Sprinkles of Lovingkindness

Psalms 63:3

Because thy lovingkindness [is] better than life, my lips shall praise thee.

Lovingkindness is an attribute of God towards man.  It is what is expressed toward us so many times in the Word of God.  Simply put it is kindness expressed through love.  When we take stock of all of the blessings that flow through our life we are beholding the lovingkindness of God.  When we acknowledge the Lord’s steadfast and patient love towards us we are acknowledging His lovingkindness.  When we behold the cross and trust in the blood of Jesus for our forgiveness we are receiving the mercies and the lovingkindness of a wonderful and loving God.  Through example He has taught us about lovingkindness.  It is a tapestry of acts and manifestations of undeserved and unearned love.  We could never earn or deserve the lovingkindness that the Lord shows toward us, but we certainly should acknowledge and praise Him for it. 

               What is more is that we want this godly attribute to also be working through our lives.  Philippians 2:1-4 tells us, “If [there be] therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, [being] of one accord, of one mind. [Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”  Here is a description and an exhortation for us to show forth lovingkindness.  Lovingkindness is the action of servanthood.  It is the laying down and sacrifice of your life and benefit for that of another.  Philippians 2 goes on to say, “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.”  True greatness is shown through humility, service, and unselfish love and giving.  It doesn’t seek a reputation or the acknowledgement and praise of men.  It is simply the expression of unselfish love.

               Today, and each day, may we seek to have this same expression of the attribute of our Father.  May we sprinkle the lives that we touch with these random acts of lovingkindness.  The wonderful thing is, that in doing so, everyone is blessed including us.

Blessings,

#kent

Windows of God

May 28, 2020

Windows of God

Matthew 5:16

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

               The other day a colleague and friend of mine made a statement that hurt and troubled my heart.  While I wasn’t in a place to really get into a discussion about it, it has continued to disturb me.  This woman is an accomplished artist and photographer who has a heart for others.  She has done and desires to do more of photojournalism that will help the plight of people who are battling disease, poverty or oppression, she cares for them, having grown up in the Appalachian Mountains and experienced poverty herself.  I mentioned she should work for one of the international Christian organizations that help such people.  She made the comment that she considered herself a very spiritual person, but wouldn’t really consider herself a born again Christian.  Then there was some comment about the way they had treated others.  What I was hearing was that she had been hurt, disillusioned and probably disappointed in those who said they represented Jesus Christ.  I’m sure many of us have heard and seen a lot of that sort of thing.  How sad that we, God’s people, are often the greatest stumbling blocks to people in their search for truth and a relationship with God.  We are the window through which people see the heart and nature of God.  If that window is dirty and the glass is distorted, then what kind of view are they going to get of a loving Savior who came and died for them that they might have that relationship with God?  What kind of window am I today; what kind are you?  Are people looking into our lives and seeing us profess one thing and live another?  Are they seeing self-righteousness rearing its ugly head in prejudice, judgmentalism, and condemnation of others?  Are we more concerned about seeing the faults and judging others than we are with seeing past their faults and seeing their need for Jesus?  If we are only condemning everybody to hell that is not just like us, then all we are is a religious bigot who will receive the same measure of judgment that we have doled out to others.  God speaks concerning this area of judgment in Romans 2:1-11, “1You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? 5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will give to each person according to what he has done.”7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.”  In verse 28 it goes on to say, “28A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”  The same could be said of those who profess Christ, “he is not a Christian who is one outwardly; it is he who is one inwardly, whose commitment is from the heart and by the spirit, not simply an outward form of religion and head knowledge.”  If we are truly Christ’s then the world around us should be seeing the genuine truth and love of who we profess to be.  Far too many have used the profession of Christ as a cloak for unrighteousness, exploitation and self gain at the expense of other’s souls.  How sad when we can better trust and rely on the people of the world in business and in keeping their word than we can in those who profess Christ. 

          We are the windows of heaven.  Unless God’s heavenly light is shinning through us in the face of Jesus Christ we will be the stumbling blocks to the world around us rather than the light to their salvation.  What is shinning out of your window today?  How do others perceive the face and nature of God through you?

