In the Heart of a Servant

 

John 13:13-15

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am.

If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet;

ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given

you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

 

Lay your burdens at My feet,

Come to Me heavy of heart.

Bow yourself before My Mercy Seat,

There My grace I will impart.

 

You are weighed down with many cares,

You are anxious to the point of despair.

Am I a God who does not hear,

Or whose arm is short to those who fear?

 

Humbly approach my throne,

A broken and contrite heart I will not despise.

I am there for you in your time of need,

Let faith well up to dispel all lies.

 

My grace is sufficient for all of your need,

Your faith must take you beyond what you see.

I often work beyond the immediate need,

Trust that extends beyond sight is the key.

 

You only see the external natural realm,

But I work in the eternal, My will to perform.

You may not understand My hand,

But you can trust My heart through every storm.

 

I came not as one to be served,

But I walked with you as a servant King.

I revealed My heart by giving all for you,

Will you trust in Me for your everything?

 

A servant’s place is not appreciated in the world,

Often they are despised, used and taken for granted.

So have men, even believers, regarded Me,

But it is in the servant that My heart is planted.

 

Regard not lightly the call to serve,

It is regarded in heaven as the place of honor.

A servant’s heart I will esteem and preserve,

On this truth you need to dwell and ponder.

Blessing,

#kent

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Count Nothing as too Insignificant for God

 

Matthew 4:15-21

And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying, This is a desert place, and the time is now past; send the multitude away, that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals. But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart; give ye them to eat.  And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes. He said, Bring them hither to me And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to [his] disciples, and the disciples to the multitude And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.

I was pondering the story of the feeding of the multitude and how Jesus told his disciples, “you give them to eat.”  What happens to us when we receive a word from God to do something that is seemingly impossible to us?  We have no clue about how we could do it, but all we can think of is to find out what resources we have to work with.  That is what the disciples did.  All they could find is one little boy with a lunch of five loaves and two fishes.  Now what if that little boy had taken the attitude when the disciples told Jesus, “all we have is five loaves and two fishes,” and the little boy said, “what is this we”?  “Do you have a mouse in your pocket?  This is my lunch; these people should have come better prepared.  They aren’t my problem.  I’m not giving up my lunch to try and feed all of them.”  We never even hear that it was a concern or reservation on the little boy’s part.  He, in child-like faith, gave all that he had at the request of Jesus.  It is hard for me, and probably others of us as well, to sometimes be willing to let go of what we have for a greater good.  We think, “what difference is my little bit going to make.  Besides I worked hard for it and if I give it up there may not be enough.”  What do we do when God asks us to do the impossible?  Are we willing to give up the little that we have to trust Him for a greater increase or will we hold tightly to the little?  Every step of faith that we take demands that we step out of our security and comfort zone to believe for something more than we can see or that we have yet experienced.

When God sent Elijah to the widow’s home as she was fixing her last cake to feed her and her son before they died, what did Elijah ask her?  1 Kings 17:10-15 gives this account, “Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land. 8 Then the word of the LORD came to him: 9 “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12 “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” 13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.’ ”

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah.”  When God ask us for our little insignificant something, even though it is significant to us, be willing to open your hand and trust with your heart.  We have to be willing to place something into the Lord’s hand for Him to be able to bless it and give it the increase.

Let’s be honest, it is hard for us to give up our security, but then it is all His to begin with.  If we are truly giving our utmost of His highest then it will start with the little things.  The things we are clenching tightly in our fists.  What you consider as small and inconsequential to God may be the key you are holding to unlock the richness of His blessing, but we have to take it out of our hand and put that key in the door.  Some of us are struggling with releasing what we consider ours.  Give wherever God tells you to give and release whatever He asks you to let go of.  That five little loaves and two fishes might be what feeds a multitude and you won’t go hungry in the process.  The Lord is not looking for what you can produce in your strength, but what you will trust Him to produce through your obedience, trust and willingness to give.

Blessings,

#kent

The Place of Rest

June 27, 2018

1 Samuel13:5-10

The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.

Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings. ” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.

 

The Place of Rest

 

This passage about Saul really speaks to the times of the testing of our faith that God brings us to in our lives.  One of the most difficult concepts for us to learn and submit to is the “Rest of God”.  We know we have God’s word and promises, but like Saul when fear is all around us and the situation is critical it is very hard for us not to get anxious and impatient.

Samuel was the prophet and priest of God to offer up the burnt offering.  He is spirit man of intercession who spiritually prepared the troops for battle.  What we have here is a type of the body in the fearful and restless soldiers of Israel.  The souls typified by King Saul and the man of the spirit is exemplified by Samuel.  How many of us have ever been in situations where we were trying to wait on God, but the situation was getting critical and God was running late?  In fact, we began to wonder if He was even going to show up at all.  It says of Saul, ” He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter.”  Now there is an appointed time for the man of God, the spirit man, to show up, but God seems to often wait until that last hour before He reveals Himself.  It is in the those last hours that our circumstances seem to be falling apart all around and all hell is breaking out that we begin to get out of faith and into doubt, fear and unbelief.  The soul starts succumbing to the same anxiousness that our body has been feeling for some time now.  When we are in faith, trusting in God’s Word, we are in a position of REST. Quite honestly, in the natural Saul didn’t have much of a chance to win this battle against the odds of the Philistines in the natural.  His only real hope of winning was to maintain his position of Rest in God.  As so often can happen with us, we grow impatient with God, assuming He is not going to show up, so we take matters into our own hands.  We do our homage by saying, “God bless the works of my hands,” and then we go about doing what we were going to do.  When we make that decision, we just missed a crucial time in our obedience and position in the Spirit. We just set stepped out of our position of the Rest of God and into reacting to the circumstances, motivated by our fear and unbelief that God was not going to move on our behalf.

Seven days Saul was appointed to wait.  Seven is God’s number.  It is the number of His Rest, even as the scriptures say in Genesis, “so on the seventh day God rested from all His work.”  We are now standing in the seventh day, the day of the Lord.  The enemies gathered before us are vast in number.  Outwardly we want to fear and quake, but inwardly in our heart and soul, we had better know that there is no victory outside of the Rest of God.  Only in Him, in His timing and in His way are we going to be able to triumph over our enemies.  The old religious way of doing it our way in the name of God isn’t going to work anymore.  God is removing His Kingdom from the religious man’s hands and placing it into the hand of the ones who know how to wait.  They know that their victory is not in getting in a hurry to confront the enemy, but it is in entering into the praise, worship and Rest of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  The battle and the victory must first be won inwardly, before it can manifest outwardly. 

Saul lost his position that day, because he yielded to his anxious heart and his fearful body.  He moved out of the position of Rest and disqualified himself from the kingdom purpose for which he was called. Many of us are finding ourselves in hard positions today.  Everything around is screaming, “you got to do something.”  The something we have to do is to Rest and wait upon the Lord. We don’t want to dare move outside His Spirit’s leading and His timing.  God’s time isn’t our time, but our time must become His time.  That is the place of Rest and victory.

We would close with this appropriate exhortation from Hebrews 4:1-11.  “Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. 3Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said,

“So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.” 5And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience. 7Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before:

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.”

Blessings,

#kent

Half Baked

June 26, 2018

 

Hosea 7:8  Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

 

Half Baked

 

 

This passage from the book of Hosea was written during a time when Israel was in a state of rebellion against God.  Ephraim is the description of Israel.  The context of this passage is describing the spiritual condition of the country in that day.

It wouldn’t be a far stretch at all to parallel the condition of Israel in that day with the spiritual condition of the United States in our day.  The attitude and condition of the hearts have become much the same.  Whether we realize it or not, a study of history will bear out the truth that God providentially set the land apart for his Name, a type of Promise Land set apart for a people of His calling.  Its foundation is based on the constitution, laws and government that were mostly forged out of the Word of God and godly principles.   While a majority of the country says they believe in God and many call themselves Christians, what is the spiritual state of the union today?  Let’s get a little more personal.  We, who are the professing Christians of this nation, what is our state?  Have we become like Ephraim who mixed himself among the people?  Is that anything like our mixing ourselves with the world?  It says Ephraim was a cake not turned.  How many of us are half-baked Christians today, spiritual on one side and fleshly on the other?  Many of us started well, but perhaps we have grown weary in well doing or the cares and enticements of the world have come in to corrupt and pollute our spiritual walk and lives.

God loves us.  He has spoken into my heart at times when my eyes and heart were not pure;  ” I have called you for higher things.”  Doesn’t He speak that to all of us who love Him and are called by His Holy Name?

Many of us have been called and feel we have had a vision of God using our lives in some special way for some higher purpose.  Perhaps over the years, through the trials and the tears, our vision has faded and we may be stumbling or losing our way.   God is calling us again to renew our vows, repent of the areas of our lives that are out of His will and return unto Him with our whole hearts.  God has not given up on us.  He wants to finish baking us, which brings more heat, but He wants s a fully baked cake to feed the nations and bring them life and spiritual nourishment.  Let us arise today and turn fully back to our Lord who saved us and trust Him to complete that work He has started in us.  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Blessings,

#kent

Wounded Hearts

June 25, 2018

 

Wounded Hearts

 

Psalms 109:22

For I [am] poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

 

All of us have known those times in our lives when we have experienced a broken heart; the deep emotional wound or pain that tears our world apart.  It most often comes when a strong emotional bond or tie is broken.  Someone we deeply love is taken away from us.  It could be through death or the breaking of a deep emotional friendship or love for another person.  It can also come from a spiritual separation that we feel from the Lord.  Whatever the reason or the cause of our heartbreak, most of us have experienced the immense pain and hurt we feel inwardly and emotionally.  In those times it seems that no words of comfort or sympathetic friends can really touch or remove the pain we feel within us.  Usually, only time can begin to fade and temper that pain we have felt so strongly and so deeply.  Time and God’s ministering Spirit are the two greatest comforters and healers that we have.  We are thankful for the friends and those who care about us and stand by us in those times.  They can try an offer us some perspective and comfort, but they can’t reach in and take away the tremendous pain and loss we feel when our heart is broken.

There is no one like a father, whose lap we can crawl up on when our world falls apart.  There is no one like the security and warmth we feel when our head is buried in His chest and he gently and lovingly holds us in his embrace.  It is a warm and secure place. Somehow, we know it will be okay eventually.  In the interim of that healing we are hid in that womb of love and security.  That is a description of how Father God is there for us who put our trust and confidence in Him.  A part of life, are both, the loves and the losses we experience.  Both bring with them strong emotional feelings in opposite directions, but both are a very real part of life experience.  The wonderful thing is that God is always there to add gravity and sanity to what can be an insane world.  He has given us the Comforter, His very own Spirit to be near to us and help us.  He has given us His Son, which has paid the price for all the pain of our sin sick world and ever lives to make intercession for us.  God is indeed near to the broken hearted.

There is an area in our lives where it is good that we have a broken heart.  When we come to that place of truth and revelation of who God is and what we have been, it breaks our heart.  We truly see what an offence we have been to the God that loves us so through our sin, rebellion and selfishness.   It brings us to a place that we need to all be far more often, the place of brokenness and humility before the Lord.  Psalms 51:17 tells us, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” When we maintain an attitude of true brokenness and repentance of our sin and failure before God, He looks compassionately upon us and lifts us up when we are bowed down.  This emotional and spiritual hurt within us is a good hurt that leads us to repentance and reconciliation with our Heavenly Father.  It keeps us in an attitude of reverence, respect and humility before Him.  It helps us to put Him in proper perspective in our lives as the sovereign Lord and Savior of all.  It helps us to grasp how great His love, how deep His grace and how merciful His loving-kindness towards us who were once His enemies, but now have experienced the wonderful adoption and inheritance of children of the Most High God through the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son!  Why should we not hate our sin and hurt for its offence to a God that has loved us so?  This wounded heart God will not despise, but He will receive the sacrifice of true repentance and remorse of our sins.   He will heal us, lift us up and set joy back into our hearts.  Only our God could love us and forgive us with such an everlasting and incomprehensible love.  Allow Him to anoint your wounds and heal your heart today.

Blessings,

#kent

Rocky Places

June 22, 2018

Matthew 13:3-6

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

 

 

Rocky  Places

 

In the parable of the sower Jesus give several scenarios of the seed.  The seed was the kingdom message as Jesus states in verse 19.  The soil is the condition of the heart that receives the seed.  The rocky places are those places where we have developed a hardness of heart and cynicism about the word.  At first we receive it and embrace it, but then we begin analyze it and rationalize it.  We begin to side with the intellect of the mind and the wisdom of men, rather than the wisdom of God.  Because of this natural thinking and reasoning our faith is bound up and the root of our faith finds no depth in which to grow.

There are those of us who walking on rocky ground in our lives.  The message of Christ and His kingdom initially sounds good to us, but we are struggling with the natural mind and reasoning.  Romans 8 teaches us that to be naturally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  There are those who must make the decision to break up the rocky ground, the hardness of heart, doubt, fear and unbelief.  If there is no place for the root to go, the planting of the kingdom message will wither and die, along with your spirit.  Dare to trust yourself to the One who has given His Word and His life to back it up.  Dare to break free of the rocky confines of doubt and unbelief.  Others may think you the fool, but God takes the foolish things to confound the wise.  Be wise and rid your heart of those rocky places.

Blessings,

#kent

 

The Crown of our Legacy

June 21, 2018

 

The Crown of our Legacy

1Thessalonians 2:19

For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

 

Recently on a trip down into southern Colorado I had some time alone where I was just scouting the countryside and doing some photography.  Old broken down cabins, homesteads and a cemetery happened to be interesting subjects that I found that day.  It is always good that when we have these times we ask the Holy Spirit to speak into our hearts lessons and truths that can help us in daily living.  As I look back on this particular day I remember thinking who were these people that lived in this old cabin and who were these people that now rest in this old cemetery dating back to the early 1900’s?  Then you begin to think who will remember me fifty to a hundred years from now.  When we begin to think of our mortality; we begin to think of the brevity of life and how quickly it is here and gone.  We think about the meaning of our lives and the impact we have had during our lifetime.  How will people remember us?  How will God remember us?  Did we make a difference in the lives of others and the world around us or did we just exist to ourselves and for ourselves?  These are haunting questions we all tend to ask ourselves from time to time. 

            When we look at the life of the apostle Paul we see the importance and the eternal value He placed on the lives He discipled into Christ.  His focus wasn’t on material success, or his education, or where He had been or what He had done.  It was on the difference He made in the lives of others spiritually.  What a crown and legacy Paul has in the kingdom of God, because His whole life was dedicated to seeing others come too and grow up into Christ.  Because of that passion and ministry, much of Christianity has grown and been nurtured from the writings and teachings of Paul to the early churches.  Paul will never be forgotten in earth or heaven because of the legacy He left behind. 

            Don’t we desire to have that kind of impact on the lives of others and especially our children and families?  What a heartbreak it is when parents have laid down their lives for their children and done all that they could to instill Christ and the children turn away and reject this most precious gift they have sought to give.  Yet, despite what the outward circumstances say, they will persevere in prayer and faith to see those loved ones return. 

            Philippians 4:1 starts by saying, Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, [my] dearly beloved.”  Those ones that Paul helped birth into the kingdom of God were his children.  They were his godly seed, birthed and brought up for the glory of God.  In Malachi 2:15, talking in reference to the marriage covenant and the reason God created marriage it says,”Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”  If we value what God values then we must know that God is looking for godly seed in the earth.  Whether it is in our natural children whom we should be raising in the fear and admonition of the Lord or those we lead to a personal relationship in Christ.  It is not just about the birth, that is only the beginning.  Jesus tells us Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”  God is looking for spiritual parents to disciple and raise up His spiritual children to maturity.  This is our legacy.  This is what we want to be remembered for in heaven and in earth, that we made a difference in the lives of others and helped them become the godly seed that God desires. That seed perpetuates itself in others leaving us a joy and a crown that we can rejoice in when see them in Christ at His coming.  Let us live to leave an eternal legacy.

Blessings,

#kent

 

The Pothole of Self Pity

 

Jonah 4:1-4

But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry.  And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, I pray thee, O LORD, [was] not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that thou [art] a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for [it is] better for me to die than to live.  Then said the LORD, Doest thou well to be angry?

 

In the Word of God perhaps Jonah serves as kind of the poster child of self-pity.  He had to go where he didn’t want to go, preach to a people he didn’t want to preach too, and then see God’s mercy toward them when they repented, that he didn’t want to see.  He made no bones that he had an attitude concerning the matter.  So he is just telling the Lord to end his life, it’s not worth living any more.

While it is easy for the reader to see how wrong Jonah’s attitude was, he didn’t see it and most of the time we don’t really see it in us either.

I really think the enemy tries to feed our minds with thoughts of how unfair life is to us and how we so often are mistreated, abused, neglected or unappreciated.  That is not to say that there is never any substance to these feelings, for often there are valid reasons we feel this way.  What we must guard against is the subtly of the enemy and our own self, as we tend to get our eyes on us and all of our woes.

The Lord gave me a good revelation of this in myself recently.  Request were always being made of me to do this or that which was okay, but then I began to feel that they really never seemed interested in caring and responding to my needs.  Now the thing about self-pity is that it’s like a good stew, the longer it simmers the better it gets, the more justified we feel and the more unfair life seems.  So finally it all came out and the other person had to sit and listen to all of my “woe is me”.  The truth is they probably had feelings of being neglected or taken advantage of just like I did.  Afterwards I began to get a revelation of the pothole of self-pity I had stepped into.  Here is all of this talk about how we need to lay our lives down and walk in love and all of sudden I look up and see this big old stain of selfishness in me.  Sometimes we get these wake-up calls about how shallow our love really is.  I realized that whenever I am turning inward and caring more about me than about others, I am going to be discontent and unhappy, because my needs and expectations will seldom be really met by others.  I need to be leaving those feelings with the Father, because He is the one who completes me and fulfills me.  The truth is, I am probably often going to be a disappointment to others in meeting their wants and needs just as they are in meeting mine.  How many times do needs and expectations not get met because we are living selfishly, upset about what we don’t have while we fail to consider if we are really meeting the needs in others.   This introspection usually just leads to greater and greater polarization.  That is why the Word is always exhorting us to get our eyes off ourselves and on to the needs of others.  The less place that we give to self, the less place it has to feel sorry for itself.

We often think or say, “Will, if the Lord had given me a better husband or wife, or better children, or a nicer neighbor or better Christian friends, or different relatives, I wouldn’t feel and act the way I do.  Do we ever consider that may be exactly why we have these people in our lives?  In a perfect world you will never be stretched and grow beyond where you are at.  Only opposing forces cause us to reach further, try harder, and exert more energy to overcome our opposition.  We say, “Well, that person just brings out the worst in me.”  Praise God, how would you and I ever know what was in us if we didn’t have people that revealed our true heart.  It is the irregular people in our lives that give us the opportunity to exercise and practice our Christian values.  Instead of seeing the irregular people in our lives as our problem, maybe we need to view them like our spiritual gymnasium where we can workout, exercise and practice our Christian love, values and the nature that God wants to work in us.  It is only when I see and acknowledge my sin and weakness that I can repent of it and seek the Lord’s help in overcoming it.  There is no one that can help us become more conformed to the image of Christ than our enemy.  If Jesus would have had no Judas or religious leaders to betray and falsely accuse Him, there would have been no Calvary and we would not have the salvation we are now partakers of.  Our adversity can serve to bring us up into godliness as we meet it with the Spirit and attitude of Christ.  If we have a selfish or self-centered attitude, then like Jonah we are going to become angry and bitter as we justify and feel sorry for ourselves.

Watch out for that pothole of self-pity.  It is one you can really twist your ankle on and cripple your walk.  Do all things as unto the Lord and for His glory and honor, counting it all joy that in your service you first serve Him. “Let all your things be done with Love (1 Corinthians 16:14).”

Blessings,

#kent

God Manifest

June 19, 2018

 

God Manifest

 

1 John 1:1-3

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life (For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

 

 

What a divine revelation we have of God who came down and manifested Himself in mortal flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.  Never had man seen the practical and tangible presence of God as we have in Jesus.  It is often hard in our natural thinking and reasoning to comprehend God in our world, doing what we do, struggling with what we struggle with, living in the limitations and frailties we deal with in these human bodies.  In Jesus we could readily see that picture of the reality of what God wants to be in us.  We could observe in the selfless life of Christ, that life isn’t about me, or what I become in this world with regards to the standards and accomplishments of men; it is about how yielded I am to the Father’s life in me.  His true design for you and me is to be the divine expression of His nature and character.  Most of us have fully come to terms with the fact that this isn’t going to happen through our own strength, abilities or determination.  It is only going to happen as we become less and less and He becomes more and more.  Romans 12:2 says, “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.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 says,  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  The words “transformed” and “changed” come from the Greek word “metamorphoo” from which we get our word “metamorphosis.”  We all can relate with that process wherein that grubby ugly little devouring caterpillar enters into a state in the cocoon wherein it is transformed into a beautiful winged creature that instead of devouring life becomes the perpetuator and the carrier of life as it helps pollinate flowers going from one to another.  They are transformed from the earthly to heavenly creatures.  This same type of process is taking place within us as believers as we walk by the Spirit and not after the flesh.  The Holy Spirit of God is at work in us transforming our nature and character into His.  The transformation is a spiritual act of God as we surrender and give place to His working in us.

John is communicating here that the disciples were privileged to physically handle and experience God incarnate in Jesus.  They fellowshipped with the author and creator of life.  They lived with and had a window into the very heart and nature of God Himself.  In John 14:6-10 Jesus reveals this truth of the Father in Him, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”

John says this in verse 3 of 1 John 1, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”  He says I’m here to share with you what we experienced and the revelation that we have been brought into so that you can have fellowship with me. For those of us who have been personally touched by the Christ, we know that our fellowship, our life and all that we are about is centered in the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.   As the Father was manifest in Jesus, so the Christ is manifesting in those who live and walk after the Spirit.

Are we experiencing the life changing, transforming power of God in our lives more and more each day?  That place of transformation is in His presence, pressing into the life and fellowship of the Holy Spirit.  There is a cocoon of transformation and it is where our life is hid in Christ.  There is where God becomes manifest in us.

Blessings,

#kent

God Rules

June 18, 2018

 

Psalms 18:46-50

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted, 47The God Who avenges me and subdues peoples under me, 48Who delivers me from my enemies; yes, You lift me up above those who rise up against me; You deliver me from the man of violence. 49Therefore will I give thanks and extol You, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to Your name. 50Great deliverances and triumphs gives He to His king; and He shows mercy and steadfast love to His anointed, to David and his offspring forever.

 

God Rules

 

Today’s Word is one that I felt the Lord gave me last night as I was contemplating today’s events.

Recently we decided we would like to build a studio next to our home.  I started by going to my next door neighbor and explaining my idea and why I would like to do it.  Initially he said he didn’t have a problem with it.  So I proceeded and hired a surveyor to establish the boundaries.  My neighbor then brought the covenants up to me since he is the sole person responsible for these covenants.  After studying them.  The covenants stated that you couldn’t have a commercial enterprise, but that you could have a professional office in your home with approval of the Architectural Control Committee, a.k.a. my neighbor.  I explained to him that I felt that we would be in the boundaries of the covenant, plus I had to have a variance approved by the city and go through all of the hoops for that, so it might not happen any way.  I did ask him around this point if that wasn’t a possibility to tell me now before I invested over a thousand dollars on plans and application for a variance.  It seemed he was open for me to proceed so we went forward.  Again when we presented the plans to him he seemed to be personally opposed to me building next to him and preferred another location.  Where the addition would set is at lower elevation and built into a hillside, that and a high hedge of fitzers makes it all but completely out of his view.  I explained that for a number of reasons I felt this was the best location for it.  When I asked for his approval on it, his approval was as long as we complied with the covenants and his parting words were, “go for it.”

We had to make a posting for 10 days so that anyone in the neighborhood could provide input.  I had already gone to the surrounding neighbors, explained what we were doing, the reason for the variance and had them sign if they were not opposed to it.

We were somewhat blindsided when the city planner called with a three page letter from this neighbor and objections from a number of the other neighbors.  The city looked at it strongly and asked that we first obtain a Home Occupation Permit that allows you to do business from your home under fairly strict guidelines.  We complied with all of their request and were granted the variance and the Home Occupation Permit.

My neighbor has filed an appeal and stirred up a good portion of the neighborhood in opposition to us. That brings us to today, when we have the appeal hearing.

Throughout this process I have asked the Lord’s will and asked that he close and open the doors according to His purpose and plan.  Really it is all in the Lord’s hands and He is the only one that could really open the door.  Even if I was still approved today they could appeal again or oppose me in civil a case.  What is amazing is that we find ourselves among neighbors who we have helped and blessed, standing alone.  I believe this is where God brings us sometimes so that He can show us that it is not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit.  I know that the Lord stands with us rather we build or not and that it is all in His hands.

I am reminded of Paul when he wrote in 2 Timothy 4:16-17, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge.  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”  When our back is against the wall and none seem to be for us, we know that God is for us, who can be against us.  Our faith and hope are set upon His will and purpose.  I have seen before how God is able to vindicate his own if they will set their hope and trust in Him, but we may be tried in the fire before we see it come to pass.

When you are faced with your own personal situations when all around you seem to oppose you, make sure that your security and faith rest in the Lord and not in your might and ability.  He goes before us to fight our battles and show us His mighty deliverance.

 

A post note to this story is that our primary opposing next door neighbor, along with several others opposed us with an attorney before the city planning commission.  We simply put it in the Lord’s hands.  The 10 person council ruled unanimously in our favor and we were able to build our studio. When God is for us, who can be against us?

Blessings,

#kent

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