Light of the World

February 28, 2019

 

Jhn 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

 

Light of the World

 

John 1:4 says, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”  Have you ever felt your way in the darkness?  You’re feeling around holding your arms out while you move them back and forth feeling for objects in your path, gingerly putting one foot in front of the other while you seek to find your way.  Especially in unfamiliar surrounding we develop a distorted view of what our surrounding are really like in the darkness.  If we lived in this condition continually then our reality would come to be based on the distorted perceptions that we would develop.  Then one day someone pulls back the curtains lets the light shine brightly into that environment we had been dwelling in so long without light.  Perhaps our initial reaction is one of confusion and bewilderment as we struggle to adjust to this illumination of the area we thought we had all figured out while it was in darkness.  We begin to realize that if we saw anything at all it was just the highlights of our surroundings, but so many details we had missed.  Suddenly the light has brought a whole new meaning and dimension to life that we had never been aware of before.  In that light so much is revealed and lot of it isn’t good.  We see all the messes, the dirt and the filth we had been able to overlook in the darkness.  The light introduced a whole new dimension in our lives that wasn’t there before.  Now we are faced with a decision, do we walk and live in the light and begin to operate our lives based on this new insight or do we see all of the things we are much happier to leave hidden in the shadows and darkness of our lives and choose to pull the curtains back shut, continuing to live in the darkness?

God was the one who pulled back the curtain of spiritual ignorance and allowed the light and knowledge of Christ to shine fully upon the spiritual darkness of this earth.  Jesus brought the spiritual light to men and shone into our darkened hearts with the truth of His Word.

What will we do with the light of His truth?  Will we receive the light of Christ and in union with the Holy Spirit begin to clean out the garbage that has polluted our lives or will we do as John 3:19-20 says, ” And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.”

Will we allow the light to fill our lives and bring us into the light and life of God or will we pull the curtains and reject the light, choosing darkness and spiritual death?  God has left the choice to you.

Blessings,

#kent

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The Blessing of Our Women

February 27, 2019

 

The Blessing of Our Women

 

Proverbs 31:8

Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.

 

 

Most all of us have a woman or women that are very special in our lives.  They are often so dependable, constant and such a continual source of blessing that we often become complacent and even unappreciative in our attitudes toward them.  Much like our attitude can become toward the Lord, we can become very insensitive to their presence, their continual serving and blessing and all that they contribute to our lives.  We often are far more acutely aware of their faults, their nagging, and their expectations.  Yet it is often some of these little irritating qualities that keep us on track, that help us live up to our abilities and responsibilities, and they are often the cornerstones of our households.  These little ladies look after us, pamper us, serve us, bless us, love us, even when we are unlovely and they are constantly laying down their lives to unselfishly serve and bless their families.

Often we relegate one day a year to commemorate and recognize these special ones, which is much like just going to church on Christmas or Easter.  We should be so cognizant to love and appreciate them every day, in every way and through all of the little actions as well as the larger ones.  Sure they have their human side.  They can get cranky and irritable and some times hard to live with, but that may be a good indication that we as men and children aren’t doing our part to support, love and care for them.

I know my wife is so giving and far more generous than I am.  While I’m always carefully watching the bottom line, if there is something I really need or want, she doesn’t hesitate to try and bless me with it if it is in her power to do so.  Time would fail me to tell all of the examples of her giving and blessings in my life.  She is such an example of love and Christ to me in these areas.  Often, I get irritated with her for always asking me if I remembered this or that, but if she didn’t she knows that there is a good chance I would go off and forget it.  What I am saying is that these special women are such a constant source of blessing and help to us, and we usually cop an attitude with them in their efforts to help us keep on track.

Proverbs 31:30 says, “Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”  We men and children that have godly women in our lives are very blessed and should never fail to praise and appreciate them.  They wear innumerable hats, continually work at daunting tasks and yet manage to love and serve their household in that process.  Many of us truly have heroines living among us whom we don’t love and appreciate nearly enough.  They deserve our best, because they give no less of themselves.

