Finding the Beauty

November 16, 2018

 

Finding the Beauty

 

Isaiah 68:1-3

1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD

 

There are a lot of people out there who see their lives as a mound of ashes.  They feel like life has dealt them a bitter hand.  They feel crushed, in despair and discouragement.  They have been hurt, disappointed, and have felt forsaken.  They may have experienced broken relationships, or rejection from others.  If they were to evaluate their lives to you they may only see failure and hopelessness.  Perhaps this might even feel like a good description of someone’s life reading this today.  If it is, the good news is that there is hope.  Ecclesiastes 9:4 reminds us that, “Anyone who is among the living has hope -even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!”   We must never come to the place where we allow despair and discouragement to cause us to want to take our life.  Our hope is among the living and not among the dead.  God has written a book of hope and life.  He sent His only Son to preach, live and die for a message of hope and life.  Our very scripture today is the prophetic word that spoke of His coming and His mission.  Jesus has come and His ministry right now is to the poor of spirit, the down and outers who have come to their end.  His mission is giving the hopeless, hope again, to comfort those in heartache and mourning and to provide for those who are spiritually or emotionally bankrupt.  He is here to give you beauty instead of ashes and the oil of joy for mourning, a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness and despair.  Jesus came to bear our infirmities.  Isaiah 53:5 says, “But he [was] wounded for our transgressions, [he was] bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace [was] upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”  Jesus literally became ashes for us that we might receive the beauty and hope of His promise and life.  He wore our thorns that we might wear His crown.  All that He suffered on that cross and leading up to it was all on our behalf so that we could have life and have it more abundantly.

Some of us have found our lives, at some time or other, in the throes of despair and hopelessness.  The Lord wants us to know that nothing is hopeless as long as He sits on the throne.  It only becomes hopeless when we take it out of His hands and try and bear it all ourselves.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 Paul tells us what the Lord spoke to Him in that place.  “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” There is a beautiful Savior who is here to help us and give us beauty in those ugly times when life seems so bad and meaningless, so hopeless and barren.

Jesus is the redemption that is near to your heart today.  Reach out and receive that hope through faith in His word.  He has given us His Holy Spirit to comfort and help us through.  He will give you the beauty for ashes.

Blessings,

#kent

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Under the Shadow of His Wing

November 15, 2018

 

Under the Shadow of His Wing

 

Matthew 23:37

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, [thou] that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under [her] wings, and ye would not!

 

Is this not a commentary on our nation today as we have little by little removed God from our schools, our government, our homes and our hearts?  The Lord spoke to Israel back in Deuteronomy 8 among other places.  He made promises to them of His provision and protection if they were faithful to not forsake and turn away from Him.  It grieves many of us as Christians to see the state our nation is in and where it is heading.  I can only think that it is because there are still many who do cry out against the abominations we see in our country and that we know grieves the heart of God, that God has mercifully withheld His judgement thus far .  The events of 9/11 and other nation impacting event are a wake-up call to us to bring us to that place of repentance and call us to return to the Lord with our whole hearts.  Thank God He has mercifully given us a godly leader at this time that is bold to hold up a standard of righteousness in strength.  One who promotes justice and truth and the right to life.  God forbid that we continue on as Israel did to their own destruction.  There is a place of protection in God and we have forsaken it.

Under the hierarchy of God there is an order of authority and leadership.  When each one is in submission to their respective head and leadership there is a divine order of protection and blessing.  When that order is forsaken through disobedience, rebellion, self-will and sin, the umbrella of God’s blessing and protection has been stepped out of.  The shield of faith has been dropped and we have made ourselves vulnerable to the mortal wounds of our adversary.  We see this breakdown in God’s order all around us from the individual, to family, to church, to government, to God Himself.  God founded this nation to be a type of New Israel.  He divinely fashioned and established it.  He has blessed it to become the greatest nation on the earth, but we are going the way of our forefathers, natural Israel.  God, through the Holy Spirit is speaking to His Church and to His nation to be gathered in the unity of the faith under the shadow and protection of the wings of our God.  In that place of obedience nothing touches us but what it first has to go through our God, but in our state of rebellion and disobedience we remove the hedge of His protection.

