Temptation

September 19, 2019

Mark 26:21

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak.

 

Temptation

 

Temptation seems to always want to come and visit us in our weakest moments, entice us with its sweetest fruit and numb us to the consequences of its poison.  Lust and desire are strong aphrodisiacs no matter what level or place in life they come to us.  They always seek to turn our heads from who we are in Christ to who we were.  In Genesis 3 we see the beguiler as he comes to rationalize with Eve that what God said wasn’t so and God just didn’t want her to partake of what would make her like Him.  God warned Cain in Genesis 6, “… sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it.”  We all, like Cain and those that have gone before us, are often caught up in our mind, will and emotions where we rationalize and court sin.  It so often starts so subtly with the innocent and seemingly harmless things, just like a fish playing with the bait on a hook until before we know it the hook is set and we are being reeled into the depths of sin that can lead us to strongholds and addictions.

In our passage from Mark 26, Jesus sees this happening even to His own disciples as He cautions them, “watch and pray”.  Like them, many of us go through a time of spiritual victory and strength where we tend to let down our guard and think we are no longer vulnerable to the temptations of sin.  What Jesus speaks to His disciples; He speaks to us.  “Be vigilant, watchful and mindful of the cunning strategies of the enemy.  Your spirit may be strong and willing, but your flesh may not have the resolve that you think that you have in your spirit.  Given opportunity, it will want to indulge itself in those areas where it is weak and vulnerable.

Our spirit, in unity with God’s spirit is the strength we have to reign in the flesh with its desires.  While we no longer have that appetite for sin, we all fall prey to it at various time and in various ways.  What we all now have confidence in, is that even if we make a mistake, we no longer live in the realm of the law of sin and death, but in the realm of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  We know that in Christ we have an advocate with the Father, who, ever lives to make intercession for us and if we fail. 1 John 1:5-8  reminds us of the message we have from Christ:  “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”

God warns us even about the company we keep.  Where our hearts are, our actions will follow.  2 Corinthians 6:14 -18 exhorts us, ” Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? 15What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? 16What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.

17″Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing,

and I will receive you.”

18″I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

While we minister the love and righteousness of God to the world, it is no longer the place of our fellowship or abiding.  We are a people separated out of the world and unto Him, so our affections are set on things above and no longer of things beneath.  It is as we maintain the identity of, not who we were, but who we have now come into, that we live in Christ through the power of His Word and Life.  We are no longer conformed to this world as Romans 12 tells us, but we are transformed through the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus.

Remember that the war that you are in, is not one of flesh and blood.  The enemy is as 1 Peter 5:8 warns us, ” Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  He is looking for our places of weakness and vulnerability.  And Jesus says, the mission statement of the devil is “to kill, steal and destroy.”  He will always entice you through logic and lust into sin and then condemn you for it.  Ephesians 6:10-18 reminds us that we are in a war and not a casual relationship with this world and the spirits that seek to rule it.  “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

We must not only be mindful of ourselves, but pray and watch out for one another.  The enemy is always trying to catch us on our blindside and your brother may be able to see what you have been blinded too.  Let us watch one another’s back in love, not in judgement or condemnation.  Together we stand as one man to defeat our foe and overcome temptation.  We need to watch and pray, not only for ourselves, but for one another.  Together we must stand helping, ministering and exhorting one another to be strong, resisting the devil so that he will flee from us.  The serpent only feeds on dust.  Your dust has been redeemed through the cross so that you walk no longer in the former dust and lust of your flesh, but live out of the life of the Spirit of Christ in you.  In that place he has nothing to feed upon.

Blessings,

#kent

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Ethics of the Kingdom

September 18, 2019

Luke 3:7-14

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 9The axe is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10″What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

11John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”

12Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

13″Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told

them. 14Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”

 

Ethics of the Kingdom

 

It is interesting to see here that John the Baptist’s message was not unlike Jesus and His Sermon on the Mount.  John was already teaching practical kingdom principles of behavior and conduct.  People from different walks of life were asking John what they needed to do after they had repented of their sins and been baptized.

