Spiritual Fitness

March 27, 2014

Spiritual Fitness

1 Timothy 4:8
For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.

We live in a time and a society that is very health and fitness conscious. It almost seems ironic, considering over half our population would fall in the obese or overweight category. Yet we are hearing about it all of the time. The truth is we want to eat and enjoy all that we want, but we still want to have buff and gorgeous bodies and looks. Somehow God didn’t seem to create them to go together very well. If we want physical fitness, then we know that it requires discipline and effort on our part. People and companies have made billions of dollars by selling pills and products that told us we could have the one without the other. If I set in front of my TV and watch a workout program that should somehow help me to get fit. If I eat a snickers candy bar and a diet coke, then I think I’m on a diet and am going to lose weight. If I watch a lot of sports, then somehow that makes me an athlete.
This scripture makes an analogy. There is nothing wrong with physical training and staying in shape. Like anything it can get out of balance. While physical training in a natural sense can be good, in the light of what is really meaningful in life it isn’t that high on the list. We are in the process of maturing and training up our spiritual man. As in the physical, to be spiritually fit requires an investment of time, of dedication, discipline and exercise. What kind of spiritual shape is our life in today? Are we armchair and couch-potato Christians? Do we warm a pew, say a few weak amens, listen to a sermon or a word and then continue on through life without it affecting any change in our behavior, or actions, or involvement? Are we lethargic, complacent, dull, and self-willed? What is the state of our spiritual fitness today? How would you honestly rate yourself on a scale of 1 to10? When I look at my physical man and see how indulgent I have become in so many areas of my life, I realize that the same mentality can very well carry over into my spiritual life. Are we a nation of out of shape and overindulgent Christians? Outwardly we are very blessed, but inwardly do we fit the profile of Revelations 3:17? “17For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” This is not written to condemn us, but it is a call to action for all of us. Many of you who are reading this are spiritually strong and fit, but others of us may be strong with our words, but weak in our actions.
The apostle Paul gives us another analogy in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, “Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.
26Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.
27But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].”
We all need to come to grips with the fact that God has a calling and a purpose in our lives. I am being convicted today that there needs to be both a physical and spiritual discipline in my life. I am not talking about legalism, but like Paul, I need to conduct my life with temperance, self-control and have myself in check, spirit, soul and body. God is calling us in this hour to prepare ourselves for a time of great spiritual battle and a time of His revealing. Most of us aren’t prepared for that with the mentality and habits that we harbor. God is calling us to spiritual fitness through such things as prayer, fasting, personal time with the Lord and walking out our faith in love and actions that reveal the character of who we are in Christ. We are a called out people, a separated people and a holy people. We are a people called after God’s own name and for His glory. We are being called to the gyms of spiritual fitness to be exercised in godliness and righteousness. We have an adversary who has been lulling us to sleep and into spiritual laziness. This is the day to discern our spiritual state and develop a mentality and lifestyle that is in harmony with God’s desire for our spiritual fitness. The overcomer is a person of spiritual strength and fortitude. Spiritual strength is developed in discipline, consistency, a right state of mind and a vision of what we are being strong for. We don’t want to find ourselves, after believing, coming up short and missing the mark of the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. Let us press on with all of our being into Him and be strong in the power of His might.

Blessings,
#Kent

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Alert and Watching

February 27, 2014

 

Alert and Watching


Judges 7:5-7

So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues like a dog from those who kneel down to drink.” 6 Three hundred men lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink. 

7 The LORD said to Gideon, “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites into your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place.” 8 So Gideon sent the rest of the Israelites to their tents but kept the three hundred, who took over the provisions and trumpets of the others. 


