Endings and New Beginnings

December 31, 2018

 

Endings and New Beginnings

 

Deuteronomy 11:11-17

11 But the land you are crossing the Jordan to take possession of is a land of mountains and valleys that drinks rain from heaven. 12 It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.

13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today-to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul- 14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

16 Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. 17 Then the LORD’s anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you

 

In this passage of scripture, the children of Israel, after forty years in the wilderness are crossing Jordan into the Promise Land of Canaan.  While this land is the inheritance of God’s people it has been possessed by the ungodly nations.  Now has come the time when Israel is to enter in, not by their might and their strength, but by faith in their God.  Many believers today have the mentality that all I need to do is believe in Jesus, live my life and die and go to heaven.  God has used the natural promise land of Canaan to show us that as believers in Christ Jesus we also have a Promise Land to enter into and possess, the kingdom of heaven, that which was lost to us in the fall of Adam. Jordan is a type of that baptism into the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.  As we are immersed in its water and come out the other side, we come out dead and no longer identified with ourselves, but alive unto the newness of life in Christ Jesus.  God is telling us that the land we have now entered into by faith, “It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end.”  As we come to a year’s end and start a new beginning God wants us to know that we are walking in a blessed land, one He cares for and watches over.  He is telling us we can enjoy and partake of the blessings of this land in our spiritual walk if we will faithfully obey His commands.  It will be a productive and prosperous land for us if we are careful to always put God first.

This walk of the Spirit, this possession of spiritual Canaan is not without its pitfalls and dangers.  We are possessing a land that has formally been filled with idolatry and every evil practice.  Even as the Spirit of Christ is fully possessing our souls and we are seeking to yield every area in obedience to Him we come up against giants and strong spiritual forces in our lives that resist the Holy Spirit.  They are stronger than we are in ourselves, but ‘we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus’.  ‘In Christ we can do all things’, but God would warn us as He did natural Israel, to guard our hearts against idolatry, where we place other things, desires and pleasures before Him.  He desires to bless us, but He requires of us faithful obedience.  It is very easy after we have gone through spiritual battles and experienced measures of victory in our lives to then fall into complacency which in turn lets our guard down and opens us up to falling into sin and idolatry.  That idolatry is anything we put before Him.

God goes on in this passage to tell the people that the way they can guard against this idolatry coming into their hearts is to continually, in everything, in every way, everyday of the year, put the Word of God before them.   Read the Word, talk about it, tell your children continually about it, meditate upon it, even put it on your person or in conspicuous places where you will be continually reminded of your God and who you are in Christ.  This is imperative to maintaining a God perspective identity and in return, enjoying the fellowship you have with Him in the spirit and the blessings He has for you.  Our purpose in possessing this land is so that He might possess every part of us and we would experience the richness of His fellowship and presence, for that is indeed the manna and the taste of heaven.

As we end another year and begin anew, remember that the eyes of the Lord are upon it from the beginning to the end.  Make this New Year a year for drawing nearer, living a deeper and more committed life in the Spirit and coming to know your God in a greater and more personal way.  May this coming year be blessed with the rain and the waters of His spiritual blessing and presence in each of our lives

Blessings,

#kent

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Strong Meat

December 28, 2018

 

Strong Meat

 

Hebrews 5:14

But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, [even] those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

 

If you were to offer strong or tough meat to an infant or small child they could easily choke on it and not be able to properly chew, break it down and digest it.  This is what the writer in Hebrews is saying here of spiritual matters.  Previous to this in verses 11-15 the writer chides his readers because they cannot handle the deeper things of the Spirit of the Word.  “Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which [be] the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk [is] unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.” How many of us are guilty of being like these Hebrews?  The Hebrews, like many Christians grew up in church, went to Sunday school and knew all the basics of the Bible and all the Bible stories, but they were still babies with regards to spiritual maturity.  We are rich in information about God and His Word, but so much of what we glean is another man’s insight and revelation.  Many of us have walked with the Lord a good many years, but how mature are we concerning spiritual matters?  At a time when we ought to be teachers do we need to be taught again the first principles of God’s Word?  Those of full age in the spirit doesn’t mean you are old or young, it means you have been exercised in the Word and the principles of God’s Word.  It means you haven’t just heard sermons and read bible studies.  It means you have walked out your faith based on what you know of God’s Word.  It means that you have learned discernment and wisdom based on practical application of God’s Word in day to day life circumstances and trials.  You have the mind of the Spirit to discern the things of the Spirit and the things of the flesh.

