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

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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

 

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

 

In the Heart of a Servant

 

John 13:13-15

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for [so] I am.

If I then, [your] Lord and Master, have washed your feet;

ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given

you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.

 

Lay your burdens at My feet,

Come to Me heavy of heart.

Bow yourself before My Mercy Seat,

There My grace I will impart.

 

You are weighed down with many cares,

You are anxious to the point of despair.

Am I a God who does not hear,

Or whose arm is short to those who fear?

 

Humbly approach my throne,

A broken and contrite heart I will not despise.

I am there for you in your time of need,

Let faith well up to dispel all lies.

 

My grace is sufficient for all of your need,

Your faith must take you beyond what you see.

I often work beyond the immediate need,

Trust that extends beyond sight is the key.

 

You only see the external natural realm,

But I work in the eternal, My will to perform.

You may not understand My hand,

But you can trust My heart through every storm.

 

I came not as one to be served,

But I walked with you as a servant King.

I revealed My heart by giving all for you,

Will you trust in Me for your everything?

 

A servant’s place is not appreciated in the world,

Often they are despised, used and taken for granted.

So have men, even believers, regarded Me,

But it is in the servant that My heart is planted.

 

Regard not lightly the call to serve,

It is regarded in heaven as the place of honor.

A servant’s heart I will esteem and preserve,

On this truth you need to dwell and ponder.

Blessing,

#kent

Half Baked

June 26, 2018

 

Hosea 7:8  Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.

 

Half Baked

 

 

This passage from the book of Hosea was written during a time when Israel was in a state of rebellion against God.  Ephraim is the description of Israel.  The context of this passage is describing the spiritual condition of the country in that day.

It wouldn’t be a far stretch at all to parallel the condition of Israel in that day with the spiritual condition of the United States in our day.  The attitude and condition of the hearts have become much the same.  Whether we realize it or not, a study of history will bear out the truth that God providentially set the land apart for his Name, a type of Promise Land set apart for a people of His calling.  Its foundation is based on the constitution, laws and government that were mostly forged out of the Word of God and godly principles.   While a majority of the country says they believe in God and many call themselves Christians, what is the spiritual state of the union today?  Let’s get a little more personal.  We, who are the professing Christians of this nation, what is our state?  Have we become like Ephraim who mixed himself among the people?  Is that anything like our mixing ourselves with the world?  It says Ephraim was a cake not turned.  How many of us are half-baked Christians today, spiritual on one side and fleshly on the other?  Many of us started well, but perhaps we have grown weary in well doing or the cares and enticements of the world have come in to corrupt and pollute our spiritual walk and lives.

God loves us.  He has spoken into my heart at times when my eyes and heart were not pure;  ” I have called you for higher things.”  Doesn’t He speak that to all of us who love Him and are called by His Holy Name?

Many of us have been called and feel we have had a vision of God using our lives in some special way for some higher purpose.  Perhaps over the years, through the trials and the tears, our vision has faded and we may be stumbling or losing our way.   God is calling us again to renew our vows, repent of the areas of our lives that are out of His will and return unto Him with our whole hearts.  God has not given up on us.  He wants to finish baking us, which brings more heat, but He wants s a fully baked cake to feed the nations and bring them life and spiritual nourishment.  Let us arise today and turn fully back to our Lord who saved us and trust Him to complete that work He has started in us.  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Blessings,

#kent

Wounded Hearts

June 25, 2018

 

Wounded Hearts

 

Psalms 109:22

For I [am] poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

 

All of us have known those times in our lives when we have experienced a broken heart; the deep emotional wound or pain that tears our world apart.  It most often comes when a strong emotional bond or tie is broken.  Someone we deeply love is taken away from us.  It could be through death or the breaking of a deep emotional friendship or love for another person.  It can also come from a spiritual separation that we feel from the Lord.  Whatever the reason or the cause of our heartbreak, most of us have experienced the immense pain and hurt we feel inwardly and emotionally.  In those times it seems that no words of comfort or sympathetic friends can really touch or remove the pain we feel within us.  Usually, only time can begin to fade and temper that pain we have felt so strongly and so deeply.  Time and God’s ministering Spirit are the two greatest comforters and healers that we have.  We are thankful for the friends and those who care about us and stand by us in those times.  They can try an offer us some perspective and comfort, but they can’t reach in and take away the tremendous pain and loss we feel when our heart is broken.

There is no one like a father, whose lap we can crawl up on when our world falls apart.  There is no one like the security and warmth we feel when our head is buried in His chest and he gently and lovingly holds us in his embrace.  It is a warm and secure place. Somehow, we know it will be okay eventually.  In the interim of that healing we are hid in that womb of love and security.  That is a description of how Father God is there for us who put our trust and confidence in Him.  A part of life, are both, the loves and the losses we experience.  Both bring with them strong emotional feelings in opposite directions, but both are a very real part of life experience.  The wonderful thing is that God is always there to add gravity and sanity to what can be an insane world.  He has given us the Comforter, His very own Spirit to be near to us and help us.  He has given us His Son, which has paid the price for all the pain of our sin sick world and ever lives to make intercession for us.  God is indeed near to the broken hearted.

