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

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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

Products of His Grace

June 15, 2018

 

Products of His Grace

 

1 Timothy 1:15

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.

 

 

The Apostle Paul makes this statement in 1Timothy.  Paul says that one of the reasons God chose him was not because of his goodness, his strength or abilities.  God chose Paul to show forth His mercy and grace.  God has shown us that there is no one beyond the reaches of God’s love and mercy.  Previous to this scripture Paul states, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did [it] ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.”  God has not called us out of darkness into His marvelous light because we were exceptionally good people.  Many of us know that God found us and rescued us when we were in utter depravity and sin.  He chose us little mud babies and loved us in spite of the stench of sin that covered us.  We are each one the products of God’s awesome grace and mercy.  In remembering where we came from God does not desire that we feel defeated or unworthy because of our past.  He would simply desire that it would be a reminder to us of how great and undeserving His grace toward us has been.  Which of us could boast and say that God has chosen us because of how righteous and how good we are.  If we did then indeed God’s grace has saved us in our self-righteousness.

Jesus told Simon the Pharisee a parable in Luke 7:47. He is speaking of the woman who has just anointed His feet and bathed them with her tears, for she was a sinful woman.  Jesus says to Simon, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, [the same] loveth little.”  I would venture to say that many of us examining our own hearts today would find that in all that God has forgiven us we should be great lovers of God.  Ironically, many of us, in our religious spirit, are quick to express the faults and failings of others.  We are as quick to condemn as we are to forget what a mighty grace of God has been operating in our lives and forgiving our sins.

Through the marvelous grace of God that abounds toward us in Christ Jesus, may our first thoughts when seeing others sin, be to pray for them.  If it is in our power, we ought to exhort them toward repentance in a spirit of love and humility; taking heed lest we fall.  None of us are above the wiles of the evil one deceiving our hearts, so we need to watch out one for another.  We need to be accountable to one another, confessing our faults to one another so that we find the power of forgiveness as we unite in prayer.  We are the recipients of the grace of God and we are the administrators of that same grace that works in us.  Let us be faithful to extend that grace to all with whom the Lord allows us to share it.  His grace goes way beyond where our love would stop, so don’t limit the grace of God and its power to work even in the chiefest of sinners.  Let us live lives that are worthy of the wonderful grace that He has given to us through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~ Ephesians 2:8-10

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

Birthing the Promise

June 11, 2018

Birthing the Promise

 

Ecclesiastes 3:10

I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

 

Many of us have been believing and pressing into God for different needs and areas in our lives where we are trusting for a miracle or a breakthrough from the Lord.  Perhaps we have grown weary and have wanted to give up.  It may have seemed everything has been against us.  Though we have sought the Lord we may not have received any distinct word other than “just trust Him”.  Though we have been faithful to try and trust Him it doesn’t mean fear, doubt and unbelief haven’t tried to creep in to unsettle us, discourage us and defeat us.  Perhaps we have tried to do everything right.  We’ve even prayed about anything that may be hindering our answer to prayer.  Still it may seem nothing is coming together, there is no immediate answer in sight and when we do get a hopeful prospect to our answer it falls through and we are left empty and disappointed.  Still we encourage ourselves in the Lord.  We continue to praise Him in our adversity and trust Him in our need.  In the natural you wonder if this dream you have, this vision, this need for God’s touch will ever come to pass.

When a woman carries the promise of baby in her womb she has joy, not because she has seen the face of her promised seed, but she knows that life is growing inside her and in due season it will come forth.  God’s promises to us are often like that fetus in the womb of our soul.  All we have is the promise, the expectation, and the anticipation of what God has promised and quickened in us, that it will come to pass.  Every woman that has born a child naturally will testify that there comes a day when it is time to birth, but in between the promise and the fulfillment is this little thing called ‘labor or travail’.  In that place there is often extreme and intense pain to bring forth this promise that has grown in her womb.  At the time she may feel like there is no way she can handle the pain or that she will make it through the process.  It will often bring her to the end of herself.  This same principle is true for us who are trying to give birth to a vision, a dream or a need that we have in us.  In the process of trying to birth it, everything in the natural is telling us we are going to die and fail in the process.  We are pressed to the extremes of our faith and trust in God, as we are desperately trying to hold fast to His Word and our hope in Him.  The Lord wants to encourage us today to not give up, to continue to hold fast because you are in the stages of travail and our faith is being exercised and stretched like it never has before.  The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are our labor coaches encouraging us that we can make it, that God is faithful, don’t fear only believe.

