A Heavenly Perspective

October 30, 2020

A Heavenly Perspective

Colossians 3:15-17

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

              Today is a day to be glad, rejoice in life and embrace your life with hope.  We are a blessed people.  Some would say, “if you saw my condition you wouldn’t think I was very blessed.”  I can certainly appreciate all that life throws at us sometimes.  Outward circumstances can get incredibly harsh, cruel and difficult to bear.  The apostle Paul says this, in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  For most of us, our biggest stumbling block is that we are always focusing on what is seen, rather than what is not seen.  We tend to base our life, our success, our happiness and our worth on what we see as reality in the natural world around us.  What the Word is teaching us is, if that is the case, you are living out of a wrong perspective and viewpoint.  Colossians 3 gives us some perspective in where our mindset and viewpoint of life must now come from.   “1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”  If we are living in discouragement and defeat it most likely has to do with the perspective of our minds and our hearts.  This present life can offer some crushing blows and some real discouragement, but when we begin to understand that if we are in Christ, seated at the right hand of the Father, then nothing can really touch our life without first going through the Father.  If these things are allowed to touch our lives then it is our opportunity and privilege to know that as we keep our eyes upon Him, He is giving us the grace to walk through whatever it is.  Often, we come to the point where there is really nothing more that we can do outwardly.  The Words tells, “Having done all, stand.”  Stand in the faith that the Lord is God and He is upon the throne of our lives working all things to the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.   Perhaps the Lord allows us to go through some of these things so that we can begin to practice living out of the mind of Christ, rather than the mind of our flesh.  The mind of Christ will look with the eyes of faith, resting in the Lord to work all things out according to His will and purpose.  It will rejoice in hope and confidence in the God of its salvation.  The mind of the flesh will be agitated, fearful, and full of worry, anger, frustration and doubt and discouragement. 

              Many of the saints of old went through great times of trials and testing.  It was their faith and confidence in the Almighty that sustained them and brought them through.  Most of us would rather avoid and run away from our problems, but that is not where growth is or that which builds our faith. Like the song by Andre Crouch goes, “if I never had a problem, I would never know that God could solve them. I’d never know what faith in His Word can do.” 

              Don’t allow your countenance to fall today.  Look up and make the decision to have joy in your life despite any circumstances that may be pressing on you.  God will see you through.

Blessings,

#kent

Offenses

October 29, 2020

Proverbs 18:19

An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

Offenses

              Did you ever wonder why the body of Christ is so often offended with one another.  Think about what is at the heart of most of our division within the body.  It is offenses.  Out of these offenses we do exactly as Proverbs 18:19 says, we become more unyielding than a fortified city and we become close minded.   What is at the heart of these issue if it is not our pride and our determination to be right. 

              Our pastor once shared something to the effect that religion is the need to be right, but true Christianity is the need to pursue righteousness.  Why do you think many that heard Jesus, in particular the religious crowd, were offended with much of what Jesus had to say?  Jesus trampled on their pride because He spoke the truth about what was in their heart.  He revealed God in a way that didn’t fit within all their traditional perimeters. 

               What we have to understand about offense is it usually reveals a heart condition in us.  Peter swore up and down to Jesus that though everyone else might be offended in Him, he would never be offended.  What resulted as Peter was confronted with being one of Jesus’ disciples was his denial.  It was the testing that revealed his heart condition that he was blind too until that moment of testing came.  There are many things in life we are going to want to be offended about and we may feel totally justified in doing so, but remember offenses are but a test to reveal what is really in our heart. 

               I love a statement our pastor recently ministered, “Offenses are simply opportunities turned inside out.”  They test where our faith is, where our love is and where heart is for others and for God.  When we can pass these tests of offenses then we can move on to the next level in our walk with Christ.  Discipleship is not just calling yourself a Christian, it is the learning of how to walk out your faith and not be offended.  It is the love that can forgive your accusers, those that curse, malign, abuse, deceive and defraud you.  It is walking as Jesus walked, without offense, even when He had every right to be offended. 

              When we can walk without offense.  When we can release and forgive our offenders, then we have moved past pride and the need to be right, to find true love, humility and righteousness of the God kind. 

