Precious Stones

October 3, 2014

Precious Stones

Zechariah 9:6
And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

Stones are used throughout the Word of God to represent a natural occurring element as opposed to one that are fashioned by the work of men’s hands. Precious stones have always been a sign of wealth and most often associated with kings or used in the Lord’s service, such as in the ephod of the priests.
What kind of stones do we suppose the Lord would use to build His house? Would they be common or ordinary rocks or would they be smooth, polished and precious stones? 1 Peter 2:5 says, “you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” Understand that if God has chosen you out and is using you to build His house, then obviously you must be pretty precious. We often don’t see ourselves and how precious we are in the sight of God, because we see only the raw materials, but God sees the finished work. With God there is a process of us being built into a spiritual house and becoming His spiritual priest hood. God is removing the temporal in us and replacing it with the eternal. What is being developed and formed in us will stand the test of time and more importantly it will stand the test of the fire of God, because we have been fashioned and formed through the fire. Stones are elements created under pressure and it is the pressure that God allows in our lives that proves us, that deals with the temporal and causes us to lay hold upon the eternal. In place of our natural mind we put on the mind of Christ. That mind is revealed to us as we lay hold of the Word of God by faith and walk it into our reality. Our vision is not fixed on the earth and that which is quickly passing away, it is fixed upon the eternal that can only be realized and appropriated as we walk by the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3: 11-16 tells us this, “11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. 14If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. 15If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
16Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.” While God desires to fashion us for His purpose and His temple, how are we working together with Him concerning the material we provide to fashion our spiritual lives. Are we providing and using corruptible and perishable materials or are we using eternal principles and materials to build our lives in Christ. The Day will reveal the stones as they are put through the fire. All that has been formed of perishable and natural things will be consumed in us and only that which of the imperishable precious things of God’s redemption, nature, and the wisdom and knowledge of His life in us will stand the test.
God is building a house with precious lively stones. Let us do all to make sure that we are the stones fashioned in His image; building our individual temples and lives upon the firm foundation of Jesus Christ.

Blessings,
#kent

Good Enough

December 13, 2013

Good Enough

God is not looking for those who can be good enough to earn His favor, but humble enough to receive the favor and forgiveness He has already given us in Christ Jesus. In Him, there is no more condemnation.
Kent Stuck

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

September 24, 2013

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing

2 Timothy 4:14-18
Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works: Of whom be thou ware also; for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all [men] forsook me: [I pray God] that it may not be laid to their charge. Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and [that] all the Gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve [me] unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen.

How many of us have been living life on a pretty even keel. We are getting along pretty well in our social relationships with people, living, what we feel, is a relatively good Christian life and testimony and then it happens. Some one comes into your life that train wrecks you emotionally and possibly in many other ways as well. Quite possibly they have come to you under the guise of another Christian Brother or Sister who loves the Lord. Maybe, initially you have sat and had great fellowship with them. They have won your friendship, trust and confidence and then it happens. At first some things start not adding up, there are seeming misunderstandings or miscommunications. Eventually it becomes evident that they are lying to you. They have been manipulating and using you as long as they could for their own gain or cause. Perhaps they are slandering you, spreading vicious rumors and trying to destroy your reputation. This is especially true if you are trying to expose them for who they are. What is worse is that they are still below the radar of most of their other associations, so most still perceive them as this wonderful spiritual person. Whether they are still perceived as spiritual or not you find yourself duped and taken advantage of. When you confront them they are always full of false promises of restitution and reconciliation or in total denial, turning it back on you as having the problem. What do you do with someone like that?
These types of people are probably much like those Paul describes in 1Timothy 3, when he talks about those who come having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was (1 Timothy 3:1-9).” What is disturbing is the emotional and spiritual destruction they leave in their wake. They often come defrauding honest people, deceiving, manipulating and betraying those who have embraced them in Christian love and fellowship. They often bring division and strife, as they turn brother against brother and sow the seeds of discord. Sometimes you would wonder if even they realize that they are the instrument of satan rather than the instrument of God.
The Word tells us that there will be those wolves in sheep’s clothing that will come among and try and destroy and undermine the work of God. We must guard our hearts, for their greatest strength is gained when they get us into the flesh, operating out of emotion and feelings, rather than out of the spirit. If we are able to rather stand in the Lord, entering into the fortress of prayer and lifting up a spiritual standard against this spirit, in time it will be broken. When we become frustrated, angry and discouraged, we tend to want to fall back upon the arm of the flesh to fight our battles. What did Moses do when Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses? Jannes and Jambres were thought to be the Pharaoh’s Egyptian sorcerers and magicians. It is interesting that Jambres name means, poverty, bitter and a rebel. What Moses did was let the Lord be His authority and vindicate his position. God will vindicate the righteous, but it may not be before there is great persecution. Again our lesson is to be discerning of men, stand our ground based on the Word of God and through prayer and confidence in God allow God to go before us in battle, so that we walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh.

Blessings,
kent

September 12, 2013

The Blessing of Our Women

Proverbs 31:8
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband [also], and he praiseth her.

Most all of us have a woman or women that are very special in our lives. They are often so dependable, constant and such a continual source of blessing that we often become complacent and even unappreciative in our attitudes toward them. Much like our attitude can become toward the Lord, we can become very insensitive to their presence, their continual serving and blessing and all that they contribute to our lives. We often are far more acutely aware of their faults, their nagging, and their expectations. Yet it is often some of these little irritating qualities that keep us on track, that help us live up to our abilities and responsibilities, and they are often the cornerstones of our households. These little ladies look after us, pamper us, serve us, bless us, love us, even when we are unlovely and are constantly laying down their lives to unselfishly serve and bless their families.
Often we relegate one day a year to commemorate and recognize these special ones, which is much like just going to church on Christmas or Easter. We should be so cognizant to love and appreciate them every day, in every way and through all of the little actions as well as the larger ones. Sure they have their human side. They can get cranky and irritable and some times hard to live with, but that may be a good indication that we as men and children aren’t doing our part to support, love and care for them.
I know my wife is so giving and far more generous than I am. While I’m always carefully watching the bottom line, if there is something I really need or want, she doesn’t hesitate to try and bless me with it if it is in her power to do so. Time would fail me to tell all of the examples of her giving and blessings in my life. She is such an example of love and Christ to me in these areas. Often, I get irritated with her for always asking me if I remembered this or that, but if she didn’t she knows that there is a good chance I would go off and forget it. What I am saying is that these special women are such a constant source of blessing and help to us, and we usually cop an attitude with them in their efforts to help us keep on track.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Favour [is] deceitful, and beauty [is] vain: [but] a woman [that] feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” We men and children that have godly women in our lives are very blessed and should never fail to praise and appreciate them. They wear innumerable hats, continually work at daunting tasks and yet manage to love and serve their household in that process. Many of us truly have heroines living among us whom we don’t love and appreciate nearly enough. They deserve our best, because they give no less of themselves.
It is interesting that some of Jesus’ last thoughts and concerns, while hanging on a cross, were for His mother. He delegated her care to the disciple John. If we see Jesus throughout His ministry so tender, loving, forgiving and caring of women should we, as men, be any less so? He valued women as few men did of that time. The Word exhorts us husbands in Ephesians 5:25, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.”
We must ask ourselves, as men, husbands and children, are we really everyday appreciating and showing the women in our lives how special they are? Our encouragement and praise means so much to them and helps them to continue on in their endeavor to serve and bless us. I speak this as strongly to myself as I do anyone else; that the women in your life are an extension of you in one way or another. If we love ourselves then we must not fail to love and bless them as a part of ourselves. Many of our marriages and relationships fail, because we cease to really love and appreciate one another. We become focused on all of the faults and shortcomings and actually cause them to become accentuated through the negative confessions of our lips. What if we were to speak, sometimes by faith, what we see or would like to see more of them, in a positive way? What if we were to be sure and praise and appreciate often the positive aspects of one another while humbly and willingly receiving loving correction and exhortation from one another. None of us are the perfect husband or wife, mother or child, but we can move and encourage one another toward that through the positive reinforcement we can bring to one another’s lives. Let today and each coming day be a day of true appreciation of those special women in our lives. Let us continually let them know how special they are and how much they bless our lives.

Blessings,
kent

Patience

August 15, 2013

Patience

Luke 21:19
In your patience possess ye your souls.

You may possess many attributes of the Spirit, but one we must develop and hold fast to is patience. Patience is something we deal with daily on a small scale. In the midst of life’s demands and our busy schedule we often find ourselves running out of patience. People with their different personalities and often seeming indifference to our time constraints stretch our patience.
These are the little areas that play into the larger picture of what God wants to develop in us concerning patience. Patience in the Word of God concerning our walk carries the meaning of steadfastness, constancy and endurance. It is often perseverance in the face adversity and trial that holds our faith constant and undeterred. The promises of God are often only possessed after much faith and patience. If we can’t wait on God, then we are going to have a hard time making it, because He moves in His time and season and not ours. It is the daily tribulations that work the higher patience in which we possess our souls. The waster and destroyer is ever scheming and undermining us, trying to get us to just give up. Sometimes we grow weary in our constant uphill battle to live faithfully to Christ. Galatians 6:9 says, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” The race is often not to the swift, but to the one whom, with patience and endurance, finishes the race.
Let patience have her perfect work in us today, that we may endure and stay the course, for in it we possess our souls.

Blessings,
kent

Neglect

July 9, 2013

Neglect

Ephesians 5:21
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Does your mind every wander back over the years of your life and you wonder, in retrospect, what you might have done differently to make them even, better, more productive and more loving.
It occurs to me that I will never regret not yelling or being angry with my wife more, but I may well regret the time and attention I neglected to give her. I’ll never regret the times I spent playing with my kids or grandkids and the special memories they created, but I may well regret all of the times I was too busy or involved to take the time with them. Neglect is often something we are not even aware of when it is happening. Usually we have sufficient other priorities to justify it when it is taking place.
In life the most beautiful and productive gardens are those that are constantly tended with a loving hand. Hours are spent watering, fertilizing, planting, pruning, pulling weeds, spraying for insects and all the things that make for beautiful garden. Will you and I regret that we didn’t spend more time in our gardens nurturing the human relationships that God has allowed in our lives? Will we even remember what it was that was so important that we didn’t make the time for those most important in our lives?
Perhaps our gardens aren’t so pretty today, because they have been neglected. Our time and our love can do wonders to restore life and relationship if it comes from our heart. People are no doubt the most important thing on God’s heart. If I am becoming more like Him they should be more important to my heart as well. Especially the ones God has given me responsibility for or accountability too.
Maybe today is a good day to go out and work in the garden of relationships.

Blessings,
kent

A Word of Wisdom

May 24, 2013

Psalms 36:9
For with thee [is] the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

A Word of Wisdom

It is in the light of God’s truth and wisdom that we find light . As we pursue and meditate upon His word He is our eternal fountain. All through Proverbs 8 wisdom speaks to us about whom She is and what She desires to impart unto those who will seek Her. In verses 7-8 it says, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom [is] better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it.” The most valuable things in life are not in the material world they are found in the wisdom of God who is our fountain of life. Wisdom says in verse 17, “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.” In all of your getting, get widom for she will not fail you and She will deliver you in your day of trouble. She will prosper you and give you good success.

Blessings,
kent

Stepping into Maturity

April 8, 2013

Stepping into Maturity
1 John 3:2-3
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. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

There is a place we grow to in the kingdom of God when we cease to be a child, adolescent and teenager with all our sins and indiscretions. We are brought to that place of manhood or maturity in the Spirit. Often we love the benefits of being God’s children but we don’t want the responsibility and accountability. Yes, the Lord’s convicting me, how about you? Galatians 4:1-7 says, “Now I say, [That] the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” What is this Sonship?
We are theKing’s kids and our Christian upbringing is to be groomed and prepared for the place of authority, power and rulership where we step into our places as Kings and Priests of the Most High God. While we love the Father and we love His blessings, we must often learn obedience through the things we suffer, even as Christ (Hebrews 5:8). Whether that be through trials and tribulations, consequences of our sins or the actions and dealings of the Holy Spirit through any or all of these. These are bringing us more and more to that place of obedience. We ultimately must come to the place where we lose our identity as an individual in order to fulfill the office, calling and position for which we have and are being prepared. At that place we relinquish the place of self-will for God’s will. If He is to bring us to our coronation of “Royal Kings and Priest” we have to truly be at that place where it genuinely is ” no longer I that liveth, but Christ in me” (Galatians 2:20).
There may be part of us that wants to shrink back from the cost of service, sacrifice and commitment. Then there is another part of us that knows for this purpose we were born. There is a high calling of Sonship and it comes with a high price; the cross for a crown. The authority and power of God must be exercised out of the nature of Christ in us, and a pure heart, anything less will corrupt and pollute. Instead of life it will bring death. Instead of selfless giving there will be selfish misuse and abuse of authority. How much of this do we see at work in the church world today? Authority and power are given for service to the bringing forth of life and for the glory of God. Never is it to be used for selfish ends. The Lord is our instructor. For us to truly bear His name we must lose our old name (nature). We must to come to our death to experience the fullness of our Life and inheritance in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
kent

Position in Christ

April 5, 2013

Colossians 3:1-3
Since, 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 youra life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Position in Christ

