Imitation or the Real McCoy?

 

1 John 4:17

Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

 

 

Sometimes we hear the phrase that we should be imitators of Christ.  Somehow that implies that we should try and copy His personality and lifestyle or try to be like Him in our own strength and determination.  I believe that Christ wants us to be more than just an imitation of who He is; rather I believe that He saved us, redeemed and washed us by His blood, so that we might be cleansed and experience death and release from a lower nature.  Now, by the Spirit and life that we have received by faith we might be partakers of a divine nature and not just imitators of it.  When we think of an imitation we think of a replica and copy of the original.  We need only to look around us and see a world full of people that will say they believe in God or are Christians, but in no way resemble Christ in their words, actions and deeds.  Is our Christianity in word only?  Are you an imitation of your earthly father and his family or are you of the same substance, bloodline and heritage of your family? Do you just pretend to be your family name or are you known to be of that family name, all that it is and represents?

We so often depersonalize Christ and the Father out of our lives.  We consider them an add-on or someone who is real, but not really part of who we are and where we live.   Do we want to be imitations or the real McCoy?  This is what we have to lay hold of, not just once, but everyday and every moment of our lives, that we are Christ’s.  He is now our life, the substance of our name, which is His name, nature and who we are.  We may not see all that He is, produced within us at this point, but we are still undeniably of His family and of His blood.  How can we come into what He is if we always perceive ourselves as outside of Him and not a part of Him?  In order to know this family and the nature of it, we have to be an intricate part of its daily function and life.  We have to have fellowship and relationship.  The values, principles and discipline of this family are now ours because this is who we are.  Christ in you is your hope of glory, not just a religious appearance of piety and outward profession.  Christ is in us to transform our hearts and minds to who He is.  We can’t do that if we are still focused on who we were.  Who are you now?   Who is your father?   Who is your family?  If you are declaring without hesitation or reservation that you are of Christ, His Father and His family then you are no longer an imitation you are the real thing.  We will never make the proclamation that we are greater than the Master, but neither should we ever shrink away from the fact that we are anything less than His joint-heir with Him, nor have anything less than His same life and Spirit within us.  He is our head and we are His body and together we are one man in Christ.

Let us not be cheap imitations of the Christian faith; let our lives be the real McCoy!

Blessings,

#kent

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Undefiled

July 27, 2018

Revelations 3:4-6

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

 

Undefiled

 

What is the Spirit speaking here about clothes that are not soiled or as the King James Version states it, “defiled”? This word “not defiled” indicates that it speaking of those without compromise.  The Greek definition for this word soiled or defiled in the Lexicon is to “pollute, contaminate, stain, defile.  It is used in NT of those who have not kept themselves pure from the defilement’s of sin, who have soiled themselves by fornication and adultery.”

Now let’s look at the first part of this passage to the church of Sardis in Revelations 3: 1-3, “”To the angel of the church in Sardis write:

These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”

What the Lord is speaking to us today is that for many of us in this hour who are Christians, our defilement has often been fornication and adultery, both in a physical and spiritual sense of the word.  We have not kept ourselves pure before the Lord and our lives have often been those of compromise that stained and soiled our hearts from purity before the Lord.  Outwardly we may have a reputation that we are alive in Christ and are seen as spiritual, but God knows our hearts and He is saying that some of us are dead.  The Spirit is not speaking this to our condemnation, but that we might repent and avoid His judgement.  He says, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”  For many of us, we love the Lord in our hearts, but our lives are full of compromise and defilement.  The Spirit is speaking a strong word directly into our hearts today to repent, turn from our fornication and adultery, both of flesh and spirit and draw near to Him.  1 John 1:8-10 says, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”  The Lord can and will cleanse our defilement, but we must first move out of our place of justification and denial of our sin.  If we have sin, we must acknowledge it as such and repent of it.  Only then can we receive our forgiveness and be cleansed from it.

It is the person without defilement, stain or compromise that the Lord is looking for in this hour.  It is this type of person the Lord says is he or she who overcomes.  These will be those that are dressed in white, which speaks of the righteousness of Christ.  Their name will never be blotted out of the book of life.  We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, but God is exhorting us to no longer use our former sinful nature as our crutch and excuse to continue in sin.  1 John 1:6-7 tells us, “If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”  We may not yet be perfect, but we must walk in an attitude and spirit of righteousness and purity.

Read carefully 1 John 2:1-6 for, in summary, it is what the Spirit is speaking to our hearts today, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 3We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

Blessings,

#kent

Luke 18:18-29

18A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 19″Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.'” 21″All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said. 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth. 24Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” 26Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?” 27Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.” 28Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!” 29″I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.”

              

Hidden Issues of the Heart

 

               We never truly see the fiber and the substance of our being until we are stretched beyond the boundaries of our comfort and norm.  There we see the flaws often hidden from sight.  We can oftentimes see ourselves much like this rich young ruler if we are willing to acknowledge it.  We love and have a zeal for God.  We try to keep His word and commandments.  We feel in our hearts that we truly love God.  We want to serve Him and we hunger and want more of Him.  We acknowledge that we have already done the fundamental requirements. 

               “We have done all of these Jesus, what more do I need to do?” 

               When Jesus puts His finger on our true heart issues.  He goes where we don’t want Him to go.  He goes to those little sanctuaries and strongholds of self that hold our affections.  It is those areas that often we don’t even realize how much they mean to us until we are asked to give them up.   For the rich young ruler it was his riches and wealth.  It had become what defined who he was and his identity was in his position and wealth rather than in God.  When Jesus touched on His heart issue it made the young man very sorrowful.  The Greek word here conveys that it was sorrow as to cause one’s death, a deep grief and grieving.  Jesus asks him to exchange his riches on earth for the riches of the kingdom of heaven.   He couldn’t bring himself to do what Jesus asked of him. 

               Most of us want to continue on and be content with where we are spiritually.  When we begin to really hunger for more of God and ask God for more, then we have to be willing to pay the price.  We have to be willing to deal with our heart issues and the little strongholds of self that we still want to hold on too.  It grieves us to give them up, but we can never give up something, but what He will not give us so much more, if not in this life, then in the life to come. 

               When the Lord allows circumstances and people to come into our lives that stretch us out of our comfort zones.  It is there that we begin to often see how shallow our love really is, how easily we are often offended and put out with those who step on our toes and our rights.  What God shows me is that there is far more of me there than I want to acknowledge and lay claim too.  When He stretches me and proves me and sounds the depths of my heart that is when I often find how shallow the waters of His love are in me.  If we want more of God then there is always more of a relinquishment of self.  The way of obtaining and walking in resurrection life is through the cross and through the death of this former man.  We can mentally and spiritually aspire to it, but it has to become substance in our lives. 

               There is an old saying that “no one can get your goat, unless you have a goat to be got.”  How many goats are we still hanging onto?   We must not fail the challenge that the rich young ruler had.  The things of this earth are perishing and passing away, but His life is eternal and His riches endure forever.  “What is impossible with men, is possible with God.”  Lord help us to not turn from you, but press into You even when it cost us everything.  Help us to do what seems impossible to us, because with You all things are possible. 

Blessings,

#kent

 

His Provision

July 25, 2018

Philippians 4:19

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

 

His Provision

 

As I spent time with the Lord this morning I talked with Him about provision and blessings, not just for our needs, but for the needs of the body of Christ.  So many are struggling in these times.  You can imagine my delight as I came this morning to write and the Lord spoke into my spirit Philippians 4:19. I had no idea that this was the content of the scripture when He spoke it to me.

For over a year now I have been hearing the Lord speak about divine provision through the things that I’ve heard Him speaking, but honestly I haven’t seen those expectations manifest yet, but just as honestly I continue to have the faith and confidence that the Lord is our provision.  There are areas that He is dealing with in our lives and with the body in general.

One of those areas is in the unity and the function of the body.  We are like a husband and wife with separate checking accounts and finances.  We are possessive of our own things.  We haven’t yet begun to move in the area of unity that Christ has called us too.  We are fearful of being taken advantage of or we are jealous that someone else appears to be blessed more than we are.  There are dynamics within the body of Christ that we need to move past, because truly most of us aren’t operating out of kingdom principles.  If we don’t have the kingdom principles down then we are never going to see the kingdom power manifest.   Just as there are rules of aerodynamics there are rules of kingdom dynamics.  If we ever want to see our lift out of this earthly and into the heavenly then we all need to begin to apply these kingdom principles.  The body doesn’t work where one member supplies every other member’s need; it works as we jointly supply one another’s needs.

One of the areas so many of us need to release to God is in the areas of our finances.  We have become so fearful that we tend to horde what we have and dole it our quite sparingly.  We not only rob the body, we rob God and even more, we rob ourselves.  A seed planted will always produce more than a seed eaten.  There is a need for the body of Christ to begin moving back to the book of Acts principles of having all things in common.  It doesn’t mean that we don’t have things that are personal, but that we are all more willing to share of the resources and the talents that we all possess.  We are family.  If we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone then the same holds true for those who are our brothers and our sisters in Christ.  We are each other’s responsibility.  Maybe you don’t have finances, but you are skillful in building, or sowing or accounting.  I am reminded again of  Haggai 1:3-6, “Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.”

God is telling us why there is such lack in our lives and in the body of Christ in general.  We are still dwelling in the houses of our making, our agenda, our own prosperity, while God’s house lies in ruin.  God’s promise to us is that if we build His house first we will see blessing in our own lives.  This is that promise that He gave me a year ago.  He concludes it in Haggai 2:15-19 by saying, “” ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD’s temple. 16 When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. 17 I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,’ declares the LORD. 18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.

‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”

It isn’t God that is withholding our blessing, it is us.  His desire is to bless us, but we have to get things in order in our personal lives as well as our spiritual lives for the Lord to be able to release to us our divine provision.  We are moving into times where it is more and more important that we learn the value of corporate unity and oneness in the sharing of our resources.  It is no longer about us as individuals living the American dream, filling our pockets and others be damned.  We are about putting each other’s needs before our own, reaching out in the love of Christ and often personal sacrifice to meet the needs in one another.  This is building the house of the Lord.  This is the restoration of the unity that Christ longs to see in His body.

We are the stewards of the Lord.  In order for a Stewart to be entrusted with much, he must prove himself first faithful in little.  Do not despise the days of small beginnings for they are the foundation stones to the days of greatness and blessing.  Let us be faithful where we are at and with what we have.  Be willing to give of yourself to the body in all of the areas that you are blessed and gifted.  Isn’t this what God is looking for in His people?  God is able to meet all of our needs according to His riches in Christ Jesus, but there are hindrances that we must deal with first.  We are all looking to God for our needs to be met and He is looking to us to start meeting the needs in one another and to faithfully give to Him what is His.   If we will follow kingdom principles we will see kingdom results.

Blessings,

#kent

Overcoming Temptation

July 24, 2018

1 Peter 5:8

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

 

Overcoming Temptation

 

If you have an enemy or an opponent that you are up against what is it that you must do to defeat them?  Obviously you won’t assault them in their strengths; you will look for their weaknesses and vulnerabilities.  This is how satan stalks us, looking for our weaknesses and vulnerabilities where he might find entrance and gain ground to ultimately defeat and destroy us.  Jesus is very clear about the purpose of the enemy and His purpose in John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.”  Satan’s purpose and mission is to take us out.  Knowing this the Word exhorts us to be self-controlled and alert.  I took the time to look up the root meaning of the Greek words that were used here and basically it is telling us to not get caught up in our passions and  feelings, but to always be looking at ourselves objectively and with introspection.  In other words let the spirit man judge your intent, actions and life.  Be prudent and wise in all of the decisions and choices that you make.  Consider the consequences of all that you do.   How many of us have wanted to do something so bad that we just shut out the voices of reason and restraint and just did it anyway.  It was great for the moment, but then at some point the consequences of our actions caught up with us and we may have later greatly regretted that action or decision, but we can’t ever take it back.  The enemy is always out to ensnare and entrap you.  Jesus says, “be wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.”  You have to understand the mind and intent of your adversary and guard your heart, so that you don’t stumble into the temptations that are placed before you.

There are those times we find ourselves head to head with our adversary. There is a wrestling and a battle going on.  This is where we must resist and oppose the strong urges of temptation and sin.  James 4:7 exhorts us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  2 Timothy 2:22-23 exhorts us, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

This is our strategy for opposing our adversary.  We don’t sit and reason with him, we oppose him and flee from his temptations.  If we start to reason and rationalize our mind will justify our actions.  The enemy is like that prostitute that wants to woo us into sin.  Proverbs 7 describes her very well and the end of her ways is the grave and the pathway to hell.

“But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:11-12)”

Blessings,

#kent

Divine Health

July 23, 2018

 

Divine Health

 

Isaiah 53:5

But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 

There is a spectrum of beliefs about divine healing across Christendom today, ranging from it doesn’t exist to every aspect of health is a matter of faith.  It is not the intent to debate these points, but to communicate what the Word of God has to say on this subject and how the Holy Spirit would help us to believe and appropriate it’s truths.  Most of us, as believers in Christ, if indeed we are believers, have no problem accepting by faith that Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. We embrace by faith in Him that He has washed away our sins, casting them as far as the East is from the West, into the sea of forgetfulness, never to remembered anymore.  I dare say many of us probably struggle more with forgiving ourselves than God does with forgiving us.  This is probably true of the aspect of our healing as well.  If indeed we believe in the cross and the power of Christ to forgive our sins and the truth that we are saved by His grace.  If we can truly believe that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus as the Word declares we are then we can no more deny the other aspects of our salvation.  Isaiah, written hundreds of years before the crucifixion of Christ, prophesies very accurately of this great act of sacrifice and salvation that would come through our Christ.  Part of that salvation encompasses divine healing as our scripture today indicates.  If we don’t want to believe that, then we can make attempts to explain it away as we do with other passages that don’t fit our theology, but the fact is ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8).’

God in his covenant with Israel, when He was about to bring them into the promise land declares in Exodus 15:26: “He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.”” If this promise was true of the old covenant how much more so by the new covenant of Christ blood?  The Word of God bears witness that our God is a healing God, healing us physically, emotionally and spiritually.  Jeremiah 17:14 says, “Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou [art] my praise.”  David says of the Lord in Psalms 103:3, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;” He shows how health and salvation are tied closely together.

Now some of you may be saying, “well I prayed and God didn’t heal me”.  Why, because you don’t see the evidence of it?  You believe that you are saved, do you see yourself fully walking without sin and in the full manifest nature of Christ?   This is probably not the case.  We have the foretaste of the Spirit, but it’s fullness we still await.  What can take place in the spiritual realm is not always immediately revealed in the natural realm.  This is where we struggle, because we have to see it to believe it.  Treat your healing as you do your salvation.  If you do not doubt that Christ can and has saved you, then accept and receive healing the same way.  Praise and thank Him for what He has done, not just what you see with the natural eye.

1 Peter reiterates what Isaiah says in 1Peter 2:24, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” As much as the nails purchased our salvation, those stripes paid for our healing.  How God works in this area is varied and different.  We can’t put God in a box and regulate his miraculous working with a magic formula, God is God and He works all things after the council of His will and purpose.  This we do know, God is healing and raising people up from sickness and even death, every day.  What He has done for others, He can do for you.  Lay hold of His Word, confess, believe and rest in His promises.  He is the Lord your God that heals you.  May our health trials be but the greater motivation to praise Him, to remember and declare all the areas of His faithfulness.  The greater our pain, the higher our praise as we declare the light of His truth in the face of our darkness.  The victory is won in the heavenlies, before it is revealed in the earth.  God is faithful to see you through.

Blessings,

#kent

Poor in Spirit

July 20, 2018

 

Poor in Spirit

 

Matthew 5:3

Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

 

There is a parable that Jesus gave about a young man who thought he was very rich.  He demanded his inheritance from his father and then set out to enjoy all that wealth.  We find it wasn’t a long time before he had spent up all of his money on wild living and when all was gone, so were his so called friends.  In the days to follow the young man came to a startling revelation.  He was no longer rich, there was no longer security, there was no longer a family, or even daily provision.  He was forced to take a job caring for pigs, just to share corn husks and trash food that was feed to them.

Many of us go through life and as long as our outward needs are met and things are going well we may never come to a revelation of how poor we truly are.  It is usually when we come to the end of ourselves, our resources and feel the gnawing of hunger and emptiness in our soul that we make the discovery of how poor we really are.  It is in the acknowledgement of this state that we are in a position to do something about it.  Like the story of the Prodigal Son, we realize we are feeding on cornhusk and the emptiness of this natural life.  Meanwhile our spiritual man is wretched, blind and naked.  Even as Christians we can be so caught up in playing church and pretending religion that we think we have it all and yet that isn’t the way God perceives us at all.   Religion may be among the things we acknowledge in our lives or a liturgy and practice we perform out of duty to God, but it isn’t our passion, our desire and our greatest need.  We may be out of position with God altogether and not even realize it because we are going through the motions of life and spirituality.

How would we evaluate our relationship with Christ today?  Would it be hot, lukewarm or cold?  Many of us would have to admit that we are somewhere in the area of lukewarm.

“What’s wrong with lukewarm?  That’s good enough isn’t it?”

That is not a good place to be, for the Word makes it quite clear that God doesn’t enjoy the taste of lukewarm.  Revelations 3:15-19 may be the Lord’s personal rebuke and exhortation to us if we are in this state.  “I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! 17For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see. 19Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].”   Our outward perceptions of ourselves are not always accurate and true.  Many of us want to live out of a surface relationship with God like we do with many of our friends.  You know how you meet an acquaintance on the street and you say, “Hi, how are you doing?”

“Oh, I’m fine.  How are you?”

“I am doing well, thank you. Good talking to you.  Have a nice day”

That about sums up the depth many of us may have with God.  God isn’t real interested in surface relationships.  He is a God of intimacy and depth.  He wants to know and deal with the true and deepest issues of our heart and life, but we are always going around saying, “I’m fine, you’re fine, everything is fine.”  We are living a lie.  We are not acknowledging our true state before Him and He can’t meet us at our point of real need until we are willing to acknowledge how poor in spirit we truly are.

In Isaiah 66:1-2, God tells us, “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?

2For 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.”  It is only the person that acknowledges how truly broken, wretched, blind and naked they are that is open and ready to allow God to meet their need.  Like the story of the Prodigal Son, the Father is ever looking for the return of His son, longing for him and never ceasing to love him.  He can do nothing for him until the son gets a revelation of his true state of being where he is disconnected and out of fellowship with the Father; that is us.  Only in the revelation of spiritual poverty can we acknowledge our need and know that it is only in intimate relationship with the Father God that our spirits are made rich and prosper.

What is the condition of our spirit today?

Blessings,

#kent

Presumptuous Sin

July 20, 2018

James 4:13-17

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

 

Presumptuous Sin

 

               How many of us walk day by day asking God’s will and purpose to be done in and through our lives?  Most of us already have our agenda’s set, our plans and schedules made and our daily routines formed.  This scripture from James might jar our awareness that the life we live so routinely is not about our plans and agendas, they are about God’s.  How many opportunities and blessings are missed because what we have to do is more important than being in tune with the Holy Spirit to allow Him move through us in a different direction than what we have planned?  If we ask for God’s will in our lives, but then ignore Him and the Spirit’s leading then haven’t we fallen into what might be for us a presumptuous sin? 

               We often find ourselves trying to live in two different worlds.  We have our spiritual world where we acknowledge and worship God, but then our daily routine kicks in, it is business as usual and we may hardly give God a second thought.  We don’t think anything of it, because it has become our habit and we have compartmentalized God out of certain areas of our life.  

               We can never forget that we don’t even have a life outside of what God gives us and blesses us with.  There are no guarantees of tomorrow and of what we think we will do.  We become presumptuous in that we think that we are fully in control of our lives and that it should always go according to our plan.

               Who’s are we?  What are we here for?  What is your purpose in life? 

               As believers in Christ we should realize that our life is first and foremost about God and not about us.  We live, move and have our being for His good pleasure, not just ours.  Romans 12:1 exhorts to daily present ourselves a living sacrifice that we might prove what is His good, acceptable and perfect will.  Each day should start with us first getting in tune with the Holy Spirit and entering into God’s presence.  It should start with our hearts being open and spiritual awareness that this day is for Him and not just for us.  We may go through a fairly routine day, but somewhere in that day may be an opportunity to speak into someone’s life, to bless someone, to help someone or someone is watching, unbeknownst to you, how you live, speak and conduct your life.  You are first and foremost, God’s ambassador and the expression of who He is to the world around you.  When you are open to God changing your plans or redirecting your path, don’t allow yourself to be frustrated by a change in your circumstance, just be keenly aware that He might want to use you in a different way. 

               A life in Christ is not a living apart from Him, but an acknowledgement of Him in all that we do, no matter how routine or ordinary.  God leads us as we acknowledge Him in all of our ways, as Proverbs 3 tells us. 

               Let us not fall into presumptuous sin, by making assumptions about all that we or will not do.  We first submit our plans and ways to the Lord; being open for Him to adjust them to His will and purpose.  When our faith is in God and not in ourselves then we are at peace with the circumstances that face us even when that might seem so negative.  God is able to turn all things for good if our hearts and attitudes are trusting Him.  We are not to boast and brag about we can do or accomplish, but our boasting is only in the Father and what He can do if we trust and acknowledge Him in all of our ways.

Blessings,

#kent

You are an Artist

July 18, 2018

Luke 6: 45

A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.

 

You are an Artist

 

You are an artist.  How will you paint your world today? What is your style?  Are you a realist, an impressionist, an abstract artist?  Every one of us sees our world and life around us from varied perspectives and dimensions.  Rather we paint on a canvas; we are all painting on the canvas of someone else’s soul.  What is it that we are painting through our words, our actions, our attitudes and philosophies?  Choose your colors, your medium and your style carefully for often we see the works of our artistry rendered in our children and others that we touch and influence.  One day the Master Artist will judge the works of our hands and what we have done with the creativity and expression within each of us.  He will stroll down the corridor and hallway of our life and see the gallery of the works that we have created there.  He will see the expression of who we are represented there.  How will He judge the work of our life, the artistry of our hands and the expression of our soul?  There it is represented in the mural of a life span.  Will He see Himself and His nature expressed through those works or will they be just about us?

Rather you realize it or not each of us is an artist and everyday we paint something on the canvas of our lives, as well as the lives of others.  Art is an expression of the soul.  Out of the abundance of the heart the brush will paint.  Each stroke that we make, that is guided by the master, is a stroke of life and purpose.  We paint one stroke at a time.  We don’t want to become careless, or sloppy or complacent in how we paint.  Life is too short.  Allow each stroke to be guided and mentored by the Master and make each stroke add to a portrait of life and godliness.

Blessings,

#kent

The Fingerprints of God

July 17, 2018

Jeremiah 17:7-10

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

The Fingerprints of God

 

The fingerprints of God are seen upon our lives,

In ways we may not comprehend or often realize.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Often winds of adversity are simply blessings in disguise,

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

Yes they may be painful and counter to our will,

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Look for His fingerprints upon your life today.

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

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

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

Blessings,

#kent

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