Is there Action in our Jackson? Is there Action in our Jackson? 1 John 3:8 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. Do you ever come under the conviction that we know how to talk a good game? We know the right words and phrases, choruses and hymns and the scriptures and verses, but how much of it is just words in our mouth as compared to a living reality and action in our lives. We speak much of the ideas and tenants of Christianity, but is it Christ living his love through me when somebody ask me for help or I have to go out of my way. Are we as the Chinese preachers said, “you are all talky talky, but no walky walky.” If our actual living, lifestyle and action lived up to our entire mental and verbal ascent, what a godly people we would be. I’m talking about the conviction that the Spirit is bringing upon my own heart. How much hypocrisy do we want to tolerate in our lives as we live behind our masks of godly appearance and words? It should be our conviction that our actions should always speak louder than our words. People should know we are Christians by our love, not because we say we are right, can quote scriptures and have a Jesus bumper sticker. How many people reject Christ and go to hell because they never saw the reality of the Christ that Christians spoke about? If we never really embrace and live out the reality then we are as 1 Corinthians 13:1 states, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” Luke 24:19 says, “…Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.” Jesus didn’t just talk the words of the kingdom of heaven; He walked them, demonstrating in action a divine life. It is the same life He desires to see us walking in. Colossians 3:17 exhorts us, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Whatever we do in life we want to be acting out of the character and nature of Christ; that is His name. The reason we listen to the Word, and even read this little discourse that I feel God gives to me, is so that we might continue to hear the voice of the Spirit speaking conviction, encouragement and exhortation into our lives. The Lord isn’t here to beat us up through condemnation, but to bring us up through a Spirit filled and Spirit led life. If you continue to read this word it is not because of what I write, it is because of the witness you feel in your spirit that God is speaking things to you personally and encouraging you to be all that you can be in Him. A lot of us in Christianity don’t want to hear that, our ignorance is bliss and we want to continue on with things as they have always been and as we would have them remain. There are others of us, who struggle with our flesh, we miss the mark, we fail and we know that we are so much less than we desire to be, but the Spirit of God burns in our hearts. We continue to cry out for God to change our wayward hearts, to write His laws upon them and to put the will and do of His good pleasure within us. Our eyes are fixed on His strength and not upon our weakness, for in our weakness His strength is made strong. We will be great in Him, because He is transforming us and changing us from glory to glory even into the same image. Even in all of our shortcomings we are reliant upon His love and faithfulness, His patience and virtue to continue living and working in our lives. The only way we can do that is by allowing Christ to be a part of all that we do and all that we are. We continue seeking out His agenda for our lives and not our own. We are continually being sensitive to repent and through His strength turning from our sin. It is His love that we desire to abide in and live our lives out of. Our lives must become the expression of not just words, but actions that stem out of a Christ filled life of love and obedience. God’s love in us must be the wellspring of our actions in life and it is the actions, not just the words that give substance and meaning to our lives. “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. 26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:22-27). Blessings, #kent

December 7, 2015

 

Is there Action in our Jackson?

1 John 3:8

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 

Do you ever come under the conviction that we know how to talk a good game?  We know the right words and phrases, choruses and hymns and the scriptures and verses, but how much of it is just words in our mouth as compared to a living reality and action in our lives.  We speak much of the ideas and tenants of Christianity, but is it Christ living his love through me when somebody ask me for help or I have to go out of my way.  Are we as the Chinese preachers said, “you are all talky talky, but no walky walky.”  If our actual living, lifestyle and action lived up to our entire mental and verbal ascent, what a godly people we would be.  

I’m talking about the conviction that the Spirit is bringing upon my own heart.  How much hypocrisy do we want to tolerate in our lives as we live behind our masks of godly appearance and words?  It should be our conviction that our actions should always speak louder than our words.  People should know we are Christians by our love, not because we say we are right, can quote scriptures and have a Jesus bumper sticker.  How many people reject Christ and go to hell because they never saw the reality of the Christ that Christians spoke about?  If we never really embrace and live out the reality then we are as 1 Corinthians 13:1 states, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”  Luke 24:19 says, “…Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people.”   Jesus didn’t just talk the words of the kingdom of heaven; He walked them, demonstrating in action a divine life.  It is the same life He desires to see us walking in.    Colossians 3:17 exhorts us, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  Whatever we do in life we want to be acting out of the character and nature of Christ; that is His name.  