These first three verses of Colossians are pivotal to our understanding of position in Christ. Our old man was not only crucified with Christ upon the cross and buried with Him. It is equally as important that we understand that our spirit man has also been raised with Christ and we are positioned there with Him, in Him at that right hand of the Father.
Ephesians 2:6-7 confirms this position that we hold, “And 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.” So much of our Christian theology has been built around when we die and go to heaven, but we must get the revelation that our spirit man is already there and we are “seated there with Him in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”. When we have a true revelation of that then we can begin to see from that perspective. Instead of us being like grasshoppers looking up at the giants that face us, we suddenly realize that we are the ones looking down upon our giants as if they are the grasshoppers that we can crush beneath our feet, because we are in Christ and that positions us above ALL principalities, powers and dominions, not only in earth, but in heavenly places.
When I asked the Lord a while back about how do we begin operating out of the third heaven, instead the second heaven, where satan rules, He showed me three key principles. These three principles are IDENTITY, POSITION AND PURPOSE. When we get a hold of these three principles we will begin to live and operate out of a different realm that is higher than where we have been. Colossians does go on to speak to the conditions of living out of this position. It tells us our mind and thinking need to be in a whole other place than thinking about the things of this earth and present world that we live in. It reminds us that we died to earthly affections and things of this life. Our life is now hidden in Christ, ready to be revealed in His appearing, when we also shall appear with Him in glory.
Paul goes on here in Colossians 3 to exhort us to put to death all that is of the old man, because we are a new creation in Christ Jesus. That means we are to put on this Christ mind that is renewed, regenerated and is in the process of being transformed in the image and likeness of Him who also now dwells in our mortal bodies. He is calling to us to come up higher, put off old affections and old ways of thinking and being. Our new creation man lives out of a whole different realm and it is not compatible with our old man. We have upgraded in a major way and are living under a whole new operating system called the kingdom of heaven. The major components of this realm are righteousness, peace and joy as we live out of the LOVE of Him who indwells us.
See your position today and the identity you have in Christ as a believer, so that you may enter into that position and live from it. It is not in this world, so set your mind on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God, not on earthly things.

Blessings,
kent

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

Malachi 3:1

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

When asking the Lord what is the most important message of this hour I believe “preparation” is what He is dropping into my heart. It is the time of a John the Baptist ministry when He has sent His servants into the Land to stir the hearts of the people to repentance and preparation for the coming King.

We have all grown so complacent with the lifestyles that we lead. We truly have far greater riches and blessing than the majority of the rest of the world. That is wonderful in some ways, but in others we have fallen into the snare of self-reliance and contentment. I see this in my own heart as well as others. In the spirit, God is speaking, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” He is exhorting and warning us to stir ourselves to faith and action. It is a time to really seek the Lord and what His purpose and plan is. We may still be in the stages of preparation, but we should be no less diligent in seeking God’s highest for our lives. Things are boiling beneath surface and there will soon come a time when things will be released upon the earth, no doubt in both realms of light and darkness. Lethargy and mediocrity will prove to be the ropes that have tied our hands and feet. Over and over in what we hear the Lord speaking He is saying, “press into Me, repent of your sinful ways and start pressing into the high calling that is yours in Christ Jesus.”

The book of Proverbs teaches that it is the wise man that listens and takes heed to reproof, but the fool only despises it. May the Lord heighten our spiritual senses and accountability today as we endeavor to walk closer to Him and pursue His righteousness. A shaking has already began and a judgement has come upon His house, for God first judges His own house. He is exposing our sin and our corruption. He is shouting from the rooftops those things that have been done in the closet.

This is the day for us to get our hearts right again, to purify ourselves and put away our iniquities. Can we hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches? More importantly are we willing to act upon and prepare the way of the Lord by first preparing our hearts? If you had one month to put your life and your house in order what would you change? What are our priorities in the light of eternity? The decisions and the choices we make today will ripple through our eternity. They may make the difference in whether we stand or fall, whether we are honored or dishonored before the Lord. Many of us are compromising ourselves as King Jehoshaphat did in the Old Testament. He was a good king and he loved the Lord, but in 2 Chronicles 19:1-3 we see God sending a prophet to warn him about compromising with evil. “When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, 2 Jehu the seer, the son of Hanani, went out to meet him and said to the king, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD ? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you. 3 There is, however, some good in you, for you have rid the land of the Asherah poles and have set your heart on seeking God.” While many of us embrace and believe the principles of righteousness we embrace alliances with those walking in darkness. The Lord is calling us today unto separation and preparation. Jehoshaphat met his end because he was in an alliance and relationship that was not in the will and purpose of God. Be careful whom you build your relationships with.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, [and] prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:19-22)

Blessings,
Kent

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