Unthankful

February 13, 2019

 

Unthankful

 

2 Timothy 3:2

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

We often talk about thankfulness and especially around Thanksgiving time it is a reminder, or should be, of all that we have to be thankful for.  We talk about thankfulness and all of the benefits of being thankful.  It keeps us in a right spirit and frame of mind.  It brings us into the presence of the Father and in fellowship with Him.  It enables us to view life from a perspective of how much we do have rather than what we don’t have.

What do we know about the unthankful?  On a human relational level, we have probably all experienced times when we’ve made a sacrifice or gone to trouble and expense to try and bless someone and their attitude turned out to be totally unappreciative.  It probably offended or hurt us that there was no appreciation on their part and no reciprocation of gratitude for our effort and thoughtfulness.  That is an ungrateful spirit.  God is often the recipient of an ungrateful spirit with regards to His created ones.  What is it that makes one poor woman with poverty and afflictions so thankful to God and another man so rich, powerful and blessed with health, so cynical and unappreciative?  It seems it should be the other way around, and yet often it is not.  The more some have, the more unthankful they become.  There is a greater sense of self and lesser sense of their need for God.

In our passage from 2 Timothy today we can see that an unthankful spirit is one of the attributes of men in this last day.  If a person in their midlife compares the attitudes in general of today’s youth and younger generations and those of his childhood, what a difference.  As a rule, there was more respect, especially for those older than you and those in authority.  While more recent generations have been given more and prospered more, their appreciation, respect and gratitude have become less and less.  It has a lot to do with a self-centered mentality.  Instead of appreciating what others do for us, we expect it or think that somehow they owe it to us.  One need only to read this scripture in 2 Timothy to recognize many of the other attitudes and attributes that accompany this unthankful spirit.  It really stems from an anti-Christ spirit.  It is a sign of a hardened heart.  Romans 1:21 describes it like this, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Does God love the unthankful?  Sure He does and they are still blessed just like everyone else.

How are we supposed to deal with such people?  Luke 6:35 tells us, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”  The thing we must remember if are among the grateful and the giving, is not to become embittered or resentful toward the unthankful.  They may not appreciate who you are or what you have to give, but then you don’t do it for their gratitude; you do it as unto the Lord as an expression of your gratefulness to Him and to reflect His attitude of mercy and grace upon the ungrateful and unthankful of heart.

A truly thankful heart is one that is rich in humility.  A truly unthankful heart is rich in selfishness and conceit. Where are our hearts today with regards to true thankfulness?  Have we ever taken the time to sit down and just write out all of the things that we have to be thankful for?  When we do that, we will see why we have so much to thank God for.  Our true thankfulness opens our hearts and spirits to Him and rejoices in His presence and fellowship.

An unthankful heart closes the door to a God with outstretched arms of love, salvation and grace.  Its focus is always on what I don’t have, what I need and what I want.  It will use and then cast aside all that help it attain its desires.  If we see an unthankful heart in us, even in certain areas of our life, we need to repent.

‘We will enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful to Him and give Him praise (Psalms 100:4). ‘

Blessings,

#kent

Unthankful

February 12, 2019

Unthankful

 

2 Timothy 3:2

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

 

               We often talk about thankfulness and especially around Thanksgiving time it is a reminder, or should be, of all that we have to be thankful for.  We talk about thankfulness and all of the benefits of being thankful.  It keeps us in a right spirit and frame of mind.  It brings us into the presence of the Father and in fellowship with Him.  It enables us to view life from a perspective of how much we do have rather than what we don’t have.

               What do we know about the unthankful?  On a human relational level, we have probably all experienced times when we’ve made a sacrifice or gone to trouble and expense to try and bless someone and their attitude turned out to be totally unappreciative.  It probably offended or hurt us that there was no appreciation on their part and no reciprocation of gratitude for our effort and thoughtfulness.  That is an ungrateful spirit.  God is often the recipient of an ungrateful spirit with regards to His created ones.  What is it that makes one poor woman with poverty and afflictions so thankful to God and another man so rich, powerful and blessed with health, so cynical and unappreciative?  It seems it should be the other way around, and yet often it is not.  The more some have, the more unthankful they become.  There is a greater sense of self and lesser sense of their need for God.

               In our passage from 2 Timothy today we can see that an unthankful spirit is one of the attributes of men in this last day.  If a person in their midlife compares the attitudes in general of today’s youth and younger generations and those of his childhood, what a difference.  As a rule, there was more respect, especially for those older than you and those in authority.  While more recent generations have been given more and prospered more, their appreciation, respect and gratitude have become less and less.  It has a lot to do with a self-centered mentality.  Instead of appreciating what others do for us, we expect it or think that somehow they owe it to us.  One need only to read this scripture in 2 Timothy to recognize many of the other attitudes and attributes that accompany this unthankful spirit.  It really stems from an anti-Christ spirit.  It is a sign of a hardened heart.  Romans 1:21 describes it like this, “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.”

               Does God love the unthankful?  Sure He does and they are still blessed just like everyone else. 

How are we supposed to deal with such people?  Luke 6:35 tells us, “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.”  The thing we must remember if are among the grateful and the giving, is not to become embittered or resentful toward the unthankful.  They may not appreciate who you are or what you have to give, but then you don’t do it for their gratitude; you do it as unto the Lord as an expression of your gratefulness to Him and to reflect His attitude of mercy and grace upon the ungrateful and unthankful of heart. 

               A truly thankful heart is one that is rich in humility.  A truly unthankful heart is rich in selfishness and conceit. Where are our hearts today with regards to true thankfulness?  Have we ever taken the time to sit down and just write out all of the things that we have to be thankful for?  When we do that, we will see why we have so much to thank God for.  Our true thankfulness opens our hearts and spirits to Him and rejoices in His presence and fellowship.

               An unthankful heart closes the door to a God with outstretched arms of love, salvation and grace.  Its focus is always on what I don’t have, what I need and what I want.  It will use and then cast aside all that help it attain its desires.  If we see an unthankful heart in us, even in certain areas of our life, we need to repent.

 ‘We will enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; be thankful to Him and give Him praise (Psalms 100:4). ‘

Blessings,

#kent

Blessings,

#kent

Endings and New Beginnings

February 12, 2019

 

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.”  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 warns 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 every thing, 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.

Remember that the eyes of the Lord are upon you from the beginning to the end.  Make this a time 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 you be blessed with the rain and the waters of His spiritual blessing and presence as you personally walk, possess the land and live for Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Where is the Honor?

February 8, 2019

Luke 20:9-16

Then began he to speak to the people this parable; A certain man planted a vineyard, and let it forth to husbandmen, and went into a far country for a long time. 10And at the season he sent a servant to the husbandmen, that they should give him of the fruit of the vineyard: but the husbandmen beat him, and sent him away empty. 11And again he sent another servant: and they beat him also, and entreated him shamefully, and sent him away empty. 12And again he sent a third: and they wounded him also, and cast him out. 13Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence him when they see him. 14But when the husbandmen saw him, they reasoned among themselves, saying, This is the heir: come, let us kill him, that the inheritance may be ours. 15So they cast him out of the vineyard, and killed him. What therefore shall the lord of the vineyard do unto them? 16He shall come and destroy these husbandmen, and shall give the vineyard to others. And when they heard it, they said, God forbid.

 

Where is the Honor?

 

It is amazing how many examples I see around of those who have given the most and have been honored the least.  All through the Word of God, we see this same principle at work in His people.  Our loving heavenly Father blesses us, increases us, protects and fills our lives with good things.  Time and again the response has resulted in God’s children, forgetting all of His loving benefits, looking at them as if they were entitled to them or had somehow had gotten all that they had by the works of their own hands.  As a result, the Father who provided all these blessings was scorned, forgotten, neglected, ridiculed and greatly dishonored.

It is not unlike the parable that Jesus gave here in Luke 20.  What God has graciously and lovingly entrusted into our care, we begin to think of as our own.  We forget that every breath we breathe we owe to Him.  Father has invested so much in us in order to see the fruit of godliness, thankfulness and the riches of His grace imparted and shared with others through us.  Yet, so often man and even believers, see their lives as theirs alone, to do with as they please.  They perceive what they have is because of their own abilities and accomplishments. God is shut out of the picture and He is even despised and resented should He require anything from us.  The One who gave us life and all its benefits, we now dishonor, reject and scorn.

How amazing it is to see so many examples around me of parents who have given of themselves and the best of what they could to their children to have children that grow up and treat them the same way so many have treated God the Father.  Maybe in that place so many of these parents can experience and understand the heartbreak we bring to our heavenly Father when we reject Him and the Son that He sent for us.

Jesus made this statement to Nicodemus in John 3:16-20, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

He shows us that, for some, no matter how great the love of the Father is extended toward them, they will still reject the light that is in that love, while they covet the darkness of the own ways.  If we have become so caught up in ourselves and our sense of entitlement, we will always take all that we can, while despising the very hand that gave it to us.  This is true both in the spiritual and in the natural.  We fail to honor and appreciate those who have given us the most. Many times it goes beyond that to where both earthly and spiritual children, despise, resent and transfer the blame for all of their problems back onto the parents or onto God.

I want to encourage parents who have done the best they could to only have dishonor, disrespect and rejection returned to them from their children.  Father God experienced that long before you ever did from His own children and creation.  What is encouraging is that in most of these parents the feelings of love, compassion, caring, and the desire for reconciliation never leaves them.  They still love and care for those rebellious children.  They still lift them up in prayer and pray for God’s compassion upon them.  They still have that Father’s heart for their children.   God wants us to continue to have that kind of a heart; not only for our own children, but for His children as well.  He never stops looking, waiting and anticipating His children’s return to Him.

What children don’t realize is that in the judgements that they make and the dishonor they bring to their parents, they condemn and judge themselves.  When we honor our parents, we honor God who gave them to us.  They may be far less than perfect, but even in their imperfections it could serve to bring you into a much greater place if you maintain that right heart toward them.  Often it is the adversities, even from our parents, that serve to make us a stronger and better person if we allow it too.

First and foremost, may we all endeavor to love and honor the Father who is worthy of all the praise and glory.  May we always honor our parents, even if they weren’t what they should have been and even the more if they were what they should have been.  May we honor the Father’s image in each person whether they walk in light or darkness; endeavoring to reconcile all of God’s children back to Him.  If this strikes a chord with you, it is always God’s heart that there is reconciliation and restoration between children and parents.

Blessings,

#kent

The Touch of God

February 7, 2019

 

The Touch of God

 Job 5:17-19

Behold, happy [is] the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.

 

               What is contained in a touch?  A touch can communicate many things.  It can communicate tenderness or affliction, mercy or wrath, healing or wounding, virtue or hurt, both love and displeasure.  In the Law of Moses there were many commandments of touch not and taste not, but in Christ, righteousness is by faith.  Those that Jesus touched and those who sought to touch Him found the communication of His virtue, healing, power and life passed to them.  What is contained in a touch is what is in the heart of the one who touches. 

               When God touches the lives of His beloved we know that His heart is love.  It is God’s love that desires to bring our hearts and will into conformity with His nature and purpose within us.  We have learned as parents and as children that love can be both tender and it can be tough.  God loves us just the way we are, but He loves us too much to leave us that way.  The touch of God may not always appear to us to be of love, because sometimes it is severe and our understanding is limited.  While God may afflict us and correct us in one area, in another we may see His hand of blessing and deliverance.  I don’t begin to pretend I know the mind and counsel of God, but what I do know is that God is love, therefore all that He does is motivated out of the attribute of that character.  In Job 5 Eliphaz is giving His counsel to Job and He makes these remarks about His observation of the nature of God in verses 8- 27.  “”But if it were I, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. 9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. 10 He bestows rain on the earth; he sends water upon the countryside. 11 The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety. 12 He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. 13 He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. 14 Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. 15 He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. 16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.17″Blessed is the man whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. 19 From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you. 20 In famine he will ransom you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword. 21 You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes. 22 You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the beasts of the earth. 23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. 24 You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing. 25 You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. 26 You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. 27 “We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself.”” 

The Lord is our savior, healer, defender and deliver, but He is also our disciplinarian and the corrector of our ways.  We often attribute our trials and afflictions to our sins, but God isn’t just dealing with sin, that was dealt with in the blood of Jesus.  God is preparing us for a much greater calling, as He was Job.  Job wasn’t dealt with so severely because of His sin, it was God working a greater transformation and calling in Job’s life through the fire of testing and trials.  It was in Job’s integrity and faithfulness through the trials that he came forth into a place of priesthood ministry and double-portion blessing.  God doesn’t touch you with affliction to bring you down, but rather to bring you up.  Keep your eyes upon His promises and trust His heart.

               Maybe you are in that hard place today.  Maybe you don’t understand why and God seems slow to move on your behalf.  Find that place of faith, rest and trust in Him.  Just humble yourself and commit all of your ways to Him.  You can trust that rather in life or death, blessings or affliction, God’s heart for you is love and what He is working is to bring you up and not to bring you down.  Allow God to touch your life to your ultimate benefit that your end may be blessed and fruitful to His glory.

Blessings,

#kent

February 6, 2019

 

Beware the Seductress of Your Soul

 

Proverbs 7:1-5

1MY SON, keep my words; lay up within you my commandments [for use when needed] and treasure them. 2Keep my commandments and live, and keep my law and teaching as the apple (the pupil) of your eye. 3Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4Say to skillful and godly Wisdom, You are my sister, and regard understanding or insight as your intimate friend– 5That they may keep you from the loose woman, from the adventuress who flatters with and makes smooth her words.

 

Proverbs 7 is an exhortation and an illustration of what can happen to any one of us, at anytime as we travel through life.  God has called us to be fishers of men to bring the gospel and the good news of the kingdom to our world and sphere of influence.  We are the lights and the instruments of God’s choosing and using, to draw men to Him.  Even as men are persuaded to righteousness and faith in Christ by the drawing of the Holy Spirit unto life, there is an antithesis that works unto death.  Satan is a fisherman also, continually casting the lure and bait that appeals to our base appetites.  It is rare that one is so foolish to walk into an obvious trap, so what we get caught up in, usually starts out very unthreatening and alluring.  We’ve no doubt all been there at one time or another and to one degree or another.  Some of us, by the grace of God, have been delivered in areas of our life where, at some point and time, the enemy was able to bring great devastation and damage because he was able to get his hook into us and we couldn’t seem to get loose.  Some of us may well still be experiencing the prison of this entrapment and are still battling issues in our lives from wrong choices that we made or others that were close to us have made.  How many of us have felt the effects in our lives from alcohol, drug, sexual addictions, fraud, lying, cheating, stealing and just plain selfishness?  Sin has touched all of us directly and indirectly.

Listen to how the seductress and loose woman of Proverbs 7 seduces and ensnares her prey.  The young man is vulnerable because he is simple, empty-headed and empty-hearted.

“And behold, there met him a woman, dressed as a harlot and sly and cunning of heart. 11She is turbulent and willful; her feet stay not in her house; 12Now in the streets, now in the marketplaces, she sets her ambush at every corner. 13So she caught him and kissed him and with impudent face she said to him, 14Sacrifices of peace offerings were due from me; this day I paid my vows. 15So I came forth to meet you [that you might share with me the feast from my offering]; diligently I sought your face, and I have found you. 16I have spread my couch with rugs and cushions of tapestry, with striped sheets of fine linen of Egypt. 17I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. 18Come, let us take our fill of love until morning; let us console and delight ourselves with love. 19For the man is not at home; he is gone on a long journey; 20He has taken a bag of money with him and will come home at the day appointed [at the full moon]. 21With much justifying and enticing argument she persuades him, with the allurements of her lips she leads him [to overcome his conscience and his fears] and forces him along.”  This woman is a chameleon and will take on the guise of whatever is necessary to capture your heart.  She is a savage beast in beautiful array.  Her one intent is to draw you into temptation that she may destroy your faith and devour you.  Her ways are death and lead to hell.  She has entered the backdoor of your soul in order to drive her dagger into your spirit.  In verses 22-27 we see his end, “Suddenly he [yields and] follows her reluctantly like an ox moving to the slaughter, like one in fetters going to the correction [to be given] to a fool or like a dog enticed by food to the muzzle 23Till a dart [of passion] pierces and inflames his vitals; then like a bird fluttering straight into the net [he hastens], not knowing that it will cost him his life. 24Listen to me now therefore, O you sons, and be attentive to the words of my mouth. 25Let not your heart incline toward her ways, do not stray into her paths. 26For she has cast down many wounded; indeed, all her slain are a mighty host 27Her house is the way to Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead), going down to the chambers of death.”

Our exhortation is to avoid her and not to even flirt with her, for her ways are death.  The way we avoid her is by not being simple minded, but Christ minded.  We set our mind on things above.  We fill our hearts with word of God and His wisdom and discernment.  We do not allow ourselves to become ignorant or naïve concerning the ways of the world and the enticements that it holds.  We keep our hearts humble and trembling before the Lord, for we know that ‘pride preceedth a fall’.  In all humility we seek to warn others lest they also become the prey of satan and their faith is shipwrecked.  Hold fast to the Word of Life.  It is the anchor and preserver of your soul.

Blessings,

#kent

 

What do you hold in your Hand?

 

Acts 3:6-8

Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.

And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.

.

 

If I told you to close your eyes and hold out your hands and in one hand I placed a check for a million dollars and in the other hand I placed a Bible.  Now open your eyes and tell me which of those two items you choose to keep?  The check is good and redeemable at your local bank.  I want you not to just give the answer you think is right, but if this was truly an option for you, which would you choose?

For those of you that chose the Bible over the million dollar check; why would you choose a $10 to $100 book over a million dollars?  Chances are you don’t read that book near as much as you need too or would like to anyway because you are out there trying to earn the million dollars, so are you sure you made the right choice?  What would make this book so valuable that it would be worth more than a million dollars?  Well, for one thing a million dollars has limitations, even though it is a substantial amount of money; God’s Word and His promises don’t have any limitations.  The potential of God’s Word and promises are without measure.  But what makes this book even more valuable is that it holds the words and the way to eternal life and a right relationship with God Almighty.  There isn’t enough money in the world to buy that.   In a few short years our life on earth is done and if this is all there is, well, we might as well live with all the stops pulled out because there is no more.  Why do we as Christians believe that there is more?  Because we believe that book when it says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  That “whosoever” means that anybody qualifies if they truly believe.  We would choose that Bible because we realize that our faith in God is the most powerful asset that we have.  Our faith in our God connects us with the ALMIGHTY, DIVINE CREATOR GOD!  We are plugged into the powerhouse of the universe.   Nothing that is, would exist, if it were not for Him, so why would we choose a meagerly million dollars when in Christ we have wealth and riches beyond limitations.

Now, neither that paper check nor that book with pages and written words has a great amount of value in and of themselves.  The reason they have value is because we see the potential that each one of them carries.  If I never cash the check and withdraw the money, the million dollars does me absolutely no good and the same is true of the Word of God.  If I don’t lay hold of it’s promises by faith and cash in on them by believing God, then they too, are worthless to me.  For something to have value it has to be acted upon.  I have to invest money to buy some commodity and I have to invest my faith to reap my promise.

In our scripture today Peter invested his faith into that lame man.  The results were astounding.  We also, can have astounding results when we dare to invest our faith and walk with our God.  What amount of money could have bought what Peter imparted to that lame man and Peter couldn’t have imparted it if he hadn’t made a choice earlier to pursue the world’s economy or to pursue Christ.  In John 14:12 Jesus tells us, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”  Now, unless Jesus is a liar, there is potential in those words that a lot of us aren’t realizing, but the condition is that we believe on Him.  We need to begin to comprehend what we have in our hand when we chose that Bible over that million dollars.  We need to begin to redeem those promises and allow that Holy Spirit within us to enact those promises as we dare to believe and step out in faith.

The Bible isn’t a magic wand, but it is what can direct us to be in one heart and one mind with our Savior so that we might be an extension of His love and salvation in the earth.  He will give us the power to be what we need to be, as we are living and acting in obedience to Him.

What is in your hand and what are you doing with it?

Blessings,

#kent

The Value of Service

February 4, 2019

 

The Value of Service

Isaiah 55:6-7

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

 

God’s people that walk after His heart are a service-oriented people.  They live to serve.  First they serve their God through obedience, humility and worship.  They serve Him with lives that are yielded to the accomplishment of His will and purpose.  Each is equipped to fulfill this calling in different ways; nevertheless, each one is called to service.  This service is not a function of the will of the flesh or the will of man, it a response of love and fear of the Lord to the Holy Spirit’s direction and opportunity in our lives to serve Him.   We are servants because it is the heart of God in us.  Though He is God and King, He serves His creation.  None of us can deny that every good and perfect gift comes from above.  We ask for His service when we petition Him for our needs and the concerns of our lives.  Jesus came and died to serve us with all the promises contained in His great salvation.  Likewise we may well be God’s answer to prayers prayed by others, as they may be answers to ours.  When I have an itch, I have a hand that is willing to scratch it.  Whatever my body needs, it has members that address those needs.  If my hand should get all caught up in itself and its importance and now it thinks that it should be the center of attention and ministry.  If pride enters into that member it will cease to function in a way that benefits and flows with the needs and ministry of the rest of the body.  Often we can see such hindrances at work in the body of Christ and perhaps we have even become one.  When it becomes about me first and others second, am I functioning with the heart of a servant?

The Lord has blessed each one of us with the ability to be a blessing in some area of our lives.  Too often we are so busy seeking the blessing, that we fail to be the blessing.  Lord teaches us the truth that in our blessing and meeting the needs of others, our needs are met.

Today is our day to seek the Lord while He may be found.  Where He will be found is in that place of true heartfelt humility and repentance.  This is the day for us to forsake our wicked ways and our unclean thoughts.  The mercy of the Lord is there to pardon.  As we move to draw near to God with all of our hearts and our willingness to repent and change, He will begin to put us in position with where we belong in the body of Christ and the service of the Lord.  Serving the Lord is not just about a lot of doing, or programs or committees; it is about fulfilling our calling and function in the body of Christ.  It is already in you to do it as you yield yourself to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to serve through you.  If we are to be somebody’s answer to prayer we need to be in the place of our service.  We need to be operating out of the gifts and abilities the Holy Spirit has given to us to furnish and complete the body of Christ and the Lord’s ministry to a lost and dying world.  Do you really know the value of your service today?  What might seem insignificant to you may mean the world to someone who needs what you can give.

Blessings,

#kent

Single Eye, Single Mind

February 1, 2019

 

Single Eye, Single Mind

 

Luke 11:34-35

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when [thine eye] is evil, thy body also [is] full of darkness.

Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness.

 

We hear it said, “the eye is the window of the soul.”  Jesus is saying something similar in this passage.  The soul is made up of the mind, will and emotions.  The eye really represents the input to what we are feeding into our soul.  Someone could be physically blind and actually have more light in their body than someone who has all of their faculties.  In John 9:39-41 Jesus has a conversation with the Pharisees after healing a blind man and remarks to them,”…For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And [some] of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” Our spiritual sight comes by way of the Spirit of God.  The Holy Spirit is what quickens the Word of the Lord to us and makes it light and life.  We become accountable for the knowledge and light that we have. With what Jesus is saying to the Pharisees it is plain to see that just because they had the knowledge of the Word of God they didn’t necessarily have enlightenment and understanding.  How many are deceived today because they think if they know something about God that saves them or puts them in right position spiritually?  Jesus is saying to the Pharisees, if you were ignorant of the Word of God that would be one thing, but because you think you know the truth and because of your knowledge, your sin remains.  Knowing the truth is not necessarily living in the truth.

If there is one thing that I’ve seen through the years, “knowledge puffs up, but love edifies (1Corinthians 8:1).”  We can have a great command of the Bible and great revelation knowledge, but it is not in what we know, it is in what we are walking in and putting into practice in our lives.  Faith in action according to knowledge and working through love is what produces life and light.

Jesus is speaking to His disciples concerning spiritual sight in Matthew 13:10-17, “And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:

For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous [men] have desired to see [those things] which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear [those things] which ye hear, and have not heard [them].”

In order for us to have light it must come to us through the eyes of spiritual insight.  That brings with it not just knowledge and legalism, which is the state we see the people of Jesus’ day in, but it comes through the Word that is quickened by the Holy Spirit who gives life and understanding to our knowledge.  Rather than a head thing, it becomes a heart thing.  Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:6, “Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” The law simply written on pages and administered by men void of its spirit becomes legalism, condemnation and death.  The law written upon our hearts by a life changing Spirit becomes to us and those around us, life, liberty and light.

Jesus likens our light as unto a candle set upon a lampstand.  If we have a candle only, like the Word without the Spirit, we have no light.  If we have a flame with no candle we may well have a fire out of control.  But if we have a candle lit with a flame we have a union that creates balance and produces light.  We are the lampstands that are to carry that light with singleness of purpose.  Our purpose is to be the outshining of His light and the truth of His Word through lives that are lived in the luminance of the light which He brings to us who of a single eye and a single mind.

Blessings,

#kent

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