The Difference between You and Me

Acts 15:8-9

And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as [he did] unto us; And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.

We are people that tend to be exclusive in our thinking and how we see the acceptance of others.  We tend to want to be more white or more black, more American, more spiritual, more exclusive in one way or another.  Our faith in Jesus Christ is a melding pot where our exclusive thinking and the differences that separate us need to end.  Are we still going to be different once we are in Christ? Of course there will be differences in who we are, God made us that way.  God made us different to serve and function in different capacities, but not to be exclusive over one another.  Yes there will always be those greater than us and those lesser.   Difference doesn’t mean there isn’t an order of things.  Unfortunately we often use our differences to exclude certain individuals or groups from our circle of acceptance.  It takes on many forms and names, but it is a form of prejudiced thinking.  

In God’s gift of salvation none have been excluded who would approach the throne of grace and embrace by faith the gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Jews used to be God’s chosen people, which excluded the Gentiles, those outside the Jewish faith.  Jesus broke down that partition wall that separated Jew and Gentile.  Galatians 3:26-29 says, “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye [be] Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”  When any of us come to Christ by faith and have our sins washed in the blood we are each given, as it were, a robe of righteousness that is not of our own, but is fashioned in the image of Christ who freely gave it to us.  When the Father looks over the body of Christ, is He looking for a body comprised of differences and schisms?  Or, is He looking for a body that is functioning in the unity of the Son of God and His love according to the differences and unique gifting that He has given each one? Our bodies are made up of many different kind of cells, but all of those cells function together to make the unity of the whole.

Do you ever notice how when we meet people we try and judge and evaluate them by their likeness or differences to us?  Does the love of God focus on the differences of people to determine whether we should accept them or reject them or does it meet people where they are based on the love of the one who has redeemed us from our sin?   Why was Jesus considered the friend of publicans and sinners when they were so different from the righteousness of who He was?  He became the avenue and way for us to lose our differences as we become in faith identified with His life and purpose. He also brought a sword that separates, because those that hold to darkness will refuse to come into the light.  They, without faith, will always stand in opposition to those who are in Christ. Becoming a Christian doesn’t make us better than our neighbor who rejects Him.  The difference is that our faith in the Lord’s righteousness and His salvation redeems us from the condemnation of that darkness in which we once dwelled.  Because of what we found and the grace of God that now works in us we should not be looking down on those without Christ, but showing forth the love God toward them through a humble and loving life.  We need to be living Christ before them that they may be drawn, as we were, to the unconditional love and provision of God’s grace through Christ. Father God has provided access and entry to all men and has excluded none, but the way in is through faith in His Son who paid the price and made the way to bring us into the kingdom of heaven.  It is open to whosoever will.  The difference between you and me is often a matter of choice.  It is not matter of whether I am right or wrong, it is matter of whether God’s Word is right or wrong.  I choose to believe that it is right?  That is often the difference.

Blessings,

#kent

Imitation or the Real McCoy?

September 28, 2016

Imitation or the Real McCoy?

1 John 4:17

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 

Sometimes we hear the phrase that we should be imitators of Christ.  Somehow that implies that we should try and copy His personality and lifestyle or try to be like Him in our own strength and determination.  I believe that Christ wants us to be more than just an imitation of who He is; rather I believe that He saved us, redeemed and washed us by His blood, so that we might be cleansed and experience death and release from a lower nature.  Now, by the Spirit and life that we have received by faith we might be partakers of a divine nature and not just imitators of it.  When we think of an imitation we think of a replica and copy of the original.  We need only to look around us and see a world full of people that will say they believe in God or are Christians, but in no way resemble Christ in the words, actions and deeds.  Is our Christianity in word only?  Are you an imitation of your earthly father and his family or are you of the same substance, bloodline and heritage of your family? Do you just pretend to be your family name or are you known to be of that family name, all that it is and represents? 

