Untied Shoes

August 17, 2020

Untied Shoes

Psalms 141:3

Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.

              What is it about untied shoes that drives us nuts?  Since the time we were young children we may remember that nagging voice saying, “Tie your shoes.”  At the time, untied shoes didn’t bother us; we didn’t really care.  We were only focused on playing and could really care less what we looked like or if our shoes were tied or not.  Somewhere in our lives though it became an automatic thing to tie our shoes if they became untied.  Besides being a bad presentation, it was annoying and it was a trip hazard that could dump us embarrassingly and painfully on our face.  So what’s tying my shoes got do with anything?

              Shoes might be somewhat like a tongue without discretion, wagging away and speaking whatever came to mind.  We surely have learned by now that not everything that goes through our mind needs to be expressed through our tongue.  The Word makes it abundantly clear that the tongue can get us into all kinds of trouble.  Psalms 39:1 says, “I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.”  James is another one that really speaks to the issue of an unkept tongue.  James 3:2-12 says, “3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”  That little untied shoe can come off and cause a lot more grief than we could have ever imagined, so it is with our tongues.  God is telling us to get it under control, “keep your shoes tied.”  It is going to make a much better presentation of who you want to be seen as in Christ and it will not lead to regrets, embarrassments and destruction.  Proverbs 15:4 says, “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”   God’s good advice for us is, ‘keep your tongue tied!’

Blessings,

#kent

Gifts and Callings

August 14, 2020

Romans 11:29

For the gifts and calling of God [are] without repentance.

Gifts and Callings

              When God created us for a purpose He put within us gifts and callings.  The gifts and callings are like the resources within the earth.  They may or may not be evident upon the surface, but often they need to mined out of our earth, developed and refined.  God is faithful.  He doesn’t take back that which He has placed within us.  Now we might take what He has given us and run with it to our own ends and for our selfish purposes, but in ourselves it will never produce the life and blessing that He has destined it for.  A gift is not just for receiving, but for giving.  This is the beauty of the mystery of the body of Christ.  We are gifted and called in different ways, but brought to together under the unity and submission to the headship of Christ we function in our many different offices like parts of the body function to the health and wholeness of the whole body. 

              You have a gift and a calling in your life.  Have you found, discovered and developed it?  Are you using it for God’s kingdom purpose or just for your own benefit?  Often our gift and calling is tied to our passion, the thing that we love to do.  When we have a passion for something then it isn’t a chore, it is what we enjoy doing.  Don’t think that what you have is unimportant, less significant or not as needful to the body of Christ.  The body truly is only healthy and functions properly when all the parts are in place and functioning in submission to the Spirit.  True Christianity is not a spectator sport.  It requires that we are in the game and performing in our gifting, position and calling. 

              Some of us have yet to discover what our particular gifting and calling is, but it may well be right in front of you.  You may be doing some aspect of it right now in your daily life.  It may not look real spiritual and in fact it can be quite functional.  Our gifts and callings take on so many different forms and are as unique as we as people are.  Some people are organizers, some benefactors, some have skills with crafts, music, speech, writing, listening, helping, encouraging, some in leadership and some in support of leadership. 

Perhaps a good guiding scripture for us concerning our lives, how we live them and how we carry out our talents, gifting and calling is found in Colossians 3:17.  It says, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  All that we do in life we want to be directed to the praise and honor of the Father.  Now some of us are good at talking about what should be done and we may think our gift is to judge and critique everyone else.  Sorry, now you are trying to take on God’s job.  Romans 14:10-13 exhorts us, “You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11It is written:  ‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ “12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

13Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.” 1 John 3:18 says it this way, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” 

              Each of us has a calling, gifting and an election in Christ Jesus.  Find your calling and begin to function in it.  The rest of us as the body of Christ need what you have.  A lost world needs what you can contribute.  None of us are without something that we can give.  You will find your joy and fulfillment in doing so. 