Blessings,

#kent

The Name of the Lord

October 28, 2020

Proverbs 18:10

The name of the LORD [is] a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

The Name of the Lord

              The Messenger bible states it this way, ” God’s name is a place of protection—

   good people can run there and be safe.” The man and woman of God who walks with the Lord come to know that they abide in the name that is above all others.  It the name of all authority, power and lordship.  It is the name beneath which every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  What is so awesome to us as believers is that He has imparted His very name into us. He has birthed us in His DNA and He has purposed us to rule and reign with Him.  Many of us struggle with this because we still see ourselves after the flesh with all of its flaws, weaknesses and failures, but God sees us after the Spirit.  More importantly, than our self-perception, is how He sees us for what we shall be and already are in His eyes.  As we walk into our destiny we must see much more with His eyes and much less with ours.  Paul even says in 2 Corinthians 5:16, ” Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we [him] no more.”  It is in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that we are coming into spiritual authority and awareness.  He is our place, not only of refuge and safety, but of power, authority and strength.  We not only have a safe place to hide in Him.  We have a mighty authority and strength to war out of Him. 

              Sometimes our church theology and mentality is all about escaping the woes of this world, but Jesus came and died so that He might raise up an overcoming people.  We face adversity so that our hands may be trained in spiritual warfare.  God is raising us up to see our victory, not our defeat.  In Judges 15:11 Samson has paid back the Philistines for what they had been doing to Israel.  The Philistines are coming down and the people of Israel are afraid because Samson has stirred up the enemy and the oppressors of God’s people.  He has done ticked them off.  “Then 3,000 men of Judah went down to the cleft of the rock Etam and said to Samson, Have you not known that the Philistines are rulers over us? What is this that you have done to us? He said to them, “As they did to me, so have I done to them.””  Many of us as Christians have this same mindset as the children of Israel in that day.  We are passive and we don’t want to tick off the devil.  Just leave him alone and maybe he will leave us alone.  Who was really the Lord of Israel, the Philistines or the Lord God Almighty?  Who is truly the ruler over us?  God is raising up a people as Samson who know their might and power in the name and authority of their God.  Do you know your destiny, your authority and your purpose?  It is not in kow-towing down to the enemy.  If you are experiencing adversity it is so that you might experience victory.  If you are being put to death in your flesh, it is so that the life of Christ might be made manifest through your mortal body.  It is not our flesh God seeks to protect, it is the integrity of His Name. 

              Romans 8:1 says, ” THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.”  It is in the name, the nature, the character, the authority and the Spirit that we stand vindicated and empowered by the Lord Jesus Christ.  Your life is hidden in the Rock of Jesus Christ.  He is your habitation and stronghold.  He has created you and called you out, not to just exist in His salvation, but to triumph and overcome through it. 

              Fear not the enemy and the adversary of your soul.   It is the Lord God Almighty that goes before you into battle.  When you go forth in the authority and obedience to that Name you will not know defeat, but only victory even as David went up against Goliath.   1 Samuel 17 says, “Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied. 46This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.

48When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.”  In the power of the Name of the Lord He is teaching us, not only His safety, but His authority.  He is teaching our hands to war in the Spirit.  He is teaching us not to shrink back from the battle, but to run quickly toward our oppressors and giants, because the battle is the Lord’s.  The Lord is a strong tower and because you are in Him you have victory in your life today.  You are the head and not the tail, the blessing and not the curse, the conqueror and not the conquered and yea though all of hell rise up against us, ” Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through Him Who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

Blessings,

#kent

God at Arm’s Distance

October 27, 2020

God at Arm’s Distance

Revelations 3:15-20

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and [that] the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