We so often depersonalize Christ and the Father out of our lives.  We consider them an add-on or someone who is real, but not really part of who we are and where we live.   Do we want to be imitations or the real McCoy?  This is what we have to lay hold of, not just once, but everyday and every moment of our lives, that we are Christ’s.  He is now our life, the substance of our name, which is His name, nature and who we are.  We may not see all that He is, produced within us at this point, but we are still undeniably of His family and of His blood.  How can we come into what He is if we always perceive ourselves as outside of Him and not a part of Him?  In order to know this family and the nature of it, we have to be an intricate part of its daily function and life.  We have to have fellowship and relationship.  The values, principles and discipline of this family are now ours because this is who we are.  Christ in you is your hope of glory, not just a religious appearance of piety and outward profession.  Christ is in us to transform our hearts and minds to who He is.  We can’t do that if we are still focused on who we were.  Who are you now?   Who is your father?   Who is your family?  If you are declaring without hesitation or reservation that you are of Christ, His Father and His family then you are no longer an imitation you are the real thing.  We will never make the proclamation that we are greater than the Master, but neither should we ever shrink away from the fact that we are anything less than His joint-heir with Him, nor have anything less than His same life and Spirit within us.  He is our head and we are His body and together we are one man in Christ.  

Let us not be cheap imitations of the Christian faith; let our lives be the real McCoy!

Blessings,

#kent

Kindness and Severity of God

September 27, 2016

Jeremiah 4:8

So put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned away from us. 

Isaiah 60:5

Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. 

Kindness and Severity of God

Today’s passages come from two totally different aspects that represent both the kindness and the severity of God.  Even in the severity of God, He is working to bring all things to His purposed end. He is able to deal with His people in whatever means are necessary to accomplish that purpose.  Our faith and obedience to Him or the lack of it often determine our choice in this process.  

In Romans 11:13-24 the apostle Paul teaches this, “13I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry 14in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 

17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. 21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 

22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

We see then that the severity of God has worked to our salvation and our being grafted into the tree of God’s family and people, but it will also work to the ultimate reconciliation and restoration of natural Israel.  Then we two branches will become one spiritual Israel unto His glory.  Even within our lives now we see both the kindness and the severity of God.  We love His blessing, but He also gives of His correction because Hebrews 12:4-12 reminds us, “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, 6because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” 7Endure 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. 

12Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. 13″Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

Within the severity is contained the same love as in His kindness.   We often reap what we sow and bring upon ourselves the need for His severity, but even in that severity it is to lead us to repentance and turn us back to Him.  God’s severity is not His first course of action and with great longsuffering He often forbears our sin and rebellions.  Romans 2:4 speaks of how God desires to deal with us, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? We are most often the ones that forsake our own mercy and provoke the severity of God.  

This doesn’t mean that our sin or failure brings on all of the trials that we go through.  Often it is these trials and tribulations that are most likely to cause us to keep our eyes and attention fixed upon Him.  God’s sternness is to those who fall away, but His kindness is to you provided that you continue in His kindness.  

Blessings,

#kent

Discontentment of the Soul

September 26, 2016

Discontentment of the Soul

Romans 12:1-2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

How many of us like to have fun?  We love what entertains us and provides us with external stimuli that excites our senses and appetites.  Sometimes we think and we do what is in our natural desires to do.  If we are “in Christ” we begin to feel convictions from His Spirit within us.  We might ask, “Why doesn’t God want me to have a good time?”  God does want us to a have a good time in the things that pertain to life and godliness.  There is no joy on earth that is greater than the joy of the Lord and truly experiencing His awesome presence.  Our joy comes from our relationship, but our relationship often becomes stale and unexciting.  

We can liken it to many of our marriages.  We married that person because at one time they were fun to be with.  They were exciting and they were everything that we desired and wanted.  What happens as we go down the road of life and the honeymoon is over?  What happened to those feelings we used to have and the passion we felt?  Hopefully it is still there, but for many if fades as the demands of life take over.  Our weaknesses surface and seem to be glaring blights to our partner who once never even noticed or seemed to care about the faults, perhaps now that is all that they see or all that we see in them.  

Our relationship with God can be a burden to us as well when our hearts are drawn to the glitter and the romance of the world.  We, as people, tend to get into ruts and routines with our religion and our relationships.  In that place we start growing often discontent, disconnected and disinterested in that one which we once loved and cherished.  That can happen to us spiritually as well as in our natural relationships.  

It is said that ‘one thing is certain and that is nothing ever stays the same.”  Many of us have had those time when we had wonderful experiences and feelings and somehow we were under the illusion that this would go on into happily ever after and nothing would change.  “Boy, did we buy into the lie on that one.”  We have found that things do change, circumstances, feeling, attitudes, desires, priorities and a number of other variables have come in to change the dynamics of our relationship with God and with our spouse.  Even God doesn’t always meet our expectations.  

What do we do when we find ourselves struggling in our relationship with God or with our spouse?  Funny how there is often a correlation between those two relationships.  

Life and long term relationships are not about an experience or a feeling that we once had, they are a journey.  On a journey the terrain and surroundings are always changing.  The climate is changing.  Those changes are sometimes good and sometimes bad, but never the less they are changes.  The important part of a journey is that we aren’t aimlessly wandering the countryside, looking for the best place, the best climate or just the good times.  It is important in a journey that we have a fixed destination and a course that we are following to get there.  A lot of things will happen between where we started and where we end up, but it is important that our commitment is to our destination and that everything else becomes secondary to where we are headed.  There will be many other paths to follow in life that will lead us away from our destination and occasionally we take a wrong turn and get off on these, but what do we do when we are traveling on trip and take a wrong turn?  When we discover it and acknowledge it we repent and turn around so that we can get back to the road that will lead us to our destination.  

We are going to face some hard times both in our marriages and in our relationship with God, that is part of the journey, but we can’t quit, we have come too far.  We must make the adjustments in our hearts and attitudes to find joy even in those hard places.  Often our failing relationships are the result of our own hardened heart.  We would like to blame the other, but restoration begins with us.  It is ourselves that we are wholly responsible and accountable for.  Our reward doesn’t come from how well we were able to conform someone else to our will or God’s will, but on how well we were able to offer our will as a living sacrifice to the Lord.  He is our destination and our joy and contentment come in fulfilling the calling He has placed upon our lives.   We can’t be moved by the natural man, that’s a wrong road, we must move according the direction of God’s Word and how the Holy Spirit makes that personal and alive to each one of us. 

Blessings,

#kent

Ephesians 5:22, 24

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…

Did I tell you that I love today?

Did I tell you that I loved you by the way I greeted you today?

Did I hug you and tell you how special you are in so many ways?

Did I do those special little things to serve you and bless you?

Did I look into your eyes, hold you and say, “I love you?”

So often I am rushing through life with so many things on my mind.

I so often fail to communicate and to cherish our special time.

People, work, business, payments, bills, so many pressing things,

I tend to forget how special you are and why I bought that ring.

Forgive me for treating you so ordinary when you’re so extraordinary,

When I think about all of the things you do for me it is exemplary.

What fool runs through their garden and doesn’t stop to smell the flowers?

What gardener doesn’t pull the weeds, nurture the plant and pray for showers?

You are the blessing of my life, so why do I provoke bickering and strife?

So many little hurtful things that I say and do must cut you like a knife.

Life is too short to spend on the things that divide and keep us apart.

Let every morning be brand new and the gift of a brand new start.

It isn’t riches that will make our hearts glad; it is the simple things.

Taking walks, holding hands, just holding you, gives life such meaning.

The visits over a cup of coffee, sharing a book, sharing what touches you.

These are the simple things that bind us close and make our love like glue.

Did I tell you that I love you today and that you’re special in so many ways?

I want you to know I appreciate you and I cherish you every day.

Did I tell you that I really want to work on giving you all of my heart again?

I want to remember at the end of life all that it was, not what it might have been.

I Love You!

Kent  

Blessings,

#kent

The Choice of Forgiveness

September 22, 2016

The Choice of Forgiveness

Matthew 6:14-15

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses

Forgiveness is only a gift and a pardon that can be given by the offended.  Through the course of our lives all of us have been offenders wherein we have hurt or wounded another in some capacity. All of us have been the offended wherein we have been hurt or wounded by another in some capacity.  I guess we could define forgiveness as the act of releasing pardon to someone who has offended, even though they may not deserve it.  It is saying, “I no longer hold this offense to your charge, you are released, it is put away and we go on from here with a clean slate.”  

We know through God’s Word, our conscience bearing us witness, that we have all sinned and offended our God and creator, not just once, but many times over.  As Romans 3:23 says, “For all havesinned, and come short of the glory of God.”  God through His great wisdom and love has desired and made a way to release His forgiveness toward us for our offenses.  We have come to know Christ and His cross as the means through which God has forgiven us and released us from the curse and judgement of sin.  As Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while wewere yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  So God is our example of forgiveness and when He forgives what does that mean?  In Jeremiah 31:34 the Words says, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”  Hebrew 8:12 and 10:7 both say, “And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.”  Often we hear the phrase,  “I’ll forgive, but I can’t or won’t forget.”  According to the Word is that true forgiveness?  

