Kingdom Principles (Part 2)

The Kingdom Within You

Luke 17:22

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

               I believe the kingdom of heaven is not so unlike the make-up of man.  God so often works in threes and we can see the kingdom of heaven much the same way.  We know for instance that there is Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  In a man there is spirit, soul and body.  In God’s tabernacle and temple there are outer court, inner court or holy place and Holy of Holies.  Much of God’s structure can be seen following this pattern.  In meditating upon the scriptures that pertain to the kingdom we can see the kingdom working in three aspects.  We are all pretty much settled on the fact and truth that there is a heaven beyond this natural realm where indeed God and His heavenly host reside.  We have come to see and believe that this a place of perfection where sin and corruption have no place.  When we’re redeemed through our faith and acceptance of Christ into our hearts and lives, the kingdom of God was brought into our spirits.  Our spirit is like the heaven of our beings.  It is the place of God’s resident presence through the Holy Spirit.  It is the one place we can presently know perfection and righteousness and it is this presence and indwelling of the Holy One that sets apart from the world and this natural realm of being.  When the gospel of the kingdom of God or heaven is preached; it is the gospel of salvation and of Christ redeeming and saving us from our body of sin and death.  Through that gospel we live in the hope of heaven and the kingdom of God fully being manifested in our life and being. 

               As a side note I have wondered about what is the difference between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of heaven.  It appears that in the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John where this terminology is most used that Matthew likes to use the term “kingdom of heaven”, whereas the other gospels seem to predominately us the term “kingdom of God”.  We can see these terms used in reference to the same parable in different gospels with one using one term and the other using the other term, so they would appear to be interchangeable and of the same in meaning.

               Returning to this idea of a three-part kingdom of heaven, we can relate to our spirits actually dwelling in a heavenly state.  When Christ came into our heart or our Spirit, the kingdom of God came within us.  Colossians 3:1-4 exhorts us concerning the state of salvation we have entered into and how that is to influence us outwardly.  It says, “IF THEN you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God, 2And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. 3For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory.”  Our relationship with Christ should be bringing us into a realm of heavenly mindedness.  Our mind must bring our mortal man into agreement with who we are as a spiritual being.  Lets look a little further into how this heavenly indwelling is to impact our former man and nature.  Ephesians 2: 1- 6, “AND YOU [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins 2In which at one time you walked [habitually]. You were following the course and fashion of this world [were under the sway of the tendency of this present age], following the prince of the power of the air. [You were obedient to and under the control of] the [demon] spirit that still constantly works in the sons of disobedience [the careless, the rebellious, and the unbelieving, who go against the purposes of God]. 3Among these we as well as you once lived and conducted ourselves in the passions of our flesh [our behavior governed by our corrupt and sensual nature], obeying the impulses of the flesh and the thoughts of the mind [our cravings dictated by our senses and our dark imaginings]. We were then by nature children of [God’s] wrath and heirs of [His] indignation, like the rest of mankind. 4But God–so rich is He in His mercy! Because of and in order to satisfy the great and wonderful and intense love with which He loved us, 5Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses, He made us alive together in fellowship and in union with Christ; [He gave us the very life of Christ Himself, the same new life with which He quickened Him, for] it is by grace (His favor and mercy which you did not deserve) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation). 6And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”  Here we see that in Christ we currently sit in heavenly places with Him.  So the seat of our spirit is in heaven.  Obviously we would love to see the rest of our being in this place also, but in this realm of the rest of our being we see a progress of salvation at work which will bring us to next realm of the kingdom.

Blessings,

#kent

Kingdom Principles (Part 1)

Introduction to the Kingdom

Matthew 22:2-14

The kingdom of heaven is like a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son

3And sent his servants to summon those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they refused to come. 4Again he sent other servants, saying, Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have prepared my banquet; my bullocks and my fat calves are killed, and everything is prepared; come to the wedding feast.

5But they were not concerned and paid no attention [they ignored and made light of the summons, treating it with contempt] and they went away–one to his farm, another to his business,

6While the others seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and put them to death.

7[Hearing this] the king was infuriated; and he sent his soldiers and put those murderers to death and burned their city. 8Then he said to his servants, The wedding [feast] is prepared, but those invited were not worthy. 9So go to the thoroughfares where they leave the city [where the main roads and those from the country end] and invite to the wedding feast as many as you find.

10And those servants went out on the crossroads and got together as many as they found, both bad and good, so [the room in which] the wedding feast [was held] was filled with guests.

11But when the king came in to view the guests, he looked intently at a man there who had on no wedding garment. 12And he said, Friend, how did you come in here without putting on the [appropriate] wedding garment? And he was speechless (muzzled, gagged). 13Then the king said to the attendants, Tie him hand and foot, and throw him into the darkness outside; there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

14For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are chosen.

               Perhaps this parable of Jesus is a good overall summary of the kingdom of heaven.   Jesus talks much about the kingdom of heaven and speaks many parables about it, but to many of us it is still somewhat of a mystery.  In this parable and illustration, we see the King as Father God, giving a wedding banquet of His Son, which we can easily see is Christ.  Now the kingdom of heaven is not represented specifically as the marriage to the bride, but rather all that are invited to come to the celebration of the union.  In this parable we see the first invitations going out to God’s people who have been invited.  They have been invited through the dispensation of God’s Word, prophecies and promises of a coming Messiah, but they miss it, they reject it, they blow it off because they are to busy with their own things.  In some cases, the servants who bring the message are even abused, persecuted and put to death.  This represents the Jewish nation as a whole.  The Light came to them, but in their darkness, they perceived it not. 

               We can look back over history at the plight of the Jewish people and we can see through the destruction of Jerusalem around 70 AD and on, the people of Israel have been a scattered and persecuted people. 

               Because of Israel’s rejection, as a whole, the invitation to the wedding banquet or to come into the kingdom was extended to gentiles and to all that would respond, both bad and good.  We then see that as the King (God) viewed the guests, that there was a protocol; people permitted to the feast had to have a wedding garment.  We can easily assess from the scriptures that these garments represented the righteousness of Christ and those who wore them needed to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.  There was none permitted to stay that had their own righteousness or garments of the flesh.  Acts 4:12 tells us, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Now we can surmise through other parables that Jesus speaks of the kingdom that there is, for a time, a mixture of those who truly possess the wedding garments and those who don’t.  This one man that was cast out of the wedding may be representative of many who will have to answer to the King in the time of judgement.  We see it in the parable of the wheat and the tares where the two were allowed to grow together until the time of harvest.  Jesus was the kingdom come, but this coming was His first coming as the Saviour and the Redeemer of men.  Through Christ, men could receive the kingdom of heaven into their heart and be recipients of the King and his kingdom.

               Here we have an overall view of the kingdom of heaven as being the place to where we have been invited to Christ.  We see that we both, have to respond and dress appropriately to be acceptable in this kingdom.  We see that many are called, but few are chosen.  Hopefully we have all responded to the invitation and dressed appropriately through asking Christ into our hearts and are putting on Christ.

Blessings,

#kent

The Winds of Life

March 29, 2022

John 3:5-8

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

The Winds of Life

Through the wind gates of lifetime we flow,

With twist and turns as we go.

The thermos of blessing sometimes gust,

And then hot winds of trials blow their dust.

Life is a mystery each day we walk,

It is always the topic of our talk.

Yet it is not always what is seen that is real.

Life is not just about our senses or how we feel.

The mystery of life is a spiritual force,

That good or bad can direct our course.

Even if we don’t believe in what we don’t see,

It still effects the course of our eternity.

Some fail to realize that the spirit lives on,

It will remain when this body is gone.

This brief breath, we call life, was our test,

How we lived, what we believe, determines the rest.

Are we so blind that we can’t see,

Life is not just the natural or just about me?

It is in finding the earth as a place to plant our seed,

Where in dying to self, we might truly become free.

It is not what we gain in this world that will last,

It is in gaining Christ that all earthly is surpassed.

No matter what the winds of this life brings,

In Christ we have the power to endure all things.

When the winds of time sweeps us from this earth.

May we have found the life and joy of a second birth.

In Christ we know that life has not ended, but only began,

Because we live not out of the earthly, but the spiritual man.

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

Life is for the Living

March 28, 2022

Life is for the Living

Galatians 2:20

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

               The question is which life are we living?  Few of us have truly entered into the dimension and fullness of a crucified life.  At best, most of us are living in a place where there is a mixture of flesh and spirit.  Most of us believe in Christ, but we are still trying to meld it with the natural man.  Most of us spend a lifetime in the battle between flesh and spirit within our own selves. 

