Exercise

May 31, 2018

1 Timothy 4:8

For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.

 

Exercise

 

In this day and age of predominantly overweight people, physical exercise and health are hot topics.  We all know and recognize their value whether we participate in them or not.  Paul is saying here that, yes, these things have their value, but of even greater and lasting value is the value of godliness or we might say “God likeness”.  In this exercise and image there is promise both in this life and the life to come.

Acts 24:16 says, “And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.”  Isn’t this an exercise of godliness?  In this attitude, it is not about me, it is about how I affect God and others.  Am I walking in a way that is pleasing to God and loving my fellow man?  Am I walking in identity of who I am in Christ?  Exercise is then seen in the decisions that we make in how we live and conduct our life.  The greater sensitivity we have to the Spirit, the greater agape’ love that we walk in, the more we can walk in the conduct and attitude of godliness.

Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5, “But as for you, you must exercise habitual self-control, and not live a self-indulgent life, but do the duty of an evangelist and fully discharge the obligations of your office.”  Godliness is an exercise of vigilance in our relationship with the Lord.  It is not giving license to the flesh or self-indulgence.  The closer we walk in the light and the practice or exercise of the truth the more we will be developed in this virtue of godliness.  Godliness is the practice and exercise of living in the presence of Jesus and hosting His Spirit in all that we do.

We should honor our temples, be moderate and healthy in our eating and get physical exercise.  More importantly, focus on the exercise of living a godly life.

Blessings,

#kent

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Keep to the Path

May 30, 2018

Proverbs 4:18

But the path of the just [is] as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

 

Keep to the Path

 

There are many and diverse paths that we can take in life, but there is only one that we should be focused and sure to stay on.  It is the path of the justified in Christ, the path of righteousness, the path that is leading each day into light that is shining more and more unto the perfect day.  It is when we stray from this path that we begin to err from life.  There are many exhortations from the Lord and many prayers from the saints to stay true to this path.  Psalms 27:11 says, “Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. “  Psalms 119: 35 speaks,  “Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.”  Psalms 119:105 continues saying, “Thy word [is] a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”  These scriptures acknowledge the importance of learning and keeping to the path of the Lord.  We see that it is the Word of God that is a lamp unto our feet and light unto our path.  It shows us the way and so we continually rehearse it and put it before us so that we might keep to the path.

The book of Proverbs, in teaching us its wisdom, instructs us in like manner.  Proverbs 1:10-18 warns against following the pathway of sinners.  “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. 11 If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul; 12 let’s swallow them alive, like the grave, and whole, like those who go down to the pit; 13 we will get all sorts of valuable things and fill our houses with plunder; 14 throw in your lot with us, and we will share a common purse”- 15 my son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths; 16 for their feet rush into sin, they are swift to shed blood. 17 How useless to spread a net in full view of all the birds!

18 These men lie in wait for their own blood; they waylay only themselves!”  It exhorts us to avoid the temptation of hanging around bad company where we can get caught up in the snares of the enemy and stray from the path of life.  Proverbs 2:6-8 tells again how to find and maintain our walk in the path of righteousness, “For the LORD gives wisdom and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,

8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path.”  Proverbs 4:10-15 give us this advice, “Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 11 I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. 14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.”  Finally we are left with this godly counsel in Proverbs 4:20-27, “My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;

22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man’s whole body. 23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. 24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. 25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. 26 Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. 27 Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

It is imperative for us as the children of God to maintain diligence in holding to the path of the just.  That requires that we maintain a vital relationship with the Lord in fellowship, prayer and in His Word.  It means that we are always examining our ways to make sure we are not deviating from the path that Jesus walked before us.

There may be times when we find ourselves off of that path and out of the way then what do we do?  In Isaiah 30:15-18 the Lord says this, “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!” The Lord is waiting for you, repent and keep to the path

Blessings,

#kent

The Joy of Fools

May 29, 2018

 

The Joy of Fools

 

Proverbs 15:21

Folly delights a man who lacks judgment, but a man of understanding keeps a straight course.

 

 

What is folly but a fountain of foolish acts lived and acted out by one who lacks the practice of sound judgment and fails to embrace truth?  Many of us have had those times of foolishness in our lives.  Most of us look back and shudder at some of things we did and realize the consequences that could have followed those actions.  For many of us, God gave us grace to see the error of those ways and to see where they were taking us.  Was it fun?  Oh sure it was fun to party and to act out of the lust and impulses of the flesh.  It was fun to be wild and unrestrained, but it had no future and it didn’t produce what most of us desired out of life.