Blessings,

#kent

Ephesians 1:9-12

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

The Calling of Your Destiny

              What great things lie ahead for those that are walking with God in this hour and time.   Doors are about to open that were never dreamed of and your potential in Christ has never been greater than it is at this moment.  If we settle for less than God’s best and His highest for us then we, in affect, are forsaking and selling our birthright even as Esau did.  This is not the hour to forsake the Lord or to stray from Him.  It is an hour to draw near with all of your heart, your mind, your soul and your strength.  What is coming forth in the earth will require a people who are walking in the Spirit and living out of the divine nature of Christ.  What God wants to bring forth through His people is not a work produced by flesh.  It is not larger, prettier buildings, better programs or outward showings.  It is a manifestation of Himself through His people.  It will be a move of God brought forth through a people that are fulfilling their destiny in Him.  If we find we have settled for less and sold our birthright we will mourn deeply the loss.  Hebrews 12:15-17 says, “15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” 

              This is not an hour to compromise our faith and the high calling we have in Christ Jesus.  It is an hour to draw nigh and ready our hearts before Him in humility and repentance.  It grieves the heart of God that He speaks the Words of life to us, we may say our amen, but then we turn, go our way and so quickly forget our instruction and exhortation.  James 1:22-25 says, “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” 

              It is important that in every facet of our life we have our eyes fixed upon Jesus.  He is not just the religious or spiritual part of our life.  He is our life.  He is not just a compartment in our lives; He is the whole package.  All that we are and all that we are becoming is through Him and in Him.  If you want to fulfill your destiny in Christ then move and live and have your being in Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Light and Dark

August 12, 2020

Light and Dark

Luke 11:34-36

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 If thy whole body therefore [be] full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light.

              Throughout the Word darkness is often symbolic of ignorance, or a place where God’s truth and light is not active and working.  This is the state we were all in before we came to the knowledge of Christ and He illuminated our spirits with His Truth.  2 Corinthians 4:6 says, “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  It is in this place of darkness that sin and unrighteousness can work.  The devil is like a cockroach; he loves the darkness because there he can work his deception and wickedness.  The light is a difficult area for the devil to work in because it exposes lies, deceptions and wickedness.  It takes issues out of the place of ignorance and deception and exposes them to the light of God’s Word.  Light and darkness are issues that don’t just concern the world and the unsaved.  They are issues that concern us as Christians on an ongoing basis.  This is why we keep dealing with these issues of light and darkness.  This area of darkness is one we still struggle with in our own lives everyday.  The purpose God sent His Son was to deliver us out of darkness and spiritual ignorance.  The nature of the flesh is that it likes the darkness, because there it doesn’t have to be accountable to God.  John 3:19, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.” 

              Many of us are struggling with issues of sin in our lives because there are areas of our lives we still want to keep in darkness.  These are the dark closets of our soul where we have kept the hidden desires and passions of our hearts.  If we never did anything that we would be ashamed for others to see and know about then there is no darkness.  Darkness is the breeding ground for sin to work in our lives and it is why it is so important for us to have accountability to one another, because it helps us to keep ourselves in the light.  The light is our protection and defense against the sin and destruction that wants to perpetrate our lives.  The deception of darkness is that what we do in secret may start rather small and insignificant, but it continues to grow little by little.  We become dull and desensitized because as it grows it is warping and blinding our judgement and discernment.  We become more tolerant and justifying of our actions, thoughts and attitudes.  Then, one day, the light exposes the darkness in our lives and we find that what was once insignificant has become a monster.   It is now threatening to destroy us, our loved ones and all that we hold dear; not to mention what it has done to our testimony and witness for Christ.   Romans 12:13 says, “The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.”   The light of God’s Word is our protection and fortress against the works and destructive nature of darkness.   As we put on Christ we are putting on the armor of light and truth that sets us apart and causes us to stand out as light-bearers and not darkness dwellers.

              Are there areas of darkness at work in your life today?  Are there hidden things in our lives, areas where we are not allowing the Holy Spirit into and we may think no one sees?  What is done in secret will be shouted on the rooftops.  God will bring our darkness to light, and even if it weren’t, we still must give account before Him one day for nothing is hidden from Him. 

