The Perpetual Love of God

December 15, 2016

John 3:16

“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.”

The Perpetual Love of God

John 3:16 is like the ABC’s of Christianity.  It may have been the first verse that we ever memorized.   It is like the powerful foundational scripture of our faith and yet many might deem it simplistic and elementary.  It is elementary all right.  It is the elementary foundation that all else is built upon.  It is God’ love that created us.  It is God’s love that has kept Him from destroying us.  It is God’s love that calls us back to Him when we have been his enemies in sin and rebellion and it is God’s love that was so great that He was even willing to give for us His only begotten Son.  

God doesn’t teach His love by word only, but by the demonstration of giving us His most prized possession, His Son.  Who of us would sacrifice our children willingly for any man?  Yet, this sounds the depths to which God loves His humanity.  

Jesus came to do the work of the Father, to destroy the works of the devil and to finish the work on the cross that would open the door of reconciliation for all of mankind to come back to the Father.  All He asked us to do was to respond to His ultimate gift of love.  That is what Jesus is to the believer, God’s greatest gift to all who will simply believe and receive.  

What we may not see is that through God’s only begotten Son, He has called many sons to glory through Him.  What Jesus completed upon the cross as the incarnate, God expression, of God giving Himself for us, He is now bringing to completion and perfection through Christ the many-membered body with Jesus as it’s head.  What Jesus did as the forerunner, the first-fruits, the template and pattern son, He is now bringing forth through His body after the same example in a company of sons.  

In Hebrews 10:12-14 the Word says, ” But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”  Now you put your feet, not your head on the footstool.  If we are the body of Christ then those feet of His body can represent, the lowest, the last and the members that carry us into the completion of our victory and full overcoming in Christ.  When we get a revelation that Jesus has put His feet up then we can come into the rest of knowing that our enemies are under our feet as well, because we are all one in Him.  

God’s love is perpetual, not just in His Son Jesus, but in and through His many-membered Son that envelops all of the household of God.  We are the continued expression, being and doing of Jesus in the earth.  His love is perpetuated through us as we are in Christ, living, moving and having our being in Him.  God gave His only begotten Son, not only to love us through Him, but He so loved the world through the ages that He continues to perpetuate His love to the world through the expression and life of His Son in us.  

Remember that as you go forth today.  You are the expression of Jesus to this world because He abides in you and you abide in Him.  Perpetuate God’s love to a lost and dying world, because that is His heart, and His heart is in you.

Blessings,

#kent

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The Wounded and Broken

December 14, 2016

Deuteronomy 32:39

See now that I, [even] I, [am] he, and [there is] no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither [is there any] that can deliver out of my hand. 

 

The Wounded and Broken

In the Garden of Eden were two trees, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life.  Choices were given to man as to which way he would come to know God and walk with Him.  When wrong choices were made, consequences ensued that brought darkness, sin and death into our world and all of creation.  We must know that this came as no surprise to God and that His plan was before the foundation of this world.  Life and death have become the cycles of life that have carried down since the beginning.   In between that cycle of life and death many things touch our lives.  Life can bring much joy and blessing, but it can also bring us much heartache and pain.  Many of us today bear in our lives the marks of pain and suffering.  That can take many forms, mental, physical, psychological and even spiritual.  Pain has many avenues.  Many times it comes as consequences of what we sow knowingly or unknowingly into our lives, bodies and minds.  Sometimes our pain comes from the consequences and actions of others.  Sometimes it comes as part of the fallen world that we live in.  However it comes, we are left to endure.  

Now as unpleasant as pain is, it is not all bad.  It often works in us what no amount of blessings could.  It is much like our enemies, as unpleasant as they are; they can touch areas in our lives that friends never will.  Often we wonder, “God why all of the unpleasantness?  Why all of this pain and suffering?  Why do our enemies persecute us?  God why must I suffer?”  Joseph, in the book of Genesis 50:20 reveals it so well, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; [but] God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as [it is] this day, to save much people alive.”  We have an enemy of our soul that perpetrates evil upon us, but what he has thought for evil, God has meant for good. 

How can this be good?

Romans 8:18-25 helps us to see into the eternal and far reaching purposes of God. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 

22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”  The Word says that God is the one that subjected creation to this frustration, but in hope, hope of what?  “That the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage and decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children or the sons of God.”  

Jesus Christ was the prototype and firstfruits of this glorious liberation.  What did He say His purpose was?  It says of Jesus in Luke 4:14-20, “Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. 16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18″The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 

20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.””  The people were murmuring, “Isn’t this the son of Joseph?”  This was a proclamation that Jesus had stepped out of the earthly paradigm of humanity into His divine purpose of eternity.  What was begun in the headship of Jesus, He will complete in and through His body, the church, which Ephesians 1:23 declares is, “…the fullness of him that filleth all in all.”  

Pain and suffering can rend our hearts and bodies like few things can.  They are processing tools that bring us into the purposes of God if we catch that revelation.  They are areas we can see God work supernaturally in, both in the areas of healing and deliverance, but also in the areas of tribulation, patience and longsuffering.  Job certainly wanted to be free from his pain that he felt unjustly afflicted with, but it was a process that brought him into a double portion anointing and priesthood ministry that he would have never experienced without it.  David would certainly have not chosen to be fleeing his enemies that sought for years His life, but it was preparation for kingship.  Joseph wouldn’t have chosen captivity, slavery and prison, but it prepared him to rule and reign.  Even of Jesus it says in Hebrews 5:7-9, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”  We, like our Savior have been called to a royal priest hood.  We also will pass through our seasons of suffering.  When we pass through these valleys, for however long we must endure them, let them have their perfect work in us.  Allow them not to discourage you, but to encourage you that, “whom the Lord loves He chastens.”  He doesn’t discipline bastards or illegitimate ones, he disciplines His sons that in due time it might work the peaceable fruits of righteousness (Hebrews 12).   God is preparing us for greatness and what the evil one has meant for evil, God has meant for good. 

Blessings,

#kent

Unfeigned Love

December 13, 2016

1 Peter 1:22-23

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Unfeigned Love

As the Holy Spirit dropped this phrase into my heart this morning, I thought, “What does that mean, “unfeigned love?”  It is described as love without disguise, hypocrisy or ulterior motive.  It is a love that truly operates in the best interest of another and not just one’s self.  It is a sincere love.  So often there is such a difference in what people portray to others through what they say and how they act, but their heart and motives don’t line up with what they are portraying.  We know that as hypocrisy, which is an act of pretending to be something you really aren’t.  

Part of the fruit and action of purifying our souls in obedience to the truth through the Spirit, is to really love others as we would love ourselves. It is to love them out of a pure heart free from bitterness, malice, jealousy, unforgiveness or covetousness.  We are to love one another as Christ has loved us, unconditionally and honestly.  It is important in that relationship of love that we have with our brethren that we can be forthright with one another.  So often we have gotten into the habit of covering our true feelings with some excuse or explanation rather than really being able to share our heart and true feelings.  We find ourselves being deceitful rather than saying anything that might upset somebody and yet we may be speaking evil, gossiping and maligning them behind their back, because of what is truly in our hearts.  When we speak the truth in unfeigned love, our heart and our motives are going to be pure.  We need to be able to work, live and speak to each other in a level of honesty that doesn’t seek to hurt others, but doesn’t hide or disguise the real issue.  We all deal with emotions and feelings about people and situations.  They may not be right, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to deal with them.  Our relationships with one another are the same way, we often need to work through issues we are having with someone concerning anger or selfishness or any number of things.  If we only continue to suppress it, but never deal in love with the problem it only serves to create a root of bitterness that gives the enemy access.  God’s love is honest, open and it lays itself on the line.  When we disguise, hide and conceal our true heart then we create and atmosphere of darkness.  That is the atmosphere that grows the bacteria of satan’s workings.  Honest and unfeigned love keeps us in the light and helps us to work through our issues and struggles with a right heart and a right spirit. 

When we view who we are and what we have been called to be in the light of God’s Word we all need to examine this area of unfeigned love and ask ourselves, “what kind of love am I operating out of in my relationship with others”?  Am I honest and open or am I feigned, disguised and not living in full disclosure.  Ask the Lord to disclose your true heart to you and show you the true attitude and honesty of your love.

Blessings,

#kent

A More Sure Word

December 12, 2016

2 Peter 1:16-21

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

 17For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

18And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

 19We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

A More Sure Word

Peter is making a statement here that is not based on his opinion or the opinion of others.  There are few things we can be more certain of than when we are the eyewitnesses of an event or happening.  When we not only comprehend it in our minds, but have experienced something so life-changing that touches us in our body, soul and spirit, then nothing is going to move you from the assurance of what you have experienced.  This is where Peter is coming from.  He is not speaking as a Rabbi who has studied the Torah and has an intellectual opinion of it.  He is coming from what he has lived through, seen, tasted, touched, felt and smelled; spiritual, physically and intellectually.  He knows the reality of the Christ, because Christ Jesus has become his life experience.  From that place he speaks these words to us, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”  This “sure word of prophecy”  is based on the infallible Word of God given by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  They weren’t just the words that men made up out of their imaginations, but these holy men spake them as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit.  Because these words are above even facts, because they are truth, we do well to give heed to them for they are our illumination dispelling spiritual darkness and bringing us into the light of revelation and truth.  

Based on this position and conviction Peter speaks to us earlier in the chapter and based upon the grace and truth that are multiplied towards us in Christ Jesus, Peter speaks these astounding words in verses three and four.  “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  What scripture speaks more clearly to us the purpose of the Spirit inspired Word of God and the exceeding great and precious promises contained therein?  Their purpose is to bring us into the divine alignment and be partakers of the divine nature.  

Should we consider this odd considering that we are God’s adopted sons and daughters, joint-heir with Christ as it speaks to us in Romans 8:16-17, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”  

Why is God’s Word so important to us?  It is the compass that is leading us into the truth and the treasure of all that He is.  Without it we would wander aimlessly, as the world does, content in our former lust and sin, estranged from Author of life and godliness.  Such is not the case with His sons and daughters.  He has quickened us from the dead and made us alive in Him that we might become partakers of this divine nature, having escaped the corruption of world through lust.  Our lust, our desire and what we covet is now Him.  Christ is now the object of our love and desire.  Because He is the burning, pounding pulse of our heart we look through the darkness unto the dawn, awaiting till the fullness of when our Daystar arises in our hearts.  Allow the Spirit and the Word, through faith and obedience, to shape you in His image and pattern you in His glory; for we are partakers of the divine nature.

Blessings,

#kent

Crossing Over Jordan

December 9, 2016

Joshua 4:4-24

So Joshua called together the twelve men he had appointed from the Israelites, one from each tribe, 5and said to them, “Go over before the ark of the Lord your God into the middle of the Jordan. Each of you is to take up a stone on his shoulder, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, 6to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 7tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever.”

8So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. 9Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.

10Now the priests who carried the ark remained standing in the middle of the Jordan until everything the Lord had commanded Joshua was done by the people, just as Moses had directed Joshua. The people hurried over, 11and as soon as all of them had crossed, the ark of the Lord and the priests came to the other side while the people watched. 12The men of Reuben, Gad and the half-tribe of Manasseh crossed over, armed, in front of the Israelites, as Moses had directed them. 13About forty thousand armed for battle crossed over before the Lord to the plains of Jericho for war.

14That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.

15Then the Lord said to Joshua, 16“Command the priests carrying the ark of the Testimony to come up out of the Jordan.”

17So Joshua commanded the priests, “Come up out of the Jordan.”

18And the priests came up out of the river carrying the ark of the covenant of the Lord. No sooner had they set their feet on the dry ground than the waters of the Jordan returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before.

19On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan. 21He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, ‘What do these stones mean?’ 22tell them, ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’ 23For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The Lord your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord your God.”

Crossing Over Jordan

“Drink from the well of salvation the water of life that will make you wise in the ways of life.  Be baptized into Me, exchanging your life for mine.  Eat of My flesh and drink of My blood so that I may be bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh, for we are one.  

You have come out of the world  and sin.  You have been baptized in the repentance from dead works, but as I bring you out of that place of striving and rebellion I will bring you through the baptism of the Jordan into the land of promise where you will enter into My rest.  This is your baptism into Christ where you cross into your inheritance.  There, all the enemies of darkness must be deposed, for what they formerly possessed I have promised unto you.  Just as the priest carrying the Ark of the Covenant preceded My people  into the Jordan and the flood waters were parted so that the people could go across into their inheritance, so the high priest of your salvation, who is that Ark, has gone before you and made the way for you to pass over in this natural life from the kingdom of this world into the kingdom of His righteousness and inheritance.  The twelve stones that were planted their representing the twelve tribes are a memorial and legacy of what the Father has done through Jesus His Son.  These stones mark the boundaries of life and death.  These stones represent Romans 8:1-4, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  Through the Jordan, through that baptism into Christ you have passed from death to life.”

