Clothed and Walking

August 31, 2017

Deuteronomy 8:1-6

Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land that the LORD promised on oath to your forefathers. 2 Remember how the LORD your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. 3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. 4 Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. 5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.

Clothed and Walking

If we truly want to know God’s provision in every circumstance in our lives then we must experience what it is not to have.  We have to experience the night before we truly appreciate what it is to have the light of day.  Often we don’t always understand the things we must go through, the losses that we must endure and why sometimes God doesn’t seem there for us.  We all have our own wilderness journey in one form or another.  Through it all we have been tested to see what was in our hearts.  Would we continue to trust God, even when He didn’t seem to show up, meet our need or answer our prayer?  When things didn’t go our way, did we blame Him?  Many of life’s heartaches and hardships have really tested us to see when we couldn’t understand His hand would we trust His heart.  Yet in those times as we look back, we see the subtle grace of God at work helping us, comforting us and giving us strength when we had no more of our own. 

Some of us are at this place in our walk right now.  We are struggling with finances, with health, with relationships or job issues.  Sometimes we reach that point where we want to just rebel, get mad or give up.  Your heart is being tested.  It is not out of meanness or lack of caring, but when a muscle is stretched and pushed beyond limits, it must continue to grow in order to meet the demands placed upon it.  It is not easy.  It is painful.  What we forget is that we are not just an ordinary people, we are an extraordinary people.  We are becoming that because God is taking us the extra mile and stretching us beyond our human limitations.  He is preparing us for extraordinary times. Yet as we will respond to Him in faith and obedience, we see His grace at work in supernatural ways in other areas of our life. 

God is separating us from our reliance upon our flesh and our dependence upon this world.  He is stretching us to know supernatural provision and strength.  We don’t find that when we are in pursuit of worldly goods or earthly fame and significance.  We find it in the humility of walking in His discipline and discipleship.  We will never fully appreciate the bread that is our provision until we first pursue and find the bread that feeds our spirit and our soul.   We could say, “seek ye first the bread of life, and all these things shall be added unto you.”  Jesus tells the followers that pursued Him after He fed the multitude in John 6:26-27, “Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Jesus is the fulfillment of that manna which came out of heaven, the king and the kingdom of God.   It is not in the attainment of physical needs and wants that we are filled and completed, it is in our partaking of Him in personal relationship, faith and obedience that we find the true bread of life.  When you have truly found Him, then all of your superficial needs are met as well.   That need that we have is not always seen and met in the present tense, but it is met in faith as we embrace Him.

God is our loving heavenly Father who disciplines us as His sons.  He is often willing that our flesh would suffer so that our spirits may grow.  Most of us are, a here and now kind of people.  We are most concerned with what we are facing right here and right now.  Be not concerned with the cares of the moment, God is seeing you in a much greater role, one in which you must be tested, tried and proven.  That is just as He was doing in Joseph when through years of suffering and hardship, God was all the time preparing Him for leadership and government.  Could Joseph have faithfully and adequately done what he did for Egypt, if God had not prepared and raised Him in His purpose through strong discipline and adversity?  Like he told his brothers, “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”  You may think the devil is out to destroy you, but what he would mean for evil, God will use for good.  Romans 12:12 exhorts us, “Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.”  If you are enduring the discipline of the Lord, then rejoice, because God has marked you for better things.  What He has called you too, He will prepare you for. 

We are no longer walking in this worldly economy as kingdom people are; we are walking in a kingdom economy and for a kingdom purpose.  In this journey God will clothe you with His righteousness that will not wear thin and He will put the strength in your feet to walk the walk of the cross as He shods them with the preparation of the gospel.  We are people that are rich beyond measure, but our riches are not measured by earthly standards.  God is our standard and in Him there is no lack or weakness.  Let us pursue Him who is our bread of life, provision and godliness.  In Him we will know no lack.  Even in our correction He will sustain us. 

