Vessels of the Lord

July 3, 2020

Vessels of the Lord

2 Timothy 2:20-21

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.

              Through smoke and fire holy instruments are being formed for the house of God.  The vessels that adorn the house of the Lord will be holy and sanctified vessels that honor the master with their use.  He has and is carefully crafting each one for its special use and service.  Each vessel of His choosing will accommodate the other vessels.  His people are the adornment of heaven.  Revelation 21:2, “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” The new Jerusalem is a living organism not made up of stones and rocks, but living stones as 1Peter 2:5 puts it, ” Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.”  Let our eyes be open to the New Jerusalem, for this city is the bride of Christ, the place of His holy habitation.  He is the light that illuminates her and He is her glory and crown.  God has used the natural elements of this earthly realm, to relate in some manner to us the spiritual context of what He is building in the spiritual dimension.  As we read the context of God’s Word let us open our spiritual eyes and understanding to grasp spiritual concepts beyond our natural thinking and understanding.  The Holy Spirit within us wants to bring us into a greater depth of that understanding. 

              What God is working in you and I now is what He is fashioning us for in heaven and eternity.  God desires honorable vessels.  That ability to be honorable vessels does not rely on the ability we have to form ourselves, but upon the choices we make.  Through the choices we make, we can live and work in concert with the Holy Spirit who is able to work in us greater things than we could ever imagine if we are choosing to be yielded to Him.  The Lord will honor Himself in you as you honor Him with your will and its submission.  God is furnishing His House with the precious things of the earth.  What makes them precious is His divine touch upon them.  Allow the Lord to have His divine touch upon you today as He is fashioning you into His image and likeness.  2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”

Blessings,

#kent

Every Day

July 2, 2020

Every Day

Revelations 20:12

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

              It occurs to me as I sit and write that all of us are composing and writing our lives upon God’s books.  Each of us has a life’s novel that tells the story of our lives and what we did with them.  Though the memories of us may fade and we are forgotten in the earth, there is a record that stands, a book that we wrote. 

              What are we writing in our book?  How will it read back to us as we stand before God and give an account for our lives and what we did with them?  If we feel we have nothing else, our life is our talent, to use for God’s glory and purpose or for our own.  The sad part is, none of us can ever go back and erase what we did the day before or the years before.  The ink is already dry upon the page.  The good news is that today is still to be written and our tomorrows after that.  What are we writing upon the pages of our life?  Will it be a story that pleases the Father or one in which we stand ashamed at a life wasted and that brought forth no lasting value in its life’s pursuits? 

              All of us have our regrets, our failures and our pages we wish that we could write over.  The important thing for us not to forget is that we are still writing this book.  Ecclesiastes says that as long as there is life there is hope.  Will your book be a story of transformation from death to life?  Will it be a story of how your life was a blessing; not only to God, but also to the lives you touched?  What are we going to write in our book today and through the coming weeks and years? 

              Psalms 118:4 says, “This [is] the day [which] the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”  There is a Latin phrase, “Carpe diem”, simply, “seize the day”, make the most of every moment that we have breath and life.

  Solomon was a man that had and could have all that his heart desired. He set out to find the meaning and purpose of life.  At the end, this is what he had to say and we will conclude with his words of wisdom in Ecclesiastes 12.  “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, “I find no pleasure in them”- 2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars grow dark, and the clouds return after the rain; 3 when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men stoop, when the grinders cease because they are few, and those looking through the windows grow dim; 4 when the doors to the street are closed and the sound of grinding fades; when men rise up at the sound of birds, but all their songs grow faint; 5 when men are afraid of heights and of dangers in the streets; when the almond tree blossoms and the grasshopper drags himself along and desire no longer is stirred. Then man goes to his eternal home and mourners go about the streets. 6 Remember him—before the silver cord is severed, or the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is shattered at the spring, or the wheel broken at the well, 7 and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Everything is meaningless!”

The Conclusion of the Matter

13 Now all has been heard;

here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

              May we consider carefully every day how we write each page of our book.

