Jeremiah 14:6

Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights and pant like jackals; their eyesight fails for lack of pasture.”

7 Although our sins testify against us, O LORD, do something for the sake of your name. For our backsliding is great; we have sinned against you. 8 O Hope of Israel, its Savior in times of distress,

why are you like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who stays only a night? 9 Why are you like a man taken by surprise, like a warrior powerless to save? You are among us, O LORD, and we bear your name;

do not forsake us!

 

You are the Pastures of God’s Truth

 

This word of Jeremiah could well speak of the spiritual condition of our nation today.  As a nation we have lost the spiritual vision of who we are.  Our backsliding is great and many have forsaken the name of the Lord.  As a result the pastures of spiritual provision have dried up for many.    A spiritual famine has beset those who have gone in their own way and embraced the secular viewpoint of society today.  There is a leanness of soul that has come upon many today.  Many have become disillusioned with religion and the tele-evangelism of yesterday when they saw the greediness of men’s hearts revealed in the name of God.

There is a remnant that knows their God and who hold fast the faith.  It is this remnant that has preserved this nation up to this hour.  Their prayers and intercession have not gone unheard.  God has been preparing a people for such a time as this that they may be the pasture in the midst of a spiritual wilderness.   They are the streams of water that will provide the knowledge and life of God to those who are now seeking for real truth and meaning in their lives.

People of God prepare yourselves for all that the Lord has poured within you over the years.  Those who are in spiritual famine He will move upon to bring them to drink from the wells of salvation.   You are about to be poured out for a people that are hungry for the truth and who the Spirit of the Lord is drawing.  There is a field ripe unto harvest and we are the laborers sent forth to gather in the harvest.

The Lord has not forsaken His name and He will show Himself mighty among those who hold it fast in their hearts.  Come and refresh yourselves in the Lord for we are His people, called forth by His name to show the way of salvation and righteousness.

Blessings,

#kent

Advertisements

His Holy Habitation

April 27, 2018

2 Chronicles 6:18-21

“But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet give attention to your servant’s prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence. 20 May your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which you said you would put your Name there. May you hear the prayer your servant prays toward this place. 21 Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.

 

His Holy Habitation

 

God will never fit in our box and He will never fit in the confines of our dwellings and structures no matter how glorious and majestic they are.  Solomon comprehended this truth when he built this temple and prayed this prayer.  Yet it stood as a representation and a manifestation of the Lord’s presence.  It was a type of God’s true temple where He indwells and manifests His glory.  Jesus Christ stood as God’s true temple in the earth.  He was not unlike the tabernacle in the wilderness in that was covered with badger skins.  Its glory and beauty was not in the outward, but in the inward.  That is where the Shekinah glory dwelt.

Jesus said it plainly when He drove the money changers out of the temple and the Jews demanded a sign that would show them that He had the authority to do this.  In John 2:19-22, “Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” 20The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” 21But the temple he had spoken of was his body. 22After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”

The tabernacle and the temple were a fundamental cornerstone of Jewish worship and religion.  It symbolized what God represented to them.  It was a place to direct their prayers and go to touch God.  What they knew in this structure of their temple was the closest thing they knew of true worship and approaching God.  Yet Jesus reveals a greater in His discourse with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well.  In John 4:19-24 the woman addresses this subject with Jesus, “”Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

21Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”  Jesus is revealing to her a profound truth of this time.  The temple and Jerusalem had stood as a type and shadow of the heavenly, which was to come and now stood in the presence of this woman.   He was teaching her that true religion and worship is not in a physical place, it is a condition of your heart and relationship.  We who have come to know Christ in relationship know Him as the true temple of God.  He ever liveth to make intercession on our behalf.  We have also come to know that Christ is no longer just the head Jesus, but also the body of believers that give their hearts to Him and put their trust in Him.  We, as the body of believers, make up this temple corporately and are His temples individually.  As 1 Peter 2:4-6 tells us, “As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says:

“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

We, His people, who are called by His name are the New Jerusalem wherein dwells the manifest presence of God.  It is to this city that He will draw the nations as they come to worship Him.  As 1 Peter 2: 9-12 goes on to say, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”  Revelations 5:9-10 also speaks to that temple which Christ has established, “And they sang a new song:

“You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. 10You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”

Yes, Solomon built a glorious temple that was the pride of its people, but in all of its glory it can’t hold a candle to the glory of the temple that God has established in Christ Jesus and in those who He purchased by His blood.  We are the habitation of His worship, honor, glory and praise.  Let us never cease to be that expression in all that we live, and are and are becoming.

Blessings,

#kent

The Most Important Thing

April 26, 2018

Matthew 6:33

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

 

The Most Important Thing

 

If you were asked today what is the most important purpose of your life, what would be your answer?  More importantly, would your life and actions validate that answer?

The truth is that life, in the definition of time, is a very short period.  It is important that we take these words of Jesus from Matthew 6 to heart and make sure that we don’t lose our focus as to the purpose and the meaning of our lives.  If we miss this, we have missed it all.

Evaluate your priorities today and make sure that you are putting first things first, so that your life might be blessed and your steps ordered by the Lord.

Blessings,

#kent

The Blessing of a Spouse

April 25, 2018

Proverbs 18:22

[Whoso] findeth a wife findeth a good [thing], and obtaineth favour of the LORD.

 

The Blessing of a Spouse

 

Many of us are blessed with a wonderful spouse that is a blessing to our life in many ways.  That doesn’t mean that we don’t have our trials, our disagreements and differences, but a good spouse is a complement to our life.  Sharon and I are so different in so many ways and yet she brings a complement and qualities to my life that I need to complete who I am.  A good spouse is someone you can confide your heart with.  Someone who sees and knows all of your weaknesses and shortcoming and yet loves you anyway.  We are not there to judge and criticize one another’s weaknesses, but to be their strength in that weakness.  Sometimes there is nothing that we can do to help, but we always have prayer and the power of God.

When scanning through the TV channels the other day I briefly came across a panel of wives whose husbands were millionaires and the host was asking them what was the one thing that they felt that they personally contributed most to their husband’s success.  The theme I kept hearing is that they supported them, they really listened to what their needs were and that they were a team.  It is hard for any of us to be successful when the other partner is always negative, finding fault or complaining about all that is wrong.  Your spouse is not your enemy, you are the key to one another’s success, salvation and prosperity.  Nothing destroys our blessing like division and strife.  Marriage should never be a one way street with one person always getting their way.  It should be a compromise and blending where each partner is looking for what is best for the other.  It can’t be built on selfishness, but rather selflessness.  I can’t tell you how many times my wife has gone out bought me things that I wouldn’t even buy for myself to support me, help me and just to bless me.  We all have different needs, but it is important that we get in tune with our spouse’s needs and be there to help them and support them

In conclusion allow me to leave you with the words of 1 Peter 3:1-7 which speaks to both wives and husbands.  We are in this together.  We are heirs of life and salvation together.  Together let’s be a blessing and a strong support for our spouse.  Always respect and value the one God has given you.

“Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”

Now if you will excuse me, I need to go spend some quality time with my wife.  🙂

Blessings,

#kent

Container of God

April 24, 2018

John 14:9-14

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 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.

 

Container of God

 

Philip asks a rather superficial question of Jesus that evokes a response from Jesus that unveils all that He is.  “Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Philip, like so many of us, is only focused on the outward and so he, like so many of us, misses the real truth.  The truth was the Father had been there all of the time in the person of Jesus.  Their lives and identity are woven as one and you can’t have one without the other.