Did you ever have a relationship with a person where you really liked them, but you wanted to keep a little space with them, you really wanted the relationship on the terms of your comfort level?  Many of us have those kinds of relationships in our marriage where we love our husband or wife, but we want our own space to live our own life and do our own thing.  We want a relationship, but we want it at arm’s length, a place we can either pull away or be close, but not feel too confined.  Isn’t that very much like the relationship many of us have or have had with the Lord?  We believe in Christ, we love God, but we are afraid to get to close to Him.  We’re afraid He might let us down, or we’re afraid He might require too much of us, or we’re afraid we’ll have to give up the things we love and want to do.  Fear is the counterpart of faith.  Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith [it is] impossible to please [him]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and [that] he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  Herein is contained a promise of God that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  For a lot of us there is truth we would rather stay ignorant of or things we would rather not hear, because it requires of us accountability and we rather like things the way they are.  I know these things because I see so many of them in me.  I don’t always like it when somebody speaks the truth to me in areas where I am comfortable and don’t really want to change, yet I know that if I refuse to hear the truth and harden my heart, I am shutting out the Holy Spirit.  I am holding out my arm and saying to God, “don’t come any closer Lord, you are infringing upon my territory, my self will.”  Then I am reminded that I am not my own, He bought me with a price and my life belongs to Him completely and without reservation. 

              So many of us, especially here in America, have been so blessed and we enjoy so many things and privileges that we have become fat and satisfied.  We are the Laodicean Church it speaks about hear in Revelation 3.  “We are rich, increased with goods and have need of nothing.”  In the natural that is true, but in the spirit it has left us “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.”  We can’t serve two masters and when we choose to be rich in the things of the world we suffer spiritually. 

              Most of you who read this faithfully are those who are willing to hear the truth even when it is convicting and most who don’t may not want to read it because the Lord does deal with us in hard areas that we maybe rather not have to deal with.  The truth is we will have to deal with these issues either now, while there is still time for us to align ourselves with the will of God, or when it is too late, and we experience the displeasure of the Lord.  If there is one theme the Lord seems to be reiterating again and again through these writings it is that He is calling out a people for His Name, a people He wants to have relationship with and bring out of the common into the Most Holy Place.  He is calling us higher into Him.  The Lord is a consuming fire and as He draws us into His bosom and into His heart that fire is going to become hotter and hotter to our flesh till it consumes it more and more.  Will we welcome his embrace which means we will buy the gold of His nature tried in the fire and we will put on the white raiment and clothing of His righteousness?   Will we anoint our eyes with the salve of His Truth so that we might see by the Spirit and no longer by the flesh?  Will we receive the rebuke, the correction and chastening of the Lord that brings us to repentance because we have quit holding God at a distance, surrendered our whole heart and said, “Yes Lord, I want all of you no matter what the cost.”  Some of us need to make that commitment today in our lives.  Perhaps we had in the past, but have found ourselves again compromised with the world.   It was to the Church that Jesus said, “Behold I stand at the door and knock.  If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”  Jesus is calling out for us to come back into right relationship with Him, to sup with Him, to “eat of His flesh and drink of His blood” so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.  We can never give up anything in this life that the Lord requires of us but what it will result in so much more in Christ.  Instead of holding God at a distance open your arms and embrace Him with a full commitment of your love and devotion.  “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (Revelations 3:21-22).”

Blessings,

#kent

Where He Leads Me I Will Follow

Matthew 16:24

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

Let us ask ourselves the question this day, “How closely do I follow Jesus.”  If we were in a great multitude of people and Jesus was leading the crowd on a journey down the road, where would I be among that multitude?  Would it only be important to us that we were in the right crowd and headed in the right direction with Jesus in the forefront?  We might be laughing, playing visiting with our friends and enjoying their fellowship as we travel, but what does that One that is leading us mean to us in our journey?  Is our passion for Him compelling us to press through the crowd, with our desire being to come as close to Him as possible? 