Blessings,

#kent

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

The Inner Workings of Peace

1 Thessalonians 5:23

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

#kent

Relationships: God Size Holes

Philippians 2:4

Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

               A perfect world would be composed of people perfectly and harmoniously interacting with one another.  There would be no selfishness or greed, manipulation or oppression.  Each individual would willingly and in love work toward the good and well being of those they were in relationship with.   Then we flash forward to reality and we observe far too little of this behavior in our world, in our relationships and even in our own attitudes and behavior.  We have ideas in our head of what we visualize a perfect and fulfilling relationship would be, but our dream is always dashed by our reality when people disappoint us and fail to meet the desperate needs we have as individuals.  Most all of us are a mixed bag.  We come with some good attributes and qualities, but we also have our many faults and shortcomings, if not in our eyes then in the eyes of others.   When we take these qualities of relationship into the family dynamic we see the reality of how our theories and ideas operate in the everyday world of living life.  Many, if not most of us, have been disappointed with what we have found.  We’re disappointed with our spouse, our children or others to meet basic desperate needs we have in us and we are frustrated because we often see how much we fail to meet those same types of needs in others.  As a result we live in a war zone of broken homes, marriages and families.  People all around us are emotionally wounded and hurt by the devastation.  Perhaps you are one of those walking wounded today.  You are trying to smile like everything is okay on the outside, while hurting and crying out on the inside. 

               Could it be that we rely far too much on people to meet our needs rather than our relationship with Christ?  While we hurt and wish that someone could really relate with us and meet our emotional needs, I wonder if we are as concerned with how we are meeting emotional needs in God and in others.  My wife made the comment yesterday as we were watching the birds chowing down at the bird feeders, “Do you think that they know that it is us that feeds and provides them with this food?”  It made me think as I responded, “Do you think a lot of people really realize and appreciate that it is God that feeds and cares for them?”  Think how rewarding it would be to have a bird fly up, land on your shoulder and say, “Hey, thanks for providing all of this great food and water.  You are really a blessing in our lives.”  Many of us don’t bother to do that when we sit down to a meal, or get a paycheck or are blessed in the multitude of ways our heavenly Father blesses us.  Yet we are often upset when we don’t feel appreciated or are taken for granted. 

               There are holes in our emotional needs that only a right relationship with God can adequately fill.  It is great when people meet those needs in us, but we all know that with people you will always be disappointed.  Even the best of us have our shortcomings.  While some of us are gifted and blessed with the abilities to communicate, be sensitive to others who aren’t very relational, not everyone else is made up that way.  Yes, we should all work toward having the best relationships possible.  We should work to meet the emotional needs in each other, especially in our spouse and children.  A right relationship with our God will help us to be more loving and sensitive, but it still may not meet all the expectations and desires others may have or require.  Here is where we need to understand that there are some needs in us that only God can and will meet.  Perhaps unhappiness and discontentment are spilling out of us on those around us because we think they are failing us, and maybe they are.  We can’t always expect people, even the ones we love and rely on the most, to meet all the needs we have.  It may not really be in their personality to do so.  We can all, as the body of Christ and as extensions of Christ, seek to maintain the mind and love of Christ toward one another.  If each of us would not look at just what I need or want, but how can I serve and better meet the needs in another?  How can I think of others before I think of myself?  How can I love them as I would myself?  We can all become guilty of being self-centered and focused only on ourselves, our wants and needs.  Sometimes we may find that it is meeting the needs in others that we have in ourselves, that can end up satisfying and completing ourselves in ways we didn’t think possible.  All of us have our strengths and strong points.  Use them as a source of blessing to others.  All of us have our weaknesses and shortcomings.  While we want to continue seeking God’s help in improving on those shortcomings, be patient and longsuffering, not only with others, but also with yourself.  Sometimes there are holes that only God can fill.

Blessings,

#kent

The Power of the Life Within

Romans 8:1-4

Therefore, 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.

               John 3: 17-18 says, “17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

                Jesus didn’t come into the world to condemn man; He came into the world to condemn sin in man.  Man could never fulfill the righteousness requirements of the law because of sin, but Jesus through taking our sin upon Himself and paying the penalty disannulled the power of sin to condemn those who receive the righteousness which is in Christ Jesus by faith.  As long as a man chooses to live in sin, he lives under the condemnation of it, but now we have an alternative lifestyle whereby we might come out of sin and walk in the righteousness of the Son of God.  Jesus became the high priest and the administrator of a sinless life.  His holy priesthood is now about life, righteousness and godliness.  His intercession in that priestly position is in our behalf to bring us into the power and authority of His life.  Concerning the priesthood of Jesus, Hebrews 7:15-19 says this, “And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17For it is declared:

“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” 18The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.”

               There is a dispensation of power that is brought unto those who believe in God the Father by way of His Son Christ Jesus.   We, who by faith, trust and obedience, have embraced Christ, have received a calling to come up into this priestly calling of an endless and indestructible life.  That life now abides in us through His Spirit.  Romans 8:10-14 tells us, “And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. ¶ Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh, For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”  The Lord has called us to walk by the Spirit, for it is in the Spirit that we abide and walk in the life of God. 