Jesus has made a strong statement in Matthew 6 in that He tells us that we must forgive to be forgiven.  Our forgiveness of others releases forgiveness to us.  

Right now, there are those of us who are really wrestling with forgiving.  Someone has hurt and wounded us deeply.  It is very painful and when we think upon it makes us very angry with the person who has done this.  Can we just forget it and pretend it didn’t happen?  No, it is very real and after all we are the victim here not the perpetrator.  While a victim doesn’t deserve the hurt they receive it does become their responsibility to heal and recover from that injury.  If someone shoots me and I am wounded, they can’t heal me and cause me to recover; only I can do that.  Often it has a great deal to do with time.  It often takes time to work through emotional as well as physical pain and suffering.  Realistically, when some has deeply hurt us, we can’t just say, ” I forgive you” and then just forget it.  The memory is too raw and the wound is too fresh.  This is where we operate out of a higher principle than our emotions and feelings.  We act out of our will by faith.   We make a choice to forgive, not because we feel it, but because it is the mind and will of God.  We know that we could have never deserved God’s forgiveness and yet He provided it for us.  If we choose to hold on to unforgiveness then we place a roadblock to God’s forgiving us.  We have a break in our relationship and fellowship with Him that is never worth holding on too.  When we hold on we give place to a root of bitterness that will trouble us and can defile the many (Hebrews 12:15).

Peter asks Jesus one time in Matthew 18:21-22, “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” Jesus spoke of a divine principle of Jubilee wherein we operate out of a spirit of release and forgiveness of debts and offenses.   It doesn’t have limitations. Even as God has forgiven us as often as we have repented and turned to Him, we must operate out of the same principle toward others.  When Jesus hung on the cross, some of His last words were, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Today, if you are struggling to forgive, give it to the Lord.  Make it an act of obedience to Him.  It may help to write down on paper all the offenses and hurts you are feeling and then, in faith, by choosing obedience to the Lord, act out of His love and burn those hurts and offenses.  Let them go and in essence remember them no more that you can be set free, even as you have set your offender free.   What God has done for us in great measure, forgiving us much, we must do for others in smaller measure, forgiving and releasing them of their offenses.

Blessings,

#kent

Heavens Opened

September 21, 2016

Heavens Opened

Revelations 4:1

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

Whenever God opens the heavens to man something is revealed or released.  What is it that God wants to release into us in this hour?  In Mark 7:31-36 it relates, “31Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis 32There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man. 33After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means, “Be opened!”). 35At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. 36Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”  In this miracle when Jesus looked up to heaven it resulted in a deaf man hearing and a dumb man speaking.  As we come to Jesus in our humble state we are as this deaf and dumb man.  As we cry out to Him the Lord will open the heavens through our mouth and through our ears.  He will cause us to hear the revelations and the secrets of heaven.  He will give to us wisdom and understanding as we respect and obey His Word.  He will put His fingers in our ears and when He brings them out we will begin to hear new and wonderful things that we have not known and comprehended before.  He will unstop our spiritual ears that we may hear the mysteries of heaven.  

When He spits and touches our tongue it will loose within us a heavenly tongue that is able to communicate God’s love and His good news in a greater and more effective way.  We will in fact become the heaven that is opened to mankind and out of us will issue the words and the actions of life.  

‘God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent; has He spoken and shall He not make it good.’  Begin to pray and ask God to open the windows of heaven in your life and in your ministry.  All things come by faith to them that ask and believe.  

There was a day that Jesus stepped forth and began to do the works of His Father and speak the words that He commanded and gave Him to speak.   This is the day that He now wants to bring you into where you will do the works of the Father and you will speak whatever it is that He gives you to speak.  You will begin to function, speak and live out of His life in you and no longer that which you have called your own.  Know that when this begins to happen and heaven opens, hell will also open her gates and launch assaults against this holy manifestation of God.  Persecution will come and opposition will be the order of the day.  Never the less mighty things will be accomplished, many will find salvation and multitudes will be set free.  

You will no longer live in your comfort zone, but you will be on the cutting edge of faith and trust.  Every movement and every word you speak will be reliant upon the Lord to provide it.  You will not fear what man may do to you, but you will fear the Lord and Him only will you serve and obey.  He will be mighty in you even in the midst of your enemies.   When the heavens open the power, the revelation and the anointing will be released upon your life.  He is not revealed to the weak in heart, the doubter or the one who would forsake Him.  He is revealed to Him who truly believes and acts upon God’s Word.  

