The Power of Touch

June 19, 2017

 

The Power of Touch

Luke 6:19

And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed [them] all.

What is contained in this sense we call touch?  We could make the argument that it was touch that actually caused mankind to die.  In Genesis 3:3 God told Adam and Eve, “’You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ” Touch is a powerful thing both in a positive and negative sense.  Through the power of touch we can communicate life and death, healing and wounding, love and hate.  Touch is a sense that both gives and receives.  Touch also carries with it the connotation of how we affect others and how they affect us.  So we can actually touch or be touched without ever physically contacting another person. 

God knows the power of touch and because of that He set boundaries on the things we should not touch.  In these situations, to reach out and touch what God had prohibited could result in death, or in being unclean.  God has commanded us not to touch the things that would result in defilement and negative consequences.  Because of the nature and freewill of man, we have not always obeyed the Lord concerning these things and now we live with death and the consequences of our sin, disobedience and defilement. 

Christ had a ministry of touch.  He first touched this world when He created it through the spoken Word of the Father.  Still nothing has touched humanity more profoundly and eternally than when Christ came forth in the earth in Jesus.  This was like God’s personal loving touch upon the face of all flesh.  In Jesus we saw the manifest nature and purpose of God come among us.  We came to know and understand God in a more personal way than perhaps we ever had.  As Jesus began His ministry we saw Him healing and changing lives by the touch of His hand, but then we saw a little afflicted woman who said to herself, “if I can just touch the hem of His garment I know I will be healed.”  So it was that she reached out in faith and touched His garment she was healed.  After that people weren’t waiting for Jesus to just touch them, they were seeking the opportunity to touch Jesus for their need.  There are many people today that want to touch Jesus in a real and personal way. 

When God gave the commandment in the Garden not to touch or eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, disobedience to that command brought death into all of humanity.  When Jesus lived out the obedience to the Father, the sin of humanity nailed Him to an old rugged cross on Calvary.  That old rugged cross has become to mankind the tree of life and restoration back to relationship with our God.  If we desire life, salvation, healing and restoration we need to first come and first partake of that tree of life at Calvary, touching and laying hold of Christ in faith. 

Colossians 2 tells us that if we have come to Calvary we have also died to the rudiments and elements of this world.  We are no longer bound by the ordinances of taste not, touch not, handle not which all are to perish with the using after the commandments and doctrines of men.  We have now been touched and infected with His very Life.  Disease spreads to destroy and bring death, but the Life of Christ grows and spreads within us to bring life out of death.  In that embrace with Calvary we have touched heaven.  With our one hand touching heaven the Lord has told us to reach back with the other hand and touch earth.  Become the touch of Christ to those the Lord places within your life.  Be the channel and the hand of the Almighty to touch and communicate God’s love and grace to the world you live and exist in.  You are like the hem of the Lord’s garment, as people begin to see the power and love of Christ issuing from your life they will seek you as point of contact to help them receive what they need from the Lord.  Never underestimate the power of touch.  God wants to touch lives through you every day.  Are we a willing and supple hand, willing to stretch forth and offer life to all that we are with?  Touch someone’s life today with the power of the endless life that dwells within you.

 

Blessings,

#kent

Love that Binds

June 16, 2017

Ephesians 4:1-6

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Love that Binds

Unity in a family, a marriage or in the body of Christ is found when we are all operating out of a communication of love.  People are unique and we will always have our differences from one another.  That is the way our good Lord created us to be.  In our differences He poured into us the bonding and the glue of His love so that we are able to patiently bear the irregularities of all those people that God didn’t make just like me.  Love is never really exercised and grown unless it is stretched and challenged.  People will certainly do that to you.  I personally found that just keeping to yourself and doing your own thing makes it easier to love people, but that is a long distance love.  God’s love is most often up close and personal.  It is often a decision rather than a feeling.  Whatever our relationships with people God knows we are going to have our differences.  Obviously, outside of Christ, we are much different than God.  In fact, He says before we were saved we were His enemies.  Romans 8:7 says, “Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.”  What reconciled us to God was first His love for us, not our love for Him.  This is a key example that we forget in so many of our relationships.  We are most often reactionary, returning kind for kind and love for love or even hate for hate.  God does not just react to our rejection of His love.  If He did the human race would have been extinct long ago.  His love is deliberate and it has purpose.  His love is to gather you in His arms and impart Himself into you. 

