My Destiny is the Pits

September 30, 2021

Genesis 37:13-24

[One day] Israel said to Joseph, Do not your brothers shepherd my flock at Shechem? Come, and I will send you to them. And he said, Here I am. 14And [Jacob] said to him, Go, I pray you, see whether everything is all right with your brothers and with the flock; then come back and bring me word. So he sent him out of the Hebron Valley, and he came to Shechem. 15And a certain man found him, and behold, he had lost his way and was wandering in the open country. The man asked him, What are you trying to find? 16And he said, I am looking for my brothers. Tell me, I pray you, where they are pasturing our flocks.

17But the man said, [They were here, but] they have gone. I heard them say, Let us go to Dothan. And Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan. 18And when they saw him far off, even before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him. 19And they said one to another, See, here comes this dreamer and master of dreams. 20So come on now, let us kill him and throw his body into some pit; then we will say [to our father], Some wild and ferocious animal has devoured him; and we shall see what will become of his dreams! 21Now Reuben heard it and he delivered him out of their hands by saying, Let us not kill him. 22And Reuben said to them, Shed no blood, but cast him into this pit or well that is out here in the wilderness and lay no hand on him. He was trying to get Joseph out of their hands in order to rescue him and deliver him again to his father. 23When Joseph had come to his brothers, they stripped him of his [distinctive] long garment which he was wearing; 24Then they took him and cast him into the [well-like] pit which was empty; there was no water in it.

My Destiny is the Pits

               Most of us know the story of Joseph who was the favored son of Jacob, but despised by his brothers.  God had his hand on Joseph in a special way and even gave Joseph some dreams that were glimpses into his destiny and calling.

               Remember how great it was when we first came to know Christ and experienced the joy of salvation.  Then, as we grew, we learned of His exceeding great and precious promises to us in Christ Jesus.  What perhaps wasn’t so real to us at the time was the truth that “if we suffer with Him we shall also be glorified with Him (Romans 8:17)”.  Many of us walking this journey of faith and trust in Christ have found and are still finding ourselves in some very difficult places.  Maybe we have even pondered whether God really loves or cares about us.  I believe, like Joseph, the pit we often find ourselves in was really an appointment with destiny.  It may be satan’s attempt to destroy us, but then that was his attempt when he succeeded in crucifying Jesus.  The paradox of our faith is that often the way up is the way down and we often walk through hell in our journey to heaven. 

               Joseph, just happened to run into a man that was in the fields where his brothers were suppose to be as he was searching for them and this man just happened to have overheard his brothers saying where they were going.  Joseph’s whole journey that day was the road that would lead him to rule and reign, but between here and there existed a dark and hard path to follow.  It was the road of preparation, the trying of his faith.  When Joseph did come to where his brother’s were camped they plotted against him and even planned to kill him.  Remember the scripture that says, ‘your enemies will be those of your own household?’  Many of us have experienced betrayal, hurt, rebellion and have been forsaken by those of our own family.  They seized Joseph and threw him into a dry well or pit.  Have we ever found ourselves in dry and waterless places, faced with adversity, trials and tribulations and it seems as if God and the Holy Spirit are no where around?  We may not think that we are even going to make it.  Surely this is the end of us; what hope is left? 

               Imagine how Joseph felt and the thoughts that went through his head as his brothers spoke of killing him and refused to take him out of the pit?  The fear, the sorrow, the betrayal and the separation he felt not only from his brothers, but more importantly from his father who he may never see again.  His bright future is suddenly turned to darkness and despair. 

               If you are finding yourself in the pit today, don’t be discouraged and don’t despair, you may just be finding your destiny.  If we learn one thing from Joseph’s life it is, that no matter how dark it gets and how far away from God it seems, don’t give up, don’t give in and don’t forsake your faith and trust in God.  God has not forsaken you, but He is there with you every step of the way.  James 1:3-4 exhorts us, “Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

               Patiently trust God even in the pits of your life because He is active in you performing the will and do of His good pleasure to bring you into your inheritance.  1 Peter 1:3-9 sums all of this up quite well, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Blessings,

#kent

Consecrated Son

September 29, 2021

Consecrated Son

1Samuel 1:9-11

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the LORD  And she [was] in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

               Most of us know the account of Hannah and how she cried out in her bareness for a man-child.  We know that Eli spoke a prophetic word to her, she conceived and gave birth to a child she called Samuel, who was a wonderful prophet and man of God.  As Hannah had vowed, when the child was weaned she came and presented him to the Lord. The child was consecrated unto the Lord according to her promise.  She had to fully relinquish the normal routines of a mother raising a child.  The priesthood raised him and she only had visitation rights.