The exhortation here to us is that God has much to reveal and show us, but we cannot endure it and comprehend it with a child-like spiritual mentality.  He is telling us quite bluntly, “we need to grow up.”  There are great depths to be sounded in the Word of God. It is a great moving, dynamic river of truth and a deep ocean.   We must be mature to swim out into its depths and experience more than what we have.  Many of you who are reading this have a God placed hunger and desire within you.  Learn to study the Word of God for yourself and research the depths of its mysteries.  The Lord is calling us to maturity in this hour.   He is raising up those who are of full age in Him.  You won’t get there by simply sitting on the pew each Sunday and singing “Just as I am”.   God is calling us now into the depths of His Spirit where He can reveal to us His deep knowledge and mysteries.  He doesn’t share them with those still feeding on the milk of the Word.  He shares them with those who are hungry for more of Him.  Are you willing to get in there and do some heavy chewing, breaking down the Word of God and searching it out with study materials and prayer?  God is not a respecter of persons; He will begin to give you deeper revelations of His Word as you pursue it with hunger and desire.  This is the day and the hour He is calling each one of us deeper into Him.  It is time to leave off with the milk and the simple truths and press deeper into knowing Him.  The steaks belong to the mature.  Come and taste of the rich things God has prepared for those who love Him and who are willing to pursue Him in greater depths of knowledge and relationship.

Blessings,

#kent

 

What does this New Man Look Like?

 

Colossians 3:9-11

9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

 

We have been talking about what this new man, who we are in Christ, is.  What does this “new man” look like?  Well, we know that this new man who is being renewed in the image of Christ is what we generally term a “Christian” or a “born again believer”.  If you went out on the street or to different parts of the world and took a poll of random people, what do you think they would say a Christian should look like?  No doubt we would get multiple answers and opinions.  Some might say it can only be a certain race people, or only males can be Christians, or only certain religions or denominations can be Christians.  What does the Word say a Christian is?  It says it is a person that “is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.”  In other words it is one that looks in their behavior to be like Christ.  It is one who doesn’t think like the world thinks, but is aligning their thoughts, goals and lifestyle with the Word and the will of God.  It plainly says here that there is no outward distinction or discrimination of sex, color, race or creed that defines you as a “new man or person in Christ”.  The transformation is within and is expressed without.  The defining factor is that Christ is all and is in all.  In the Christian’s mind and heart this should be at the forefront of all our thinking, all of our plans, all of our goals and in all that we are.  Is Christ everything?  If He is everything in you and I, then what are we going to look like, what are we going to reflect, emulate, and express?  What is going to be our nature and character?  It is Christ for He is all and in all.  He is what our life is all about.  He should now define who we are.

Now being honest for just a moment, how many of us can say that is totally where we are at in our thinking, in our lifestyles and in our behavior?  What we have to grasp and get a hold of is that Christ wants Christians who are wholly identified with Him.  In other words He is to become our identity.  What does Christian mean?  It means “little Christs”.  In the Old Testament to be one of God’s people you had to be one of the circumcision, that defined you as set apart for God. The New Testament tells us in Philippians 3:3, “3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— ”  Natural circumcision could only apply to males, but spiritual circumcision, which is the removal of our fleshly heart and attitude, giving place to the headship of Christ in our lives, knows no gender, but is applicable to all.  This new garment we are putting on is a spiritual garment that is in the likeness of Him who created us.  That is our purpose and our reason for being.  We are to be the expression of Christ in the earth.  It is Him living through us.  Is that what our world is seeing in the majority of Christianity today?  Do they really see anything that looks much different than them except in name only?  Are they able to see the difference in our behavior, our integrity, our divorce rate or family life?  The truth we face is that most all of us are missing the mark.  Christ really isn’t our all in all, He is only part of our all.  We must all come to the place of prayerfully, honestly, and with a broken and contrite heart defining who we really are.  Maybe we are somewhere between dirty underwear and blue jeans and a clean shirt, but we haven’t fully put off the old man with his former deeds.  There is a tremendous work of transformation that needs to take place in most of us.  God can only work in us, as we are willing to relinquish our will to His.  James says, “a double minded man is unstable in all of his ways.”  How many of us are abiding in that place of only being lukewarm for God?  He is not our everything; He has become our occasional, our “when I feel like it”, if it is convenient, and when it is acceptable in my circle of friends.  What is Christ to us?  Is He the garment that we put on every morning and wear everyday or has He become something much less?  God has called us and provided for us to be so much more than we have been.  It is time for us to rise up and answer the trumpet that is sounding and calling us back to our faith, our full commitment and confidence in Christ.  He must be our all and who is in all. Christ in us, is our hope of glory.

Blessings,

#kent

The Spirit of the Overcomer

December 26, 2018

 

The Spirit of the Overcomer

 

1 John 4:2-4

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

 

Did you know that you have already overcome the spirit of this world?  All victory has been granted unto us in heaven and in earth.  Our deficiency comes when we fail to step into who we are.  Christ has gone before us to conquer and now we must come behind Him and possess.   We still have the illusion that we are called to do something that is beyond our power to do.  Our victory is in getting a revelation and lining up with God’s program.  Christ has provided all that we need for life and godliness, but like clothes laid out upon the bed we have to put on the spiritual garments He has given us to wear.  We can’t do that if we are still wearing the garments of the flesh and self-dependency.  As the one is put off the other can be put on.  Faith and obedience are the means by which we change into the garments of the overcomer, fashioned in the likeness of Christ.

Again, for us to come into who we are we have to see ourselves for who we are.  We have to see ourselves as Christ sees us.  We have to see ourselves as more than conquerors, as the head and not the tail, as sitting with Christ in heavenly places.  You are the overcomer because of the One who is in you and He has conquered and defeated the one who is in the world.

Now obviously that doesn’t mean the world is going to embrace us.  It is still antichrist in nature and behavior.  It will hate us as it hated Jesus if we are truly walking in Christ.  Jesus told us, “ In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer for I have overcome the world.”

This is where we have to have the spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart that is tender before the Lord.  John tells us here to discern the spirits.  It is because we don’t discern and embrace the right spirit that we are struggling in defeat and compromise.  We are mingling clean and unclean.  It is defiling our walk and is a stumbling block before us, because it will turn us out of the Way.  Just as the Canaanites that were left in the land brought the Israelites into idolatry, those wrong spirits left in our lives will be our source of stumbling.  This is why John is exhorting us to take a good look at the spirits that influence and touch our lives.  Don’t receive and embrace every spirit that comes along no matter how good it sounds, but test those spirits if they be of God.  Any spirit that is robbing you and denying you of who you are in Christ is not of God.  Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, but He has also come in the flesh of your humanity to be manifest in you.  Embrace the spirit of Christ in you with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength, because He is the essence of your being and life in God.  He is the victory in you that overcomes the world; that delivers you out of darkness into His marvelous light and truth.  The assurance we have in Christ gives us the peace and the confidence to go through whatever this life brings against us, because our hope is not in this world or its temporal treasures.  We are aliens, spirits of another world, dwelling and sojourning on this earth.  This is not our home.  We are not just earthly beings with a spirit; we are spiritual beings living in earthly bodies.   Our bodies are just to facilitate who we are in Christ while we dwell on this earth, even as the body of Jesus facilitated the Spirit of God while He was in the earth.

Put on your spiritual vision and see that you are in the Mountain looking down upon the valley and not in the valley looking up to the mountain.  Don’t allow the spirits of this world to cloud your vision and hinder you from being the overcomer that Christ has destined you to be.  We don’t boast in ourselves, we boast in the One who is mighty in us, who imparted His Spirit and His Life into us.  Out of that Life we live and move and have our being.

“This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God (1John 5:3-5).”

Blessings,

#kent

A Loving Moment

December 24, 2018

 

A Loving Moment

 

1 John 3:18

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

 

How do we show our love?  Do you find that in the fast paced society we live in?  We are constantly on the move, meeting demands, deadlines and obligations?  In today’s society especially, time is a commodity we seem to have the least of.  Everything around us is in competition for the little bit we have.  I know from personal experience that this is an area we easily get most out of balance within our lives.  Time becomes a day to day scheduling of priorities and often what we put at the top of our list would not be what God would put at the top of His.  God tells us in His Word to seek first the Kingdom of God.  What is the first thing on your priority list each day and where do you spend that time?  While some of us hardly have time for God, others of us are so absorbed with spiritual things we may be failing to really meet the needs of those closest to us for trying to meet the needs of everyone else.   Time management is an issue that I wrestle with even as I am writing this and I am sure it is an issue with many of us.  It is hard for us to be everything to everybody.  While we can tell people and loved ones that we love them, nothing really communicates that like our personal time and attention.  We have all seen instances where childcare, TV, electronic games, computers and other modern day conveniences and inventions raise our children.  Many of us are guilty of this to varying degrees ourselves.

The point of this is not to condemn us for what we have failed to be or where we have failed to demonstrate our love in action.  What we want to do is bring our time and agendas before the Lord and examine them in the light of His purpose and will for us.  It is the investments of our time that are the true currency in making a difference in the ones we love.  When the Word says we are to love “in deed and truth” isn’t it really talking about “quality giving,” whether it is of our time or our substance?  In order to improve the quality of our love, we have to improve the quality of actions and demonstration of what we say with our words.  The greatest testimony against Christianity today is that we are not demonstrating what we say with our words.  We are all talkie, talkie and no walkie, walkie.  As we sincerely begin to seek to move in the Spirit of God, we must constantly be willing to change our thinking, our priorities and our plans.  God is not always going to move according to our agenda and schedule.  We must learn the flexibility of moving to His.  That means we may have to let go of what we are doing, at the most inopportune times.  If you are a person that likes structure and consistency in your life you will find this tuff.  The Lord is shaping and molding our lives to move with the leading of His Spirit and will, not ours.  We have to become like the harnessed horse that is willing to submit to the direction of the bit.  Our life is all about service and surrender.  When Jesus taught His disciples, He didn’t recruit them and send them off to seminary to get a good theological education.  He showed and mentored them through day to day, moment to moment life experience how to walk out the love of God in a practical way.  We see times Jesus and His disciples desperately needed some rest and space to themselves and how Jesus gave up His needs to meet the needs of others.

Time is a precious commodity and we all have accountability for how we use it.  The Word tells us to “redeem the time for the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16).”  Let us make the moments of our lives count as we invest them wisely in the lives of others rather than just the business of life.  What is it that we do that will matter a week from now, a year from now, a lifetime from now?  It is my prayer that the Lord will give us all a greater wisdom when it comes to how we spend and invest our time.  We must remember that it is our time that can both build and make a meaningful relationship or the lack of it, which can destroy it.  May our time become a series of loving moments that translate into a lifetime of loving in deed and in truth.

Blessings,

#kent

Freedom of Spirit

December 21, 2018

Freedom of Spirit

 

The free man in the Spirit is the one who has lost His desire for the things we call sin.  Romans 6:22 says, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.”

Romans 8:2 declares, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” True freedom in the Spirit lives and breathes out of the Word and promises of God.  It is the place where in liberty we find responsibility.  It is much like growing up into adulthood.  While we experience freedoms that we never had as a child we also accept the responsibilities that go with those freedoms.  The ironic thing about freedom is that the more free we are of old selfish ways the more we become servants out freedom to give our life in service to God and others.  Are we living in our freedom?

Blessings,

#kent

Lift Up a Standard

December 20, 2018

 

Lift Up a Standard

 

Matthew 6:13 (NLT)

And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

 

All of us have had strongholds and weaknesses in our lives in which we were prone to sin and perhaps still are.  When we came to Christ we found the truth of Ephesians 4:8, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.”  Jesus suffered and died to break the power of the enemy over our lives.  He bound the strong man of the house (satan) and loosed the captives held in sin and bondage.  That was you and I.  Romans 6:22 says, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” And Romans 8:2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

How many of us have enjoyed the freedom we found in Christ, then one day have satan show up on the doorstep of our soul with the temptation to partake again of those things from which we had been set free?  James 1:13-16 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.   Do not err, my beloved brethren.” So we know the temptation doesn’t come from God, but many of us know the slippery slope it has led us too and many of us have slid down that slope, feeling the shame and disgrace of again giving place to those temptations that led us into sin.

Jesus told his disciples when they were in the Garden with him just before the Passion, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak. (Matthew 26:41).” The flesh we live in is our weakest link in living a victorious life in Christ.  While we have been set free from the sin nature, the power and temptation of sin can still influence our soul as it stirs up those former passions and desires.  Jesus said this in Luke 12:39, “And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.”  If you are the good man of your spiritual house and you knew that at a certain time satan was going to come to you with a particular temptation, you would prepare for it and strengthen and fortify that area so that you would not yield to that temptation.  Check the doors of your spiritual house.  Have we left an access open, windows or doors for temptation to find its way into our house?  Have we failed to rid our lives of all the avenues that sin can again have access into our souls?   Lock the windows and doors of your soul, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1Peter 5:8).”    This is why we must watch and pray always, maintaining a vigil against the temptation that wants to come and entice us back into sin.  The spirit man in us must be the strong man in our house as we are identified with Christ and each day we are to be walking in the revelation of our union and oneness with Him.

Isaiah 59:19 says, “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”  That standard is the Word of God and our faith in it.  As Jesus used the Word to defeat devil’s temptations in the wilderness, so it is our standard by which we establish in our own hearts the righteousness upon which we stand.

Have we slipped back into those former sins?  Are we tempted to do so now?  The blood of Jesus is there to provide the way back.  God does not want us beaten down by the condemnation of our failures; neither does He want us to remain in them.  Reach out and take hold of the hand of Jesus.  He is there to pull us back out of that miry clay and set our feet again on solid ground.  1John 1:9 is His outreached hand of grace to us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  We must find our victory, not out of condemnation, but in the love of whose we are.  Wrap your spiritual arms around Jesus, let Him be the passion and desire that is above every other.  Satan will come knocking at our door, but 1Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].”  Run away from the temptations that comes your way and run into the arms of Jesus that He might show and provide for you the way of escape.  He is our standard, our banner and our victory.

 

The Word of God gives much mercy and grace

to be forgiven and to turn from our sin,

but it never gives us justification and excuse

to continue abiding in it. It is where we change

our direction, not our pretense of righteousness

while we continue in sin.

 

Pull up all of those markers where sin has marked our life.

Make a righteous declaration of faith based on what the

Word of God says we now are in those places in Christ Jesus.

Allow righteousness to define you, where sin once defiled you.

 

When we harbor the fugitives of our repentance

we are still in colaberation with the enemy of our soul.

 

You can’t conquer the ground in the places where you

are still giving place to the enemy.

 

True Christianity is not an idealogy or a theology,

it where we walk as Christ walked and where His

Word becomes flesh in us. If we love God we will

keep His commandments.

Blessings,

#kent

A True Spirit of Giving

December 19, 2018

Luke 14: 12-14

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

 

A True Spirit of Giving

 

The holidays are a wonderful time for most.  They are filled with fun, parties, dinners, presents, friends and family.  For some they can be the most miserable times of the year, because they are filled with poverty, want and loneliness.  Many of us tend to close an eye and turn a deaf ear to those, because we don’t want to put any damper on the spirit of our season.  If it is truly a season for giving then who is more deserving and needing of our love and gifts than those who have been less fortunate?  If our giving is a blessing, we may be missing one of the greatest blessings of all by ignoring those who need to be blessed the most.  This is not to condemn any of us.  It is just to remind us all that the heart of Jesus is for the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, the person without a job and the person living alone with no real family.  Let us open our arms wide in this season and find the joy in giving to those who are so often forgotten and neglected.  Often it is the little things that we give of ourselves that mean the most.  Let us make a difference in our world through a true spirit of giving.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Blessings,

#kent

The Tender Presence of Jesus

December 18, 2018

 

The Tender Presence of Jesus

 

Song of Solomon 7:10

I [am] my beloved’s, and his desire [is] toward me.

 

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8). For those outside of God’s will and salvation, the presence of the Lord can be a fearful thing.  Even we, His beloved people fear Him in loving reverence, adoration and awe.  Psalms 114:7-8 says, “Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 8 who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.”  Our God and Lord is so awesome.  He is so powerful that the simple exhalation of His breath could blow us all away and yet He has a love so great and tender it is like unto a vast ocean with no beginning and no end.  This love is why the presence of God intrigues us so.  We desire to swim out into the depths of His love and mercy, splash in His grace and bath in His wonderful, wonderful presence.  This why we desire the place of intimacy and relationship where we may more personally know Jesus.  1 Chronicles 16:27 says, “Glory and honor [are] in his presence; strength and gladness [are] in his place.” We never experience God like those times of intimacy in His presence when He just floods our hearts with Himself.  Psalms 16:11 expresses it so well when it speaks,  “You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”

Beloved, we are so precious in the sight of God.  We are the heartbeat and the passion of the Christ.  We are His love.  His focus, His eye and His desire is toward His bride.  We run and hide from His presence, because we, like Adam and Eve, are so self-conscious of our nakedness, our sin, our shortcomings and our unworthiness of His love and compassion.  Yet God sees beyond the outward filthiness and nakedness of our humanity.  He sees into the very depths of our heart.  He sees our true desires and longing for Him.  He comes, spreads over and covers us with His righteous garments; those that He has provided through his own sacrifice and the shedding of His blood.   Adam and Eve only had the skins of animals that had been sacrificed so that they could be covered, but we have the blood and the righteousness of the Lamb of God to cover and clothe us.  God sees His Son in us.  1 Corinthians 1:30-31 tells us, “But of him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption That, according as it is written, He that glories, let him glory in the Lord.”  Indeed this is what we glory in, His love, His salvation and the multitude of His benefits that would fill volumes.  How blessed and privileged we are in our Lord.  We have an access into the presence of God and the heavenlies that many only imagine.  Those of us that enter into that place of His tender presence know that there is nothing else like it in all of the earth.  In that place our tears of joy flow as we feel the love the Lord just bathing and caressing our soul.  This is what the people of God are longing for so much.  They have set at the table of man’s religion and have always left with a lean soul and a longing for more.  This is where many of us are at today.  We are looking for the real.  We are looking for that tender presence of Jesus, the lover that is like no other.  When He meets with us we leave satisfied, fulfilled and changed by His presence.

Many people have entered into a second marriage and probably understand when I say that often you bring a lot of baggage with you from that previous relationship.  That was your point of reference.  That was the standard by which you measured what relationship was about.  We who are in Christ have died to that former relationship we had under the law of sin and death.  We still try and compare and measure our relationship with Christ by those lower standards.  He won’t fit in our box.  Christ loves you with an incomprehensible and incomparable love.  We have only touched and skirted the fringes of the love that God has for us.  “But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God (1Corinthians 2:9-10).” It is the communion, the fellowship and the intimate relationship we have with Christ that is unveiling and taking us deeper into the revelations of who we are in Christ and how rich He is in us.

As we are the passion of His Love, He must be no less in our sight and our desire.  As a love impassioned woman we must pursue our lover, wherever He leads and however that love is tested, it must remain determined, committed and undaunted in its passion.  Many things come before us to turn our eye and heart from our Love, but we must remain true and settle for nothing less than His highest love for us.  This love will be rewarded with His tender presence as we are brought into the intimate place of His Love.

Blessings,

#kent

The Inner Workings of Peace

December 17, 2018

The Inner Workings of Peace

 

1 Thessalonians 5:23

And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

One of the attributes that so characterizes God is the attribute of peace.  We think of God as being many things, but I don’t know if I personally stop to dwell on the fact that He is the God of peace.  In the tumultuous world that we live in, peace is a commodity that is often a fleeting thing.  One of the things we as a people need and desire for our happiness and fulfillment is this attribute of peace.

Peace is more than a feeling or an emotion.  It is a Person.  The Holy Spirit within us is the Person of Peace that abides within the believer.  Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”  Jesus made it clear that the peace that He left with us was not the world’s peace that was a feeling or a condition one minute and gone the next.  God’s peace isn’t fleeting, it is eternal, and it is a part of who He is.  Outwardly we are often troubled about many things.  All of hell may be breaking loose around us and we ask how can we have peace?  Isaiah 53:5 says, “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.” One of the things Jesus suffered and died for was our peace.  Without peace we will never be content, happy or fulfilled.  One of the basic needs a man has is for peace and security.

The question many of us are asking ourselves is, if I have Jesus why aren’t I experiencing His peace.  It is the same reason you are not experiencing the fullness of your salvation.  Godliness and peace can only fill us to the extent that we are allowing God to fill our lives with Himself as we are in relationship and intimacy with Him.  As we see here in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, peace, which is a portion of our salvation, is seen in the three dimensions that make up man, spirit, soul and body.  When we receive Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into abide, possess and fill the spirit.  While we possess that inner peace and assurance of our salvation we know that our soul is that battleground where we fight the spiritual and emotional battles in the turmoil of everyday life.  Our body is then often directly affected by how the battle is going within the soul.  There will most likely be days when all of us get rattled, frazzled, shook up, stirred up and feel our life is upside down.  The place of peace is still there.  It hasn’t left us, but we must enter into it.  It is synonymous with the rest of God.  We often get caught up in fighting battles and struggling with issues that God alone can resolve.  Our hiding place, our refuge is in that sanctuary of His peace.  When everything is falling apart around us our victory is turning into Him that is our peace, declaring and exalting His Lordship over our circumstances and building our faith and confidence through the promises of His Word.  God sees the world in the light of eternity; we see the world in the light of the moment.  Circumstances, like the weather, change.  His peace will fill us more and more as we live out of that inner sanctuary of the spirit.  As we find that place of intimacy with Him we will also find the security of knowing that He is in our boat and it doesn’t matter how great the storm, how strong the gale or how much it appears that we will perish.  What happens to us must first go through the Master.  Even if it appears He is asleep in the bottom of the boat, He is still in control of all that touches our lives and is working ‘all things to good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).’

Today, if you are struggling with a lack of peace, bring a peace offering before the Lord.  Repent of your fears, unbelief, wrong feelings and attitudes.  Just come and place it all at His feet.  Lay your head on the lap of Jesus and let Him fill you with His rest and peace.  It is only in living out of the Spirit of God that we can have the peace and rest of God.  Allow the God of Peace to fill and possess you, spirit, soul and body.

Blessings,

#kent

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