Many of us are in the Church crowd, among the “Christian people”, and we’re fine with that.  That’s all we really need or desire.  There are too many other demands in our life to get too much more involved than that.  Besides, maybe we are on a committee or teaching a Sunday school class; we’re active in the church in some way and so we feel satisfied that we are giving something back and fulfilling our Christian duty and responsibility.  Those can be good things, but is it because we are following Christ with passion and commitment; seeking His perfect will and purpose for our lives, or is it because we want to sooth our conscience and give the appearance that we are spiritual?  The heart-searching question we all need to ask is am I really taking up my cross and following Jesus or am I just running with and seeking to please the crowd?  I find, in my self, such a tendency to be spiritual in one context in my life, but then in another to be self-serving and self-indulgent, where I am pursuing my interest, my desire and my needs.  I think, “Lord, I am so much like that man that it talks about in James 1:22-25, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”  I’m thinking why am I so much like King Saul, stubborn, rebellious and self-willed; professing godliness on one hand, but then turning right around and doing things my way instead of His.  Could it be because I haven’t really taken up my cross?  That cross represents death to this old nature of sin and self.  Am I like Lot’s wife, who when fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah and commanded by the angel not to look back, looked back and was turned to pillar of salt.  I am reminded of the passage in Romans 6:5-14, “5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.”  Aren’t we continually dealing with our tendency to slip back into the old mindset of the man of sin?  If we keep glancing back at the former man, then are we exchanging life for death, but we died to that old man that we might lay hold of the resurrection life and the hope we have in Christ Jesus. 

              When we get complacent, when we get comfortable just hanging out with crowd, its not long before we get tired of walking this walk and we decide we’ll just rest for a while and then catch up.  If you have been there you know what that can do to your relationship and you intimacy with Christ.  You may not forsake your faith, but there is a leanness in your soul.  The longer you sit out, the further Christ is moving away from you, because you are not following and pursuing Him.  If you find that condition in your heart and find that your heart has grown callused and cold to spiritual life, then know that as the Lord seeks out the one sheep that is lost and gone astray, He is seeking you, to bring you back again into the fold.  Repent of those former things and turn again with all of your heart and renewed commitment back to Him.  Run to the front the crowd, lay hold of Him violently, with all the passion of your soul.  Be wholly and completely His.  Take up your cross, that where He leads, you will follow.

Blessings,

#kent

Building Blocks of Fulfilling God’s Purpose

2 Timothy 1:8-10

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, 9who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, 10but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel

              Back in the times of the gold rush there were a few men that discovered gold just lying on the surface of the ground or in the water.  Word spread that you could become rich and all that you had to do was just pick it up.  It was just there for the taking.  Men would come from far and wide with the idea of getting rich quick.  They would leave behind all that had been important to them before to come and pursue the gold.  They caught a vision and they believed in a dream.  Some did find the riches that they sought, some met with limited success and many found nothing at all. 

              When God revealed Himself in His Son Jesus Christ and manifested the riches of His glory in human flesh.  Men saw the gold of God revealed.   God had given nuggets and revelations of His gold throughout the ages that led up to Christ, but now His gold is revealed as He fully unveils His purpose of salvation through faith in His Son.  Suddenly it begins to become apparent that we can become partakers of the riches of an inheritance in Christ Jesus.  Jesus, and His disciples that followed, laid out the way and the plan for us to become rich.  We have the treasure map of those riches laid out for us in the Word of God.  Many embraced Christ thinking that it was the quick way to having all their needs met and realizing heaven on earth.  Many have become disillusioned because Christianity wasn’t the quick fix to all their problems, wants and needs.  While the Lord has revealed some nuggets and gold on the surface and has given us the earnest of our inheritances and riches through the Holy Spirit, the greatest treasure realized is through a lifetime of mining into the vein of God’s nature and purpose. 

              Some of us may have thought that in a few short years we were going to walk into the fullness of Christ and do all that He did.  It is not to say that God can’t and won’t do that through some people, but time isn’t as important an element to God as it is to us.  What most of us come to find is that the nuggets of God’s truth and purpose need to mined and sought after one day at a time.

              A purpose is made up of a reason and goal in mind.  God’s purpose is to apprehend us for His family and for His glory.  Our purpose is to apprehend Him that we might lay hold of a transformed life and be partakers of His divine nature.  Our purpose and goal are met through a lifetime of building blocks; each day is a process and a development into God’s purpose.  Sometimes we may feel there is more tearing down going on in our lives than building up, but sometimes for God’s purposes to be realized the old must be done away with so that the new can take its place. 

              The important thing about purpose is to never loose the vision of what your purpose is.  Ephesians 1: 3-14 is one passage the lays out for us God’s purpose. “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.