What is the relationship that Jesus Christ is communicating to His disciple in these last hours that He has with them. There is such a powerful truth here that we so often read over it, but like Philip, we really haven’t grasped its reality.  Jesus tells Philip (paraphrasing), “I am the expression and the manifestation of my Father.  He who is Spirit is revealed to you through my flesh.”  What we see in Jesus, His life, His words, His love and His expression is Father’s nature and character expressed through humanity, into humanity.  No one had ever gotten closer to touching and seeing God than when they beheld and touched the life form of the Father in Jesus.  What Jesus expresses here and through his Spirit anointed prayer in John 17 are truths that we seldom dare to truly believe and embrace.  In John 17:20-23 Jesus prays, “”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.””

Jesus came into the world hidden from the world’s view, because He was nothing significant or important as the world views it.  Those who truly know their identity in Christ are most often like Jesus, insignificant in the world’s eyes.  What sets the true people of God apart is that they are embracing the reality and truth that as the Father was in Jesus, so Christ is in us.  Even as Jesus grew up obscured from public view.  Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”  God is maturing Sons (both men and women) that are the expression of His divine character and nature.  These Sons are not their own.  They have relinquished self for sonship, even as Jesus was not His own.  What He heard the Father speak, He spoke and what He saw the Father do, He did.  As the Father had expression through the Son, so the Son has expression through us as we will yield our beings to Him.  Jesus relinquished His will for God’s will, just as we must also relinquish our will for His.  Jesus, through His prayer to the Father and later through the giving and imparting of the Holy Spirit into us as believers, He came into us with the purpose of being one with us.

Can we hear that today or are we like Philip who could only see the superficial relationship, but hadn’t truly grasped that Jesus Christ and the Father were one?  We see and often view the Father and Christ as up in heaven and if we keep looking up we will see him come back some day.  That is a Philip mentality.  The Christ is right here with you.  He is residing in you.  Many of us have just lacked the revelation of who we are in Christ.  We are still identifying ourselves in an old Adam mentality.  We are still looking into the natural mirror and seeing Adam reflected back rather than looking into the mirror of God’s Word and seeing Christ reflected back.  Who are you going to embrace and believe?

Ephesians 2:5-6 declares, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”  Why are we looking up to heaven when we are already seated there in Christ?   Even as Jesus Christ was the kingdom of God come into the earth, He wants to establish His kingdom through a many membered Christ.  Unless the His kingdom is come and His will is done in you first how can it be made manifest to the world?

Has the Son been with you all this time and yet you have not seen Him?  Jesus makes an almost incomprehensible statement here in John 14:12-14, “12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 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.”  If you have the spiritual eyes to see and the faith to receive, then Jesus is telling you what He has just demonstrated through His life, you can do in like manner through yours if you know who you are in Him.  This is not about you being God or having a God complex.  This is about you being dead and Spirit of Christ being released to live through you.  It is all right there, resident in you now if you be in Christ.   Embrace the identity you have in Him, for He created you and purposed you to be a container of God.

Blessings,

#kent

This is the One I’m looking for.

 

Isaiah 66:1-2

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven [is] my throne, and the earth [is] my footstool: where [is] the house that ye build unto me? and where [is] the place of my rest? 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.

 

 

‘Where is the place of my rest’, says the Lord.  ‘I am the Lord of heaven and earth, what edifice or building could you possibly make that could even compare with what I have already?’  The Lord is not looking for what we can produce for Him out of the works of our hands; the dwelling place He desires and is looking for is a condition of the heart.  “But to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.”  Is that the condition of my heart and yours today?  Are we what the Lord is looking for to be the place of His rest?

What is it to be poor?  Does it mean you have to be homeless, destitute, without wealth or is it a condition of the heart wherein nothing is regarded of true value outside of God?  The spiritually poor recognize that the world and all it’s riches are soon to pass away and that the only true treasures are those of heaven obtained through relationship and right standing with God.  Often it is the people of low social and economic status that best grasp this concept.

Jesus teaches the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 and says, “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.  Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”  If we desire to be the blessed of the Lord here is where our heart needs to be.  This is an expanded definition of Isaiah 66:2.  These are the righteous who yearn and have a heart after God.