 

Blessings,

#kent

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Beauty

August 30, 2017

Beauty

Genesis 29:17

Leah [was] tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

Isn’t it amazing today as you see all of the television reality shows and what you hear in the attitudes of women?  So many are enamored with being beautiful and sexy.  Their whole focus is on the outward man.  If they can just have the right kind of looks then everything else will fall into place and happiness will ensue.  The Bible gives an example of two women who were sisters that became the wives of Jacob.  Obviously the natural eye is attracted to natural and outward beauty.  Jacob was no exception; it was Rachel’s beauty that caught his eye.  On the other hand we have Leah.  She was no doubt a nice quiet little gal with gentle eyes, but not in the exceptionally beautiful category. 

The story goes that Jacob worked seven years for Labon, the girls’ father, so that he could marry Rachel.  Come the wedding day, with the veil and all, Labon pulled a fast one and gave Jacob Leah, rather than Rachel.  Naturally Jacob protested, but Labon insisted that the custom was that the elder daughter should marry before the younger and that he could work another seven years and have Rachel as well.  So Jacob ends up with two wives, Rachel the one he loves and is drawn too and Leah, the less desirable one that he is now joined too or stuck with.  It is interesting how God enters into the picture in this marriage.  Genesis 29:31-32 it says, “And when the LORD saw that Leah [was] hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel [was] barren.  And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.” 

There are some of you ladies out there that may feel you got the short end of the stick, rather perceived or real, you don’t feel beautiful.  You feel undesirable and unattractive.  The natural inclination for all of us is town to be good looking, well liked and popular with people.  God in His infinite wisdom didn’t make a good many of us to fall into this category.  What we must see is that often what we don’t have in one area God can, and does, make up in another.  Proverbs 31:30 tells the women, “Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”  In God’s eyes there is something far more beautiful and appealing to Him than outward beauty, it is the inward beauty of a godly heart.  Peter bears this out as well in 1 Peter 3:3-5, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.”

Today this scripture might read,  “Whose adorning is not in a nose job, breast implants, calogen treatments, whitened teeth, liposuction, cosmetics, hot clothes or a tan and sculpted body.”  Women spend billions of dollars every year in the name of beauty and there is nothing wrong with looking nice within reason, but our focus and emphasis is all wrong.  How attractive do you want to be to your husband, Jesus?  He is not concerned or attracted to what you look like outwardly, He is looking at the condition of your heart and soul.  He is looking for that meek and quiet spirit that is living in submission to the Holy Spirit, led and guided by Him.  He is looking for women that are living in the fullness of the inward beauty.  If outwardly you are beautiful, but inwardly you are rebellious, arrogant, mean-spirited and controlling does that equate to a beautiful woman?  Regardless of what you have in the way of outward beauty, you do have say about the kind of person you can be inwardly.  Develop that beauty.  Cause people to be attracted to you, because of the Christ in you.  That beauty is not vain or selfish, it is in the likeness and nature of your husband, Christ.  If you feel like Leah, then be encouraged that God will make you fruitful, for it was out of Leah that the seed-line of Jesus came, not Rachel.  Let your adorning be of  “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible.”  After all, in the end it is that beauty that appeals and attracts our Savior and that we truly desire to possess.  “A woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

 

Blessings,

#kent

Passing Storms

August 29, 2017

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.

Blessings,

#kent

Genesis 41:50-52

Before the years of famine came, two sons were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. 51 Joseph named his firstborn Manasseh and said, “It is because God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s household.” 52 The second son he named Ephraim and said, “It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

What do You Hold in Your Heart?

The story of Joseph is such an inspirational one, because few stories in the Bible parallel the life of Christ like Joseph’s does, especially in the area of suffering.  Here is a young man that is treated harshly and unfairly through all of his youth.  First, his own brothers sell Joseph into slavery.  He is then cast into prison through false accusations and all the time he never waivers in his trust in God and reliance upon him.  Joseph didn’t have the outward markings of greatness as the world would see them, but even those that he was put under could see the Spirit of God that was evident in his life.  They observed the spirit of wisdom that was with him and were comfortable with placing him in charge of what was theirs. 

