Called to Priesthood

July 31, 2020

Hebrews 5:1-6

Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people.

 4No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. 5So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

   “You are my Son;

      today I have become your Father.” 6And he says in another place,

   “You are a priest forever,

      in the order of Melchizedek.”

Called to Priesthood

                             1 Peter 2:9 says, ” But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”  Revelations 1:5b-6, “… To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.”  Revelations 5:10 declares, “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.”  When we begin to hear our true calling in Christ it pertains to kingdom and priesthood.   It only follows that if our Lord Jesus Christ, the head of His body the Church, is called and ordained to be a high priest after the order of Melchizedek then that same calling of priesthood and priestly ministry would flow down through His body which is the expression and the extension of its head. 

              An attribute of this priesthood is that they are selected from among men, but not by men.  It is not the picture of what we have seen in the natural church realm of robes, censors and the outward exaltation and reverence of a man representing priesthood.  God’s chosen priest will quite likely have no resemblance to this, because their honor is from God and not from men. A second attribute that we see here is that they are able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since they realize their own subjection to weakness.  God’s priests are not as many of those in the days of Jesus who looked contemptuously down upon the sinner and the lowly, but they know how to come underneath them and lift them up.  They know how to descend into hell so that they may ascend into heaven.  They know how die that others may live even as a kernel of corn is planted in the earth and dies that it might bring forth much fruit.  Do we know the way of this priestly calling?  The exaltation is not of the flesh, but of the spirit as God honors and exalts His humble servants. 

              They know how to offer the sacrifice of prayer and supplication.  They know how to enter into the Mighty One’s presence in worship, praise and thanksgiving.  They know the way that Jesus went as our forerunner and firstfruits expressed in Philippians 2:5-11, ” Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,

 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!

 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place, and gave him the name that is above every name,

 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

For a priest the way up is the way down.  They must be willing to lay down their life that they may gain it.  We do not take upon ourselves the honor of being called His priests, He bestows it upon us as we walk in the character, likeness and humility of His Son.  If you are called to priesthood then you will exemplify the attributes of this priesthood, for it is unto service, not unto exaltation.  It is God who exalts in due season, as we are faithful to the calling He has given us in Christ Jesus. 

              Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”  The chosen ones are those who answer the invitation and enter into the calling. We have a high and holy calling upon our lives; will we answer and enter into it?

Blessings,

#kent

Diligence

July 30, 2020

Proverbs 4:23

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.

Diligence

              It is often astounding when we have observed a garden or a lawn that at one time was so beautiful and groomed and then to observe its state after a time when it has been abandoned or neglected.  What we see are two totally different scenes, first one of beauty and then one of weeds, deterioration and ruin.  Our soul can be much the same way.  It can be that beautiful garden where we meet and fellowship with God consistently and frequently.  It can be a sanctuary of light and truth, filled with joy and blessing.  In this state people can look upon it and see the beauty that fills it.  What happens when we become less than diligent to maintain that fellowship and groom that garden of our soul?  Little by little it will deteriorate.  It will dry out, weeds will sprout up and the good fruit and plants will whither and die.  A good garden requires continual diligence and so it is with our souls.  Many of us can look back over our lives and see times when we have had that wonderful relationship and fellowship with God and our soul has flourished in the sunshine of His love and presence, but then other things came in and captivated our time and attention.  We began to neglect more and more our time of prayer and fellowship with the Lord until our garden was one in name only, but not in appearance and fruitfulness.   Darkness began to fill the areas where there had once been so much light and life and truth.  Weeds began to spring up and choke out the purity, the love and the joy that once abounded there.  One day it dawns upon us as we see our life a mess, what happened to my garden?  What happened to that relationship and fellowship I once had?  The Lord doesn’t abandon us, we abandon Him.  He is always there to help us to reestablish that garden and that fellowship again.  The thing that I have observed in my life is that when we give ground to the enemy, it is harder taking it back the second time.  Yet, the Lord is there for us if we will return to Him in love and repentance. 

              Diligence is often what we loose sight of.  Our Christianity and faith weren’t a one time thing when we walked an isle and gave our heart to Jesus, it is a day by day relationship that rejoices in the good times, but hangs tough and continues to trust even in the difficult and trying times.  It is like a marriage, it needs our constant attention or we will grow apart.  We want a relationship where every day with Jesus it sweeter than the day before.