It is interesting that some of Jesus’ last thoughts and concerns, while hanging on a cross, were for His mother.  He delegated her care to the disciple John.  If we see Jesus throughout His ministry so tender, loving, forgiving and caring of women should we, as men, be any less so?  He valued women as few men did of that time.  The Word exhorts us husbands in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”

We must ask ourselves, as men, husbands and children, are we really, everyday appreciating and showing the women in our lives how special they are?  Our encouragement and praise means so much to them and helps them to continue on in their endeavor to serve and bless us.  I speak this as strongly to myself as I do anyone else; that the women in your life are an extension of you in one way or another.  If we love ourselves then we must not fail to love and bless them as a part of ourselves.  Many of our marriages and relationships fail, because we cease to really love and appreciate one another.  We become focused on all of the faults and shortcomings and actually cause them to become accentuated through the negative confessions of our lips.  What if we were to speak, sometimes by faith, what we see or would like to see more of them, in a positive way?  What if we were to be sure and praise and appreciate often, the positive aspects of one another while humbly and willingly receiving loving correction and exhortation from one another.  None of us are the perfect husband or wife, mother or child, but we can move and encourage one another toward that through the positive reinforcement we can bring to one another’s lives.  Let today and each coming day be a day of true appreciation of those special women in our lives.  Let us continually let them know how special they are and how much they bless our lives.

Blessings,

#kent

Principles of Fear

February 26, 2019

 

Principles of Fear

 

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

 

Fear can be a dreadful thing, a strong motivator, a real or imagined substance and an object of reverence and respect.  I went through and looked at all of the scriptures that dealt with fear.  Did you know that fear occurs some 400 times in the King James Bible?  I would say that makes it something we have to deal with and do deal with.  We have all known fear and in different forms.  We have known fear in a scary sense, an awesome and respectful sense, a sense of reverence, a dreadful sense and in the sense of terror.  So this one word fear can have different connotations to us, just like the word love can.  It doesn’t carry the same meaning and context in every situation.   What is more, is that I was surprised to find that the Word of God deals more with the fear of the Lord than any other fear.  We might not think of fear as having positive and negative effects, but it does.  If we looked at love as a comparison; the highest form of love being the love of God and the lowest form of love being hate.  The highest level of fear is the fear of God and the lowest level of fear is terror.

When we read the context of scripture here in 1 John we might well question, “Why does the Word tell us so many times to ‘fear God’ and then turn around here and tell us that ‘there is no fear in love’? “ As I was meditating on these things the Lord brought to mind when I used to be an electrician in a power plant.  Before I became an electrician and didn’t understand a lot about electricity, it was a lot scarier to me.  Without understanding there was ignorance and ignorance gave way to fear.  I didn’t know exactly how electricity worked, but I did know it could be dangerous and that it could hurt or even kill you.  The more I learned and worked with electricity the less fearful I became and the more confident I was to work with it.  Electricity can be a lot like God, it can have awesome potential and power, but it has principles and laws that it operates by.  In order to work safely with electricity I had to learn the laws, principles and ways that electricity worked and respect those laws.  If I became complacent, careless or disrespectful of those law then I was opening myself up to hurt.  While I didn’t have to be afraid of electricity in a dreadful sense, I had to always maintain a respectful fear of it.  Even though I couldn’t see it, if I violated it, it could definitely hurt me or kill me.  My safety and my peace were in obedience to the laws and parameters with which I worked with electricity and its related equipment.  The same holds true of God.  He has given us an instruction manual and codebook to know what the principles of God are and how we are to relate with Him.  The more I come to know, experience and live with God in my life, more comfortable and at peace I can feel with Him.  I can never lose my respect for who He is and what violation of His principles and laws will bring.  Now I no longer have to fear God in terror, because I am operating out darkness and ignorance, I am learning to fear God in the highest form of His love.  My obedience and submission to God has moved from being motivated by fear to being motivated by love.  Jesus says, “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”  As I am caught up into the love of God it supersedes the fear of God.

