Liberty

July 23, 2015

Liberty

2 Corinthians 3:17

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.

Liberty is the liberation of the soul from the law of sin and death. It is emancipation from the bondage of the flesh. Liberty in Christ is the freedom to live in the calling and destiny our God has prepared for us, to realize His highest and His best for us. Oppressive forces are continually at work to rob our freedom, to undermine our liberty and to pervert the law of life in Christ Jesus to which we have been called. Our liberty in Christ is not found in the freedom to live to our flesh, or in self gain and promotion; it is realized in our dying to all that the world holds dear. Those former affections are no longer the object of our love and desire. When we really see Jesus, when the Spirit of God really possesses our soul, then all that is earthly, sensual and devilish will be as dung in comparison. We will catch the vision that Paul caught and we will run for the prize of the high calling that is in Christ Jesus. We are living in a day of purification and revelation. We are being called by the Spirit to come out of our former complacency, our ruts of religious thinking and form, and come into the anointing and calling that Christ has for each of us who are His. If you are reading these words, it is because you desire something more; you desire more of Him. God wants to impart more of Himself to us, but in order to impart the new, the old has to pass away or it is only a hindrance and a pollution of the new. Hebrews 9:8 says, “The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” We can not realize the fullness of God’s calling and the holiest of all as long as we are bent on carrying all of our old religious baggage with us. Do not depart from the Word of God, but put on new ears to hear not the same religious rhetoric that you have heard all of your days, but the sound of a new trumpet in the land. It is calling us up higher, but it is not going to often be all that we thought we understood. The Lord says in Isaiah 65:16-17, “That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes. For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” The Lord is doing a new thing in the earth. He is calling us out and up in ways we have not known before. Know this, that in the way of the cross there is suffering and in the suffering there is loss, but in the loss there is purification and resurrection from the dead. Don’t fear to let the former things go, for what the Lord is calling you into is so much higher and so much greater, but it is not the way of the flesh, nor of the will of man. Like Peter in John 21:18, the Lord would say to us, “I tell you the truth, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”” The calling of God is great upon our lives, but it is not without a price. Again we know and believe Romans 8:16-18, “The 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. 18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.” Can you hear the call of God personally upon your life today? Will you respond by releasing the former things and come to know Him in Spirit and in Truth. Learn His voice and obediently follow Him, for you are the sheep of His pasture. He is calling you into the liberty. When we truly find our liberty in Christ, then we will begin to become the liberators of others. 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty.” Search out and know your liberty in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,

#kent

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Confession of Faith

July 20, 2015

Philippians 3:3-6
I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Confession of Faith

Sometimes, if I start to see myself after the flesh, I will become discouraged, depressed and defeated. I will focus on all of the things I am not, all of the places I still fail, all the places I’m still selfish and self-centered and on all of that which I don’t yet see. I will allow my circumstances to dictate a life that I left behind when I identified myself with Christ on that cross and died to that old man of sin and death. If I allow myself, I could go back there again, but then that would be to deny Christ and what He has done for me. That would be to say that I wasn’t raised in the newness of His life, to live out of His life and no longer my own. That would be to return again and live under the law of sin and death, rather than out of the law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus. That would be to embrace the flesh, whose end is death and corruption, rather than embracing the Spirit, who enables and empowers me to walk in Life in the divine nature of His love.
What I am identifying with is what I am and am becoming, whether it be flesh or Spirit. It isn’t dependent upon what I see outwardly, it is fully dependent upon my believing the promises that my God gave to me or forsaking them to go back from whence I came. Behind me is only what brought me guilt and shame, but before me is my Jesus who has promised to bring to completion the good work that He began in me.
No, I may not see the fullness of Him yet, but I will keep pressing into Him, expecting and believing for His highest for me. I will not allow the discouragement, natural circumstances and even facts to detour me from the truth that I know in my heart. For I refuse to see through natural eyes alone anymore. He is teaching me to see all things after the Spirit; myself, my spiritual family and even the world around me. As I walk in the faith of who He is in me, I see more clearly others through God’s heart of love. I see that I walk in the earth, but I live out of heaven. I live in Christ Jesus who sits at the right hand of the throne of God. From that place I know that whatever touches my life has to come through the Father and the Son. I know that He works all things to my good, even the bad things, because He has loved me and called me according to His purpose. He doesn’t just love me, but in that love He corrects me, teaches me and stretches me. He makes me to come out of the dependency of my flesh, so that I can more full rest and rely upon Him. Only there will I learn of His rest that He has for me and only there can I operate out of the fullness of faith without which it is impossible to please Him.
I don’t know everything, I just know His Word. I don’t understand everything, I just trust the Holy Spirit to help me understand what I need to know. Life has a new meaning and purpose because He is in it. Because of that, it is no longer about me, it is all about Him. He has told me that all of His promises to me are “yes and amen”. As I walk in the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me, I believe I can walk into all that He has prepared for me. I don’t believe I have to die and go to heaven to experience and live out of a more abundant life. I believe heaven wants to live that abundant life through me as I walk in the earth. I believe God wants to manifest that kingdom in my earthen body as it is in heaven, but He can’t do that while I am still caught up in me. So with God’s grace and the power of His Spirit I submit myself and my will, which is the one gift He has allowed me to give to Him.
If you are looking for perfection in me, you won’t see it yet, but know that even in my human frailty and weakness I pursue Him who knows none. His blood continues to wash me and His grace certainly carries me. Out of His strength and abundance I will live and declare the name of the Lord, for He is my salvation, both now and evermore.

Blessings,
#kent

Practical Application for a Holy Life

Colossians 3: 1-3
1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

The first thing we need as Christians is a revelation of who we are in Christ. In Christ, the former man with it natural affections has passed away and we are putting on a new man renewed in thought, purpose and deed; reflecting and producing the image of Christ. Colossians 3 is a great application for who we are and what we are becoming, as well as what we need to be doing to get there.
We start out by realizing positionally where we are at, “raised with Christ” who is seated at the right hand of God. We are in Christ who is seated at the right hand of God. We aren’t going to find many positions higher than that. We, who are in that position, have come to a new mindset different from the one we formerly carried. We must be a heavenly-minded people whose affections are on things above and not on things below, who walk after the Spirit and no longer after the flesh. Many of us are still holding on to that old unrenewed mind and earthly affections. It is bringing us down and robbing us of who we are and what we have “in Christ”. It is only as we behold Him that the earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.
Colossians 3 is an instructional in the practical ways we are to become heavenly-minded and have a renewed mind. The first thing that it instructs us to do is often the hardest for us to put into practical application. Verses 5-11 instruct us, “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming, 7You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” Do you happen to recognize any of these attributes still lingering around your life? The hardest thing to put to death is our flesh. It has an instinct for survival and it will do anything, compromise anyway, promise to be good, it just doesn’t want to die; yet it must. We can see the value of keeping Christ and the Word of God constantly in front of us, so that we have a mirror of who we are in Christ and we don’t loose vision of where we are going and what our purpose now is. These little daily devotionals are just one more means I pray the Holy Spirit uses to continually prompt and exhort us in His ways and not our former nature. We tend to want to turn away and ignore the things that put a finger on our sin and our reluctance to yield certain areas of our lives to Christ. We all have our little weaknesses, our idols, and those things that our flesh covets and doesn’t want to give up. Yet, if we are unwilling, then we are living in rebellion and disobedience to Christ, we are not being true to who we are “in Christ”, thus we deny His best and His highest for us.
These scriptures tell us what we must take off, but what about what we must put on. God never takes anything away but what He doesn’t give us something better to replace it with. Verses 12-17 instruct us, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” God is in affect telling us to be clothed now with His nature, which is the holy apparel that is consistent with heavenly citizenship. The world around us must see something unique, different and special about the people who bear the name of Christ. If we are no different than the world, then we haven’t really changed identity or clothing. We are still living in the same old unredeemed man. Its not all about us going to church, or just talking about Jesus, or telling the world they are sinners bound for hell unless they repent; it is about a lifestyle and behavior that exemplifies who and what we are in Christ. That speaks so much more loudly than words. Give me a person that truly lives Christ before me and that will more quickly move me to change than all of the words and arguments they could give. When you put on Christ you don’t just put on different behavior, you put on a holy presence. It is a presence that exudes the love and power of the Spirit that you are of. God now has place and platform to glorify Himself through you.
Colossians 3 concludes by these instructions to the households of believers and the reminder that at the end of this natural life there is a reward and an inheritance. A reminder that it is Christ we serve and that if we choose to do wrong, that wrong bears its consequences without respect of persons. Verses 18-24 instruct us, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
19Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
20Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.
22Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to win their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, 24since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 25Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism.”
Thus we have simply laid out for us the guide for living the practical Christ centered life that is consistent with whom we now are. Daily we present our bodies a living sacrifice and daily we renew our minds in Christ. We apply these practical instructions with the help and power of the Holy Spirit, that in all things we might be conformed to His life and live consistent with the high calling that we have in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
#kent

