Luke 15:17

“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death!

“When He Came to His Senses”

We all have an inheritance of the Father.  We all have been given the substance of life, breath, health, gifts and abilities.  What have we done with what Father has given to us?  

We take Father’s gifts so lightly and often don’t even acknowledge or appreciate what we have been given.  He gives us loved ones, parents, grandparents, wife, children, grandchildren and friends.  Do we take the time to value, appreciate and sow back into the lives of those who have loved us and sown into us?  

As long as life is going well, we so often get caught up in its flow and busyness.  We become self-absorbed with our own life and interests while neglecting the ones we say we love and hold dear.  Suddenly we wake up one day to find our life in ruins.  Everything we cared about and that is truly meaningful to us is suddenly gone.  Only then, when it is often too late, do we come to our senses and realize our foolishness and neglect.  

The prodigal son is not unlike many of us.  Like him, many of us have only focused on our success, our pleasures and our fulfillment.  We have not planted the love and attention our loved ones have needed and longed for.  Suddenly we find ourselves bankrupt and in famine.  All our substance has been spent on that which has not produced real life and fulfillment, but only temporary gain.  As we come to our senses perhaps we finally realize our true treasure was in those we took for granted and neglected.  We used up all of the grace and love they had until there was no more for them to give.  Now they’re gone and our concern has come too late.

Every day we are planting, either seeds of life or seeds of death.  One day we will reap the harvest of what we have sown in our daily living.  Take care about the seeds that you plant in your life for they will bear fruit and you will reap a harvest either good or bad, either life or death.  

Let us take a lesson from the prodigal son and come to our senses before it is too late to turn our life around and preserve that which is most precious to us.   What is it going to take for us to come to our senses? 

Blessings,

#kent

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Life Now

January 12, 2017

James 4:13-17

13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.

Life Now

The breath I just breathed I will never breathe again,

It is what it is, not what it could or might have been.

The breath I breathe next, may or may not be,

What life holds tomorrow, I have no guarantee.

Life has to be lived in the present, not has been or will be.

This moment is the expression of your destiny.

We often get lost in living life in the yesterday or tomorrow,

It is in missing the here and now that will bring us greater sorrow.

Take a moment to open your eyes and see what you can see.

We so often look past the things in life that are really key.

You hear, but you don’t really hear what others say to you.

You may listen, then forget, just like you never knew.

Take the time to touch and feel the texture of this life.

Touch the ones you’ve separated through your strife.

Touch the ones you say you love and pass by each day.

Touch the heart of God and take the time to pray.

Smell all of the fragrances that you dismiss so readily.

Smell the coffee, get a clue, the sand of life runs steadily.

Close your eyes, sit at the table and taste the things you eat.

We are often so busy running we don’t even take a seat.

God has given you senses to enjoy and experience here and now.

We shorthand with consonants and leave out all of our vowels.

Stop!  And savor the present moments in your life,

Hold your kids, call your folks and always love your wife.

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

2 Corinthians 5:16-17

So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 

The Old has Gone, the New has Come

  Have you ever known somebody from a distance and based on your outward observation you formed opinions of who he or she was and what he or she was like?  Later, you came to know this person on a much more personal basis and as you gained access to really know their heart, your opinions and judgements of them changed.  You came into a fresh and deeper revelation of who they were as a person.   Many people know Jesus from a worldly point of view.  They may know Him as a prophet, as a healer, as a teacher and even as the Son of God, but do they still only know Christ only from a worldly viewpoint?  Many of us have experienced a deeper revelation and more intimate relationship with Christ.  He has become so much more than a great and good person who walked upon the earth and impacted the history of mankind.  As we have come to know Him intimately we no longer see Him from that worldly viewpoint.  We have come to know Him after the Spirit.  We have come into an intimacy and knowing of the most personal kind.  We are coming to know Him not as just a Savior who awaits us in heaven, but as the person we walk with and fellowship with daily.  He knows our heart and daily He brings us more into the knowledge of His heart as we walk and share life with Him in that most intimate place.  There isn’t anything that we can’t share with Him and nothing that He doesn’t know.  The richest security and safety that we feel in Him is that even though He knows all of our weaknesses, our faults and our failures, He still loves us unconditionally. In our marriages we come to know each other’s weakness, frailties and faults quite well.  True agape, unconditional love is when, in spite of all those shortcomings we can love them just as much anyway.  It doesn’t mean we love the faults or we don’t want to see change, but personal dislikes or desires for their change doesn’t change the fact that we love them anyway and hopefully they love us the same way in return.  