               Our life is for living but lived for selfish gain and motive is robbing us of true life.  There is a dimension of life in God that we catch glimpses of through the fog of our understanding and revelation, but it eludes us.  Most of us are willing to settle in the outer court of salvation, but there are some in which a hunger and fire burns to live, to press into the Life that presides in the MOST HOLY PLACE.  No longer do they desire to live after the flesh, but the old identity they had in Adam is regarded as dead as they set their eyes and heart to obtain and lay hold of that which they have been called out for.  Many of us catch glimpses of this truth, but then the cares of life quickly obscure it from our spiritual vision. 

               The truth and life that is contained in the scripture can totally transform and change your life.  For us to truly lay hold of it and live it out daily by faith and the power of the Christ within us, is to truly enter into and come up to a different place, where we are living under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  It is the living in this law that will set us free from the law of sin and death.  We have the promise and the calling, but not very many of us are walking and living in this dimension of life.  Yet this scripture is our calling and it is our destiny.  We all want to cling so much to the material world.  It is our natural sense of security, control and for most of us our reality. 

               Galatians 3:12 tells us, “The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, “The man who does these things will live by them.”” Many of us, like those of Galatia, are still trying to accomplish by natural means that which Christ alone can provide for us.  We are still living under the principles of the law and works to please God and appease our conscience.  Galatians 3:10 has just told us,” All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”Christ has died to bring us out of the curse and into a higher law and dimension of life.  It is a life not lived out of rules, regulations, traditions and religious dictates of righteousness.  It is life of the Spirit, lived moment by moment in the Spirit and by the power of the Spirit.  It is life in which the law is no longer written on tables of stone, but upon the tables of our hearts.  Our heart is not just about doing, but it is in being, and our doing comes out of our being rather than the other way around.  We do the works of God, because we are God’s and His Spirit rules in our hearts. 

               In this place where our Adam no longer lives, we come into the presence of Faith, Hope and Love.  They will no longer be elusive ideas, but our dear and near companions.  In this place we truly live and move and have our being in Him.   Here we enter into a place of intimacy and communion with God that we cannot know in the natural man.  Here is where we learn and know what it is be one with Christ and have our identification one with His, where we no longer perceive ourselves as separate from Christ, but now we are an intimate part of Him and He is becoming all in us. 

               Those who grasp the truth of Galatians 2:20 know that true life and living is found through a death and dying.  Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:31, “…I die daily”.  Paul readily admits that if Christ is not true and if there is no resurrection then he has suffered a lot of misery in vain, because he is not living for the benefit of his natural man and he has literally paid the price.  He has a revelation and vision that is greater than anything this world can hold for Him.  He is pressing into that divine life and nature and he wants to take as many as will come, with him. 

               What is your vision for life today?  What dimension of life are we living in?  Life is for the living, but how will you live it and under which law will you choose to live; the law of sin and death or the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus?

Blessings,

#kent

Prophetic Word

March 25, 2022

Isaiah 42:5-

This is what God the LORD says—

the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out,

who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it,

who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it:

6 “I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness, I will take hold of your hand.

I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles,

7 to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison

and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.

8 “I am the LORD; that is my name!

I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.

9 See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into being

I announce them to you.”

Prophetic Word

Have you seen and not heard? Have you thought and not understood? The Lord is great in mount Zion. He is to be admired in His people and all that honor His name.

This is what the Lord says, “Today have I begotten a people that will shake the earth and pull down the heavens. They don’t even realize the greatness of their rising for they have been birthed in the lowly places of worldly insignificance, but the day of their maturity has come and even as I raised up David and after many years of testing, I, the Lord, placed him upon the throne. He was but a lowly shepherd boy who no one else noticed, but I saw His greatness from the foundation of the world, even as I see the greatness of those I am raising up and establishing in this hour. What I do, I do according to My will and purpose and according the times and season of My planting. What you will see will be unprecedented and what you will hear will be as the oracles of God for they will speak with the Words of My mouth. The foretaste is about to give way to the fullness.

Do you sense that which is coming even as you smell the rain in the air? When you do you know that I am near to rain down upon you the fullness of blessing.

Expectancy should not be hindered by hesitancy. As you expect, move forth in the faith of what you are expectant of. Even as the priest carried the Ark and waded into the river Jordan, as you wade in believing the waters will be parted. Today is not a day to shrink back in unbelief, lest My soul has no pleasure in you. Be bold, be forthright and attuned to My Spirit. Where I lead you, do not hesitate to follow. It will not be in what you see, perceive or understand, for it is a new thing, an unprecedented thing, says the Lord.”

