Ephesians 4:17-24
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.
20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Dressing with Your True Identity

A young boy had grown up into manhood in poverty. He had never had enough to eat. He only had dirty rags for clothes to wear and was dirty and smelly from lack of hygiene. He was always looked down upon by others. When given the opportunity he would always take and horde whatever he could get because of his constant want. He learned to talk rough and hold his own in world. He even sometimes would steal when no one was looking. He had no father, no real mentor or example but the world and the school of hard knocks to teach him how to survive. All he had was an orphan spirit.
This young man would travel by catching freight trains and bummed around the country. One day he encountered a man in which he saw such love as he had never seen before and when this man looked upon him, he didn’t see him with disdain and judgement, but with love and compassion. This man took the young man to his home. He offered to adopt this young man and provide him with the opportunity for education. He offered to feed, cloth and house him, but even more importantly to bring him into relationship as a member of his family and home. The young man was overwhelmed by the man’s generosity and had such feelings of unworthiness to be brought into such a home and adopted as a son.
One of the first things the man to taught him was to bath and use proper hygiene. He gave him cleaned and pressed suits and garments to wear and began to educate him as an investment banker.
While the young man was very grateful for all that this generous patriarch offered him, he was still prone to want to put on the old dirty rags and go hang out around the railroad tracks and the slum areas. When he did he would tend to hang around the old crowd, drinking and cursing and living his old life.
His new found father set him down one day and shared with him that he could not maintain two identities. “Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” Every day you have to get up and dress with the identity of who you truly are. If you don’t acknowledge daily your true identity and dress accordingly you will soon find yourself slipping back into the identity of who you were, not who you are. That former life has to be gone with all of its attitudes and ways. It represents the antithesis or direct contradiction of what you now are. The old filthy rags have to be burned and your back turned to that former way of life. Even more importantly is to start your day dressing in the identity of who you now are and confessing what you now have. That old way only brought you misery and destruction, but “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11).” “Be made new in the attitude of your mind; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” It is in the attitude of the mind that battles are fought and won or lost. The former ways have no place now in who you are, but only you can daily dress your attitudes with the identity of who you truly are.
“By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. (1 John 4:17).”

Blessings,
#kent

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Conformed to His Image

March 17, 2014

Romans 8:28-30

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.


Conformed to His Image


Early in the morning the alarm sounds to wake him from his sleep.  After a few groggy minutes he stirs and arises from his bed. The first thoughts are, “Praise you Father, thank you for a new day.”  As he staggers towards the bathroom his minds begins to clear.  “Who am I?”, are among the first thoughts that he thinks and hears.    

“I am a son, a called and set apart one for my Father.  I am what Jesus prayed I would be in John 17:20-23.  “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. ”  I am the product of sonship, Father God’s adoption and acceptance of me in Christ.  I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.  I am the product of God’s unconditional love, calling, purpose and design.  He has created me for His glory and I have been brought into unity with the Godhead, through Christ to let the world know that Jesus still lives, that God sent Him and that they may believe that He sent Him for them.  Even as Jesus told Thomas in John 14 that He was the expression of the Father, He has called me out of darkness to be the expression of Christ in me.  

I am no longer the man I used to be.  Old Adam has been crucified with Christ and no longer lives.  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)”  Old things have passed away and behold all things are new, for I am new creation in Christ Jesus, no longer conformed to the world, but transformed, metamorphosed into His image through the renewing of my mind (Romans 12).  I am being changed from glory to glory.  With unveiled face I am being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).  “As He is, so are we in this world (John 4:17).”  

“There is now no condemnation for me for I am in Christ Jesus and the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death ( Roman 8:1).” I will longer embrace, identify and think upon the former life of sin, death and judgement.  As a son, I live under a new law, a higher law and a more glorious dispensation.  By faith I receive it and embrace it.  I no longer walk after the flesh, but after the Spirit, because I am a product of the Spirit and His life now abides in me.  I am for His glory and no longer for my own, therefore by the Spirit I will put to death the deeds of the flesh, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith. (1 John 5:4)””

Then he thinks what is my position as God sees me and he remembers the scripture from Ephesians 2:22, “And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”  So I am God’s habitation and abiding place, but positionally Ephesians 2:4-6 says, ” But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”  So I am in Christ in heavenly realms and places.  With that heavenly position and perspective my giants will become as grasshoppers.  I will do as Colossians 3:1 says, ‘Since, then, I have been raised with Christ, I will set my heart on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set my mind on things above, not on earthly things. 3For I died, and my life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is my life, appears, then I also will appear with him in glory.’  If my life is hid in Christ then I sit with Him at the right hand of the Father.  For anything to touch me, it first must go through the Father, through the Son and back to me.  What touches me ‘I know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’