What does it mean to have a contrite heart?  It is interesting in looking up the meaning of this word in the Hebrew it literally means, “dust”.  It spiritually means that your heart is reduced to the base elements, there is no regard, no significance, nothing of value in your spirit outside of God and His working in you.  You are as dust before Him and the heart of the contrite is that God would somehow look upon the dust of our nothingness and fashion it into a vessel pleasing to Him.  Psalms 34:18 says, “The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”  Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Finally Isaiah 57:15 says, “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name [is] Holy; I dwell in the high and holy [place], with him also [that is] of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.”  Do we see here the place of His Holy dwelling?  Why do we weep and mourn in our spirits?  It is because we have become cognizant of how utterly destitute we are without His holy presence and we cry out for Him to fill us and reveal His presence within us.

Lastly, God looks for those who “tremble at His Word”.  This is simply the fear of the Lord.  It is those who regard God and His Word with such holy respect and reverence that they in no way wish to offend the Holy Spirit in action, word or deed.  It is an attitude that truly gives God His due honor and respect.

2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us what God is looking for, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of [them] whose heart [is] perfect toward him…” Are we what God is looking for?

Blessings,

#kent

There is a Fountain

April 20, 2018

 

There is a Fountain

 

Proverbs 13:14

The law of the wise [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.

 

What are the waters of council and advice that we drink from today?  How are our opinions and values formed or swayed?  We all are constantly surrounded and bombarded by the world’s fountain, but in drinking from that fountain we can quickly become ensnared in its values and philosophies that lead to death.  Where do we go to find our council, our values, our understanding and direction for our lives?  We know as Christians that it is found in the Fountain of Life.  That Life comes through God’s Word, the Holy Spirit and those who are imparting that Word of life to others.

We have to be careful where we drink in our influence and persuasions.  Tainted and corrupt waters will taint our soul and our thinking; thereby our values become perverted.  The Word exhorts us to drink from the fountains of wise council, so that it may deliver us from the snares of death.

Proverbs 14: 27 tells us another aspect of this fountain, “The fear of the LORD [is] a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death.” Not only do we want to seek out and follow wise council from the Word of God, we want to have a holy, wholesome fear and reverence of God that we would not depart from the wisdom, council and instruction that He gives us.  Our God is not one to be trifled with or tempted and yet we do it all of the time.  How many times through our actions, our words, our attitudes and our values do we disrespect and dishonor the name of the Lord?  We are foolish when we don’t truly fear and reverence Him.  If we are wise we will not lose that fear and respect, for what we sow, we shall also reap.

Proverbs 25:26 tells us, “A righteous man falling down before the wicked [is as] a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring“, How are the waters of your spring today?  What is your life producing, what is the fruit of your lips and are our behaviors and attitudes those that flow from the pure fountain of life, from the Christ?

Guard yourself and the watering holes from which you drink.  We want our fountain to be fed from the Fountain of Life.  There is a Fountain who is Christ, the King.  We want Him to be our supply and the source of our wisdom and influence.  There are fountains all around that contain the snares of death.  Let us be wise in choosing the fountain from which we drink.

Blessings,

#kent

The High Places

April 19, 2018

 

The High Places

 

2Chronicle 20:23

Howbeit the high places were not taken away: for as yet the people had not prepared their hearts unto the God of their fathers.

 

In Old Testament times post dating Moses we know there was an altar of the Lord that dwelt in a tabernacle and later, through David, came to rest in Jerusalem.  For us, who are New Testament Christians, this altar has become the equivalent of Calvary and the Cross.  It is the central altar around which our faith rests and where we find communion with our fellow believers and the Lord Himself.  It is our place of worship.  It is the place where we committed our hearts and souls to the Lord and ask Him to come into our hearts, cleanse us and be the Lord of our lives.  It is that place as Romans 12:1-2 puts it, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”   It is that altar where we consecrate ourselves, our worship, our affections and our commitment, first and foremost to Jesus Christ, our Savior.  He alone is the object of our worship, before whom there should be no other Gods.  For it is written, “thou shalt worship the Lord God and Him only shalt thou serve (Matthew 4:10).”