We, as the body of Christ, transformed by the power of Christ, still often find ourselves in a quandary concerning our business, financial and ethical dealings.  We most often work in the midst of the world around us and can easily be influenced and adopt those paradigms and business practices that are not kingdom.  Human nature is to normally do what best benefits you.  Am I right?

Kingdom living principles are well expressed in Philippians 2:1-11.  “If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

5Your 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.”

We can easily see that kingdom principles run counter to the competitive, ‘dog eat dog’ world that we live in today.  The principles of the world are self-serving, but the principles of Christ are considering the interest of others before myself.  If we want to know and see kingdom principles in action we need to go no further than to look at the King Himself.  He was everything, yet came to us as nothing, that He might impart unto us all the riches of His kingdom.  I’ll never forget hearing what a speaker said many years ago that summarized it so well.  “The Son of God became the Son of man, so that the son’s men could become the sons of God.”  Jesus could have come to make Himself rich and powerful, but that wasn’t His mission.  His mission was to seek and save that which was lost and give His life as a ransom for all.  In that mission He is redeeming a kingdom of kings and priests that will display His likeness and glory.  As we walk in discipleship and relationship with Christ we are putting on His nature as His character is being worked within us.

I feel convicted that the Holy Spirit wants each of us to examine which paradigm and mindset we may be operating under.  How often do we use the devices, manipulation, and wisdom of this world for our own gain, while we often ignore what is in the best interests of others?  For many of us, our method of operation (MO) has become so instilled in us that we aren’t even aware of how we may be very similar in doing the same things these tax collectors and soldiers were doing before they came to repentance.  Many of us don’t really consider how much we still operate out of worldly principles, because it is the way of the marketplace.  Now, He wants us to observe ourselves and consider if we, as a kingdom people, are operating our lives and businesses out of kingdom principles?  Let’s ask Him to put His finger on the areas we are out of alignment with His will as we prayerfully go about our business.

Especially in these difficult times it is hard not to be concerned about the bottom line, but we know that there is a higher road to greater blessing.  Let us consider our ways and turn toward it.

Blessings,

#kent

Effects of Corruption

September 17, 2019

 

Effects of Corruption

 

Galatians 6:8

For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

 

In this day and age many of us deal with computers.  They are a great tool and instrument of help anda  blessing to our lives as long as they are working properly.  When something starts to go south they can become a tremendous source of frustration.  Sometimes we experience a corruption in our software and it may start as a minor glitch, but it rarely gets better on its own and left to itself it could eventually affect and shutdown our whole system.

The effects of sin work much the same way in us.  When we give place to areas of sin in our lives it is often minor at first, but the more we feed it, the hungrier it gets.  Little by little it leads us down a path of greater and greater corruption.  It is like a cancer that may manifest in one area of our body.  Left unattended it can grow and spread till it can affect other areas of the body as well.  It can overtake us to point that we begin to lose moral compass and control over its direction.  Often times, the Holy Spirit will deal with us about it and even send others into our life to exhort us and warn us of our corruption.  The corruption of sin can again rule over us if it is given place and allowed to have dominion.  That sin will eventually manifest itself to the point that it can be spiritually life threatening and totally destructive to our lives.  That which we sought to hide in the corner may be suddenly shouted from housetops and we can find ourselves publicly naked and humiliated.  Those that once admired us may now despise us because of the reproach our corruption has brought upon us.  All that we had spent years building in reputation and integrity can be destroyed in a moment.  It is vitally important that we judge ourselves, lest we be judged.  Whom the Lord loves He chastens.

If we find corruption in our lives, our remedy is repentance, changing our mind and going the other direction.  This isn’t always easy because of the stronghold that sin can have upon us.  We may well need to humble ourselves and go to other mature members of the body of Christ to help us in these areas of bondage and corruption.  Freedom from corruption will first begin to come with our decision and commitment to get free from it.  We may need some help and deliverance, but we still have the power of Christ within to enable us to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh.  Perhaps there is corruption at work in many of us that we need to deal with, confess, and get deliverance from, that we might live a life of liberty and freedom in Christ.