Let’s take it a step further.  Have you ever wondered why birds can land on power lines with thousands of volts going through them and not be killed or even hurt?  It is because their body becomes that same potential as the power line.  As long as they are at the same potential no harm comes to them, but if they had a long enough legs or wings to reach over and touch and another phase wire or ground they would be toast.  In our unity and oneness with Christ we are at the same potential as He is.  We are conducting His power and life, but if we take that God life and identify it with the flesh, now we have a problem.  Spirit and flesh are at two different potentials and they don’t mix without problems.  We short circuit God’s Life in us and then we become the problem and no longer the solution.  Thank God for the blood of Jesus that is the insulator and the repairer of those conflicts, but it is not the permission for them.  Sin brings us out of the fellowship of love and back into the realm of fear.  Maybe you see how the perfect love of God cast out fear because it can bring us to that place of being at the same potential that He is.  That doesn’t make us God, but it does make us the conduit and transmitter of His life and love.  The potential that exists with us in this place is far greater than when we were on the ground.  As long as we stay in the flow of His love, walking in the Spirit, submitting our whole selves to the principles of His Life, we are operating at an unlimited potential because of that Life that is flowing through us.

Hopefully this illustration helps to see how the fear of God and the love of God come together.

Blessings,

#kent

Philippians 3:3

For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

 

Faithfulness to Gifts and Callings

 

The hands that led me and guided me are the hands that held me, changed me and loved me.

Those hands didn’t have a lot of experience and wisdom when they started.  They didn’t have all of the answers or even know all of the rules, but they were faithful with the entrustment that God had given them.   They weren’t rich, greatly educated and were not of any position as the world regards such things, but they worked hard, they kept the faith and they didn’t give up.  They were faithful in what they knew.  It was that lack of self-dependence and the need for God dependence that taught them faith, trust, and reliance upon the One whom is steadfast and faithful.  It is the struggles, the trials, and the continual reaching out to God that develops that patience and steadfastness that turns into wisdom, understanding, giving and sacrifice.  It teaches us to look beyond ourselves, to place no confidence in our flesh, but to rejoice in Christ Jesus who is our life provision.

God has placed an infant of responsibility into each one of our hands.  We may want to withdrawal from it because we lack wisdom, understanding or natural ability.  We can not withdraw from our God-given responsibilities or we end up denying the gift and the Giver.  When God gives us something or calls us to something, we can depend upon Him being faithful to teach us how to be a good parent and steward over it, if we will simply keep our reliance and faith upon Him.  Sometimes we want to abort or give our infant of responsibility to someone else, because it doesn’t fit into our plans and its not what we want.  Most of us have discovered by now that what we want isn’t always what is best for us even if we think it is at the time.  God gives us what we need, to be who He has created us and destined us to be.  All we have to do, to fulfill His destiny for us, is to be faithful to do what He has placed in our hands to do and be what He has placed within us to be in Him.  The motive in us must be for His glory and not our own.  He didn’t create us for our glory, but for His.

Some of us are still pregnant with the gift and calling of God within us.  If we are to fulfill our destiny and calling we must be willing to enter into labor and by God’s grace working in us, bring it forth.  Which of us feels qualified to deal with all that is entailed with a newborn, especially our first?  Parenthood develops in us as we assume the responsibility and care for that child one-day at a time.  We are so proud of our kids because they are the products of what was birthed out of us and by God’s grace we are raising them or have raised them to maturity where they might continue the cycle.

Don’t be afraid about what you don’t know how to do.  Just do what you know and trust God to show you and teach you how to do the rest.   Most importantly, we must not deny what He has placed within us by the Holy Spirit.  We must do what the Lord has placed in our hearts to do and be what He has placed in our hearts to be.  Just as we must assume responsibility for what the Lord has given us, we must not assume ownership of that gift or calling for which we have been called to be faithful stewards.  When we see the fruition and success of that which God has birthed through us, it is easy for us to lifted up in pride over what we have done.  This will be a stumbling block to us if we allow that to happen.  We have been given the privilege to be an overseer of God’s gift, but always remember that it is for God’s glory and not for our own.  Even Jesus who has been given all authority and power in heaven and in earth, when all things have come to full subjection under His feet, then will He yield it back up to the Father.  All things that come out of the Father must return back into Him. ‘We rejoice in Christ Jesus and place no confidence in the flesh.’