As I watched a sparrow feeding out of the bird-feeder this morning I was impressed at how it did not just casually eat with no other thought or worry in the world.  It was continually eating and watching, turning its head from side to side and aware of what was going on around it.  It didn’t take its safety and well being for granted, but was ready to fly at a moment’s notice.  I was reminded of the story of Gideon and how that out of thirty-two thousand whom volunteered to fight for Israel, God brought it down to three hundred.  The first thing God did to disqualify the excess numbers was to let all that were fearful or afraid go home.   God is raising up a people for His glory and one of the first things they must have is faith and confidence to believe and trust in their God.  A lack of faith and trust is the first thing to disqualify us.  Out of the thirty-two thousand that started twenty-two thousand went home.  Ten thousand were still too many people.  A battle won with that many men could be construed as man’s ability, rather than God’s.  God must receive the glory for the deliverance and if we think we have any strength or ability then we tend to dismiss God and take the glory for ourselves.  The second thing God did was to narrow the field  by having them drink water.  If they were down on their knees drinking with their head down and unaware of their surroundings they were disqualified.  Only three hundred lapped the water from their hands like dogs, because that way they were alert and ready, their physical needs were not turning their attention from their first duty as soldiers in readiness.  

Where are most of us as the body of Christ?  Where would we fit in among these thirty-two thousand that came to fight in the Lord’s army?  Have we become fearful and afraid? Has our faith and confidence in the Lord become weak?  Has our attention has been diverted by our blessings, by our affections for life and by all the other distractions that take our eyes off of the Lord. Have we ceased to really watch and be concerned about the things of God and the timing of God?  I don’t believe the Lord is looking for us to be fearful or paranoid, but He is looking for those like the three hundred that fought with Gideon, who are alert and watching in their spirit.  They are attuned to when the enemy is around, where he is at and what he is doing.  They are not allowing themselves to become vulnerable by becoming lethargic and complacent.  They are sensitive to the hour and the timing of the Lord, watching to move at His command and His coming.

This aspect of watchfulness is addressed a number of times and especially in the New Testament, but in Psalm 130:6 David says, “My soul [waiteth] for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: [I say, more than] they that watch for the morning.”  

Jesus teaches us this throughout the gospels such as in Matthew 24, 4“Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many…13 but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come…” 42″Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. 

45″Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom the master has put in charge of the servants in his household to give them their food at the proper time? 46It will be good for that servant whose master finds him doing so when he returns. 47I tell you the truth, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. 48But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ 49and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. 50The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of. 51He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

In Matthew 25 Jesus gives us the parable of the ten virgins, the five wise and the five foolish.  When the Lord did come the foolish missed out, because they were unprepared and not watching.  When they came back it was too late and the door was shut to them.  Verse 13 says, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”  Mark 13:37 says, “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”  1 Corinthians 16:13 exhorts us, “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”  1 Thessalonians 5:6 tells us, “Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.”  Paul exhorts Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:5, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”

The Lord is speaking to all of us today to rise up off of our haunches of complacency and spiritual dullness.  Now is the day to really get our ears in tune with the Spirit of God and our hearts ready to meet Him.  He is exhorting us not to neglect the day of His visitation, but as good soldiers, to prepare ourselves and be watching for Him.  When the Lord comes will He find most of us at the water hole, drinking our fill and oblivious to the spiritual time, hour and condition of our hearts?  

When the Spirit addresses the churches in Revelation 3, the first concern that He addresses is one of watchfulness.  Revelations 3:3-6 says, “Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  Isn’t this what He is speaking to our hearts today?

 
Blessings,
kent

Our First Love

February 14, 2014

Revelations 2:3-5

You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. 4Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. 5Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

 


Our First Love


Many times our marriages and our relationship with Christ have a lot in common.  They both are built upon love and relationship.  They generally start out with great commitment, emotion and passion to love and serve the Lord or to love and serve our spouse.  Through the course of life with all of its trials and demands the polish and gold tends to wear thin on the feelings and commitment we first felt and lived toward the Lord and toward our spouse. Many of us have endured many hardships together and we have trusted the Lord through many of them.  

Even though we are good people, who have worked hard for our marriage and for our spiritual relationship the dynamics have changed.  We’ve somehow lost the closeness and the intimacy of relationship we once had.  

This word “forsaken” in verse 4 in the Greek means, “ to depart, as of a husband divorcing his wife, yield up, expire, let go, let alone, to disregard, to leave, to omit, neglect.”  Do any of these words speak to our hearts as to our relationships in our marriage and in our walk and relationship with Christ?  We are still here in body, going through the motions of marriage and relationship, but have our hearts left the room?  Have they grown cold with complacency?  Sometimes our marriages are measured by how well we tolerate one another rather than how well we really love and bless one another.  Even in our Christianity we so often get in the rut of being religious, going to church, giving our tithe or doing our duty, but our heart and passion are no longer in it.  

