The Privilege of Honoring Him

December 30, 2021

The Privilege of Honoring Him

Ephesians 1:3-14

3Praise 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 hemade 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.

11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

How blessed and privileged we are when we comprehend that our great and awesome God has chosen you and I out of all humanity.  He gave us spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to receive such a great and glorious salvation that He has chosen to reveal to us.  Far too often, we take way too much for granted that God has honored us to know Him, comprehend and receive the great calling He has for our lives.  We treat as ordinary and common this special gift of eternal life and the great privileges and honor that go with it.  We often see our faith as despised by the world and so sometimes we feel embarrassed by it.  You have what the world will covet in the ages to come.  We don’t yet see all the glory and honor that is ours in Christ if we hold fast to our faith.  You hold a position with the King of Kings.  You are personally known and called out by the Father.  Regardless of how you feel about it, you are exceptionally special, a priceless stone and gem of great price. 

We must not be dulled and dumbed down to the great and awesome calling we each have in Christ.  He has even given us the seal of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we are His.  We are a blessed people who need to be so constantly appreciative, thankful and aware of our Father who has so loved us and His Son who gave His very life for us.  We must refocus our hearts, our goals, our desire and plans to be made conformable to His divine will and purpose in us, for it is glorious beyond measure and we don’t want to miss it.  We all get caught up so much in the vanity of this world, but that is a distraction and mask concealing our true identity and purpose.  Embrace and comprehend who you are in Christ.  When the revelation of this truth fully dawns on us, we are so broken and humbled by a God that could love and care so much just about us.  Let us not take for granted our salvation and the high calling that we have in Christ Jesus.  Let us present ourselves as living sacrifices wholly acceptable and pleasing to the Father; that is our destiny and calling that Christ can have a manifested expression through us.  Only we can give ourselves over to His will and purpose in us.  Let us not neglect so great a salvation and calling in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,

#kent

Set Your Mind on Things Above

December 29, 2021

Set Your Mind on Things Above

Colossians 3:1-3

 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

               Where do we live in our thoughts and affections?  What is the nearest and dearest thing to our hearts?  What do we truly worship, spend our money on, and spend our time and energy in pursuing?  An honest thoughtful answer may bring to us a revelation of where we are at in relationship with our God.  Can we honestly say that He is at the foremost of all these questions?  If our pursuit is truly a closer walk with God, a greater sense of His presence and an increasing revelation of who He is?  Then this is a key to where we can start.  I have heard it said that, “we become what we worship”.  What are you becoming today?  In order to walk close to our God, we must abide in His presence.  This is the place we find holiness, communion, and the presence of God.  Christ doesn’t want to be just a part of our lives; He wants to be our life.  That is why we die to natural affections, that He may live in us and through us.  

               In order to be accomplished at any thing you must practice it over and over again.  In the process of learning and perfecting a skill you will make many mistakes and experience some setbacks.  That should not discourage us, but cause us to persevere the more.  The Lord wants us to apply this principle to “practicing His Presence”.  It becomes that place where we are ever mindful of Him, whether consciously or subconsciously.  He becomes constantly a part of our thoughts.  We are constantly filtering the world and activities around us through Him and through that mind of Christ that we have put on.  We are constantly in silent or verbal conversation with Him.  He becomes a unified part of our daily life and breath.  We are in constant heavenly communication and communion.  This is abiding in Christ.  This is setting your mind on things above.  This is the place where we enter in beyond the veil of the outer court things and we begin to commune with our God heart to heart, mind to mind and spirit to spirit.  In this place, our lives have become centered on His will, His purpose, His design and plan for us.  It is no longer about us; it is all about Him.  Our family, friends and those in the world around us get to become the recipients of God’s grace and love working through us.  They may not always respond in a positive way.  Jesus said your enemies might be those of your own household.  When satan throws all he has against you, the blood of Jesus covers you.  You simply rest, in humility and love.  Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” When you find yourself in this place, you will know that you have left off friendship with the world and you have become a friend of God.  In this place of spiritual pursuit, guard against spiritual pride that wants to enter in.  It is easy to begin judging others, seeing yourself as better, more spiritual and alienate yourself due to that spiritual pride.   Jesus became as one of no reputation.  He became the servant that got under the lowly and lifted them up.  He was always bringing up the low places while He resisted and brought down the high places of spiritual arrogance and pride.  His focus was always first to God and then to men.  He didn’t isolate Himself, but became the servant of all.