Blessings,

#kent

War in the Heavens

September 16, 2019

 

War in the Heavens

 

 

Ephesians 6:10-13

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 

We experience most of our world through the realm of the five senses.  Based on the input from our senses our brain evaluates that information and outputs response accordingly.  In Christ we come to realize that there is a sixth sense, if you will, that must be developed and exercised.  It is spiritual discernment.  We come to realize that not everything that pertains to life is contained in the natural realm.  Even the natural world recognizes this as evidenced by all the movies that have their basis on spirit and paranormal type of experiences.  Most are perversions of the truth and yet they have some basis of truth in them.  They often center on the fact that there are evil spirits and influences in the world.  While many of the movies are made to create an atmosphere of fear, God wants to create in us an atmosphere of faith and confidence in His Word, and authority through that Word.  God wants His people to be as aware and cognizant of the spiritual realm as we are of the natural realm.  In this earth, through our natural life, we operate out of both realms.  The Spirit and the Word are constantly teaching us how one impacts the other.  Paul is exhorting in this passage to put on a spiritual armor and he goes on to tell what that consist of.  He is letting us know that we are engaging in an arena of spiritual battle that is not flesh and blood, but it well can manifest itself through flesh and blood.  Just as we are yielded to the Spirit of God and the Spirit can move through us to impact our natural world the same is true of the spirit of evil.  Through our faith and prayer life we are actively engaging these forces and are often feeling their resistance.  It is usually when you are really committed to God and living for Him that we begin to feel the evidence of that resistance and opposition to us the most.  This is why Paul is exhorting us not to go out unprepared or without spiritual armor.  It is essential to our being able to stand in the battle.

There is a war going on the heavenlies of our mind today.  We are being attacked constantly and often quite subtly by the powers of darkness.  The enemy is constantly seeking to exploit our weaknesses and desires to gain entrance for the purpose of undermining our walk and relationship with Christ.  It is something we can not take for granted or become complacent about or sin springs up and reaps an evil and destructive harvest in our lives.  Learn what it is to apply the spiritual armor found in Ephesians 6:14-18 and stand, not afraid, but ever watchful of the enemy of your soul and destroyer of your faith.

Blessings,

#kent

Joy Cometh in the Morning

September 13, 2019

 

Joy Cometh in the Morning

 

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.

 

Where is your life spiritually today?  Would you characterize it as nighttime or daytime?  Most all of us, who have been walking in Christ for a time, know that we go through seasons in a spiritual sense.  There are times we go through such close intimate times with our Lord and sense His presence and love in such a wonderful way and then there are those nighttime experiences.  It may come as a result of allowing sin to come into our lives.  It may be the result of God’s chastening or dealings in our lives.  It may be through persecution or tribulation.   Whatever the reason it is nighttime experience, one in which we fail to sense God’s presence in our soul.  Our prayers may seem hollow and of none effect.  These are times when spiritually we cry out for God, perhaps it is in these times we really begin to seek God’s help, His presence, His deliverance through a trial or tribulation we are facing.  There are times our lives can feel pretty bleak.  Our circumstances are overtaking us.  Where is God?

King David experienced this nighttime ordeal before He became King.  Psalm 30:7-9 says, ”

LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, [and] I was troubled. I cried to thee, O LORD; and unto the LORD I made supplication.  What profit [is there] in my blood, when I go down to the pit? Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth? Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper.”  Perhaps you and I have prayed prayers similar to this.  One thing that is so admirable about David and I think a spiritual key to us overcoming in these dark times is that David, no matter how low, remembered the goodness and the faithfulness of GodHe continually brought God’s promises and His benefits before the Lord in his prayers and psalms.   And he never ceased to praise and thank God even in those dark times.  He was quite honest with God about what he was going through and the emotions that wanted to overtake him, but he always brought his thoughts and focus back to a place of faith in the faithfulness of God.  We may go through some long nights that may go for years, but learn those principles that David learned.  They will sustain you in those times. David even says an interesting thing in this passage, he says, ” by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face.”  Have you ever thought of your mountain as favor from God?  Remember that what God is allowing in your life is designed to press you into Him.  He wants us to learn and trust Him for who He is, not what He can do for us.  This is the place of maturing faith where the rubber meets the road.  God has to become very real to us or we give up and turn away.  God is processing us through the hardships of our life.   “The trial of your faith is much more precious than Gold” (1 Peter 1:7a)