I can remember my college years.  It was a time of making the transition from my parent’s values to my own values.  I was becoming my own person and could now choose what I thought was right and wrong for me.  I remember some of the partying and the wild things that we did.  It was fun at the time, but then when you were alone the question would come, “Is this all there is to life?  What is my purpose?  What are my goals?  What happens when we leave this life and all that we have done is live for selfish pleasure?  Is there no more consciousness and we cease to exist or do we indeed have to give an account of our ways before an Almighty God?

I began to realize early on that foolishness is a dead end street.  Oh yeah, it may be like Bourbon Street in New Orleans and life can be like Madrigal, but where does it lead us and what is our end?  What I experienced was emptiness and lack of true fulfillment and joy.  My happiness was only temporal, but it never really satisfied and gave meaning to life.  Perhaps some of us are still trying to hold on to our areas of folly.  Perhaps those areas of folly and foolishness have become strongholds in our life that we don’t want to give up or let go of.  Fools and misery love company.  You will become like the people that you associate with.  You can never really come out of your foolishness until you are willing to depart company with the foolish and seek out the company of the wise.

The wise are not necessarily smarter than everyone else is, but they have come to the realization that wisdom and life is in seeking out the Lord and following in His ways.  He is the author of wisdom and His paths are straight, but they lead us unto life.  Proverbs 16:16-17 says, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! 17 The highway of the upright avoids evil; he who guards his way guards his life.”  Folly will only delight a man who lacks understanding, because when we understands the high ways of the Lord, we will no longer delight in the lower road.  That road will only lead us to hell and destruction.

Have you given up those areas of foolishness that may be destroying your life and the lives of the ones that you say you love?  A truly wise man heeds counsel, he receives correction and departs from evil, but one who is truly a fool will not listen and he will not learn.  Proverbs 9:8 says, “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.“  Is the delight of our folly worth the consequences that it brings if you continue it?  Do we have enough wisdom to say, “enough, no more!”?

Blessings,

#kenta

Truth

May 25, 2018

 

Truth

 

John 16:13

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 

You don’t really think about what a powerful word and attribute truth is until you just stop and meditate on it.  Throughout the Word of God we see truth as a primary attribute of God.  Jesus, the Son of God, says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man come unto the Father, except by me.”  Jesus refers to the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in our passage today and others as the Spirit of Truth.  Why all of this emphasis on truth?  It is because this is what leads us into the Father and what He has determined that should be expressed through His sons.  Not everyone can hear and receive truth, because it is the Spirit of God that reveals and quickens His truth to us and in us.

Jesus, at the time of His judgement when he stood before Pilot, had this conversation with Pilot as revealed in John 18:37-38, “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault [at all].” If we want to hear God’s voice and know the mind and will of God, the first requirement is that we be able hear and know truth.  In John 3:19-21 Jesus speaks of the world and how they react to truth,  “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.  For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”  You know, if we are honest with ourselves many of us would have to confess that there are areas of darkness we don’t want to bring into the light and have them revealed.  While, with the majority of our lives and beliefs we want to confess and believe in Jesus, there are still areas of deceitfulness and sin.  There are many of us still embracing the spirit of the world in so many ways such as traditions, holidays, superstitions, horoscopes, our viewing preferences on TV and movies, our choices of music, reading material and internet viewing, to name but a few.  Are we willing to allow the Holy Spirit to examine every area of life and are we willing to relinquish and repent of any area of darkness or impurity found within us.  If the answer is honestly “no”, then we have to face the fact that we have idolatry in our lives and we are worshipping another god or gods.  If we are willing to say “yes”, then we are like David in Psalms 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.”  You see we have received Truth in our spirits and generally in our thinking when we received Christ into our hearts.  The Holy Spirit desires to fill the whole temple of our spirit, soul and body, not just the inward parts.  What is the greatest commandment?  “Love the Lord your God with all of your mind, your heart, your soul and your strength.”  That is a statement of fully embracing the Lord with everything within us.  If we fully embrace Truth, then there is no room for darkness and lies in that place.  Don’t we realize that we are the children of Truth?  That means we are to be free from all affection for sin, all pretense, simulation, falsehood and deceit.  Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:24, “God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.”  We can’t truly worship God out of our heads.  Worship isn’t a mental assent to God, it is a spiritual assent out of a pure heart that is loving and embracing Truth.  We must love what God loves and hate what He hates.

1 John 1:6-8 tells us we are in the process of purification that starts with the attitude and commitment of our hearts.  “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” When we received Christ as the Lord of our lives we made a commitment to walk out of darkness and to walk in the light.  We do that through the confession and repentance of our sins, having the assurance of 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  While we are and have departed from walking in darkness we know we can’t truthfully say we any longer sin.  Our assurance is in the truth that Christ is our righteousness.  As we abide in the Truth, we are allowing, desiring and inviting the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal all of our yet unclean ways that we might repent and have an ever closer and richer fellowship with the Truth.  Truth is expressed through the love of God in us and the love of God in us is our assurance that we are in the Truth.  Let us conclude with 1 John 3:18-19, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”

Blessings,

 

Living Water

May 24, 2018

John 4:10-15

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”

11“Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”

 

Living Water

 

There is something greater than the wells of religion that our forefathers dug for them and for us.  Jesus comes to us as He did to this woman of Samaria who had always drawn and drank from the well that always left her thirsting again and wanting more.  We also have drank from the wells of the in-part realm; as a result we continue to thirst and are never really satisfied.

The Lord speaks through Jeremiah 2:13 like this, “”My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

What we are thirsting for is a fresh revelation and manifestation of the living water that only comes from Christ.  He is the only one that is the perpetual artesian well of living water that comes forth from our spirit, through our soul and into the earth.  His Spirit life in us is that which alone can satisfy where we never long for the natural waters again of religion and dead works.  Jesus speaks to this in John 7:38-39, “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” 39By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.”

It is in the intimacy with our Lord that we abide in the shade that covers and protects the well of His salvation.  It is there in that secret place of abiding with Him that we continue to drink and find refreshing.  There at that well of His presence is the fresh water of revelation and regeneration.  Abiding there in Him we come to find that we are not only drinking from the well, but we are the well.  Now that living water is flowing out of our belly and we become a source and fountain of the living water’s dispensation.  When others come around or when the Lord leads you into encounters as Jesus encountered this Samaritan woman; you are that well of living water the Holy Spirit desires to flow through to give drink to all who are thirsty.  Once they have drank of the living water will they ever want to go back to that which does not satisfy?

Isaiah 55:1-5 speaks of this ministry of living water.  ““Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.

2Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

3Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

4See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples.

5Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,

because of the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendor.”

The splendor is the living water that flows from your being, because it is the life-flow of God.  It gives life, encouragement, strength, joy and salvation to all who drink of it.  The way that you become the well is by living in the flow of the river of life.  Out of that place you become the streams in the desert and the dry place.  You cause to flourish again that which others considered dead.  You cause the desert places to bloom and come alive because you are that oasis of living water that Father wants to flow through.

We have settled for the lesser for far too long.  Let’s jump in the river of His divine life and become the expression of all that this river possesses.  We are the conduits and the pipelines to bring living water to the nations.  Can we settle for anything less?

Blessings,

#kent

Ephesian 5:25-33

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

The Prominent Woman of the New Testament

 

I was thinking this morning, “If I were to identify the most prominent woman in the New Testament, who would it be?  Would it be Mary, the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Elizabeth or one of the other godly women?  Then it struck me that the most  prominent woman and the one to whom the whole New Testament is dedicated too, is the bride of Christ, us, His Church.

He loves us so much that He laid down His life to redeem us for His bride.  His love for His bride becomes the model of every husband’s love for his natural wife.  For Jesus, the life that he lived, the love that He proved in action, the Word that He gave and His Spirit that now indwells, all speak to the passionate love that He has for us.  He did nothing for Himself, but all was for us.

The Word teaches here that even with the same love and care you extend to your personal self, you should extend to your wife; loving your wife as your own body.  Our wife is an extension of our own flesh and blood.  Spiritually she is united and one with us.  This scripture teaches us that all that Jesus did and is still doing, even His very life was dedicated to this woman, His bride.  All that He has done and is still doing is to make us all that we were called to be in union with Him. We were called and betrothed to holiness, so He cleanses us with His blood for the forgiveness of our sins and He washes us with the water of His Word that renews us in our identity with Him; His mind, His heart, His love.  By the sacrifice of His own self He imparts into us His own righteousness and virtue to remove every stain, wrinkle and blemish.  As husbands who follow this example, we are compelled to provide an atmosphere and environment where our bride is treated in the same manner.  When she submits herself to us there is no fear or trepidation in her, because she is so secure in our love and best interests for her.  In that love she finds such a place of security and peace.  She knows that she is at the forefront of all that we do and provide.  She delights to submit, because her joy is to reciprocate the love that is so freely and unselfishly lavished upon her.  Her husband has cut all ties to his former obligations and earthly commitments that He might put her first.  She is His treasure and He will protect and cherish that treasure with His very life.

This may all sound very idealistic, but it shouldn’t.  It should be the way, we, as Christian men and husbands should think and believe, because it is the Word of God.  It is the way that Christ loves us.  Since we have inherited this same love, it is incumbent upon us to love our wives in this same manner.  God gave us all of His Word, but in particular the New Testament as His love letter to His bride.   His one desire is to bring us into all that He is and all that He possesses.  Jesus loves us with undying, unfailing and unending love.  Just as He is so in love with us; He wants us to be so in love with Him.  He gave us marriage to practice that love affair.  In the same way that we love one another in that marriage relationship, it is the same way we love Jesus.  You may think your spouse is so stubborn or has such issues that you can’t get along and love them in that way.  Do we think that it has been any easier for Christ to love us through all of our issues and sins?  Yet He does. His love never fails, it never gives up and never runs out on us.  He looks past our faults and sees our needs.  While He would have every justification to divorce us, He doesn’t. He patiently loves us, forgives us, ministers life and blessing to us, even when we live in defiance and rebellion to Him.  Love never fails when it comes to this prominent woman in the New Testament.  He has committed to stay with Her until He brings Her into His highest and into the fullness of Himself.

Blessings,

#kent

Christian Behavior

May 22, 2018

 

Romans 12:9-21

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him ;If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”  21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Christian Behavior

 

This passage is a basic guideline and checklist for the behavior and attitude that we should be living out of in Christ.  You will notice that all of its tenants are based on walking in love toward your fellow man and the saints of God.  Its first point is to let your love be without hypocrisy.  How often do we mask our true feelings with a smile and outward show of love and piety?  It is important that we be honest and transparent with one another even when our feelings or attitudes aren’t right.  Love doesn’t mean that we hide them or ignore them, but that we deal with them.  If our heart or our attitude is wrong then we must be willing to confess that and address it in order to correct it.  If someone else’s heart and attitude are wrong then we, in humility and love, are honest with them about what we see.  Our function as the body of Christ is not to sit in judgement on one another, but to help each other.  There are things you see about me that I may be totally blind too, if you don’t help me in love then how am I suppose to know?  We all need the capacity and openness to receive correction as well as give it.  None of us are yet perfect or have all of the answers.  That is the reason that we function as a body and not as individuals.  Our end purpose is to fulfill what this passage in Romans 12 is exhorting us to do, basically walk in love toward all men.  Allow God to deal with those who abuse us with evil.  We are exhorted to walk as much in love toward our enemies as we do our brethren, but it does tell us to prefer one another.

We also notice that our Christian walk is not just a passive living.  It has purpose and direction.   It tells us to not be lacking in diligence, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfast in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints and given to hospitality.  We are processing and distribution centers for God’s love to flow through.  We have a relationship with the Lord and receive of His love and blessing so that we can process that through our lives and distribute it to the lives of those around us.  As we are each faithful to do this we meet the needs in one another and in our fellow man.  It is in this healthy relationship with God and man that others will see the love of God flowing through our lives and we will be fulfilling our purpose and calling in Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Ruts

May 21, 2018

 

Romans 7:24

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

 

Ruts

 

Ruts are those ditches along life’s road;

Graves with the two ends knocked out,

Where we often find our travels and abode.

Habits, ways of living, thinking, fear and doubt.

 

Their walls are slimy, slippery and steep.

When we seek to climb out we slip back in again.

There we have become dull and have fallen asleep,

There we find life slipping away in discord and sin.

 

We hate when see ourselves stuck in this rut,

We hate areas of our lives and what we’ve come to be,

We hate when we seek release we find the door shut.

The destroyer pursues us as we long to be free.

 

Lord Jesus, You are the only way out.

The law of Life set me free from the law of sin and death,

Lord, take my hand and hear my desperate shout,

If I find not deliverance in You, where else can I find my rest?

 

You, oh Lord must be the answer for me.

You must be the rock beneath my path,

You must be the power that can set me free.

You must lift me out of this rut of my past.

 

You, oh Lord must make firm my ways,

Transform my life from this polluted haze,

Change my thinking and order my days,

Upon You I hope and set my gaze.

 

Kent Stuck

Blessings!

Pregnant with Child

May 18, 2018

 

Pregnant with Child

 

Revelations 12:1-6

1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

          There are those to whom this passage may seem intimidating and too spiritual to understand, but what would the Lord speak to us through it today?  We perceive this woman that is pregnant here to be the Church. 

1 Peter 1:23-25 tells us, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.”  This self-same seed of the divine Word of Life has impregnated the Church who is the Bride and the wife of the Lamb.  Here she is clothed as the sun, the righteousness and glory of God, sitting in a place of divine dominion and authority, but still obviously in contention and opposition with satan represented in the great red dragon with the dominion and authority that is still his.  Here we are at a climatic time in spiritual history very much in keeping with what we saw when Christ Jesus was born in the earth and how Herod, an instrument of satan, tried to destroy this man child by ordering all of the infants and young children of Bethlehem to be put to death. 

          The purpose of the Church is to bring up and birth a holy offspring; this corresponds with what we read in Romans 8:19-23, For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.”  In Revelations 2 and 3 where exhortations are given to each of the Churches; at the end of each, a promise is given to him that overcomes.  God is looking for a company of overcomers that will grow up into Him who is the head even Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us the mind and purpose of God concerning the Church and her children, 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.

    14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

          The word of the Lord to us is that He wants a people of maturity, no longer little children tossed to and fro and moved by every wind of doctrine, but those who know and are established in who they are in Christ.  There is a day and time when these mature ones will be revealed in authority and power.  The purpose of the enemy is to destroy and devour them, but the purpose of God is that they would be the catalyst that would bring war in heaven where satan will be cast down and Christ’s enemies will be made his footstool.  Our calling today is to grow up into Him in all things, to be the overcomers and those who would set creation free as His fullness and authority is revealed in this man child. Is this not what Paul saw when he said in Philippians 3:12-16, “12Not 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.”

 

Blessings,
#kent

The River of God

May 17, 2018

 

The River of God

 

Revelations 22:1-2

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations.

 

I believe that through the ages of time there runs a river of life from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  It is a river of Truth and Revelation that God is unfolding to mankind as it flows to the consummation of the ages.  Christ, the Lamb of God, is the greatest truth this river has brought to mankind.  We know that He indeed is the Tree of Life that was there even in the Garden of Eden.  This river has ever been a source of blessing and spiritual fruitfulness.  Psalms 46:2-5 says, “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. [There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High. God [is] in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, [and that] right early.”  It is my prayer that you have been baptized and immersed in that river today, that you are, in fact, the wellspring of the life that is in that river.  That river is not a natural one, but that of the Spirit of God that flows through humanity in the lives of those who are yielded to Him.  When we are in the center of His Life we are in that river.  Jesus says in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”

It is producing the fruitfulness of the Spirit in your life.  There is a divine dispensation of that tree of Life in the midst of the river.  It yielded its fruit every month.  Through the Word of God and over time we have seen God revealing Himself more and more to man.  The greatest revelation has been in the revelation of Himself through the incarnate man Christ Jesus.  In Christ we see what God looks like in the flesh, how He acts and the fruit of His life.  We caught the vision and experienced the revelation of His grace and salvation through His blood.  When all around is shaken and moved we still have a river that makes glad the city of God.

Through the church age we have seen different marked times when God would raise up and an individual or individuals through whom He would reveal a greater truth about Himself.  The greatest tragedy we see in this is not that the truths were not real and precious, but men built a doctrine and a religion around that truth, it became a source of exclusiveness where they saw themselves a little more right and perhaps a little more godly than others.  So they established churches, denominations and schools around that particular doctrine of truth.  Today we see all these denominations and we wonder can they all be right or which one is right?  God is not “a” doctrine or “a” truth, He is “the” Truth. The River of Truth that is never stagnant or still, but continues to flow and reveal itself in greater truth. The denominations have become the product of man’s work that have served to often splinter and divide the body of Christ rather that which causes it to function in unity and oneness as God purposed it too. If this is where you see your life today 1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  It is not to say that churches aren’t good and that we can’t learn from other men, but don’t relinquish the teacher you have within you, the anointing that is leading you into truth as you abide in Him.  This is your River.  We don’t want to find ourselves in the little eddy by the side of the river that just flows round and round but never goes anywhere new.  We want to be out in the depths of the river moving and continually growing in the swell of its Truth.  As part of that mainstream of the River of God we carry the fruit and fruitfulness of the Tree of Life for the healing of the nations.  You are the leaves and the fruit of the Vine.  It is through you and me that God is manifesting His Life and Truth to the world today through the Life giving and revealing Spirit of Truth within us.  We are not to be a stagnant pond of ‘has-beens” who once experienced God and know about God, but are not experiencing Him in power and fullness.  If this sounds too much like you then it is time to wade back out into the River and experience the baptism of renewal and refreshing that the Holy Spirit brings.  Come alive and be a part of the pure crystal waters and a part of the tree of Life for the healing of the nations.  Our God is a dynamic force.  He is never stale, stagnant or complacent, but is always moving.  Get in His current and let it carry you to the places of Life in Him He wants to take you.

Blessings,

#kent

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