              God is giving many of us a warning and exhortation today to get all of our lives out into the light, to forsake the hidden works of darkness and to repent and be accountable to one another.  Sure we all deal with areas of weakness in our lives, but let us find others whom we can confide in and who can pray with us and help us in our struggles.  We need each other to strengthen and fortify one another against the ravaging effects that unchecked sin can have in our lives.  Don’t isolate yourself, because then you become like the sheep separated from the flock which is easy prey for the wolves.  Find unity, strength and wholeness in the body of Christ.  We are a body that should not function to condemn or pass judgement on one another, but build up, encourage and help one another.  We are all the products of God’s grace and not our own goodness so let His grace work through us to help and minister to one another.  1 Corinthians 10:12-13 exhorts us, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].”  Let us give diligence that the light of God and His Truth fills our lives so that darkness has no place in us.  “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness (John 12:46).”

Blessings,

#kent

The Temple of your Body

August 11, 2020

The Temple of your Body

1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19

1 Corinthians 3:16-17  Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and [that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which [temple] ye are.

1 Corinthians.6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Our lives are made up of three parts of distinction that function as one.  Much like the Pattern of the Godhead: Father, Son and Holy Spirit and the tabernacle that God had Moses build in the wilderness made up of outer court, holy place and Holy of Holies.  The Word of God talks a lot about denying the flesh and dying to the flesh.  What we don’t want to do is take that to mean we should be destructive to our bodies.  The scripture makes it clear above that we are the temples of God, we are not our own and as such, we do not have a right to defile or pollute our bodies.  The Spirit of the Holy God dwells in us and as such we must reverence His presence in us by living lives and in ways that are pleasing to Him. How many of us who say we love God would walk into a church building and light up a cigarette, or start hitting on a bottle of booze, or take drugs or sit down and look through pornographic magazines, or do anything that caused injury or defilement to our bodies. The church is just a building, made of wood, steel and stone, but we are the very containers of the Holy Spirit.  How much more should we forsake all things that offend the Holy One within us.   I doubt there are any who would read this that haven’t done destructive things in and to their bodies.  Perhaps we are still struggling in areas of lives today with these very things.  Whenever we use our bodies for sin we are bringing pollution into our temple.  God does not want us to worship our bodies, but He wants them to be sanctified or cleansed.  Our bodies are to be no longer the instruments sin, but of righteousness, the outward expression and action of the Holy One within us.  Jesus was the embodiment of God, or if you will the physical body of God.  He showed us how the body of our human form is to be the expression of the One who dwells in us.  Jesus expresses this mystery in John 14:8-11, “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

              Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou [then], Shew us the Father?  Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works sake.”

As the body of Christ, with the Lord Jesus as our head, God’s intent is that we be His representation and expression in the earth.  Our bodies are the outward expression of His inward work as our spirit aligns with His Spirit, our soul submits to our spirit and our body submits to our soul.  It is the progression of God’s Spirit flowing from our innermost to outermost being.  Our body is sacred to God because it houses His Spirit and Life.  Our whole body comes the conduit of God’s love and grace.  The temple of our body is something we ought not to take for granted or treat lightly.

Blessings,

#kent

Destiny of Greatness

August 10, 2020

Destiny of Greatness

Ephesians 1:3-10

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

              The grace and calling of God toward us who have been called out of darkness and brought into the light of the kingdom of God is so phenomenal that it really staggers our natural thinking to comprehend it.  My guess is that even what we think we know and comprehend, even in the spirit, will be but a shadow in the light of the reality of that which God has for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  The Apostle Paul had a revelation of this calling and destiny that is ours in Christ Jesus.  What that revelation did for him was to bring him to the place, that his life was totally sold out to Christ.  It was this philosophy and attitude that brought him to declare his mission statement in Philippians 3:7-12, “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

              Paul had grasped and laid hold of a calling to greatness that made everything else in the world as dung in comparison to it.  Some might have considered Paul just a religious fanatic, but for those of us who have studied his writings we know that he was man of intense focus and commitment to the One who had met him on the road to Damascus.  Paul had what we so desperately need more of, a heavenly vision and purpose.  When we grasp and live out of who we are in Christ then our life will take on a whole new meaning and purpose.  We will no longer live for the momentary pleasures of this life, but for the eternal and heavenly calling we have in Christ Jesus.  

