Damaged Relationships

August 31, 2018

 

Matthew 5:21-24

You have heard that it was said to the men of old, You shall not kill, and whoever kills shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court. 22But I say to you that everyone who continues to be angry with his brother or harbors malice (enmity of heart) against him shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the court; and whoever speaks contemptuously and insultingly to his brother shall be liable to and unable to escape the punishment imposed by the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, You cursed fool! [You empty-headed idiot!] shall be liable to and unable to escape the hell (Gehenna) of fire. 23So if when you are offering your gift at the altar you there remember that your brother has any [grievance] against you, 24Leave your gift at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come back and present your gift.

 

Damaged Relationships

 

All of us suffer offenses or hurts from someone close to us at some point in our lives.  Those hurts may come from a brother or sister, a parent, relative, friend or spouse.  They may well come from someone that we trusted and were close too in the body of Christ.  These hurts and offenses can be very painful, they may have damaged our reputation, betrayed our trust, violated us or disappointed us.  There is no denying the hurt that we can emotionally suffer from another.  What is initially hurt and pain then often begins to turn into anger, rage, bitterness and unforgiveness.  What we do with these damaged relationships is key to our own mental, emotional and spiritual health.  Anger is one thing, but anger unchecked and released to full fury can place murder in our hearts.

I have had times in my life when I was ill spoken of and hurt by another brother or individual.  As much as we would like to let go of it, it wants to keep playing over and over in our minds.  We go through all of these scenarios of what we should have said or done.  We may want to forget it, but we can’t.  It keeps tormenting us.  We may feel we were 100% in the right, we didn’t deserve any of what that person did or said to us and they need to pay for it.  Rather we are right or wrong at this point isn’t the issue; it is what are we doing with our anger and hurt?  Our anger is like a loaded and cocked gun.  It is primed and ready to kill.  Left to our flesh, we’ll probably pull the trigger.

What do you do about a damaged relationship that first starts in your heart?  If you continue to harbor malice, resentment, hate and unforgiveness then it is you that is going to suffer the most, not your adversary.  Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.”  When we get a cut or are injured and bleeding, what is our greatest concern after we have bandaged the wound?  We have to guard against infection.  If a wound gets infected and especially if that infection is unchecked and not brought under control, what happens?  We become increasingly ill and can even die.  That is what happens when emotional wounds are infected with unforgiveness, bitterness and malice.  They will spiritually undermine our healthy and right spiritual relationship with God.  When Jesus taught His disciples to pray the Lord’s prayer one of the phrases is, “forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.”   There is a spiritual law that when we fail to extend forgiveness then we also prevent ourselves from receiving forgiveness.  In Matthew 6:14-15 Jesus clarifies this, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

One of the reasons that Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies, those that hurt, offend and abuse us, is because it brings healing to our spirit as well as releasing God to work in their hearts.  The way we work through the hurt and damaged relationships are by praying for our offenders.  The Word tells in our scripture today that if we are praying to God and remember someone that has a grievance against us then we are to go and make that right first.  If our human relationships aren’t right in as much as we can make them right then it can have a lot to do with how our spiritual relationship with the Lord is going.  The healing and restoration has to begin with us.  Self is a strong combatant for its own rights.  If we can never come to the place where we can begin to pray of our offender and release forgiveness it is a pretty strong indicator that self is still stubbornly upon the throne.  The healing and releasing may take some time, but it will come as we make the right spiritual steps, to pray, forgive and reconcile those offenses in Christ.  It is His love in us that is unconditional, not our own.

Blessings,

#kent

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Never take your Blessing for Granted

 

 

Deuteronomy 8:11-14

Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest [when] thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt [therein]; And [when] thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage;

 

This is the condition we find our county in today.  We are a very blessed nation, like no other in the world.  Those of us, who know our historical roots, know that God has had his hand upon the establishment of this country and even the government that has been put in place.  We have been an example and demonstration of God’s goodness, provision and blessing.  We have been like the new Israel and many early settlers viewed it exactly that way.  God has shown His faithfulness to us time after time as He has kept this nation by the power of His loving hand.