Blessings,

#kent

The Potter’s Wheel

March 24, 2022

The Potter’s Wheel

Jeremiah 18:3-4

Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make [it].

               Today we are on the Potter’s wheel and He is shaping and molding our vessels.  Now there are many kinds of vessels.   The pot doesn’t tell the potter how to make it.  Romans 9:20-24 says,  “Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed [it], Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour.

 [What] if God, willing to shew [his] wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?”  While the Potter has power over the clay to shape it as He will, He has also given properties to the clay that can help determine the quality and purpose of the vessel.  2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”  We see that the Lord’s heart is not for men to perish or to be cast off.  He has made this abundantly clear through sending His Son to reconcile us back to Himself so that He might form us into the vessels of honor that would glorify His name.  The reality is, not all will turn to the Lord.  Because we have a will we can harden our hearts against the Lord and choose to go our own way, forsaking His salvation or we can turn to Him, repent and be partakers of His salvation.  

               In order to make fine pottery you need fine clay.  It has to be one that is free of all rocks and debris so that it will not be marred as it turns in the potter’s hands.  Now there can be vessels made that can serve a purpose that is not as pure, but they will not find their way into the place of the honored vessels.  The principle is that the finer and more pure the clay or the raw material the finer and more honorable the vessel that can be made.  If our hearts are reflective of the quality of the clay, selfishness and willful sin are the impurities that create the mars and flaws in our vessel that the Potter is shaping.  1 Timothy 2:19-21 says this, “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work.” 

               What kind of vessel are we becoming in the Father’s house today?  We don’t have control of how He has made us, but the Word implies that we do have input into the type of vessel that we can be, one of honor or one of dishonor.  If we want that place of honor, then the Lord is calling us to purity, to depart from all iniquity and to come to Him with a repentant heart that He might repair and remove all of the mars and blemishes that we have been created through our sin and rebellion.  We must provide the Potter the right materials in our lives so that He can fashion a vessel of honor for His glory and for His house.

Blessings,

#kent

Fulfillment of Isaiah 61

March 23, 2022

Luke 4:14-20

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 15He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,

to release the oppressed, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

20Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, 21and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Fulfillment of Isaiah 61

               In this passage, Jesus, now returning under the power of the Spirit, declares this message from Isaiah 61 unto the people that he grew up with and tells them quite basically, “I am the fulfillment of this scripture.” 

               From that time on the power of God moving through the life of Jesus became quite evident as He indeed did fulfill that which He read.  It was not reasonable to the hometown people, because they had a different mindset and paradigm of who Jesus was than the Son of God and the savior of the world.  They may have believed he was a lovely person and a good carpenter, but their natural perceptions kept them from seeing Jesus after the Spirit.  Nevertheless it did not change the life role that Jesus was now stepping into.  When His season came everything changed and what Jesus began as the head of His body, the church, He will fulfill and complete through His body the church which, as Ephesians 1:23 says is, “the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” 

               If Jesus is our prototype, our pattern and the image we are being conformed too, then it only follows that His calling is our calling and His works are our works.  What God began in the head, He now finishes through the body administrated from the head, through the Spirit into the body. 

               Jesus tells His disciples in John 16:12-14, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. 14He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. 15All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”  What Jesus has He imparts by His Spirit into us and makes it known to us. In verses 23-24 Jesus continues by saying, “In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.”  In John 14:22-24, Jesus has already told His disciples, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  What Jesus manifested in the earth as a singular man, He is now fulfilling in the earth through a many many-membered body.

               As you read the rest of Isaiah 61, see yourself as one of the vessels and anointed ones that He is using to fulfill the rest of this passage.  Jesus Christ is the Alpha and the Omega. The beginning and the end. What was began in Jesus, is completed through the body of Christ.  Is this not what we are called to do and to be.  Let faith arise and His enemies be scattered, this is that day.

               Picking up where Jesus ended it, Isaiah 61 declares, “and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn, 3and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.  4They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

5Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.  6And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God.  You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.  7Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.

8“For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity.  In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them.  9Their descendants will be known among the nations

and their offspring among the peoples.  All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

10I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.  For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,

and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.  11For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”

               Let us move into what He has called us to be.