              Hebrew 6:10-12 exhorts us by saying, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”  Our faith is not a sprint it is a marathon.  It is not about how fast we run in the beginning, but about our steady and steadfast run through life.  It is not about starting the race, but about finishing it and that takes perseverance and all diligence.  The Lord called each of us to be a partaker of His divine nature and He has given us great and precious promise through which we might enter in.  2 Peter 1:2-10 speaks to this diligence in obtaining all that God has called us too.  “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  The Lord has given us all that we need, but we need the diligence to keep pressing into Him and maintaining that garden relationship with Him.  Perhaps for some of us our relationship and fellowship with the Lord has been slipping away and we are loosing that closeness and intimacy with Him.  Be diligent to turn back your heart to Him and draw near again.  He loves you and delights in your visitation and your fellowship.  Be diligent and don’t give up or turn away.

Blessings,

#kent

Random Order

July 29, 2020

Random Order

Psalms 119:133

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

              God does not operate out of chance.  He does not spin a wheel and wherever the ball lands that’s the direction He goes.  Our God is a magnificent God of design and order.  He has a plan and He knows the beginning to the end.  Your life and mine aren’t a chance happening, they are ordered of the Lord.  He has put within each one of us a destiny and a purpose for our being. 

              Someone may be thinking, “You don’t know my life, what I have been through or what a mess I am.”  God does and He is able to take what the enemy has meant for evil and destruction and turn it around to be a stronghold for His glory and praise.  He is able to lift you up out of the death and darkness you have been in and set your feet in the way of light and truth.  He is able to take our weakness and turn them into the strongest areas of righteousness and victory in our lives.  God has a destiny, plan and purpose for your life, but the only way you will fully realize it is as you allow Him to order your steps according to His Word.  God has a divine and fulfilling plan for each of us, but we don’t have to follow it.  It is sin and rebellion that have caused us to miss it and that is why many of us are in the misery we are in. 

              As we look back over our lives, what do we see?  Are we satisfied and content with the results?  Do you feel you have lived your life to the fullness of God’s will and design for you.  We must come to the place that we realize our greatest joy, happiness and fulfillment doesn’t come out pursuing our own pleasures and desires, it will only be realized in the unity with God’s will and order for your life.  As I look back over my own life and the times I have walked close to God and the times I haven’t, I can see that my greatest joy, blessing and fulfillment are the times when I am passionately pursuing Him and seeking the fullness of His will for my life.  Our Father didn’t give us His Word and commandments to imprison us and make us miserable.  He gave them to set us free to be the children of righteousness and holiness that could enjoy the riches of all that He has for us.  It is our own sin and rebellion that prevent, inhibit and imprison us from enjoying the full blessings and promises that God has given us. 

              Our God is a God of divine and precise order.  We can look all around our universe and see the evidence of that in all of creation.  Only the fool could truly say the world and all its wonders were created by mere chance, how absurd.  An atheist has to have more faith to believe that, than a believer does to believe in God.  All of creation is a testimony to the wonder, greatness and order of God.  We have to realize that so much of our thinking, values and beliefs have been the persuasion of a lie.  All the chaos, disorder, anarchy, rebellion and discord in the world is the result of the devil’s influence on the minds and hearts of men.  We at war with terrorism today because men bought the lies of satan and in the name of religion and their god they terrorize by killing, wounding and maiming innocent men, women and children.  That certainly has no connection with the God I know. 

              If our steps are ordered of the Lord then He will not allow iniquity to have dominion over you.  In fact, in Christ, He has already empowered you to have victory and dominion over sin and iniquity.  He is our righteousness and we stand complete Him today because of Jesus.  Jesus did it all. He has issued us all the equipment we need to go out, conquer and prevail.  All we have to do is, in faith, put it on and use it according the operations manual of the Word of God, your Bible.  If we are living in defeat, oppression and failure in our lives, then we are like a homeless person using hundred dollar bills to stuff the bag he is sleeping on.  God has given us the resources, but we must rise up in the authority of His Word and the name of Jesus Christ and use them. 