Blessings,

#kent

Our Steps are Ordered of the Lord

Acts 26:16

But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee.

              Psalm 37:23 says, “The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”  People of God, we have feet that are prone to wander.  We know and love God, but our hearts are still deceitfully wicked.  Our spirits are fully redeemed and delight in God after the inward man, but there is a soulish body of sin, that doesn’t want to let go.  It has been sentenced to death through the cross, but it doesn’t want to die.  It is an avenue of temptation that satan uses to lead astray and cause us to wander.  We can’t change ourselves, but we must maintain a vigilance to keep ourselves in relationship and in a place of sitting daily at the feet of Jesus.  We have to keep our focus on the kingdom of heaven and what our life’s purpose is about.  So easily our eyes and heart can turn away and something other than Christ catches our heart.   We often wonder why we experience so little of the Lord’s presence.  Perhaps it is because our time in seeking it and pursuing Him is so limited.  Here is what the Lord spoke through Jeremiah the prophet to Israel, which is for our example.  Jeremiah 14:10 says, “This is what the LORD says about this people:  “They greatly love to wander; they do not restrain their feet. So the LORD does not accept them; he will now remember their wickedness and punish them for their sins.” Does that sound like us? 

I don’t speak out of condemnation.  I speak out of conviction.  I speak out of shame and disappointment with myself at how often and how many ways I must grieve the precious Holy Spirit.  God knows our form and He knows our weakness, but that cannot become our excuse, because it is no longer who we are.  Everyday we must lay hold of the life of Christ and when I miss Him, He will forgive me if I repent, but it must become the exception and not the rule.  Our steps are ordered of the Lord.  We must find and stay upon that path.  How subtly we can be steered out of it.  Usually it is just one little step at a time until we suddenly find ourselves in the deep waters of sin and wonder how we got there.  There are times we may find the discipline of the Lord upon our lives or even the course of the natural consequences of our sin.  God loves us.  His desire and purpose are always to draws us back into Him and into His heart.  Hebrews 12:11-15 of the amplified version exhorts us like this, “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].

12So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees,

13And cut through and make firm and plain and smooth, straight paths for your feet [yes, make them safe and upright and happy paths that go in the right direction], so that the lame and halting [limbs] may not be put out of joint, but rather may be cured.

14Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.

15Exercise foresight and be on the watch to look [after one another], to see that no one falls back from and fails to secure God’s grace (His unmerited favor and spiritual blessing), in order that no root of resentment (rancor, bitterness, or hatred) shoots forth and causes trouble and bitter torment, and the many become contaminated and defiled by it—” Our Father is for us, not against us.  Even in our weakness and failing He so greatly loves us.  Praise His Name, He loves us enough to correct and discipline us, even though it is often painful, to bring us back to Him. 

              If we are walking out of His ways today, come back to Him.  Even this word you are reading now is God’s invitation and cry to come back to Him.  He desires that none of us “falls back and fails to secure God’s grace.”  Luke 1:79 says of Jesus that He came, “To give light to them that sit in darkness and [in] the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Who is ordering our steps today?  What are our hearts following after and our feet carrying us into?  The steps of a righteous man are ordered of the Lord.  Let us delight ourselves in His ways and follow wholly after Him.  “God help us to loose ourselves from all bondage and renounce the strongholds of sin that want and have taken hold upon our lives.   We are marching to Zion and we must not be turned out of the way.  We behold the throne of God and the Lamb of God that sits in that throne with Him and in Him.  “We must fix our eyes and our hearts upon You, oh Lord.  Order our steps, oh God, and direct our paths in righteousness for Your Name’s sake.”

Blessings,

#kent

Romans 8:10-13 (Amplified)

10But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. 11And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. 12So then, brethren, we are debtors, but not to the flesh [we are not obligated to our carnal nature], to live [a life ruled by the standards set up by the dictates] of the flesh. 13For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.