Blessings,

#kent

 

You are the Light of the World

 

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

 

John 8:12 declares to us, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  When Jesus tells us that we are the light of the world then it is pretty obvious where the origin of that light is.   It is first in Christ and now abides in us by virtue of the fact that Christ is in us.  We are the lamps of God to show others the way of salvation and to bring His light to illuminate the souls of others so that they in turn may be lightbearers.  It is interesting that the Word doesn’t say that we necessarily share our light by preaching at people.  Jesus says, “let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”  People often hear people saying a lot of things about Jesus and God, but what do you think that they look at to confirm the authenticity of what you may be speaking with your words?  They are going to observe your life.  If you are really this godly person that you speak of then the proof should be in the pudding.  They want to observe the reality of Christ in our lives in our daily living, actions and deeds.  There are many voices saying many things about the way to God.  Why would someone believe that maybe ours is the right way?  Could it be because they see in us someone who is not like the rest of the world?  Could it be because they are seeing someone living out of kingdom principles of love, giving, putting others first, compassion, kindness and self-control?  They probably aren’t going to see perfection, but they must be able to observe the difference through our good deeds.  That is what will draw men to the Lord and make the words you have to share about Christ and salvation more effectual.

Where the light is, there is a conviction of sin.  If the life of Christ is truly evident in our lives there will be those who don’t want to be around you because of the conviction just your presence brings.  You may not say or do anything that is condemning them and yet they will feel the conviction of their sin.  On the other hand others will be drawn to the light because they see that you possess something that can deliver them out of the power and destruction of sin.  Jesus says in John 3: 19-22,  “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”  Sin, by nature, abides in darkness.  Men that love their sin will not enjoy your company if you are bringing with it the light of God.

When we make the decision to live in truth, it doesn’t mean that there is not darkness left around us.  We experience through acceptance of Christ a cleansing, but there are still attitudes, behaviors and strongholds in our soul that are still in darkness.  The difference is that we have given the Holy Spirit permission to deal and convict us of those areas of sin so that we may gain freedom from their stronghold and influence.  This is an ongoing experience of salvation and work of the Holy Spirit in us.

1 John 1:7 tells us, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. Our safety and salvation is walking in the light so that sin has no place to hide in us.  Our greatest place of danger is when we harbor our sins, our secret lust and desires in the darkness.  It is in the darkness that they feed and grow.  James 1:5 reveals the progression, “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”  We must think of sin as like a cancer.  Early detection and treatment is the key.  The body of Christ is not to be a rumor mill of gossip and condemnation.  It should be a safe haven where we can confess our sins one to another.  It should be a place of healing and restoration.  James 5:16 tells us, “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Our accountability to one another as well as to the Lord is what can help us when we are struggling with areas of sin in our lives.  We tend to all want to act like everything is fine with us when we are in Christian circles, because we are all suppose to be so spiritual.  We need times to get intimately real with one another and really confess and pray for one another in the areas where we struggle and we all do.  Find that Christian friend in your life of the same sex that you can bear the secrets of your heart too and they can share with you.  Pray for one another, be accountable to one another and help each other to walk in the light, for you are the light of the world.

Blessings,

#kent

The Redeemed

February 21, 2019

The Redeemed

 

Psalms 107:1-2

O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say [so], whom he hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy;

 

You, who have embraced Christ as your Savior, are the redeemed of the Lord.  You are the ones who have been purchased out of the earth by the precious blood of Jesus.  You are the ones that He glories in, delights in and puts His favor upon.  If we look with natural eyes we will not see the fullness of who we are in Christ and what we have been called to be.  Your vision may be clouded with present troubles, problems and afflictions.  Though it is often veiled, there rest upon you such a high and holy calling and anointing that only the redeemed may possess.  The redeemed must first walk in the way of the Lord’s suffering and the cross that they may also be partakers of His glory and inheritance.  True identification with Christ will often lead you, like Peter, where you would not go.  You have yielded your life to Him and now He directs your steps as you walk in obedience to His will in your life.  Many in the earth would despise, afflict and revile the redeemed, because they despise the things of God and are enemies to the cross, but they do not see the latter end.  In Isaiah 51:11-13, the Lord says, “The ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. 12 “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men, the sons of men, who are but grass, 13 that you forget the LORD your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth, that you live in constant terror every day because of the wrath of the oppressor, who is bent on destruction?  For where is the wrath of the oppressor?”  The redeemed walk in the hope and confidence of their God even when all natural circumstances witness against it.  ‘Let God be true and every man a liar.’

Isaiah 62:5-12 again speaks this word of promise and encouragement to the redeemed, “As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. 6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth. 8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; 9 but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the courts of my sanctuary.” 10 Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. 11 The LORD has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: “Say to the Daughter of Zion, ‘See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.’ ” 12 They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the LORD; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.”  There is a time when the Lord allows the world to have their way with His redeemed.  They must have the nature of Christ perfected in them in the midst of adversity and trial, but there will come the time when the Lord says, “Enough! No more!”  It is kind of like the Cinderella story where a princess and a queen has been hidden in a young maiden who has been treated shamefully by a wicked step-mother and step sisters and abused as a servant girl.  One, who has been looked down upon, despised, ridiculed and mocked.  There comes a day in the great story of God that the bride will rise up out of the cinders and ashes to take her rightful place at the right hand of Christ and God the Father.  There will be a day when the Lord will declare her ruler-ship and authority.  What was despised will now become the exalted of the Lord, His diadem and the jewel of the whole earth.

Revelations 5:9-10 declares, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”  Redeemed of the Lord hold fast to your God and forsake Him not; for great is the recompense of His reward upon those that are called by His name.

Blessings,

#kent

Parables of the Kingdom

February 20, 2019

 

Parables of the Kingdom

 

Matthew 13:44-52

44″The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45″Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

47″Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

51″Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.

“Yes,” they replied.

52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

 

Jesus has given us some parables here in Matthew to help us grasp a spiritual understanding of the kingdom of heaven.  It is much like you having discovered a large reservoir of oil beneath your property.  You grasp the potential wealth of what you are sitting on, but until the oil can be brought to the surface it has no practical and realized value or worth to you.  Aren’t our lives the same way?  We have discovered the great truth and wealth we have of Christ in us, our hope of glory, but as long as He stays locked up in our spirit, our property, remains pretty much unchanged.  So what will we do?  Now having this knowledge of the great treasure possessed beneath the surface, we will make our primary pursuit and investment in gleaning the treasure we know is there.  We will make what ever sacrifices are necessary of what we now possess outwardly so that we might tap into the rich resources that are hidden in our earth.  2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” There is treasure in these here vessels of clay and we need to mine it out.  We are drilling for the nature, the power and the life of Christ, and we don’t want to spare any expense or fail to make any sacrifice necessary to lay hold of it.  What is more is that, as we are in pursuit of the riches within, we want to share the good news with others around us.  We want them to know that they also can have this treasure, but we find that many are far too self-absorbed to hear us or lay hold of the truth that we are sharing with them.  Paul says in verses 4-6, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”  We have been blessed with the revelation of the riches we have within, now it is about laying hold of them till they become resident and manifest in our daily lives.  In laying hold of these riches there are other things that we value in life that we will have to let go of.  We have to decide where our treasure really is and what we are willing to give up to lay hold of it.  If we choose the riches and what is valuable to us in this life then we will lose our grip on the eternal life and fail to realize the riches that we held.  On the other hand, when we are willing to forsake all else and spend all our resources to lay hold of this treasure within, then we will lay hold of riches that so far exceed those we could ever know in this world.

In another parable Jesus gives here of the net drawing in a great catch of fish we see that the kingdom of heaven is currently made up of a mixture of both good and bad.  We see it in the realm of Christianity.  It is a mixture of flesh and Spirit.  We also see that in God’s time there will be a purification and casting out of all that is bad or that defiles.  This same analogy could apply to our individual lives as well.  We may often become disgusted with all of the flesh and ungodliness we see in the body of Christ, but we don’t have to look any further than ourselves to see where it comes from.  We are like that net of fish, full of a mixture of good and bad.  Surely I am not the only one that becomes so discouraged with myself; with how far I miss the mark and fail to walk after the Spirit in so many aspects of my life.  We are a mixed bag that the Holy Spirit is trying to help us sort out as we look and fully lean upon Him.  Most any valuable thing in its natural state is impure.  That is why God is processing us, to bring out the riches of His pure nature and love.  Sometimes it is like going through hell with fire and gnashing of teeth as we deal with these areas of impurity and iniquity in our lives.

In Matthew 13:52 Jesus says something rather interesting, “52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.””  It is like, the more the Holy Spirit instructs us in our lives through knowledge and experience in godliness, the more we understand and know of its ways.  As we grow in understanding and experience we share that with others who are likewise seeking to know Christ in a deeper and more meaningful way.  We all have rich experiences of how the Lord has dealt in our lives and how He has taught us.  As we share these with others it is mixture of not just past experiences and knowledge, but also of fresh revelation and insight into areas of our lives.  Our lives should be a combination of new treasures and old.  It is like building a house, you are continually building upon the former with new material.  God’s Word never changes and yet it is always fresh as He unveils new truth, insight and revelation in it.

What kingdom truths is the Lord opening up in your understanding and what are we doing to lay hold and see the reality of these truths come to pass in our lives?  He is our resource, our provision and our salvation, but we have to let go of the world with that other hand.  It is going to take both of our hands holding fast to His so that He can pull us up into Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Matthew 5:14-16

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”

 

A Life That Makes a Difference

 

When we reflect upon our lives and their meanings, don’t we all want to feel like our life made a difference in the world and had an impact?  Life is not lived to make a void when it is gone, but to make a difference while it is here.  A selfish life is an empty life.  Life is a gift given to us that we may impart into others.  If we miss our purpose, then we have missed our meaning.

The older I get the less I care about what others think of me or how they view me.  My heart is, “God let every day count and let me live it to Your glory by accomplishing Your will.”  I told my brother-in-law the other day at his birthday,  “You know, I feel like I have reached critical mass and I am accelerating into the Son!”  The older we get the more aware we become of the urgency to impact our world and the lives around us.  This is what Jesus intended us to do.

How often in the past have I sat on my light or muffled its sound for fear of offending or not gaining another’s approval?  Do I represent Jesus before men, as I would want Him to represent me before the Father?

Think about what Jesus said concerning the meaning and direction of our life in Mark 8:34-38, “Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it. 36What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? 37Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? 38If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”

Doesn’t this say that Jesus wants our lights to shine with a passion?  It doesn’t mean we have to be fanatically strange, but then if we are so like Jesus we are going to tend to stick out like a light in a dark place and that’s okay.  There are those who are drawn to the light and then there are those who will recoil back into the darkness.  We are not here to be conformed to the darkness but to dispel it with the light and truth that dwells within us.  Jesus said as much with the way He lived His life as He did with His words.  It is not about meeting a quota and witnessing to so many people, it is about being a witness through the way you live your life and how you lay it down for others.  Some of us feel condemned because we don’t always know what to say or how to say it.  The fact that you take the time to care about someone you don’t know or who can’t benefit you, speaks to the One in you.  The fact that you would just take the time to tell someone how special they are and that God wants them to know that He really loves and cares about them.  We have made it more about pitching religion and getting someone to pray the sinner’s prayer than about really loving and caring about them in the way that Jesus would.  I have found that when people don’t feel like you have an agenda when you approach them in a sincere and loving way, more times than not they are open to that.  They want to know that God really does see them, care about them and love them.  It can be a real blessing even to have a loving stranger offer to pray for you or meet a need.  So many people out there may be smiling on the outside, but they are crying on the inside.  They need and want answers, not just religion and dogma shoved down their throats.  They want to see the reality of it exemplified in the lives of God’s people.  So often they watch those who say they know Christ, but then become disappointed and disillusioned, because they see God’s people acting and being like everyone else.  There is such power in love to bring light into people’s lives, but it has to be the real deal.  People are fed up with the fake and the insincere.  When we can bring the genuine light of Christ into people’s lives, many will respond to it, but it takes more of us that truly look like Him in the way we live our lives and the love that we carry that so exceeds our own.

Man, in his unregenerate state, is a “self-lover”.  It is always about him.  That man or woman that really is a disciple of Jesus has come to that point where they are willing to lay down their lives so that may become “life givers”, rather than “life takers”.   As Jesus said, ‘If we gain the whole world and lose our soul, its worth is as dust falling through our fingers at the end of life.’  We are left empty, desolate and void, even though we may have thought that we had everything.  Now we face eternity as the poorest among men.  The richest are those who spent all to let their light so shine in a way that it brought others to Christ and imparted His goodness into them.  They may have had nothing in this world, but they face eternity with money in the bank of heaven, a smile on their face and rejoicing in their hearts.  They have gained the fullness of life while lighting the way for others to see.  They are a city set upon a hill that cannot be hidden.  They have lived a life that made a difference.

Blessings,

#kent

God’s Love Letter to You

February 14, 2019

Jeremiah 31:3

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.

 

 

God’s Love Letter to You

 

My child, I love you more than can be ever written or expressed.  I loved you so much that I was willing to give My only begotten Son to die for you, so that I could redeem you back to My heart.

With My own blood I purchased you again from your sin.  I blotted out your transgression and imparted to you the right and privilege to partake of My righteousness.   I have called you out as a people to carry My very own name in all of its majesty and glory.  As My children, all that I have is yours, because you are in My Son and He is in you.

You see and know so little and you aren’t even able to comprehend with your finite minds the length, the breadth and depth of My love for you.  My love isn’t the revelation of material things that soon perish with the using.  My love is you being transformed into My likeness and glory.  It is bringing you into the full expression of who I AM.

Rejoice, even in your trials, for all things are working together for the good of those who love Me and who I have called according to My purpose.

 

Romans 8:28-39, ” And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Blessings,

#kent

Beauty

February 14, 2019

 

Beauty

 

Genesis 29:17

Leah [was] tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured.

 

Isn’t it amazing today as you see all of the television reality shows and what you hear in the attitudes of women?  So many are enamoured with being beautiful and sexy.  Their whole focus is on the outward man.  If they can just have the right kind of looks then everything else will fall into place and happiness will ensue.  The Bible gives an example of two women who were sisters that became the wives of Jacob.  Obviously, the natural eye is attracted to natural and outward beauty.  Jacob was no exception; it was Rachel’s beauty that caught his eye.  On the other hand, we have Leah.  She was no doubt a nice quiet little gal with gentle eyes, but not in the exceptionally beautiful category.

The story goes that Jacob worked seven years for Labon, the girls’ father so that he could marry Rachel.  Come the wedding day, with the veil and all, Labon pulled a fast one and gave Jacob Leah, rather than Rachel.  Naturally Jacob protested, but Labon insisted that the custom was that the elder daughter should marry before the younger and that he could work another seven years and have Rachel as well.  So Jacob ends up with two wives, Rachel the one he loves and is drawn too and Leah, the less desirable one that he is now joined too or stuck with.  It is interesting how God enters into the picture in this marriage.  Genesis 29:31-32 it says, “And when the LORD saw that Leah [was] hated, he opened her womb: but Rachel [was] barren.  And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.”

There are some of you ladies out there that may feel you got the short end of the stick, rather perceived or real, you don’t feel beautiful.  You feel undesirable and unattractive.  The natural inclination for all of us is to be good looking, well liked and popular with people.  God in His infinite wisdom didn’t make a good many of us to fall into this category.  What we must see is, that often what we don’t have in one area, God can, and does, make up in another.  Proverbs 31:30 tells the women, “Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.”  In God’s eyes there is something far more beautiful and appealing to Him than outward beauty, it is the inward beauty of a godly heart.  Peter bears this out as well in 1 Peter 3:3-5, “Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.  For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands.”

Today this scripture might read,  “Whose adorning is not in a nose job, breast implants, calogen treatments, whitened teeth, liposuction, cosmetics, hot clothes or a tan and sculpted body.”  Women spend billions of dollars every year in the name of beauty and there is nothing wrong with looking nice within reason, but our focus and emphasis is all wrong.  How attractive do you want to be to your husband, Jesus?  He is not concerned or attracted to what you look like outwardly, He is looking at the condition of your heart and soul.  He is looking for that meek and quiet spirit that is living in submission to the Holy Spirit, led and guided by Him.  He is looking for women that are living in the fullness of the inward beauty.  If outwardly you are beautiful, but inwardly you are rebellious, arrogant, mean-spirited and controlling does that equate to a beautiful woman?  Regardless of what you have in the way of outward beauty, you do have a say about the kind of person you can be inwardly.  Develop that beauty.  Cause people to be attracted to you, because of the Christ in you.  That beauty is not vain or selfish, it is in the likeness and nature of your husband, Christ.  If you feel like Leah, then be encouraged that God will make you fruitful, for it was out of Leah that the seed-line of Jesus came, not Rachel.  Let your adorning be “the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible.”  After all, in the end, it is that beauty that appeals and attracts our Savior and that we truly desire to possess.  “A woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised.”

Blessings,

#kent

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