2 Timothy 1:7-10

God’s Spirit doesn’t make cowards out of us. The Spirit gives us power, love, and self-control. 8Don’t be ashamed to speak for our Lord. And don’t be ashamed of me, just because I am in jail for serving him. Use the power that comes from God and join with me in suffering for telling the good news. 9God saved us and chose us to be his holy people.  We did nothing to deserve this, but God planned it because he is so kind. 

Even before time began God planned for Christ Jesus to show kindness to us. 10Now Christ Jesus has come 

to show us the kindness of God. Christ our Savior defeated death and brought us the good news. It shines like a light and offers life that never ends. 

Who is this Looking Back at Me?

Looking in the mirror,

Who is this looking back at me?

Is it the person of just here and now,

Or is it the person of eternal destiny?  

Am I really just this person of faults and blems?

Am I just a person that exists, grows old and dies,

Or am I a being fashioned in the image of Him,

Fulfilling the divine destiny that before me lies?

Condemnation, fear and doubt would cloud that view.

When I survey my land the giants seem quite a few.

But look at that fruit in the land of milk and honey,

My life is so much more than houses, lands and money.

God has deposited a part of heaven in me.

Christ shed His blood, gave me His Spirit to set me free.

I can live out of what I see and touch and feel,

Or I can live out of the Word that I know to be real.

What report will I believe, as I stare, looking back at me?

Will I identify with my Lord and who He says I will be,

Or will I see only the doubts, unbelief and fears,

Allowing them to rob me of my destiny and years? 

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

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Losing my Head

June 29, 2016

Losing my Head

Philippians 4:12-13

I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

As I was praying this morning my thoughts went back to my childhood where I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents on their farm in Oklahoma.  I remember times when my grandmother would get a chicken that she was going to prepare for a meal.  She would put its head under a metal bar, step on it and pull its head off.  I’m sorry if that is a little gruesome and graphic for some. The thing that was coming to me is that after the chicken’s head was removed I saw them do things that I never saw them do in everyday life.  They might just flop around, but I saw some of them fly distances that I had never seen a chicken fly before.  How could they do that without a head?  I know, involuntary reflexes and such.   The thing that struck me is that if they could do that in death, why did they never do it in life?  The only time a chicken would leave the ground normally is if it was being pursued and took flight out of fear.  

I believe what the Lord was showing me is that our greatest limitation is between our two ears.  We grow up saying, doing and being what everyone else around us does.  Think of the disciples. Here were twelve very ordinary men.  I imagine not all of them were the sharpest pencils in the drawer, but they all did one thing, they left all to follow this man Jesus.  As they followed, communed and lived with this man they observed someone who was not like all of the other chickens in the hen house.  They observed someone who thought differently, acted differently and did things they had never imagined anyone could do.  It was a process over time where the normal way they used to view their world changed.  They begin to see and understand their world from a heavenly and kingdom perspective rather than an earthly one.  After the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus they received power from on High when the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost.  Now Jesus was physically gone.  They had lost their earthly head and a new mentality had to kick in.  The mind of Christ had now come within them for them to carry on the work of the Kingdom with power and authority.  They began to speak under the anointing of the Spirit and would see thousands respond and come to Christ.  They had miracles happening as they extended their wings in faith.  In some cases people were even raised from the dead.  These ordinary men were doing exploits that rattled the religious order of the barnyard.  The religious leadership thought that they had rid the hen house of this One that upset the natural order of things.  He was obviously out of the pecking order.  Now there were more of these people doing the same kind of things while proclaiming this Jesus as the Christ and the Messiah, not only in word, but also with signs and wonders.  

What we have to realize is that when we accepted Christ as our Savior we became identified with His death on that cross.  In effect, out head got pulled off.  We are no longer like every other chicken in the barnyard.  The great news is that we didn’t just lose our head, we put on the headship of Christ in the process.  We lost our mind that we might have His.  Like the disciples before us we have began a process of changed thinking.  Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  It goes on to say ‘don’t think of yourselves more highly than you ought.’  It is never this earthen vessel that is great; it is what fills it.  

What fills you my friend is what gives you the power and abilities to do what you have never done before.  It gives you the ability to rise to heights that in the natural mind you never thought possible. 

There are wings of faith in God’s Word that must be stretched and exercised.  We have had them all along; we just have never really used them.  God has given us the ability to be extraordinary people and maybe not in the way the world views as extraordinary.  We have the power within us now to be different, something more.  That more may not be as the world views greatness, but it will be seen in the power of an obedient life yielded to Christ and available for His power to manifest through in the ways that please Him and further His Kingdom.  Have you lost your head and put on His?