               Think what it is to set your mind on things above.  Paul states it well in Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Blessings,

#kent

Olympic Christians

December 28, 2021

Olympic Christians

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

               What does it take to be a heaven class champion of the faith?  What is the difference between the athletes that play team or individual sports in school and those that compete for the Olympic gold?  We all know the difference is that one does it for recreation and exercise and the other eats, drinks and sleeps it nearly everyday of their lives for many hours everyday.  They work and work, perfecting every little movement.  They live deeply regimented and disciplined lives in order obtain the crown or the medal for which they strive.  They forsake a lot of the pleasures that their peers enjoy because they have a noble and lofty goal before them.  Paul makes the analogy that our Christian lives can be much like that.  Paul didn’t live his life just to be an average Christian; He pushed the limits of where he could go and what He could accomplish in Christ.  He didn’t do it by his own strength or abilities, but by laying hold of the power of the Christ that lived within him.  His own life or any self-interest was lost in His desire to fulfill the high calling of Christ in his life.  He wasn’t willing that he should teach and preach to others and then his own life comes up short of his ministry and teaching.  He was willing to become all things to all people, because it wasn’t about him, it was about them and the birthing and maturing of relationships with Christ in others.  He was willing, even as Christ, to lay down and pour out his own life, in whatever capacity, for the sake of saving others and ministering to the body of Christ. 

               Did that mean that Paul was a legalist?  No, Paul was probably the most liberated man of God you would find.  He had fully found His liberty in Christ, but didn’t choose to use that liberty as an occasion to fulfill personal passions or lusts, but rather he chose it for service and to bring others into their liberty and freedom in Christ. 

               Paul likened his service to Christ as that of a soldier in 2 Timothy 2:1-5, “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier. And if a man also strive for masteries, [yet] is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.”  Here he is exhorting Timothy as to what it takes to be a heaven class athlete.  It is all about a life lived not for one’s self, but for the One they serve.  It is about following wholeheartedly in the footsteps of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that our whole lives become a precious sacrifice and sweet-smelling incense unto His glory and the praise of His name.   Does it come without a price?  No, it cost you everything, but as Paul says in Philippians 3:7-15, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”  This life is but the training grounds and the race we run that we may obtain the crown wherein we become the overcomers who rule and reign with Christ.  Revelations 3:21 says, “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.”  Along with the exhortations to the seven churches in Revelations 3 are the promises to the overcomer.  Are we the grandstand Christians or are we the athletes that are committed to the spiritual race and competing for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus?  “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”

Blessings,

#kent

Today is the Day

December 27, 2021

Luke 21:25-28

“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. 26Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. 27At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”

Today is the Day

               Most of us that have any spiritual relationship or understanding of spiritual things can see that the atmosphere is changing.  The word of prophecy is prolific and abundant in this day. We may not comprehend fully how all the events are unfolding or all that is really taking place in this day.  That’s okay, we don’t have to understand it all.  It is not our knowing that is our redemption, it is our relationship with Jesus, the Son of God.  If we don’t understand anything else, may we understand this, we are standing on the precipice of these last days.  If we know nothing else WE MUST KNOW HIM!  Heaven and earth will pass away, but only what we have in Christ is eternal.  All material and fleshly things will be consumed, but only that which we have received from the Father by the Holy Spirit will remain. 

               Many people are seeing the signs of the times.  They are buying gold, silver and precious metals.  They are storing up food supplies and trying to figure out a safe place to go when it all falls apart.  May I suggest that there is only one place of safety and provision and that is in the rest and the source of the Father.  If you are going to store up anything in this hour then store up the knowing and faith in Him to meet all of your needs. 

               Jesus goes on in verses 34-36 of this passage to say, “”Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” Now for many this hour is a time of great anxiety, worry and fear.  That is not what God has for His people who truly know Him.  How does Jesus say that you escape all the thing that are about to happen?  “Be always on the watch and pray.”  In other words, it is in flowing in the river of relationship with Christ that we find our redemption and safety. 

               The danger is to those of us who are still lukewarm, trying to have the best of both worlds.  We want a comfortable religion that doesn’t infringe too much on our personal lives and values so we can feel like we are all right with God and have everything else we want too.  The Spirit of the Churches speaks to us in  Revelations 3 about this very condition.  “So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. 20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. 21To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  For many of us, we have religion and a form of godliness, but in God’s eyes we are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  Even though we may lack for nothing in this world we are desperately poor in the economy of God and it is His economy that we must learn to live out of, for the world’s is soon to pass away.  Especially to those who are going to stand in their faith for Christ.  The gold He counsels us to buy is God’s life and nature, we buy that by walking through the trials and testing of our faith; counting Him faithful who has promised.  That is how we become rich in faith and we come to know His faithfulness in our desperate circumstances.  The white clothes are the robes of His righteous imparted to us by faith as we walk in obedience to His Word.  The eye salve is the Holy Spirit anointing to see God’s truth and not a perversion of the truth.

               If we don’t understand anything else about these end times let us understand this. Christ alone is the rock of your salvation and on Him alone will you be able to stand.  All else around you is sinking sand and if your dependency is upon your own resources you will sink in that sand.  If you know nothing else come to know Him and have a relationship with Him as you never have before.  He alone remains when all else is lost.  As His sons and daughters, we come to know that it is the Father who preserves and keeps us and none other.  Through the many trials of our faith He is preparing us for a reason and a season.  Today is the day! Act on it.

Blessings,

#kent

Peacemakers

December 24, 2021

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

Peacemakers

               We can not always control how others feel about us.  We can only be responsible and accountable for our own actions.  Obviously, in the course of life, we encounter those people who do not like us for one reason or another.  We can’t always submit to their way of thinking and being.  What we are expected to do in the Lord is walk in love and humility toward all men, submitting to the authorities over us to the degree that we don’t become disobedient to the Lord which is our highest authority.  Even our enemies we are to love and treat with kindness and respect, even when they deal to us a much lower hand.  We want to do what is right in the sight of all men, so that our deeds will not be evil spoken of.  We are the ambassadors of the Lord, so we must represent Him in our behavior, character and actions toward others.  When opportunities arise or even as much as you can, show acts of loving kindness toward those that despise and don’t like you.  By taking the high road and not returning evil for evil, we bring conviction and we demonstrate God’s love toward us, in that while we yet sinners Christ died for us. 

               In as much as it is in your power, do the things that make for peace, in your home, with the body of Christ, in the work place and in the world.  Let us be a people of peace. Let go of those areas that are critical, judgmental, provoking and attitudes that stir up ill will and strife.  Don’t become self-righteous, but be righteousness of God in the love of Christ. 

               “Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

Blessings,

#kent

Self-Indulgence

December 23, 2021

Mark 8:35

For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

Self Indulgence

               As I was in my prayer time this morning the Lord began to deal with me about this area of self-indulgence.  It may not be something that we think about very often, but in America especially, it has become an idol that affects and grips many of our lives in many areas.  It was so neat as the Lord was ministering to me. It was not out of condemnation, but more out of revelation that in so many areas of our lives and my life, I am self-focused and self-absorbed.  So many times we try to deal with these issues of self by creating laws and “thou shalt nots”, but what God was showing me is that the more our focus is Him and His love expressed towards others, self will become less and less of a problem.  I realize that self-indulgence is so much a part of our lives, we often-times don’t even recognize it for what it is.  It reveals itself in the way we eat, what we buy, how we spend our time and resources and the importance that we put on how we treat others; especially those of our own household.  The fact is, most of us put a great deal of time, energy and resources into the preservation of self. 

               So, what am I saying, “We shouldn’t take care of ourselves, ever have any fun or enjoy the material things of this life”?    No, but all of that is put into perspective and right balance by who and what Christ is in our life.  Bottom line, He is our life.  All else is the attempt at preserving self.  What we often fail to really grasp and believe is that when we actually put His kingdom and others first, all these things shall be added unto us.  God knows your needs.  He knows your needs physically, mentally, financially, sexually and spiritually.  He didn’t create us the way we are just to deprive us, but to fulfill us in the greatest sense of the word.  True fulfillment doesn’t come to us in all that we get, but in what we give.  God is a giver, because His love is giving by nature.  He created us in His image and He redeemed us from that old creation man to be the expression of who He is.  God didn’t even withhold His best from us, but even gave us His only begotten Son.  Jesus walked in the principle of service, love and giving.  It was never out of legalism or commandment, but out of the nature of God that resided in Him.  He wants us to be that same expression, towards our family, towards one another and towards the world at large. 

               We may say, “Will you know, I don’t have that much to give.”  That is where we are shorted-sighted and wrong.  Everything you are, can be an expression of giving.  It is not just your money and resources.  It is your smile, your kind words, you, truly caring, your time spent, your putting others before yourself and so many other things.  Our lives should be about expressive giving in every aspect of our lives.  It is certainly not just about putting our time in on Saturday or Sunday morning and paying our tithes. 

               Why do we fast?  Is it so that we can be more spiritual, more righteous or better hear God.  Those things may be a by-product, but primarily it is the denial of self that refocuses us out of the flesh and back onto the Spirit.  In 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Paul describes it like this, ” Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”  There is a high calling at stake here and we need to get out eyes off the world, off self and onto the prize.  It is the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.  It is not what we accomplish and enjoy in this world that matters, because it is temporal, but what we accomplish in our walk and relationship with Christ is eternal. 

               Do you know the cool thing about being truly free?  It is not in using your freedom as an occasion to the flesh, because that simply puts you back into bondage. In this same passage of 1 Corinthians 9 Paul describes what His freedom is about, “Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 

               We are blessed to be a blessing.  That doesn’t start on some foreign mission field, it starts at home in our daily lives interacting with others.  We can make a difference because of the difference He has made in us. It is time for all of us to look at these areas in our life of self-indulgence and ask ourselves how we might lose our life that we might truly find it.

Blessings,

#kent

Practical Religion

December 22, 2021

Luke 10:25-37

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26″What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

28″You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36″Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Practical Religion

               Most of us are quite familiar with the story of the “Good Samaritan”.  The Lord began to convict me this morning that what you know and what you practice can be two totally different things.  When we stand before God we won’t be judged for what we knew, but what we did with what we knew.  This story brings this point home when it talks about how the priest and the Levi both saw the man’s plight, crossed over to the other side of the road and passed him by.  These were representatives of the most knowledgeable, pious and masters in religious and godly matters.  Was their knowledge translated into practical application?  No, they, like many of us don’t have time, don’t want to get involved, don’t want to get our hands dirty or don’t consider it our responsibility.  Yet Jesus demonstrates a man that they despise as a heathen and half-breed coming along and giving of himself, his time and personal resources to care for a man that probably wouldn’t have given him the time of day, because he was a Samaritan and despised by the Jews. 

               True religion is practical religion.  James 1:27 says this, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  Doesn’t it strike us as strange that he doesn’t say it is how many times you go to church or how long you read your bible or pray?  It is in the doing.  Often God imparts much to us, but we are like a stream that has become dammed up.  We don’t allow the life of God to flow through us.  We hoard it up unto ourselves so that we can appear religious and pious.  As a result, we stagnate spiritually and really benefit no one else but ourselves. 

               I remember a friend telling me his testimony of how he came to the Lord.  He said he was either building or remodeling his house and he had a friend at work that would talk to him about the Lord.  He said what really made the difference for him is when this friend took his personal vacation to come and help my friend to fix his house.  That practical application told him that this Jesus was more than just mere words and an ideology; He was practical love expressed through this man that sacrificed to help him.  That is how our world will know and embrace Christ, when they see the reality of His love expressed in ways that are not natural or normal.  If actions speak louder than words then Christ is amplified and magnified as we live and walk our talk. 

               There are basically two directions that our faith must express itself.  The first is upward in our personal relationship and obedience to God the Father and our trust in Jesus Christ.  The second is in the expression of what we receive in that vertical relationship and then in stretching out our arms to those around us.  This is what Jesus did when He hung on a cross.  His vertical obedience and relationship with the Father expressed itself in His outstretched arms to all of humanity.  He became the intersection where we could turn the corner on our lives and head in a heavenly direction back to the heart of the Father.  We also find that in our identification with Jesus, we also must lay down our lives for others.  Those others, often might be the people we would least care to serve or love in the natural, but then truly loving your neighbor is a God expression and not just a human one.

               How practical is our religion?  Does it really express who we are in Christ or just what we know about Him?

Blessings,

#kent

The Pot of Wickedness

December 21, 2021

The Pot of Wickedness

Zechariah 5:5-11

5 Then the angel who was speaking to me came forward and said to me, “Look up and see what this is that is appearing.”

6 I asked, “What is it?”

He replied, “It is a measuring basket. [2] ” And he added, “This is the iniquity [3] of the people throughout the land.”

7 Then the cover of lead was raised, and there in the basket sat a woman! 8 He said, “This is wickedness,” and he pushed her back into the basket and pushed the lead cover down over its mouth.

9 Then I looked up-and there before me were two women, with the wind in their wings! They had wings like those of a stork, and they lifted up the basket between heaven and earth.

10 “Where are they taking the basket?” I asked the angel who was speaking to me.

11 He replied, “To the country of Babylonia to build a house for it. When it is ready, the basket will be set there in its place.”

               Put on the eyes of your spiritual understanding with me today as we trust the Lord to show us a little more in the area of the mystery of iniquity.  In Israel of old we read about the times when God’s people failed to hear and obey the prophets of the land.  We read about a time when Hezekiah had been sick and ambassadors from Babylon came to visit him.  We find he did a foolish thing.  Isaiah the prophet comes to visit Hezekiah after these Babylonians left.  His conversation is recorded in Isaiah 39:3-6. “Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, [even] from Babylon.

 Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that [is] in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them.

 Then said Isaiah to Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD of hosts Behold, the days come, that all that [is] in thine house, and [that] which thy fathers have laid up in store until this day, shall be carried to Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD.”  Jesus said along the same order in Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.”  There are holy truths and treasures in God’s Word that aren’t to be shared with everybody.  There are things we only give to those who by reason of maturity and understanding will appreciate and use these holy things in a proper context. 

               In the light of what we have shared before about Babylon, we must begin to see Babylon in the light of a spiritual condition, place or realm.  God uses the natural things to show us the things of the Spirit.  We learned that Babylon or Babel means confusion or mixing.  In a spiritual sense you might say it could be a place of a mixture of religion.   It is a place of pollution of man and God, an unholy mixture of flesh and spirit.  What Hezekiah didn’t realize was that in giving that which was holy and of the Spirit to natural men they would take it and pollute it with the unholiness of the natural religious mind.  The Church has long been led away into this land of Babylon where the holy things of God have been polluted, mixed, watered down and defiled by religion and natural minded thinking.  This Babylon has become the breeding ground of demonic activity and deception.  It has become the resting-place for the basket of iniquity we see here in Zechariah 5.   The woman in this basket may well correspond with the woman we see in Revelation 17:3-6.  “So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: And upon her forehead [was] a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.”  Many precious and true saints have been martyred through history not by the unbelievers, but by the religious.  Who was behind the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus?  It was a pretentious religious spirit, convincing the minds of the religious leaders that they were working God’s will.  We see that same spirit alive in terrorism today.  It is made up of people of zealous religious convictions.  This is that spirit of Babylon. 

               These are some very meaty things we are sharing, but I feel the Spirit compelling me to make us aware that not every spirit is God’s Spirit.  1John tells us to test the spirits (1 John 4:1).  The only way too truly know God’s Spirit is to intimately know Him as He is revealed through His Word by the Holy Spirit. 

               We are in the last days.  It is a time when the Lord is calling us out of the captivity of Babylon where much of the Church has been led and even now stills lives.  God is calling out the remnant that will hear His voice to come back into the land of your inheritance, the spiritual land of Canaan and again possess the land.  He wants us to rebuild the walls, the city and the temple.  God is calling us out of what has the appearance of godliness into what is Godliness.  God is seeking out a people that will pursue Him with all of the passion of their hearts.  They are no longer content to feed off of the stale dry manna of yesterday’s revelation.  They are intent on pursuing the lover of their souls and will be content with nothing less than His presence.  Are you of this remnant?  Are we those passionate ones that will leave the ease and comfort of Babylon to press in and possess the inheritance we have in Christ Jesus?  We may find that the places we come out of in our pursuit of Him may well be the source of our greatest persecution. 

Blessings,
#kent

You are His Specialty

December 20, 2021

Ephesians 1:4

According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

               Did we come to the Lord by accident?  No more than your life is an accident.  Have you ever been at some activity where everyone is working together at one task or another?  They all have a place and purpose and you feel like a third wheel not knowing where you can fit in or what you can do.  Sometimes our lives are like that spiritually.  We don’t know where we fit in or how to be involved. 

Spiritually, God created us for His pleasure and purpose to be “holy and without blame before Him in love.”  We know that is a pretty tall order if we want to accomplish it on our own, which we can’t.  We know that it is the faith He has birthed in our hearts to believe in Christ and receive His forgiveness through the blood of the Son.  It is in that time that we enter into the Kingdom of Heaven by faith and are washed in the blood that we can begin to really fulfill the purpose of God in our lives.  Then, we are introduced to the Holy Spirit, who hopefully we come to know as our strength, our mentor, corrector, instructor, edification and power to be transformed into that holy vessel that Jesus so willingly and unselfishly died for.  The first order of business in our spiritual walk is to come to know the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.  While we don’t often know exactly how we fit into the body, if our hearts are open to the Holy Spirit’s leading and direction, He begins to show us where our particular strengths, gifts, abilities and callings are.  As we begin to respond to those in faith and humility to serve, first Him, then others and the body of Christ we begin to find that we are no longer that third wheel standing outside looking in.  We begin to give and serve not out of what we don’t have, but what we do have.  Each of us is uniquely formed by Father to be the best that He has created us to be.  That standard is not measured against any other person or group.  Our standard is Christ and the Word of God.  We know that only as the life of Christ in us is allowed to have freedom and expression through us can we truly honor God and fulfill our purpose in Him. 

               If you are wondering what your purpose is today or where you fit, begin by glorifying the Lord through your faith expressed through good works.  As you do this in all areas of opportunity you will find Holy Spirit leading you into your particular strengths and abilities.  Doors will open as you submit yourself fully to the Lord’s leading and direction. 

               Since our first calling is to be holy and blameless before Him in love that needs to be our first and primary focus.  As we are faithful in this He will lead us more fully into all that He has purposed us to be. 

Blessings,

#kent

Pride

December 17, 2021

Daniel 4:34-37

At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” 36 At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. 37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

Pride

               Pride has often been man’s greatest downfall.  It has certainly been the catalyst for every separation from God.  There is only One that we should take pride in, boast about and give glory too and that is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  He alone is worthy of all the honor and praise.  One of the greatest stumbling blocks of wealth, blessing and prosperity is that it invariably causes us to quit looking, depending and trusting in the Lord.  We get full of ourselves. We start looking at our success as all that we have accomplished by our own power, might and abilities, thus we turn our back on the Lord who is the provider of it all.

               Daniel 4 is a great example of the sovereignty of God, not only over His own people, but also over all the kingdoms and dominions of the earth.  It is a story of how the greatest king of the earth in his day was humbled to be like a beast of the field.  God demonstrated to this pagan king that He alone has all authority and power and dominion.  Unto God alone belongs all the praise and glory.  He has not given that to another.  We could go through many examples of history where men have boasted about themselves or their accomplishments before God and they were brought low. 

               It is no doubt a good thing that God does give us the challenges He does in life.  While God has blessed me, He has given me enough weaknesses and shortcomings in myself that I know that when success and blessing come, they come from the Lord and not because I am anything.  That place of humility, contriteness of heart and dependency upon the Lord is the safest place that we can be.  As God begins to raise people up into a place of authority, dominion and power, it is important that we never become full of ourselves, but only manifest and glorify Him. 

               There is a saying that the tree that bears the most fruit, its branches hang the lowest.  The greatest sign of our spiritual fruitfulness is reflected in our humility.  Jesus Himself was the greatest example to us of humility in greatness.  His boast was always in the Father even though He knew who He was.  While everyone should have been bowing before His feet, He was the one that was washing ours.  Philippians 2:5-11 says it so well, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! 9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  May it be God who exalts and promotes us and not us.  Walk humbly with your God.

Blessings,

#kent

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