That bring us to where God is bringing each of us in our expression of love.  If we are loving out of our human condition and our feelings of love, then our love will always be conditional and full of limitations.  God has called us to live out of His love which is unconditional and loves the unlovely as much as the lovely.   Living a life worthy of the calling is living life out of the foundation of love.  Who is love?  We know that God is love so if we are to love as He loved we can only do that as we submit to His love to reign in our hearts and find expression through our hands. 

The apostle Paul exhorts us here to be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.  He is not saying it is always easy, but in order to do it you have to lose your importance and your impatience.  Humility has been defined as “strength under control”.  That strength and humility of love learns to prefer others above itself.  It becomes more aware, concerned and active in meeting another’s needs than it does its own.  Love makes every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.  We soon learn through life’s experiences that even among other Christian not all are willing or wanting to reciprocate your love for them.  Most of us are aware that even in our own selves we often are acting out of our flesh or giving place to an ungodly spiritual influence or spirit.  When that is present we can be quite confrontational, unfriendly and irreconcilable.  When we encounter that reaction towards us from others, even if they are our brothers or sisters, we have to see it with spiritual eyes of love and discernment, not getting caught up in the spirit of division that is at work.  Often times we end up taking some punches we don’t deserve and in love we learn to turn the other check.  It is not about us being right or winning an argument.  It is about the love of God triumphing even in an ugly situation.  Many of us get caught up in our emotions and feelings and if that soulish part of us is not being tempered by the Spirit we will get off into the flesh and certainly will not be known by our love in those moments. 

The stream of God Spirit takes a lot of rough jagged rocks in the river bed and rubs them together until over time they become smooth stones.  That is what we are becoming those smooth stones, but the process is brought about by agitation, irritations, irregularities and confrontations.   It is  the Love of God that is the fluid that heals, blends, forgives and ultimately loves through us in the unity of one Spirit. Perfection takes a good deal of practice.  God has put us with one another to learn to practice His love.  God’s love should be what binds us together until we work out our differences and that may just be loving and accepting the other for where they are at.  God has us all on different rows and we at different places in our walk with Him.  Above all let the love of Christ prevail in our relationships.  If the world is ever to know us by our love, then they first have to see it in action in though our lives and behavior towards one another.

 

Blessings,

#kent

 

The Spirit that Sets Men Free

Mark 5:1-20

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!” 8For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”

9Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Here is the account of a man so possessed of unclean spirits that he was no longer his own.  It is obvious from the story that the man didn’t have the goods or the means to contain or control this unclean spirit.  They had tried to chain him and control him, but no man could control or tame Him.  He had become no more than a puppet controlled and tormented by the spirits that inhabited him.  How he must have longed for deliverance and no doubt cried out to God for it.  One day the prayers and the cries of that captive spirit were answered.  Jesus showed up at his front door among the tombs and the dead things.   This man lived in death and death surrounded him.  I believe it was the spirit in the man that ran to worship Jesus.  Here was the deliverer who could deliver him from his tormented state.  I believe the unclean spirits would have ran from Jesus, but here at last was the answer he had cried out for.  Does it not seem strange that Jesus just happened to pick this destination to go to this day?  Was it not the tormented cries of the man’s heart that brought Him there?  This man was the extreme case of demonic possession, a man filled with an army of demons.  One word spoken by Jesus brought these unclean spirits to their knees.  His presence brought them to cry out, for His very presence was their torment and caused them to quake with fear. 

Such is the One that abides in you and I.  When it is the Christ in us that speaks forth an anointed word, then hell and the devil are helpless to stop it.  Jesus showed even a measure of mercy to the unclean spirits by allowing them to go into the swine. 

Jesus brought hope, deliverance and salvation into a man’s life and situation where a moment before there had only been despair.  He is still doing that today and often times, those of us with surrendered hearts and the sensitivity to hear His voice might be the channels He would use to touch some life and bring the miracle that they so desperately need and are crying out for.  Where would He take your life today and how would He use you to bring the spirits of men together with the Spirit of God?  Jesus came to set the captive free.  It is His Spirit that He desires to unite us too and all others must be cast out.  He wants to give us back a right mind, even the mind of Christ.  He wants us to take the good news of what He has done for us and share it with others.  Go forth and bring to others the deliverance of His salvation and the good tidings of peace and joy.

 

Blessings,

#kent

Foundation for Faith

May 22, 2017

Foundation for Faith

Psalms 18:2

The LORD [is] my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, [and] my high tower. 