14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

This Same Spirit Dwells in You

We who are in Christ are dead men walking according to the dictates and the passions of our flesh.  Our former life in the natural sense has been crucified with Christ upon that cross.  We are now spiritual Christ beings housed in natural bodies of flesh and blood, but the purpose and the reason of our life and living is no longer what it formerly was.  The fact that we are still housed in the mortal bodies means that our lives can still be touched by passions of our flesh, temptation and the dictates of the flesh still pull upon us.  What has changed is who we are within.  We are no longer focused upon the desires and demands of the flesh, but our hearts and souls have done a 180 degree about face so that now we are looking and facing the man of the spirit who has been redeemed in Christ and is filled with His Spirit life.  Our focus is upon the inner sanctuary of His temple and the holy of holy of His divine presence.  Our eyes are set and our heart is fixed upon Him who is the author and finisher of our faith.  We know that this same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is able and will raise up our mortal bodies also to be clothed upon with His glory and likeness.  It is in this hope and confidence that we continually and habitually renounce the former deeds of darkness and the evil deeds prompted by this body.   Rather we embrace Him who is Life that we may be partakers of His life.  It is in this spirit that God is receiving us as His Sons. 

              We all can sometimes loose sight of our vision, who we are and where we are going.  We can flounder, stumble and sometimes fall.   God doesn’t love us any less, but it is always imperative that we see with renewed vision the high calling we have in Christ Jesus and that we get up, shake the dirt from our being through repentance and prayer and renew our purpose and commitment to Him who is our Lord and Savior. The Lord has given us great favor in Him.  “Lord, let us never trade our birthright for a bowl of pottage as Esau did with Jacob.”  The temporal things, pleasures and treasures of this world can never equate to that which is ours in Christ Jesus.  Let us hold fast the course, walk the walk until by faith we are filled with Your glory.” 

Blessings,

#kent

Ears to Hear

October 19, 2020

Ears to Hear

Matthew 11:15

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear

              There are not a lot of people around that don’t have physically hearing ears.  So why did Jesus so often quote this phrase?  The eyes, the ears and the hearts that he sought in men were not their natural ones, but their spiritual ones.  A lot of people have rejected Jesus for generations, because He didn’t make sense to them intellectually.  They didn’t have spiritual ears. 

              God spoke through Ezekiel to the people of Israel in Ezekiel 12:2, “Son of man, you dwell in the midst of the house of the rebellious, who have eyes to see and see not, who have ears to hear and hear not, for they are a rebellious house. Spiritual senses must be attuned to hear spiritual things.  Our spiritual sight and hearing are directly connected to the condition of our spiritual heart.  If we are hardened in matters of the heart, our spiritual hearing and sight will be impaired as well.  Many of us know how to listen with our ears, but we don’t know how to listen with our hearts.  Often words sound like one thing, but that is not the heart.  We often may wonder why we don’t hear from God when in fact He may be speaking to us all the time.  It is a rare thing to hear God’s audible voice from heaven, but He can speak to us in so many other ways.  He speaks through His Word, the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within our hearts, through circumstances, through others, through examples of others that we have and a number of ways.  Yet often we don’t hear the Lord speaking, because we are listening with our intellect rather than our heart.  That doesn’t mean that we only hear God through our emotions, because they are from the soul and can deceive us.  We have to get in touch with our spirits, our inner man, that inner voice that is speaking the mind, will and heart of God.   In John 8:47 Jesus  says,  “He that is of God will hear the words of God.”

              I remember times when the kids were growing up and they were constantly asking questions, “Can we do this or can we do that and so and so did this.”  As parents you know how emotionally draining children can be.  There were a lot of times that I just zoned them out.  I basically just shut them off.  They could be standing there saying, dad, dad, dad!  I had just shut them off mentally.  That was my way of coping, but at the same time I had shut off my involvement in their lives, as obnoxious as that could sometimes be.  I quit hearing them; my heart was hardened in that area.  We do the same thing to God.  Many times, like my children, we don’t really want to hear God.  He is speaking things to us that we don’t want to deal with.  Quite honestly, we like our way.  We like to do what we enjoy and when we enjoy it.  If that is not lining up with God’s plan, guess who we tend to ignore?  We end up shutting God out of our hearts.  When we close our hearts to God, we don’t just shut out a person, we shut out the love of God to our hearts and consequently the flow of His Spirit and love through us.  That ends up impacting not only our spiritual relationship, but our natural ones as well.  Many of us have done this same thing with our marriages and we are wondering why we don’t feel in love with that person anymore? Our heart connection is the key to our hearing and seeing.  If you want to really hear your wife, stop listening to just her words and listen to her heart.  Sometimes what we hear as just nagging, are pleas from their heart, saying “help me, appreciate me, care about me, communicate with me, love me.  I have needs that are desperately needing to be met.”