Blessings,

#kent

The Second Prayer of Ephesians

Ephesians 3:14-21

14For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 

20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Ephesians is such a wonderful book that reveals so much about the will, intent and purpose of God.  His Church is right in the middle of that purpose.  Because we are a part of so much of what God is doing, it is critical for us to grasp this calling and purpose as we lay hold of it by faith in Christ.  Just prior to this scripture Paul tells us in verses 10-13, “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, 11according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord. 12In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. 13I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.”  He is telling us that it is the Church that is to reveal and make known the manifold wisdom of God.  We are not only revealing it to those on earth, but to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms.  God is revealing His secrets and His eternal purpose through us, His saints.  We can see then how crucial it is that we are in right relationship with Him that we not only receive what He wants to reveal for us personally, but what He wants to reveal through us to others.  Angels aren’t even privy to the things that have been revealed to us.  Therefore, we approach the throne of God with boldness of faith, washed in the blood of the Lamb from all unrighteousness and unworthiness.  We have boldness because by faith we know that we are in Christ.  God’s desire as revealed through Paul’s prayer is that we be strengthened with the power of His Spirit in our inner beings to the end that Christ may abide in our hearts as we walk by faith in Him.  Again we see the importance by Paul’s prayer of grasping and comprehending the mystery that we possess and the power and authority that are ours in Christ.  Paul prays that we may truly grasp how wide, how high and how deep is the love of Christ.  Why does He want us to know this love?  It is important to know that His love is exceedingly greater than all knowledge, when we are filled with the measure of all the fullness of God, it is so much more than knowing; it is being.  Perhaps one of our greatest faults as Christians is how we try to put God in our box of understanding and limitation.  God is so much bigger than any box. He is able to do so much more than we can even comprehend or imagine.  What is more is that this immeasurable power of His Being is resident in us.  We must open the eyes of our understanding and take off the limitation of our faith according to our natural understanding.  Pray these spirit anointed prayers over your life and those you stand in the gap for constantly.  Each time we do, may we seek to gain a greater depth of understanding and revelation of all that God wants to work through His people.  We are the containers of the greatness of our God. The most wonderful attribute of that greatness is His love. Take the lid of natural limitations off of your container.

“Lord, open the eyes of our understanding and remove the veil of unbelief and natural comprehension that we might grasp the supernatural; the greatness of our calling and being in Christ to Your eternal glory and praise. Amen”

Blessings,

#kent

The Valley of Decision

June 27, 2016

Joel 3:13-14

13Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 

14Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 

The Valley of Decision

I believe the day is fast approaching where the line of demarcation is becoming more sharply defined and we all must decide if we are in or out when it comes to our faith and trust in Christ.  We are coming to the valley of decision before a day of judgement that must come.  We have come to the threshing floor where the wheat is being separated from the chaff.  Hopefully we know with assurance where we stand in Christ and if that would cost us our life then so be it.  Many others are not so decided.  They are the fair weather Christians or believers in God that are here for the blessing, but are very questionable when it comes down to the sufferings.  

I see the Lord having a tremendous harvest of souls before His coming so that all that will may come in.  The valley of decision is where we choose not only physical life and death, but more importantly, our spiritual life or death.  The Lord wants to prepare our hearts and our lives to be the instruments that would bring in this great harvest of souls.  He has prepared many of us for such a time as this.  These many new believers will need someone to mentor and disciple them.  Their lives depend upon it.  

The Word of God is sharper than a two edged sword, let us use it in the love of God to bring in the harvest of souls that are prepared.  We will see the Spirit of God begin to move in a mighty way upon the face of the deep. The seas of humanity will be stirred up and the hearts of many will turn to Christ and the hearts of many will become hardened against him.  Then will come the day of the Lord and judgement will be pronounced, justice will be brought forth. On which side of the valley do we stand and what will we do to help others to reach the Lord’s side.  Let us ready our hearts for the day at hand. 

Blessings,

#kent

Acceptable Sacrifice

June 24, 2016

Genesis 4:1-7

Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth a man.” 2Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

6Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? 7If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”

Acceptable Sacrifice

Your external efforts to please God will never do,

He has already given the sacrifice that is acceptable for you.

Christ has paid the price and is the acceptable sacrifice.

Faith in Him alone can save you and give you eternal life.

Christ in you, now lives through you, to do the works above.

Not outwardly, but inwardly are you transformed into His love.

Kent Stuck

Have you ever meditated on why God favored Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s?  Here are just a few insights. 

First of all man was created on the 6th day, the same day as the beast of the field.  What separated man and beast?

Genesis 1:26-27 says, “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  In Genesis 2:7 it says, “the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

We see that man, not animals, was made in the image of God and in His likeness for the purpose of having dominion over the earth and His creation.  We also see that, unlike the beast and other animals, God breathed His own breath, the breath of life, into man.  Because in John 4, Jesus tells us that God is Spirit, we can conclude that it wasn’t just an outward appearance that made Adam in the image of God, it was the spirit formed within him that gave him the capacity and ability to be in the image and likeness of God and through that spirit, being conformed to the likeness of God, he would have dominion over the earth.

Man was created  then in a place between God and beast, heaven and earth.  In that place he was given a choice, a free will to choose which  nature he would live out of; that which was formed from the earth or that which was breathed in Him by the breath of God, the Spirit.  In the original state of Adam we have a picture of what it was like to live out of the Spirit and in communion and right relationship with God. After the fall we see the genealogy of fallen man, beginning with Cain and Abel.  In those two brothers we see the beginning of these two natures beginning to manifest.

We posed the question earlier, “Why did God favor Abel’s sacrifice over Cain’s?”  There are types and shadow here that that give us those answers.  Cain’s sacrifice came from the earth and were the efforts of his own works and hands.  How many people try to please God with their works and efforts to do good only to find that this is not what is acceptable to God.  

Hebrews 9:22 tells us, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.”  Cain’s sacrifice was not a redemptive sacrifice offered in faith.  There was no shedding of blood and so it was unacceptable to the Father.  

Abel, took the first fruits of his flock.  He followed godly principles for an acceptable offering.  He shed their blood by sacrificing them in faith.  He brought God his first and his best, not his common and ordinary.  He offered the fat of these upon the altar, which speaks to those non-essential indulgences of our flesh and that which is in excess to our need, along with the abundance and excess that we can offer back to God.  His heart and his pursuit was to please God in faith and obedience.  

Cain’s offering was not accepted of God and Cain’s reaction revealed the true nature of his heart. God gives us a choice to choose what is good and acceptable, because our other choice leaves sin crouching at our door and if we open the door to it as Cain did, it can only lead to sin and death.  

Life confronts us with two natures and two paths.  One leads to life and peace and the other to sin and death.  One is lived out of own efforts and choices and the other is lived out of righteousness, obedience and faith through the power of the Spirit of God which we invite, through choice, to live in us and through us.  Even if we have made the wrong choice and headed down the wrong path, God would still tells us, “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?”  We are given the opportunity to repent and turn from our wicked ways, but if not, sin is crouching at the door.  

We know the outcome, that Cain slew Abel.  The flesh will always persecute the Spirit and even as they crucified Jesus, His blood cries out with forgiveness and not vengeance, with mercy that is greater than justice.  His desire is to redeem us all back to  Him.  He beseeches us to choose the life of the Spirit that He originally breathed into us and in that choice we will know Life. 

Blessings,

#kent

Mark 11:23-24

For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive [them], and ye shall have [them].

You can Have what You can See!

In this passage Jesus speaks to the quality and the intensity of our faith.  The quality of faith that Jesus speaks of here is one that is not believing one day and doubting the next.  The faith that Jesus speaks of here if a finished work faith.  When faith is exercised and spoken it is regarded as done.  It doesn’t look at the circumstances or the natural to confirm its beliefs.  It is simply spoken into the heavens and it is reckoned as done in Christ.  Rarely do we possess and exercise that kind of faith.  

One of the areas that the Lord has been dealing with my heart about is the attitude and the capacity of my mind.  I tend to always see why I can’t do, or have something, rather than seeing how I can.  That mindset limits my vision and my limited vision limits my faith, which in turn, limits my capacity to receive all that I could have.  What I see in myself, I see prevalent in much of the body of Christ, we have a very limited vision.  If we pray for the blessing, outpouring and anointing of God upon our lives, but if we have not increased our capacity to receive it then we are going to have a mess if we receive it.  Many people that win the lottery and suddenly find themselves with millions of  dollars, later find their lives in ruins, because they didn’t have the capacity in the mindset and vision to receive what they did.  They were putting new wine in old wineskins and they couldn’t contain it. 

The Lord is speaking to me that I can’t keep thinking and doing things the same old way I always have and expect different results.  If I want my circumstances to change then first my thinking has to change.  I have to stretch my vision and stretch my thinking to believe that I have and can do things that I never have before.  You see, our greatest limitation is between our two ears.  We tend to think that if that is not the way we have always done it or the way it’s been done before we can’t change that.  We can!  

I believe that God wants to explode upon our lives.  He doesn’t want just another revival where the Spirit comes upon a people.  He wants a revival where His life is manifested through a people.  If God’s people are still locked into their limitation and shortcomings then they will never be able to see that ‘greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.’  God is wanting to speak to us what He spoke to the Laodicean Church in Revelation 3: 17-22, “You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him,and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  We in this country think we have so much, that we are so rich and in need of nothing when in reality we are exactly what the Spirit said of the Loadicean Chruch.  We need a renewing of our minds and our thinking if we are going to move into the realm of the overcomer that the Spirit of the Lord has called us to be.  God is stirring up His people in this hour.  It is no longer a time to sit back in the pew, sing songs and be spoon-fed.  It is time to find out who you are in Christ and to come forth in the ministry of that calling.  The first thing that has to happen is that you have to have the faith to believe who you are. Then you have to have the faith to begin to become who you are in Christ and that isn’t going to look anything like what you have been in the natural, so quit going there.  

People of God, we must lay hold of a vision in this hour.  It is a vision that is greater than what what our forefather’s knew.  They laid a foundation, now our generation is called to build the house. We have entered into the day of the Lord.  David stored up for the temple, but it was Solomon that built it.  We have to begin to see what Christ wants to bring forth through His body of believers in the earth and then respond in fullness of faith to that vision and calling.  People around you and everything in your natural man may say, “you can’t to do that, who do you think you are?”  

You are a son and daughter of the Most High God and there is nothing that impossible to those who believe and operate out of His life and nature.  God is bringing forth His kingdom that is no longer subject to nature but rules in power and dominion over nature.  

Rather it is in our daily living or our spiritual living, we must come into an increase in the capacity of our thinking and our faith.  It is a time to cast off the limitations and restraints we have placed upon ourselves because of where we come from, education, race, sex, status or mental capacity.  What God is bringing you into is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit, thus saith the Lord!

We need to get a greater vision and we need to know from God that if we can see it, if we can believe for it, we can have it.  Cast of f the restraints of natural thinking.  Come into the mind of Christ and see yourself in Him.  I have seen my dreams come true and my vision fulfilled when I kept this scripture before me in Numbers 11:23, “And the Lord said to Moses, Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?  Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”  

Dare to change your thinking.  Dare to believe that you can do whatever the Lord is directing and opening up before you.  Quit looking to you and your limitations and get your eyes on the Most High God who knows no limitation.  Come into the identity and promise of who you are in Christ and begin to fulfill and step out into your ministry in Him.  You will see the waters part before you as you, by faith, wade out into them.

Blessings,

#kent

Joshua 3:10-16

Joshua said, Hereby you shall know that the living God is among you and that He will surely drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites. 

11Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is passing over before you into the Jordan! 

12So now take twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 

13When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord of all the earth shall rest in the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan coming down from above shall be cut off and they shall stand in one heap. 

14So when the people set out from their tents to pass over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, 

15And when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were in the brink of the water–for the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest– 

16Then the waters which came down from above stood and rose up in a heap far off, at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those flowing down toward the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt [Dead] Sea, were wholly cut off. And the people passed over opposite Jericho.

Confidence in the Lord Alone

A miracle of God often starts with an act of faith.  We have to act upon what God commands us to do and most likely that isn’t going to make much, if any sense, to the natural mind.  When we are willing to believe in the seemingly impossible and we are willing to act in obedience to the authority of God’s Word, then we are going to see His power operate in miraculous ways.  

Those who bear Christ in their lives, the priests of God in the Spirit, are the ones that go before.  They tread where no one has ever tread before.  Had anyone else tread through the midst of the Jordan at this point.  No, and especially not at a time when the banks of the river were overflowing.  The natural mind is saying, “Are you crazy, you can’t do that.”  Whatever God says we can do, we can do if we act in faith in His time and place.  

Something we are all learning is to move with God when God moves and where God moves.  We often miss it, either because we try to move ahead of God or God moves and we stay behind.  Either way we miss the will of God. We want to develop our spiritual senses to act in God’s time and according to His divine purpose and plan.  God is raising up a leadership that can show His people the way into His kingdom purpose.  

