The Oil that Sustains Us

February 28, 2020

Matthew 25:1-13

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6″At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

7″Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9” ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10″But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11″Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’

12″But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

13″Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

 

The Oil that Sustains Us

 

Virgins are symbolic of those who have been made pure before the Lord.  They all have obviously had an experience with the Lord and are aware of His imminent coming.  The lamps are the illuminated lights of God’s Spirit within us.  What keeps that light burning is the oil.  The oil is the Holy Spirit, but it is more than that.  It is the Holy Spirit worked out through our lives in experience.

In Leviticus 24:2 the Lord tells Moses, “Command the children of Israel, that they bring unto thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamps to burn continually.”  This oil was created through a process of beating or pressing.  This is the in working of the cross of Jesus Christ in our lives.  We are beaten and pressed as we press into Christ.  Through our walk we experience tribulations, trials, persecutions and difficulties.  It is as we walk through these hard places in the faith of Jesus Christ that the precious oil of the Holy Spirit is formed and stored up in us.  The wise virgins know that if the relationship with the Bridegroom isn’t there, then the oil will not be there either.  The oil has flowed out of that relationship of walking in faith and obedience.

The foolish have received the fundamentals of the faith, but they have not pressed into the relationship to really know the One to whom they professed to give their hearts.  They have gone about life eating, drinking, giving and taking in marriage.  It is life as usual.  In other words their relationship is shallow and without substance and depth.  They have chosen to remain babes when they should have grown into maturity.  The things of the world and the cares of life have occupied their time and their hearts.  As a result they have not bought the oil with the price of experience and relationship in walking with the Lord.  Now that the time of the midnight hour has come they have been found wanting.   Now it is too late to go out and buy the oil, for the Lord has opened the door to the ones who have come to truly know Him in an intimate way, not just from a distance through the teaching of others.  The hour has come and they can’t ride in on the coattails of those who have stored up the oil and prepared for this hour.  By the time they get what they need the door is shut and it is too late to enter into the Bridegroom.  His reply is, “I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

Religion is the oil of the foolish virgins.  It is merely man’s search for God.  It is merely head knowledge and outward works to appease God.  God doesn’t want our sacrifices, He wants our obedience and He wants our hearts.  Relationship with Christ is what will bring forth the oil of His Spirit as we walk through the hard and difficult places and come to know Him as our Redeemer and Deliverer in every situation.

Hear the word of the Lord.  This is the hour for you to be storing up the oil.  The midnight hour is soon approaching and you better have the oil of His Spirit and Life worked and stored up in you if you want to enter in.  If we have been half-heartedly serving the Lord, it is the time to repent and give Him our whole heart, mind and soul.  We must walk in the truth of His life if we are to have the oil to see us through and keep our lamps lit in the greatest hour of darkness.  We need this oil if we are going to go the distance and hold fast the course.  We must make Him the priority of our lives, for His kingdom is come and it must be established in us.  Let us come to Him and give our utmost for His highest.

Blessings,

#kent

Single Eye, Single Mind

February 27, 2020

 

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 religious 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

Come out from among them!

February 26, 2020

 

Come out from among them!

 

2 Corinthians 6:17

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,

 