Blessings,

#kent

The Folly of Pride

March 22, 2022

Deuteronomy 8:10-20

When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

*19If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.

The Folly of Pride

               Moses is giving us a key principle that we don’t want to forget in the light our victories, blessings, prosperity and success.  All through the Old Testament we saw the people of God continually failing to keep this principle which ultimately led them to the consequences God promised them if they did in verses 19 and 20. 

               We are not so unlike the Israelites.  Most of us have grown up with prosperity and blessing.  We may not acknowledge ourselves as being rich, but in comparison to about 80 to 90 percent of the rest of the world we are considered rich and very prosperous. 

               Whether it is what we have inherited or the successes that we have gained through life, pride is an ever subtle enemy that we need to be mindful of.  It is same subtle sin that attracted Eve in the garden, because it takes our eyes off God and puts it upon ourselves.  The things we used pray and ask God for, we now take credit for having accomplished.  Suddenly and surely God is swept to the side as we step into our limousine of self glory, admiring all that “we have done and accomplished.”  Now that we have arrived, we are in control and what may have started in humility is now lost in arrogance.  God is lost in the background of our self-glorifying shadow.

               Often our greatest danger is not in the midst of our battles, it is when we have arrived at success, having obtained our goal.  Suddenly our defenses lower, our prayer and faith drop off, we’re on top of the mountain and we think we are invincible.  When in truth, we are now most vulnerable, because God will no longer support and sustain us in that prideful attitude of arrogance.  How quickly we can forget that without God we are nothing but weakness, frailty, poverty and failure.

               Some of us have fought other kind of battles, like addictions, character flaws, poor choices and so on.  We might ask the alcoholic, “Why do you still go to AA meetings since you have quit drinking and have been sober?”  It because they recognize the inclination to drink and know that if they don’t remain vigilant, in a moment of weakness they can so quickly return to that cesspool of misery.  That is why we must ever maintain our vigilant relationship, praise and reliance upon Father, no matter how greatly He blesses or how successful we are.  If you don’t believe me ask some of the tele-evangelist of the 80’s or many a great man of God who fell into sin. 

               Our protection and our covering is in our abiding relationship with Jesus that doesn’t compartmentalize our life into different areas, but it all belongs to Him. We ever walk in humility and utter reliance and faith in Christ.  When we step out of the identity of who we are in Christ Jesus then we become vulnerable to identity theft and the enemy is always looking for opportunity to rob it from us.  His mission is to bring us down and to do so, all he must do is bring separation between us and our Lord. 

Most of are quite familiar with the testing, trials and tribulations of life, but know that satan still works on the other end; in our success, triumphs and victories. That is where we are most vulnerable to folly of pride

Blessings,

#kent

Birthing the Promise

March 21, 2022

Birthing the Promise

Ecclesiastes 3:10

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

               Many of us have been believing and pressing into God for different needs and areas in our lives where we are trusting for a miracle or a breakthrough from the Lord.  Perhaps we have grown weary and have wanted to give up.  It may have seemed everything has been against us.  Though we have sought the Lord we may not have received any distinct word other than “just trust Him”.  Though we have been faithful to try and trust Him it doesn’t mean fear, doubt and unbelief haven’t tried to creep in to unsettle us, discourage us and defeat us.  Perhaps we have tried to do everything right.  We’ve even prayed about anything that may be hindering our answer to prayer.  Still it may seem nothing is coming together, there is no immediate answer in sight and when we do get a hopeful prospect to our answer it falls through and we are left empty and disappointed.  Still we encourage ourselves in the Lord.  We continue to praise Him in our adversity and trust Him in our need.  In the natural you wonder if this dream you have, this vision, this need for God’s touch will ever come to pass. 

               When a woman carries the promise of baby in her womb she has joy, not because she has seen the face of her promised seed, but she knows that life is growing inside her and in due season it will come forth.  God’s promises to us are often like that fetus in the womb of our soul.  All we have is the promise, the expectation, and the anticipation of what God has promised and quickened in us, that it will come to pass.  Every woman that has born a child naturally will testify that there comes a day when it is time to birth, but in between the promise and the fulfillment is this little thing called ‘labor or travail’.  In that place there is often extreme and intense pain to bring forth this promise that has grown in her womb.  At the time she may feel like there is no way she can handle the pain or that she will make it through the process.  It will often bring her to the end of herself.  This same principle is true for us who are trying to give birth to a vision, a dream or a need that we have in us.  In the process of trying to birth it, everything in the natural is telling us we are going to die and fail in the process.  We are pressed to the extremes of our faith and trust in God, as we are desperately trying to hold fast to His Word and our hope in Him.  The Lord wants to encourage us today to not give up, to continue to hold fast because you are in the stages of travail and our faith is being exercised and stretched like it never has before.  The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are our labor coaches encouraging us that we can make it, that God is faithful, don’t fear, only believe.