What is my purpose?  Ephesians 2:10 says, ‘For I am God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for me to do.’  If the purpose of Jesus is to draw all men to Himself and destroy the works of the devil then that must be my purpose as well since I manifest Him.  I am to be the expression of His love, because He first loved me (1 John4).  1 Peter 2 says, “But I am a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that I may declare the praises of him who called me out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once I was not His people, but now I am one of the people of God; once I had not received mercy, but now I have received mercy.”

Now that he has refreshed his heart, mind and spirit in who God says he is, he is ready to arise, spend time with Papa and conquer his day.

 

Blessings,

#KentStuck

Fear

July 16, 2013

Fear

1John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

It has been said that fear is the opposite of faith. How many places does fear have in your life? We recently did an exercise in a Christian business class where we listed ten things we would like to do if we had no fear of failing. Try it, you might be amazed at what you would do if you couldn’t fail. I found I would do things that perhaps I had never really dreamed of before. Being a rather prudent man when it comes to taking risk, I find I evaluate my situation more from the standpoint of seeing my glass half empty rather than half full. I can see all the reasons something can’t work or why it will probably fail. One of my goals is not to be presumptuous, but to step out in bold faith where the Lord is leading and do things out of my box.
How many of us become paralyzed by our fears. Our fear of death, our fear of sickness, our fear of lack of finances, losing our job, our children being hurt or becoming involved in harmful things, someone not continuing to love us and on and on. For many of us, our lives are consumed with fear and the bottom line is, this isn’t faith. Fear has torment and many of us are tormented daily by our anxieties and fears about so many aspects of our lives.
Perfect Love casts out fear. Close your eyes for a moment and picture yourself upon the lap of all mighty heavenly Father. You’re sitting there with your head against His breast and His loving arms surround you. In that place what do you feel? Do you have any fear in that place or do you see yourself just surrounded in the security, peace and the power of His love. It is a place where nothing can touch you unless it goes through the Father first. This is that place of perfect Love. It is a place you can dwell in all of the time. Do you know your position in Christ? Ephesians 2:6 says, “And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:” You see the Word says we are already in that place in Christ. How many of us are being robbed, tormented and have no peace because of fear. Fear is not knowing who you are and where you are in Christ. This kind of fear is not of the Spirit of God, it is Satan’s favorite tool to undermine your faith and confidence in God. 2 Timothy 1:7 says, ” For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” God wants us to be free from our fears. For this to happen faith has to operate in the perfect love of the Father. We have that assurance that even when bad things happen to Christian people it is filtered through the Father. Even in our spiritual discipline there is love at work in our lives to bring us deeper into our walk with Him. This is why we must begin to declare the Word of God over our lives into our circumstances. ‘It is not the things that are seen that are real, but the things that are unseen.’ We must cease to just live out of our senses and lay hold of who and what we are in the sight of God. We are no longer just fleshly people; we are spiritual people who must live out of the Spirit of God. That is the real and that is the eternal. If we are going to fear anything, let us fear God in the sense that we take Him at His Word and reverence what He has spoken to us through it. Our fear is an insult to God, because we are telling Him we don’t trust in His perfect Love. Find the peace that is in His perfect Love and the fear will have no place to rear its dark ugly head in the light of God’s glory and grace.
The verse before our key scripture today in 1John 4:17 says, ” Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.” Praise God, what a bold and wonderful statement. Take a moment to try and comprehend it. Christ is the example of what we are becoming in this earth and what we are to manifest to our world in Him. Fear is the lie that robs our faith and makes us impotent to carrying out the will and purpose of God in our lives.
Rebuke and bind the spirit of fear off of your life in the powerful name of Jesus. Begin to lay hold of the whole counsel of God and what He says you are and what you have in Him. Come into that place of confidence and assurance in His Perfect Love. Let faith arise in your hearts and live in the realm of faith, not circumstances. ‘You are more than a conqueror through Christ that has loved you.’ You are the child of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and the God All Mighty what can this world or Satan do to you, or what does it matter?
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)”
“NO FEAR!!!”

Blessings,
kent

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