When we saw the light of the truth that was in Christ Jesus we were drawn to it and started a journey to walk into that light out of the darkness of ignorance and sin that we had formerly dwelt in.  For too many of us, walking into that light through our initial conversion and born–again experience was enough for us.  We may have seen that there is greater light on up ahead, but we have become comfortable in the measure of light we possess.  Maturity always requires responsibility.  We often want the benefits, but we don’t like to pay the price.  Many of us dwell in that place of twilight where darkness is all around us, but we still have a measure of light.  It is a place where our flesh can still be comfortable, but at the same time we have enough spirituality that we feel we have satisfied that need.  Is this the place where God is content that we dwell?  In 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 Paul exhorts the Corinthians who were in this place, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”  The Lord is requiring of us purity.  He is not a God of compromise, mixture and confusion.  By His very nature of truth, He is requiring that we walk in the light of the truth that we have and by the same token continue on to know the Truth.  The Spirit of Truth is constantly shining brightly before us and the Spirit within us is compelling us to keep walking toward the light.  As the light increases it reveals more and more of the shadow areas of our lives that have been hidden by darkness.  As they are revealed the Lord wants to deal and separate ourselves more and more unto Himself.  Our God is a consuming fire.  As we walk into that fire, the fire is consuming the corruptible things in our lives while at the same time it is purifying the incorruptible and eternal things.  In the book of Daniel when the three Israelites were thrown into the blast furnace that was heated seven times hotter, so that even those that threw them in perished; they were seen walking in the furnace, with a fourth person, like unto the Son of Man.  The only thing the fire was touching on them was the ropes that bound them.  Our flesh is like the rope that binds us from experiencing the fullness of Spirit life.  As we walk into God, He is burning away our bondage, compromise and uncleanness.

Moms know that if they put nice clean pretty church clothes on their little children and then let them go outside and play, what is the first thing that is going to happen?  The first place they head is to the dirt.   Our spiritual lives are much the same way.  The Lord is saying you can’t mix with the dirty things around you if you want to stay clean.  You have to come away from that and be separated.  We can’t still have our fellowship in the world and constantly be around that mindset and spirit if we want our walk pure and clean.

When the Lord is telling us to “come out from among them and be ye separate,” He is exhorting us to separate ourselves unto the truth that He is bringing into our lives.  The more we are growing up into Him the more and more He is separating us into a place of holiness and purity, because He wants us to be the light and manifestation of His righteousness and truth.  We have already discussed the fact that the world is so turned off to Christianity, because they see so much of the spirit of compromise and hypocrisy at work in our lives.  We are fountains of bitter and sweet water.  We can talk Jesus out of one side of our mouth while we curse men with the other.  God is imparting His truth to us in order to set us free.  Our problem is we have to want that freedom, more than we want to maintain our bondage.  Are we willing today to hear and heed the Word of the Lord to “come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing?”  It is a time for us to no longer linger in the twilight of compromise, but to continue on in our pursuit of truth and righteousness.  It is the separation that allows the Lord to receive us into His presence.

Blessings,

#kent

Focus

February 25, 2020

 

Focus

 

Psalms 1:1-3

1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers

 

Don’t you find that one of the most difficult things about maintaining and living the Christian life is focus?  We have minds that are always active and going. Often, before we even realize it, they are going the wrong way.  We love the Lord.  We want to serve Him, obey Him and walk in His truth, but sometimes it seems as earnest as we are in our endeavors to live for Christ, we are equally distracted by the world, the demands and the enticements around us.  We often catch ourselves and become frustrated that our lives and hearts can become so fragmented as we find ourselves loosing focus of our full committed walk in Christ.  We find ourselves in the description that Paul gives in Romans 7:14-25, “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do–this I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

21So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!

“So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.”

Many of us have experienced the frustration of wanting and trying so hard to live godly in Christ Jesus only to turn around and find ourselves blundering in the very areas we want to be free of.   While inwardly we died to sin and our lives are hid with Christ in God.  Outwardly we are continually warring in our members with drawings and enticements of sin and the flesh.  This is an age-old struggle and certainly one that is not original with any one of us.  The question we struggle with is how do I maintain the victory?

Our heart tends to be where our focus is.  There is a reason that the Word exhorts us to meditate on the Word day and night.  What we think upon is what we become.  If our thoughts are often worldly, lustful, contentious, covetous, discontent, rebellious or whatever way they want to take us, they will lead us in that direction if we give place to them.  Paul cries out in his frustration,

“What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”  Then he answers his own question, “Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  Outwardly we want to be ruled by the natural laws and circumstances of this World, but we live under a different law.  Romans 8:1-4 tells us, “1Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  Our deliverance from our struggles with sin is not found in our efforts to fight it outwardly, but by our turning our focus and attention on the Spirit of God.  It is only as we walk in the Spirit that we overcome in the flesh.  In order to do that we must maintain a focus that is centered in the revelation of who we now are in Christ.  We so quickly forget or let go of the fact that we are not our own, we are His.  As such, we abide in Christ, in His Word, in His life, in prayer and relationship with Him, that we no longer live in our former desires, but our desire is His desire and our will is His will.  We must maintain our focus on who Christ is in us and who we are in Him.  That is Spirit life.

Blessings,

#kent

For God so Loved the World

February 20, 2020

 

For God so Loved the World

 

John 3:16 (Amplified)

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life.

 

When I see images of space with its vastness, huge nebulas, stars and galactic composition it just amazes me that in contrast to all of this we are but less than a speck of dust in the scope of it all.  Yet, for some reason, the Awesome, Almighty God that created it all loves and delights in us.  He even loves us beyond the scope of our understanding and if that were not enough, He gave His only begotten Son to die for our sins.  I’m not sure the true depth of God’s love even begins to penetrate our consciousness.  If it did, how could we be anything less than completely His, without question or reservation?  God saw fit to create us with a quality that is uniquely Godlike, a will and a choice.  In that sense He made us like little God’s with the ability and freedom to choose our destiny and to choose if we would accept Him or reject Him.  Some have become so blind in their spiritual ignorance that they refuse to acknowledge God though He is staring them right in the face.  All around us is His evidence.  All of the intricacies and the balance we see in nature, physics and the order of the universe are hardly a series of the freaks of nature and happenstance.  How can we be so naïve to deny that there is at least a greater intelligence that is behind all of this?  The apostle Paul speaks about this in Romans 1:19-22, “19For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

20For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].”

We have been given Jesus, the express image and revelation of the Father in our own form to communicate to us the love, the will and the heart of the Father.  Jesus was the divine expression, not of God’s wrath or judgement, but rather of His tender love for humanity and His desire to give it His life and salvation.  Nevertheless, God gave us the will to choose or reject Him.  It is that rejection and selfishness that has produced a world so full of heartache, sickness, sin and death.  Ironically, most of us want to turn around and blame God for humanities choices. “Yeah, but if He is really God He can fix it can’t He?”  He did.  Without taking away from the free moral agents that He created us to be, He sent Jesus to reconcile us back to Himself, but it is still based on our choices.  God gave us elements of His nature and image that we alone have to take responsibility for.  Unfortunately, we live in a world where we have to also share in the consequences of those who don’t take responsibility or who choose to reject Christ.

Those of us who embrace Chris.t know by His Word. that this age will have its season to either receive or reject God’s salvation.  We also know that in the ages to come that the glory of Christ will be revealed and those that have loved Him will be revealed in glory with Him.  The things of this earth must play out their divine appointment till the end of the age when Christ is revealed and satan is dealt with in finality.  The reckoning will come, accounts must be paid, all things will be weighed and that which has not been covered in the blood of Jesus will be found wanting.

Our Awesome, Almighty God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness in Christ.  When we reject of deny His gift of life and forgiveness, He doesn’t condemn us, we condemn ourselves, but it is in His righteous nature and responsibility to carry out just judgement.  It is not in God’s will or design that any should perish, but He has given us a will also and He will not violate our choice if we have chosen to reject Him, the life and salvation that can be ours in Christ.  It will not give Him pleasure to see us perish in our sin, but that is our choice.

Blessings,

#kent

Renegades

February 20, 2020

 

Renegades

1 Timothy 4:1-3

Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron Forbidding to marry, [and commanding] to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

 

Did you ever think about there being renegades, religious or spiritual outlaws, deserters and traitorous to the faith of Jesus Christ?  The Word of God warns us there is and will be and not only so, but they become the wolves that prey upon the flock.  They know the culture, the language, the scripture, but they have become hypocrites feigning and pretending to be what they are not.  Even as the enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy, these renegades have become the agents of satan to undermine, destroy and put into bondage those who do not discern their workings.  They are manipulators, using and abusing the flock of God to their own end, purpose and glory.  In the end it is all about them and they have become so hardened and callused to the dealings of the Holy Spirit that they completely ignore whatever warning He has tried to give them.

Beware of those who use condemnation and coercion to force their will and ideas upon you.  They put yokes and bondage upon you that Christ never intended that you bear.  They use religion rather a relationship of love to promote their gospel and unholy tidings.  Yes, it will contain truth and much of it will come from the Bible, but the devil is a bottle poison in a lake of truth and so are these agents of his.  These will become more and more prominent in the latter days as the spirit of antichrist is at work in the world and is becoming more manifest.  Guard your hearts with the full knowledge of the Word of God and the Spirit of Truth.  2 Timothy goes on to warn us, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  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, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” The testimony of a true believer is not just in the rhetoric of their mouth, but in the fruit of their lives.   Many great teachers and preachers and so-called men of God we only see from a distance, living behind a projected front of holiness and religion.  The true man of God won’t put you again under the law of condemnation.  He will declare to you the law of liberty, freedom and righteousness, which is through Christ alone.  The man of God will not manipulate you through guilt, fear, judgement and condemnation, which is a form of witchcraft.  I often find it offensive to receive what can be a moving email and at the end I am condemned and not a good Christian if I don’t send this to at least ten more people.  That’s condemnation and manipulation.  If it is of God then let God move upon the hearts of those who read it to pass it on.  Unfortunately, it speaks of the mentality of much of what is at work in Christendom today.  When we have to force it, lay guilt trips and condemnation on people to get them to respond to our ideas and agendas then we are acting out of the flesh and not out of the Spirit of God.  There are sermons I have heard on tithing and giving that would have me feeling like a reprobate if I wasn’t giving more.  Then I have heard sermons and teaching on tithing and offerings that brought me into a greater revelation of the joy and act of worship that is entailed with giving.  It taught me the spiritual and natural benefits involved in giving.  The difference was in one I might have given out of guilt and condemnation, in the other instance I was seeking the Lord on how I could give more, because I wanted too.  It was my joy and worship to do so, not my condemnation.

Many years ago I felt like the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me and said, “in the last days you will see miracles and what will appear to be great works and moves of God.  Don’t look upon the outward things, but look at the heart.  By the heart of a man you will know his nature.”  Satan can counterfeit miracles and Christians, but he can’t counterfeit the love and the fruit of the Spirit, at least not for long.

I’m not sure why the Spirit has led me to write this, but there are those that need to be discerning about who they are following and where they are being led.  The Word of God says in 1 John 4:1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”  In Matthew 10:16 Jesus tells us, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”  God doesn’t want us to just follow blindly anyone that seems to have a good message.  Make sure the message lines up with the whole counsel of God, that it truly bears witness with your spirit and that you have the complete peace of God as you follow it.  If something seems wrong it may well be the Holy Spirit raising a red flag in your heart.  Beware of the renegades, they may be dressed just like you, but their heart is in a different place.

Blessings,

#kent

To the Faithful

February 19, 2020

 

To the Faithful

 

Revelations 17:14

These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.

 

There are those of you who read this, not because you lack understanding of the ways of God, not because you don’t know Him intimately and personally, but because you are the faithful of the Lord.  You have learned to feed upon His Spirit Life wherever you find it, because that is the pasture and the feeding place of your souls.  Those whom the Lord finds faithful in His kingdom, He does not regard lightly, but they are His delight and joy.  There are those of you who have walked with the Lord for many years.  Many of you have had your stumbles and falls along the way of life, but you stand here today faithful to Him because He has always been faithful to you.