I believe in these last days that we will see many signs and wonders, but they will not all be of God.  Many will be deceived because they are led by the natural eye and senses.  They will get their eyes and hearts upon a man and they will put their faith in him rather than in the living God.  Those who are spiritually discerning know that you never put your eyes and your confidence in man, no matter how gifted, charismatic and miraculous they may be. Unto God alone belongs the glory and while He may operate His glory through men, they are never to become the object of worship or our confidence.  We would set our eyes upon Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith.  

This day at the Jordan God validated Joshua’s ministry, calling and leadership.  When God validates us by His miraculous workings through us or the words that He gives us, we must walk all the more humbly before Him.  When God honors us by using us as His vessels, then we must be all the more diligent to honor Him with all the praise and the glory.  We never want our faith to be put in another man and we never want other people to put their faith in us.  We are simply the channels of God’s blessing and power.  Nothing can clog those channels faster than pride.  

Keep your eyes upon Jesus.  Honor the gifting and the workings of God through yourself and others, but let your confidence be always in the Lord and not in man, for He alone can take you where you have never been before.

Blessings,

#kent

Psalms 118

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” 3 Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.” 4 Let those who fear the LORD say: 

“His love endures forever.” 5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. 6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies. 8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. 

9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes. 10 All the nations surrounded me, 

but in the name of the LORD I cut them off. 11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off. 12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off. 13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me. 14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. 15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: “The LORD’s right hand has done mighty things! 16 The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” 17 I will not die but live, 

and will proclaim what the LORD has done. 18 The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death. 19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD. 20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter. 21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation. 22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; 23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes. 24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. 25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success. 26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. 27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up to the horns of the altar. 28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. 29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

His Love Endures Forever

In these perilous times it is imperative that we are faithful to allow the Word of God to speak life and faith into our hearts.  When we are in a storm it is hard for us not to become distracted with the effects of the storm.  We can quickly become caught up in the panic of those who surround us who are without hope in this world.  God’s love and faithfulness stand as the anchor of our soul.  We rejoice in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.  

This day, turn your face into the wind.  The storm has not come to overtake and destroy us, but to lift us up on eagle’s wings.  He is the wind beneath our wings.   Spread the wings of faith and see how He will lift you up.  “It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.”  All that is being taken from us are the former cares and distractions of life.  Now we will fully set our eyes upon the Lord and behold His great salvation.  “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His Love endures forever.”

Blessings,

#kent

Moral Compass

June 20, 2016

Ephesians 4:17-24

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 

20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 

Moral Compass

Sin and the passions of our flesh distort and corrupt our moral compass.  It is like putting a magnet near a compass, it can pull and distort the true direction of where we are heading.  It causes us to loose our bearings, our right ways of thinking and then it causes us to loose our way.  Our understanding, meditation and the implementation of God’s Word into our life are what keep us in the path of the upright and the righteous.  It imparts unto us the ways of wisdom and life.  We see more clearly from God’s heart and perspective.  When our heart is drawn away in sin and vanity, which here is defined as “devoid of truth and appropriateness, perverseness and depravity”, it darkens our heart to God’s light.  It clouds our understanding of God and His ways and then separates us from the life of God, because of the ignorance that comes through the hardening of one’s heart by sin.  

We are exhorted that this is not the way we were taught in Christ or how we came to know Him.  We were enlightened and brought into the light through the knowledge of Christ, through the repentance from sin and through our commitment to live unto Him.  Following the weakness of our sinful passions causes us to loose our sensitivity to the Holy Spirit and the conviction that brings us to repent of our sins.  We begin to habitually shut out the voice of God and His Word in our hearts till our hearts have become hardened and our spiritual ears deaf so that we no longer have the moral compass of God’s Word and Spirit directing our lives.  Instead we have changed our heading and started down another course that leads us to greater depravity, sensuality and impurity.  This lasciviousness has become the direction of our hearts.  The more we have fed this monster of our lust the more it has grown till we are no longer our own, but we are now the slaves of our own impurity and depravity.  