  

You now operate under the government of the kingdom of God.  It is not a kingdom that is possessed through natural means, but a realm of Spirit living whereby we walk and overcome all adversity by faith, even as the Jordan was crossed in faith.  God’s Word is the reality and substance of this kingdom.  In the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus you live by the Spirit, in faith, as He leads and directs you.  When we war or seek to possess in our own strength and wisdom, we will fail, but as we follow the Ark of the Covenant, as we follow Christ; He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His namesake and gives us victory in every battle.  The twelve stones placed by the river Jordan are like the cross.   It is a memorial of what God has brought us into through Christ, our high priest and savior.  The cross is our legacy of what Christ has brought us through and into.  Now we begin walking out the sonship of our inheritance.  Where we have followed men and failed, we now follow Christ into the victory that He has destined us for.  In Christ we pull down all of the strongholds and cities built by the enemy and we possess them, for they are our inheritance.  We do violently take it by force, because we know who we are in Christ and that it is He that leads and empowers us by His Spirit.  Though we possess, and though we win, we do not become complacent or unguarded as to give the enemy opportunity again to deceive, mislead or divide us.  We are God’s commissioned agents and sons to bring His kingdom into the earth, but we can only operate in that government as we walk by the Spirit.  

Even now the saints of God are rattling heaven’s gates as we cry out “Father, bring us into our full inheritance in Christ Jesus that we may operate in the Spirit without measure and fully set creation free.  Bring us now into the fullness of our destiny, for we continue to groan and travail for that day.  Nevertheless we continue to press in and press forward in Christ as we believe into the fullness of our inheritance and salvation.  

Blessings,

#kent

In the Father’s Hand

December 8, 2016

John 10:28

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 

In the Father’s Hand

The little boy put his hand in Father’s hand and clutched tightly.  The Father held firmly and lovingly the hand of the little boy as they walked through the streets of the city.  The little boy was in awe as he craned his neck to see the top of the tall buildings.  He was fascinated by all of the sights, sounds and all of the individual dramas that seemed to be taking place all around.  He felt the security and the safety of the Father’s hand as he inhaled all of the senses of that were rising out of the city streets where they walked.  They walked through some of the department stores with the variety of their wares displayed.  They stopped and ate at a local deli where the owner was very friendly and had great food.  They waited to cross the busy streets full of living machinery, moving, honking and pressing to reach their destination.  They saw men dressed very sharply in suit and tie and they saw men in rags, sitting and begging on the street corners; what a strangely diverse world.  It was so massive and grand and yet it seemed in control as long as the little boy held on to His Father’s hand.  

The visits to the city became more frequent as the Father always had a purpose for going and He would always encounter and speak with new and different people.  The one thing that didn’t change is that the little boy always held firmly to his Father’s hand.  The more they visited the city the more the little boy grew comfortable with his surroundings. He felt less intimidated and awestruck and now he was more curious.  As his Father would be talking to others he began straining and pulling on his Father’s grip to see some new thing or want to explore some new place.  

One day, near Christmas, they were in the city and the stores were alive with animated characters and displays of lights and toys.  As they were walking down the street they passed the most beautiful display with automated cars and video games that you could play and all of the things that he desired to have and play with.  As they passed he kept looking back, longing to go back to watch and play.  Suddenly without warning, he broke his grip with his Father’s hand and he began running back through the crowd to the place that they had passed.  He heard his Father calling out for him, but his heart was set upon a mission and that was to get back to the toy store that they had passed a ways back.  Suddenly, he forgot all of the caution and the warnings that His Father had given to him.  His heart was fixed on one thing; he had to get back to that toy store.  As he ran back, he heard the voice of His Father become more and more faint as he became lost in the crowd of shoppers.  Finally he arrived at his destination and with joy and delight he played with the interactive games and looked at all of the displays.  After he had finally had his fill, he began to look around at where he was and what he should do now.  He began to think about the warning and exhortation that his Father had given him, “Never let go of My hand.”  He had disobeyed, because he had become more caught up with the world around him than the relationship and the obedience he had with his Father.  Now he suddenly found himself alone, lost and with no one to look after him.  How would he eat, where would he sleep, who would watch out for him?  Suddenly the toys had little appeal as fear began to grip his heart and he began to grasp the gravity of his situation.  What if somebody wanted to hurt him or kidnap him, what would he do?  

