the ice cream and was headed in a homeward direction I pulled into a nursing home and rehabilitation center. 

               My oldest grandson asked if we were going to have to pray for people. 

               I answered, “I don’t know.  We are here on assignment for Jesus, so we’ll do whatever He would have us to do.” 

               Well, we went in and walked up to the desk.  I told the lady we had just come by to visit and encourage anyone that might be lonely or want some company.   I had also brought some candy to share with them. 

               She said that was sweet and said we could go into the community room where some were hanging out and visit with them.  So that is where we went. 

               We first visited with a woman whose daughter lived in town.  A very pleasant lady.

               We were then engaged by another lady standing in the corner of where a piano met the wall.  She was eating an ice cream cone and asked my oldest grandson what grade he was in and if he liked basketball.  This really caught his attention as she guessed his age and favorite sport. 

               This lady was 92 and moved here from Washington.  She had two boys that had gone through the Air Force Academy.  One was still an instructor there and they both lived here. 

We had a pleasant conversation in which my older grandson was quite involved.  This lady had been a high school teacher and was still pretty sharp.  Eventually she announced she needed to get back to her room. 

               An older man sat quietly at the table and so we attempted to strike up a conversation.  I offered some of the candy that I brought which peaked his interest and he gladly accepted.  I helped him with the candy wrapper, as I noticed he was missing a finger and his right hand was badly swollen.  I asked him if we could pray for his hand to which agreed and we just laid hands upon him and prayed for him. 

               About that time my daughter called.  They were back and she needed to get the boys, so we headed back home.   

               Through these simple little exercises I believe the boys could see there are blessing when we simply follow, trust and obey.  We don’t have to know why, have all the answers or the resources; all God asks of us is that we say yes to His direction.  He will provide the rest and often our way is filled with blessing and opportunity, along with the privilege to serve Him.

Blessings,

#kent 

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