I watched a TV program the other day, which I think is a part of Dateline, called “Predators”.  It was about a sting operation that was set up on the Internet to catch sexual predators.  Then it filmed these people coming to a house where they thought they we meeting some child for sex.  The commentator who confronts them with the transcripts of their Internet chats then confronts them and he asks them about their motives.  Some of the men caught in this were rabbis, teachers and such.  They sat there realizing that their life was over, as they had known it.  There sin and depravity had caught up with them and now they were exposed for what they were.  One person said, “ You know, I am almost glad that I was caught, because my life was out of control.”  That is where the depravity of our sin and lust can take us.  Before we judge someone else we had better start with our own hearts.  It is God’s grace that keeps us from the snares and the pitfalls of our sin.  

Perhaps some of us are loosing or have lost our moral compass.  We need to find our way back to who we are in Christ.  God doesn’t stop loving us, even when we get caught up in sin, but if we continue the consequences will follow. If we find ourselves too weak to get free, then find those to whom we can make ourselves accountable too.  Men, find a brother or ladies, another sister that will pray with you and hold you accountable in your life.  There are times our passions and lust can become stronger than we are to deal with them and we need help.  We need the body of Christ to come along side of us and help us “to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Only we can make the decision to get back on course and again find our moral compass.

Blessings,

#kent

Instructions for Life

June 17, 2016

Proverbs 4:13

Take fast hold of instruction; let [her] not go: keep her; for she [is] thy life. 

Instructions for Life

Every day is a classroom of instruction, learning and experience.  Much like school when we were children, many of us still don’t pay very close attention.  God has something to teach us every day if we are tuned into the Spirit and we have spiritual ears tuned to hear what He is speaking.  As we grow to know God’s Word we are learning instruction in spiritual, as well as practical life.  God gives us the principles to live full, productive and satisfying lives, but are we listening, are we paying attention and are we applying these life principles to our lives? Often we nod, say an amen and acknowledge them with our minds, but have they gotten down into our hearts? 

Just like in school there is a time of listening, studying and learning; then there is a time of testing to find out what we really know and remember.  It is our testing that really tells us where we are. God already knows where we are, but most of the time we really don’t.  It isn’t till we are put to the test of faith in certain areas that we see if we really have learned to trust God and apply the principles that He has taught us or if we resort back to acting out of the natural man and that way of thinking.  

Often we can be going through life filled with joy and being blessed and then suddenly wham!!!!!!!!!  We are hit with a punch that knocks our breath out.  Tragedy may strike, we are treated unfairly, we are fired, our spouse wants to divorce us, we are faced with a life threatening disease in ourselves or one that we love and life no longer makes sense.  Any number of things may assault us at any given time.  How will we cope with these calamities?  This is where the rubber meets the road and theory meets reality.  Can we now make application in our lives of the things that we have learned and have knowledge of or are we sitting there stunned, shaking our heads and asking, “why me, God?”  God says that it rains on the just and the unjust.  Whether we are in Christ or in the world, tragedy and calamities are a very real part of life in this body.  The life, the power and the grace that takes us through these times are found in the instruction that God has given us. Fortunately, it is an open book test and if we are struggling to make sense of all that is going on with us we can go back to the instruction of God’s Word.  There we can find the answers that will help us to gain the perspective and even the faith that we need to prevail in difficult times  

Jesus assures us that we will have tribulation in this world, but to be of good cheer, for He has overcome the world (John 16:33).  What does that mean to us?  If our life is hid with Christ, in God as Colossians 3:3 says, then you also have overcome the world.  The Overcomer dwells within you to help you walk where He has walked and prevail in victory where He has prevailed.  Yes, we will have tribulation, but we are promised that we don’t have to face it alone.  Christ is always there with us and the last part of Romans 8 assures us that there is no calamity or being or even death itself that can separate us from the love of God.  

How do we pass the test?  It is first in listening and learning the instruction of the Lord.  Proverbs 6:3 says, “For the commandment [is] a lamp; and the law [is] light; and reproofs of instruction [are] the way of life.”  God in His love shows us, teaches and corrects us.  If we are wise we will receive His correction and we will grow wiser still.  Proverbs 9:7-12 teaches us, ““Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. 8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; 

rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. 10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.” 

Learning and putting into practice our instruction is what is maturing us into the image of Him that is our teacher.  It is God’s purpose and plan that we are like our Teacher and Master.  If we will humble ourselves before Him, He will give us the instructions to a godly life and He will help us in the tests to practice the principles that He has taught us.   Pay attention to His instruction and humbly receive His correction, ‘for whom the Lord loves He chastens’.  Hebrews 12:7-13 leaves us with this exhortation, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? 8If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. 9Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! 10Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. 11No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” 

Blessings,

#kent

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