Isn’t it ironic now, that the land of religious freedom and expression can’t even post the Ten Commandments in public places, have Bibles or talk about God in the schools in this country, but they can and now do these things in Russia, a land so long under religious tyranny and oppression?  What abomination is it that has taken hold of us that now we can’t even pray out loud or openly proclaim the God that established and blessed this nation.  Further, we see the efforts to remove, “In God We Trust” from our currency and “One nation under God” from our pledge of allegiance.  What spirit of darkness has come over our land that we legally kill our unwanted babies and want to recognize and sanctify homosexual marriages?   What spiritual blindness has gripped our hearts that we want to call good evil and evil good?  Supposedly we are a people ruled by the majority and polls tell us that there is still a majority in this country that believes in God.  How is it that we are not upholding His values and morals?   Have our hearts become so lifted up, as the scripture warns us, that we have forgotten our God?  Will we have to receive God’s firm correction and judgement because we have allowed our land to become polluted and defiled with ungodliness?  While many of us as Christians don’t like or agree with what we see going on, we are guilty of not becoming actively involved in raising up a voice and an outcry against such things.  Certainly we need godly men that can step into the places of leadership throughout our society and uphold a standard of righteousness and moral integrity.  Let us not be guilty of not participating in a democratic process that God has helped establish to make our voice known.  When we fail to act in righteousness, evil comes in by default.  A quote given by Edmond Burke an eighteenth century British statesman says, “”For evil to triumph it is enough only that good men do nothing”.   Is that about to be our epitaph?  God blessed us in our last election by placing a president in office that upholds these godly values and principles, but no man can do it alone.  We, as a people of God, we must raise up a standard against the spirit of wickedness that pervades our land.  Our complacency will be our demise and the loss of all that we hold dear.  We must establish again our Lord God, as the Lord and sovereign of our hearts and our nation.  Our family units must be preserved at all cost if we are to survive as a nation.  Marriage must again find its place of sanctity and respect that it once held.  We must become a nation that learns again what unselfishness and self- sacrifice is about if we want to our families preserved.  Our selfishness is proving to be our undoing.

With prayer and supplication our request must be made known before God for the state of our nation.  The battle is a spiritual battle, but it is played out in the natural arena of our daily lives, society and government.  James says that, “faith without works is dead.”  It is not just what we believe that is important, it is what we act on.  Each one of us has a vote and say.  Each one of us has representatives that are suppose to be listening to the voice of their constituents.  Are they hearing our voice or are we silent, doing nothing, allowing evil to triumph?

I am not one that is big on politics, but I feel the heart of God is that we need to stand up and be counted.  We have far too long let the voice of evil be vocal and consequently we have lost our spiritual heritage through our silence and passivity.  Dare to take up the weapons of spiritual warfare and fight the good fight both in the spiritual and natural realms.  We can no longer afford to be a silent majority unless we want to be an oppressed majority.

Blessings,

#kent

The Experience of a Saint

August 29, 2018

Colossians 1:27

To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of  the glory of  this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:

 

The Experience of a Saint

 

This was forwarded to me by a dear one in Christ and my spirit bears such witness with it that I wanted to share it with you.  It is somewhat lengthy, but very rich in its wisdom and content.

 

 

Reading this (below) not only blessed the socks off of me , but brought my focus right back where it belongs, on the Altogether Lovely One . It isn’t about me or ministry or revelations or experiences. It is all about HIMSELF.

 

 

And when at last I got my eyes off my sanctification, and my experience of it, and just placed them on the Christ in me, I found, instead of an experience, the Christ larger than the moment’s need, the Christ that had all that I should ever need who was given to me at once, and forever! And when I thus saw Him, it was such rest; it was all right, and right for ever. For I had not only what I could hold that little hour, but also in Him, all that I should need the next and the next and so on, until sometimes I get a glimpse of what it will be a million years afterwards, when we shall “shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of our Father” (Matt. 13: 43), and have “all the fullness of God.”

 

And so I thought the healing would be on it too, that the Lord would take me like the old run-down clock, wind me up, and set me going like a machine.

 

It is not thus at all. I found it was Himself coming in instead and giving me what I needed at the moment. I wanted to have a great stock, so that I could feel rich; a great store laid up for many years, so that I would not be dependent upon Him the next day; but He never gave me such a store. I never had more holiness or healing at one time than I needed for that hour. He said: “My child, you must come to Me for the next breath because I love you so dearly I want you to come all the time. If I gave you a great supply, you would do without Me and would not come to Me so often; now you have to come to Me every second, and lie on My breast every moment.”

 

He gave me a great fortune, placed thousands and millions at credit, but He gave a cheque-book with this one condition, “You never can draw more than you need at the time.” Every time a cheque was wanted, however, there was the name of Jesus upon it, and so it brought more glory to Him, kept His name before the heavenly world and God was glorified in His Son.

 

I had to learn to take from Him my spiritual life every second, to breathe Himself in as I breathed, and breathe myself out. So, moment by moment for the spirit, and moment by moment for the body, we must receive.

 

You say, “Is not that a terrible bondage, to be always on the strain ?” What, on the strain with one you love, your dearest Friend ? Oh, no! It comes so naturally, so spontaneously, so like a fountain, without consciousness, without effort, for true life is always easy, and overflowing.

