The Passing of My Father

August 27, 2012


John 14:27
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The Passing of My Father


I have never known the personal peace, strength and even joy in the midst of such great loss as losing my father, whom I love dearly, but Jesus you have been utterly amazing to the whole family. I have the absolute peace and confidence of where he now lives, not just where his body rests. It has been an amazing journey these last few weeks as I have been with my father to see him pass from life to LIFE. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father except through Me.” That is the path my father followed.
When we know our identity in Christ then we know that it is not in this earthen vessel that is our life, it simply facilitates our soul and the Christ expression in each of us.  When the spirit leaves, it is so evident that the life of the person no longer resides in the body.  It is because of this that when my father took his last breaths in his bed at home, mom and the kids were all there to wave goodbye to his spirit as it ascended to be with the Lord.  “We love you dad!  Say hello to Jesus.  Tell Him that we love Him.”  Peace, that finally dad was struggling no longer and had finally been birthed into the presence of Jesus and heaven.  How encouraging are the words that Paul speaks in 2 Corinthians 5:6-8, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. 7We live by faith, not by sight. 8We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”  Because we understand that the body is a tri-part person made up of body, soul and spirit.  We understand that when we lose the lower stage of our rocket it just causes us to break free from the bonds and boundaries of earth and this lower atmosphere to be propelled into the heavens, where as believers in Christ we have the confidence of residing.
We know that Jesus said in John 11:25-26,  “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”  We know that even now the resurrection and the life abides in us, because Christ abides in us, so even though we die, whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never see death, but goes from life to LIFE.
We have all walked in the knowing of this truth.  With my father, the two to three weeks preceding his passing was like a living memorial life celebration as brothers, children and grandchildren all came to say their good-byes, sharing what my dad had meant to them and in turn his being able to share with them and to speak into the lives of many, exhortation and encouragement.
Usually these are only spoken about the person, but not to the person.  It became evident the impact this seemingly ordinary man had had on so many in such an extraordinary way.  He had been a father to the fatherless, an example, mentor and advisor to so many.  His hard work, love and generosity was seen and recognized by all.  We often don’t realize the true value of our legacy until it is gone from us.  My dad left an inheritance that far outweighs gold and silver and the ripple of his impact will be felt through the generations that follow.  We may not always feel our life is making a great difference, but faithfulness, steadfastness, living your faith and being who you say you are bear greater witness and testimony than we can often imagine.

Blessings,
kent

2 Corinthians 5:21
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Coming Out of Guilt and Shame


You know, a lot of us as believers get pretty beat up sometimes by the thoughts of the enemy and the thoughts that we embrace and receive about ourselves.  We make the mistake of still trying to see our righteousness through the filter of our own efforts and abilities.  When we fall short, it seems the enemy is always right there to tell us what a failure and a mess we are.  What is even worse is when we join that pity party we are having with ourselves and those thoughts.  When we do that we separate ourselves from the identity of who we are in Christ.  Our righteousness is not in us, it never will be; it is in Him, and the righteousness of Him in us.
Righteousness, is right standing with God.  Who is the only one who can give us right standing with God?  We know it is only Christ.  It is certainly not our goodness or even best efforts.  Sin that has overshadowed us, clouded our vision and condemned us has no more dominion over us.  We are no longer the slaves of sin, we are the instruments of God’s righteousness.  We have no more obligation to the sinful man, because we reckon him dead in Christ.  As we live in Christ we displace the former man with the likeness, character and nature of our new man in Christ.
Do we struggle in areas of our life with sin?  Sure we do, but it doesn’t negate who we are in Christ.  It doesn’t diminish His love or acceptance of us in any way.  While we don’t condone or become acceptant of sin,  we don’t allow it to condemn us and rob us of what Christ freely gave us, not by what we earned by our goodness.
Why do have these areas of weakness wherein we all struggle with our issues?  For us to be overcomers there has to be those things that must be overcome.  Our faith and perseverance is tested and tried by the obstacles we face without and within.  Christ is not as concerned about your failure in areas as He is in you seeing and meeting your difficult areas identified and clothed with Him.  Our temptation is to fragment our identity into  “Christ in us” and then “us, as our old self”.  It is kind of like serving God and mammon.  You can’t have two masters.  If we are going to face our sin and our areas of weakness we have to do so as  “in Christ”, because only in that identity can we find our victory and overcoming.  The more we are filled with Him, by soaking and abiding in His presence and in His Word the more powerfully His life rises up in us to meet the challenges before us.
If we fail, does Jesus reject us?  No, we get back up, get our identity back in place and press into Him.  Remember  1 John 1: 7-10, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”
Oh, we’ll keep getting tested, but one day, as our hearts continually turn back to Him, we will find the Christ is in us waxing stronger and those areas of temptation and failure growing weaker.  We never want to make the mistake of again identifying our success in us, because all that we are  in success and in failure is “in Him”.  Just as an infant growing to child, child to adolescence and adolescence growing to adulthood, so Christ is growing up in us as we feed and nurture that life within us.  Our affections for the former things begins to pass away, because we are growing into something so much better and more fulfilling than the flesh could ever offer.
God loves us right where we at, but he loves too much to leave us there.  Don’t come into agreement with the enemy over your faults and failures.  Come into agreement with the Word of God that, “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”  Holy Spirit is transforming our lives into His righteousness as we offer ourselves as living sacrifices, refusing to be conformed to the world, but being transformed through the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus.  Identify no longer with sin, but with the righteousness of Christ you are becoming.
” Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Blessings,
kent

2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

Whose Image are You Identified With


When we see ourselves and others through the natural eyes of our understanding often all we see is cracked pots and broken vessels.  We see the flaws, the shortcomings and all the reasons why God shouldn’t or wouldn’t accept us.  As a result we make judgements upon ourselves and others that are not after God’s heart, but our own.
The enemy capitalizes upon the weaknesses, frailties and failures of men to bring further feelings of condemnation and unworthiness to us.  Through that image satan brings us to place where all we may see is our separation and unworthiness from the Father.  So often we allow this orphan spirit to become our identity and we begin to embrace his lie that robs us of our hope of restoration and relationship with our Creator.
Is that really truth?  Is that the reality God wants us to live in?
If it were, would Jesus have needed to sacrifice His holy life for us.  He took our sin upon Himself and became that sin for us, suffering the cross which was God’s holy judgement upon our sin, failure and shortcomings.  Even though many of us as believers acknowledge and receive that message, we still allow the law of sin and death to bring its condemnation in upon us and we still see ourselves after the natural man, embracing condemnation and defeat.
God wants to give us the eyes of the Spirit to see ourselves through His Truth and through His Word.  Jesus died to bring us into freedom and victory and into the identity of the way He has made for us to be sons and daughters of our Father God.  Jesus came to give back to us that godly identity and sonship that was robbed from in the garden through the first Adam.  It is only as we are willing to look in the mirror of God’s Word that we can begin to see the image of Him who formed us in His likeness.  There His Word declares the riches of who we are in Christ.  What we see is what we once were is dead.  We identified it with Christ upon the cross.  It has been crucified therefore it no longer lives.  Yet we so often lose sight of that as believers and we become the walking dead, resurrecting an old man that we crucified.  That is an unholy thing and an affront to Him who gave His life for us.  He raised us up a new creation to walk in the newness of His life, not our old one.  He didn’t  just accomplish this for us and then expect us to do it on our own, but He placed His Holy Spirit within us, that bears witness and gives power to this new life within us.
Now the Word exhorts us that even as in times past we gave life to the flesh we do so no more, but now we give place and give life to the Spirit of God and by this same Spirit that abides within us we put to death the deeds of the flesh that we may live out of the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  Our bodies are no longer the instruments of sin, but of righteousness to express and communicate His life that now abides within us.  Our soul is now being transformed into the image and likeness of Him who indwells our spirit.  Our outward man is now becoming the expression and instrument of that life giving force, power and righteousness that abides within us.
We are no longer are working under the fallacy of taking an old unredeemed life and body and making good and acceptable enough to worthy.  We have already seen through the law that this doesn’t work, but Christ comes within us by faith we accept and receive Him to transform us from the inside out by His righteousness and by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit within us.
People of God, let us lay hold of the identity that Christ has imparted into us, for our lives are hid in Him and as the Father looks upon us He sees us through the righteousness of His Son who is now our life and our righteousness.  Stop seeing yourself after the flesh and the natural man and start identifying with who the Father says you are.  Stop embracing the lie of the enemy and start embracing the truth of your God.
We may still see that we have shortcomings, issues and areas we know aren’t lining up with the Word of God, but rather than condemning ourselves, let us press into Him the more in those areas that He may be Lord of All.  He loves and accepts us in spite of ourselves, but He also loves us too much to leave us the way we were.  So Father we renounce the works of darkness that still try to operate in our lives and we embrace the Spirit of life that is dispelling all the darkness that once had dominion.  “For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:13)”  “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)”

Blessings,
kent

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