Some of us have walked a path of suffering and suffering can take many forms.  Sometimes it seems that there is no way out.  No matter what we do, God seems to keep us hemmed in.  What we are able to observe in Joseph’s life is that through this season of suffering when life was so unfair, he acted differently than many would have.  We might say he had a right to be resentful, anger, bitter, unforgiving towards people and towards God, but he didn’t choose that path.  He chose to keep his heart in the hands of God and trust Him, that He would order his steps.  He was simply faithful in whatever circumstances he found himself and did the best he could to serve whoever was put over him.  He learned the art of submission and obedience.

I was looking for somewhere where Joseph would reveal his true feelings.  I found it in how he named his children.  The first one Manasseh was named such because God made him to forget and forgive the betrayal and cruelty of his brothers and all of the trouble and hurt their actions brought upon him.  The second son he named Ephraim, because God made him to be fruitful in the land of his suffering.  What I saw was that Joseph was willing to submit to God through all of His difficult circumstances.  He maintained a quiet reliance and trust in God, while always giving God the glory in his ability to interpret dreams. 

God has some of us in a hard place today.  It may well be the place of suffering and a place we would be glad to leave if we could.   God may well be with us in that place even more than you know.  That may be the place where He is training you up in trust and reliance upon Him.  It may be the place where He is teaching you to let go of all bitterness and unforgiveness that you may have towards those that have wronged you.  Joseph had the wisdom to not allow his circumstance to defeat him or define him, but to shape him into the man of God that could be used for God’s eternal purposes.   God may well be training you and I to rule and reign with Him, but we are often trained up in the camp of suffering.  When soldiers go through boot camp it is camp of suffering and hardship as they are prepared for the day of battle.  God is preparing His people in this hour.  Don’t despair in your place of suffering for it may well be the place of God’s preparation in your life.  Rather submit to Him and learn of Him the nature of Christ in every circumstance.

 

Blessings,

#kent

In My Name

August 25, 2017

John 14:13-14

13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

In My Name

Obviously authority without responsibility can be a dangerous thing.  One might read this passage, and think, as so many have, all I have to do is say the magic words, “In the name of Jesus” and it will be done.  In reality we have not seen this to be the case.   So is Jesus not true to His word? 

When we ask something in the name of someone else we are asking in accordance with the will and purpose of the one whose name we use.  Jesus is true to His word, but there are principles that we need to understand.  For one, a name represents the nature and character of a person.  If I am using someone’s name then I need to be operating out of the nature and character of that name.  We can’t use authority that we are not in submission too and expect that authority to back up what we say.  We may mean well or think it is what Jesus would want or do, but are we moving by the unction and in the will of the Holy Spirit or out of what we think or feel in our natural man?

Let us look at our pattern Jesus.  Did He go about doing good and performing miracles simply out of His will as a man?  In John 5:43 Jesus says, “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”  Jesus was speaking and operating out of the authority of the Father’s name.  In John 6:38 Jesus says, “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”  Here we see the authority and nature of the name that Jesus is operating out of.   Hear what Jesus says of Himself in John 5:19, “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”  Again in John 5:30 Jesus says, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”  He then confirms the conditions of the authority that He has given us in John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”  It becomes evident to us here that if we are to operate in the authority of the name of Jesus we need to be in an abiding relationship that is flowing out of the vine of His divine life and nature.  Without that we cannot truly be fruitful. The reason that Jesus gives us His name and authority is so that we can be fruitful to carry out His will and purpose in the earth for His glory and not for our selfish ambitions or desires. 

In Acts 19:12-16 we read an account of those who sought to use the name of Jesus out of the context of a life of abiding in Him.  “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” 14Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. 15(One day) the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” 16Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”  Here we see that outside of the submission to the authority of the name that we invoke, there is no authority.  It is not simply invoking the name of Jesus that empowers us, it is operating out of submission to the authority of the name that then imparts authority through us, just as Jesus operated out of the name of the Father, because He was in the Father and the Father was in Him.   When we are in Christ and Christ is in us, our life is hid in Him and it His life that then has the authority of expression through us and whatsoever we ask in His name, He will do it.

Blessings,

#kent

The Fingerprints of God

August 24, 2017

Jeremiah 17:7-10

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD whose confidence is in him.

He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind,

to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

 

The Fingerprints of God

The fingerprints of God are seen upon our lives,

In ways we may not comprehend or often realize.