              We cannot live our lives by random order and expect the fullness of God’s best in our lives.  It will be a hit and miss proposition.  As we live methodically and purposefully in the principles of God’s Word then we will reap the benefits of His promises and provisions.  If you want victory, joy and fulfillment in your life then order your steps in the Lord and in His Word.

Blessings,

#kent

A Letter to My Son

July 28, 2020

A Letter to My Son

Proverbs 1:8

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

              My son, do you know how much I love you?  Do you know how I prayed for you even when you were in your mother’s womb and each day since?  A father’s heart is to see his son grow up and be even more than he could ever be.  He wants the best for him.  He wants him to prosper and know the joys and richness of life.  More than anything else, a father who loves the Lord will desire his son to grow up to embrace his own faith in Christ.  A father of faith desires to birth that faith and relationship with Christ into his son. 

              Why is that so important?  The father knows that in Christ are the issues of life, health, wealth and eternal salvation.  If a father can impart to his son how rich he will be through a committed relationship with Christ then he will have left a legacy that he can be proud of.  Your mother and I will have fulfilled one of the primary purposes for our being together.  Malachi 2:15 says, “And did not God make [you and your wife] one [flesh]? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why [did God make you two] one?  Because He sought a godly offspring [from your union]. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth.”  While Christian parents desire to live a godly example and be a light of salvation to others, there is no other soul more precious to them than you. 

              As a son grows up and matures he sees the parents he once perceived as so good with their faults and shortcomings.  As a son grows into puberty and adolescence he often becomes quite full on himself and defiant and resentful of his parents.  A father has had a few short years to try and instill the principles of life and godliness into his son.  He has disciplined him to try and teach him responsibility, integrity and character.  He knows he has made more mistakes than he would ever like to admit, but he prays that somehow, in spite of his shortcomings and failures God, by His grace, will make Himself so real to his son and that his son might now choose to make his parent’s faith his own. 

              As fathers we are often far less than perfect, but if this father doesn’t know anything else and if he doesn’t possess any other significant talents or abilities, the one thing that he does know and is fully committed to is that Christ is the answer to life.  He prays that if His son gets nothing else from him, that he will get that.  For a godly parent, there is no greater gift or reward than to see one’s children choosing the path of righteousness and walking in it.  There are no richer moments than when we see them instilling and teaching their children the ways and the love of the Lord. 

              My son, I leave you with these words of instruction from Proverbs 4:20-27, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”  My son, I love you and only desire for you the richness and goodness of God’s grace and love.

Blessings,

#kent

Isaiah 28:16

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

That Upon Which All Sure Things are Built.

              Every well-built building and lasting structure began with a plan and was established upon a sure foundation.  God’s house is no different, for He is that master designer and builder and He has laid a foundation stone in Zion.  Upon this stone is established His creation, His house, His purpose and His plan for the ages.  He purposed that in Christ all that is lasting and eternal should be built.  We know that Jesus Christ is that chief foundation and corner stone.  While He has often been rejected of men, God has selected Him and all that God is establishing is built upon Him.  Without Christ we are missing the essential corner stone to build and establish a meaningful and close relationship with God, for God is in Christ reconciling, restoring and building His temple.  It is that temple which we are as His people, living stones, being conformed to the image of the chief corner stone and built up into a holy habitation for God’s own dwelling. 

              1Peter 2:1-10 tells us, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ” 8and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

              Throughout our lives we are constantly living, building and growing into who we are as a person.  We must carefully choose the foundation upon which we build and add to it every decision that directs and establishes who we are and what we are becoming.  If we have missed building each precept of our lives upon that chief cornerstone, we may have a weak foundation that is subject to failure and fault, but if we carefully, obediently and willfully choose Christ to be the forefront and foundation of all that we do, we also will build a sure house; one that will stand in the day of storm and testing.  Let us choose well the foundation upon which we establish our life, our values and our purpose. 

Blessings,

#kent

A Healthy Spirit

July 24, 2020

A Healthy Spirit

Proverbs 18:14

A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?

              The true life of an individual is contained in their spirit.  The spirit is the center of hope, faith and the reason for living.  A healthy spirit is one that is broken and contrite before God, but whole and mighty concerning the adversities and trials of life. 

Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”  The full humility and submission of our spirit toward the Lord is the sacrifice that He will not despise.  In that condition we are in alignment and submission to His will and purpose in our lives.  We have positioned ourselves to be reliant upon His strength and live out of the hope and faith we have in Him.               