In this scripture David says “joy does come in the morning”, our trials, darkness and seeming separation from God won’t last forever.  He is faithful to bring us through if we faithfully hold fast to Him.  David’s next expression after talking of how severe the trial says, “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that [my] glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”

If you are in your night season, don’t be discouraged, have hope, God has not forsaken you.  He is proving you and bringing you into whom you really are in Him.  Stand the test, stay the course, for joy comes in the morning

Blessings,

#kent

Kingdom of Heaven  (Part 3)

A Matter of the Heart

 

Mathew 13:19

While anyone is hearing the Word of the kingdom and does not grasp and comprehend it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the roadside.

 

“Our mind must bring our mortal man into agreement with who we are as a spiritual being.”  Jesus likens the gospel of the kingdom unto a seed planted in the ground.  The type of soil that it falls into has everything to do with its success in taking root, growing up and bearing fruit.  This has to do with the condition of our hearts.  In this parable from Mathew 13 Jesus describes a number of conditions in which the seed doesn’t take root or if it does, why it doesn’t remain and become fruitful.

Our hearts, spiritually speaking, are made up of our soul and spirit.  We have already discussed how Christ came to reside in our spirits when we asked him into our hearts.  Our souls are made up of our mind, will and emotions.  These constitute how we relate to the Lord both initially and throughout our relationship with Christ.  It is the realm of the soul wherein lies the battle for the kingdom of heaven.  A person who has received Christ and given themselves to God, has the desire to press in with their soul and possess what they already possess in the spirit.  This is what the Bible terms walking in the Spirit.  What was not possible before, is now made possible because of the power of Christ in us.  Romans 8:2-5 puts it in this perspective, “2For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. 3For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], 4So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit]. 5For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and  seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit.”  Self has been dethroned and Christ has been enthroned in our hearts.  We now operate under the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.  What we could not do in ourselves, Christ has done for us, so it is now a matter of bringing the soul into alignment with the law that has been written upon our hearts.  It is the law of the kingdom and the Holy Spirit is its administrator.

In this lower realm of heaven where the souls of natural men abide we find that there is still a war going on for our souls.  In this realm we find principalities, powers and rulers of darkness still in operation and launching assaults first to keep us from coming into the kingdom of God, but then once we have, there is still the assaults to rob it from us.  It is our soul that is caught between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light.  The difference is that now that we are in Christ, we are equipped with spiritual armor, the Word of God and the power of God to do battle with this enemy of our soul.  Still there is a responsibility that lies with each of God’s children to utilize what God has provided us.  There is the need for continual vigilance to align our minds and our thinking with the mind of Christ and the Word of God.  If satan can deceive or get a hold of our minds then he can pull us down from our relationship and intimacy with Christ.  He can pervert and pollute our walk and put us again under the bondage of the flesh.  He desires to bring us back again under the mindset of the law of sin and death.  On one hand he seeks to corrupt us and on the other he seeks to condemn us when we step in his corruption.  The more condemnation we feel and give place too the less faith we have to lay hold of God’s promises and His Word.  There is a war in the heavenlies of our soul.  In this realm of the kingdom of heaven the battle is still going on.  We are in it and we must be mindful of it.  Ephesians 6:10-18 exhorts us, “In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. 11Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. 13Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. 14Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, 15And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace, 16Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. 17And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. 18Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).”  Proverbs 4:23 reminds us, “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.”

The soul is the spiritual battleground where the war must be won and the kingdom of God established.  Christ has given us the victory and He has sat down at the right hand of the Father till His enemies be made His footstool.  We are the feet and the body that must carry out the victory and establish the kingdom of heaven in this earth through the power of Christ within.

Blessings,

#kent

God’s Working

September 11, 2019

Psalms 95:6

Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker

 

 

God’s Working

 

Let us come, worship and bow down before the Lord, our God, our Maker.

