One More Chance

July 16, 2018

One More Chance

 

Revelations20:11-12

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

 

I opened my eyes to this blinding light,

Glory and heavenly host filled the skies,

Resounding praise was all around,

I realized my earthly life had passed me by.

 

Oh, the awe and wonder that filled that place,

My mouth dropped open and my eyes were wide.

I couldn’t have imagined all the things I saw,

All of it was so real, as I stood now on the other side.

 

Heavenly greeters embraced my arms,

As they led me forth with angelic charm.

My knees would scarcely support my weight,

As they led me to my place of fate.

 

There stood there a brazen image of me,

As I looked into its eyes I began to see;

My life, my thoughts, my words and my heart,

Suddenly I was seeing every inward part.

 

At first I chuckled at how cute I was,

But then I began to see what God had seen in me.

The meanness, selfishness, so many ugly ways,

I began to weep and cry, how could this be?

 

How many times I turned away when others hurt,

How sensitive I was to only my wants and needs;

Oh, this darken selfish heart of mine,

How could I have planted such foolish seed?

 

I had thought I was such a good ole boy,

Now I saw what an offense my life had been;

I had hurt so many pursuing my joy,

My family and others I neglected and hurt through sin.

 

Oh God, wretched man that I am,

Could you ever forgive me and give me a chance again?

Then a voice spoke with such love and power,

“Return and live out the repentance of your sin.”

 

Suddenly my eyes opened in a hospital room.

Attendants were in shock as I set up in that bed.

“Where am I,” I said, bewildered and confused.

“You had a heart attack and we pronounced you dead”

 

God gave a second chance to me

I no longer see life through a selfish heart of greed,

The next time I go to meet that great and Holy One,

I’ll have a good account to give to His Son.

 

No longer is my life all about me,

Unto Him my will I freely give;

For I know, that by His blood alone I’m free.

Through the power of His life within, I live.

 

Now I live each day as if it were my last,

I know that next time the die will be firmly cast.

My life is now no longer my own to please,

“But whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.”

 

Kent Stuck

Blessings,

#kent

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John 6:60

Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard [this], said, This is a hard saying; who can hear it?

 

When we don’t Understand

 

Like the reflections in moving waters the details of God’s working are not always clear to us.  We see them as in shadow, with some form, but not always clearly.  Yet we sometimes make the mistake of judging God wholly on what we only know in part.  There are things that don’t always make sense to our natural minds and understanding.  When Jesus told His followers that ‘unless you eat of my flesh and drink of my blood you have no life in you,’ many were offended and walked away from Him.  Perhaps it was because they judged what He said after the flesh and natural understanding rather than by the Spirit.  We should know that we can’t judge well spiritual matters with our natural understanding, they are spiritually discerned.

Some of us have been offended and hurt because we have felt the Lord disappointed us or failed to meet or do what we were praying and believing for.  No, we don’t always understand.  When Jesus asked His disciples in John 6:67, “Will ye also go away?”  Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Our walk is one of faith.  We continue on trusting even when we don’t understand or perhaps feel offended or hurt.  We, like Peter, know that there is no other that has the words and the ways of eternal life, so we continue to trust.  We share with the Lord our struggles, our brokenness and our pain, but no matter what we continue to cling to Him.  We know His heart and His heart is love.  He will do as Roman 8:28-30 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”

Hold fast your faith even in those times when you don’t understand. He is faithful and just who has called you and saved you with His own life.

Blessings,

#kent

Come Up Hither

July 12, 2018

 

Come Up Hither

 

Revelations 4:1

After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

 