               We have all heard the expression that ‘knowledge is power’.  The power to be partakers of the divine nature is in the knowledge of the Lord.  2 Peter 1:3-4 declares to us, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

               The wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One and His precepts are what anchor us to His life and preserve us in a right way.  This morning, as we read Proverbs 4, it affirms this truth.  Verses 5-15 tells us, “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. 6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8 Esteem her and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor.” 10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many. 11 I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. 12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. 13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. 14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. 15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.”  Finally, in Ephesians 1:11-23 the Apostle Paul speaks these powerful words, “In 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. 15For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, 16I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. 17I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, 19and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, 20which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.

               Today has been much scripture that I pray is speaking into our lives a revelation of what it is to know Him.  He has called us unto resurrection power and life.  For this power to work in us we must know Him, not in our heads, but in experience and in our hearts.  God has unleashed an unfathomable power toward us who believe to come forth in the power of His life, but it is only realized as we are caught up into His life by our daily walk and living.  This may seem rather out there and ultra spiritual to some of you reading, but I believe there is a dimension of God’s life that He has called us too and that we aren’t fully experiencing.  It is in the knowledge of Him.  He wants to bring us beyond a superficial knowledge into an intimate knowing of power and life.  It isn’t everyone that can hear this and not everyone that will press into it, but to him that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is speaking. 

Blessings.

#kent

 

God Will Take Care of Us

 

Matthew 6:25-30

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, [shall he] not much more [clothe] you, O ye of little faith?

 

It was shortly after we were first married and I was called into the supervisor’s office where I worked.  There I was informed that the company was going bankrupt and they would have to let me go.  As I brought that sad news home to my young, then pregnant wife, she was devastated.  Suddenly all of her security was gone and future uncertain.  I remember it was this particular passage that God gave me to share with her that began to renew hope, faith and a confidence that God was there to take care of us even when I couldn’t.  No doubt many of you have experienced similar situations where the future looked bleak and no provisions were on the horizon.  All we could do is say, “God you are a ‘Way Maker’.  You make a way where there is no way.”

As I was reading through the many accounts of Jesus touching, healing and delivering people in need, it was evident that their need was met in response to their faith to believe.  Jesus would sometimes say to them, “be it unto you according to your faith”.  The Lord is continually stretching our faith to believe Him for greater and greater things.  Even in those things that don’t turn out the way we hoped or wanted we can know that, “God is working all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).”

David often found the way of provision was released through the voice of praise and thanksgiving.  This is the voice of faith and it stirs up faith within our souls as well.  Sometimes it is really hard for us to grasp and believe that such an infinitely wonderful and great God could care individually and personally so much for us, and yet He does.  If He can care and provide for all of the small creatures and His creation, then surely He can care for you and I as well.

Let’s say someone shows up at your door today and says, “Here is a check for a million dollars.  Take it and spend it anyway you want.”  Obviously, we are going to be pretty elated and our initial response is quite likely going to abound in praise toward God.  After a few weeks and all the bills are paid and the needs are met.  We are enjoying the good life.  Now, where is God in the light of our prosperity and good fortune?  Is our dependency, trust and reliance still as great then as it was before?  Is God still at the forefront of all our thoughts and activities as we use that money, or has He faded back to a lonely second position, as our new lifestyle compels us to think less of Him and more about us.  This is our human nature at work and as much as we say, “I wouldn’t be like that, we would be amazed at how quickly God can lose His significance in the light of our prosperity.”  Herein lies its danger, we begin to love and trust in the money more than our God.  God warns Israel about this when He promises to prosper them after they come through all of their trials in of the wilderness in Deuteronomy 8.  It is a great chapter to read and reflect on.  “And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of [mine] hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for [it is] he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as [it is] this day And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish (Deuteronomy 8:17-19).”  At the forefront of every blessing, of every trial, of every endeavor and circumstance in life, God must continue to reign as the Lord of all of our life.  Our reliance upon Him is not to change whether in much or in little.   The Son is forever to be the center of our universe and the One to bring life and warmth to each day, winter, spring, summer or fall, in good times or bad.

“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).”

Blessings,

#kent

Hebrews 7:23-25

23Now 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.

 

A Ministry of Intercession

 

You may or may not like the president and the job he is doing, but one thing has not changed and that is God is still upon the throne and sovereign over the affairs of men.  He is still Lord of all and it is not in men or our leaders that we put our trust, but it is in the Lord Almighty.   It is imperative that your intercession not cease for our leaders, the current affairs and that we do not go back to business as usual.