In His presence is joy for evermore and the peace that passes all understanding.  Come before Him with gladness, singing; making a joyful noise and melody in your hearts.  The privilege of our eternity is to stand in the great hall of His presence, singing, “Holy, Holy , Holy to the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is and who is to come.”

Father paints the landscape of eternity with the beauty of His creation.  Lavishly and wonderfully He creates from the mega to the miro and into universes we have yet to see or know.  Only the mind of the Spirit in us can comprehend the height, depth and width of His love and the magnitude of His greatness.  To the human mind, it is off the charts.  How foolishly we so often try to fit God in the box of our understanding and limitations.  Invariably He never fits the box or the formulas we try to equate Him too.  Even His Word, we have pared and interpreted with the limitations of our insight and understanding.  Father wants us to walk in the light of what we know and understand, but never be limited to that place, for to do so is to sentence one’s self to ignorance and dogma.  God is the God of truth, but the light of that truth, burns so much brighter than our capacity to fully apprehend it.  Even as God is bringing us from glory to glory in the light of understanding, revelation and transformation; God, Himself ever increases from glory to glory and we have the privilege of being His awesome children.

Let us never boast in ourselves or of ourselves, for any greatness in us is the reflection and outshining of our Father.

Oh, how we get our eyes upon the rudimentary elements of this world.  Our fixed gaze is upon the temporal rather than the eternal.  All that Christ is in us so transcends all that we covet and hold of value upon this earth.

The gold of God, are the souls of men.  That gold He is always mining through us as we reach out and proclaim the good news of His reconciliation through Christ Jesus.  As He mines from the earth, He begins in us the processing to refine our ore into pure fine gold.  It is a lifelong process, of crushing, taking us through the fires of afflictions and removing the impurity that has been impregnated into our lives.  He hammers us, shapes and molds and yet through all of this destructive-creative process He looks upon us with joy and longing.  While the processing’s can be severe at times, He never allows our spirit to be crushed, but remains like the diamond in the center of us that withstands and shines more brightly through every level of processing.  As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”  Here is the principle of Eternal Perspective.  The temporary is the place of preparation for the eternal.  If we are only temporal or earthly minded, then we will miss the greater picture of God’s plan and design for us.  The earth is filled with the inhabitants that only know to live for the here and now, when they even know, in a moment is will all pass away. Such is not the case for we who have hope, for we see that is not the things of earth that matter, but again, like Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 says, ” Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

We are a heavenly citizenship, called and set apart for heavenly purpose.  Therefore, our purpose is not in expressing our will, our desire or ambitions; it is in the expression of Father’s and those things which He has placed within each one of us for His glory.  Jesus tells us, ‘don’t worry about these earthly things.  Your Father already knows what you a have need of.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.’  You see when earthly wealth and allure are not our focus, but only the Father, His purpose and will; then Father is able to release into our stewardship the things of this world, because they no longer possess us, but we possess them and know how to steward them for Father’s glory and honor.

Father is our Treasure!  He is what we live and breath each breath for.  Let us get so caught up in Him that nothing of this world matters except that which pertains to His purpose and direction.  ‘We are the light of the world and a city set upon the hill can not be hid.  So let your lights so shine among men. ‘

Blessings,

#kent

Our Balanced Position

September 10, 2019

 

Our Balanced Position

 

Philippians 4:19

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

 

All of us know what an old wooden wagon wheel looks like with a hub and spokes that extend out to the outer wheel.  We also know that in order for that wheel to be round and true, all of those spokes have to be of equal length and strength.  If any of those spokes were broken, or too short or too long then our wheel would be out of round and lopsided.   God’s character, truth and provision are much the same way in the way we perceive it and incorporate it into our lives.  Many of the more mature Christians reading this can look back over their walk and probably identify times and areas of their lives that were out of balance.  Many of us have areas in our lives like that right now, but may not even realize it.  Many times when God brings us into the revelation of a truth, it is like this is the greatest thing God could ever do and we take off running with new revelation as it were the whole package in itself.  The reality is that it is a spoke of Truth and not the whole wheel.  It is in these times that we tend to get out of balance, as we are more extreme in one area than another.  Many of our denominations are built and operate out of this premise that we have more of a truth or revelation of God than another does.

We could debate about what is the greatest gifts of the Spirit, or what is the greatest area of ministry or who is the greatest in the body of Christ, or what is the greatest truth of God’s word.  The truth is simply that it is ‘the one most needed at the time’.  All of God’s truth, provisions, the attributes that distinguish His character, whether it is as our savior, healer, provider, deliverer, strength, protector, and all that God encompasses is contained in the hub of who He is.  God is a never-ending circle of completion and fulfillment of all our need.  We don’t have “needs”.  We have one need and that is for our God.  If we possess God and He possesses us then all of our need is supplied according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.  Wherever we lack in our natural man, our God can supply that need.  Whenever that wagon wheel runs over a rock or bump that tries to compress that wheel by bringing specific pressure to bear, all of the spokes work together to provide strength and unity to provide that the wheel retains its roundness.

In 1 Corinthians 12:4-7 it says, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.” We see that there are many diversities in the Spirit, but the Spirit is the one they all originate from and the “manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”  From this analogy it is not hard to see how each of us are like the spokes in the wheel of God’s body.  As we operate out of the Spirit we all supply one another’s needs according to the gift that God has given us.  Each one of us is essential and important in the economy of God.  If we are failing to live in the destiny and purpose of God for our lives then we are throwing things out of balance.  Needs may not be met because we are the missing link and spoke to carry out God’s purpose and plan.  The balance in our walk and in our faith is seeing that all of God’s truth is essential as God’s Word and power is being made alive and having expression, through us His body.  As we dwell in the Spirit of unity and love, everyone’s need is met; balance is complete as we realize that all parts are needed to complete the whole.   “Our God shall supply all of your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Blessings,

#kent

The Place of Loss

September 9, 2019

Job 1:20-22

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

22In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.

 

 

The Place of Loss

 

 

A very real and painful part of life is sometimes losing the things we have most loved.   Loss has many faces.  It can be a loved one, a marriage, a child, a job, a dream, health, possessions or a loss of an identity in who we thought we were or what we thought we had.  Loss has many faces, but when it touches those areas in our heart that are most dear, it is most painful.

As Christians we are certainly not immune from the experience of loss.  We know how we view loss, but how does God view lose and why does He allow it to touch our lives. Often the losses in our lives, though painful, are necessary to make way for the new chapters that are yet to be written and the purposes that are yet to be fulfilled.

We are line of sight people operating primarily out of what we can see immediately before us.  We don’t have the wisdom and council of God to see the end from the beginning and know why things had to happen as they did.  In our shallow minds and the infancy of our understanding we often become angry and disillusioned with God.  We begin to believe the enemy’s lies that He is against us and not for us.  We begin to believe that perhaps our faith is a sham and we have just become the laughing stock of all who look upon our lives.  Perhaps all we can see is failure, disappointment and loss.

What do you think Job saw when all that he loved and cared for was taken from him in a day and then even his own body was brought into immense suffering.  Here is a man that didn’t have the Word of God to go too or the revelation of Christ to lean on and yet when he lost everything he fell to the ground and worshipped.  “In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.”  Can we and have we done the same in our loss?  Is our loss of greater value to us than our relationship with Father?

No, we don’t understand.  Job didn’t understand, but understanding isn’t essential to maintaining our faith.  In fact, it is in the times that we least understand that we must have the greatest faith.

Joseph didn’t understand when he was given dreams and visions of God of greatness and then his own brothers sold him into slavery where things went from bad to worse and he ultimately ends up in prison through false accusations.  Now if someone had a right to be bitter, it was probably him.  All he had tried to do is be a man of integrity and faithful to His God and look where it got him.  Yet when we get to end of the story we see how God turned what was intended for evil into what was good; fulfilling a divine purpose through Joseph’s loss.  Often in our lives our losses are not what they seem and they are not about God being against us, punishing us or forsaking us.  It is often our losses that are the preparation for what God wants to bring us into.  Before He can reveal the greater He often must take away a lesser.