 

 

Those of you who continue to be faithful to read these little Trickles; it is a testimony that there is something deeper, richer that yearns and hungers after the heart of God.  Today the word of the Lord is to you faithful.  God sees your heart; He has proven you through waters of adversity and the fires of affliction.  You know that He will never leave or forsake you; He knows you will not forsake Him.  You are the faithful.  Many are “called” it says, but not many are chosen.  The chosen are those who abide in the vine.  They are not there for a season and then whither away; they are there season after season, after season.  They are the fruitful branches of the vine, drawing their life from the root and vine of Christ and producing the precious fruit of His Holy Spirit.  You are often the unseen ones, unnoticed and most often unappreciated by the world, but when you enter into prayer, heaven and earth can be moved by the words of your heart, for you pray not your will, but the will of the Father.

Psalm 31:23 says this about the faithful, “Love the LORD, all his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful, but the proud he pays back in full.”  Again, Psalms101: 6 speaks to the faithful, “My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.”  It is the faithful who are the sheep of His right hand, who walk with Him in obedience and humility, who esteem His ways above their own.

Even the faithful can grow faint, weary and discouraged for their walk is often not an easy one.  They daily must fight the good fight and wage the spiritual warfare to overcome the adversary of their soul.  Most often they not only contend for themselves, but also are faithful to stand in the gap and intercede for the saints, the needs of those who are upon their heart and often for those weaker and less faithful.

Faithful ones, here is the Lord’s word to you.  Ephesians 1:1 says these promises are to the faithful of God.  “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus.”  You faithful ones know who you are in Christ because you have read the promises and they have become more than words on a page, they have become substance and life.  You are investing your lives into living in the reality of the truth of who you are “in Christ”.  The rest of us want to look to these faithful ones as our examples of godliness and righteous living.  They are the living testimonies of God and His faithfulness and they can teach what it is to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.  These are those whom the Lord covets and is jealous over.  These are the hidden diadems of His crown jewels.

Continue on you faithful ones; continue to shine as the morning sun in your life in Christ.  Continue to be the living testimony and example before us, that those of us less mature and experienced might see and grasp what it is to walk in faithfulness and in truth.  Continue on, you blessed of the Lord, for great is your reward.  “His lord said unto him, Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” (Matthew 25:21)

Blessings,

#kent

 

Truth

February 18, 2020

 

Truth

 

John 16:13

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

 

You don’t really think about what a powerful word and attribute truth is until you just stop and meditate on it.  Throughout the Word of God, we see truth as a primary attribute of God.  Jesus, the Son of God, says in John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man come unto the Father, except by me.”  Jesus refers to the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in our passage today and others as the Spirit of Truth.  Why all of this emphasis on truth?  It is because this is what leads us into the Father and what He has determined that should be expressed through His sons.  Not everyone can hear and receive truth, because it is the Spirit of God that reveals and quickens His truth to us and in us.

Jesus, at the time of His judgement when he stood before Pilot, had this conversation with Pilot as revealed in John 18:37-38, “Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice. Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault [at all].”

If we want to hear God’s voice and know the mind and will of God, the first requirement is that we be able hear and know truth.  In John 3:19-21 Jesus speaks of the world and how they react to truth, “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. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”  You know, if we are honest with ourselves, many of us would have to confess that there are areas of darkness we don’t want to bring into the light and have them revealed.  While, with the majority of our lives and beliefs we want to confess and believe in Jesus, there are still areas of deceitfulness and sin.  There are many of us still embracing the spirit of the world in so many ways such as traditions, holidays, superstitions, horoscopes, our viewing preferences on TV and movies, our choices of music, reading material and internet viewing, to name but a few.  Are we willing to allow the Holy Spirit to examine every area of life and are we willing to relinquish and repent of any area of darkness or impurity found within us.  If the answer is honestly “no”, then we have to face the fact that we have idolatry in our lives and we are worshipping another god or gods.  If we are willing to say “yes”, then we are like David in Psalms 139:23, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.”  You see we have received Truth in our spirits and generally in our thinking when we received Christ into our hearts.  The Holy Spirit desires to fill the whole temple of our spirit, soul and body, not just the inward parts.  What is the greatest commandment?  “Love the Lord your God with all of your mind, your heart, your soul and your strength.”  That is a statement of fully embracing the Lord with everything within us.  If we fully embrace Truth, then there is no room for darkness and lies in that place.  Don’t we realize that we are the children of Truth?  That means we are to be free from all affection for sin, all pretense, simulation, falsehood and deceit.  Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:24, “God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth.”  We can’t truly worship God out of our heads.  Worship isn’t a mental assent to God, it is a spiritual assent out of a pure heart that is loving and embracing Truth.  We must love what God loves and hate what He hates.

1 John 1:6-8 tells us we are in the process of purification that starts with the attitude and commitment of our hearts.  “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:  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. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” When we received Christ as the Lord of our lives we made a commitment to walk out of darkness and to walk in the light.  We do that through the confession and repentance of our sins, having the assurance of 1John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  While we are and have departed from walking in darkness we know we can’t truthfully say we any longer sin.  Our assurance is in the truth that Christ is our righteousness.  As we abide in the Truth, we are allowing, desiring and inviting the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal all of our yet unclean ways that we might repent and have an ever closer and richer fellowship with the Truth.  Truth is expressed through the love of God in us and the love of God in us is our assurance that we are in the Truth.  Let us conclude with 1 John 3:18-19, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him.”

Blessings,
#kent

Spirit of Mourning

February 17, 2020

The Spirit of Mourning

 

Matthew 5:3-12

Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed [are] they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed [are] the meek: for they shall inherit the earth

Blessed [are] they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed [are] the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed [are] the pure in heart: for they shall see God Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

When we as the people of God approach the presence of God in prayer there is an attitude that we should bring with us.  This attitude works in and out of the prayer closet, but it is an attitude that Jesus lays out for those of us that receive the blessing of God.  These are the “BE” Attitudes.  It is a condition of the heart that is in right standing or coming into right relationship with the Lord.  There is an attitude of heart that prepares us for God’s presence and working in our lives.

We have talked about how we enter into the presence of God with the attitude of praise, worship, rejoicing and thanksgiving.  Yet here Jesus is saying, “Blessed are they that mourn: they shall be comforted.”  This is a specific area that the Lord wants to deal with today.  Why do we mourn, lament, wail and are sorrowful?   For many of us, we come by this naturally through the brokeness and disappointments of life.  There is no doubt that there are those who are reading this today who are inwardly grieving and broken.  The hurts of this present world and life’s circumstance are heavy upon your heart and you have come with this attitude of mourning before the Lord.  Central in the heart of Jesus and the ministry of Christ to His people, was the broken-hearted.  Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound.”  It is interesting that the ministry of the Christ was addressed to many of the attitudes, which are addressed here in Matthew 5.   Jesus is very compassionate and is there to put His arms around those whose spirits have been broken and mourn in the natural sense.