The Lord Will Provide

January 6, 2014

Genesis 22:9-18

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the LORD called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” 

“Here I am,” he replied. 

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.” 

15 The angel of the LORD called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the LORD, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.” 


The Lord Will Provide


Most of us are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac when God spoke to Abraham to come up to the mountain and sacrifice the very precious promise that God had fulfilled to Abraham through his miracle son Isaac.  Isaac was the seed of promise and of the covenant that God had made with Abraham that his seed would be as numerous as the stars of heaven and of the sand of the seashore.  Now we come to the place where God has commanded Abraham to give his very best and the most beloved thing in this world, his son.  In faith and obedience Abraham did as the Lord had spoke to him, trusting God for what he did not understand, but God’s will and purpose truly held the foremost place in Abraham’s heart.  Here we see that Abraham has made the preparation and is about to sacrifice His only begotten son of faith and promise, when God stays his hand.  God proves Abraham’s faithfulness and his fear of the Lord.  When Abraham looks up there is a ram caught in the thicket.  A ram to sacrifice in place of his son.  “So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide.” 

What a type and shadow of God offering up His only begotten Son of covenant and promise for us.  He did not withhold His very best from us that He might provide for our every need according to His riches in glory.  

When we acknowledge the death and resurrection of our Lord would we be willing to plant our very best seed for Him as He did for us in Christ Jesus?  In John 12:23-26 “Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.”  The resurrection seed is a seed of increase, just as on the mountain of God Abraham declared, “The Lord Will Provide”.  It is a seed that unless it falls into the ground and dies, it remains a single seed.  Without a death there is no multiplication.

What is our Isaac today?  What do we hold dearest in our hearts and are we willing to come and lay it upon the altar?  Are we willing to come and give our very best to Him so that we may find His very best for us? 

Determine in your own heart what that resurrection seed is for you.  It may well be the seed you need to plant to find your breakthrough and your provision.  Trust the Lord and bring to Him your very best.  Let it be what you determine in your heart and what you bring to Him out of joy and worship, not out of obligation and condemnation.   When we come to this mountain, we, like Abraham, will find “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”  

 
Blessings,
kent

The Glory of the Latter House

December 27, 2013

The Glory of the Latter House


Haggai 2:9

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts


There is spiritual principle in the second chapter of Haggai.  I believe it is prophetic of what God wants to do with a people in this day and in this hour if we have ears to hear what the Spirit is speaking to the church.  Through the years and all of our efforts we continue to come up short of God’s highest and His best.  There have been seasons through history that have seen mighty outpourings of God’s Spirit upon the earth and a precious flow of His anointing through various individuals.  For the most part all of our spiritual efforts have fallen short of producing what we saw in the Acts of the Apostles and early church times when God’s Spirit moved so powerfully and miraculously.  That early power of the Holy Spirit had diminished so much through the years that many in the church world have developed the philosophy that these demonstrations of power and anointing were just for the early church to get it started and until the Bible was written.  I believe the often used pretext for this is, “But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away (1 Corinthians 13:10).”  If the Bible is that which it referred to as the perfect then why are we still living in an “in-part realm of the Spirit”?  I’m not saying the Bible isn’t perfect, I am just saying that the Word is the road map and the life guide to direct us to that which is perfect.  I believe 1 John 3:2 might provide a clearer picture of the perfect that is to come, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”  Until the fullness of Christ is seen upon the earth the “in part” will remain.  In the meantime the spiritual temple needs to be rebuilt.  Ephesians 4:11-13 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:”  When we, His temple, are rebuilt then He will come in all His glory to fill that temple. 

Haggai gives a parable in chapter two that illustrates why we aren’t being blessed and why all that we attempt to do is coming short.  “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests [concerning] the law, saying, If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If [one that is] unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.  Then answered Haggai, and said, So [is] this people, and so [is] this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so [is] every work of their hands; and that which they offer there [is] unclean (Haggai 2:11-14).”  The holy flesh was that which had been offered on the altar of sacrifice and cleansed by fire.  We might see it in the context that we bear holy flesh in the sense of “Christ in us” born in the skirt of our garments of flesh or our bodies.  We are sanctified and made holy by Christ in us, because of our faith and trust in Him.  We are born again spiritually and cleansed of our sin.  While we are made holy by the blood and life of Christ it doesn’t mean that everything we touch shall be holy.  That holiness and cleansing isn’t transferred through our bodies, it is only the Holy Spirit working through us that can sanctify and make holy.  Without His life and power at work nothing is going to happen through us.  On the other hand, if we who possess Christ go out and touch the dead things of this world or have our fellowship with unbelievers we can be defiled and made unclean.  Why?  Because we have touched sin and the death that surrounds it.  As a result we don’t lose Christ in us, but we are defiled and made unclean.  How do we get clean again?  1John 1:7-9 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”There is the process of confession and repentance that again cleanses us through the blood of Jesus.  Are we trying to operate spiritually in a state of defilement and uncleanness?  Is this the reason, “I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye [turned] not to me, saith the LORD (Haggai 2:17).”  God’s desire is to bless us as never before. God desires to move us to that place of repentance, confession and sanctification where we are keeping our lives before the Lord and in a place of right relationship and holiness.  This is the place of blessing and increase he is bringing us too.  “…From this day on I will bless you (Haggai 2:19b).”

 

Blessings,

kent

What is Our Temperature?

November 21, 2012

What is Our Temperature?

Revelations 3:15-17
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

The state of our spiritual temperature has to do with our acceptability before the Lord.
The Spirit of the Lord is giving us his temperature preference in this passage concerning the church and us as individual Christians. Many of us, if were not familiar with this verse, and ask the question of how we would rate ourselves in our spiritual walk with the Lord; whether hot, lukewarm or cold, would probably respond “lukewarm.” Why, probably because we see ourselves vacillating in our spiritual commitment and walk with the Lord. Many of us love the Lord, but we are not completely sold out and zealously pursuing Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength. We are Christians of convenience, mindful of the Lord when it is convenient for us to do so. The Spirit is speaking to us that He would rather not have us committed at all than to have us in a tepid state of apathy and lethargy where we live a semi-committed life. For us to be cold is defined as sluggish, inert in mind. One who is destitute of warm Christian faith and desire for holiness. While one that is hot is defined as one zealous and fervent of mind. It is so easy for all of us to fall into the error and pitfall of complacency in our relationship with the Lord. God wants us to be passionate about Him. He gave us this great salvation, not to have as an intermittent portion of blessing for our lives, a spiritual or religious activity to appease our conscience. He gave Himself wholly, unconditionally in His love for us. We do Him grave injustice if we desire to give anything short of our best and all for Him. Let us press into Him today and enter that “hot zone” where we are passionate and zealous for our Lord. We don’t want to be distasteful and the object of His rejection because of our unstable ways. James 1:8 says, “A double-minded man is unstable in all of his ways.” Are we single-minded today, where Christ is our life and all that we live for and do in life is centered around Him and His will for us? He is calling us continually higher in our spiritual commitment and walk with Him. Let’s be Hot for Him!

Blessings,
kent

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