When we come into Christ our viewpoint and paradigm has to be changed.  We are no longer that worldly person that we once were.  It doesn’t mean that those old ways suddenly all fall off, but in our inward man, our spirit, a transformation has taken place.  Old things have passed away and the new has come.  If we are intent upon knowing Christ now in this more intimate way then what began in our spirit will begin to permeate very part of our being, spirit, soul and body.  It will become our new paradigm and mindset that we now will operate out of.  While the transformation and habitation of our spirit changes immediately, the transformation of our soul and body is a work of salvation in progress.  Our salvation isn’t over and done with when we walk the aisle or give our heart to Christ.  It is just the “I do” that begins this marriage in His Spirit and life. In 2 Thessalonians 5:23 Paul prays, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  There is a progression of salvation from the inward to the outward.  This is completely the opposite of how the flesh approaches it.  We often think the better we are outwardly the more acceptable we are inwardly.  The Lord teaches us that if we learn to live out of the inward or spirit man, the outward will line up with our spirit.  His will, becomes our will, His thoughts become our thoughts and His desires become our desires.  In that intimate place we start living no longer after the man of the world, but after the man of the spirit.  The intimacy and relationship brings the transformation.  Little by little He deals with the different areas of our life and because we love Him we yield them obediently to Him, because we know that He has first loved us and gave Himself for us.   

As we enter a new year, He is much more than a New Year’s resolution.  May we have a New Year’s revelation of our life and being in Him.  Indeed, may old things pass away and all things become new in the light and glory of all that He is in us.

Blessings,

#kent

God’s Waiters

January 10, 2017

Isaiah 30: 15-18

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, 

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

he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! 

God’s Waiters

One of the most difficult things for us to do is to learn to wait upon the Lord.  A good waiter at a restaurant is continually mindful of his tables and the people that he serves.  They have to be attentive and remember all of the orders and requests.  They have to see many of the needs before they are even asked for and attend to them.  In order to be a good waiter that person can not be so focused upon themselves but they must be focused on others and their needs before their own.  When we wait upon the Lord we must learn to become good waiters.  There is a protocol that we follow in that we honor the Lord and we worship Him.  The Lord teaches us to move upon His orders and in His strength.  So often we don’t want to wait upon the Lord, we want to run.  Instead of repenting of our sins and resting, we get anxious and thinking we must always be doing.  Isaiah says that in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.  We are often like undisciplined horses who want to throw their heads back and run, but we are not subject to the will and bridle of the rider, we are given to our own mind and desires.  

If we learn one thing about God it is that He doesn’t often move in our time, He moves in His time and His way.  One of the greatest lessons we can learn is to wait upon Him so that we can move in His time. Like that good waiter we are constantly in a state of readiness with our focus upon the direction of the Lord.  If we are caught up with our own needs and wants, we miss Him.  If we are trying to accomplish religious or godly tasks in our own strength and way, we miss Him.  It is learning to rest in Him, wait upon Him, be attentive for when He does speak and direct us.  In the interim we move and live according to the principles of faith in His Word.  

God is looking for a people that will learn the principle of resting and waiting upon Him.  It is learning patience and steadfastness and it is learning faithfulness and obedience, but these are the attributes God wants to see in His people, a people that are given to wait upon Him.  That waiting is not without it’s reward.  In Isaiah 30: 18 it says, “Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.”  Let us learn the art and the discipline of waiting upon the Lord. 

Blessingd,

#kent

Hebrews 6:13-20 (Amplified)

For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear, 14Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you. 

15And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him. 16Men indeed swear by a greater [than themselves], and with them in all disputes the oath taken for confirmation is final [ending strife]. 17Accordingly God also, in His desire to show more convincingly and beyond doubt to those who were to inherit the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose and plan, intervened (mediated) with an oath. 18This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us]. 19[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it–a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil, 20Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.

God’s Unchangeable Promise

Perhaps few passages in the Word speak more powerfully of God’s faithfulness and commitment to keeping His Word and promises than does this passage.  Here we are given the example of the father of our faith, Abraham, and how God promised that in his seed all of the nations of the earth would be blessed.  All of God’s promises have their season of fulfillment and in our terms that may be a short time or it could be a very long time.  God’s promises are sure, but in between the promise and the fulfillment faith must stand in the gap.  Hebrews 11:1-2 says, “Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. 2 Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation.”  God says that Abraham’s faith was counted to him as righteousness because it believed and stood upon what it could not see and what may have seemed incomprehensible to the natural man.  It wasn’t until way past that time of natural fulfillment that God gave Abraham His promised seed Issac; “the pledge of what was to come.”  

In the fullness of time God brought forth another promised seed in Christ Jesus who brought forth the promise of God’s great salvation.  He was a type of Issac in that He was the seed of promise and the beginning of the blessing that should follow.  What we have seen in Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promise to His people and to mankind of His love, salvation and ultimate restoration of all things back to the Father.  Just as Issac was not the completion of the promise, but the beginning of it, so the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus was not the completion of God’s plan of salvation, but only the beginning, the firstfruits and forerunner.  “Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.”  Now if Jesus isn’t the only runner, but the forerunner or front runner, then it is evident that others must follow.  God gave us, as believers in Christ, His full assurance in that He gave unto us the Holy Spirit as the earnest and down payment on that inheritance that stands before us.  1 Corinthians 1: 21-22 states, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, 22set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.” Again in Ephesians 1:13-14 we are told, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” God has sealed His promise in us, not only with His Word which cannot fail, but with His own Holy Spirit He establishes us as His own and the partakers of the divine nature through the great and precious promises He has given us (2 Peter 1:3-4).  

What an assurance to our faith that Jesus never fails that God’s Word is established in eternity and can not be moved.  In Hebrews 1:1-3 it says of Jesus, “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”  Because all of creation and the Universe is held in place by the power of God’s Word, which is Christ, then it reasonable to conclude that it is as likely that all of creation will come apart as it is to conclude that God will not keep His word and promises.  “This was so that, by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us.”   What a powerful statement that should place unshakable faith and confidence in every believer that they can count on the God that they serve and worship.  Now we can understand why the rock of our foundation is Christ Jesus which can not be moved and against whom the gates of hell cannot prevail.  

Colossians 3:1-3 reminds us of where we are in the midst of these great and wondrous promises, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”  So great is God’s faithfulness, so unchangeable His ways and promises.  We are a people who are clothed in the great and precious promises of God.  As we hold fast in our faith we, like Abraham, will reap if we faint not and our faith will be accounted unto us as righteousness.  Christ is the forerunner who is bringing many sons into glory, into His likeness and into an everlasting priesthood to the praise of His glory and the fulfillment of His unchangeable promises.

Blessings,

#kent

Draw Near

January 6, 2017

Psalms 73:28

But [it is] good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord GOD, that I may declare all thy works.

Draw Near

We learn all about something or someone and yet never really experience what or who they are.  This is so true of God.  We can go to church, have Bible studies, read books, listen to audio media, watch videos and hear teachings about God, but that is not experiencing Him.  In order to experience Him we must draw near to Him.  We must be willing to put our full trust and confidence in Him.  We must go where He lives.  God lives in the lives of those whose hearts are humbled and broken before Him.  

Isaiah 66:2 says, “For all those [things] hath mine hand made, and all those [things] have been, saith the LORD: but to this [man] will I look, [even] to [him that is] poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”  We need to draw near in awe and reverence of Him.  

Psalms 100 tells us something about approaching His presence.  “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.  For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations.”  God the Father, through Jesus Christ has made Himself accessible and approachable.  It is His desire that we approach Him today in the full assurance of faith and assurance that we might experience Him personally in our lives.  Don’t settle for just knowing about Him; Know Him in the most intimate sense of the word.  Enter into a love relationship with Him of trust and obedience.  There you will experience His life working through and His Holy Spirit leading and directing you.  If you want to experience something deeper, then the Lord must become more to you than a religion, ritual or a story.  He must become your story, your Life and your experience.  

Draw near to Him in faith and with a right attitude of heart.  Begin to experience His presence in the midst of your praise and worship.  Come into the intimate place of knowing Him that you may declare His works in and through your life.

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Hebrews 10:22)”

Blessings,

#kent

The Hard Place

January 5, 2017

Lamentations 3:17-25

I cannot find peace or remember happiness. 18I tell myself, “I am finished! I can’t count on the LORD 

to do anything for me.” 19Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable. 

20That’s all I ever think about, and I am depressed. 21Then I remember something that fills me with hope. 22The LORD’s kindness never fails! If he had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed. 23The LORD can always be trusted to show mercy each morning. 24Deep in my heart I say, “The LORD is all I need; I can depend on him!” 25The LORD is kind to everyone who trusts and obeys him. 26It is good for the LORD to save us. 