It is a time for stirring up the embers and throwing on some new wood.  It is a time we must blow and breathe new life back into the fire of our relationships.  I’ll admit I have been bad about becoming so caught up in my business and the things that concern me, that I have neglected the weightier matters.  Somehow we come to take for granted that this loved one will always be there and everything will be fine, meanwhile we allow the foundation to rot out from under us.  One day we wake up and our house is in ruin.  The signs were all around but we didn’t heed them until our lampstand had been plucked from us and suddenly we found ourselves shut out.  

Here the Lord is warning us about our relationship with Him and also what can happen in our marriages.  We must return to that first love, the courting, the dating, the intimacy and attention that we gave to our partner then.  It can be no less with Christ.  It is not our works that save us in our marriage or our Christianity, it is the relationship that we maintain and cultivate with the one that we say we love. For me, it is often my communication that fails the most.  I get caught up in my own little world and when I fail to communicate, I find I am failing in my relationship.  That communication, especially that which shares my heart, is what my wife needs from me.  She has to feel that connection with my heart to feel close to me and a part of me.  I think this often comes more naturally to women as a general rule than men, but it doesn’t mean that we as men can neglect it.  We have to cultivate it, even when it doesn’t come naturally to us.  It is always remembering that love is not about us, it is about the object of our love.  When we love the Lord or our spouse the way they need to be loved, we will find that our needs are met in our giving and loving.  Let us endeavor to return now to our first love, not just in word, but in deed and with all of our heart. 

 
Blessings,
kent

Returning to Our First Love

December 9, 2013

Returning to Our First Love


Revelations 2:4-5

Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.


Love is a many splendored thing, but it can also be a place of vulnerability, heartache and disappointment.  So much depends on the care, attentiveness and tenderness with which we handle the most precious of gifts, one another’s hearts and their love.  

That first found love between two lovers those years back, it seemed so rich.  You loved one another’s presence and you didn’t want to be apart.  Your desire for one another was so strong and you bathed in the love that you had for one another.  Oh, that first love, how rich and full and sweet it was.  

Little by little small offenses began to enter in.  Sometimes unkind remarks were made that wounded your spouse’s soul, neglect, lack of communication, demands of life; so many things can tear at the foundations of your love.  

We begin to take for granted that first love, as we become more familiar with the other.  Those little things that we didn’t notice or didn’t seem to bother us now become a source of irritation and conflict.  Our hearts that were so warm and open begin to close as we often, without even knowing why, transform from that loving unity, to opponents and foes.  Little by little we can shut down in our emotions and our love to the point we forgot why we even liked this person, let alone loved them.  

We can often wander and drift away from our first love for Christ the same way.  Instead of being continually awed and thankful for all that Christ has done and continues to do for us, He becomes common, just another element of our lives and not the substance of them.  How blind we all can become to the hardness that can come over our hearts with regards to the ones we love and what we have held so dear.  Many of us have lost that which we once cherished more than life itself.

What has changed?  Is it them or is it us?  Maybe it is like our environment.  We love the beauty of the water and streams, the woods and forest, the mountains, oceans and wildlife, but if we have them before us every day we may take them for granted and lessen in our once great appreciation of them.  Somewhere in there our motives for gain, for what benefits us and for what we think will better our lives out weighs our appreciation for the other.  At the environment’s expense, we begin to deplete our forest, tear up our mountains, pollute our waters and destroy what we once held so dear.  It is the same thing that we do to our marriages and our relationships.  

We lose sight that our spouse is our teammate that we are dependent upon one another to make life easier and sweeter.  Yet we are so blind at how the enemy of our soul comes into to kill, steal and destroy what was the most precious thing in our lives.  Our unity is destroyed and our marriages turn from bliss to ashes.  Isn’t it because we have bought into the lie?  When one of us in our marriage loses we both lose.  There are no winners and losers, because we are a team. A house divided against itself cannot stand.  

The older my wife and I grow together, the more dependent we are on each other to remember things, to help each other, and to be the strength in the other’s weakness.  On the other hand there is the temptation to find more fault with the other’s shortcomings, especially when they have chided you for yours.  We have to realize that we are a team. We need each other more than ever.  Love cannot become a selfish thing that only looks out for itself. If it has and is becoming that then it has left the boundaries and definition of love.  The nature of love is to serve, to give and bless another.  Love always exalts the other above itself.

Perhaps it is time for many of us to remember and to return to our first love both in our physical and spiritual relationships.  It is time to give the precious gifts of our humility, our forgiveness and our first love.  It is time to make a safe place where we can come together, not to find fault or blame, but to find reconciliation and healing for our hearts and our relationships. Isn’t this what God wants for us?  I believe He will help in this endeavor if we call upon Him and His love to fill our hearts.  Let us cherish and once again hold with such tenderness and sanctity the gift of one another’s hearts and love.  In the same way let us recommit to our first love for Christ and find the first passion that so consumed our soul.

 

Blessings,

kent

Come out from among them!

October 21, 2013

Come out from among them!

2 Corinthians 6:17
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,

When we saw the light of the truth that was in Christ Jesus we were drawn to it and started a journey to walk into that light out of the darkness of ignorance and sin that we had formerly dwelt in. For too many of us, walking into that light through our initial conversion and born again experience was enough for us. We may have seen that there is greater light on up ahead, but we have become comfortable in the measure of light we possess. Maturity always requires responsibility. We often want the benefits, but we don’t like to pay the price. Many of us dwell in that place of twilight where darkness is all around us, but we still have a measure of light. It is a place where our flesh can still be comfortable, but at the same time we have enough spirituality that we feel we have satisfied that need. Is this the place where God is content that we dwell? In 2 Corinthians 6:14-16 Paul exhorts the Corinthians who were in this place, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The Lord is requiring of us purity. He is not a God of compromise, mixture and confusion. By His very nature of truth, He is requiring that we walk in the light of the truth that we have and by the same token continue on to know the Truth. The Spirit of Truth is constantly shining brightly before us and the Spirit within us is compelling us to keep walking toward the light. As the light increases it reveals more and more of the shadow areas of our lives that have been hidden by darkness. As they are revealed the Lord wants to deal and separate ourselves more and more unto Himself. Our God is a consuming fire. As we walk into that fire, the fire is consuming the corruptible things in our lives while at the same time it is purifying the incorruptible and eternal things. In the book of Daniel when the three Israelites were thrown into the blast furnace that was heated seven times hotter, so that even those that threw them in perished; they were seen walking in the furnace, with a fourth person, like unto the Son of Man. The only thing the fire was touching on them was the ropes that bound them. Our flesh is like the rope that binds us from experiencing the fullness of Spirit life. As we walk into God, He is burning away our bondage, compromise and uncleanness.
Moms know that if they put nice clean pretty church clothes on their little children and then let them go outside and play, what is the first thing that is going to happen? The first place they head is to the dirt. Our spiritual lives are much the same way. The Lord is saying you can’t mix with the dirty things around you if you want to stay clean. You have to come away from that and be separated. We can’t still have our fellowship in the world and constantly be around that mindset and spirit if we want our walk pure and clean.
When the Lord is telling us to “come out from among them and be ye separate,” He is exhorting us to separate ourselves unto the truth that He is bringing into our lives. The more we are growing up into Him the more and more He is separating us into a place of holiness and purity, because He wants us to be the light and manifestation of His righteousness and truth. We have already discussed the fact that the world is so turned off to Christianity, because they see so much of the spirit of compromise and hypocrisy at work in our lives. We are fountains of bitter and sweet water. We can talk Jesus out of one side of our mouth while we curse men with the other. God is imparting His truth to us in order to set us free. Our problem is we have to want that freedom, more than we want to maintain our bondage. Are we willing today to hear and heed the Word of the Lord to “come out from among them and touch not the unclean thing?” It is a time for us to no longer linger in the twilight of compromise, but to continue on in our pursuit of truth and righteousness. It is the separation that allows the Lord to receive us into His presence.

Blessings,
kent

How Serious are We?

September 23, 2013

Matthew 11:12 (Amplified)
And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize—a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion].

How Serious are We?

God is looking for violent men and women, not in the sense of destruction and hurt, but violent in the sense of zeal and determination. We live in the midst of a complacent church, fat, full of itself and, in its own eyes, having need of nothing. Because it has need of nothing, it has the power to do nothing. It is like a cow fattened in the pasture thinking it has it all and not realizing that it is ripe for the sacrifice.
In this hour God is sounding a trumpet and a call to arms. He is looking for violent men and women who are no longer content with mediocrity and religion. He is raising up a hungry people that are coming forth to seize the kingdom of God by force. They are serious about a relationship with their God and they will allow nothing to dissuade them from the blessing and the promise they have in Christ Jesus. They are God-chasers, kingdom warriors and believers of the highest order. They often don’t sit well with the religious system, because they have become radical in their pursuit of truth and power and love. They no longer are content to sit with the masses on Sunday morning, because they are intent upon breaking through to get their answer and see their miracle.
The Lord gave me this scripture as an example in Luke 5:17-26: “One day as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick. 18Some men came carrying a paralytic on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. 19When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.
20When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.”
21The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, “Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
22Jesus knew what they were thinking and asked, “Why are you thinking these things in your hearts? 23Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’? 24But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….” He said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 25Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God. 26Everyone was amazed and gave praise to God. They were filled with awe and said, “We have seen remarkable things today.”” These friends of the paralytic are examples of the kind of violence that we are talking about. Even though everything in the natural told them that they couldn’t get through to Jesus; they just needed to be one of the crowd, they refused to be denied. They started thinking and acting out of the box. They had such faith and confidence in Jesus that they knew that if they could just reach Him they could have what they were petitioning Him for. It was no different with the woman with the issue of blood. She believed if she could just touch the hem of Jesus’ garment she would be healed. God is looking for a people with that kind of tenacity and faith. They refuse to be denied. They are violent kingdom people that will storm the gates of heaven with prayer, intercession and acts of faith until they have laid hold of the promises of God.
If God has given you a word or a promise you hold on to it and you fight for it. Don’t allow the enemy to rob it from you. Just because it has been a long time, it hasn’t come to pass and everything in the natural says that it can’t happen. God is a God that keeps His covenant and He is a promise keeper. That is not to say that you will not be tested and tried. Hebrew 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised;)” Stand in the battle and fight the good fight of faith and keep your confession. Take your promises before God often and speak to Him out loud that you are standing upon His promises and that you refuse to be denied. Fight the good fight of faith and don’t relinquish the promise. It is yours. He gave it to you and He gave it to us. Now let us become a violent body of Christ who are content with no less than all that God has promised to us. Let us take it with violence, zeal and uncompromising faith. He has created you to prevail and to have dominion. How serious are you?

Blessings,
kent

Leap of Faith

August 26, 2013

Leap of Faith

Acts 3:4-8
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
The context of our scripture today comes from the account of the lame man that sat daily by the temple in Jerusalem at the gate “Beautiful” begging for alms. This had been his routine for years. All through the New Testament we see examples of people that had accepted their infirmities until one day they have an LCE (Life Changing Event) happen in their lives. It does something so miraculous that their lives are never the same again. Have you had an LCE in your life yet? Has God figuratively reached down into your life and circumstance and raised you up and set you on your feet? Some of us will say “yes,” others may say “no, nothing really extraordinary has happened to me.” I would hope we could all say that concerning our salvation and our coming into relationship with Christ, for nothing can change your life like having Christ come into it and having our lives filled with the Holy Spirit. Even at that many of us have grown complacent. Perhaps we have been enduring long time afflictions, sicknesses, or other trials of the body, mind, and spirit. Perhaps we, like this man, have grown accustomed to looking to man to meet those needs in us. Day after day we cry out in our state of weakness, begging of men not our deliverance, but our subsistence. We have grown so accustomed to the natural, that we no longer consider the supernatural.
I believe God wants to do a supernatural work in many of us. That won’t happen while we are still content with the natural things. It is going to take us hearing the Word of the Lord with spiritual ears out of the inner man and fixing our eyes in faith on the Lord whom is Lord of all. Do you believe that God is not only able, but it is His desire to lift you out of your lameness and restore you unto wholeness? We must be willing to reach up and embrace His hand in faith, so that He can lift us upright. We must be willing to step out into that which is the unknown for us. The leap of faith that embraces a Word made flesh, a revelation Word that becomes substance and life in us. We may be the vessel and instrument, like Peter and John, through whom the Lord would impart His power and grace. Do we believe that God wants to be glorified through our lives? Then we must act in accord with His will and purpose. God is great and wants to do great and marvelous things in and through our lives.
Today, don’t limit what God can do for you or through you. You have the bomb of the Holy Spirit within you. In Him there are no limitations, all things are possible to him that believes. Fix your eyes on Him today and allow Him to bring you into that Life Changing Event. Take that leap of faith.

Blessings,
kent

Faithfulness in Marriage

August 21, 2013

Faithfulness in Marriage

Malachai 2:14-16
You cry out, “Why has the LORD abandoned us?” I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made to each other on your wedding day when you were young. But you have been disloyal to her, though she remained your faithful companion, the wife of your marriage vows.
Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat,” says the LORD Almighty. “So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife.”
Our hearts are not different than those that have gone before us. They are still deceitfully wicked and perverse. Unless guarded and kept under the Lordship of Christ and led by the Spirit they will lead us in the ways contrary to His will. We live in a day when the divorce rate is somewhere around fifty percent. One out of two marriages end in divorce. What is even more sad is that it isn’t a whole lot better even among the Christian community. What is this telling us about the condition of our hearts? In Matthew 19:8 Jesus says, “He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”
From today’s passage we can readily see that this isn’t the will of God and what His attitude about divorce is. The enemy is doing a masterful job of destroying our homes, families and marriages. The moral fabric of our society is deteriorating before our very eyes, as we become more complacent and accepting of it. So many of us end up playing right into this destruction and we wonder why God isn’t blessing us and answering our prayers. Could it be that we have become too self-centered rather than God centered? Probably the only ones who will continue reading this if it is an issue in their lives are those who really care more about God’s will than their own. None of us like to be confronted with our sins. We, like the world, want to run from the light. The difference is that we are children of the light and if we are really Christ’s then our spirit won’t let us run away even when we are in error. We have a conviction to return to what is right and repent of what is wrong.
Our biggest temptation today is self-isolation. We become too absorbed in what we want to do, what is important to us and what meets our needs and wants. As a result we isolate ourselves from the demands and needs of those around us, especially our spouses. Life begins to slowly and subtly take us in different directions and begins to place a wedge in our relationships. I can be perfectly content going my own way and doing my own thing, but when I got married and committed to that woman my life, love and loyalty, I gave up being just about myself. It is the two of us that make up one person and while we are individuals with differences we are one flesh both of us living for the good and well being of the other and not just ourselves. I know how oblivious I can become to the needs of my wife because I get so caught up in what I need to do and what is important to me. I have to remember that my top priority next to God is my wife. When I forget that I begin to unwittingly open myself up to a breakdown in our relationship. Just as I must cultivate and spend quality time in my relationship with the Lord, I can do no less with my spouse.
What I am learning is that our spiritual relationship is directly related to our natural relationship with our spouse. When there is disharmony and dissension in the natural, it hinders the spiritual dimension of our relationship with the Lord. As 1 Peter 3:7 says, “Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with [them] according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.” We have to remember that we are not in this by ourselves, we are together in union with Christ. We need that unity to maintain right relationship spiritually. This is another reason we as husbands and wives must commit to keeping our hearts in an attitude of submission before the Lord and to one another, willing to pray together and share our hearts together without fear of reprisals. We will all have our difficult times, but if our hearts and attitudes remain right we can resolve them.
If we are finding ourselves in the place in our lives where the storms of divorce are brewing, start by submitting your hearts to the Lord and His will. It is only in being right with Him that we can be right with each other. Love has to be the conquering force to all obstacles and we know that His love is greater than ourselves. Let His love reign in your hearts and relationships always and let us submit ourselves to one another in the spirit of that love.

Blessings,
kent

A Principle of Life

February 19, 2013

2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A Principle of Life

If given the choice, most of us would be quite content to live a nice, safe, secure, healthy and relatively uneventful life. In many ways, a lot of us have. We need to ask ourselves is that really living or is that comfortably dying a slow death?
One thing fear does, is it gets us out of our comfort zone. It often gets our heart racing and our adrenaline pumping. Our senses come alive in the face of danger and uncertainty. If we can see our lives in the light of the spiritual couch potatoes we would become if we never faced any trials, testing or adversity, then we can better appreciate why God allows them to come into our lives.
In order for our faith to grow it must be challenged so that our faith can come up to the level of our challenge. Since fear doesn’t come to us from God then we must realize that faith is the antidote to fear. Faith sets our eyes and attention back where they belong. Looking to the Father. When we realize that fear comes from our inadequacy, weakness and inability to control a situation, we either have to face it in the frailty of human ability or have a revelation of what God has given us to counter it with. God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but what He has given us is the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. We have a mighty arsenal to combat fear and to overcome it. Fear only works as long as you are afraid. When you are no longer afraid, fear has lost its power. What the Word of God is telling us is that you don’t have to be afraid. You don’t have to fret, worry or anxious. What you need to do, is lay hold with faith and confidence upon God’s Word, His promises and assurance. The more you fill your self with the Word of God and spend time in His presence; the more bold, confident and faith-filled you become. For the enemy and the spirit of fear, you then, become a force to be reckoned with. The person who really has a revelation of their identity in Christ, who knows their position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and operates in their God given and appointed purpose is a dangerous person to the enemy of fear and darkness. The gates of hell can not prevail against that person.
An example of such a person was seen in David. He was called, appointed, anointed and knew who he was in God when he confronted Goliath. He didn’t fall into that trap of fear like the rest of the camp of Israel. He came from a place of faith and authority, not his, but the Spirit of God in him. Later, we see Saul, with all the resources and armies of Israel at his command pursuing David’s life, but unable to capture and take it. He was that spirit of fear that pursued David, but was unable to prevail, because David put his trust and confidence in the Lord.
Was that an easy place for David? No, it was a very difficult place, but at that time David lived and walked with God closer than at any other time in his life. Adversities are often allowed in our lives to stir us into faith. They cause our spiritual senses to come alive and get our focus off of the world onto the Lord. Fear isn’t always a bad thing, not because we want to succumb to it, but because we want the faith to arise in our hearts, along with the resident power, love and the mind of Christ to overcome all fear and the adversary that stands before us. The force of opposition only serves to make us stronger.
We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. Our Captain, King and Savior has conquered death and the grave. He has set down at the right Hand of the Father until His enemies be made His footstool. We are the body and feet of our Captain and King, Jesus. He is putting the enemy beneath our feet, because we are His.
Someone once said, “You need to either get busy living or get busy dying.” Our time for being complacent, lethargic and comfortable is soon coming to an end. We need to make the choice to live or to die, life or death. If we are going to live then we need to live out of the place where we pursue fear and it doesn’t pursue us. We have to come into that place of having assurance of who we are and what God put us on this earth for. We were not put here to be subject to this kingdom that lives under the rule and power of sin and death. We live under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. We were put here to invade this earthly kingdom with the kingdom Heaven, Life and God. “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” We are God’s portals, conduits and well springs through which He invades the kingdom of this earth. That is not going to happen through spiritual couch potatoes that are content with the leeks and onions of Egypt. It is going to happen through an army of believers that are hearing the trumpet of war sounding in God’s camp and are responding to it. If we don’t respond to God’s calling and come into that place of abiding in the Almighty and under the shadow of His wing, then soon the spirit of fear will arise and cover the earth and those who have not found their place in Him will be overtaken by it. Father has not given us that spirit of fear, He has given us the Spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”. We are His kids and we were born for this, so don’t allow fear to rule your hearts, but come up into the faith and confidence of who you are in Christ and trample fear beneath your feet!

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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