Once again we are asked to go to the places we would rather leave hidden and obscure from the Holy Spirit’s observation.  Today He comes to us to address the “high places” in our hearts and souls.  These were the places, other than the altar at Jerusalem where the Israelites went to worship.  They were places not designated or ordained of God. They were often places of cultic activity, idol worship and perhaps the places more convenient than the altar at Jerusalem.  What are they for us today?  Could they be the places of inordinate affections: our sports, our play, our work, our lust and sensuality, our harbored attitudes of unforgiveness, our movies, computers, games and any number of things that have come into the high places of our heart.  If we are to prepare our hearts before the Lord as our scripture indicates we must deal with and take down the high places.  These things are not easy to let go of.  Our flesh craves and covets them, but they have become an abomination and have brought a separation between our God and us.  They are the idols in our lives, rather we recognize them as such or not and with them we are breaking covenant with God.   These are often things and areas we just as soon stay ignorant of because it will cause us to face areas of our lives we don’t want to face.  It is really those areas where our flesh makes provision for itself to stay alive and active in us rather than going to the cross.  Are we willing like King Josiah, after hearing the Word of the Lord, to go into the high places of our heart and soul and tear down the idols and affections we have built there?  We must be willing to come honestly and openly before the Holy Spirit and ask Him to show us any unclean way in our heart. Then, as He begins to reveal these things, we have to be obedient to put them away from our lives.  Our flesh will cry out and we will still want to harbor and keep some part of it, but when we do we are leaving seed for it to return and it will.   2 Corinthians 10:3-5 tells us, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong-holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  What are the high things in our hearts that exalt themselves against God today?  We must, by the Spirit pull down the strongholds and bring every thought into obedience to Christ.  We must guard where our thoughts take us, because they may well be the seed for disobedience, rebellion and idolatry.  We must guard our hearts and keep them tender in the light of God’s grace and truth.

“God, give us grace and strength to lay it all on the altar of sacrifice and let go of all that would offend You.”

For us to live an uncompromised life we must tear down the high places and deal with the hidden issues of our hearts.  This is what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us, it is to prepare our hearts to be pure, consecrated and in right relationship with our Lord.

Blessings,

#kent

Hebrews 3:15

… “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”

 

 

Today is a Day of Encounter

 

Christ has called us out of the world, out of Egypt and while, by the spirit of faith, we have come out of Egypt, the spirit of Egypt and the world has often not fully come out of us.  This is the day and the hour that God wants us to encounter Him and experience His miraculous power, might and deliverance.  Yet there are still too many of us that are in our tents or the tents of our brothers grumbling and complaining about how “God isn’t taking care of this and the church isn’t taking care of that.  If it were me it I would do it this way.”  If that is sounding like us in any way then take time to check your heart.  Oh, it is easy to justify, because “Moses, he just sits up there in his tent all day long and talks to God.  He doesn’t understand what we are going through down here.  If he would spend more time with us and less time with God then he might understand what is going on.  We’ve got all of these great recommendations, but he just wants to hear from God and not from us.  Maybe we need to consider some new leadership or go to a different church.”

Can I share something with us I feel the Holy Spirit is speaking into my heart.  “Today is not about me”.  It is not about my opinions, my likes or dislikes; it is about setting my eyes upon Jesus and being obedient to where He has placed me in this hour and for this time.  It is about walking and operating out of a love that covers a multitude of sins and sees beyond my brother’s faults.  Where that brother is at, is between him and God.  When we start meddling in everybody else’s business besides where God has us and what he has us there for, we can easily get caught up in this sin of rebellion and discontentment.  Our hearts can get hard and rebellion ensues.