There is a door being opened in heaven for those that are earnestly pressing into the Lord’s presence.  It is a door of revelation and understanding.  A door and entrance that is leading us into the third dimension of His Presence, before His throne.   It is a place, the likeness of which we have never seen or experienced before.  It is place of lightning and thunder, a place so awesome that we are as dead men in the presence of the Lord.  As I read this passage, I ask the Lord, “can I enter that door?  Dare I ask to have privilege of experiencing such an awesome thing?”  Immediately I thought who am I to ask such a thing?  What am I to God that He should look upon me with such favor and privilege?  There is such sin and unworthiness in my life that I should even aspire to enter such as dimension of heaven in this life.   But what makes me any more worthy after I pass from this life?  Why is it only then I could taste heaven, but not now?  Isn’t the same thing that gives me confidence of heaven after I die at work in me in this life?  It is all by the precious blood of Jesus.  He alone is my righteousness and right standing with God.  Yes, why isn’t it possible to taste of heaven, to look into the mysteries of the Most High, and to taste of the age to come?  Our mind set has always been earth now, heaven later.  Is that the mind of God?  Doesn’t Paul say in Ephesians 2:4-7, “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”  God is telling us even now we are raised up and seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.   While the fullness of all that this entails may not be fully realized till future times, we do ourselves grave injustice to think that God doesn’t want us to exercise our faith to lay hold of an increasing depth and revelation of who He is and what He wants for us in this hour.  All through the history of the Word of God, God has been ever revealing Himself in a greater and greater way.  How does He want to reveal Himself today?  Are we content with the former things, the present religious system that has become more Hollywood and entertainment than worship that brings us to His presence?  The true worshippers aren’t waiting for someone to lead them in hymn 157 or listen to an inspiring special or even sing contemporary songs about Jesus.  The true worshippers are pressing in, in Spirit and Truth.  They are chasing after the heart of God.  They are burning and hungering after His highest and holiest for them today.   They are not content just to be among the throes of Christendom and churchgoers they want to “come up hither.”  They are hearing a trumpet call from heaven that is calling them up higher to experience a greater depth in God than they ever have before.  They are singing the song of the Lamb even now as they enter the heavenlies of their spirit man and come before His throne to worship Him who is forever worthy of all praise and glory.   Their spirit man is crying, “Holy, Holy, HOLY!”  They are passionate in their pursuit of His presence.  They are intent upon tasting, even now of the ages to come and the glory that shall be revealed.

When Jesus fed the multitudes, didn’t He first tell the disciples to feed them?  Luke 9:13 says, “But he said unto them, Give ye them to eat. And they said, We have no more but five loaves and two fishes; except we should go and buy meat for all this people.”  Jesus was trying to teach them the principle of not looking at what they don’t have, but acting upon the little that they do have.  We will never have the sufficiency in and of ourselves, but if we will act upon the little that we do have, heaven will become our sufficiency.   ‘Then Jesus took the five loaves and two fishes looked up to heaven and blessed them.’  Our eyes have to be fixed on heaven, upon our Lord, for He is the sufficiency and supply for every need.  The disciples were the key link between heaven and earth.  They were the distributors of the miracles of Christ.  Our lives have to be in that chain of distribution where we become the dispensers of God’s miraculous grace in whatever form He chooses to manifest it.  Do we want to be one of the one’s in the crowd looking for a free meal or do we want to be the instruments through which God feeds the multitudes?  God has so much more for us, but He is looking for the hungry ones, the ones willing to pay the price to pursue Him and run after Him.  They are the ones who will not be distracted by the cares of life and the vanity of this world.  Their eye is single and it is set upon the Lord.  With all that is within them they will “come up hither” and pursue Him through the open door of heaven.

Blessings,

#kent

Who am I?

July 11, 2018

 

Judges 6:11-16

11One day an angel from the LORD went to the town of Ophrah and sat down under the big tree that belonged to Joash, a member of the Abiezer clan. Joash’s son Gideon was nearby, threshing grain in a shallow pit, where he could not be seen by the Midianites.

12The angel appeared and spoke to Gideon, ” The LORD is helping you, and you are a strong warrior.”

13Gideon answered, ” Please don’t take this wrong, but if the LORD is helping us, then why have all of these awful things happened? We’ve heard how the LORD performed miracles and rescued our ancestors from Egypt. But those things happened long ago. Now the LORD has abandoned us to the Midianites.”

14Then the LORD himself said, ” Gideon, you will be strong, because I am giving you the power to rescue Israel from the Midianites.”

15Gideon replied, ” But how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest one in Manasseh, and everyone else in my family is more important than I am.”

16″ Gideon,” the LORD answered, ” you can rescue Israel because I am going to help you! Defeating the Midianites will be as easy as beating up one man.”

 

Who am I?

 

When trying to gain God’s mind, wisdom and will in a large decision in my life I was reminded of Gideon.   As I struggled with my decision and prayed about it I could see that my greatest fears, doubts and reservations were of myself.  I fear failure, making the wrong decision, the changing world and economy and so the doubts continue to race through my mind.   My greatest reservations are not of God, but of myself.  I, like Gideon of the Old Testament, see that in the natural I have no great qualities or strengths of my own to boast in.  What we see in Gideon is that sometimes it is people like us that are nothing in ourselves, but simply trust and love God, who are the ones he can use.  The Lord saw and spoke something into Gideon that he didn’t see or believe about himself.  The reason God can use us nobodies in the world’s eyes, which are not particularly gifted, or smart or successful is because God has the opportunity to be the One who is mighty in us.  In verse 14, “Then the LORD himself said, ” Gideon, you will be strong, because I am giving you the power to rescue Israel from the Midianites.”  What I felt the Lord speaking into my heart was that your decision will not be without some adversities and trials, but I am your strength, your might and your provision is through Me in the midst of your adversity.  We really have no certainties in this life except our faith and confidence in our God and His truth.  Bottom line, what we must rely upon, is Him.   I know that in this fleshly mortal body of mine dwells no good thing.  I have nothing to brag about or boast in.  Yours and my success in life comes from what we allow the Lord, our Christ, to be within and through us.  It is by his might that our enemies will fall and He will bring deliverance through us.  It is by His might that we will do things that in our natural man we would have never dreamed possible.  The key is that our eyes have to get off of the natural man and onto the spiritual man.  We have to walk in the peace of God for our lives.  We must walk in humility and a constant attitude of submission and obedience to His will and not our own.  Most of us won’t have an epiphany like Gideon did or hear an audible voice, but we must grow ever more attuned to that still small voice in our spirits that says, “this is the way, now walk in it.”  Often times God may say no to our request and close the doors and sometimes when He says Yes, it is hard to believe that He would bless us and give us the things that He does.  The only thing we know for certainty is that we want to be in the center of His will and purpose for our lives.  You may get a lot of opinions from others about what they think God’s will is for you, but only you can really hear, know and have the peace of God for what He wants for you.  It is good to have a multitude of counselors, but let God’s council be the final word.

Gideon’s might was in the spiritual man he became as he put His confidence and obedience in the Lord.  Who I am isn’t dependent upon what I have been, it is dependent upon who I am becoming in Christ.

Rest in God that He is allowing your life to be the instrument of His using and enabling.  It is relinquishment of your will to His, allowing Him to take your hand and your life to write with it the living words of His purpose and expression.  You learn to cease from your efforts and works and become comfortable in fully allowing the Holy Spirit’s direction through your life.

Blessings,

#kent

Appeasing or Pleasing

July 10, 2018

 

Appeasing or Pleasing

 

Hebrews 11:6

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

 

 

I think that I may not be so different than many others who earnestly love God, want to have an intimate relationship with Him, but are often tempted to make compromises to please the flesh rather than to please God.  I was meditating this morning on how much appease and please sound alike only they are different.  If we examine our hearts we will probably find that there are many times we actually try to appease the Lord, rather than please Him.

“So what’s the difference?” you might ask.

I’m glad you asked that question.  The dictionary defines appease as, “To pacify or attempt to pacify (an enemy) by granting concessions, often at the expense of principle.”

Now we don’t think of God as our enemy, but He is the enemy of our flesh and when we are trying to appease God that is usually where we are operating from.  Romans 8:5-8 tells us, “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.”   When we get out of faith and into the flesh then we begin operating out of a mindset that wants to appease God rather than please Him.  We want God to wink at our sin and to let us slide.  We want the favor and blessing of God, but on our terms.  Maybe we start to bargain with God. “God, if you will just let me do that, or have this or grant me that, then I’ll do this.”  Maybe we give more and try to do good things.  Usually we are not only trying to appease God, but our conscience as well.  It is not that we want to forsake God or not serve Him and believe in Him anymore.  It is not that we want to displease Him, it is just that we want our way more than we want His way.  What we don’t want to acknowledge and submit too is, that it is always our ways that lead us away from His.  It is our ways that separate and break fellowship with Him and it is our ways, the natural mind, that hinders us from God’s highest and His best for us.

Like King Saul of the Old Testament we become headstrong about doing things our way rather than God’s way.  Listen as Saul attempts to appease God rather than please Him.  1 Samuel 15:13-26 says, “When Samuel reached him, Saul said, “The LORD bless you! I have carried out the LORD’s instructions.”

14 But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears? What is this lowing of cattle that I hear?”

15 Saul answered, “The soldiers brought them from the Amalekites; they spared the best of the sheep and cattle to sacrifice to the LORD your God, but we totally destroyed the rest.”

16 “Stop!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what the LORD said to me last night.”

“Tell me,” Saul replied.

17 Samuel said, “Although you were once small in your own eyes, did you not become the head of the tribes of Israel? The LORD anointed you king over Israel. 18 And he sent you on a mission, saying, ‘Go and completely destroy those wicked people, the Amalekites; make war on them until you have wiped them out.’ 19 Why did you not obey the LORD ? Why did you pounce on the plunder and do evil in the eyes of the LORD?”

20 “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul said. “I went on the mission the LORD assigned me. I completely destroyed the Amalekites and brought back Agag their king. 21 The soldiers took sheep and cattle from the plunder, the best of what was devoted to God, in order to sacrifice them to the LORD your God at Gilgal.”

22 But Samuel replied:

“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD?

To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.”

24 Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned. I violated the LORD’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the people and so I gave in to them. 25 Now I beg you, forgive my sin and come back with me, so that I may worship the LORD.”

26 But Samuel said to him, “I will not go back with you. You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!”

Whenever we compromise what God has instructed by doing it our way rather than His, we only are deceiving ourselves and leading ourselves to heartache and misery.  Hebrews 10:5-10 says in contrast,  “Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me; 6with burnt offerings and sin offerings you were not pleased. 7Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll— I have come to do your will, O God.’ ” 8First he said, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them” (although the law required them to be made). 9Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

Father is now asking the same of us.  He doesn’t any longer want our burnt offering and sacrifices, our concessions and appeasement.  He wants our lives, our obedience and our faith to trust and walk with Him wherever it is that He chooses to lead us.  We can no longer seek to appease our Lord; we must walk in the faith and obedience that pleases Him.

“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of [this] life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4)

Blessings,

#kent

 

Feelings of Unworthiness

 

Luke 15:21-24

And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put [it] on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on [his] feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill [it]; and let us eat, and be merry:  For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

 

I think there are times when we all struggle with thoughts of unworthiness and condemnation as we approach and acknowledge the Lord.  Certainly there is no worth in our efforts or abilities to please God or appease Him for our sins.  Outside of the blood of Christ we could have no right standing and reconciliation with the Father.  Yet the heart of the Father stands at the window day after day and watches for His prodigal son to come home.  When the son came home the reconciliation that took place between the two of them was possible, because of the attitude of both of their hearts.  On the part of the Father there was the attitude of love, mercy, forgiveness and the strong desire for restored relationship.  On the part of the son, his attitude had changed from the arrogant, self-reliant, self-serving and selfish son that had left the Father to one who was broken through a revelation of his utter worthlessness and unworthiness that he possessed outside of the Father.  When we get a true revelation of what we are outside of the Father and the utter hopelessness and unworthiness apart from Him, we then have come to a condition and attitude that is right to approach Him.  This time we return in total humility, fearing and respecting our Father.  This time our heart is fully aware of its unworthiness of ever again being called a son.  This time we come with a heart that is broken by the awareness of our sin and repentant with the willingness to fully turn from it.  Both heart conditions were present for the full reunion and reconciliation of the Father and son to take place.

Even as believers we come to the times in our lives when we have rebelled, been self-willed or let sin enter in.  One day we wake-up spiritually and realize how bankrupt we have become because we have forsaken the relationship we had with the Father.  We have turned our back on our sonship for selfish pursuits.  Eventually we return to the realization that without the life and the blessing of the Father, we are spiritually blind, poor, wretched and naked.  We have become spiritually bankrupt and void of self-worth.  For a time we are willing to work in the pig pens and the filth of the world we have again partaken of.  Eventually, through the leanness and the spiritual hungering of our soul, we decide that we would like to return to the Father.  We find ourselves living under the cruel taskmaster of guilt, condemnation and unworthiness that is telling us you are totally unworthy and disqualified from ever having a relationship with the Father again.  Maybe you even felt like you had committed the unpardonable sin.  “How could Father ever again love and receive back a wretch and failure like me?”

Our Father is a God of love, forgiveness and reconciliation.  1 Timothy 1:15 says, “This [is] a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”  While we may still have to face the consequences of our sin and rebellion the Lord has not shut us out into the cold.  He says, “The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalms 34:19)” If we are willing to return to the Lord with the attitude of brokenness and repentance; then the Lord is willing to receive us and deliver from that taskmaster of condemnation and guilt.  John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Don’t allow the feelings of unworthiness and condemnation rob you from a restored relationship.  All who are in Christ Jesus have come to know that none of us have any standing or worth in God of ourselves.  Jesus paid the price for our sin.  He alone was righteous and worthy.  When we become identified with Him and the cross He makes us worthy through His righteous blood.  We must simply appropriate what He has already done by faith in the name of Jesus and the blood of the Lamb.  “For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)”

If you are struggling with feelings of unworthiness or if you have strayed or perhaps have yet to find you way to the Father’s house.  Jesus is still the way.  He is the Restorer and the Redeemer of your soul.  With a right attitude of heart return to Him and He will receive you again to Himself.

Blessings,

#kent

 

The Violent Take it by Force

 

Matthew 11:12

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.

 

One might get the impression from this passage that the kingdom of heaven in not necessarily a peaceful place.  As we read about the kingdom of heaven we begin to see that it is God’s revelation of Christ Jesus, of salvation and of entrance into the kingdom of God’s fullness.  It is in fact that place where many of us now dwell as we walk out our faith in the fear of God. It is not always a place of peace and joy in the outward sense, but a place of transition from earthly to heavenly.  In that place of transition there are many spiritual battles to be fought from within and without.  The kingdom of heaven has come to us and been opened to us through the cross of Christ.  Christ, our new covenant, and John the Baptist His forerunner came proclaiming the kingdom of God among us.  This was the beginning of an undoing and reversal of spiritual power and authority that had been lost when Adam fell in the Garden of Eden.  This war in the heavenlies didn’t come without a great price and it is not obtained without resistance.  The violent here are the strong and the forceful.  They are the strong, whose faith is as a little child who trust and leans wholly upon His Father’s strength and resources; not upon his own.  A child is perfectly aware of their immaturity, their weakness, and their dependence and, as such, is not reliant upon themselves.  Many of the parables of the kingdom of heaven are presentations of servants at different places with what their master has given them.  What is imperative to their success is what they do with what the Lord has entrusted them with.  We see many of them that miss out on the kingdom of heaven because they weren’t faithful with the entrustment of God’s gifts and salvation.

Matthew 3:2 and 4:7 are keys to the beginning of us entering into the kingdom of heaven.  It begins with, “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Our entrance must begin with a change of heart and committed redirection of our life from our old and former ways to the ways God has instructed that we should live.  In John 3:3 Jesus tells Nicodemus, “… Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Our entrance is not just dependent upon a natural birth, but also a Spiritual birth.  That takes place as we repent and ask Christ into our hearts and lives, believing that He is God’s only begotten Son and that He has died to take away our sins and rose that we might be seated with Him in heavenly places.

The Beatitudes portray what manner of people possess the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:3 says, “Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:10-12 says, “Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”  Here we see the opposition to our possessing the kingdom.  Yet we stand as the violent, the strong and forceful ones, not because we resist with the warfare and armament of the natural man, but because we stand in the love and the authority of our Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us.  He conquered death and the grave; He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men.  Our abiding, faithful relationship in Him is what makes us violent and forceful to seize the kingdom that He has prepared for us.  It is the overcoming and the breakthrough of our faith and obedience that brings us into His Presence.  We are not violent men of flesh and blood, but we are violent in Christ as 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 says we are.  “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.”

Be violent in your walk with God and your pursuit of His kingdom.  Be forceful and strong to stand against evil and lift up a standard of righteousness.  The battle is to the faithful, the vigilant, and to them that are content with nothing less than God’s best.  ‘Let us turn our eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.’

Blessings,

#kent

The Pathway of Life

July 5, 2018

 

Proverbs 12:28

In the way of righteousness [is] life; and [in] the pathway [thereof there is] no death.

 

The Pathway of Life

 

               The Word teaches us that the way of life is the way of righteousness.  In that pathway there is no death.  Today, when we walk in Christ we are walking in life.  There is spiritual life and power resident and at work in your life.  If we think that somehow that righteousness comes from our natural man we err and do not walk in the truth.  It is because we died and were crucified with Christ and now, in spirit, we have been raised with Him in resurrection life.  Romans 8: 10 tells us, “And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.” 

               The Apostle Paul speaks to this attitude of righteousness in his life in Philippians 3:8-11, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”  The way of righteousness is the way of a Christ centered life where we endeavor to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh.  It is the spiritual law and principle of life that we find clearly defined in Romans 8:1-8, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,  that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.  So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”  Condemnation at work in our life brings death, but in Christ there is no condemnation for He has washed us in His blood and forgiven all of our iniquities.  He has raised us up in the newness and righteousness of His life.  1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is the blood and our fellowship with Jesus that restores us and keeps us in the paths of righteousness and life. 

               Let us keep ourselves with all diligence in the pathway of righteousness and life.  The Lord Jesus Christ has gone before us to make the way for us to walk in that righteousness and enjoy the benefits of His divine life that is resident within us.  In the pathway of righteousness there is no death except to that former way of life, which was death. 

 

Blessings,
#kent

 

What is Given from Heaven

What is Given from Heaven

John 3:27

To this John replied, “A man can receive only what is given him from heaven.

 

What is it that you and I have received from heaven?  Psalm 115:16 says, “The heaven, [even] the heavens, [are] the LORD’S: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” So, to begin with, we have been given this earth to rule and have dominion over.  Beyond that, He has given us our own earthen bodies and here is where our dominion must start.  That dominion lacked real victory and hope until we come to find something else that God had given us.  Acts 4:12 says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

Now we have the earth, a body and God’s salvation through the name of Jesus to redeem and have dominion over the earth.   Through that salvation God has given us a taste of heaven in these mortal bodies through the impartation of the Holy Spirit and the gifts He has given unto men.

Like John the Baptist in John 3, we cannot move beyond what we have received from heaven for that would be to exalt ourselves and be a god unto ourselves. The question is, are we living and up to what God has imparted to us and what we have received from heaven through the promises of God’s Word and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us.  God has gifted us to be living representations of heaven in the earth in all of its different flavors and forms.   In Matthew 13:11 Jesus even says to His disciples, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.”

We have the earth, we have the bodies redeemed by the blood of the lamb and saved by the name of Jesus.  We have the Holy Spirit, His power and wisdom living in us and through us.  We have Him to reveal God’s Word and mysteries to our understanding.  We have received all things from heaven that pertain to life and godliness.  2 Peter 1:3-4 tells us, “3His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.“  While John the Baptist couldn’t go beyond what he had been given from heaven, at least he had fulfilled his mission and calling upon his life.  Must we do any less?  The calling, the potential and the provision before us are great and bountiful.  We don’t want to neglect so great a salvation and fail to live in the fullness of what heaven has given to us.

Blessings,

#kent

Shine out of Darkness

July 2, 2018

 

Shine out of Darkness

 

2 Corinthians 4:6

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

 

There is a glorious light of truth, that God, in His mercy, has allowed us to comprehend and lay hold of.  It is a treasure so often hidden and obscured by the earth of our humanity and sin.  Yet God is greater than our darkness and has called us out of darkness unto the destiny of light and truth.  Therefore we are like newborns breaking forth out of the eggshell of our humanity.  It is not without struggles and trials that we come forth, but we have seen a great light and our desire is to press into it.  The only way in is the way out.  It is Christ whose precious seed has brought us to fruition and now urges us inwardly to come forth into the life and the light that we have been birthed to walk in.

Many still remain in the darkness of their sin and ignorance.  They have either not comprehended the light or they have rejected it for their sin.  John 3:19-21 tells us, “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”  Once we have comprehended and laid hold of the light, God help us not to look back to the dark desires of our past.  Set your eyes upon the light of God’s Word and truth today.

Let us renounce the hidden works of darkness and be the lamps through which God’s marvelous light shines and is revealed to the dark world that we live in.  We will not lose our way so long as our hearts are fixed upon the light and hope of our soul.  Should we stumble, the Light is greater than our darkness, but only we can allow the light of the love and forgiveness of Christ to wash our sin and restore our fellowship.  We are His vessels created and purposed to not only receive the light, but also to be light bearers, illuminating the darkness around us and showing others the light of His truth and deliverance.  Be that light that shines out of darkness.

Blessings,

#kent

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