Blessings,

#kent

The Fatherless

July 1, 2020

Psalms 68:5

A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, [is] God in his holy habitation.

The Fatherless

              A father is a strength and provider for his children.  He loves them; he corrects them and mentors them.  He is the model that a young child looks too and should want to aspire to be like.  He offers the leadership, guidance and should be the spiritual head of his home.  Fathers are an important part of a child’s development and life.

              We have an epidemic of fatherless children in America.  Besides the multiple children that are without a father due to death or divorce, a recent study suggest that 37% of births in America occur outside of marriage, with somewhere in the neighborhood of ten million single moms.  That is a lot of fatherless children.  It is not just the moms that struggle, most often it is the children as well. 

              I have a daughter who is a single mom. She does the best she can with balancing work to provide for her children and spending the time with them as a mother.  Her oldest son a very bright and precious young man, but he has acted out in defiance and anger at school and other places.  Part of his reasoning for this is that he resents not having a father to be there for him.  He sees other children with fathers and feels jealousy, hurt and resentment that he has been robbed of having a father’s presence.  I’m sure what he is experiencing is not so uncommon among many fatherless children.  As precious and nurturing as a mother is, they need that male counterpart as well.  They need grandpas and uncles and other males that can help fill in that role in the absence of a father.  They also need to come to know the Lord as the Father who has a special love for them and who is always there to be a Father to them.  We need our young and older people in America, and all over, to value the sanctity and the institution of marriage.  With our sexual freedoms have come the consequences of mothers who are trying to fulfill the role of both mother and father.  Thank God they have the courage to do that.  Many children have never had the privilege of birth, because there was an easier way out.  We have young men whose foremost thought might be their gratification, but lack the personal responsibility and commitment that a sexual relationship should bring with it.  We must, as the church, bring back the message of abstinence until marriage.  Our lack of it is creating a wide spectrum of social problems because we live in a society that is accepting of living outside of God’s plan.  We may have the presumed freedom to do that, but we often don’t realize how great the consequences can be, for ourselves and for others.  Our fatherless children are among those that are paying the price.

The fatherless need a father, to draw upon their strength and security.  We, who are in the position, need to bring that father’s love and instruct those fatherless children in who their real heavenly Father is and how He wants to be a Father to them.  It is we, as the family and the Church, which must make the difference in the lives and opportunities of our fatherless children.                                                              

Blessings,

#kent

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 God.  He 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

The Power of Touch

June 29, 2020

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, expression 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, touched His garment and 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 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 infused 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

Shadows of Blessing

June 26, 2020

Shadows of Blessing

Song of Songs 4:6

Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.

            Shadows are cast by other objects or persons.  They are often not clearly distinct but can give some semblance of the real object they are cast from.  All through the Word of God, God has used types and shadows to signify and represent the reality which was yet to be revealed.  God uses natural things or shadows to show forth the image of the heavenly things which we haven’t been able to fully grasp and lay hold of.  Old Testament types and shadows symbolized in many ways, dimensions and facets of the life and salvation through Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ is seen in His presence in three facets, what was, what is and what is to come.  The Old Testament represented “what was”, the sin, the law and righteousness of God and the sacrifice and atonement for sin.  As God’s plan of the ages unfolds in the fullness of Christ we see it in these stages.  The New Testament brought us Christ revealed in the flesh, “what is”, the New Covenant sealed in the blood of the Lamb of God. There we met God face to face in a human and natural sense.  There we saw the reality of many of the Old Testament prophesies, types and shadows fulfilled and revealed in the person of Christ and the birth of the Church, His Bride.  But still we are looking for “what is to come”; the final revelation of Christ in all of His majesty and glory.  We are looking for His “parousia”, presence or coming when we are fully caught up into Him and revealed with Him in His glory.  This is the day break when all the shadows will flee away and Christ shall be revealed in all of His fullness, splendor and glory.   2 Peter 1:19 exhorts us, “And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.”  The Word of God and the Holy Spirit are our illumination and understanding in the shadow lands of our spiritual understanding.  It is what is pointing us forward, instilling hope and faith to look unto the fullness of the day when Christ arises as the morning star in our hearts and is manifest in His holy nature within our beings.  It will be as 2 Thessalonians 1:10 puts it, “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.”  Christ is not only revealed outwardly, but within us… His saints, His holy temple, His bride. 

            Meanwhile, where is this Christ that we await in His glory and splendor?  I will get me to the mountain of myrrh, and to the hill of frankincense.”  The myrrh and frankincense were elements used in the holy anointing oil and in the incense.  They sought to give myrrh to Jesus on the cross and gold, frankincense and myrrh were the gifts the wise men brought Him in His youth.  Here again we see in shadow that Jesus is dwelling in the heavenlies of our spirit man.  He inhabits that place where we are filling up the sufferings of Jesus through a life poured out in living sacrifice to Him.  It is in the place of spiritual praise where we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth and He inhabits the praises of His people.  It is in the place where we operate out of His life and anointing in our daily lives and ministry. 

            Men, in the Old Testament, like Joseph and David, were men destined for rulership and spiritual leadership. They were men of outstanding blessing and anointed of the Lord.  Through much of their lives they lived only in the shadow of that blessing; through faithfulness, obedience and a vision that wouldn’t fail, there came a day when they entered into the fullness of their calling and inheritance as we will enter into ours if we faint not in the shadow of our blessing.

Blessings,

#kent

Real Love and Beauty

June 25, 2020

1 Peter 3:1-7

Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Real Love and Beauty

              On the subject of beauty:

              So many derive their value from outward perception and how they view themselves through the mirror of others.  Thus many have believed a distorted view of who they are.

              God says we were ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.

              Our truest beauty comes from within, not without.  See yourself through the beauty

that God has created you to be. The greatest beauty is seen in the one who aligns their heart

with God’s purpose and design to best express Him.

              On the subject of love:

              Young love is sexy and beautiful.  It is fresh, passionate, sensual,

but its roots are young and it thrives more on the feelings of the outward  man.

              Old love is not always as passionate.  It is not as sexually driven or motivated,

but it stills sees the beauty that it first saw.  Its roots are now deep, as are the scars and life experiences that have knit and grown these two souls together.  What was once expressed

outwardly is now the inward sharing of two hearts that beat as one.  They have learned

that it is not always feelings that keep you together, but the decision to love one another even when you don’t feel it. Love is not just an emotion, but a decision of will.

Blessings,

#kent

The Words of Your Mouth

June 24, 2020

The Words of Your Mouth

Psalms 19:14

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

The Word says in Luke 6:45, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”  Stop and meditate with me for a moment about the words that come out of our mouth.  Often, we are totally unaware of the spirit of the words we speak.  What is it that governs the words that we speak?  Do we process them or do we just speak out whatever words that our emotions feel at the time.  I feel a conviction that the words that we speak have a critical spiritual implication and need to be brought under the filtration of the Holy Spirit.  Some of you have learned the gift of edifying and building up with your words.  You desire and try to speak life and encouragement into each person even if they don’t measure up in many ways.  Still you choose to focus on the good in them.  There are times when you have to speak words of correction, but you do it in a spirit of humility and love.   Even your words of correction and discipline bring life and hope.

 There are others of us that have totally lost control of our tongues.  Often, it is the ones we say that we love the most upon which we unleash the fury of our cutting and biting words.  In those words there is no fragrance of life, but only bitterness, anger, frustration and condemnation.  Perhaps if you are that person that struggles with speaking these kinds of words there is a heart issue at the root of it that needs to be addressed.  You may feel justified or you may think “I don’t like the way I am, but I can’t help it.”  The Lord says it is coming from what you have stored up in your heart.  The beginning of changing a wrong vocabulary, rather it is cursing, condemning, critical, cantankerous or cutting, is dealing with the issues in your heart.  We can store up a lot of garbage in our hearts and the stink of it comes out through our words.  A lot of us need to take out the garbage.  We need to come and empty out our hearts before the Lord.  We need to not only seek and ask for His forgiveness, but be willing to forgive and release all of those offenses that we have held onto for so long.  Maybe you don’t even know why you can’t stand your spouse or your children and why they make you angry just being in their presence.  It is because there are unresolved hurts and offenses you are still carrying.  Maybe you feel that if you can just keep telling and drilling into them all the things that you don’t like they will change.  Maybe, if you are able to hurt them bad enough with your words they will wake up and start to be different.  What we are missing is the fact that you may be having a hard time changing the things in you that are ugly and impure. Why do you think that other person can change more easily than you can? 

              The Holy Spirit’s job is to change and transform us.  He can only do that as each of us are willing to yield and submit our hearts to Him.  Too many of us have tried to get into the Holy Spirit’s business and think we can effect change in people better than He can.  Sometimes the Lord does uses people to help us to change, but it is His doing and not ours.  Like someone said, “every time you point the finger at someone else, you have three pointing back at you.”  Change has to begin in our own hearts and with our attitudes.  We might be amazed at the changes that will take place in others when our heart and attitudes change. 

              Our words are often a symptom of our heart condition.  You can often tell about the condition of someone’s heart by the words that they speak, especially concerning others.  What kind of condition is our heart in today?  What are we speaking into others, especially the ones we say that we love?  What are we saying about others when they are not around?  Are we building them up or tearing them down?  Oftentimes, people end up demeaning, criticizing others and tearing them down because they have such low esteem and insecurity in themselves.  It is the person who is secure and who knows who they are in Christ that will promote and lift others above themselves.  They understand that it is not in the limelight of glory that they are promoted, but in the shadows of service and ministry to others. 

              If you are struggling with how you talk to others or about others, then get with God and let the Holy Spirit show you your heart.  Be willing to be honest and transparent.  Don’t try to justify yourself, but be willing to hear and receive the truth.  The Lord wants to heal you emotionally and physically.  He wants the words that flow out of us to be pure and life giving, building up and not tearing down.  Don’t allow the enemy to any longer use your hurt as His weapon.   Allow the love of God to minister to your heart and get things right again.  Let go of those past offenses and give them to the Lord when they come.  Remember always how much Christ has forgiven us and let that same mind be in us.  Let your words begin to reflect the life and light that you carry with you in Christ, especially to your family and loved ones.

Blessings,

#kent

John 8:48

The Jews answered him, “Aren’t we right in saying that you are a Samaritan and demon-possessed?”

Even Jesus was Slandered

              Some of us have gotten quite offended because we have been misunderstood or others have taken up an offense against us because we didn’t fit in their belief box.  Here is the truth!  It doesn’t matter what you or I believe if it doesn’t line up with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.  If the religious crowd of that day, who supposedly knew and taught God’s ways, were so willing to slander Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life, then should it be any surprise if you are misunderstood or you are slandered for teaching truth.  Truth is only evident in the light of the understanding and belief system that we currently have.  How many of us may now embrace what we once thought was in error, because we have come into a greater understanding and revelation of Truth.  Many were blind to the truth of Jesus in His day, even many of His disciples walked away from Him in John 6:66, because of the truth that He spoke to them.   There are things we are going to hear that will go against traditional teaching and paradigms, but they are substantiated by their alignment with the Word of God and the fruit of righteousness that they should produce. 

              Should we believe and receive every teaching that comes down the pipe?  Of course not.

              1 John 4:1-3 says, “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.”  If we are walking in the Spirit then the truth will bear witness with the Word and the Spirit, even if it doesn’t fit in our box of current understanding.  Jesus is taking us from glory to glory as we are being transformed into His image.  In each realm of glory is a deeper dimension and revelation of truth.  If we are not sure about something, we put it on the shelf and pray for the Holy Spirit to give us understanding and discernment concerning it. 

              Men of God can be mentors, lights and examples to follow in the way of truth, but they are never the foundation upon which you build your house.  They can give you guidance and direction, as well help you to grow into your potential in Christ, but they never take the place of Christ.  Even good men are subject to falling or getting into error, so trust first the Word of God and the Spirit of God whom you must come to know for yourself.  Then if good or great men fall before you it won’t shake or move you in your faith. 