              What others would count as gain in this world we would count as rubbish when we see it in the light of our God and His greatness.  Most of us are selling ourselves short and we are settling for cornhusks when our heavenly Father wants to prepare for us the fatted calf.  The paradox of this calling is that the way up is often the way down.  While our spirit is ascending, the body is descending as we walk the way of Christ.   His life was one destined to the cross.  Every step in His life was taking Him there.  What Jesus knew and what kept Him true and obedient to His course is that the death He would die would be so eclipsed by the life that would result that it was so worth the price.  If we don’t have a real revelation of our calling and destiny in Christ it will be hard for us to walk in the way of the cross.  Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.”  The knowledge and revelation of who we are in Christ is paramount to our identification in who we now are.  We struggle so because we continue to identify with who we are in the world rather than who we are in Christ.  We are who we are and we are becoming what God has called us to be because of the purpose and calling of God upon our lives.  In all humility we need to embrace with all our being this calling and destiny we have in Christ Jesus.  Paul prayed for the people of God in Ephesians 1 that they would comprehend this high calling we have in Christ Jesus.  He prayed, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places], Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.”

              Let’s get in touch with the destiny of greatness that Christ has called us too and has made a way that we might be partakers of the divine nature.  Walk each day in the identification of who you are in Christ, not in this weak and perishable man.  It is not an arrogant thing to embrace what the Word has declared about you.  It is less than faith if we don’t.  You have a destiny of greatness, but you must believe and act upon who you are in Christ.  For it is now His life that we are to be living out of and not our own.   Embrace your destiny of greatness.

Blessings,

#kent

Success

August 7, 2020

Success

Joshua 1:8

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

We as a people and a society are very success oriented.  There are different ideas and definitions of success.   The one most prevalent, in the world’s view, has to do more with materialism, riches, fame, houses, cars and social position.  If we are to be successful as Christians then it only makes sense for us to ask the question, “What is God’s definition of success?”  It is interesting you should ask, because the word “success” only occurs one time in the Word of God.  That is in our passage for today.  I don’t think that there are any of us who don’t want to prosper and have good success.  Here is God’s formula for having it. 

Now whether God’s ideas for success are those of the world’s, I think not, but I do believe that God created all things for our enjoyment and pleasure if they are used in the context of His will and purpose.  God is telling us today that our key to success lies between two covers that we call the Bible.  It is not just the words on a page that bring success in our lives it is what we do with those words that is life and blessing.  Notice where that Word has to be.  It “shall not depart out of thy mouth.”  Remember Proverbs 18:21 that says, “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Our words are powerful instruments of both death and life.  We know that the Word of God perpetuates Life.  John 1:1-4 tells us whom this Word is, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”  God wants that Word to never depart from our mouths.  What we speak reflects what is in our heart, ” for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  Is the Word of God prevalent in our speech and conversation?   What we are speaking is what we believe; it is faith in that which we hope for, but may not yet see.

              What is in our mouth, is the fruit of what is in our heart, which is what brings us to the second part of success.  What is the meditation of our heart?  Is it our work, our hobbies, our sports, our earthly desires or is it the Word of God?  If we want to succeed and prosper in the kingdom of God, His Word must prevail as the primary source of our meditation and contemplation.  As we eat of His Word and slowly ingest and digest it, as we pray to fully pursue understanding and revelation, the Holy Spirit is little by little making it alive in us and then through us.   It is the staple of our spiritual life that carries over into every aspect of our natural life. 

              David had the revelation that He gives in the beginning of the Psalms in Psalm 1:1-3 he says essentially the same thing, “Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”

              If you and I want to prosper and have good success then it begins and ends in the Word of God.  It is the source of Life and Blessing to us.  It is our guide and counselor through the instruction of the Holy Spirit to bring us into the mind and will of God.  Through it we will experience the prosperity and sweet success of a godly life because His Word fills us with divine life, eternal hope and the riches and treasures that can only be found in Christ.  Jesus said it when He said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”   When our priority lines up with what God is speaking to us today we will experience the abundant life that is in Him tomorrow. 