On the other hand there is a broken spirit that is not good and is the most detrimental to our health and our life.  Psalms 17:22 says, “A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”  A merry and joyful heart is like a medicine.  It proceeds out of a spirit and heart that is rejoicing and has found joy in the Lord. in spite of circumstances that might dictate that it feels to the contrary.  That joy and merriment is an expression of faith, not necessarily of feelings, because our heart has its hope and confidence in the Lord.  Proverbs 15:13 says, “A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.”  We can go through almost anything as long as our spirit is healthy and our hope and confidence remain in the Lord.  Our greatest danger, even over physical or mental illness is when our spirit becomes unhealthy and broken.  Our spirit is our lifeline to God.  It is the medium by which we communicate and maintain relationship with the Almighty.  When our spirit becomes broken then the physical man will dry up as well.  The power cord of our life is maintained through our spirit.  When the conduit and conductor of our life becomes interrupted or broken then we are running on batteries and true life is ebbing away.  It is through our spirit that faith is generated, and hope is maintained.  There are times in our lives that circumstances can be so overwhelming that our spirit can be crushed with grief and despair.  We can lose our hope and even our desire to live ceases.  What strikes me in Proverbs 18 is that it is our spirit that sustains us in sickness.  There are many trials in life, including sickness, that can come in like a flood and overwhelm us with a sense of hopelessness and despondency. 

              I am reminded of the disciples who were crossing the Sea of Galilee when they were caught up in a terrible storm that threatened their very lives, while Jesus lie sleeping in the bottom of the boat.  They had come to the end of themselves and hope was leaving them when they awoke Jesus.  Luke 8: 24-25 says, “And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.”  When our spirit becomes broken our faith leaves us.  When we lose faith, we lose hope.  Faith and Hope are always right there in the boat with us in the person of Christ.  He says He will never leave us or forsake us, but He doesn’t tell us that we won’t feel that way.  That is how the disciples felt in that storm.  They felt helpless, afraid and were losing hope when all the while the Author of Life itself was resting in the hull of their boat.  Is any storm or adversity in life greater than He who is the Lord and Master over the winds and the water?  If we perish, we perish, but we must never allow our spirit to remain broken.  When life is overwhelming and it feels as if all hope is gone, allow your spirit to crawl up in DADDY’s lap, hold fast to Him with all of the strength of your being until your storm passes over. 

              Proverbs 18:10 says, “The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.”  Allow the name of the Lord to be the strong tower that protects your spirit from becoming broken.  It is your steadfast faith in Him that will keep your spirit from being broken in those most difficult of times.   Remember what Colossians 3:3 says, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”  You have already died to this outward life, so don’t allow it to rob you of the inward life that is hid with Christ in God.  Maintain a healthy spirit that you might live in hope and in faith.

Blessings,

#kent

A Day with the Lord

July 23, 2020

A Day with the Lord

1 Corinthians 1:9

God [is] faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

The sun strikes the peaks with pinkish hue,

As I rise to start my day with You.

Soft, back lit clouds streak across the eastern sky,

As the day dawns and You are nigh.

With sleepy eyes I step out into the newborn day,

With praise and worship, I begin to pray.

Lord You are faithful, good and so kind,

You are the treasure I seek, the wisdom I find.

In the fresh clean morning air,

I step out and sense You are there.

A dove coos nearby as Holy Spirit says I’m here.

A fragrant breeze passes saying God is near.

Outward signs remind me of our inward chat,

A dialogue where we can talk about this and that,

Where God listens intently as I pray,

And I so want to hear what He has to say.

Often it is quiet when I listen for Him

With patience in prayer, I seek Him again.

He doesn’t always respond like I think He should

But often He speaks in other ways than man normally would.

Sometimes it is in the day that He is speaking to me,

Even through my spouse, a friend or someone I meet.

I must learn to listen and see with spiritual ears and eyes,

Or I’ll miss what He is saying as my life goes whizzing by.

God often speaks when we’ve ceased to pray,

He talks to us often in such little ways.

He gives us opportunities to respond in His love,

He allows those tests to see, what our hearts are made of.