There is another reason for mourning and it deals with our spiritual condition.  When we come to a real revelation of ourselves in the light of God’s holiness and calling we can truly be undone.  Some of us have never really come to that place where we have fully comprehended our state of wretchedness and depravity outside of God and His righteousness.  If we have then we know what it is to mourn spiritually.  Many of us know the element of grieving that we carry daily because of our sin and failures in fully walking in uprightness and purity.  We know what it is to be poor in spirit, because we realize how utterly bankrupt we are in ourselves.  Until we have a true revelation of this in our spirits, we will continue on, thinking somehow there is some good or righteousness in us outside of Christ.  A revelation of the true state of our heart and being will make way for the Holy Spirit to really perform His daily work of grace in us.  As we despair of all that is of ourselves, clinging and longing for the Lord to move and work in all of the areas of our lives that are not subject to His Lordship.  Many of as Christians may have once experienced this, but now we have grown complacent in our lifestyles that cater so much to our flesh and natural man.  Jesus gives us warning in Luke 6:24-26, “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation. Woe unto you that are full! for ye shall hunger. Woe unto you that laugh now! for ye shall mourn and weep. Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.”  It is imperative that our heart remains in a right and prostrate attitude toward the Lord.  When we cease to fear and reverence Him, when we become lifted up in ourselves, then we set ourselves on a course of separation rather than reconciliation toward the Lord.  Again James 4:4-10 exhorts us, “4You 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 doubleminded. 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.”

Today the Lord is concerned with our posture and attitude towards Him.  It is hard for all of us who live in these prosperous times and in the country that we do, not to be caught up in a lot of its ways.  The Lord is clear that we will mourn either in a spirit of repentance or in judgement.  This is a day we must get right within our hearts towards the Lord.  It is a day to mourn over the place we are missing and failing our Lord in our commitment and lives for Him.  It is a day to draw near to Him in brokeness, contriteness of heart and mourning of our sin.  “Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up.”

Blessings,

#kent

Set Your Mind on Things Above

February 14, 2020

 

Set Your Mind on Things Above

 

Colossians 3:1-3

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

 

Where do we live in our thoughts and affections?  What is the nearest and dearest thing to our hearts?  What do we truly worship, spend our money on, and spend our time and energy in pursuing?  An honest thoughtful answer may bring to us a revelation of where we are at in relationship with our God.  Can we honestly say that He is at the foremost of all of these questions?  If our pursuit is truly a closer walk with God, a greater sense of His presence and an increasing revelation of who He is, then this is a key to where we can start.  I have heard it said that, “we become what we worship”.  What are you becoming today?  In order to walk close to our God, we must abide in His presence.  This is the place we find holiness, communion, and the presence of God.  Christ doesn’t want to be just a part of our lives; He wants to be our life.  That is why we die to natural affections, that He may live in us and through us.

In order to be accomplished at any thing you must practice it over and over again.  In the process of learning and perfecting a skill you will make many mistakes and experience some setbacks.  That should not discourage us, but cause us to persevere the more.  The Lord wants us to apply this principle to “practicing His Presence”.  It becomes that place where we are ever mindful of Him, whether consciously or subconsciously.  He becomes constantly a part of our thoughts.  We are constantly filtering the world and activities around us through Him and through that mind of Christ that we have put on.  We are constantly in silent or verbal conversation with Him.  He becomes a unified part of our daily life and breath.  We are in constant heavenly communication and communion.  This is abiding in Christ.  This is setting your mind on things above.  This is the place where we enter in beyond the veil of the outer court things and we begin to commune with our God heart to heart, mind to mind and spirit to spirit.  In this place, our lives have become centered on His will, His purpose, His design and plan for us.  It is no longer about us; it is all about Him.  Our family, friends and those in the world around us get to become the recipients of God’s grace and love working through us.  They may not always respond in a positive way.  Jesus said your enemies might be those of your own household.  When satan throws all he has against you, the blood of Jesus covers you.  You simply rest, in humility and love.  Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” When you find yourself in this place, you will know that you have left off friendship with the world and you have become a friend of God.  In this place of spiritual pursuit, guard against spiritual pride that wants to enter in.  It is easy to begin judging others, seeing yourself as better, more spiritual and alienate yourself due to that spiritual pride.   Jesus became as one of no reputation.  He became the servant that got under the lowly and lifted them up.  He was always bringing up the low places while He resisted and brought down the high places of spiritual arrogance and pride.  His focus was always first to God and then to men.  He didn’t isolate Himself, but became the servant of all.

Think what it is to set your mind on things above.  Paul states it well in Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Blessings,

#kent

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