              “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 1:2).

Blessings,

#kent

Psalm 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

 The Word Hidden in Your Heart

              That which we store up and which we meditate upon continually, becomes the foundation of our thoughts, our values and our way of living.  Even in those times when we stray, lose our way, are assaulted with trials, tribulations and temptations, it is the foundation of our heart that draws us back to our roots.  Why do we need to hide God’s Word within our hearts, because it ties us and binds us to Him.  It intertwines His values with our thoughts.  It gives us compass and direction when we are not sure where to go or what to do.  That Word in us, we want to be like a well-sharpened sword sheathed in the recesses and the presence of our minds.  It is what we pull out when temptation and the enemy come against us.  It is what checks us when the passions of our flesh are drawing us into their web of seductiveness.   It is what gives us a greater wisdom and insight than does the conventional wisdom of this world.  The Word of God is the most powerful weapon that God has given us.  Because it His will and His mind and His authority.  It is what we stand upon when all odds and natural reasoning stands against us.  It is what we hope in, rely upon and what reveals to us our purpose and importance in God’s plan for our lives.   When we clothe and armor ourselves in the knowledge and revelation of God’s Word then we can have the inner strength to walk and to abide in the Spirit of God.  Our focus and eye is set upon our destiny in Christ and everything else becomes secondary to that purpose. 

              When Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where He fasted for forty days and nights, it was the Word that sustained Him, because the Word is life.  It was the Word that He gave back to satan when He was tempted.  It was the Word that kept satan from finding anything in Jesus that he could use against Him.  Christ is the Word and Christ abides within us, so His Word must abide within us.  Out of the Word we flow in the Spirit of God in obedience and humility.  Eat and drink a steady diet of God’s Word, for in it He will establish and keep you.  When the written word is taken from you then all that you have is what you have stored in your heart.  It is the oil that will light your lamp in the day of His coming.  Hide the richness of that Word within your heart.

Blessings,

#kent

His Yoke

August 5, 2020

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

His Yoke

              A yoke referred to the device which bound you or enslaved you together with another for the purpose of pulling a weight or burden.  It could also mean a pair of scales.  Yoked under the law of the Pharisees the burden of righteousness was very great and difficult to keep.  It resulted in condemnation and failure to live up to the standards of God, imposed upon them by religious men.  The law yoked us to sin and death.  It exposed our sin, but didn’t empower us to overcome it, except in the strength of our own flesh.  Romans 5:20-21 says, “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

              No wonder one would become too burdened, wearied and condemned trying to keep all the aspects of the law to be righteous.  Isn’t interesting that the law was added so that the trespass might increase.  The law simply magnified our sin and burden before us.  Even today many of us as believers are trying to live under various aspects of the law, thinking that by keeping it we will better please God and find His favor.  What we don’t have a revelation of is that when we are truly “in Christ” all of the law is fulfilled “in Him”.  That’s why Jesus encourages people to unhitch their plow from the law and hitch it to becoming yoked with and in Him.  Jesus did all of the work of not only fulfilling the law, but taking upon Himself all the consequences of the law for all who would believe in Him by faith. 

              When we were weighed in the scales or the yoke of the law we were always found wanting.  We never measured up.  When we are weighed on the scales with Christ then all of the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in Him and because we are yoked with Him, His righteousness is imputed or credited unto us by faith.  Romans 4:23-25 says, “The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”  We may remember the adage that “justification” is, “Just as if I had never done it.”