               John 1:12 tells us,”But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:”  When we come to Christ there is a spiritual dedication and consecration that takes place within us.  Our soul, through its vow to Christ, dedicates the spiritual child within that is birthed to God.  Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3:5-7, “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”  Most of us who are Christian are very aware of our new birth, or born again experience.  We understand the concept of that new creature which we now are and still are becoming, is the product, not of the flesh, but of the Spirit.  We should understand, like Hannah, that this spiritual seed, which is the product of the faith in our soul uniting with the promise of the Spirit of God, has produced a spiritual man-child within us.  Our body is the tabernacle of this holy seed of God.  What we often forget is that this child doesn’t belong to the soul.  It belongs to the Spirit.  We gave up our rights and dictates to it when we received Christ.  As such we must remember and honor our vow that we are no longer our own. We belong wholly to the Lord.  For many of us, even though we have been spiritually birthed, we have never been really separated unto the Lord.  We are still being raised by our soul.  The result is that our spirit man reflects the soulish woman rather than the godly man after the image of the Father.  Who is raising your spirit man, your man-child that resides within?  Is he becoming just an extension of your soul, of your mind, will and emotions? Or has he been truly consecrated and given to God?  Is he being raised in the discipline of the Word of God and godly correction? Is he learning to truly bear the nature of the heavenly rather the earthly?  Roman 12:1-2 exhorts us, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  God has answered the cry of our soul to birth a part of Himself in us.  We are exhorted to keep our vow and commitment to now let that spiritual man within us grow up in obedience and consecration to the Father and the instruction of His Word.  The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a mentor, a spiritual governor, advisor, helper, comforter and instructor to help us grow up into the priesthood of God.  We are men and women of God.  We are not ordinary and common people of the world.  We have been consecrated and set apart unto God, for His glory and for His purpose.  We must, as Samuel did, grow up into our calling and relationship with our Father.  We are purposed and destined of God.  We are not our own, we were purchased with a price.  Has our soul relinquished the man-child we are and the destiny we have before us to be conformed into the likeness of the Son of God?  If not, perhaps it is time we make good on our vow.  What we give up in the natural, can in no way compare to what we gain in the Spirit.  Let’s make sure we have been truly consecrated and released to God. 

The soul or the mother is the vehicle to produce the son.  She must then give place for the son to grow up in the likeness of his Father.  The soul must decrease and the spirit man must increase.  Have you consecrated your son?

Blessings,

#kent

Sheep Among Wolves

September 28, 2021

Luke 10:3

 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.

Sheep Among Wolves

The context of the verse above is taken from the account of when Jesus sent out seventy disciples to go in His name and authority.  They were not to depend on their resources, and they were only to stay and let their peace come upon those who received them.  The very powers of hell had to give place to them.  Just before this verse Jesus says, ” The harvest is great, but the laborers are few, pray that the Lord of the harvest would send more laborers into His harvest.” 

               This passage stands a preview of the great commission, which Jesus gave just before His ascension when He gave the command to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  We know as believers that we are expected to share our faith with others.  It is often easier for some than others to verbalize their faith.  The message you carry must be preceded by an attitude.  Jesus said I send you forth as lambs.  What is a lamb nature?  Is it wishy-washy, mealy mouthed, timid, weak, kick-me-around attitude?  Was that the nature of the Lamb of God?  He was humble, why, so others could be lifted and built up.  He was meek, which is not weak, it is strength under control.  He was willing to suffer offense and wrong not because of fear, but because of love.  He saw past the wolf type nature that is prompted by the god of this world, satan, and into the heart of man that desperately needed the liberating love and forgiveness God wanted to give them. 

               The demeanor of our lives often speaks as loud or louder than our words.  Many people speak words, but the power behind your words is your demonstration to carry out what you say.  God has given us a commission and I believe He has given us the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out that commission.  Let us be faithful to step out not just in word, but in action to profess Christ’s name and our faith in Him.  Then trust the Holy Spirit to do the convincing and the convicting that will bring them to Him.  He has prepared the harvest; we must be faithful to bring it in.  You can be sure that He has not given us a task, but what He has not empowered us to do it, even to the point of supernatural acts.  Let us not limit God by our unbelief, but go, as He sends us as lambs among the wolves.

Blessings,

#kent

Reception, Perception and Installation

Matthew 13:14-17

               And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed [are] your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous [men] have desired to see [those things] which ye see, and have not seen [them]; and to hear [those things] which ye hear, and have not heard [them].

               We are a very blessed people in this nation.  We are rich and wealthy in many things.  One of the things we are wealthy in, is the rich knowledge and understanding we have of the Word of God.  We think of places like China and countries where the Bible has been outlawed and how hungry the saints of God there are for a fraction of what we have and take for granted.  My concern is the responsibility for what I do know and understand. 

               The nation of Israel was not so different.  They had the law and the prophets.  They were the richest nation on earth concerning spiritual knowledge and understanding of who God is.  They were the source of true spiritual life to the nations.  Unfortunately, here is Christ in there very midst and they don’t even perceive Him for who He is. 

               When we talk about reception, we talk about taking in or receiving something.  Many of us have taken in spiritual information over a great deal of our lives; some of us not near so long.  What are we doing with what we receive?  Do we use it to condemn and judge others who don’t have what we have?  Do we simply retain this knowledge in our hearts and minds, but it is having no real affect in changing our lives?  Israel, like many of us, learned to go through all of the spiritual and religious motions of honoring God and keeping ceremony, but what happened to their spiritual senses and the application of the life changing principles that they had knowledge of? 

               I become concerned when I look at my life and think, am I just talking about these things of God, passing on what He has made known and real to me, but not really installing them into every aspect of my own life.  Often, I don’t perceive these principles manifest in my personal walk as I know they ought to be.  If I know them, then I can’t claim ignorance.  I am without excuse.  This is where I find that knowledge alone is not enough.  What I know and what I live can be two totally different things.  If what I hear and know and see doesn’t affect a heart change then I may be puffed up with knowledge, but void true spiritual life.  Jesus didn’t come just to give us more information about who God is; He came to be the life changing information that can transform you and me from the hopeless lost individuals that we were into the sons and daughters of the Most High God, bearing His standard and nature.  The Lord has given us His Holy Spirit to take this information and put His finger on the areas of our heart that need change and transformation.  We can bow our necks as Israel is indited of doing here, dulling our spiritual senses so that while there may be knowledge, there is no true revelation and change taking place in our hearts.  Thus, we continue our walk through life projecting a spiritual and religious front, while inwardly we are void of true Spirit and Life. 

               Do we all have doubts and questionings at times about God and our faith, of course we do.  If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be walking by faith.  It is “the knowing” that Christ has placed in our hearts, that continues to raise a standard of confidence against such doubts.  We can’t say we always understand why things are as they are, or happen as they happen, but we have an assurance in our hearts that God is God and forever sets upon the throne having dominion over all things.  In that confidence we rest knowing that nothing can separate us from His love. 

               The installation of that which we spiritually perceive and understand is a lifelong and continual process.  Our greatest danger is falling into complacency and apathy along the way.  We must never take our spiritual relationship with Christ for granted.  Like our marriages, it needs continual nurturing, fellowship, relationship and commitment.   Otherwise it will be said of us, “For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and [their] ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with [their] eyes, and hear with [their] ears, and should understand with [their] heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.”

Blessings,

#kent

The Trust of an Office

September 24, 2021

1 Corinthians 4:2-5

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.

The Trust of an Office

               As we know God has imparted to each one of us gifts and offices or positions of trust both in the natural and in the spiritual.  With our position of trust comes responsibility to honor and obey God, honor those in authority or position over us and carry out the responsibilities of our particular office to the best of our abilities as God enables us to do so.  That office or position of trust is not given to lord it over those beneath us or to exploit them.  It is to help and enable them to carry out their office and position of trust and authority.  All of us are ultimately accountable to God for how we do this.  The greater our office or position, the greater is our accountability to those we are over.

               Let’s take Moses for an instance.  Here is a man that God has ordained and raised up to lead His people out of bondage.  It is obvious that God is with him and has empowered him to carry out his commission.   What we see time and time again is that he is judged, ridiculed, mocked, slandered, condemned, criticized and murmured against when things get tough or there is a trial facing them.  Who this is really directed against was not Moses, but it was God in Moses.  These insults and dishonor were really directed at God.  That is why God dealt so harshly and severely with some of this murmuring and complaining, which is nothing short of rebellion and disobedience.

               Whatever our office or position of trust is today, we are accountable to God, those in authority over us and to the people that we serve and have accountability for.  We must be faithful where we are to carry out that office to the best of our God given ability.  Meanwhile, those of us that are under authority need to guard against our judgements, condemnations, criticisms and the rebellious nature that we can develop against those who over us.  Paul basically says, it doesn’t matter what you think or even what I think, what matters is what God thinks.  Don’t judge a thing before its time.  It is before God that we stand or that we fall. 

               There will be those in authority over us in life that we may not respect, consider competent, and feel they are totally wrong.  Does that give us the right to judge and condemn them?  When we murmur and complain against them are we really murmuring against them or against God who placed them in that place?  Sometimes, rather we can receive it or not, what seems all wrong about the person in that place is the very thing that may be working in us exactly what God wants us to develop in. 

               Romans 13: 1-7 helps put some of these principles into perspective.  “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. God has established the authorities that exist. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”  It matters not what walk of life we are in, God always has an order.  If you are children then respect and honor your parents.  If you are a wife, honor and respect your husband. If you are husband and father, honor and respect the Lord.  Let us yield and honor the offices that are over us.  Let us pray for those in authority over us rather than murmuring and complaining against them.  They need our prayers, encouragement and support; not our criticism and condemnation.  The same holds true in the workplace, business, government, schools and the church.  Honor those in authority over you, as you would have those in submission to you, honor you.  

               Romans 2:1-4 teaches us, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?

               Let us, with humility and trust in God, carry out the office of trust where He has placed us to His glory and honor.  Let us also be careful to honor the office that God has placed others in and be careful and fearful in our judgements against them.  One of the greatest detriments of our society today is our lack of honor and respect for others. 

Blessings,

#kent

Direction of Obedience

September 23, 2021

Direction of Obedience

Psalms 119:11

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

We live in a world where values, what is socially acceptable and right, are changing.  If a child is simply raised with worldly values, then their thinking and behavior will always be trying to find that ever shifting standard of right and wrong.  Even we who are rooted and grounded in Christ can struggle with justifying our behavior and thinking based on worldly acceptance.  This scripture in the Psalms helps us to see that it is not the people of society that we are trying to live right for.  The Lord is first and foremost the One we live for and are accountable too.  In order to please, serve and obey Him we must know what His mind is and what His standards are.  This is why we can be so thankful that God has given us His Word, so that we have a standard of righteousness and acceptable living that is not constantly shifting with every whim and opinion of men.  It stands on a rock foundation and abides steadfast through the seasons and shifting sands of time.  Our obedience is at the forefront of God’s agenda for our lives.  Often, we try and give Him substitutes like King Saul when Samuel came to Him, “And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion [is as] the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness [is as] iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from [being] king.”  Here we see that disobedience to God, no matter how piously we wrap it, is a rejection of God’s Word.  God’s Word is given to us to be the standard of holiness and righteousness.  Our sin is always a source of separation between our relationship with the Father and us.  Jesus indeed reconciled us back to the Father through the cross and the shedding of His blood.  The road home has already been paved through the blood of Jesus and His unwavering obedience to the Father’s will, even in the face of the most agonizing suffering and even worse the Father’s separation from Him as He bear the sins of mankind. 

               Jesus tells us in John 14:23, “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”  The way we express our love to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is through our obedience to the Word.  The Psalmist tells us that the way to possess the Word is not by picking up the book, dusting it off and looking a particular text; it is by meditating in it day and night and getting it into your heart, your mind and your being.  What is it to have the mind of Christ if it is not having His Word in your heart to guide and give directions to your actions and decisions?  Psalms 1:1-6 declares to us this very principle, “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 The ungodly [are] not so: but [are] like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”  The way we know the way of righteousness is because we feed upon His Word.  It ‘s values, life and divine direction become ours.  Obedience is one of our primary inroads to God’s divine presence and relationship with Him.  If His Word is hid in our hearts then we have a check and a standard that puts up red flags in our lives when we are stepping out of the boundaries of God’s will.  Our willingness to yield to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and the Word that is set to instruct and guide us, will help us to turn away from sin.  It will help us to walk in the ways of righteousness for His namesake.  The direction of obedience is found through the Word of God.  The person that possesses the Word and is exercised thereby, possesses Life.

               Psalms 138:2, ” I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

Blessings,

#kent

God’s Life Map

September 22, 2021

God’s Life Map

Psalms 119:1-16 (Amplified)

BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, to be envied) are the undefiled (the upright, truly sincere, and blameless) in the way [of the revealed will of God], who walk (order their conduct and conversation) in the law of the Lord (the whole of God’s revealed will).

2Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are they who keep His testimonies, and who seek, inquire for and of Him and crave Him with the whole heart.

3Yes, they do no unrighteousness [no willful wandering from His precepts]; they walk in His ways.

4You have commanded us to keep Your precepts, that we should observe them diligently.

5Oh, that my ways were directed and established to observe Your statutes [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]!

6Then shall I not be put to shame [by failing to inherit Your promises] when I have respect to all Your commandments.

7I will praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart when I learn [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgments [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct].

8I will keep Your statutes; O forsake me not utterly.

9How shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed and keeping watch [on himself] according to Your word [conforming his life to it].

10With my whole heart have I sought You, inquiring for and of You and yearning for You; Oh, let me not wander or step aside [either in ignorance or willfully] from Your commandments.

11Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

12Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.

13With my lips have I declared and recounted all the ordinances of Your mouth.

14I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies as much as in all riches.

15I will meditate on Your precepts and have respect to Your ways [the paths of life marked out by Your law].

16I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.

               God has a road map for our lives that will help us maneuver and steer through all the obstacles, trials and confusions of life.  A lot of us are prone to wander.  We read the map for awhile and listen to its instruction.  We think we have the jest of it, so often we tend lay it aside, occasionally listen to the instructions of others and think we can pretty well find our way.  So off we go like a prideful man on a journey.  Things are going well for while, but then we take some wrong turns and suddenly we find ourselves off course.  Not to worry, we can find our way back and we only read instructions, consult maps or ask advice when all else fails.  The more we struggle in our strength and wisdom the more lost we seem to become, but I’m sure we will find the way back up at the next corner or just over the hill. 

Does that sound like any of us?  Are any of us off course today and struggling to find our way.  Sometimes we can think we know the Word of God pretty well, we don’t really need to read and study it like we used too, but God’s Word is not just literature, it is food and water to our soul, it is the substance of life.  When we depart from it, we slowly start to drift away from our Lord.  Even as I write these papers and have just tried to listen to the voice of the Lord, He has started to direct me to go back and look into His Word for the inspired word from Him.  God’s Word is a vital part of who He is and what we are.  It is written so that by the Holy Spirit’s understanding we can comprehend it and apply it personally to our lives and circumstances; being transformed by it.

God’s Word is not only our spiritual food and water; it is our cleansing and washing.  It is what renews our mind, our thinking, our vision and our destiny.  It is the compass that keeps us on course with the will and purpose of God for our lives.  Some of you may be faithful to read these writings, other devotionals or books, but never let these become a substitute for your time and meditation in the Word of God. 

The Word tells us in the above passage that if we desire true joy and happiness, and I presume that we all do, then delight yourself in the Word and the precepts of the Lord.  It is when we are walking in the will of God that we enjoy the greatest and deepest blessings of God. 

Often it is our pride and selfishness that are our greatest enemies.  Most of us know that we, in our soulish and selfish thinking, are our own worst enemies.  It seems I am always praying God deliver me from me.  That deliverance is in accordance with filling my mind, my thinking and my being with God’s Word, ordinances and instructions.  Even in this there is a danger, because often times we want to compartmentalize God in one part of our life and our soulish activities in another part of our lives.  We can become this multiple personality and isn’t that what we have seen a lot of in Christianity.  No wonder the world is confused when they look at us.  They see us in this pious and holy context on one hand and on the other we are breaking our word, lying, cheating and being every bit as bad, if not worse, than the world.  The world is so disillusioned with that kind of Christianity.  They are hungry for the real, the genuine.  They are looking for the God manifested in people who are not just looking down to condemn them and despise them, but those who are willing to humble themselves, get under them and lift them up.  Those who can look past their sin and faults and see their need as God saw ours.   The true knowledge and wisdom of the Word is not a prideful thing.  It is not a head-trip.  It is a place of brokenness and humility, of love and devotion, of serving and pouring out for others.  It is conformity to the image and nature of Christ. 

As the breast of a baby’s mother and their blanky are the security and life of a baby, so let God’s Word be that to us.  Let us crave it, cling to it, live it, breathe it, eat it and drink it.  Let it be our meditation day and night.  It is our map to the center of God’s love, will and presence.  We are lost without it.

Blessings,

#kent

Shine Out of Darkness

September 21, 2021

Shine out of Darkness

2 Corinthians 4:6

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.

               There is a glorious light of truth, that God, in His mercy, has allowed us to comprehend and lay hold of.  It is a treasure so often hidden and obscured by the earth of our humanity and sin.  Yet God is greater than our darkness and has called us out of darkness unto the destiny of light and truth.  Therefore, we are like newborns breaking forth out of the eggshell of our humanity.  It is not without struggles and trials that we come forth, but we have seen a great light and our desire is to press into it.  The only way in is the way out.  It is Christ whose precious seed has brought us to fruition and now urges us inwardly to come forth into the life and the light that we have been birthed to walk in. 

               Many still remain in the darkness of their sin and ignorance.  They have either not comprehended the light or they have rejected it for their sin.  John 3:19-21 tells us, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”  Once we have comprehended and laid hold of the light, God help us not to look back to the dark desires of our past.  Set your eyes upon the light of God’s Word and truth today.

Let us renounce the hidden works of darkness and be the lamps through which God’s marvelous light shines and is revealed to the dark world that we live in.  We will not lose our way so long as our hearts are fixed upon the light and hope of our soul.  Should we stumble, the Light is greater than our darkness, but only we can allow the light of the love and forgiveness of Christ to wash our sin and restore our fellowship.  We are His vessels created and purposed to not only receive the light, but also to be light bearers, illuminating the darkness around us and showing others the light of His truth and deliverance.  Be that light that shines out of darkness.

Blessings,

#kent

Leader of the Pack

September 20, 2021

Leader of the Pack

1 Samuel 22:1-2

David therefore departed thence, and escaped to the cave Adullam: and when his brethren and all his father’s house heard [it], they went down thither to him. And every one [that was] in distress, and every one that [was] in debt, and every one [that was] discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

               It is interesting that when David became an outcast, rejected and hunted by the King, he became identified with a different group of people.  David was the anointed of the Lord and even though he was anointed to become king of Israel, David never presumptuously pursued to gain that by his own means and with his own hands.  He was submitted to the Lord’s work in his life and the Lord’s timing.  He had his chance to do it his way.  He was tested, he was given opportunity and encouragement, he could have justified it, but David never raised his hand against Saul, whom he also regarded as the Lord’s anointed. 

               David became the outcast of the traditional and proper Israel.  It was through no rebellion or disobedience of his that now he is running and hiding for his life.  When the anointing is operating in our life it can create some interesting dynamics.  Those you think would accept you and embrace you, may well become your greatest persecutors.  They may be the leadership of the church, the ones regarded of men to be spiritual pillars of the community.  So why would they reject you if you carry the anointing of God?  The same reason they persecuted Jesus and the prophets.  This is one way to discern between those operating under a religious spirit and those who are operating out of the truth and spirit of God.  A religious spirit will have the pretense and the appearance of the real, but its interest is in control and domination, not in developing the anointing and calling of God in other people’s lives.  Especially when their spiritual stature and abilities exceed those of the present administration. 

               One thing that is interesting about this anointing is that while it causes rejection and persecution from the religious spirits, it will attract the sinner, the distressed, the debtor, the discontented and the needy.  There is something in their spirits that is drawn by this anointing.  They have already experienced the disappointments of the world, they are hoping and looking for something and someone not of this world, someone who has touched God and carries in themselves the reality of His presence and life.  We can readily see these qualities in both David and Jesus.  Look at the people that both David and Jesus were surrounded with. They were not exactly the socialites or the happening crowd by the world’s standards.  They were often the outcasts, the hurting, the needy and the discontents.  They are often people that would take you out of your comfort zone and not necessarily those you would choose in the natural for friends.  That anointing in you is like the smell of water to a thirsty animal.  They will be drawn to it, because it offers life, hope and salvation in their time of need.  Their spirits are the poor, broken, humble and meek.  Their heart is in a condition to receive the life of the Spirit. 