              If we want to hear again what God is speaking through His Spirit we have to open our hearts to Him.  We may be going through all the right religious protocol and yet totally missing Him.  Our relationship first must be a matter of the heart, before it has meaning though our works.  Our works must be the outflow of our heart relationship with Father; so many times we have gotten it backwards and try to use our works to find relationship. 

              If we ever want to come out of the wilderness and inherit the promises of God, we must reconnect our hearts with Father.  Deuteronomy 29:4 says, “Yet the LORD hath not given you a heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear, unto this day.”  A rebellious heart will keep us the prisoners of our circumstances, it will keep us in the rut of failure and it will leave our hearts lean and malnourished.  

              When the Holy Spirit spoke through John, in Revelation 3, He repeatedly said at the end of each exhortation, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”  Let us have the spiritual ears to hear what He is speaking to our hearts in this day, this hour and this minute.  Let us listen and obey.  Let us reestablish that heart connection that has become callused and cold.  In order to hear Him in this hour we must have that right heart condition.

Blessings,

#kent

Revealed

October 16, 2020

Revealed

1 Corinthians 2:9-16

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed [them] unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

              As God’s people we know more than we think we know.  Just as I don’t know what I am about to write right now, the Spirit of God within me does.  Many times as He has led me to write in an area or on a subject, I have protested saying, “God, I don’t know about that or what to write about that.”  He would simply ignore my protest and wait for me to begin to write.  Today is another of these days.  Often God doesn’t reveal but the initial portion we need to get started.  Further revelation comes as we step out in faith and act on what we have, rather than on what we don’t have.  If we are God’s vessels, filled with His Spirit and possessing the mind of Christ, as the last verse of our scripture for today says we do, then we have to realize that we have a power to move beyond our natural ability and limitations.  I know my limitations and they are many, but I also know that in my weakness God’s strength is revealed. 

              How does God want to reveal Himself in you and through you?  Will you, like myself, protest of your inability and weaknesses, or will you like Isaiah in Isaiah 6:8 say, “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here [am] I; send me.”  When God sends us, He will equip us and He will provide for us a way.  Faith is the precursor to all that He gives to us.  Rarely is everything laid out on the table and we know the whole plan and have all our provisions.  Faith reveals the will and provision of God as we walk in it and believe that He is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  You have a vast, immeasurable reservoir of Spirit Life within you.  You have not begun to sound the depths of what God’s Spirit can and will do through you.  Our God is an ever increasing light revealing Himself more and more unto the perfect day when as 2 Peter 1:19 declares, “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.” God’s people are the revelation of His truth and the proclamation of His glory.  Before you see the fullness of this truth you will see the revelation of all that hold the truth in unrighteousness for the man of sin will reveal it in his day.  Matthew 12:24 says, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”  2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 warns us, “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”  All that is seen in the world proclaiming Christianity is not the Church.  The true Church is the remnant whose hearts and lives belong to the Lord, not just in outward profession.  The day will reveal His own. 

As God is revealing the dross in us, He is also revealing Himself in us.  Beneath the dross lies the gold and silver, the nature and character of God and His redemption.  Though we are often discouraged and mourn over the sin that still wants to cling to us, we must not let that become the identification of who we are.  God is at work in us, perfecting that which concerns Him, that His Son may be revealed through us.  2 Corinthians 7:1 tells us, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

              God has a plan.  Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”  A body is prepared for Christ, the head, to rest upon and fill with the fullness of all that He is.  Are we prepared to have revealed in us all that He is?   Let us move out in faith and be that revelation of God’s glory and truth.

Blessings,

#kent

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