I remember a precious friend and saint of God many years ago was given a vision when her children were still young and in the household.  She saw a horrible and hideous beast around her house checking every door and window, looking for some way in to get to her children.  The Lord showed her that as long as her children remained in submission and obedience to their parents they were protected, but if they refused and chose to go out from the house they removed themselves from the hedge and umbrella of protection and were prey for that beast.   What we sometimes forget and take for granted is that when we get out of order and remove ourselves from God’s protection, then we not only make ourselves vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy, but also those that are under our authority and responsibility.

The Lord is calling us back to His heart today, to repent and come quickly back under the shadow of His wing.  Let us return to Him with our whole hearts and stand in the place of intercession for the hearts of so many that have grown cold and callused against the Lord.  We can only expect that in the last days the division and the line between light and darkness will become more pronounced and distinct.  This is a day for spiritual battle and we must prepare our hearts and spirits for it.

Blessings,

#kent

The Path of Faith

November 14, 2018

 

The Path of Faith

 

Isaiah 30:21

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.

 

Imagine the Lord placing you at the entrance of a single lane road.  It is early morning and a fog is encompassing the area.  The lane is lined on both sides by large trees.  The sunlight is soft as it penetrates the fog and filters softly through the leaves of the trees.  As you look up the lane your visibility is limited by the misty atmosphere and you can only see down the lane a short distance.  You have no idea what lies further down the road or what you will encounter as you walk down that lane.  All you have is a Word that the Lord gave you, “”I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except by me (John 14:6).  Straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it (Matthew 7:14). “This is the way, walk in it” (Isaiah 31:21).” All that you have is the Word of the Lord and the faith that if you follow this way it will lead you to the Father and His eternal life.

On your side is a pouch filled with seed.  In you right hand is jar of water.  With these you have been given the instruction that as you travel down this road, sow seed along the wayside and when you see seed that is struggling to grow, water it.

And so you begin your journey down the path.   At times it is pleasant and uneventful. There are often many distractions and desirable things that are wooing you away from the path.  Then there are times when the fog moves in even thicker.  The air so damp and heavy and cold it almost pushes you to the ground as you struggle to feel your way along the path that you can no longer see with your eyes.  At times the hardship seems too much and you want quit, get off of that path and turn into some nice warm and comfortable shelter.  But behind you, you hear that still small voice in your spirit that continues to say, “This is the way, walk in it.”  As you persevere, eventually the fog lifts and sun shines and your heart rejoices that you have come through and back into the light.  You suddenly grasp the revelation that the sun never stopped shinning, it had never gone away, the only thing that changed was your perception, it was simply obscured by the clouds of your circumstance and natural surroundings.   There were times the path became very steep, rocky and treacherous.  One slip and you could plummet over the cliff to a sure death.  Somehow you weren’t afraid, your heart was confident and sure, because you knew you were still walking in the “way”, up the path of life.

During your journey you were faithful to scatter and plant the seed that was in your pouch, along the wayside.  You were frustrated as you saw that the birds feeding along the path consumed much of it.  You were disappointed that much of it fell on hardened and rocky soil and while it soon sprang up, it quickly withered, because it had no root and lacked moisture.  Some that you scattered among the weeds and thorns came up but was quickly choked out, but your heart rejoiced when some that you planted fell on good ground and they came up to bear fruit in varying degrees.  You were also blessed when you came to those seeds that were thirsting and withering for lack of moisture.  As you watered them, you saw them regain their strength.  You saw those bowed over in discouragement, encouraged and renewed in hope and in life.  You were blessed that in your journey you could be a part in sowing and watering.   Though your way was often difficult and not without many struggles, you found your greatest joy was what you could impart of the life that had so freely and graciously been imparted to you.