 

And now, thank God, I have Him, not only what I have room for, but that which I have not room for, but for which I shall have room, moment by moment, as I go on into the eternity before me. I am like the little bottle in the sea, as full as it will hold. The bottle is in the sea, and the sea is in the bottle; so I am in Christ, and Christ is in me. But, besides that bottleful in the sea, there is a whole ocean beyond; the difference is, that the bottle has to be filled over again, every day, evermore.

 

Now the question for each of us is not “What think you of Bethshan, and what think you of divine healing?” but “What think you of Christ?”

 

There came a time when there was a little thing between me and Christ. I express it by a little conversation with a friend who said, “You were healed by faith.” “Oh, no,” I said, “I was healed by Christ.”

 

What is the difference? There is a great difference. There came a time when even faith seemed to come between me and Jesus. I thought I should have to work up the faith, so I labored to get the faith. At last I thought I had it; that if I put my whole weight upon it, it would hold. I said, when I thought I had got the faith, “Heal me.” I was trusting in myself, in my own heart, in my own faith. I was asking the Lord to do something for me because of something in me, not because of something in Him.

 

So the Lord allowed the devil to try my faith, and the devil devoured it like a roaring lion, and I found myself so broken down that I did not think I had any faith. God allowed it to be taken away until I felt I had none. And then God seemed to speak to me so sweetly, saying, “Never mind, my child, you have nothing. But I am perfect Power, I am perfect Love, I am Faith, I am your Life, I am the preparation for the blessing, and then I am the Blessing, too. I am all within and all without, and all for ever.”

 

It is just having “Faith in God” (Mark 11: 22). “And the life I now live in the flesh, I live,” not by faith on the Son of God, but “by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2 20). That is it. It is not your faith. You have no faith in you, any more than you have life or anything else in you. You have nothing but emptiness and vacuity, and you must be just openness and readiness to take Him to do all. You have to take His faith as well as His life and healing, and have simply to say, “I live by the faith of the Son of God.” My faith is not worth anything. If I had to pray for anyone, I would not depend upon my faith at all. I would say, “Here, Lord, am I. If you want me to be the channel of blessing to this one just breathe into me all that I need.” It is simply Christ, Christ alone.

 

Now, is your body yielded to Christ for Him thus to dwell and work in you? The Lord Jesus Christ has a body as well as you only it is perfect; it is the body, not of a man, but of the Son of man. Have you considered why He is called the Son of man? The Son of man means that Jesus Christ is the one typical, comprehensive, universal, all-inclusive Man. Jesus is the one man that contains in Himself all that man ought to be all that man needs to have. It is all in Christ. All the fullness of the Godhead and the fullness of a perfect manhood has been embodied in Christ, and He stands now as the summing-up of all that man needs. His spirit is all that your spirit needs, and He just gives us Himself. His body possesses all that your body needs. He has a heart beating with the strength that your heart needs. He has organs and functions redundant with life, not for Himself, but for humanity. He does not need strength for Himself. The energy which enabled Him to rise and ascend from the tomb, above all the forces of nature, was not for Himself. That body belongs to your body. You are a member of His body. Your heart has a right to draw from His heart all that it needs. Your physical life has a right to draw from His physical life its support and strength, and so it is not you, but it is just the precious life of the Son of God. Will you take Him thus today, and then you will not be merely healed, but you will have a new life for all you need, a flood of life that will sweep disease away, and then remain a fountain of life for all your future need. Oh, take Him in His fullness.

 

It seems to me as if I might just bring you a little talisman today, as if God had given me a little secret for every one here and said to me, “Go and tell them, if they will take it, it will be a talisman of power wherever they go, and it will carry them through difficulty, danger, fear, life, death, eternity.” If I could stand on this platform and say, “I have received from heaven a secret of wealth and success which God will give freely, through my hand, to everybody who will take it,” I am sure you would need a larger hall for the people who would come. But, dear friends, I show you in His Word a truth which is more precious. The Apostle Paul tells us that there is a secret, a great secret which was hidden from ages and from generations (Col. 1: 26), which the world was seeking after in vain, which wise men from the East hoped they might find, and God says it “is now made manifest to his saints”; and Paul went through the world just to tell it to those that were able to receive it; and that simple secret is just this “Christ in you the hope of glory.”

 

The word “mystery” means secret; this is the great secret. And I tell you today, nay, I can give you, if you will take it from Him, not from me-I can give you a secret which has been to me, oh, so wonderful! Years ago I came to Him burdened with guilt and fear; I tried that simple secret, and it took away all my fear and sin. Years passed on, and I found sin overcoming me and my temptations too strong for me. I came to Him a second time, and He whispered to me, “Christ in you,” and I had victory, rest and blessing.

 

Then the body broke away in every sort of way. I had always worked hard, and from the age of fourteen I studied and labored and spared no strength. I took charge of a large congregation at the age of twenty-one; I broke down utterly half a dozen times and at my last constitution was worn out. Many times I feared I should drop dead in my pulpit. I could not ascend any height without a sense of suffocation, because of a broken-down heart and exhausted nervous system. I heard of the Lord’s healing, but I struggled against it. I was afraid of it. I had been taught in theological seminaries that the age of the supernatural was past, and I could not go back from my early training. My head was in my way, but at last when I was brought to attend “the funeral of my dogmatics,” as Mr. Schrenck says, “the Lord whispered to me the little secret, ‘Christ in you’; and from that hour I received Him for my body as I had done for my soul. I was made so strong and well that work has been a perfect delight. For years I have spent my summer holiday in the hot city of New York, preaching and working amongst the masses, as I never did before; besides the work of our Home and College and an immense mass of library work and much besides. But the Lord did not merely remove my sufferings. It was more than simple healing. He so gave me Himself that I lost the painful consciousness of physical organs. That is the best of the health He gives. I thank the Lord that He keeps me from all morbid, physical consciousness and a body that is the object of anxious care, and gives a simple life that is a delight and a service for the Master, that is a rest and joy.

 

Then, again, I had a poor sort of a mind, heavy and cumbrous, that did not think or work quickly. I wanted to write and speak for Christ and to have a ready memory, so as to have the little knowledge I had gained always under command. I went to Christ about it, and asked if He had anything for me in this way. He replied, “Yes, my child, I am made unto you Wisdom.” I was always making mistakes, which I regretted, and then thinking I would not make them again; but when He said that He would be my wisdom, that we may have the mind of Christ, that He could cast down imaginations and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, that He could make the brain and head right, then I took Him for all that. And since then I have been kept free from this mental disability, and work has been rest. I used to write two sermons a week, and it took me three days to complete one. But now, in connection with my literary work, I have numberless pages of matter to write constantly besides the conduct of very many meetings a week, and all is delightfully easy to me. The Lord has helped me mentally, and I know He is the Saviour of our mind as well as our spirit.

 

Well, then, I had an irresolute will. I asked, ‘ Cannot you be a will to me?” He said, “Yes, my child, it is God who worketh in you to will and to do.” Then He made me to learn how and when to be firm, and how and when to yield. Many people have a decided will, but they do not know how to hold on just at the proper moment. So, too, I came to Him for power for His work and all the resources for His service, and He has not failed me.

 

And so I would say, if this precious little secret of “Christ in you,” will help you, you may have it. May you make better use of it than I! I feel I have only begun to learn how well it works. Take it and go on working it out, through time and eternity-Christ for all, grace for grace, from strength to strength, from glory to glory, from this time forth and even for evermore.

 

HIMSELF

by A. B. Simpson

Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;

Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.

Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;

Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.

 

Once ’twas painful trying, Now ’tis perfect trust;

Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.

Once ’twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;

Once ’twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.

 

Once ’twas busy planning, Now ’tis trustful prayer;

Once ’twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.

Once ’twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;

Once ’twas constant asking, Now ’tis ceaseless praise.

 

Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;

Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.

Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;

Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.

 

Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He’s mine;

Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.

Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;

And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the veil.

 

Loving Him because He first loved me ,

and loving you in Him ,

Pat

Gussie

Blessings,

#kent

God is Love

August 28, 2018

1 John 4:8

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

 

God is Love

 

The one characteristic that most defines the nature and character of God is His love.  It is a love that is unconditional, everlasting and without measure.  It is a love that we are still trying to comprehend in Christ Jesus, the expression of God’s righteousness, holiness and most beloved of all that God holds dear.  Yet God’s love is so great, along with that of His Son, who is in His nature, that His divine life was given and sacrificed on behalf of His creation.  Romans 5:6-8 states it this way, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” So God’s love is an unmerited, limitless, undeserved and a selfless love.

Isn’t it God’s purpose to bring a people into the image of who He is?  This scripture tells us that love is the foundation of walking and coming into the image of God.  We already have a pretty fair revelation of the limitations of our natural love.  It often rises and falls along with our moods and attitudes.  Our love is often influenced by our self preservation and self-interest.  It is a love of condition and as such can be given and taken back at will.  Perhaps this why we struggle with the concept of God’s love that loves us unconditionally as sinners, even though He hates our sin.  Especially if we don’t even love ourselves, how can we reconcile our thinking and understanding that God can still love us?

There are sin issues that people carry that are not only abhorred by society, but by the individuals that carry them.  They would believe that there is no one and nothing that could love them the way they are.  They even hate and despise who they are and yet God’s love reaches even to the lowest hell and the greatest of sinners.  If we ever judge that someone is unredeemable then we don’t comprehend the love of God.   What is impossible with man is not impossible with God.  His love is that great.

What this scripture is telling us as believers in Christ and in the love of God is that we also must carry this mantle of love, because we have been first partakers of it.  If the Spirit of God’s Son reigns upon the throne of our hearts then what is the dispensation of His kingdom if it is not love?  Our mind and earthly thinking are often a paradox and contradiction to the mind of the Spirit.  That is why Romans 8:5-8, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”  It is the love of God through His Spirit that will motivate and encourage us to do what may be a contradiction of our natural thinking to do.  As such we are learning to act in obedience to the prompting of the Spirit.  What often tips us off that they are from God is that it may be in total contradiction to the way we feel, our fears or what we want to do in the natural.  When the Spirit of God begins to prompt us to act out of love and obedience we usually have a barrage of natural reasoning that come at us as to why we can’t or should do what the Spirit is prompting us to do.  One of the things that defines the Holy Spirit’s prompting is that He acts out of love.  If we follow Him in obedience then our actions will carry that same love with them.  Because we are to be a Spirit led people then it only follows that our actions are defined by God’s love.  If our life is still only defined by selfishness and self-interest then we need to strongly take a look at where we are in our relationship with the Father.  Whose image are we walking in, the first Adam or the last Adam?  Which is being conformed to the image of the incorruptible Christ?

If we are in God and know God, then our love, or rather His love in us, and our actions should be defining and expressing who we are.   Because Christ is in you, you are the expression of His love.

Blessings,

#kent

Fellowship with Father

August 27, 2018

Romans 8:14

Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

 

Fellowship with Father

 

I just want to share with you some of what the Holy Spirit was speaking into me during my time with Him this morning.  I think the thing that we all desire from Father is a “now Word” that speaks to the season and the time that we are in.  I believe that what He is speaking to each of us is largely relevant to what He is speaking to His body at large.  At least to those who have an ear to hear His voice.

 

The Holy Spirit is freedom, liberty, no more walls, restrictions or limitations.  He is a river that can not be dammed up or stopped.  He overcomes all obstacles in His path as we flow in the Spirit of God.  As we are filled with that same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead we go where he goes and we also prevail against all obstacles and restraints.  The Holy Spirit flows and moves in the tabernacle and the tents of His people.  We must behold Him as the Israelites did as the cloud in the wilderness and move when He moved and stay when he staid.  The children of Israel lived outside the cloud.  We now live within the cloud of His presence.  That is the shadow of the Almighty and the shadow and protection of His wing.

Respect and honor the Holy Spirit.  Hold Him in high and holy regard. He is not common or to be taken for granted.

 

Why sickness and affliction lingers?

Like prison ministry, you learn in the midst of the prison how to bring freedom in.  You learn how to express out of your weakness His strength and out of your need, His provision.  When man learns to find the heavenlies and God in his limitation, then, not only does he become free, he is able to bring others into that freedom.  The kingdom is not that which is without, but that which is within.  When you walk in the unseen, even in the midst of the reality of your natural world, then you walk in the Spirit and in faith.  It is more needful and important to see with the eyes of the Spirit than even with natural sight.  Faith moves your circumstances, it is not circumstances that determine your faith.  God’s people get discouraged because they don’t always see in the natural realm those things that are taking place by the Spirit.  All things have a time and season; a time of planting, cultivation, watering and then the harvest.  Faithfully walking in the “I AM”, even when you don’t see, hear or feel will over time and faithfulness produce the “I AM” in you.  Faithful is the man that does not see and yet believes.

The mind of the Spirit doesn’t think as the world thinks.  It is not moved by worldly criteria or time.  It sees and moves in the eternal purposes of the Father.  The person that walks by the Spirit learns not to succumb or try to move according to earthly standards, pressures or human restraint.  So many miss the Spirit, because they don’t know and apply this principle.  They must only speak what they hear the Spirit speaking and do what they see the Father doing.  As Christ was in this earth, so must we be in this world.  The soul must learn submission to the spirit under subjection to the Holy Spirit.  This is why so few really move by the Spirit.  The soul has not yet been brought into subjection and obedience to the Spirit.  God’s Spirit is affirmed by the Word of Truth, because He is Truth.

 

John 10

The way of entry into the kingdom of God is through Christ.  He is the only gate.  All who are His sheep hear His voice and they know His voice.  His voice is revealed in His nature, its love, its correction unto righteousness and its consistency and alignment with the Word of God.

John 10:14

“I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me. – Just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

John 10:17

The reason My Father loves me is that I lay down My life  — only to take it up again.”

If we are like Christ we must embrace this principle of willingness to lay down our lives.

” Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Mathew 10:39)”

“Bear with Me church, for where I lead you will follow.”

Blessings,

#kent

A Change of Garments

August 24, 2018

Colossians 3:1-7

1If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. 5Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection,evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

 

A Change of Garments

 

So much our faith and the way that we walk in it has to do with a new mindset and way that we view our purpose and being.  Before we knew Christ in a personal relationship we were given over to our own unbridled passions and will.  We allowed our desires, our passion and flesh to have dominion over us.  We lived for the moment and fulfilled the desires of our unregulated and undisciplined body.

When we came into Christ we were still in this same body with all of its same needs and wants, but inwardly something had changed and been transformed.  As we came into Christ, we came into the revelation that life was no longer about us, but about Him.  We became identified with Him, both in His death and in His resurrection.  We realized that the old man of the flesh isn’t to rule and have its way any longer and so we identified it with Christ on the Cross and we crucified the flesh with its inordinate affections and lust.  On the other hand we beheld the new creation that we had become in Christ and we identified with His resurrection in a new and incorruptible life.

Colossians 3 is simply a reminder of what has taken place in our hearts and lives.  It is a call to action and direction in our life and living unto Christ.  We are putting on His robes of righteousness through faith while we are putting off the garment of this former man through a continual putting to death and discarding of that garment defiled by sin and desires that are a stench to the Heavenly Father.  We do this through our union and reliance upon the Holy Spirit.  We are identified now with the Son.  We are dead to that old man and our life is hid with Christ in God.  We are incorporated into His life and family.  With that adoption should come a new nature which is in the likeness of the One who has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light.  As we set our mind, our affection and our purpose on Christ in all that we do we will find that the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.  Take hold of who you are in Christ and live accordingly out of His life and unto His glory.  You will experience that change of garments.

Blessings,

#kent

Our Balanced Position

August 24, 2018

 

Our Balanced Position

 

Philippians 4:19

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

All of us know what an old wooden wagon wheel looks like with a hub and spokes that extend out to the outer wheel.  We also know that in order for that wheel to be round and true, all of those spokes have to be of equal length and strength.  If any of those spokes were broken, or too short or too long then our wheel would be out of round and lopsided.   God’s character, truth and provision is much the same way in the way we perceive them and incorporate them into our lives.  Many of the more mature Christians reading this can look back over their walk and probably identify times and areas of their lives that were out of balance.  Many of us have areas in our lives like that right now, but may not even realize it.  Many times when God brings us into the revelation of a truth, it is like this is the greatest thing God could ever do and we take off running with new revelation as if were the whole package in itself.  The reality is that it is a spoke of Truth and not the whole wheel.  It is in these times that we tend to get out of balance, as we are more extreme in one area than another.  Many of our denominations are built and operate out of this premise that we have more of a truth or revelation of God than another does.

We could debate about what is the greatest gifts of the Spirit, or what is the greatest area of ministry or who is the greatest in the body of Christ, or what is the greatest truth of God’s word.  The truth is simply that it is ‘the one most needed at the time’.  All of God’s truth, provisions, the attributes that distinguish His character, whether it is as our savior, healer, provider, deliverer, strength, protector, and all that God encompasses is contained in the hub of who He is.  God is a never-ending circle of completion and fulfillment of all our need.  We don’t have “needs”.  We have one need and that is for our God.  If we possess God and He possesses us then all of our need is supplied according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Wherever we lack in our natural man, our God can supply that need.  Whenever that wagon wheel runs over a rock or bump that tries to compress that wheel by bringing specific pressure to bear, all of the spokes work together to provide strength and unity to provide that the wheel retains its roundness.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 it says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” We see that there are many diversities in the Spirit, but the Spirit is the one they all originate from and the “manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”  From this analogy it is not hard to see how each of us are like the spokes in the wheel of God’s body.  As we operate out of the Spirit we all supply one another’s needs according to the gift that God has given us.  Each one of us is essential and important in the economy of God.  If we are failing to live in the destiny and purpose of God for our lives then we are throwing things out of balance.  Needs may not be met because we are the missing link and spoke to carry out God’s purpose and plan.  The balance in our walk and in our faith is seeing that all of God’s truth is essential as God’s Word and power is being made alive and having expression, through us His body.  As we dwell in the Spirit of unity and love, everyone’s need is met; balance is complete as we realize that all parts are needed to complete the whole.   “Our God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Blessings,

#kent

LOVE

August 22, 2018

1 Corthinians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. 11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

 

 

LOVE

 

Love often walks a difficult path,

For it does not seek its will or own.

It empties itself of all it hath,

To richly furnish another’s home.

 

Love patiently endures trying times,

It is longsuffering with the difficult ones,

Even when pressed it is always kind.

It loves in spite of the offenses done.

 

Love does not covet another’s goods,

Or resent another for what it does not have.

It does not boast though it could,

Instead it chooses to be a healing salve.

 

Love is not rude though it is often wronged,

It is not easily angered by those who offend,

It chooses forgiveness as its daily song,

Grace and truth are the message it sends.

 

Love does not delight in another’s hurt.

It protects the weaker and gives to the poor.

For the downtrodden, truth and justice it asserts,

Upon their aggressors it shuts the door.

 

Love never loses faith, hope or trust,

It perseveres with wind in its sails,

It is not defamed by its impotent rival, lust.

Though all else passes away, love never fails.

 

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

Resurrection Life

August 21, 2018

John 11:40-46 (Amplified)

Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?

41So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 2Yes, I know You always hear and listen to Me, but I have said this on account of and for the benefit of the people standing around, so that they may believe that You did send Me [that You have made Me Your Messenger].

43When He had said this, He shouted with a loud voice, Lazarus, come out!

44And out walked the man who had been dead, his hands and feet wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] napkin bound around his face. Jesus said to them, Free him of the burial wrappings and let him go.

45Upon seeing what Jesus had done, many of the Jews who had come with Mary believed in Him. [They trusted in Him and adhered to Him and relied on Him.]

46But some of them went back to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done.

 

Resurrection Life

 

We have been speaking about the death of Lazarus of Bethany.  He had fallen sick.  The sisters of Lazarus had sent for Jesus, but we see that Jesus didn’t drop what he was doing to rush back and heal Lazarus.  There is a much greater truth that He is about to show forth.  John 11:4-6 says, “When Jesus received the message, He said, This sickness is not to end in death; but [on the contrary] it is to honor God and to promote His glory, that the Son of God may be glorified through (by) it.

5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. [They were His dear friends, and He held them in loving esteem.] 6Therefore [even] when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He still stayed two days longer in the same place where He was.”  Jesus has spoken that this sickness is not to end in death, but like so many times we can’t really hear and receive what the word of the Lord is because our natural mind and circumstances are telling us something contrary to what He is saying.  In this passage and story of Lazarus we see Jesus not revealing Himself as the healer, but He is revealed as the resurrection and the life.  I believe this is a window to see the greater workings of Christ in us.  Many of us have experienced Christ the healer, but have we experienced Him as the resurrection and the life.  There is both physical and spiritual significance to this.  Lazarus had been dead for four days.  Four is the number of creation.   What Jesus is doing in Lazarus is setting creation free.

Romans 8:11 says, “And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.”  Verses 17-23 go on to say, “17And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. 18[But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!

19For [even the whole] creation (all nature) waits expectantly and longs earnestly for God’s sons to be made known [waits for the revealing, the disclosing of their sonship].

20For the creation (nature) was subjected to frailty (to futility, condemned to frustration), not because of some intentional fault on its part, but by the will of Him Who so subjected it–[yet] with the hope

21That nature (creation) itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and corruption [and gain an entrance] into the glorious freedom of God’s children. 22We know that the whole creation [of irrational creatures] has been moaning together in the pains of labor until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves too, who have and enjoy the firstfruits of the [Holy] Spirit [a foretaste of the blissful things to come] groan inwardly as we wait for the redemption of our bodies [from sensuality and the grave, which will reveal] our adoption (our manifestation as God’s sons).  Lazarus represents creation man subject to death and the grave.  In the body we see him dying, but we also know that he is a believer in Christ and loves Him.  We see the groaning and travailing of creation in Mary, Martha and the mourners.  ‘The Father subjected this creation to frailty not by any fault of its part, but subjected it in hope.’  The manifestation of Christ is that hope realized.

Lazarus has died in his body.  He has been wrapped with burial cloths.  We might see these as the traditions, religions and the mindsets of man.  His natural reasoning and thinking because this the way it has always been.

Jesus commands that the stone be rolled away from the tomb.  It is time to take the lid off of our stinking thinking that has produced and contained nothing but death.  Jesus shouts, in a loud voice, one of all authority and dominion, “Lazarus come forth.”  This is the Word that Christ is speaking to our spirit man, “Man of God, Come forth out of the tomb of your old creation man.”  Yes when we roll away the stone there may be some foul smells that come forth, but it isn’t till the stone of ignorance, fear and unbelief are rolled away that the stench of death can be replaced with the fragrance of life.  After Jesus had shouted, out walked a man, who had been dead and now lives, wrapped with the burial cloths of his death.  The next words out of the mouth of Jesus are, “Free him from the burial wrappings and let him go.”  This is Lazarus now, symbolically, the new creation man raised from the dead and set free from the law of sin and death.  Lazarus is no longer an old creation man, but a resurrection man to the glory of Jesus Christ and God the Father.  The Spirit of Life has conquered the spirit of sin and death.  Praise the Lord Jesus all Victorious!  He is setting creation free and what He will do in us; He will do through us for all of creation.  This is the glorious liberty of the Sons of God.

Now some who saw this believed on Jesus, but others went back to tell the Pharisee’s.  Religion hates the true Spirit and Anointing, because it upsets the apple cart of traditional thinking and believing.  It breaks the mold of the old that was able to control people through fear, ignorance, intimidation and condemnation.   Just as Saul endeavored to kill the anointing that was in David, so traditional religion will seek to kill the true anointing and moving of God.  God is not a monument, but an ever moving and expanding river of Truth.  Today, He is setting us free in resurrection life and a fresh revelation of who He is as the Resurrection and the Life.

Blessings,

#kent

 

How do I Know that I Know Him?

 

1 John 2:1-6

1My 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.

 

Have you ever been around someone, who says they go to church and they claim to be a Christian, but their attitudes, their morals, their integrity and their language all testify against them?  Now the truth is we all fall short of the glory of God and we know that if we sin, Jesus has paid the price and offers us forgiveness when we confess our sins and ask for it.  When we behold Jesus, when we see His life and listen to His Words, is He what you really want to be like? Now our church mentality wants to say, “Oh yes, that’s what I want.  I want to be like Jesus.”  What does your heart say?  What is more important is, what are our lives saying?

Have you ever noticed in life that you tend to excel at what your passion is?  When you are passionate about something it is not work, or a burden to you, it is your desire and it is what fulfills you.  If we are trying to serve God out of obligation and duty then we probably won’t do exceptionally well at it, because it is not in our heart.  On the other hand, if Christ is our passion, our love and our desire, then keeping His commandments isn’t that hard.  That’s who we are and what we want to be.  It is our passion and our love, so to do the contrary to that grieves us and steals our joy.  That is why Christ is all about relationship; when we love Him and when we are intimately connected to Him then He is who we desire to please.  His commands aren’t grievous to us, but joyous, because our obedience to them reflect our love for Him and desire to be well pleasing in His sight.  Our obedience is our expression of love back to the Lord.

Remember your first love?  We could not do enough to try and please that significant other.  They were in our hearts, our thoughts and our conversation; we would doodle their name, we talked to our friends about them, they were the passion and joy of our life.  That is what many of us have had with Jesus, but like that first love, the more familiar it became, the more common it became until it wasn’t so special anymore, it was just another part of life.  Many of us have seen this happen in our marriages and we have seen it happen with our relationship with the Lord.  We still love, but we’ve slipped into a routine of mediocrity.  We are faithful, but our hearts aren’t in it like before.  This condition can and does happen to many of us both in the natural and in the spirit.  In Revelation 2 the Holy Spirit is addressing the seven churches.  When He comes to the Church of Ephesus, He says this, “3I know you are enduring patiently and are bearing up for My name’s sake, and you have not fainted or become exhausted or grown weary. 4But I have this [one charge to make] against you: that you have left (abandoned) the love that you had at first [you have deserted Me, your first love]. 5Remember then from what heights you have fallen. Repent (change the inner man to meet God’s will) and do the works you did previously [when first you knew the Lord], or else I will visit you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you change your mind and repent.”  How many of our marriages have had their lampstand removed for this very reason, we forsook our first love?  We lost our passion for love and relationship?  What we have done in the natural, we are doing in the Spirit.  The joy of obedience and service is in love.  When we loose that love, the joy goes with it.  We have to recapture that first love we had for Christ.  Can you remember when He filled your spirit with His Spirit till your joy was too overflowing?

While we may be faithful with our bodies or our spirits, our minds and hearts have wandered off to pursue other lovers, but all they are really doing is robbing us of our first love and joy, and they never offer us any long-term fulfillment or faithfulness.  They destroy what we did have to give and leave us nothing but heartache and sorrow.  We are like Israel of old and like Homer, the harlot wife of Hosea.  Hosea writes in Hosea 2:7, “And she shall follow after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them: then shall she say, I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.”  Beloved we need to lay hold of her revelation.  We need to return to our first husband, our first love and our first passion.  This can be said to us both naturally and spiritually.  We have to rekindle those fires of friendship and relationship, both with Christ and with our spouses.  Who can measure how much richer our lives will become if we set our hearts to do that.  I know that my wife would say amen to that, how about yours?

How do you know that you Know Christ?  The knowing is in the intimacy of relationship that stems out of love and commitment.  It is a dynamic that cannot become stagnant or static or it will wither and die.  Complacency and mediocrity will kill it.  We love Him, because He first loved us.  His passion and His love for us hasn’t changed, if something has changed in our relationship then the problem is with us and not with Him.  Let’s return to our first love.  God’s love is made complete in us through our obedience.

Blessings,

#kent

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