Jesus, our High Priest, still sits in a place of ministry.  His ministry is that of intercession on our behalf.  We know that were it not for His grace, His sacrifice and now His intercession we would have no hope of salvation.  Our completeness, our righteousness and our salvation are only found in Him.  God has set His remnant and His true church as a kingdom of priests over the nations.  Our ministry is like that of our Lord’s.  It is to find God’s heart and to intercede accordingly.   Romans 8:26-27 tells us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” In our spirits we can feel the winds of change, but in the world this will probably mean a time of great upheaval.  It is the prayers of the saints that provide the avenue for God to unleash His power and divine working in this hour.  Your ministry of intercession has never been more important than it is right now.  Many people have their eyes on a man looking for the change that they desire, but we know that the change that men need and are truly looking for is not found in any man.  It is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is not the time to continue in criticizing and judging our leadership. Romans 13:1-2 tells us, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”  If we have concern for this nation and the direction it is going, as we all should, then remember the weapons of our warfare are not carnal or fleshly, but they mighty through God to the tearing and pulling down of strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4).   This place of warfare is in the place of intercession.  If we would fight for our nation our greatest weapons are found when we are on our knees before the Lord of justice and truth.  We have a calling and a mandate of the Lord.  It is a high and priestly calling.  People of God, stand in the gap and continue to make intercession, for those prayers of faith and our godly lives will bring a climate of change for many, the change they truly desire and seek.  Romans 13:11-14 goes on to exhort us, “And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. 14Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”  We have a ministry and high calling before us and it is the ministry of intercession.  I leave you with this final instruction from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24, “Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 19Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil. 23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.”

Blessing

 

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 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

 

The Realm of the Unseen

 

2 Corinthians 4:18

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.

 

Christianity is unique in that we exist and live in a world and reality that is both natural and spiritual.  We operate in two different realms that come together in faith.  We don’t just worship gods or ideas; we worship the one and only true and living God of all creation and glory.  We have seen His face in His Son, Jesus Christ and He not only exist outside of us, but He also inhabits His believers with His Holy Spirit.  The true Christian, likewise, in his spirit, indwells heaven and touches the dimension of the spiritual realm.  Our faith is all about how these two worlds come together in our daily lives.

How do we know this other world outside of our natural self?  It is revealed to us through God’s written Word and it is made alive within us through the Holy Spirit.  Romans 8:24-25 tells us, “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].”  A Christian doesn’t worship, serve and hope in a God that he tangibly sees, touches and acknowledges with just His natural senses, but the true believer steps into the dimension called faith where we call things that are not as though they were.  Many of us still struggle with this concept, because our natural mind still wants to operate in a sense realm mentality, touch it, taste it, smell it, see it and hear it.  Many have rejected Christ because they will not allow themselves to believe and enter into the realm and dimension of faith, where realities are laid hold of in the spirit, before they are ever manifested in the natural.  Many of us as Christians are still missing it because even though we were able to embrace Christ as our Savior by faith we fail to carry that on through as a part and portion of our spiritual walk and life.  As a result we are natural minded Christians who only see limited blessings.  As spiritually minded Christians, our realization is that, the less of the natural man is given place the more the spiritual man, in the image of Christ, can come forth.  It is not like we zombie out and just let the Lord possess our bodies, it is a union whereby the soul gives the place of lordship and dominion over to the spirit which is the habitation of the Holy Spirit.  Thus by faith and knowledge in the Word of God, we can grow up in Him in all things.  We learn to live and operate out of a place of trust in the Lord as we are obedient to His will and commandments to our lives.  We learn to know, practice and operate out of the principles of the Spirit realm and not just the earthly.  We know that our obedience to the principles and commands of God’s Word will bring forth God’s promised results.  By faith we have embraced them and our hope stands in the gap waiting for that which we have not yet seen, but believe we have.  The results and manifestation of our faith may be seen in a moment, days or over the course of years.  Sometimes it even supercedes our natural lifetime and extends into generations.  Look at the promises that Abraham believed for.  They are still seeing their fulfillment over the course of thousands of years.   God doesn’t promise a time, He just promises His faithfulness.

We are an impatient people and often we are prone to give up on our faith and let it go.  Some of the things that God teaches us through faith are patience, perseverance, and prevailing in the face of doubt and discouragement.  Often things are established in the heavens long before they are seen upon the earth.  How many things are still in heaven that never made it to earth, because our faith failed and we gave up.  With our faith we need to release praise and thanksgiving, rejoicing in expectance for what we hope for, but have not yet seen with our natural eyes.  Here we need our spiritual eyes to see and embrace God’s promises, despite what natural circumstances tell us.  Here, in the unseen realm, we call those things that are not as though they were.

Blessings,
#kent

%d bloggers like this: