Gifted to Give

October 13, 2015

Ephesians 4:7-10 (Amplified)
Yet grace (God’s unmerited favor) was given to each of us individually [not indiscriminately, but in different ways] in proportion to the measure of Christ’s [rich and bounteous] gift.
8Therefore it is said, When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive [He led a train of vanquished foes] and He bestowed gifts on men.
9[But He ascended?] Now what can this, He ascended, mean but that He had previously descended from [the heights of] heaven into [the depths], the lower parts of the earth?
10He Who descended is the [very] same as He Who also has ascended high above all the heavens, that He [His presence] might fill all things (the whole universe, from the lowest to the highest).

Gifted to Give

Our God is such a giving God. What He has given us in the riches of His grace through Christ Jesus I don’t think any of us have fully assimilated and processed what we have in Him. It is implied here that as Christ ascended back into heaven all of the those gifts, attributes and the anointing that rested upon Him from the Father was distributed throughout His body. No one person was given the whole, but we were all given the parts that by coming together and operating as a body under the headship of the Lord Jesus Christ, we the many, might become one in Him.
Jesus says in John 14:10-14, “10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” Jesus Himself has commissioned through His body a greater works ministry operating out of the power of His name and led by the Holy Spirit. Even as the Father expressed Himself through His Son, He is in turn the expression of the Father through His body that truly believe and dare to step out into this place of faith, having confidence in His promise. We are like children who are learning to swim. At first we are fearful. We thrash at the water. We spit and sputter and often get into a panic. What we have to learn to do is to work with the water and not against it. Slowly we come to find that if we can truly rest then the water will actually support our bodies and we can float. We learn that with minimal effort we can maintain our buoyancy. Eventually we learn to move quickly through the water and the water becomes our friend instead of this body of fluid that we once might have been dreadfully fearful of. This is the way the Holy Spirit is in our lives. The more familiar we become with Him the more at home we feel in His presence and operating out of His directive.
Jesus not only imparted unto us gifts, but also He took those strong men, those oppressive spirits that once held us captive and He led them into captivity. The door of your prison is unlocked. All you have to do is have the faith to open it and walk out. There is nothing that can hold you or separate you from the love of God. You are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. Christ gave us the richest gift that any man could ask for. He gave us Himself. He literally imparted Himself to us. What we see in a foretaste and measure is to become the whole and likeness of Him. Right now it is all of us working in the unity of the faith and operating by faith in the giftings that He has imparted into each one of us. If you don’t know what your calling and giftings are, begin to operate within a body that has body ministry and you will most likely find your gifts coming to the surface. In so many assemblies the body has been dumbed down to think and believe that it is only the missionaries, teachers, ministers or pastors that are ordained to operate in the gifts of the Spirit. This is contrary to what this passage in Ephesians speaks about. Their responsibility is to bring the rest of the body into their purpose and calling in Christ Jesus and to allow the giftings of Christ to abound to the edification and the building up of the body. Ephesians 4:11-13 says, “11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
This brings us to the “why” of what Christ has imparted the gifts and the riches of His grace toward us for. He gives to us so that we in turn might give to others. This is the law and economy of His kingdom. He doesn’t give to us to hold on to what He gives us, but to in turn impart it into others. His giftings are so that we might be givers, blessings and the increase of the Lord upon the lives of those around us, both Christian and non-Christian alike. We are the pipeline, the conduits and the sprinkler heads of God’s grace and goodness that we wants to dispense to mankind through so many avenues and in so many ways. We have been blessed to be the blessing of Abraham and through us all of the nations will be blessed in the knowledge and the goodness of God.
You have a gift and a talent. You may not see in yourself any good thing, but God sees it, because He put it there. Learn to work with the water of His Holy Spirit so that by the Spirit it may become manifest and minister the blessing He has imparted into you. You have been gifted to give.

Blessings,
#kent

Show us the Father

April 16, 2015

John 14:8-13
Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”
9Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Show us the Father

There are many concepts of God. Some think of Him as an old man with a great white beard setting upon a throne in heaven. Some conceive Him as a celestial Santa Clause. Some see Him as an angry God with a big stick ready to smack all who sin. Men have contrived many ideas and views of God, but what is true? Philip obviously had his own ideas when he asked Jesus to show them the Father.
Jesus once said something to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4 about who God is as she was confronting Him about this similar question. “Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”” (John 4:21-24) He tells us something key, God isn’t natural physical substance or being; He is Spirit. The Holy Spirit that abides in you is God in you. What Jesus, the man, manifested and lived out in the earth was the Spirit of God in Him. Because Jesus was never given to the flesh, but only walked by the Spirit, He was the embodiment of the Father, the Spirit of God. Jesus came to get that same Spirit into us, so that we will operate out of faith in His name; embodied and indwelled by His Spirit and nature so that we might do the works that He did. Jesus says, “he will do even great things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”
Some of us have thought that if we just use the magic words, “In the name of Jesus” all these things would happen. What Jesus is showing through His life of example is that a name is not just words that we speak, but a nature and character that we possess and the Spirit of the Father is what we manifest.
Remember Romans 8:9-17 teaches us? “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” We are no longer naturally minded beings, but spiritual beings operating as sons of God out of the Spirit of God. This why it is so important that we get a hold of our identity and live out of it. We live so much a mixture of flesh and spirit that we negate the power of God in us. Isn’t Father looking for human temples that are consecrated solely to His will and purpose. If we are to see that greater works ministry through our lives then let us do as Hebrews 12:1-3 exhorts us, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. 2Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
If we would see the Father, then let us walk as Jesus walked and operate out of His Spirit, which is the Spirit of the Father. Father already came down into earth and humanity, now He is desiring to bring us up into the Spirit and heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I have shared it before and I will share again a saying I once heard as a teenager that has always stuck with me. “The Son of God became the son of man, so that the sons of men, could become the sons of God.” (author unknown)

Blessings,
#kent

Container of God

December 11, 2014

John 14:9-14
Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Container of God

Philip asks a rather superficial question of Jesus that evokes a response from Jesus that unveils all that He is. “Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Philip, like so many of us, is only focused on the outward and so he, like so many of us, misses the real truth. The truth was the Father had been there all of the time in the person of Jesus. Their lives and identity are woven as one and you can’t have one without the other.
What is the relationship that Jesus Christ is communicating to His disciple in these last hours that He has with them. Their is such a powerful truth here that we so often read over it, but like Philip, we really haven’t grasped its reality. Jesus tells Philip (paraphrasing), “I am the expression and the manifestation of my Father. He who is Spirit is revealed to you through my flesh.” What we see in Jesus, His life, His words, His love and His expression is Father’s nature and character expressed through humanity, into humanity. No one had ever gotten closer to touching and seeing God than when they beheld and touched the life form of the Father in Jesus. What Jesus expresses here and through his Spirit anointed prayer in John 17 are truths that we seldom dare to truly believe and embrace. In John 17:20-23 Jesus prays, “”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.””
Jesus came into the world hidden from the world’s view, because He was nothing significant or important as the world views it. Those who truly know their identity in Christ are most often like Jesus, insignificant in the world’s eyes. What sets the true people of God apart is that they are embracing the reality and truth that as the Father was in Jesus, so Christ is in us. Even as Jesus grew up obscured from public view. Luke 2:52 says, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” God is maturing Sons (both men and women) that are the expression of His divine character and nature. These Sons are not their own. They have relinquished self for sonship, even as Jesus was not His own. What He heard the Father speak, He spoke and what He saw the Father do, He did. As the Father had expression through the Son, so the Son has expression through us as we will yield our beings to Him. Jesus relinquished His will for God’s will, just as we must also relinquish our will for His. Jesus, through His prayer to the Father and later through the giving and imparting of the Holy Spirit into us as believers, He came into us with the purpose of being one with us.
Can we hear that today or are we like Philip who could only see the superficial relationship, but hadn’t truly grasped that Jesus Christ and the Father were one? We see and often view the Father and Christ as up in heaven and if we keep looking up we will see him come back some day. That is a Philip mentality. The Christ is right here with you. He is residing in you. Many of us have just lacked the revelation of who we are in Christ. We are still identifying ourselves in an old Adam mentality. We are still looking into the natural mirror and seeing Adam reflected back rather than looking into the mirror of God’s Word and seeing Christ reflected back. Who are you going to embrace and believe?
Ephesians 2:5-6 declares, “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, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.” Why are we looking up to heaven when we are already seated their in Christ? Even as Jesus Christ was the kingdom of God come into the earth, He wants to establish His kingdom through a many membered Christ. Unless the His kingdom is come and His will is done in you first how can it be made manifest to the world?
Has the Son been with you all this time and yet you have not seen Him? Jesus makes an almost incomprehensible statement here in John 14:12-14, “12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” If you have the spiritual eyes to see and the faith to receive, then Jesus is telling you what He has just demonstrated through His life, you can do in like manner through yours if you know who you are in Him. This not about you being God or having a God complex. This is about you being dead and Spirit of Christ being released to live through you. It is all right there, resident in you now if you be in Christ. Embrace the identity you have in Him, for He created you and purposed you to be a container of God.

Blessings,
#kent

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