When we look back through the Word of God we can see so many examples of the trying of men’s faith and the travail they had to pass through.  We see Abraham willing in obedience to sacrifice his only Isaac, Jacob wrestling with the angel, Joseph enduring betrayal, slavery, imprisonment and hardship to finally realize the fulfillment of his dream.  We see David running for his life from Saul and the enemies that sought his destruction.  We see Daniel in the Lion’s den; the three Hebrew children facing the fiery furnace and Jeremiah left in the miry pit.  The examples are many and numerous, but most pronounced we see Jesus enduring the travail of His Passion that He might give birth to the Church and the salvation promised to men.  We are no different in our personal lives than they.  We with patience and steadfast faith we’ll also inherit the promises if we faint not.

Ephesians 6:13 tells us, “Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.”  Our God is raising His people not to be wimps that roll over in the face of adversity and look for the way of escape, but warriors who will stand in the day of battle and travail.  Perhaps you are in that day today with your circumstances.  2 Corinthians 2:14 exhorts and encourages us by saying, “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.”  Romans 8:37 reminds us, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Endure the day of travail for your joy comes in the morning.

Blessings,

#kent

The Way of the Cross Leads Home

 

2 Corinthians 4:7-12

 

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. [We are] troubled on every side, yet not distressed; [we are] perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  So then death worketh in us, but life in you”.

 

We, who are in Christ, are like the alabaster box that contains the precious ointment and perfume of the Life of Christ in us.  We may look pretty sitting on the shelf, but our value is not in the outward container, it is in the contents within.  We are like the man in Matthew 13:45-46: “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.”  When we have found the treasure of heaven, the Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, then next to Him, all else becomes worthless and of little value.  We are willing to forsake all to follow Him, to know Him and to possess His divine Life.  How wonderful!  We are all these earthen vessels that contain this treasure within them, but how does that make a difference to the world around us?  Like Mary with the alabaster box, she broke the box to release the treasure of the fragrance within.

Paul is explaining much of the same principle that was at work in their lives.  There is no strength or power in the vessel itself.  The power and life is only released in weakness, brokenness and total God reliance.  Our world and circumstances, life in general, often has a way of crushing and breaking us.  1Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” This is common and to be expected, especially among believers.  The true fragrance and essence of our life within is released most often in the place of suffering.  The fact is, it is the treasure within that sustains us, not with natural strength, but with divine and supernatural strength.  The enemy of our souls would crush us and destroy us, but in doing so he is only releasing the fragrance of the Christ in us.

Perhaps this sheds some insight into why we must suffer in life.  In those places of weakness and utter helplessness we find a strength and life not our own.  We are driven out of our self-reliance into trust and faith in our God.  He becomes then our life, our health, our supply, and our comfort.  As death works in our mortal bodies, it is only to give place to the life of Christ.

The even greater truth of this is that it works to a multiplication of His life in others through us.  Even as Jesus, being one man, through His death on the cross brought a multiplication of His Life to the world.  The harvest isn’t in the seed, it is in the seed dying to the outer shell and releasing the life within that grows up to produce multiple seed.  It is the principle of  John 12:24-25: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” The experiences that we go through in life are serving to develop us in faith, character and maturity in our walk with the Lord.  This, in turn, translates into our being poured out for others to minister life, encouragement and builds the faith of others to walk through their trials and testings in life.  The death of the cross works in us so that it might work for Life in others.

Don’t be discouraged if your vessel is being broken and you are being poured out on the altar of sacrifice.  You are becoming the sweet fragrance of Life to others.  It is the way of the cross that leads Home.

Blessings,

#kent

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