At long last your journey comes to an end as you emerge through the mist and fog to behold the great city to where this path had led you.  As you marvel in awe of its magnificent splendor, you enter through the gate where the Lord, who had first set you on this path, greets you.  There, He lovingly embraces you and says, “…Well done, [thou] good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matthew 25:21).” As you stand there with joy flooding your heart, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2);” you are so thankful that His grace sustained you and that you continued in the path of faith that led you into eternal Life and the arms of Jesus.

Blessings,

#kent

Approaching Our God

November 13, 2018

 

Approaching Our God

 

James 4:7-9

7Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

 

Many of us struggle with approaching God and establishing the relationship with Him that our spirit man longs for.  We want to hear the Lord speak to us, we want His direction for our lives, at least we think we do, and we want a relationship where we have a continual abiding fellowship and dialogue with the Lord.

We keep thinking, “what am I missing”?  Why aren’t I feeling closer to God?  Why don’t I hear His voice and get His direction more?  Our answers could lie in these verses and in this chapter.  For many of us we are loosing the battle to the flesh in too many areas of our lives.  We are back and forth between spirit and flesh.  The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak and so we struggle with living consistent lives in the Spirit.

The first thing God tells us here, that we need to do, is submit.  Literally it means to be subordinate and be yielded to another’s control.  This is the same context of submission as Ephesians 5:22 requires when it says, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.” Men we are not really different from our wives. We really want to be in the driver’s seat concerning our lives.  One of the reasons we are missing God is we aren’t fully resigned in obedience to Him.  Wives, if you aren’t really submitted to your husbands, then you aren’t really fully submitted to Christ.  We all have to follow the order of authority that God has laid down for us in our lives.

The second area is “resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  Many of us are hit and miss at this as well.  We have good intentions, we mean well, but too many times we miss the mark.  Our resistance must be in direct proportion to our insistence that Christ is Lord.  When Jesus encountered the devil’s temptations in the wilderness, He insisted on the authority of the Word lining up in obedience to God.  Many, like the devil, take the Word and pervert it to try and say what justifies their particular lust and desires.  Resist the devil with the Spirit and the Word.  We are weak, but He is strong.  Our strength is in our abiding, obedient relationship with Christ.  He is the overcomer in us. We have to see ourselves through the lens of who we are in Christ.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”  Are we continually approaching God in an attitude of true humility, contriteness and repentance?  Are His praises continually in our mouth, His meditation in our heart and is our purpose to find His will and plan for us personally?  What must we do to draw near?  “Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.”  The first and foremost thing is that we have to be totally serious in our intent to find God’s presence.   God sees right through our heart, our intents and motives.  James 1:4-8 tells us, “4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.” If we want God to take us seriously, then we have to be totally serious with Him.  Isn’t it interesting that again in this passage of James 5 he uses this terminology of “double-minded”?  This is where most of us find ourselves, divided between heaven and earth.  We look up at God and say, ” yes, I want you Father,” and then we look back at earth and think, “yeah, but I don’t really want to give that up, lay that down or turn away from that area in my life.”  We are double-minded, torn in two directions, but the Word calls us adulteresses, those of us who break our vows with our friendship with the world. It is this attitude and state of mind that we must grieve, mourn and wail over.  We must hate it so much that it becomes a stench to us.  We must be so grieved at any attitude or behavior that is contrary to the nature and character of Christ in us. He must forever be our all in all.  There must be so much of a humility and brokenness in our hearts that God will lift us up and know that we mean business with Him.  The lower we are willing to go the higher He can lift us up.  The more we are willing to die, the more of the resurrection life of Christ we are able to lay hold of.  How is our approach as we seek to find God’s presence today?