No, He doesn’t speak audibly to me,

But He is speaking in ways that are setting me free.

He is not constantly condemning my sin,

But He is teaching me the liberty of righteousness in Him.

Let us always start our day with prayer and praise,

Let us bask in His love, rising above earthly haze.

Let us learn to carefully listen and look for Him.

Walking in the Spirit, is knowing our dearest Friend.        

Blessings,

#kent

Leaking Cisterns

July 22, 2020

Leaking Cisterns

Jeremiah 2:13

For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, [and] hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

              A cistern is a well, pit or a storing place usually of water for any who may not be familiar with what a cistern is. 

              Jeremiah is unveiling the state of Israel as the Lord sees them.  He would speak to us much the same way in this hour.  We are a people that began with a faith in Christ and His righteousness.  He was our fountain of living waters.  He washed us in His blood and made us whiter than snow.  He clothed us with the righteousness of His saints and He was our source of life and the focus of our daily living.  We rejoiced in His fellowship and had great joy in our relationship with Him.   Unfortunately, little by little our fidelity began to wane.  Gradually the Lord ceased from being our all in all as we began to turn our eyes and hearts to other things and desires.  Without even realizing It, we began to move away from our fellowship as our focus and dependence became more and more on the world around us.  Outwardly we would deny that anything was wrong with our spiritual state, but inwardly we knew we were losing the fountain of our fellowship and life. 

              What do we do to hide this spiritual breech of intimacy and life we had with the Lord?  We create substitutes.  We hew out our own cisterns of religious and spiritual appearances so that we can maintain a façade of spirituality and holiness to those around us.  We don’t openly forsake the Lord, but we create a storefront of spirituality while, we live out our own desires in the backroom.  Obviously, this façade is our broken cisterns.  They are fashioned like the real, but they are created in the flesh and as a result cannot hold the life of God.  For those casually looking in, everything may seem right and good, but we have become like Jesus’ description of the Pharisees, “whitewashed grave sites, full of dead men’s bones.” In our deception of ourselves, we deceive others and lead them down our same path of destruction and ruin.  Jeremiah 2: 19 says, “Your wickedness will punish you;

your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you have no awe of me,” declares the Lord, the LORD Almighty.” When we lose that fear, awe and respect for the Lord it takes us into dangerous territory.  Many of us may find ourselves there today if we honestly and without guile search and discern our own hearts.  The Lord warns us of our state so that we might judge ourselves and turn from our wicked ways, before God Himself has to judge us.  This is where we return to those first principles of repentance from dead works.  This is where we acknowledge our sinful and deviant ways before the Lord and turn back to Father with a broken and a contrite heart which the Lord says He will not despise.  This is where we abandon the cisterns of our own making and turn again to drink from the fountain of living water.  There we will find His grace and forgiveness if we will but fear Him and repent. 

              Father is calling those out who will hear His voice to be separated unto Him.  It is not yet a separation unto judgement, but the lines of spiritual separation are being drawn between the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares.  Let Him who has an ear hear what the Spirit is saying to the church in this hour.  “Come out from among them and be ye separate.”

Blessings,

#kent

Beyond the Veil

July 21, 2020

Beyond the Veil

Hebrews 10:19-21

Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And [having] an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The term veil is only used about seven times throughout the Word of God.  The first and only time it is used in the Old Testament is in the Song of Solomon.  “I opened to my beloved; but my beloved had withdrawn himself, [and] was gone: my soul failed when he spake: I sought him, but I could not find him; I called him, but he gave me no answer.  The watchmen that went about the city found me, they smote me, they wounded me; the keepers of the walls took away my veil from me. I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, that I [am] sick of love. (Song of Songs 5:6-8).”  In Middle East culture we know that the veil for the woman is a sign of modesty and that she would normally only unveil herself before her husband or intimate lover.  The Song of Songs or the Song of Solomon is a book that most consider being a symbolism of Christ and the Bride.  Viewing it in this light we see in this passage that the maiden or bride is in pursuit of her beloved who has withdrawn himself.  The watchmen of the city find her.  Now the watchmen might be viewed as the religious ones that had charge of watching over the spiritual affairs of the city, perhaps not so unlike the scribes and Pharisees of Jesus’ day.  Not so unlike Jesus, we find that this maiden is not commended for her pursuit of her beloved, but smitten and wounded.  In addition, the keepers of the walls, those that uphold the religious institution, take away her veil.  Her modesty has been removed and she is exposed and shamed by the watchmen and the keepers of the wall.  It is not uncommon that when one gets passionate and is in desperate pursuit of relationship with God that they encounter persecution.  Quite often, it is religious persecution.  When you deviate from the mainstream of religious thinking it often leads to paying the price for not conforming to traditional thinking.  Perhaps the greatest fear of the religious people is that someone who is laying hold of the anointing and the presence of God in a way that they are not able to do, exposes how shallow their relationship really is.  There is a jealousy and a fear of the loss of control and honor. 