We find in life that often we are a self-filling prophecy.  We become and are shaped in the image of whom we think and believe that we are.  Maybe we started out in our lives doubtful, fearful, with a lack of confidence and very little faith in ourselves that we could do much of anything or be anything.  As long as we hold on to that mindset and it is coming through in our outward demeanor, do you think we will see much success in our lives?  If we don’t believe in ourselves, then how could we expect others to believe in us?  What if, on the other hand, we dare to believe all that God says about us and dare to believe all that He said He would be for us?  Now we have a foundation for success.  As we believe and then act upon that premise by faith and those beliefs, will our life change?  

King David was a man who is a prime example of one who spoke, sang and wrote what God was to His life.  Even in the deepest valleys of his life he dared not trust his soul, but rather He spoke out of His spirit and ministered to His soul the truths and the realities of God’s Word.  He was constantly meditating, and reminding Himself of the goodness of God, His faithfulness, His power, His salvation and all of the attributes and benefits of God and His nature.  This is what makes the Psalms so powerful.  They are Spirit anointed sonnets and songs of who God is and why life is worth the living because He is in it.  David would recite the Word of God and encourage His soul.  His faith would then lay hold of the truth that He spoke and begin to act upon it.  

Many of us see ourselves as weak, untalented, insignificant people.  That may be you and I outside of Christ, but what can we be in Christ?  Are there any limitations to what God can do in and through us, except in our own mind and thinking?   The foundation of faith is wrapping our mind and heart around God’s Word, assimilating it into our hearts and speaking into our doubtful and fearful souls.  It is so often good just to pray the Psalms, reading and speaking them to God as if they were your own.  It will inspire faith in your heart and courage to your soul as it did for David.  

Who is the Lord and what is that to me?  When we answer that question we find the foundation for our faith.  Upon that foundation we can build a successful life, for our confidence is in Him who is able to do abundantly more than we can even ask or think.  

What is the foundation of your life today?   Is it the Rock or is it the sand?

Blessings,

#kent

How much does Your Sin Cost Me?

James 4:1-6

1What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

    4You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?[a] 6But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:  “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

We know that Jesus paid the price for our sin and the spiritual, eternal consequences they reap.  We know that through faith and calling upon the name of Jesus we can partake of the free gift of His great salvation and goodness.  We know also that through the power of His life that comes to reside within us we can overcome the strongholds and the power of the sin that has operated in our lives.  We also know that even though Jesus paid the price, sin still operates in our world and unfortunately it still operates in us as believers where we give it place.  Sin has natural consequences as well as spiritual ones.  As we survey our world we have no trouble seeing the devastating effects of sin that touches every life on this planet.  While God is merciful to forgive our sins, that sin still produces consequences.  It produces its fruit of destruction and death.  The sad thing about sin, whether it is ours or someone else’s, it doesn’t just cost us, it cost all who are touched by it.  Sin is like a rock thrown into a pond, it produces a big splash where it lands, but it also produces ripples that go out in all directions.  This begs the question, how much will your sin cost me and how much will my sin cost you? 

People ask the question, “How could a loving God allow war, hunger, sickness, disease, poverty and crime?”  I guess it could be said, because He loved us enough to give humanity a free will to make choices whether they were for Him or against Him.  The state of our world is the fruit of many poor choices where man chose sin over God.  God has loved us so much, that in spite of all those wrong choices and in spite of the ones we continue to make we have a way back to Him; back to His righteousness and perfect plan.  Meanwhile, as long we continue in this present evil age of man’s doing the consequences of sin will follow us. 

What does that mean to us on a personal level?  What happens for instance when a person allows alcohol or drug addiction to get a hold of their lives.  The hook is often innocent enough, but the underlying consequences are horrific.  How many of our lives have been affected by these.  A person lusts so much after these strongholds that they will cheat, steal, lie, con and they will become all the things that they once hated and detested in others.  They will beat the wife they say they love, they will abuse their precious children, they rob from their family to feed and satisfy their addiction and even though they hate themselves for it they can’t stop their destructive course.  They go on to beg, borrow, steal, and con their friends, family and loved ones, because of their lack.  They will loose their jobs, their reputation, their self-respect, their dignity and integrity until they either get help or completely destroy all that they had loved and held dear.  They will cost those closest to them untold grief, heartache, pain in many ways: financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually and every other way.  That ripple will continue to radiate out and affect others even beyond their personal relationships.  How many thousands and millions of dollars does it cost a society because of crime and sin.  People are victimized and hurt continually because of someone else’s sin. 

How much does divorce, unfaithful and broken relationships cost, not only financially, but in terms of suffering, heartbreak, anger, unwillingness to forgive and shattered lives and hearts.  That is something nearly everyone has been touched by since it effects about half of our marriages today; all of it the result of our sin and selfishness.  How much will your sin cost me?  It doesn’t just cost you, it cost everyone around you.  If sin has a stronghold on you, get help!  As painful and humiliating as that may be, it is nothing compared to what your sin will reap.  Remember God loves you.  He is for you and not against you, but He will not make your choices for you.  Only you and I can make right choices.  Let us humble ourselves and return to Him, that we may receive His grace before it cost us all more that we want to pay.

Blessings,

#kent

Unruly Thoughts

May 10, 2017

2 Corinthians 10:5

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;

Unruly Thoughts

Flittering mind and wandering thoughts,

Where do I get some of these thoughts that I got?

Imaginations and daydreams catch me away,

Foreign thinking creeps in even when I pray.

Help me cast down these imaginations contrary to You,

Fill my heart with right thinking, thoughts pure and true.

Distractions are like flies buzzing all around,

They draw our attention with their annoying sounds.

Lord quiet me in the spirit of my mind,

There, the tranquility of Your Word, let me find.

Please, let no unclean thought or thing enter in,

Keep my thoughts from impurity and sin.

Let this mind be in me that is in You,

Blood washed and Spirit renewed,

Spirit elevate my thinking to be from above,

Purpose in my heart those thoughts birthed in love.

The mind of Christ is the mind I desire,

That I might deliver my thinking from the muck and the mire.

Help me when I walk in the midst of the world,

That ungodly thoughts and words are not unfurled.

Renew my mind and be the meditation of my heart,

Search me Holy Spirit and cleanse every part. 

Lord, set my mind on things above,

Catch my thoughts up on the wings of Your dove.

Deliver me from this flittering little mind that wanders.

Upon Your Word and all Your precepts may I ponder.

Keep my heart and mind in this dusty world that I trod,

‘May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart,

Be acceptable unto You, Oh God.’

Kent Stuck

The Economy of the Kingdom

Matthew 19:21

Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.

Most of us are familiar with the story of the rich young ruler who came to Jesus and ask the question, “What must I do to have eternal life”?  Jesus’ first response was you must keep the commandments.  Our obedience to God’s Word is our first call to God’s eternal life.  The rich young ruler felt that he had fully embraced this requirement as he replies, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”  I would submit to you that this rich young ruler was not so unlike many of us.  We love God; we try to obey God, what more do we need to do?  In order to answer that question, we must ask ourselves, where is the seat of our affections?  If we are honest about this many of us choose to remain blind or unwilling to acknowledge that we have strong affections for earthly things, but most of us do. 

Jesus told the rich young ruler in our scripture for today, “If thou wilt be perfect, go [and] sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come [and] follow me.”   When the Holy Spirit starts touching the seat of our affection we start to squirm uncomfortably in our seats, because we like our comfort zone.  What Jesus presented to this young man was the cross.  In it He would loose all to gain the treasures of heaven.  Our mentality usually follows the principle that, ‘a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’.  Our natural man doesn’t want to let go of what he has gained and thinks that he possesses.  The hardest principle for me to grasp is that the spirit of God and His abundance flows when I let go and release back what He has placed in my hand.  One of the greatest stumbling blocks for the people of God through the ages has been that when God began to bless them with abundance, like many in this country are experiencing now, they came into their most dangerous and vulnerable time spiritually.  It is a cycle that has repeated itself many times over through history.  When we are rich, fat and happy, we quickly start to forget where all this wealth and blessing came from.  We start filling up our barns or bank accounts and pretty soon we start thinking “I’m a pretty shrewd fella, look what I have accomplished in my life and how rich I have made myself.”  Guess who we start to forget in our comfort zone?  Jesus is giving all of us a principle here we would do well to practice and remember.  We don’t any of us have anything that He didn’t give us in the first place and all that He gave us is to be for His glory not ours.  God loves to bless His children, but all of us as parents know what a brat we would raise if the child were given everything their heart desired and it cost them nothing.  There is nothing we have of ourselves that we could adequately give to God, but God has blessed us with gifts of sacrifice.  He placed within our hands, our voices, and our hearts gifts that we can keep solely and selfishly for ourselves or that we can give back to Him.  The economy and wealth in God’s kingdom is in the giving, not in the getting.  That is why Jesus tells us, “And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. (Mark 10:44).”

In Matthew 19:22-24 we read of the young man’s response to Jesus and what Jesus has to say about it. “But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”  He was a godly young man and had much going for him spiritually, but he, like many of us, wasn’t willing to embrace the cross and pay the price of discipleship. We love God and want to have a close relationship with Him, but when we ask Him how and He touches the seat of our affections, how many of us back away and say anything but that Lord.  It can be a person, a possession or even a stronghold in our lives.  Are we willing to come and truly say from the depths of our heart, “I surrender all”?   If we want to enter the next level of entering in and inheriting the treasures of heaven we must be willing to fully release our treasures of earth.  Just remember no one has ever out given God yet.  We must decide if we are to invest in this world or that which is to come.  We must learn the principle that God has created us to be rivers and channels of His blessing, not lakes and dams.  It is in the giving that we receive, in the serving we are blessed and in the death to self that we experience resurrection life.  This is the paradox and the economy of the Kingdom.

blessings,

#kent

Christian Behavior

April 24, 2017

Romans 12:9-21

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore“ If your enemy is hungry, feed him;If he is thirsty, give him a drink;

For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Christian Behavior

This passage is a basic guideline and checklist for the behavior and attitude that we should be living out of in Christ.  You will notice that all of its tenants are based on walking in love toward your fellow man and the saints of God.  Its first point is to let your love be without hypocrisy.  How often do we mask our true feelings with a smile and outward show of love and piety?  It is important that we be honest and transparent with one another even when our feelings or attitudes aren’t right.  Love doesn’t mean that we hide them or ignore them, but that we deal with them.  If our heart or our attitude is wrong then we must be willing to confess that and address it in order to correct it.  If someone else’s heart and attitude are wrong then we, in humility and love are honest with them about what we see.  Our function as the body of Christ is not to sit in judgement on one another, but to help each other.  There are things you see about me that I may be totally blind too, if you don’t help me in love then how am I suppose to know?  We all need the capacity and openness to receive correction as well as give it.  None of us are yet perfect or have all of the answers.  That is the reason that we function as a body and not as individuals.  Our end purpose is to fulfill what this passage in Romans 12 is exhorting us to do, basically walk in love toward all men.  Allow God to deal with those who abuse us with evil.  We are exhorted to walk as much in love toward our enemies as we do our brethren, but it does tells us to prefer one another.

We also notice that our Christian walk is not just a passive living.  It has purpose and direction.   It tells us to not be lacking in diligence, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfast in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints and given to hospitality.  We are processing and distribution centers for God’s love to flow through.  We have a relationship with the Lord and receive of His love and blessing so that we can process that through our lives and distribute it to the lives of those around us.  As we are each faithful to do this we meet the needs in one another and in our fellow man.  It is in this healthy relationship with God and man that others will see the love of God flowing through our lives and we will be fulfilling our purpose and calling in Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Eyes upon the Lord

April 21, 2017

Psalms 121

Lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD,

the Maker of heaven and earth. 3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

What a privilege we have when we are in Christ.  Yes, the sun still shines on the just and the unjust alike, just like we all experience the storms of life as well.  When we are brought face to face with mortality and death looks back at us in the mirror, what a hopeless and empty feeling must be in those who do not have a relationship with Christ and know not where their help and their life comes from.  The loving arms of the Father are so awesome as He envelopes His own and draws them near to His heart.  When we can read scriptures like Psalms 121 and know in our hearts that our mighty God loves and cares for us so much, what a feeling of security and comfort that brings us.  We all have our bumps, spills and hurts in life.  It is inherent in the world we live in.  We live in a world that is still reaping the consequences of sin, but within us beats a resurrection, new creation, heart.  A heart that longs after God and has the assurance that nothing that we go through in life we must go through alone.  He is our Comforter, our Abba Father.  He feels and knows our heart.  He recognizes the frailty of frame, that we are dust.  In these few brief moments that we tread this earth, we have found the joy of a life with purpose and fulfillment in Christ.  What we have found in Christ, even physical death can not take that away from us, but simply releases our spirit from this earthen vessel so that we may come fully into His presence. 

We have come to know that physical death is not our greatest fear, but spiritual death, a life devoid of God’s Spirit and relationship with Him; that is the greatest tragedy of all.  Without Him what do we have but emptiness of soul, of purpose and a life that can only be lived for the present?  Without Him we only have the vain philosophies, religions and the devices of men.   What a sad and empty place to find ourselves in and then we die to face what?

It should never cease to astound us nor should we ever fail to appreciate the Lord and give Him praise for what a blessed and rich people we are who have come to know Christ.  We are not any better than the rest of the world in our own right, but God’s grace and salvation has and is taking us to levels of richness and blessing that we can not even fully comprehend. 

When we face adversity, trials and even death in our lives, we have a hope that is so precious to us.  It is our Lord we can cling too, depend upon and hope in.  He is not just a crutch for weak-minded Christians as the world may mockingly say; He is the substance of our life.  All that we now are is rooted and grounded in Him.  Whether we live or die we are the Lord’s.  The assurance we have in Christ is the Peace that Jesus spoke of that the world can not give. 

As you lift your eyes today, remember where your help comes from.  The Father loves you with a deep and unconditional love.  Your life is hid with Christ in God.  The world can never know the hope, the assurance and the security that we have because we are His own.  You are the apple of your Father’s eye.  He loves you.  He is proud of you and He sees the righteousness of His Son in you.  We are a very blessed and privileged people.  Never forget or lose sight of who you are and all that is yours in Christ. 

Thank You Father!  Thank You Jesus!

Blessings,

#kent

Joy comes in the Morning

April 20, 2017

Psalms 30:5

For his anger [endureth but] a moment; in his favour [is] life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy [cometh] in the morning. 

Joy comes in the Morning

You know the more hopeless the world becomes the richer our hope in Christ remains.  It would not be difficult at all to fall into despair and worry at the condition of our world and the direction it is going.  In the world’s view and those who wield the power of this age, we are but minor pawns in the game to be manipulated and used to whatever suits their purpose and fits their fancy.  What they don’t see is that we are God’s hidden ones.  What God has deposited in us in this age is something they can only try to control and destroy, but they can not pluck that which is God’s out of His hand.  There is still only One that remains sovereign and supreme over all.  There is only One who is unchangeable and moveable.  He is the rock of our salvation and the one that gives us our blessed hope in this perverse generation.  He will correct us and we will know the rod of His displeasure, but the Lord will forgive our transgressions when we repent and turn to Him.  There will be weeping and sorrow through the night, but our God doesn’t leave us without hope and redemption.  After we have endured the Lord’s indignation and have repented, the Lord brings us joy in the morning and hope because He still loves us and whom He loves He chastens.  

I watched a documentary film the other night about all the different ones that control us as a people.  It started by denouncing religion as one of them and how the same events that distinguished Jesus, such as the time of His birth, His death and resurrection, His miracles and virgin birth, were a product of the same myth that had been found in the histories of many great past societies and civilizations who worshipped god’s with very similar attributes.  If we know some of our biblical history we know that those myths began to be perpetrated with Nimrod back the time of Babel.  Satan always has his counterfeits, but the world often has difficulty discerning between the counterfeit and the real.  Our confidence we have today in Christ doesn’t stand so much in what we know in our heads; it stands on the knowing we have in our hearts.  It is the relationship I have with Christ that fully convinces me of His reality, not just what I read and hear.  It is much like that old song chorus that goes, “You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.”  The world doesn’t know Him and as a result they don’t know us.  1 John 3:1-3 tells us, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”  There are men that rule by an antichrist spirit that controls and manipulates the affairs of this world and are bring it to its destined course.  What is happening is what has already been laid and out revealed in the Word of God.  There is nothing of the affairs of this world that catches our God by surprise.  He already knows the end from the beginning.  We are a part of His divine plan if we hold fast to His truth and refused to be moved and dissuaded by those who would rob you of your life and faith.  

Here is the warning that 1 John 4:1-6 gives to us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 

4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood.”  The anti-Christ spirit has been at work even from the foundation of the true church.  John teaches us how to recognize it and not be deceived by it.  Know with confidence who you are in Christ and then live accordingly.  Don’t allow the despair and despondency of this world to rock your boat, because you carry the precious life giving cargo of  “Christ in You, the hope of glory”.  Rejoice as you see the time growing near.  This is God’s greatest hour for those whose lives are hid in Him.  

Blessings,

#kent

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