Blessings,

#kent

Write it, See it and Speak it

November 12, 2018

Habakkuk 2:2-3

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. 3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”

 

Write it, See it and Speak it

 

There was a time a few years back that we began to believe God for a new house to better meet the needs of our businesses.  We had lived in the same house for about twenty-seven years and raised our kids there.  Always in the past when we had looked some place else the doors seemed to be closed.  One day God put in my heart to go and look at new houses.  That in itself is a move of God, to which my wife will attest, but I didn’t look at price, I just looked at the desire of our heart.  We ended up looking at a house we liked very much, but it was well above our means and truly it would have to be a miracle of God to provide for it.  Now through that house God began to give us a vision and a faith to believe for this house.  We prayed about it and both of us had a confident faith that some how this house was going to be ours.

The Lord gave me a scripture that I typed in bold letters on a strip of paper.  It is still clipped to the pencil organizer on my desk.  It is from Numbers 11:23 and reads, “And the Lord said unto Moses, “Is the Lord’s hand waxed short?  Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”  I kept that before me as my promise from God.  When I would begin to doubt I would read that out loud and remind God and myself that His hand was not short to fulfill what he said.

As time went by that house sold and we were crushed.  “Lord, what happened to the promise?”  Meanwhile the Lord continued working and through a love gift we were able to completely finish paying off the house that we were living in.   What a blessing that was, but we still didn’t understand about the other house.  We even went by and stopped there one day.  I went up to the door at my wife’s urging and asked if they planned on staying in that house.  The girl that answered the door assured me that they were very pleased and planned to stay.

At this point it is important to say that we can never put God in our box.  He won’t ever fit and just about the time we think we have Him all figured out He will do something different.  That is why we walk by faith and not by sight.  Life went on and one day as we were coming back from making a delivery for Sharon’s business we passed a beautiful home that was for sell.  Sharon made me go back and get the number.  She then called our good friend in real estate and asked if she could show it to us.  Arrangements were made and initially just Sharon and her went.  I was still nursing my disappointment about the other house.  Sharon came home saying this is it, you have to come look.  So we went over and looked at it.  It was a beautiful home with an incredible view and yard.  It had all of the things that Sharon was looking for and it would work great for our businesses.  When we decided to make an offer on it, we found out that two other couples were also interested in making an offer.  We just had to give it to the Lord and make our best offer.  When the others found out that we offered, they weren’t going to get into a bidding war and so they backed off and to our joy and amazement our offer was accepted.

Now as we live in this home we both agree that this home meets our needs so much better than the other one would have.  The Lord taught us that because things don’t always work out as you thought they were going too, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a plan and that He isn’t working to bring it to pass.  He says, “Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.”  Indeed the Lord’s hand is not waxed short and He can bring His word to pass in its season and in His time.

It is important that when God gives us a vision and a direction that we write it down.  Ask Him to give you an assurance in the Word to go with it, then place it before you where you will always see it.  Stand on that word and confess it verbally before the Lord.  Exercise your faith in His promise.  See it as done and speak to it in the spirit as you would to it in manifestation.  Write it, see it and speak it.  What God has promised to you He will bring to pass if you will act upon it in faith.  It just may not look exactly like you thought it would.

Blessings,

#kent

 

Give Us this Day Our Daily Bread

 

Exodus 16:15-20

And when the children of Israel saw [it], they said one to another, It [is] manna: for they wist not what it [was]. And Moses said unto them, This [is] the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. This [is] the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, [according to] the number of your persons; take ye every man for [them] which [are] in his tents And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less And when they did mete [it] with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.

And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning.

Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.

 

 

The manna that God supplied in the wilderness for Moses and the children of God was for a time when, had He not supplied, they would have died.  But it teaches us some spiritual principles of dependence upon God.  Let’s look at few other examples as well.  In Matthew 6:9-11 Jesus is giving the example of how to pray and He starts out, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.”

Let’s look at one more passage of scripture in Luke 12:16-23, “And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, [and] be merry But God said unto him, [Thou] fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?  So [is] he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on.  The life is more than meat, and the body [is more] than raiment.”

Here are three different passages that are pointing us to trust One source for our daily needs.  We have said before that we live in a materialistic society where success is often measured in dollars and cents.  This isn’t our measuring stick in the kingdom of God.   Our measure is our dependence and trust in our God.  That by no means is suggesting that we go sit in the corner till God rains down manna from heaven on us.  Even the children of Israel had to go out and gather it.  What the Lord is saying is that life isn’t all about finances, success, riches and money in the bank.  We are kingdom people that need a kingdom mentality.  Jesus is telling us in His parable in Luke 12 not to place your trust and confidence in the uncertainty of earthly riches because they could be here today and gone tomorrow and so could you.  It is not a bad thing to have financial riches and blessings, but it is not where our heart is to be.  Our hearts we want to be rich toward God and always looking to Him and not our bank account for security.  If we are truly seeking first the kingdom of God, then Jesus tells us that our Heavenly Father knows what we have need of.  Philippians 4:6 exhorts us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  No worries mate, God is at the wheel.  Quit trying to tell God how to drive and sit back and enjoy the ride.  Let Him take us where He wants us to go.  If God is financially blessing your life that is wonderful and use that blessing to be a blessing, giving God the glory.  Maybe we are not experiencing great abundance financially, but God is rich to us in other ways.  Praise God, let’s use whatever He is blessing us with to glorify Him.  Our treasure is in heaven; it is not on earth.  There aren’t any ATM machines in heaven where you make withdrawals from your earthly bank.  Let’s be rich toward God, because there is no way that we can out give Him.  In Luke 12:31 Jesus says, “But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Today’s ministries focus a lot on prosperity and being blessed financially.  I am as willing to receive all that God has for me in that area as the next person, but I don’t want it to be my focus.  When it becomes my focus then my eyes get off of the Lord and on to material and corruptible things.  That is when I get out of the will of God.  As I have started a business and experience the financial challenges involved with that, it is often difficult not to get anxious about all the expenses involved with it.  If it is God’s business then it is God’s worry not mine.  He says I am just to lift up my needs with thanksgiving, knowing He is faithful.  It is the exaltation of all that He is that builds faith in my heart and calms the fears of doubt and unbelief.  He may bring an end to something, so that He may bring us to a new beginning in something else of His choosing.  As long as He is in control, it is all right.

The Lord will provide our daily bread, His kingdom will come and His will, will be done in this earth and in our lives, as we fix our eyes upon Him.  Let our thanksgiving, praise, worship and the confession of our mouths; reflect the faith and confidence that is in our hearts.  “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24).”

Blessings,

#kent

Robbed of Our Blessing

November 8, 2018

 

Haggai 2:10-14

On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says: 12 If a person carries consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ”

The priests answered, “No.”

13 Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”

“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”

14 Then Haggai said, ” ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the LORD. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.

 

Robbed of Our Blessing

 

This is a day when the Lord desires to lay the spiritual foundations of His Temple again.  What the Lord speaks to Haggai here He is speaking to us.  In the analogy that Haggai brings forth, if a priest carried meat that had been sanctified and consecrated to the Lord in their pocket or the fold of the garment and touched another substance of food it didn’t automatically sanctify and consecrate that food.  On the other hand if someone had handled or touched a dead body, that defilement was transferred to all that he touched.  The Lord says this people, His people, have been like those who have touched the dead body and so whatever they offer becomes defiled.

Are we wondering why we aren’t blessed, coming up short in our finances and experiencing so many struggles that we may not need too?  The Lord says it is because we are defiled in our giving and our living.

We have talked about how the body of the old man is dead and crucified with Christ and we are a new creation in Christ, but when we fail to lay hold and live out of this reality and truth we are in affect touching the dead body.  We are living out of corrupted fleshly thinking and attitudes.  Thus what we touch becomes defiled because it is not the mind of Christ we are operating out of, it is the mind of the flesh, the old man, that which is supposed to be dead.

If God is to bless the works of our hands they have to be the works of His Spirit through us and not our fleshly efforts any more.  When we lay the foundations of the Lord’s house, it is a spiritual house not built with human efforts and thinking, but directed and ordered by the Spirit.

We all want the God’s blessing and favor to rest upon us and it is in God’s heart to want to bless and increase us, but there are things we need to get rid of and the primary one is the mentality of this old dead man.  We speak often concerning our identification with Christ because His is the life and the mind that we are being renewed and brought forth in day by day as we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.  Romans 8:5-10 says, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.”   It is easy to see from this scripture how much we may still be living out of that old man and nature mentality.  The Lord says that this is a defilement and pollution of the life He wants to live through us and the works that He wants to accomplish with our hands. We must begin to truly put on the mind of Christ and view our world through God’s eyes and perspective.  In doing so we will be blessed.  It is imperative that we identify the thinking that is filled with doubt, fear and unbelief and turn that around to agree and line up with the Word of God.  Anything less is sin.  Allow Christ to be at the forefront of your motives, your intentions, your will and your purpose.  Filter your world and all that you are dealing with through Him.  Ask Him and trust Him for wisdom and direction in all of your ways.  We are a people that are putting away that which is dead and walking in the consecrated and sanctified life that we carry within us.  Walk in the Spirit, build the Lord’s house and live in His blessing.  If you will come and build the Lord’s house by the Spirit, He will build yours.

Blessings,

#kent

 

Today is the Day to Hear His Voice

 

Hebrews 3:7-11

7So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, 8do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the desert, 9where your fathers tested and tried me and for forty years saw what I did. 10That is why I was angry with that generation, and I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ 11So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”

 

Perhaps the greatest purpose God has for what is written here is to stir us to pursue His highest and to know that we are on the threshold of His hour of visitation.  A situation and event like 9/11 might have been prevented had certain people not have become complacent or more worried about being politically correct than about responding to the warnings and indications of this impending attack.  Today the Lord is giving us warnings to prepare our hearts as never before.

Satan is ever at work to dull down our spiritual nerve center.  We, like our Jewish predecessors have become hardened of heart and dull of spiritual hearing.  Our minds tell us that things will go on as they have been.  Tomorrow we will buy and sell, marry and give in marriage and life will go on as it always has.  Doesn’t Jesus warn us that He will come as a thief in the night?  The people that fell in the wilderness and failed to enter in are the same ones that Moses led out of Egypt with mighty deliverance.  Many of us have experienced salvation, but our hearts have become hardened and we are testing God through our rebellion and disobedience.

“ THE HOLY SPIRIT SAYS, “TODAY, IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS…”  The Holy Spirit is blowing a trumpet in our ear, but some of us have become too deaf to hear it.  If this were our last week to live before you died, how would you live it?  Would your priorities change?  Would things suddenly become important that you typically took for granted?  How would our life and outlook change?  Would we be preparing and getting in a state of readiness in the areas of both our spiritual and natural relationships?

The Lord is continually warning us and exhorting us to move our lives into the place of faith and obedience.  He wants us to move into the place of His rest.  That is a place is where we cease with the activities of the flesh and our efforts and we begin to rest our lives in who He is, what He is and what we are in Him.  We all tend to identify and define ourselves by who we are and what we do in this world, but Christ wants us identified with who we are in Him.  The deceitfulness of sin will harden our hearts and prevent us from entering into the rest that God has for us.  Perhaps today is the day you and I need to bow before the Almighty with a heart of repentance and brokenness for where and how we have strayed from Him.  Today is the day to open up our spiritual ears and hear what the Spirit would say to the churches.  The “rest” of God is found in our faithfulness, trust and obedience to Him.  God is calling forth and preparing His overcomers to inherit and possess the riches of His glory, but they have to have ears to hear and a heart that is tender and compliant to obey.

We have entered a new day in the Spirit.  It is a Sabbath day, a Holy day, and a day for the people of God to come and bow before their Maker.  Today is the DAY to begin to hear the voice of the Spirit of God and harden not your hearts

Blessings,

#kent

Please Stay

November 6, 2018

Mark 8:18

Having eyes, do you not see [with them], and having ears, do you not hear and perceive and understand the sense of what is said? And do you not remember?

What do we need to do to tune in to our spouse before we run our marriage into the ground?

               Please Stay

Stay, while I talk with you awhile.

We’ll talk of yesterday and things that make you smile.

I know you’ve told me there’s nothing more to be said,

But now it’s your silence that I dread.

My heart is aching that you are walking out that door.

I know everything has been said a thousand times before.

I know you’ve said I never listen or change,

But I’m willing for my life to now be rearranged.

Why now am I willing to try something new,

When what you asked before I was unwilling to do?

As long as life could carry on in the status quo,

I was unwilling to change and disrupt its even flow.

I became complacent, selfish and unthoughtful at best,

Why couldn’t I focus on how I could make your life more blessed?

If I have one more chance, “Lord, help me change that now I pray”,

“Make me the expression of Your Love that would make them want to stay.”

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

Prayer for a Nation

November 5, 2018

 

Prayer for a Nation

 

2 Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

 

Are we not still a nation under God?  When we look about us and see the spiritual condition of our nation we indeed have reason to lament and cry out for much wickedness has invaded our land and our hearts.  Many of us grieve as we see innocent babies terminated in the name of legality, while we watch our God and heritage being removed from our school, public places and society.  The one salvation this nation has is its people who are called by the name of the Almighty, who will indeed humble themselves and pray for the state of our union.  No one man or political party can change the injustices that pervade this land, but we as the people of God can.  We have the power of prayer, we have the sword of the Spirit of Truth and we are the ones that must usher in the change.

Our past complacency has found us out because we didn’t raise our voices in opposition to sin, cry out against injustice and humble ourselves in prayer and supplication. We now find our nation in a place where the enemy has established strongholds and bastions of evil.  Much of our demise has been because we, as people have lowered the standard in our own lives.  What we see in our nation is in many respects a reflection of the condition of our own hearts in the body of Christ.  We as the people of God set the spiritual climate and temperature of our nation.  It is refreshing to see the body of Christ when it does come together as a cohesive and effective force to raise up a cry in the land that denounces unrighteousness and calls out for a higher standard.  We know deep within our hearts that the change in the attitude and morality of this nation begins with us first getting on our knees in repentance, with a broken and contrite heart.  If we desire to see God move, then we must first be moved to repentance and restoration of a right spiritual state in our lives.  People of this nation don’t just need to hear the condescending voice of a religious people denouncing them as evil.  They need to see in us the nature and character of our Master, who in love is willing to lay down his life for the good of all.  True Christianity must be practiced in our lifestyles for Christ to truly be respected and honored as the God of love and salvation that we preach.  Christ should be preached everywhere and we should use words if we have too.

May our hearts join in one voice today as we cry out and pray in a spirit of true humility and repentance.  May we stand in the gap as intercessors, praying that God would continue to be merciful, longsuffering and deliver our nation out of its darkness and back into the marvelous light of Truth.  A nation’s strength is in its spiritual backbone.  Our nation has been experiencing some serious osteoporosis.  We, the people of God, are the spiritual backbone of this nation.   If we aren’t the ones to make the difference in our nation, then who?  We need more than a day of prayer, we need a lifestyle of prayer and daily supplication and intercession on behalf of our nation, it leaders and its people.  God has commissioned us to make a difference, but it must first begin in us.  We must set the bar and the standard for righteousness through holy lives that are honoring to God.

May our nation, as well as our God, see a people whose God is the Lord, whose confidence is not in the flesh and who are committed to making a difference in their world.  God has given His people the power to change the destiny of their nation through a heart of true humility and repentance.  God, help us to make the difference so that we might leave a spiritual legacy and one nation under God to our children.

Blessings,

#kent

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