The Hard Place

As I was waiting upon the Lord for what to write this morning, He brought this song to my mind.  “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  His mercies never come to an end.  He is new every morning, new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness oh Lord, great is your faithfulness.”  This led me to this scripture in Lamentations, where the prophet Jeremiah is being sorely afflicted.  He feels cast down, abandoned and like the Lord Himself has even turned against him.  In the midst of his discouragement, he does like David; He sets his mind on the goodness of God and His faithfulness.  He remembers that though the Lord may allow affliction and hard times to come upon us, He will never forsake us or leave us.  His mercies are new every morning.  

There are those of us that are standing in the furnace of afflictions today.  There are those of us that will be there tomorrow and there are those of us that have recently come out of that place.  It is a difficult place and a hard place.  It is a place that tries and stretches our faith and questions the goodness and the love of God.  Isn’t it wonderful that as we look back through God’s word we see so many examples of God’s people who were in this place?  They felt the same things you have.  They cried out to God, and many times it may have seemed liked the Lord had become deaf to their cries.  Yet, there was something down in their spirit that wouldn’t let go, they just couldn’t curse and forsake the Lord.  Even Jesus came into the midst of those that mocked Him, cursed Him, spit upon Him, beat, wounded and bruised Him.  Ultimately they crucified Him.  As He hung on the cross, He cried out, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?”  Have we ever felt that, like you were all alone and God had turned His back on you?  

Paul tells us in Colossians 1:21-24, “Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— 23if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.”  In this place of affliction I believe God is tempering the steel of your godly character and faithfulness.  In this place God’s purpose is not to destroy you, but only your flesh which hinders you.  In this place you truly grasp the meaning of what it is to be crucified with Christ, yet nevertheless you live, yet not you, but Christ in you.  It forces you to reach down for something greater than yourself and to find a strength that is not your own.  This is when you begin to lay hold of the resurrection life of Christ that is more powerful than the death and pain that surrounds you.  This is the place where you are pressed into Him and a dimension of life you could have never discovered when everything was going well.  It is in that place of death that you find life and faith that sustains you and keeps you in the midst of the fiery furnace.  That is where you look over and find that other person standing with you in the furnace of affliction, like unto the Son of man, that won’t allow the fire to singe your faithfulness, but only consume from you the natural ropes that had bound you.  It is in this hard place that God is raising you up into a life not your own.  What the enemy had determined for evil, God will use for good.  What the enemy thought would discourage and separate from the Lord has only caused you to enter in and experience a greater dimension of His life and grace.  

If you are in this place, don’t be discouraged and don’t give up.  God loves you and He hasn’t forsaken you.  He is simply perfecting in you the pure gold of His nature and character.  You are precious in His sight and whom the Lord loves He chastens and purifies.  Remember, the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases and His mercies are new every morning.

Blessings, 

#kent

Final Thoughts and Prayers

January 4, 2017

John 17:6-18

“I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. 7Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. 8For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. 9I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. 10All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. 11I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name—the name you gave me—so that they may be one as we are one. 12While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. 13″I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. 14I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. 15My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16They are not of the world, even as I am not of it. 17Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. 18As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Final Thoughts and Prayers

If this was your last day alive on this earth where would your heart, your thoughts and your prayers be?  As Jesus was on the doorstep of His passion we find that His thoughts and prayers are on us.  He is talking to the Father about the disciples and all that will follow after them.  His prayers are not for the world, or world peace, His focus is upon those that the Father has given Him; the remnant that believed Him and had not forsaken Him.  He talks about how He watched over those that God gave Him and kept them safe by the name that the Father had given Him.  Now He prays that the Father will continue to keep us by the power of that name; the precious name of Jesus.  His name is the mantle that He has passed to us.  It is our power and authority, it is our blessing and protection, it is our safety and provision and it is our salvation for spirit, soul and body.  It is what brings us together in one mind, one body and one Spirit.  We are individuals united and joined into one man by the power of that name.  

Jesus prays and acknowledges that to this point He has fulfilled His purpose and destiny to give us the Word of God.  He gave it to us not only in His words, but in the revelation and unveiling of the nature and character of God with us in His own being.  Jesus ironically doesn’t pray for us to be taken out of the world or to not go through trials and tribulations, but that we would be protected from the evil one and that we might have the full measure of His joy within us.  He speaks to the truth that the world will hate us as it hated Him for we are no longer of this world as He is not of this world.  If we were of the world the world would love us.  Because we now carry and bear the Word of the Lord, the world will hate us as it hated Him.  Yet there is always a remnant that will hear and receive that Word unto salvation and life.  

Finally He ask that we be sanctified by the Truth and that Truth is in His Word.  For us, He sanctifies Himself that we might be sanctified.  What is that sanctification?  As I look it up, it says that it is “to be separate from profane things and dedicated to God.  It is to consecrate things to God, dedicate a people to God, to purify by expiation (free from the guilt of sin) and to purify externally and internally by the renewing of the soul.”  The purpose of Jesus was to call us out as His people and sanctify us unto Himself as His holy people.  

The rest of the Lord’s prayer pertains to our unity with the Godhead and our unity as the body.  Jesus continues to pray, ““My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24″Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25″Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

The last thoughts and prayers of Jesus were for us and they have never ceased to be for us.  Even now Jesus is the High Priest of our profession and He ever lives to make intercession for us.  He has passed the mantle of His name, His nature and His character to us.  He abides in us to manifest the love of the Father through us.  He has sanctified us that we might now bring glory and honor to that name that is above every name in heaven and in earth. 

What would our last thoughts and prayer be for?  I am sure they would be for those that we love and care the most for.  That was the heart of Jesus for us.  

Blessings,

#kent

God’s Life Map

January 3, 2017

God’s Life Map

Psalms 119:1-16 (Amplified)

BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) are the undefiled (the upright, truly sincere, and blameless) in the way [of the revealed will of God], who walk (order their conduct and conversation) in the law of the Lord (the whole of God’s revealed will). 

2Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart. 

3Yes, they do no unrighteousness [no willful wandering from His precepts]; they walk in His ways. 

4You have commanded us to keep Your precepts, that we should observe them diligently. 

5Oh, that my ways were directed and established to observe Your statutes [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]! 

6Then shall I not be put to shame [by failing to inherit Your promises] when I have respect to all Your commandments. 

7I will praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart when I learn [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgments [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct]. 

8I will keep Your statutes; O forsake me not utterly. 

9How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it]. 

10With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; Oh, let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments. 

11Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You. 

12Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes. 

13With my lips have I declared and recounted all the ordinances of Your mouth. 

14I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches. 

15I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law]. 

16I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

God has a road map for our lives that will help us maneuver and steer through all the obstacles, trials and confusions of life.  A lot of us are prone to wander.  We read the map for awhile and listen to its instruction.  We think we have the jest of it, so often we tend lay it aside, occasionally listen to the instructions of others and think we can pretty well find our way.  So off we go like a prideful man on a journey.  Things are going well for while, but then we take some wrong turns and suddenly we find ourselves off course.  Not to worry, we can find our way back and we only read instructions, consult maps or ask advice when all else fails.  The more we struggle in our strength and wisdom the more lost we seem to become, but I’m sure we will find the way back up at the next corner or just over the hill.  

Does that sound like any of us?  Are any of us off course today and struggling to find our way.  Sometimes we can think we know the Word of God pretty well, we don’t really need to read and study it like we used too, but God’s Word is not just literature, it is food and water to our soul, it is the substance of life.  When we depart from it, we slowly start to drift away from our Lord.  Even as I write these papers and have just tried to listen to the voice of the Lord, He has started to direct me to go back and look into His Word for the inspired word from Him.  God’s Word is a vital part of who He is and what we are.  It is written so that by the Holy Spirit’s understanding we can comprehend it and apply it personally to our lives and circumstances; being transformed by it. 

God’s Word is not only our spiritual food and water; it is our cleansing and washing.  It is what renews our mind, our thinking, our vision and our destiny.  It is the compass that keeps us on course with the will and purpose of God for our lives.  Some of you may be faithful to read these writings, other devotionals or books, but never let these become a substitute for your time and meditation in the Word of God.  

The Word tells us in the above passage that if we desire true joy and happiness, and I presume that we all do, then delight yourself in the Word and the precepts of the Lord.  It is when we are walking in the will of God that we enjoy the greatest and deepest blessings of God.  

Often it is our pride and selfishness that are our greatest enemies.  Most of us know that we, in our soulish and selfish thinking are our own worst enemies.  It seems I am always praying God deliver me from me.  That deliverance is in accordance with filling my mind, my thinking and my being with God’s Word, ordinances and instructions.  Even in this there is a danger, because often times we want to compartmentalize God in one part of our life and our soulish activities in another part of our lives.  We can become this multiple personality and isn’t that what have seen in a lot of in Christianity.  No wonder the world is confused when they look at us.  They see in this pious and holy context on one hand and on the other we are breaking our word, lying, cheating and being every bit as bad, if not worse, than the world.  The world is so disillusioned with that kind of Christianity.  They are hungry for the real, the genuine.  They are looking for the God manifested in people who are not just looking down to condemn them and despise them, but those who are willing to humble themselves, get under them and lift them up.  Those who can look past their sin and faults and see their need as God saw ours.   The true knowledge and wisdom of the Word is not a prideful thing.  It is not a head-trip.  It is place of brokenness and humility, of love and devotion, of serving and pouring out for others.  It is conformity to the image and nature of Christ.  

As the breast of a baby’s mother and their blanky is the security and life of a baby, so let God’s Word be that to us.  Let us crave it, cling to it, live it, breathe it, eat it and drink it.  Let it be our meditation day and night.  It is our map to the center of God’s love, will and presence.  We are lost without it.

Blessings,

#kent

Our Father, Guardian and Instructor

Proverbs 13:1

A wise son heeds his father’s instruction, but a mocker does not listen to rebuke. 

Why is it that God’s people should read and study the Word of God?  Why is it that they should listen and read from Spirit Anointed men and women?  Why are prayer and meditation so important?

As God has given us earthly parents that for a short time to teach and correct us, Our heavenly Father is continually our guardian, instructor and corrector.  Hebrews 12:10 tells us, “Our 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.”  Isn’t that our goal and destiny as people of God, to share in God’s holiness and nature?  Isn’t this our new nature as we have been born again by the Spirit?  As the wife and I read through the book of Proverbs we can’t help but be impressed with this message, ‘God will give us wisdom and life defining principles that will give us good success, long life and immortality. The condition is that we must take heed to listen and follow in these principles and ways of life.  We all know that we have areas of weakness, failure and folly in our lives.  We need correction, for without it we will perish.  This is what distinguishes the wise from the foolish and the righteous from the wicked, the righteous and wise son will heed, receive and embrace correction and rebuke.  He will not be offended by it because he knows that it is working life and godliness in him.  Proverbs 9:8 says, “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”  Now none of us are overly fond of correction, because it generally hurts our ego or our flesh.  Many of the trials that we endure are a form of correction, not because we are bad, but because God is exercising us in faith and in application of the principles and tenants of His Word.  How do we get good at anything?  Isn’t it by much repetition and practice?  We are in God’s boot camp and His training ground for developing and exercising righteousness and right living.  How are we going to know the right responses and ways to handle our trials and the circumstances that life throws at us if we don’t study the manual and listen to instruction?  This is why we want a close walk and relationship with the Lord so that we can hear and discern the Holy Spirit’s voice.  He is our personal teacher and life coach.  He will teach us through our everyday life experiences if we are tuned in and listening to Him.  Most of us are so busy blasting through life our own way we rarely give time or attention to even inquire or listen for the Holy Spirit.  I wonder why we struggle so?

The wisest and richest man in the earth wrote Proverbs.  Much of what is shared in Proverbs is a contrast between wise and foolish, simple and knowledgeable, righteous and wicked and life and death.  We are continually instructed on right response and behavior and wrong response and behavior.  It makes plain to us the consequences of our response and choices.  

If any of us have had rebellious or disobedient children then we can relate with what the Lord puts up with in us.  Somehow they can’t receive the fact that you are telling them things and limiting them from things that will result in their hurt.  They perceive it as you being overbearing, unfair and just out of touch.  As a result they choose to go down the hurtful path that results in pain and suffering for all.  Many of us are certainly no different when it comes to obeying God’s Word.  

We want to challenge you to read a chapter of Proverbs every day for a least two years and see if it doesn’t change your life, your finances and your situation as you begin to put these principles and proverbs into practice.  There are thirty chapters, one for each day of the month. What Sharon and I are doing is reading a new chapter and then we reread the chapter we read the day before to reinforce it.  God’s Word will change us if we will not only read it and hear it, but seek to give it application in our daily lives and circumstances.  This is what develops holiness in the fear of God.  This is what gives us faith and life and hope in every situation.   Take the challenge and prove God’s Word.  His promises and His Word will not come back void, they will work positive changes in your life.   God is a good God, a wonderful and loving Parent and One that is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Blessings,

#kent

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