There is an area in our lives where it is good that we have a broken heart.  When we come to that place of truth and revelation of who God is and what we have been, it breaks our heart.  We truly see what an offence we have been to the God that loves us so through our sin, rebellion and selfishness.   It brings us to a place that we need to all be far more often, the place of brokenness and humility before the Lord.  Psalms 51:17 tells us, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: “a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” When we maintain an attitude of true brokenness and repentance of our sin and failure before God, He looks compassionately upon us and lifts us up when we are bowed down.  This emotional and spiritual hurt within us is a good hurt that leads us to repentance and reconciliation with our Heavenly Father.  It keeps us in an attitude of reverence, respect and humility before Him.  It helps us to put Him in proper perspective in our lives as the sovereign Lord and Savior of all.  It helps us to grasp how great His love, how deep His grace and how merciful His loving-kindness towards us who were once His enemies, but now have experienced the wonderful adoption and inheritance of children of the Most High God through the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son!  Why should we not hate our sin and hurt for its offence to a God that has loved us so?  This wounded heart God will not despise, but He will receive the sacrifice of true repentance and remorse of our sins.   He will heal us, lift us up and set joy back into our hearts.  Only our God could love us and forgive us with such an everlasting and incomprehensible love.  Allow Him to anoint your wounds and heal your heart today.

Blessings,

#kent

Rocky Places

June 22, 2018

Matthew 13:3-6

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

 

 

Rocky  Places

 

In the parable of the sower Jesus give several scenarios of the seed.  The seed was the kingdom message as Jesus states in verse 19.  The soil is the condition of the heart that receives the seed.  The rocky places are those places where we have developed a hardness of heart and cynicism about the word.  At first we receive it and embrace it, but then we begin analyze it and rationalize it.  We begin to side with the intellect of the mind and the wisdom of men, rather than the wisdom of God.  Because of this natural thinking and reasoning our faith is bound up and the root of our faith finds no depth in which to grow.

There are those of us who walking on rocky ground in our lives.  The message of Christ and His kingdom initially sounds good to us, but we are struggling with the natural mind and reasoning.  Romans 8 teaches us that to be naturally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  There are those who must make the decision to break up the rocky ground, the hardness of heart, doubt, fear and unbelief.  If there is no place for the root to go, the planting of the kingdom message will wither and die, along with your spirit.  Dare to trust yourself to the One who has given His Word and His life to back it up.  Dare to break free of the rocky confines of doubt and unbelief.  Others may think you the fool, but God takes the foolish things to confound the wise.  Be wise and rid your heart of those rocky places.

Blessings,

#kent

 

The Crown of our Legacy

June 21, 2018

 

The Crown of our Legacy

1Thessalonians 2:19

For what [is] our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? [Are] not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

 

Recently on a trip down into southern Colorado I had some time alone where I was just scouting the countryside and doing some photography.  Old broken down cabins, homesteads and a cemetery happened to be interesting subjects that I found that day.  It is always good that when we have these times we ask the Holy Spirit to speak into our hearts lessons and truths that can help us in daily living.  As I look back on this particular day I remember thinking who were these people that lived in this old cabin and who were these people that now rest in this old cemetery dating back to the early 1900’s?  Then you begin to think who will remember me fifty to a hundred years from now.  When we begin to think of our mortality; we begin to think of the brevity of life and how quickly it is here and gone.  We think about the meaning of our lives and the impact we have had during our lifetime.  How will people remember us?  How will God remember us?  Did we make a difference in the lives of others and the world around us or did we just exist to ourselves and for ourselves?  These are haunting questions we all tend to ask ourselves from time to time. 

            When we look at the life of the apostle Paul we see the importance and the eternal value He placed on the lives He discipled into Christ.  His focus wasn’t on material success, or his education, or where He had been or what He had done.  It was on the difference He made in the lives of others spiritually.  What a crown and legacy Paul has in the kingdom of God, because His whole life was dedicated to seeing others come too and grow up into Christ.  Because of that passion and ministry, much of Christianity has grown and been nurtured from the writings and teachings of Paul to the early churches.  Paul will never be forgotten in earth or heaven because of the legacy He left behind. 

            Don’t we desire to have that kind of impact on the lives of others and especially our children and families?  What a heartbreak it is when parents have laid down their lives for their children and done all that they could to instill Christ and the children turn away and reject this most precious gift they have sought to give.  Yet, despite what the outward circumstances say, they will persevere in prayer and faith to see those loved ones return. 