From the miracle of our birth and through our lives we see,

The love of God that kept us and how He cares for you and me.

 

Oftentimes we miss Him, because we are focused on our needs.

We think in doing things our ways is how we should do His deeds.

We so often miss His wisdom in this foolishness of ours.

In wanting all our sunshine we miss the need for showers.

 

Often winds of adversity are simply blessings in disguise,

Without them, there are things in us we would never realize.

Yes they may be painful and counter to our will,

But they often stop our busy tracks and cause us to be still.

 

The fingerprints of God are often dusted aside with blatant disregard,

As the deceitfulness of sin works in us and our hearts become so hard.

The touch of God is upon your life to deliver us from sin.

He wants to be the transforming love that changes us within.

 

Look for His fingerprints upon your life today.

Take a moment now to thank Him as you come and pray.

His fingerprints will change your life if you are sensitive to His touch.

He is able to transform your life where you need His change so much.

Blessings,

#kent

Still the Wind

August 23, 2017

Still the Wind

Mark 4:37-41

And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

This picture of the disciples caught out in the rough seas with all the forces of nature railing against them and filling their boat with water can so typify our lives at times.  Most all of us have had, will have or are having those times in our lives when all the natural elements of heaven and earth are railing against us.  We are rowing for all we are worth, but our boat just seems to keep on sinking.  We can’t bail out the water and the problems faster than they are coming in.  We are using every resource available for our survival and it looks like the end is sure.  Where is Jesus?  Before, we were saying, “Jesus you might want to give a hand up here, it’s pretty rough.”  Then it was “Jesus, this doesn’t look good, You really need to help us out.”  But Jesus is in a deep sleep in the back of the boat and this entire calamity of life and our desperation hasn’t awakened Him.  Finally, we are really desperate.  We are literally fasting and praying as we shake Jesus and cry out, “Master don’t you care that we are about to perish.”  Things have gotten desperate, they’re out of control, there is nothing more we can do and we’re about to go down for the third time.  Then Jesus arises, speaks the word and rebukes the wind and everything goes calm.  All of a sudden that impossible situation isn’t impossible anymore; it just dissipated.  We stand there in utter amazement at the miracle that has just happened.  We knew all along that we had Jesus in the boat, but things got out of control and Jesus was asleep, so we started to panic when it appeared like all was lost. 

Was Jesus ever out of control?  Even while He slept could the storms of life have prevailed over Him and took His life before the Father’s time?  Many of us think we have a pretty strong faith until it is put to the test like it was for the disciples this day.  How many of us could have remained calm and continued to rest in the fact that Christ was still in the boat and if we perished, He perished.

I remember a remarkable man of God telling me a testimony of a time when he and some other pastors were flying in a plane over I believe it was over a jungle area of Mexico.  As they were flying, for some reason they had ran out of gas and all of the circumstances pointed to them crashing and dying.  As the plane started to descend many of the pastor were crying out in fear and desperation.  This brother said, “I just prayed and said Jesus if I die, you die, because you are the life within me.”  Just after He spoke that he said the plane leveled out, the engines were restored and they were able to make it to a safe landing miraculously.  What was the difference between this man and the others?  They were all men of God and in God’s service.  The difference is having the revelation of who you are in Christ and knowing that all of your life is in His hands.  The difference is that we learn and possess this truth as we release our affections from everything that is dear to us in this life, even our families and we commit, without reservation, everything to God.  Will that be tested?  Yes, we will have our Isaac’s that we may have to lay upon the altar. 

Great faith is rested in total God confidence.  Like the Roman centurion of Luke 7 that came to Jesus in need of healing for his servant.  While Jesus was willing to walk the distance the centurion believed that if Jesus simply spoke the word, it would be done.  He understood the dynamics of authority.  He knew that when one in authority spoke the word everything under that authority was compelled to obey.  He knew that Jesus had authority over sickness and death, therefore if He would speak the word, it was accomplished.  God wants us to come and know the authority of His Word and rest that He is able to accomplish it.  He is still our Christ who rebukes the winds and calms the sea and storms of our lives.  He is still our Peace that passes understanding.  He is ever the Christ that is in us, that is our life and our authority.

Blessings,

#kent

Be Perfect

August 22, 2017

Be Perfect

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

When we read the passage in verse 48 where Jesus tells us, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” what does that mean to you?    Are you thinking that is impossible or yeah, maybe when I get to heaven?  Why would he tell us this now when we perceive ourselves in such an imperfect state?  How could we ever aspire to be perfect, as he is perfect?  We are not only to aspire to it, it is our calling.  Why would Jesus call us to do what was impossible to do?   

Jesus throughout Matthew 5 is calling His disciples and following to a higher order of love than that of the world.  He is calling us out of natural reasoning and fairness.  He is calling us to a level of love that we have come to know as Agape’ love.  It is a love that is not governed by what others do to me, it doesn’t respond to circumstances.  It is an action and not a reaction.  It is calling to live out of the kingdom of heaven rather than the kingdom of earth and who is the King of the kingdom, but Jesus.  Are not we called to live out of Christ?

The word “perfect” used in verse 48 is the Greek word “telios”.  It means brought to its end, consummate human integrity and virtue, full grown, adult, of full age, mature.  The purpose of God is to bring us unto perfection, to bring us into His unconditional love and divine nature.  This is the reason He gives the five fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11-13, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”  The word mature here is that same word for perfect.  It is going to take our faith to grasp this concept, because all that we see in us and in the body of Christ around us pretty much testifies against this.  What we have to see here is that there is a standard that has been set before us, but what is impossible with men, is not impossible with God.  God is the one that has called us to this standard and He alone can be the ability to attain it.  It is obvious to us that it is not in our natural ability, so that is our first clue that we need to be walking and living in something that is beyond the natural.  We are called up to walk in the supernatural.  We are called to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.  It is only in the realm of the Spirit that we can even comprehend the perfection that Christ has called us too.  It is only by living out of the kingdom of heaven that we exemplify the nature and character of the kingdom.

Listen as 2 Peter 2:2-4 reiterates our calling and where the power comes from, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”  We see here that perfection and maturity in Christ is a calling of faith, because it is in laying hold of the promises of God’s Word that we move into this realm.  There is no perfection without His power and life working in us, changing us and transforming us.  The ability is not in us to change ourselves to perfection, but to position ourselves in Him, by faith and through a broken and contrite heart to yield to the working and moving He is doing in us.  What we perceive as trials, hardships and adversities may truly be opportunities to exercise and mature in His divine nature. 

Abraham became the friend of God because he had enough faith and vision to move out of the realm of the seen into the realm of the unseen.  He counted God faithful to do that which He had promised.  Are we counting Him faithful to perfect our lives in love and in all that pertains to godliness?  Are we willing to quit looking at our circumstances and our inability’s long enough to see His ability and His promises to us?  Are we like-minded with the apostle Paul to press into the high calling we have in Christ Jesus?  “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before  I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you (Philippians 3:12 –15).”

Blessings,

#kent

Everything Unto Him

August 21, 2017

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Everything Unto Him

Through your life, words and actions you are going to release into the atmosphere of this world and people’s lives that which is in you.  May what you release be a love that is greater than your own.  God wants us to have a motive for all that we do and that motive is derived out of the nature and character of His name.  Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  Whatever Paul did in word or deed came out of the motive and intent of who he was in Christ.  That is where Father wants us in our living. 

Quite honestly most of us would have to admit that much of what we do is self-serving and motivated out of self-interest.   Paul informs us that He has laid down that part of his life and the only life that he now knows and is identified with is “Christ in Him”.   This is the exhortation we have from Colossians 3:17.  All that we do and say now is to operate out of the new creation that we are in Christ Jesus.  ‘Old things have passed away, behold all things are new.’  Those of us in Christ have to truly get this into our thinking and being to go on to the maturity we are called too, but its not a head thing or just a knowing thing; it is a heart thing.  Jesus has to so possess and reign in our heart that all we desire to do is to please and honor Him.  We can no longer compartmentalize Christ and our faith from the rest of what we do in life.  The cross has abolished all lines of demarcation.  Our life, our being, our doing is all about Him, because He is who we are.  Our identity is to now be synonymous with His nature, because we carry His name.  Every life we touch should be impacted by Jesus, because that is who we carry in us.  We are to now live, move and have our being out of Christ, led by the Spirit and motivated out of the love of the Father. 

Philippians 2:3-10 encourages us to have this mind.  “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

Our lives are no longer about us; they are about Him and being the expression of who He is in us.  When we live in that place and operate out of that paradigm then everyone we touch will be impacted in some way by Christ, because it is His name and nature that we put forth in our lives.  When people are around us they will know that they have been with Jesus, because His love and presence saturates our being.  It is Jesus that is expressed in every word and deed, as we live out of thankful hearts to the Father, living lives of thanks through Christ Jesus, our Lord.  In everything we want Him to be glorified and His name lifted up.

Blessings,

#kent

The Problem between Our Ears

Proverbs 23:7

For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he…

Self- perception is based on many things.  It comes from our experiences, our relationships and the input we receive from the world around us.  What we believe about ourselves is not always true, but it is true to us, because that is the reality that we see in our own mind.  What makes a young lady that is bulimic and anorexic to the point that she is skin and bones, continue to believe in her own mind that she is still fat.  It is not a reality issue; it is a perception issue.  As a photographer I have people come in quite often that are very critical of themselves in their images.  They will pick out perceived flaws that no one else would see.  So often our perceptions are formed by the input we get back from the world around us.  We are using that to evaluate if we are acceptable, or smart, or pretty, or successful.  Our dependency upon the world around us to shape our self-perception and values is often what cripples us.  Those we are looking too in shaping our perception are often flawed in their own perceptions so our premise for evaluating our worth based on the input of others is like building a house on sand.  Add to this the condemnation, accusations and the lies of satan, we can get pretty messed up.  The Word tells us that’ faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God’ (Romans 10:17).  The way we form a well-rounded perception of ourselves is through the Word of God.  If you are going to believe what somebody says about you, then believe what God says about you, because He doesn’t lie. 

There are a lot of us that are carrying a lot of baggage around with us that is tearing us up and it is destroying our relationships with the people that we care about and that we really love.  Sometimes we don’t even understand why we act and respond the way that we do.  This is where the Lord wants to set us free.  Often it is a lot of these misperceptions that we have formed from past negative experiences that we are using to evaluate our relationships now.  Because of the pain, hurt, abuse or disappointment of past relationships and experiences we allow fear to come in and tell us that our current relationships are going to happen the same way. We become convinced that we are going to get hurt, so we transfer that past negative experience into our present one and start responding defensively to protect ourselves from perceived hurt.  Often we can end up sabotaging a meaningful relationship and even marriage, because of these past experiences that we are bringing into the present.

I don’t pretend to be a psychiatrist, but the thing that is going to set us free is when we recognize that our values and perceptions are often warped.  We need a plumb line so that we can establish values and perception that are based on truth and not on a lie.  It is the Word of God that is that plumb line for us.  We have to align ourselves with what God thinks of us and what His values are for us.  Many of us need to really ask the Holy Spirit to give us understanding and reveal where our values are distorted and wrong.  Sometimes we need to look back at our past to honestly evaluate where certain values and feelings about things were formed.  As the Holy Spirit reveals these things then we can give those issues and perceptions to Him and ask for the Lord’s healing and change in those areas. 

You see, it is not the outward that is really you.  We can outwardly act many different ways.  The true man is as he thinks he is in his heart.  Heart change comes from a heart relationship with the Lord.  He wants to make you and your relationships whole and healthy.  He wants to give right perspective and the perception of who He says you are.  He probably has a much higher opinion of you than you have of yourself.  He values you and He wants you to be able value yourself based on what He is and is becoming within you.  Allow Him the place and open up your heart so that He can come in and begin to heal you and make you whole again.  Feed on what God has to say to you through His Word rather than what others say to you or about you.  Start responding to what the Word says rather than to feelings and emotions that surface in certain situations.  He can give us the balance we need in our lives and He alone can fix that problem we have between our ears.

 

Blessingd,

#kent

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