No, we don’t operate in a perfect body yet.  That is why Paul gives us this exhortation in Ephesians 4:1-6, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”  There is no mention in this scripture about keeping your eyes on any man.  It is not any man that has called you to who you are, it is the Holy Spirit that has called you into Christ. It is the bond of that love and commitment that enables us to bear with all those others in the body that rub us the wrong way.

Joel 2:13 says this, “Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.”  This is not a day we want to find ourselves in rebellion, no matter how justified we may feel.  We must bring our heart and attitudes before the Lord and there rend our hearts and ask Him to show us any unclean or unloving way.  This is a day of encounter, but before we can begin to encounter Him in unprecedented ways, there has to be an unprecedented rending of our heart where we are willing to give over any pride, self-will, rebellion or sin.  When we enter into the Master’s house we have to take off our shoes and wash our feet of all the unclean places that we have walked.

This word is not where I had expected to go today, but where the Lord has led me.  You see if we are out of alignment physically, mentally or spiritually with where God would have us to be, we are going to miss the fullness of His visitation and manifestation.  Be sure that your heart is aligned with where God would have you and not where your feelings and emotions would lead you.  He places us where He will for a reason.  When we are out of His placement we are in rebellion.

Obviously this word isn’t for everybody, but God has it for someone.

What we all must know is that He is placing us in strategic places in this hour.  We may not fully grasp the importance of that right now, but it is important and I say this by the Spirit, that we be submitted in the place where He has led us and placed us to be unless He gives you the release or direction to be somewhere else.  Remember it is about being aligned with the will of the Father and not our will.  For a body to function in health and unity, all of the parts have to be in right alignment and location to function properly.  The strategy of the enemy is to bring as much disruption, dissention, disunity and discord, in order to move the body out of alignment to bring dysfunction, ineffectiveness and powerlessness.

Body of Christ line up with the will and purpose of God.  Rend your hearts and not your garments.  “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Blessings,

#kent

Responding to a Calling

April 17, 2018

Roman 9:15-18

15For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: “I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.

 

Responding to a Calling

 

The Lord has called His own from the foundations of time.  He knows His own long before they ever know Him.  Why He has chosen some and not others only He knows.  Many of us have testimonies where we have seen the grace and calling of God upon our lives.  We have seen Him, in many cases, miraculously save us and draw us to Himself.  There are a people on the earth that have a calling and election upon their lives.  If God has given you a calling, having given you spiritual ears to hear and a heart to receive, how are you responding to your calling?  Do we believe because we have a calling that there is no responsibility on our part?

2 Timothy 1:8-10 exhorts us, “So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”  That holy calling upon our lives solicits a response on our part to not be ashamed of the gospel, but to join in the suffering it often brings with it.  Why would we want to suffer? If we are willing to suffer with Him we will also share His glory as Romans 8 tells us.  It is because we have seen that Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.  We, His people, His called ones, echo that calling we have in Christ Jesus throughout the world so that as many as are called, the Lord might show forth His mercy and compassion upon them in the face of Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 3:1 says, “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.”  We, who are in Christ, share this common calling, because He placed a faith in us to respond to it, because we are the Lord’s house.  Verse 6 goes on to say, “But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”  “If” always brings a condition with it. In this case it is in our faithfulness and courage to continue in the hope in which we boast.  2 Peter 1:10-11 reinforces this by saying, “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

We will never understand in this life why God in His sovereignty decided to have mercy upon us, but He did.  May we never take that for granted because it was not something that we earned, but a grace that He gave.  He has placed within us a calling to conform us unto His glory and likeness.  We have a tremendous challenge before us.  Let us respond as Paul did in Philippians 3:12-15 when he says, “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.”  It is our time to come into maturity by pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of us.  We have received the mercy of God, now let us respond to that mercy in an obedient and faithful commitment to press into Him with all that He has placed within us.  Responding to His calling will bring you into your purpose for being.  To God be the glory for ever and ever.  Amen

Blessings,

#kent

%d bloggers like this: