The Privilege of Honoring Him

 

Ephesians 1:3-14

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

 

How blessed and privileged we are when we comprehend that our great and awesome God has chosen you and I out of all humanity.  He gave us spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to receive such a great and glorious salvation that He has chosen to reveal to us.  Far too often, we take way too much for granted that God has honored us to know Him, comprehend and receive the great calling He has for our lives.  We treat as ordinary and common this special gift of eternal life and the great privileges and honor that go with it.  We often see our faith as despised by the world and so sometimes we feel embarrassed by it.  You have what the world will covet in the ages to come.  We don’t yet see all the glory and honor that is ours in Christ if we hold fast to our faith.  You hold a position with the King of Kings.  You are personally known and called out by the Father.  Regardless of how you feel about it, you are exceptionally special, a priceless stone and gem of great price.

We must not be dulled and dumbed down to the great and awesome calling we each have in Christ.  He has even given us the seal of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we are His.  We are a blessed people who need to be so constantly appreciative, thankful and aware of our Father who has so loved us and His Son who gave His very life for us.  We must refocus our hearts, our goals, our desire and plans to be made conformable to His divine will and purpose in us, for it is glorious beyond measure and we don’t want to miss it.  We all get caught up so much in the vanity of this world, but that is a distraction and mask concealing our true identity and purpose.  Embrace and comprehend who you are in Christ.  When the revelation of this truth fully dawns on us, we are so broken and humbled by a God that could love and care so much just about us.  Let us not take for granted our salvation and the high calling that we have in Christ Jesus.  Let us present ourselves as living sacrifices wholly acceptable and pleasing to the Father; that is our destiny and calling that Christ can have a manifested expression through us.  Only we can give ourselves over to His will and purpose in us.  Let us not neglect so great a salvation and calling in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,

#kent

Motives of Prayer

August 29, 2019

James 4:3

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Motives of Prayer

It is said of Jesus in Hebrews 7:23-25, “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”  When Jesus intercedes for us what do you suppose His motives are?

When we pray, what is the focus of our prayers?  Of coursen, when we pray and seek the Lord, we all want to be favored, blessed and receive our petitions from the Lord, but to what end.?  What are our motives in the things we pray and cry out to God for?  If we think of God as a celestial Santa Claus to whom we come with all our needs and requests to be met for our personal gain, we’ve missed the heart of God.  Prayer is about seeking the heart and will of God.

If prayer is like a checkbook with an unlimited supply of resources and wealth, and it has been given to us, how will we write the checks?  Will most of them have our name on them or are they written to benefit others we see in need?  When God sees that our motives in prayer, intercession and petition aren’t centered around us, but others, do you think He might feel compelled to meet your needs as well?  Selfish is never the heart of God and selfishness in us will always pervert the ways and means of God.  God exemplifies Himself selfless in His giving.  He doesn’t even give to us because we deserve it, He gives because that is His nature which flows out of love.  He delights in His people that have this same heart to give and bless.  His desire is to bless us, so that we can in turn, might bless others.   If we pray and seek with wrong motives then how can we truly pray in Jesus’ name?.  Jesus says in John 15 and a few other places, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”  Jesus says He will give us what we ask in His name, but what is the prerequisite?  “Go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.”  The name of Jesus speaks to the character and nature of God.  If we pray outside or contrary to His nature then should we be surprised if our prayers are not answered.  Jesus wants to empower us through power in His name to establish and perpetuate His will and His kingdom in the earth.  It is one of the next principles He teaches us in the Lord’s prayer right after He establishes the position and the holiness of the Father.   Jesus said  in John 8:28, “So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.”  Prayer is our avenue to carry out the Father’s will, not our own.  We want our prayers to never stem from selfish motive, but to be one with the Spirit of God that prays through us.  It is when we have the heart of God, the intercession as priests of Jesus and the motivation to pray in the character and nature of His name that we will see our prayers be fruitful, because we seek the fruit that will last; His kingdom come and His will being done in earth as it is in heaven.

Blessing,

#kent

Strife

August 28, 2019

 

Strife

 

1 Corinthians 3:3

for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?

 

 

Isn’t it unfortunate that this statement so often defines us as we try to walk and live spiritual lives?  Strife comes into to pollute so many of our relationships, both spiritual and natural.   Really it is the outward manifestation of an inward condition.  James 3:14 and 16 in the King James version speaks to strife with this: “But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth… “For where envying and strife [is], there [is] confusion and every evil work.“ The Amplified version identifies more of the root causes of this strife, “But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth… For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”  Verses 17-18 of the Amplified version goes on to say, “But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. 18 Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”  We all know what it is like to be around a contentious person that is trying to provoke strife.  It is often difficult to ignore and continually walk away from because it is continually antagonizing and provoking you.  Strife is described in Galatians 5:20 as an attribute of the flesh, but it is one that has a hard time existing by itself.  It needs someone to partner with.  It needs an adversary and someone to contend with.  It loves company and to get others caught up in the fray.

What are strife’s root causes?  James has already identified bitterness, envy, selfishness and self-seeking.  Proverbs 15:8 says, “A wrathful man stirreth up strife: but [he that is] slow to anger appeaseth strife.”  Proverbs 16:28 says, “A perverse man sows strife, and a whisperer separates close friends.” Proverbs 17:14 tells us, “The beginning of trouble is like letting out water. So stop arguing before fighting breaks out.”  Have you ever noticed how strife can result in a diarrhea of the mouth?  We get started and before we know it, all kinds of putrid things are spewing out, which usually only serves to bring the same vile venom out of the other’s mouth.

We know that the perpetrator of this strife is demonic in nature and spirit, and yet we so easily fall into the snare that serves to only hurt, divide separate us.  Disunity and strife strikes at the heart of family, fellowship and community.  It has destroyed families, marriages, churches, and nations.  It is at the root of our wars.  In spite of its immensely destructive power we continually allow ourselves to be manipulated by it.  Perhaps it is destroying the relationship you have with the person or persons you started out loving.  It can only be stopped as we realize and acknowledge within ourselves the weakness and the flesh that is giving place to this deceptive destroyer.  It needs our flesh to feed on, to even exist.  The more we can enter into Christ and walk by the Spirit, the less power and influence it can have.  It needs our ego, our pride, our selfishness, our jealousy and envy.  It needs our anger, meddling, gossiping, and tattling to fan its flames.

Philippians 2:2-4 says this, “2Then give me true joy by thinking the same thoughts. Keep having the same love. Be as one in thoughts and actions. 3Nothing should be done because of pride or thinking about yourself. Think of other people as more important than yourself. 4Do not always be thinking about your own plans only. Be happy to know what other people are doing.”  Strife has very little to build on when our motives are based in unselfish love toward one another.  If we all have this mind to live for and bless one another, then the flesh has little place because our selfishness and pride aren’t in the way.  Love the person that is so intent on striving against you.  Return good for evil, compliment for insult and be of a gentle and quiet spirit.  It is a spiritual battle waged through human agents.  See it for what it is and let the weapons of your warfare not be natural, but mighty through the Spirit to the tearing down of strongholds.

Moses lost his entrance into the promise land because he responded out of the flesh to the strife of the people at the waters of Meribah in the wilderness.   Responding to strife in the flesh will always cause us to lose by robbing us of the higher way.  Let love rule in your hearts, mercy and peace in your actions and willingness to count others above yourself in your thinking.

“Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” (Matthew 5:9).

Blessings,

#kent

God gives more Grace

August 28, 2019

 

God gives more Grace

 

James 4:4-10

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely  6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” 7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

 

There is no reason in the man without a season,

There must be a time and purpose for all reasons.

Things spent upon our own desires and pleasures,

Seldom yield a spiritual fruit of any good measure.

 

Darkness often looms beneath our spiritual light,

Hypocrisy often turns our day to night.

Our envy, lust and strivings are seldom for the higher good,

Often, we find ourselves not living in the spirit we thought we would.

 

Outwardly we wear our religious and righteous attire,

Inwardly, struggles with sin burn in our belly like a fire.

There is hope if in humility we cry out to God in our need,

But many are the proud, blinded to the life that they lead.

 

Oh God, what wretched men we so often are,

Shunning the grace and Lord that is our redemptive star.

Yet you give more grace, so let us humble ourselves anew,

Help us resist the devil, submit our hearts and draw near again to You.

 

Help us draw nigh to you, oh God, that you might draw nigh to us,

Give us grace, strength and power to forsake our envy, pride and lust.

Let us weep and mourn when in our sin we’ve failed,

But help us overcome our failures and by your strength, prevail…

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

The Seductress

August 26, 2019

 

The Seductress

 

Proverbs 7

1 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your kinsman; 5 they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words. 6 At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. 7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. 8 He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house 9 at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. 10 Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. 11 (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home;

12 now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) 13 She took hold of him and kissed him

and with a brazen face she said: 14 “I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows. 15 So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! 16 I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s drink deep of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! 19 My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. 20 He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.” 21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose 23 till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. 24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

 

It is said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  We, as human beings, are the sum of our strengths and our weaknesses.  What truly makes our chain stronger is the power of the Spirit of Christ within us.

Proverbs 7 starts out by a father exhorting his son to keep the commandments, the Word of God within him.  He emphasizes that by saying, don’t just listen to the Word, but make it part and substance of your being.  Let that Word influence the works of your hands and write them on the tablets of your heart till they become who you are.  Make God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding as your sister and near relative.

Why do I need to do that?  “They will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.”

This passage is not just about sexual seduction; it is more about spiritual seduction.  Most all of us are familiar with the passage in 1 Peter 5:8 which says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” This is that same spirit that is at work to entice our souls away from Christ.  It looks for our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses, and those areas of foolishness that we have yet to fully submit and bring into the obedience of Christ.  They may have been subdued, lurking in the darkness of our soul.  We haven’t wanted others to be aware of them and many times we ourselves are in denial that they exist, but they are there, looking and craving for the opportunity of expression and release.  We often wrestle and struggle with these areas in our lives, but there will be a time and place of weakness in our lives that we will give place to them.  We may not even see the immediate consequences of our actions, but this seductive spirit feeds upon the dust, the humanity and the lust of our souls.  Once we begin to give place to this spirit it is like a spark and flame, it is never satisfied, but rather desires and hungers for more. It will drive us into the deeper clutches of sin and darkness.  As we give more and more place to this seduction and the passion of our soul it is as the story of this young man and the harlot.  We have become the fool and foolishness leads us down the road to ruin and destruction.

Many of us know or have known someone who was walking with Christ and then, as an animal caught in a trap, they became caught up in sin and their life departed more and more away from the path of righteousness.  This harlot and seductress had laid hold upon them, seduced them with the lie and began leading them down the pathway to hell, while all the time exciting the passions of the flesh and promising temporal, empty riches of this world’s goods and pleasures.

It is possible as we read this, that this foolish young man could be us.  Many of us know that, except for the grace of God, it would be us.  This is why God’s Word must be the standard and the anchor upon which we found our life, our morality and our principles for living.  When we depart from God’s precepts we exit onto a road that departs from the High Way of Holiness. That exit leads us away from the pathway to Life.

We have this illustration to let us know that the only thing that stands between this foolish young man and us, is following God’s Word through a maintained and intimate relationship with Him.  Any of us could follow in his footsteps at any time, if we fail to continually guard our heart and keep it in the way of God’s Word and righteousness.  Worldly enticements are always before us and they will touch the areas of weakness in our lives.  This is where Christ and His Word shore up and fortify the breeches in the wall of our city.  We must stand with the armor of God, ready to defend the citadel of our heart from the intrusion of the enemy.  That enemy will always entice us with peace and safety while a dagger is concealed beneath their coat.

Be wise in the Word; discern the craftiness and the deceitfulness of your enemy.  Know that it is the spirit of death that is wooing you into its arms.  This spirit may have a beautiful face and enticing breasts, but within her grasp is the bosom of spiritual death and destruction.

A brother emailed me a scripture yesterday that fits very well here, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)”

Blessings,

#kent

Wells of Salvation

August 23, 2019

 

Wells of Salvation

 

Isaiah 12

AND IN that day you will say, I will give thanks to You, O Lord; for though You were angry with me, Your anger has turned away, and You comfort me.

2Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

3Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.

4And in that day you will say, Give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name and by means of His name [in solemn entreaty]; declare and make known His deeds among the peoples of the earth, proclaim that His name is exalted!

5Sing praises to the Lord, for He has done excellent things [gloriously]; let this be made known to all the earth.

6Cry aloud and shout joyfully, you women and inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

 

 

Isn’t it wonderful to have a well of salvation to draw the water of life from?  Every day we must go to this well, for from it we draw the life, the direction, the strength and refreshment we need.  As we drink deep of the Spirit of Life we are refreshed, filled with joy and thanksgiving.  It is at this well we find the anger of the Lord turned away from us and instead we find forgiveness, redemption, healing and hope.  As we drink from this well we realize that all things are possible, because the life we drink from is not our own and it knows no limitations, short of our faith to believe and God’s wisdom in how He responds.  Faith becomes our bucket by which we draw out this water of life and we find faith’s increase in our sharing it with others.  It is with great joy that we draw this water, because we drink from the fountain of eternal life.

The Spanish explorer, Ponce de Leon spent his life in pursuit of the fountain of youth.  It was in front of him all the time and he wouldn’t even have had to leave home to find it.  He pursued the vanity of the flesh and no matter what we do with the flesh or how we operate on it, it is a corruptible commodity and will pass away.   What we can discover and drink from is a well that is so much richer, deeper and more lasting than any fountain of youth or means we may seek to preserve this natural life.  As we drink from the well of God’s eternal Word and abide in the Spirit of His life, we have great reason for rejoicing and praise.  Our greatest joy can be in sharing this life with others that they also may know the great joy associated with this well.

Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:10-15 about this living water and this well of salvation.  “10Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” 11″Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”

13Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.””  He is that well of salvation, that eternal source of life, hope and joy.  He is our strength, our portion, our deliverer and our very present help in time of need.

Every day that I come to write I take a drink and ask to able to share some aspect of this water with others so that they also might be strengthened, encouraged, refreshed and partakers in this life.  The Lord spoke to the woman at the well that in drinking from this you will never thirst for another.  As we drink of Him, we become His well spring.   Out of God’s people is the issues of life as we share with others what we ourselves have found and rejoice in.

Take your bucket of faith and continue to draw and drink deep from this well, but then share the joy of the well of salvation with others that they also may know this great joy and likewise become partakers of so great a salvation.  You will be amazed at what God can bring up out of your life as you drink of Him and depend upon Him to be your source and well spring of life.

Blessings,

#kent

A Heart of Lust

August 22, 2019

 

Psalms 78:18-42

18And they tempted God in their hearts by asking for food according to their [selfish] desire and appetite.

19Yes, they spoke against God; they said, Can God furnish [the food for] a table in the wilderness?

20Behold, He did smite the rock so that waters gushed out and the streams overflowed; but can He give bread also? Can He provide flesh for His people? 21Therefore, when the Lord heard, He was [full of] wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, His anger mounted up against Israel, 22Because in God they believed not [they relied not on Him, they adhered not to Him], and they trusted not in His salvation (His power to save). 23Yet He commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven; 24And He rained down upon them manna to eat and gave them heaven’s grain. 25Everyone ate the bread of the mighty [man ate angels’ food]; God sent them meat in abundance. 26He let forth the east wind to blow in the heavens, and by His power He guided the south wind. 27He rained flesh also upon them like the dust, and winged birds [quails] like the sand of the seas. 28And He let [the birds] fall in the midst of their camp, round about their tents. 29So they ate and were well filled; He gave them what they craved and lusted after. 31The wrath of God came upon them and slew the strongest and sturdiest of them and smote down Israel’s chosen youth. 32In spite of all this, they sinned still more, for they believed not in (relied not on and adhered not to Him for) His wondrous works. 33Therefore their days He consumed like a breath [in emptiness, falsity, and futility] and their years in terror and sudden haste. 34When He slew [some of] them, [the remainder] inquired after Him diligently, and they repented and sincerely sought God [for a time]. 35And they [earnestly] remembered that God was their Rock, and the Most High God their Redeemer. 36Nevertheless they flattered Him with their mouths and lied to Him with their tongues. 37For their hearts were not right or sincere with Him, neither were they faithful and steadfast to His covenant. 38But He, full of [merciful] compassion, forgave their iniquity and destroyed them not; yes, many a time He turned His anger away and did not stir up all His wrath and indignation. 39For He [earnestly] remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that goes and does not return. 40How often they defied and rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41And time and again they turned back and tempted God, provoking and incensing the Holy One of Israel. 42They remembered not [seriously the miracles of the working of] His hand, nor the day when He delivered them from the enemy.

 

A Heart of Lust

 

The account we read here in Psalms 78 is an example of the lust that tends to work in all of us.  Often we only think of lust in a sexual sense and there is certainly that aspect of it, but it is much broader than that.  It was a quality and aspect of humanity that kept the children of Israel in the wilderness, it continually provoked the wrath of God and it remembered not all His benefits because it becomes so focused on its own.  Lust defined is the selfish and self -indulgent desires and appetites of our flesh.  Many of us are still controlled, to a large extent, by an attitude and mindset of lust.  Our focus is so often on what pleases us and what we want, rather than on what is pleasing to our Lord.  Even in our prayers, we are crying out to God to give us meat, give us what we want rather than being content with the provision of God’s hand.  Human nature is usually to always want what it can’t or shouldn’t have.  There are times when God will allow us to have the lust of our hearts.  He will give us what we think we must have.  What we find, is that the fulfillment of our desires soon becomes a curse.  What we thought was going to fulfill and satisfy us leaves us empty and lean of soul.  It brings with it consequences that we didn’t anticipate.  Verse 33 of Psalms 78 says, “33Therefore their days He consumed like a breath [in emptiness, falsity, and futility] and their years in terror and sudden haste.”  This is the fruit of our lust.  It is enmity with God and so it brings death to us and not life.  It is the antithesis of faith and trust in God’s goodness, sovereignty and provision.

1 John 2:15-17 tells us this, “15Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world–the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]–these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. 17And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.”  We want our lust to be for those things of the Spirit that pertain to life and godliness.  Our desire is for a deeper and more intimate relationship with our Lord that we might know and experience the fullness of His life and blessing upon us.  We must learn from our former examples that the lust of the flesh breeds death, but walking in the Spirit produces life and the attributes of a godly character.

Blessings,

#kent

A Purpose Driven Life

August 21, 2019

A Purpose Driven Life

 

 

Romans 8:28

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.

 

Haven’t all of us that have embraced Christ by faith and entered into a relationship with Him, been called according to His purpose.  Often, we confuse our purpose with His purpose, and they are not always the same.  Many of us have our own agendas, our own aspirations and goals, but they may not necessarily be in line with God’s purpose for your life.  The Lord has given us a will and if we are bent on our ways rather than pursuing what He has for our lives, we can make that choice.

Jesus says, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.”  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 tells us, “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”  If we truly love the Lord then we need to acknowledge that we are His and no longer our own.   2 Timothy 1:9 speaks of what God’s purpose is, “Who hath saved us, and called [us] with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.”  Most of us, quite honestly, tend to compartmentalize our lives into spiritual and non-spiritual, what is God’s and what is ours.   The Lord’s intent is, that all that we are is spiritual and belongs to Him, body, soul and spirit.  What we are missing is the purpose and will of God for our lives because we are caught up in our own ways.  How much of our lives do we filter through the Holy Spirit, seeking His direction and council and asking that His will and purpose are accomplished in all that we do and the decisions that we make?  Do we instead, forge headlong into the desires and purposes of our own heart and expect God to be a part of and bless what we have purposed to do?  2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”

We can be very thankful that our God is so loving, patient and kind; and that He endeavors to deal with our hearts and speak to us in our times of self-discovery.  We can listen to the gentle dealings of the Lord or we can ignore Him and continue on, until one day we must come to terms and the consequences of our own actions.

Father has a purpose and calling for each one of our lives.  Are we embracing and living fully in it?  If we truly love Him and have been called out of the world by Him, then we have the assurance that all that the Lord is working in our lives is for the good.  At times it may not seem good, but that is where we need to trust the heart of God and His promises concerning our lives.

Are we living in God’s purpose today?  Are we living the destiny He has called us too?  Those things can only be discovered and found out in Him through a yielded spirit and a contrite heart.   The Lord will lead and direct our lives if we allow Him to do so.

Romans 12:1-2 exhorts us in this purpose, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Are we living God’s purpose driven life for us today?

Blessings,

#kent

1 John 3:1-3

Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

 

A Calling unto Righteousness

 

When it truly dawns on our understanding and we comprehend the love that God has extended toward us to call us His own children, then it ought to truly change the way we view our world and ourselves.  If we are truly born of God and His character, then our viewpoint and the way we live our lives should be fully from His perspective.  We don’t see the full manifestation yet, but God’s purpose is to make us fully like Him.  We may be infants in our understanding, but the direction of our crawl, our walk or our run should always be into the Father’s arms.  He has called us out of sin and darkness to be a praise unto His name and an expression of His character and life.  If we truly comprehend what He has called us unto then why shouldn’t we want to dress our life in purity and righteousness?   1 John 3 goes on to talk about how if we are in Christ we are in an attitude and direction of righteous living and being.  It doesn’t mean we never sin or fall short, but sin is no longer the attitude and the abiding place of our hearts.  Verses 4-9 say, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness. 5 And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.” If we are in Christ we can’t continue to live in an attitude and lifestyle of sin.  That is contrary to our nature.  Some of us have gone down that road for a time, but we know the grieving it brings in our spirit and our heart.  We can’t truly love our God and continue to live like the devil.  The purpose of Christ is to destroy the works of the devil; we can’t live in harmony and peace with God if we are recreating the works of unrighteousness through our lifestyle and behavior.  God’s Word is pretty strong on this point; “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning.”  So who’s our daddy?  Is it Father God or is it the devil?  We will live out of the nature of the one to whom we belong.

God is calling us to sanctify and separate ourselves unto righteousness and purity.  Our Christianity can not just be an ideology it must be who we are and what we live, think and breathe.   For us to walk and live in sin is for us to deny the Christ and crucify Him afresh.  If you are His then you have been called unto righteousness.  Settle for nothing less and purify yourself in the hope of that calling.

Blessings,

#kent

Acknowledge Your Guilt

August 19, 2019

Jeremiah 3: 13-18

Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’ ” declares the LORD.

14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding. 16 In those days, when your numbers have increased greatly in the land,” declares the LORD, “men will no longer say, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD.’ It will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the LORD, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the LORD. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts. 18 In those days the house of Judah will join the house of Israel, and together they will come from a northern land to the land I gave your forefathers as an inheritance.

 

Acknowledge Your Guilt

 

Jeremiah spoke these words to what the Lord called a faithless Israel and faithless Judah because they had forsaken the Lord and committed spiritual adultery through their idol worship and foreign gods.   What God is speaking to us is that we also have become complacent about where we put our affection, our hearts, our eyes and our worship.  Father is speaking to us today to examine our hearts and be honest about all the things in our lives that take our time and attention away from Him.  The Lord is not here to condemn us, but to awaken us to the urgency of this hour and to the spiritual condition of our heart.

What are some of our idols today?  Materialism, shopping, fashion, sports, television, eating, computers, games cell phones and texting, hobbies, social functions, religious activities, pleasing others, being successful, pornography, work, parties and all of the areas that cater to our flesh, take our attention from the Lord, but are spiritually barren and unproductive.  We most often don’t really acknowledge that a lot of these things in our life are wrong or need to be dealt with.  We have our time slot for God and that should be adequate in our mind.  For those of us who are in that mind-set, how is that working for you in having a close and intimate relationship with your Savior?  Are you hearing His voice?  Are you experiencing His presence?

Jeremiah wasn’t very popular, because God used him as a mouthpiece to speak some very unpopular messages in his day.  Today He is speaking this message to us.  “Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’ ” declares the LORD.”  This is the scripture the Lord spoke into my spirit as I sat down to write this morning.   He is speaking into the hearts of each one of us to honestly examine and acknowledge the areas of our spiritual adultery and unfaithfulness to the Lord.  He is not putting His finger on our sin to condemn us, for look at His expression of love in the next verse. “”Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.”  Father is reconciling us to His heart if we will listen, repent and obey Him.  It is hard for many of us to let go of our past affections and desires, but we are at a fork in the road where we have to choose between the highway to holiness or the low way of judgement and separation.  Choose this day whom you will serve.  Remember when Joshua brought the people of Israel to this point of decision in Joshua 24:15?  “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

We are being called to step up into a higher place, a heavenly place that is requiring of us a greater degree of holiness, fidelity and commitment to our God.  How can He use us if we are unfaithful and compromised?  “”Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband. I will choose you…”

Blessings,

#kent

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