He went over to a bench in the mall and as he set there he began to cry and repent that he had ever let go of his Father’s hand.  That grip held him in relationship with the one who was his protector, his provider and the one that truly loved and cared for Him.  He had thrown that foolishly away to pursue that which caught his eye.  Where he had once held such a reverential awe and respect for his Father, he had on a whim, abandoned Him to pursue the attractions of the world around him.  Now he sat there lost, alone, hungry and scared.  As he held his head in his hands, he cried and said out loud “Father, I have been so bad and so stupid to run away from you.  Please forgive me.  Please come find me.  I am so sorry I let go of your hand.”  After crying and repenting for sometime he finally opened his eyes only to see this large figure before him.  As he saw his legs and followed his form upward, his eyes met with the kindest and most wonderfully loving eyes in all of the world. It was His Father.  With great joy he leapt into the embrace of His arms and repeatedly sobbed how sorry he was.  Their reunion was wonderful as his Father forgave him.   The little boy wondered at himself that he could have taken for granted all that He had with his Father to run after such temporary pleasures and delight. 

Later, he asked His Father how he found him.  His Father said that he had been observing him the whole time from the crowds.  He said, I would never leave you or forsake you, but you had to come to that place where you realized what it would be like without me.  Only then would you be willing to obey me and never again let go of my hand. 

Blessings,

#kent

The Hidden Things

December 7, 2016

The Hidden Things

Psalms 18:11

He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him [were] dark waters [and] thick clouds of the skies.

It is hard to conceive of God in all of His light, glory and splendor being able to go where darkness would not be dispelled before Him.  I began the think about the workings of God and how they are so often shrouded in the darkness of our understanding.  Spiritually there are so many things that we don’t understand and to the natural man many of the ways of God are foolishness and myth to his way of thinking.  

How many dynamics and workings of God are taking place in our lives, even today that we are totally unaware of?  If we are trying to grasp and understand God with our natural mind, then He is hidden to us.  Does that mean that we can’t grasp and understand the personal workings of God in our lives?  We can’t comprehend with the natural mind, but we have another mind that can comprehend the mysteries of God.  1 Corinthians 2:9-12 tells us, “9However, as it is written: 

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”  It is the mind of the Spirit of God within us that unveils to our understanding the mysteries of the kingdom.  It is He that brings the dark things of God to the light of our understanding.  

There are many, even Christians, that struggle with what they see as what God has allowed.   If there is truly a God then why does He allow so many bad things in the world and why does He allow them to touch you and me personally?   Our lack of understanding often haunts us, because our natural mind often can’t rationalize it.  

It is imperative to us that we all abide in a place of submission and obedience to the Lord.  It is necessary that we maintain a relationship and fellowship with the Lord whereby we can hear and discern His voice, but the truth is, there are many things the Lord is silent to us about.   When we don’t hear, when we don’t comprehend, we must trust.  Sometimes God requires us to trust Him in the face of much pain and hurt.  Sometimes we want to say, “God you failed us, You let us down.”  We are sometimes left in the dark about why things are as they are.  In these times we have to have enough faith and confidence in the nature and character of God to know that He is working all things to the good of those that love Him and that are called according to His purpose.  When we don’t understand the workings of His hand then we must trust His heart.  

Yes, God often does dwell in the secret place of darkness when it comes to our understanding of all of His ways, but we are His.  A soldier is expected to carry out an order rather he understands the reasons or not.  We must walk in faith and obey the Lord rather we always understand His ways.

It is in that special place of trust and obedience where perhaps our faith is tested and tried, but our faithfulness brings us to find that in living in the secret place of the most High we abide under the shadow of His wings.

Blessings,

#kent

Our Greatest Possession is Love

1 John 3:1,11-19

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not… 

For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.  Not as Cain, [who] was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother’s righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not [his] brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. 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. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels [of compassion] from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 

 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 

There is no greater possession we can possess than the love of God.  We in fact, as believers in Christ, possess that love, because we possess the Spirit of Christ in us.  Christ, is in truth and in deed, the greatest definition of God’s love we could ever have before us.  While we use the word love in many different contexts, most of us know that in the Greek there are several words that define different kinds of love which I am not going into.  Agape is the form of God’s love with which we are concerned with here today.  This is the manner of love that the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God.  We possess this love because we possess Him.  What should define the sons of Gods should be the nature of the love they possess.   As we truly possess and manifest this love we will fulfill the law of God.  All of the law is fulfilled in His love.  Galatians 5:14 says, ” For all the law is fulfilled in one word, [even] in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”  Normally a person’s first instinct and concern is for themselves, their welfare, safety, needs, wants, desires and well being.  The love of God takes this love we have for ourselves and channels it through us to others.  We begin to empathize with others, identifying with them by how we would feel in their circumstances.  Agape love is totally unselfish, self-sacrificing and treats the needs of others as it would it’s own.  

1 Corinthians 13:1-8 tells us, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not love, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal And though I have [the gift of] prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, [and] is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up; Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth: but whether [there be] prophecies, they shall fail; whether [there be] tongues, they shall cease; whether [there be] knowledge, it shall vanish away.” It does not matter how many gifts, abilities, works, words or knowledge we have, if we don’t possess the Agape love of God everything else is meaningless.  There is nothing in the world or in what God has given us that will do more for conforming us and others to the nature and image of God than His love.  That love has to be so much more than ideology or theology, it has to be expressed through us in deed and in truth through our actions and our words.   1 John 3:16 is the revelation of God’s love through us much like John 3:16 is the revelation of God’s love through Christ.  It tells us, “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.”  Did you catch that we are to be the extension and continuation of John 3:16?  If we are the sons of God should we be any different than the Son of God in our mission and purpose?   

When I view my life, perhaps you, like myself, feel like we come up way short of the kind of love that God wants to express through us.  We must remember that this is not the kind of love we can produce in the efforts of our flesh.  Romans 5:5 tells us, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”  So this love is a product that is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.  The way we have more of this love is to have less of us and more of Him.  We are constantly maturing in our faith, or we should be, to where the Lord is filling and possessing every part our being.  As we walk by the Spirit and have our focus in life fully on Him, His love will be the by-product of the relationship we have in Him.  It is not in what we can produce; it is simply letting Him be God in us and through us.  We will have His heart, His vision and will be the instruments and channels of His love and grace.  We already possess the most precious possession of all.  We must just release it and let its fragrance fill the earth.

Blessings,

#kent

Endure with Patience

December 5, 2016

James 5:7-9

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! 

Endure with Patience

Have you ever gotten impatient waiting for someone, so you finally just gave up waiting and went on to do what you wanted to do?  The word of the Lord today is to be patient.  Be patient when you don’t see the Lord moving in your life.  Be patient when instead of blessing you are going through tribulation.  Be patient when there are irregular people around you that try your patience, irritate you or even are abusing you.  Be patient as you await the Lord’s coming, because His presence is here now, but His manifest presence is yet to be revealed.  The saints have been looking to the coming of the Lord for generations and while they have waited in faith for His manifest presence, His presence has been with each generation.  Even now as the Lord encourages us through James, “Be patient”, He is reminding us that there is a fullness of time for every purpose under heaven.  For everything there is a season.  

Just as the farmer tills the ground and plants the crop, he must endure with patience until the crop is mature and ready for harvest.  In the Father’s economy He has planted into the earth and there is time of fullness and maturity when it is time for harvest.  Only the Father knows that exact time.  Meanwhile, our greatest enemy is complacency and apathy.  We begin to let down our readiness and become absorbed in our daily life.  Know that we stand today at the threshold.  God is giving us a call to readiness if we can hear it.  It is a day to light our lamps and make sure that our vessels are filled with oil.  The hour of His coming is upon us.  Can you hear the trumpet sounding?  

It is time to be filled with expectancy and prayer.  It is not a time to be grumbling, murmuring and complaining.  We can’t be focused on the great deal of the negative around us if we are going to be focused on Him.  The Judge is standing at the door.  With love and patience endure all things.  Trouble, conflict and affliction often come upon the righteous because of what they stand for, but Paul says this in 2 Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”  

Some of you have been walking a long time and waiting upon the Lord a long time.  It may seem time is running out and God hasn’t yet moved as you have been expecting Him to do.  God says, ” I see it all and I have my hidden ones that no else or very few see, but I see says the Lord.  Your faithfulness and patience hasn’t gone unnoticed and I am a rewarder of those who diligently seek Me.  Be encouraged, continue in your faithfulness and stand fast for nothing is wasted in my economy of what you have invested of yourself.  I am your sure reward.” 

Our salvation is about to be made complete, so endure with faith and patience all that is before you.  In the fullness of time He will be revealed and your patience will be rewarded. 

Blessings,

#kent

Philippians 3:12-21

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. 

15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained. 

17Join with others in following my example, brothers, and take note of those who live according to the pattern we gave you. 18For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things. 20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

Are You Looking for a Welfare God?

God’s kingdom is not a welfare state.  It is a state of well being.  It is a state that even in the midst of trials, tribulations, temptations and persecution we find His peace that passes understanding.  We can have a state of well being, because His being inhabits us and is present with us in all that we endure.  

Often we don’t quite understand why God doesn’t release all of the resources of His kingdom upon us, after all we are God’s kids and joint heirs with Christ, so why does God often seem to make it so hard for us?  

One thing we can observe from the structure and paradigm that has been developed from our own welfare system and it recipients is this.  Instead of a system that temporarily assists people to get them back into being productive in society, in so many cases it becomes the end in itself.  People draw from it on a permanent basis with a feeling of entitlement that the government owes this to them.  That paradigm is then passed on to the children who grow up with that same sense dependence and entitlement.  If God gave us everything at our whim, we would soon adapt this same attitude of entitlement, as if God really owes us anything.  It is us who owes Him everything.  God gives many blessings and gifts out of His great goodness and generosity, but truly He owes us nothing.  It is His very nature of love that compels Him to love us and provide for us not only the way of salvation, but also His exceeding great and wonderful promises.  If God operated from our every will and desire, it would be us who would the gods and He would simply be our servant.  We can readily see that this is a child mentality.  The child wants to rule the parent and in some cases they do, but that is not God’s design.  The parents will provide for the child what they think is best, not only for the short term, but also for the long term and there won’t always be a meeting of the minds between the child and the parent.  

In Hebrews 5:7-10 we learn something about Jesus as the son of man.  “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.”  When Jesus went to the cross it wasn’t the will of His flesh that Jesus followed and obeyed, it was the will of the Father.  He was made perfect through what He suffered.  He is our pattern.  Are we above the master?  Perfection wasn’t an acquisition given by right because he was a Son; it is what He entered into through obedience to the way of suffering and sacrifice.  We are being made perfect, not simply because Christ indwells us, but because of His grace and presence in us, we also are learning the walk of obedience often through the things that we suffer.  It is this reverent submission on our parts that is bringing us into the spiritual maturity as fathers and instructing us in the ways of perfection.  In Matthew 5:48 where Jesus says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”  He is instructing us to come into maturity of the spirit by reverent obedience and submission to the Holy Spirit.  We are not children gathered around God’s Christmas tree, we are His sons and daughters being trained up to possess the divine nature and to walk in the love and servant nature of our Most High Father.  Because He loves us so, He trains us through His discipline that may not seem pleasant for the moment, but will work in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness.  

Our lives are not always going to be easy and without trials and adversities, but it is in the hard places that we learn to excel in our faith and dependence in the Lord.  It is there that He proves our hearts and perfects us in His righteousness. 

If you are in the hard place then rejoice, because God is preparing you for greater things.  In the days to come many will be totally unprepared for what will come, but those who have been trained and exercised in their faith will know their God and His faithfulness.  They won’t be offended when everything doesn’t go according to their will or thinking.  They will know how to trust and depend upon Him to lead them and provide for them in the days of desolation.  Thank God that He loves you so much, that He does discipline you, correct you and teach you His highest ways.  Be willing to learn obedience through the things that you suffer.  James 1:4 exhorts us, “But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  Christ in us is our perfection and completion, but it is a work in progress even as it was in Jesus. 

Blessings,

#kent

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