               Those that are drawing near to Christ in relationship, prayer, praise and worship are becoming like the David’s of their generation.  In that place of fellowship with the Father and the Son they are being anointed of the Holy Spirit.  There will be a day when the Holy Spirit will lead you into the wilderness and there you will begin to live out of this Anointing and Spirit life. It is not for you alone, it is for those whom the Lord will attract to you and place you with. 

               Father is not looking for the rich, the famous and the social up and coming.   1 Corinthians 1:18-21 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where [is] the wise? Where [is] the scribe? where [is] the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”  Many of us know that we are nothing by the world’s standards.  We may not be exceptional, outstanding or distinguishable as someone of any significance in the world’s eyes.   But God is not the world and He sees something valuable and significant in you and I, because we see that He needs to be everything in us for us to be anything.  Paul goes on in this passage to say, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty.  And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, [yea], and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are That no flesh should glory in his presence But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. (1 Corinthians 1:27-31).”  If Christ is bringing forth His anointing in you and I today, then we mustn’t despise those of low estate, just as Christ did not despise us.  All that He places in us and however He uses us is for none other than for His glory alone.  God is in the business of making somebodies out of nobodies.  Aren’t we His examples?  Take those Christ brings to you and nurture them as He has nurtured you.

Blessings,

#kent

The Violent Take it by Force

September 17, 2021

The Violent Take it by Force

Matthew 11:12

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

               One might get the impression from this passage that the kingdom of heaven in not necessarily a peaceful place.  As we read about the kingdom of heaven we begin to see that it is God’s revelation of Christ Jesus, of salvation and of entrance into the kingdom of God’s fullness.  It is in fact that place where many of us now dwell as we walk out our faith in the fear of God. It is not always a place of peace and joy in the outward sense, but a place of transition from earthly to heavenly.  In that place of transition there are many spiritual battles to be fought from within and without.  The kingdom of heaven has come to us and been opened to us through the cross of Christ.  Christ, our new covenant, and John the Baptist His forerunner came proclaiming the kingdom of God among us.  This was the beginning of an undoing and reversal of spiritual power and authority that had been lost when Adam fell in the Garden of Eden.  This war in the heavenlies didn’t come without a great price and it is not obtained without resistance.  The violent here are the strong and the forceful.  They are the strong, whose faith is as a little child who trust and leans wholly upon His Father’s strength and resources; not upon his own.  A child is perfectly aware of their immaturity, their weakness, and their dependence and, as such, is not reliant upon themselves.  Many of the parables of the kingdom of heaven are presentations of servants at different places with what their master has given them.  What is imperative to their success is what they do with what the Lord has entrusted them with.  We see many of them that miss out on the kingdom of heaven because they weren’t faithful with the entrustment of God’s gifts and salvation.

               Matthew 3:2 and 4:7 are keys to the beginning of us entering into the kingdom of heaven.  It begins with, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our entrance must begin with a change of heart and committed redirection of our life from our old and former ways to the ways God has instructed that we should live.  In John 3:3 Jesus tells Nicodemus, “… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Our entrance is not just dependent upon a natural birth, but also a Spiritual birth.  That takes place as we repent and ask Christ into our hearts and lives, believing that He is God’s only begotten Son and that He has died to take away our sins and rose that we might be seated with Him in heavenly places. 

               The Beatitudes portray what manner of people possess the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:10-12 says, “Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”  Here we see the opposition to our possessing the kingdom.  Yet we stand as the violent, the strong and forceful ones, not because we resist with the warfare and armament of the natural man, but because we stand in the love and the authority of our Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us.  He conquered death and the grave; He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men.  Our abiding, faithful relationship in Him is what makes us violent and forceful to seize the kingdom that He has prepared for us.  It is the overcoming and the breakthrough of our faith and obedience that brings us into His Presence.  We are not violent men of flesh and blood, but we are violent in Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 says we are.  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.” 

Be violent in your walk with God and your pursuit of His kingdom.  Be forceful and strong to stand against evil and lift up a standard of righteousness.  The battle is to the faithful, the vigilant, and to them that are content with nothing less than God’s best.  ‘Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.’

Blessings,

#kent

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