This is to encourage you today if you are in that place of loss and disappointment.  Your plans and dreams may be shattered, but the dreams and purposes that God has for you are not.  If you trust Him, lean upon and give your losses to Him; He can take your losses and make them the place of your ministry. your victory and your purpose in God’s kingdom.  Pain often paves the road for a path that we would have never traveled on our own and a vision that we could have never fulfilled without it.  No matter what your loss, never lose your faith and confidence in God.  He is for you and not against you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ”  Jeremiah 29:11

Blessings,

#kent

Husbands Love Your Wives

September 6, 2019

Ephesians 5: 25-33

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31″For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

 

Husbands Love Your Wives

 

Where there is true love there should be honor and where there is honor there should be respect and where there is respect there should be service.  This applies to husbands and wives.  As men we often like to focus on the scripture that tells wives to submit their husbands, but do we continue to read that our lives should exemplify Christ and His love and service to the church.  He loved her so much He laid down His very own life for her.  Do we have that same kind of love for our wives?  Do we lay our lives down for them.  Oh, I know, we go to work every day and we try to provide a respectable living, but we would do that rather we were married or not.  Christ exemplified and modeled before us a selfless love that was intent on helping her to be all that she was called to be.  He covered her weaknesses and shortcomings.  He saw past her faults and sought to meet her needs.  He did all that was in His power to help her become the woman of God she was created for.  He gave her His own name and with that name the authority to draw from all the resources of the bank of heaven. He did not lord over her with control and condemnation, but with loving kindness and selfless example.   He always saw her for what she was becoming not just for where she was in the process. He fed her, cared for her, comforted her and brought her into His presence with the love and intimacy that only a husband can give.  Does this exemplify the way we honor and love our wives.  I know I fall so very short of that, but it is an area that God wants us to examine in our lives.  It is way too easy to ignore all of that and just go on with life as usual, but then we may be wondering why our wife is discontent, frustrated, upset or even angry.

If we want to learn to become men of God who are well pleasing and obedient to Him. we need to start in our own households.  If we don’t learn to properly serve and administrate in the love of Christ over our own families, how can we expect to be used in the ministry of God’s kingdom? His kingdom starts at home.  It starts first in the attitude and condition of our own hearts.  Once that is made right it can flow out to those first closest to us and then to all of those around us.

Sometimes we may feel like we are sacrificing ourselves to bless others.  In our self-sacrifice we assume that our family is willing to sacrifice as we are. to meet the needs of others.  As a result their needs and wants are neglected while we try to meet the needs of those around us.  Our heart may mean well, but we may be missing God’s order.  We need to establish that love, unity and singleness of purpose in our homes before we take it out in the world.  If we get it out of order, their will be disunity and division.  Without establishing that oneness in purpose with our spouse it will hinder any other ministry that God has for us.  It is when we learn how to put our own house in order that we are then in a position to help and minister to others.  This is one reason the Word exhorts us not to be unequally yoked with an unbeliever.  It will always be a hindrance and a snare to us.

For true kingdom ministry to go forth it will always operate best when a husband and wife are one.  When they are one in purpose and calling they will be the most effective in ministry.  When they have their relationship right in the areas of love, honor and respect they will compliment one another and their prayers will not be hindered.

The greatest attack of our day is upon the family and the institution of marriage. The enemy is there at every turn to try and cause disunity and strife.  We must recognize our true enemy and it isn’t the nagging wife or the oblivious husband, but it is the enemy working through our selfishness and our unwillingness to really live for the other.  How much better our marriages can be if our first priority and goal in our marriage is to serve and make happy our spouse and their priority is our happiness  and fulfillment.  Then we are truly loving, honoring and respecting one another.  It is easy for a wife to submit to a husband that is always concerned with what is best for her and I don’t mean that in a controlling way.

If we as men want to know how to rule and reign with Christ then it begins at home with our wife and children.  When we learn to love them as Christ loved the church then we are well on our way to being able exemplify Christ to others and disciple them in His love.

Blessings,

#kent

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