Begin to pursue and cry out for the heavens to be opened in your life, but be ready for a radical change when it comes to pass.  Nothing will ever again be the same.   Jesus is speaking over you “Ephphatha!” (Be opened!”)

Blessings,

#kent

The Light of His Presence

September 20, 2016

Matthew 4:16

“the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death 

a light has dawned.” 

The Light of His Presence

Jesus is the light of the world and He came to illuminate the world with the light of His physical presence.  Today we long and await the manifestation of Christ in us in order to light up our world and make known the riches of His life.   We cry out from the position of our weakness to lay hold of His strength.  When His light comes it won’t be our flesh fabricating another religious move; it will be the reality of His substance and life.  As a woman in travail we yearn within our spirits to bring forth that which we are pregnant with.  It is with this vision and purpose that we live and press into Him.   When He appears we will be like Him.  1John 3:2 says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  A Monarch butterfly is still a Monarch butterfly even when it is in the larva stage.  It just hasn’t yet appeared what it fully is.  A transformation or metamorphosis must take place for it to come into its fullness.  2 Corinthians 3:18 speaks of this transformation within us, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  

Romans 12:1-2 again speaks to us of that transformation, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do 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.” Our eyes are now becoming fixed on who we are and shall be, not on what we were.  Old things are passing away and behold all things are becoming new.  We have seen that great light that is in Christ and as He is filling us and working in us, the shadows of sin and death are fleeing away.  We have a hope in Christ that drives our faith to believe Him for what is humanly and naturally impossible.  He has a great work of purpose to be worked through His people, but it can not operate out of a people who live in doubt, fear and unbelief.  When we have finally come to that place where we have truly abandoned all and there is no longer the fear of earthly loss of possessions, position, family or even life itself, then we can be truly free to be filled with the purpose of God.  When our love for Christ exceeds any other earthly passions, then His kingdom has place to come.  Jesus has called His disciples to forsake all other affections in the light of Him.  It is the cost of discipleship.  It is not that we can’t love our family and others, but when it comes to Christ there is no question to where the fullness of our love and loyalty lie.  The world will always encumber us with its cares, worries and agendas.  It is not easy for us to break free of the economy of this world that we may enter into the economy of the kingdom of God.   In His economy we find a freedom and a peace that we won’t find in this earthly realm.  There He is king over all and everything in His kingdom finds its supply, provision and rest in Him.  Are we willing to grasp Him with both hands so that He is able to lift us out of our weakness and defeat?   Most of us only want to extend one hand to God while we hold on to our earthly affections and treasures with the other.  God it wanting to pull us on up into Him, but we have to be willing to let go of what is in the other hand.  It is in that place that we become the bright lights shinning in a dark place and all shadows will flee before us.  

Blessings,

#kent

Passing Storms

September 19, 2016

Passing Storms

Matthew 24:35

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

The weather is so typical of life; as we live we see sunshine, we see rain, we see many little storms and occasionally we encounter the really catastrophic storm that literally turn our lives upside down and shakes every fiber of our existence.  The amazing thing is, just a few miles above the earth, nothing changes; the sun is always shining and the stars are always out.  Isn’t that like God, always eternal, unchanging and ever faithful.  When we have particularly gloomy and stormy spells, we may begin to wonder if there even is a sun above.  The light is very dim and sometimes we wonder if this weather will ever pass. Devastating things can touch our lives, our loved ones, our nation and our world, but God is ever eternal upon His throne and nothing shakes Him.  He is still the same, yesterday, today and forever.  If we are in His hands then all of hell may be unleash against us, but God still holds us.  We find such a scripture of encouragement and hope in Romans 8:28-39, “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. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: 

   “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Whatever your storm is today, be assured that the sun will still be shining, whether you can see it with your natural eyes or not.  Sometimes we may make a comment like, “the sun hasn’t shone for days”.  We may not have directly seen it for days, but in truth we know that the sun has never stopped shinning, it has only been obscured by the clouds of our circumstances.  Look through the clouds with the eyes of faith and trust.  Know that God is your light even in the darkest day.  Never doubt Him or His love for you.  We don’t have to understand why; we just have to trust that He is and always will be, and that His Word is our world and foundation that cannot be shaken.  Never stop trusting Him; He will see you through your storm.

Blessing,

#kent

This is the Way, Walk Ye in it

September 16, 2016

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

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