              Wow, no wonder the yoke of Christ is so much lighter.  It still represents a joining together with and a bond of commitment, but now it is not our efforts to accomplish what He has already done, but to simply enter into His rest and live out of the righteousness that He is in us.  No longer in my strength, but in His.  My life, yoked to Him, means that He leads the team in His strength and I follow, just sharing the load, but I follow in His strength and not my own.  In Jesus, we don’t find that spirit of oppressiveness, condemnation and heaviness.  We find that under His yoke we have communion with His person and in His love.  We find encouragement, strength, hope and confidence.  We find that because, ‘He that began a good work in us is able to complete it unto the day of salvation’.  He is able to do in us, what we could never accomplish in our efforts and abilities.  It doesn’t remove all responsibility from us, but it does draw upon the strength of the One who enables us to live mightily in Him.  Our responsibility is to eat of His flesh and drink of His blood; to partake of the communion that brings us into oneness and unity with His person.  In that identity our yoke becomes one. We live out of the power of Christ in us to fulfill the will of the Father.  We labor no more as servants and slaves, but we are partakers and sharers in the household of faith as sons.  It is no longer our obligation to do God’s will, it is our privilege and delight.  Our rest is totally in Him.  We don’t get anxious or stressed, “but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6).”

              What a privilege to be yoked to the one whose yoke is easy, whose burden is light

and who gives rest to our souls.  Aren’t we glad that we are so yoked with Jesus?

Blessings,

#kent

Habakkuk 2:2-3

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

Write it, See it and Speak it

              There was a time a few years back that we began to believe God for a new house to better meet the needs of our businesses.  We had lived in the same house for about twenty-seven years and raised our kids there.  Always in the past when we had looked some place else the doors seemed to be closed.  One day God put in my heart to go and look at new houses.  That in itself is a move of God, to which my wife will attest, but I didn’t look at price, I just looked at the desire of our heart.  We ended up looking at a house we liked very much, but it was well above our means and truly it would have to be a miracle of God to provide for it.  Now through that house God began to give us a vision and a faith to believe for this house.  We prayed about it and both of us had a confident faith that some how this house was going to be ours.

              The Lord gave me a scripture that I typed in bold letters on a strip of paper.  It is still clipped to the pencil organizer on my desk.  It is from Numbers 11:23 and reads, “And the Lord said unto Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?  Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”  I kept that before me as my promise from God.  When I would begin to doubt I would read that out loud and remind God and myself that His hand was not short to fulfill what he said. 

              As time went by that house sold and we were crushed.  “Lord, what happened to the promise?”  Meanwhile the Lord continued working and through a love gift we were able to completely finish paying off the house that we were living in.   What a blessing that was, but we still didn’t understand about the other house.  We even went by and stopped there one day.  I went up to the door at my wife’s urging and asked if they planned on staying in that house.  The girl that answered the door assured me that they were very pleased and planned to stay. 

              At this point it is important to say that we can never put God in our box.  He won’t ever fit and just about the time we think we have Him all figured out He will do something different.  That is why we walk by faith and not by sight.  Life went on and one day as we were coming back from making a delivery for Sharon’s business we passed a beautiful home that was for sell.  Sharon made me go back and get the number.  She then called our good friend in real estate and asked if she could show it to us.  Arrangements were made and initially just Sharon and her went.  I was still nursing my disappointment about the other house.  Sharon came home saying this is it, you have to come look.  So we went over and looked at it.  It was a beautiful home with an incredible view and yard.  It had all of the things that Sharon was looking for and it would work great for our businesses.  When we decided to make an offer on it, we found out that two other couples were also interested in making an offer.  We just had to give it to the Lord and make our best offer.  When the others found out that we offered, they weren’t going to get into a bidding war and so they backed off and to our joy and amazement our offer was accepted. 

              Now as we live in this home we both agree that this home meets our needs so much better than the other one would have.  The Lord taught us that because things don’t always work out as you thought they were going too, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan and that He isn’t working to bring it to pass.  He says, “Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  Indeed the Lord’s hand is not waxed short and He can bring His word to pass in its season and in His time. 

              It is important that when God gives us a vision and a direction that we write it down.  Ask Him to give you an assurance in the Word to go with it, then place it before you where you will always see it.  Stand on that word and confess it verbally before the Lord.  Exercise your faith in His promise.  See it as done and speak to it in the spirit as you would to it in manifestation.  Write it, see it and speak it.  What God has promised to you He will bring to pass if you will act upon it in faith.  It just may not look exactly like you thought it would.

Blesings,

#kent

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