              However, all of this does not deter the maiden as she pursues her beloved even among the mainstream of Jerusalem or Christianity.  What motivates this maiden to such extreme action and determination?  She is sick with love.  She is so love struck with her beloved that nothing can separate her from His love and her love for Him.  She will pay any price and go to any lengths to lay hold of Him. 

              Have we ever had those times in our lives when we felt that strong love and desire for Christ, but He had withdrawn Himself?  We sought Him in prayer, worship, in church, but we couldn’t find His presence.  Sometimes our Lord withdraws Himself, not out of displeasure with us, but to prove our love and desire for Him. 

Why knock yourself out?  Can’t you just be content being one of the daughters of Jerusalem, just one of the redeemed of the Lord, one the virgins without number or the concubines of the King?  This woman was in pursuit of the most intimate place with her beloved.  She was so love sick that she would settle for nothing less than all of Him.  She desired marriage.  She desired oneness and unity that she could find nowhere else.  She desired a level of relationship that exceeded the normal.  She desired to enter into that place within the veil, in the presence of the Almighty, where her life was consumed in Him. 

              The passage here in Hebrews tells us that we can have “boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.”  Jesus has made a way for all of us to enjoy and experience His salvation, presence and access to the Father.  There has been a way made for all of us to enter in through the full assurance of faith.  How much do we desire not just an encounter, not just an experience, not just a general acceptance, but an intimate relationship with our Beloved?  How lovesick are we for His manifest presence in our lives and that place where we walk with Him and talk with Him and hear His voice? There has to be a full unveiling of our hearts to Him, before we will fully see and experience His fullness toward us.  What we have formerly seen in a foretaste and in a measure, do we fervently desire in fullness?

Blessings,

#kent

Life is Fragile, Handle with Care

1 Peter 1:22

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:

              There are many today that are environmentally sensitive.  They are very concerned about the land, its resources and the wildlife that inhabits it.  The wheels of progress have been stopped because of how it might impact a mouse.  Some of the things we hear about seem a little extreme.  There is nothing wrong with caring about the environment and taking care of it.  That is the responsible thing to do.  I wonder though if we are often as sensitive and caring about the needs of people and especially the people that occupy our environment?  How often do we go crashing through someone’s life and emotions with little regard?  We can be critical, judgmental and degrading of others and we hardly give it a second thought.  Some of us have developed a bulldozer lifestyle of speaking and acting critically, harshly and unkindly to others.  How are we impacting the quality and the development of their lives?  Are we as sensitive to them as some are to the environment or do we just go crashing through their emotions wounding and tearing without a thought of the impact we are having?  Do we treat everyone with the same dignity and respect we want to be treated with?

              Sometimes it takes a tragedy for us to wake up to what we were doing and even then there is a good chance that we are still too insensitive to realize what we have done.  Take a good look around at the environment of the souls that you dwell among and interact with.  Do you see the person that everyone criticizes and makes fun of?  Do you see the person that has become invisible and nobody else even acknowledges or cares about them?  Do you see any of the wounded and the broken that need an affirming word and the encouragement to know that they have value and worth?  Take time to survey the humanity that surrounds you.  Look for the opportunity to be an environmentalist of souls, protecting and caring for those who can not care for themselves. 

              What did Jesus come to do?  Isaiah 61 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; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”  As we are in Him and He is in us this has become our ministry as well.  Look for the opportunities to make life a better environment in which to live, especially for those that are so often despised and looked down upon.  Maybe that person is as close as someone in your own family.  Life is fragile, handle it with care.

Blessings,

#kent

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