            Philippians 4:1 starts by saying, Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, [my] dearly beloved.”  Those ones that Paul helped birth into the kingdom of God were his children.  They were his godly seed, birthed and brought up for the glory of God.  In Malachi 2:15, talking in reference to the marriage covenant and the reason God created marriage it says,”Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth.”  If we value what God values then we must know that God is looking for godly seed in the earth.  Whether it is in our natural children whom we should be raising in the fear and admonition of the Lord or those we lead to a personal relationship in Christ.  It is not just about the birth, that is only the beginning.  Jesus tells us Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.”  God is looking for spiritual parents to disciple and raise up His spiritual children to maturity.  This is our legacy.  This is what we want to be remembered for in heaven and in earth, that we made a difference in the lives of others and helped them become the godly seed that God desires. That seed perpetuates itself in others leaving us a joy and a crown that we can rejoice in when see them in Christ at His coming.  Let us live to leave an eternal legacy.

Blessings,

#kent

God Rules

June 18, 2018

 

Psalms 18:46-50

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted, 47The God Who avenges me and subdues peoples under me, 48Who delivers me from my enemies; yes, You lift me up above those who rise up against me; You deliver me from the man of violence. 49Therefore will I give thanks and extol You, O Lord, among the nations, and sing praises to Your name. 50Great deliverances and triumphs gives He to His king; and He shows mercy and steadfast love to His anointed, to David and his offspring forever.

 

God Rules

 

Today’s Word is one that I felt the Lord gave me last night as I was contemplating today’s events.

Recently we decided we would like to build a studio next to our home.  I started by going to my next door neighbor and explaining my idea and why I would like to do it.  Initially he said he didn’t have a problem with it.  So I proceeded and hired a surveyor to establish the boundaries.  My neighbor then brought the covenants up to me since he is the sole person responsible for these covenants.  After studying them.  The covenants stated that you couldn’t have a commercial enterprise, but that you could have a professional office in your home with approval of the Architectural Control Committee, a.k.a. my neighbor.  I explained to him that I felt that we would be in the boundaries of the covenant, plus I had to have a variance approved by the city and go through all of the hoops for that, so it might not happen any way.  I did ask him around this point if that wasn’t a possibility to tell me now before I invested over a thousand dollars on plans and application for a variance.  It seemed he was open for me to proceed so we went forward.  Again when we presented the plans to him he seemed to be personally opposed to me building next to him and preferred another location.  Where the addition would set is at lower elevation and built into a hillside, that and a high hedge of fitzers makes it all but completely out of his view.  I explained that for a number of reasons I felt this was the best location for it.  When I asked for his approval on it, his approval was as long as we complied with the covenants and his parting words were, “go for it.”

We had to make a posting for 10 days so that anyone in the neighborhood could provide input.  I had already gone to the surrounding neighbors, explained what we were doing, the reason for the variance and had them sign if they were not opposed to it.

We were somewhat blindsided when the city planner called with a three page letter from this neighbor and objections from a number of the other neighbors.  The city looked at it strongly and asked that we first obtain a Home Occupation Permit that allows you to do business from your home under fairly strict guidelines.  We complied with all of their request and were granted the variance and the Home Occupation Permit.

My neighbor has filed an appeal and stirred up a good portion of the neighborhood in opposition to us. That brings us to today, when we have the appeal hearing.

Throughout this process I have asked the Lord’s will and asked that he close and open the doors according to His purpose and plan.  Really it is all in the Lord’s hands and He is the only one that could really open the door.  Even if I was still approved today they could appeal again or oppose me in civil a case.  What is amazing is that we find ourselves among neighbors who we have helped and blessed, standing alone.  I believe this is where God brings us sometimes so that He can show us that it is not by might nor by power, but by His Spirit.  I know that the Lord stands with us rather we build or not and that it is all in His hands.

I am reminded of Paul when he wrote in 2 Timothy 4:16-17, “At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge.  Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”  When our back is against the wall and none seem to be for us, we know that God is for us, who can be against us.  Our faith and hope are set upon His will and purpose.  I have seen before how God is able to vindicate his own if they will set their hope and trust in Him, but we may be tried in the fire before we see it come to pass.

When you are faced with your own personal situations when all around you seem to oppose you, make sure that your security and faith rest in the Lord and not in your might and ability.  He goes before us to fight our battles and show us His mighty deliverance.

 

A post note to this story is that our primary opposing next door neighbor, along with several others opposed us with an attorney before the city planning commission.  We simply put it in the Lord’s hands.  The 10 person council ruled unanimously in our favor and we were able to build our studio. When God is for us, who can be against us?

Blessings,

#kent

Submit One to Another

June 13, 2018

 

Submit One to Another

 

Ephesians 5:21

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

 

We are all about our rights and life is so much about us, but this simple scripture should put it all in perspective from God’s point of view.  It is all about lives in service to the King of Kings and consequently in service to one another.  The members of my body aren’t concerned about which gets the most attention or is most favored, but they are concerned about which one is suffering the most.  The members of my body exist to work together in unity for the good of the whole and not the individual part.  Doesn’t God want us to work together the same way in our marriages, families and relationships with the body of Christ?  We have one Head and none of us are it, so we need to be about the cause of Christ for the unity and wholeness of His body and not our individual agendas and dogmas.  God has an order of authority and all authority under Him should have His will and purpose foremost in mind.  The exercise of submission is an exercise of love.  His Love, expressing itself through us in righteousness, is what we live for.

Blessings,

#kent

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