              As you come into deeper truth and understanding it will be a joy and illumination to your spirit, but don’t be surprised if others don’t embrace it with you and may even turn against you.  Be faithful to what God shows you.  We are accountable for what we know.  Love and pray for those that may slander or malign you.  John 15:24 says, “If I had not done among them what no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. But now they have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.”  The truth should produce and manifest kingdom results as it did in the life of Jesus.  That is the witness that this is the truth.  Jesus told the believers in John 8:31, “To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Blessings,

#kent

The Love of God

June 22, 2020

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

The Love of God

              These scriptures make for a great plaque on our walls, but are they truly written on

 the tablets of our heart.  If they aren’t maybe it is because we are trying too hard to do rather than to be.  What I find in myself when I try to change a habit or behavior is that I am real conscious of it for a day or two and then it kind of slips off the radar and I am right back into what I used to be.  Love can be the same way.  We look it as a way of behaving rather than who we are.  We know that God is love, so if this passage is the description of love then it is simply the attributes of who He is.  If Christ lives in me and He is my life then it simply should be who I am rather than what I am striving to obtain or become. 

              I was commenting to Sharon this morning about how much of our lives are centered in “what about me” rather than “what about Him”.  If we really consider the base motive of most of what we do we might have to admit that most of what I do is self-motivated.  Even my trying to please others can have selfish reasons and intents.  Even our Christian agenda has often centered on numbers, getting people to believe like me, and basically rejecting what doesn’t look like me or fit in my paradigm. 

              Is that God’s love?  Didn’t Jesus say it is easy to love those that are like us, even the heathen can do that.  God’s love wants to take us where it is not always easy, it is not always lovely and it is not always pleasant. 

              Did Jesus come to die just for the good people?  We know John 3:16 which is the ultimate expression of God’s love, but what about verse 17, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”  Who are we to be to this world if it is not Christ?  Listen to this in 1 John 4:16-17, “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him.” 

              What does that say about our lives and how we live?  It is not about us at all, it is all about Him and manifesting His love to the world around us.  In this world we are to be like Him and we know that He is love.  Is that the description of us?

              This is not to condemn anyone, but my heart has become so convicted that I so want a baptism of God’s love in me, so that I see every other being with His heart of love and become the conduit of His love and compassion. 

              We live in a society where we all have built up walls around us.  Why?  Because everybody has an angle or gimmick to try and get something from us in some way.  We expect that and so we become so guarded with any one that approaches.  What if we start encountering people with no other agenda than to just release God’s love on them through encouraging words of life, offering to just to pray for whatever need that is pressing in their lives.  It is not about trying to get them saved or get them to church or get them to believe like me.  Our only agenda is to love them with the love of God so that they can open up their heart for the Holy Spirit to work in them.  That is so disarming to people when you take the time just to love and bless them, not looking for anything else in return.  Isn’t that what Jesus did? 

              Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.  In earth as it is in heaven.”  God wants to release kingdom into the earth through us.  God doesn’t want us just to accept Christ to go to heaven, but to get heaven into us, so that we can bring it into the earth.  You are His will released when you are operating out of the unconditional love of God. 

              So many times our Christianity is what we do rather what we are.  We become what we worship and out of the abundance of our heart we live and speak.  If we want to be baptized into the love of Christ then we have to immerse ourselves into Him.  Christianity is something that we should no longer do, but rather be.  It is who we are because of the love of the Father for us and the expression of His love in Christ through us.  People around us are suppose to know we are different.  The reason they should know we are different is because of the unnatural love that emanates out of our lives.  The worst things become for us, the more evident Christ and His love should be.  The more we are squeezed  by outward circumstances the more of Jesus that oozes out of us.  Our world won’t be transformed by our theology and outward pretense of righteousness.  It will be changed by the transforming power of His love operating through His people that are only living to express Him.  We are the product of the love of God expressed to us through the blood of Christ.  I want to leave blood stains everywhere I go and in every life that I touch.  There is not any more powerful weapon on the planet than the unadulterated love of God.

Blessings,

#Kent

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