               When we look back through the Word of God we can see so many examples of the trying of men’s faith and the travail they had to pass through.  We see Abraham willing in obedience to sacrifice his only Isaac, Jacob wrestling with the angel, Joseph enduring betrayal, slavery, imprisonment and hardship to finally realize the fulfillment of his dream.  We see David running for his life from Saul and the enemies that sought his destruction.  We see Daniel in the Lion’s den; the three Hebrew children facing the fiery furnace and Jeremiah left in the miry pit.  The examples are many and numerous, but most pronounced we see Jesus enduring the travail of His Passion that He might give birth to the Church and the salvation promised to men.  We are no different in our personal lives than they.  We with patience and steadfast faith will also inherit the promises if we faint not. 

               Ephesians 6:13 tells us, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”  Our God is raising His people not to be wimps that roll over in the face of adversity and look for the way of escape, but warriors who will stand in the day of battle and travail.  Perhaps you are in that day today with your circumstances.  2 Corinthians 2:14 exhorts and encourages us by saying, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”  Romans 8:37 reminds us, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” 

               Endure the day of travail for your joy comes in the morning.

Blessings,

#kent

Living is Giving

March 18, 2022

Living is Giving

John 11:42

But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give [it] thee.

               Mother Teresa made a statement once to the effect, “If you have never learned to give then you have never learned to live.”  The world we live and grow up in has the mentality of’ what is in it for me?’  What can I get rather than what can I give.  When we study God’s word we see that giving is so much a part of the nature of who God is.  He has given us life and breath and every good thing to enjoy.  God is such a giver that He gave His only begotten Son that through that precious gift we might be given eternal life, have relationship and access to our heavenly Father.  We know that God is love and the nature of love is expressed through giving.  Jesus came into the earth not to get, but to give His life a ransom for many.  His service and His ministry were always about giving.  Through His example we see that even the King of Kings has a servant nature. 

               God wants us all to be givers, but not from a spirit of coercion and guilt, but rather through the love of His Son that He has placed within our hearts.  He wants us to be givers, because giving is what unleashes the blessings of His kingdom.  When we give to God we know that God doesn’t need what we have, but we need what He has and we open the box by giving.  There is a law of reciprocation that what goes out will come back.  It is like the law of reaping and sowing, giving is our sowing and it doesn’t have to be monetary in nature.  The greatest gifts we have to give are of our time, our resources, our talents and ourselves.  What God is looking for in us is not so much what we give as it is the attitude of our hearts to give. Is it in our nature to bless others and to look to their welfare as well as our own? 

               Giving is a fountain of life.  It is opening our hand to release what we have, but also to receive back all that God has for us.  If we never open our hand, we never experience this law or reciprocation where there is an exchange of giving out and taking in.  It is like the cycle of life, there is a taking in and a giving out.  When the exchange ceases and we hoard everything in, then things stagnate, putrefy and become corrupt.  When God gave the manna in the wilderness, each day they were to gather what they needed for the day.  If they tried to gather more than that, it would become corrupt and full of worms.  Each day is a giving of what you have, not what you have not.  Each day we take in from God’s goodness what we need and beyond that we have to share and be a blessing to help in the needs of others.

               Mother Teresa was among the richest of all people not because of what she possessed, but because of what she gave.  What she could not receive back in this world must come back to her in the world to come.  Are we learning about living through our giving or do we still want to hold on with clenched hand?  Giving is an exercise in faith.  If we don’t believe God will supply, then we won’t be willing to give what we have.  What we so often fail to realize is that our unwillingness to release and give is the source of our poverty.  God has created us to be a blessing.  We are His wellsprings of life.  Let our lives be rich when it comes to giving and blessing others that all might see the nature and love of the Father in us and desire to know Him.  What are our opportunities for giving today?

Blessings,

#kent

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