The reason we listen to the Word, and even read this little discourse that I feel God gives to me, is so that we might continue to hear the voice of the Spirit speaking conviction, encouragement and exhortation into our lives.  The Lord isn’t here to beat us up through condemnation, but to bring us up through a Spirit filled and Spirit led life.  If you continue to read this word it is not because of what I write, it is because of the witness you feel in your spirit that God is speaking things to you personally and encouraging you to be all that you can be in Him.  A lot of us in Christianity don’t want to hear that, our ignorance is bliss and we want to continue on with things as they have always been and as we would have them remain.  There are others of us, who struggle with our flesh, we miss the mark, we fail and we know that we are so much less than we desire to be, but the Spirit of God burns in our hearts.  We continue to cry out for God to change our wayward hearts, to write His laws upon them and to put the will and do of His good pleasure within us.  Our eyes are fixed on His strength and not upon our weakness, for in our weakness His strength is made strong.  We will be great in Him, because He is transforming us and changing us from glory to glory even into the same image.  Even in all of our shortcomings we are reliant upon His love and faithfulness, His patience and virtue to continue living and working in our lives.   The only way we can do that is by allowing Christ to be a part of all that we do and all that we are. We continue seeking out His agenda for our lives and not our own.  We are continually being sensitive to repent and through His strength turning from our sin.  It is His love that we desire to abide in and live our lives out of.  Our lives must become the expression of not just words, but actions that stem out of a Christ filled life of love and obedience.  God’s love in us must be the wellspring of our actions in life and it is the actions, not just the words that give substance and meaning to our lives.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. 

26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:22-27).

Blessings,

#kent

Love and Obedience

June 26, 2015

John 14:10, 21, 23-24, 31
If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me. ..

Love and Obedience

The Lord began to show how much love and obedience go hand in hand in this passage from John 14. Jesus is coming to His final hour and the words that He speaks are both weighty and meaningful. He is clearly communicating with us as He speaks to His disciples that truth, faith and love are demonstrated through our obedience to what He has been teaching us through His word.
Our greatest revelation of the Lord comes through obedience. That is when we develop sensitivity to the Holy Spirit so that we hear His voice. The more responsive and obedient we are to that voice the more clearly we discern and know it. The Holy Spirit is like our conscience in some ways. Often we have a feeling or a knowing when something isn’t right or when we are doing something wrong. We can either heed that knowing or we can ignore it, rationalize it, justify it or just disobey it. Eventually it becomes less and less as we desensitize ourselves to it. We do the same thing with the Holy Spirit within us. That is why we don’t hear the Lord the way we need and should be hearing Him. So often we have shut Him out rather than do things His way. Jesus is saying our love for Him and the Father should sensitize us to the Holy Spirit. We should be so aware of His presence and responsive to His voice and dealings in our lives. This is what our love for Him should produce in us. It is a love for God’s will and His way rather than our own mind and our own will. Just as the Father was manifested through the Son, because of the complete uncompromising obedience to all that the Father commanded Him, so Christ will be more fully manifested in us the more we walk in complete obedience and submission to His commandments to us. The commandments, the teachings or the Word of God is God’s mind for us. It is His direction, instruction, admonishment and teaching so that we might be fully equipped and come into the maturity of who He is.
If we want to see more of God in our lives, then we need to love Him the way He has instructed that we love Him, through obedience to His Word. When we truly love God through our complete obedience and surrender to Him, we will become aware of His personal leading and direction in every aspect of our lives. To know Him is to love Him and to love Him is to obey Him. Jesus promises in John 14:21 that if we really love Him through our obedience then we are loved of the Father and Jesus says, “I too will love him and show myself to him.”
This is a key point to us in this hour that we become less focused on what our will and wants are and begin to focus on the will and purpose of the Lord for us at this time. We will find the key to that revelation in our obedience to Him. We must love Him as we never have before and with that love comes the complete surrender of our hearts and wills to His will. His commands are not burdensome, but they are life giving. There are times when God stretches us way out of our comfort zone, but if we are willing to obey and trust Him the reward can be tremendous. We will see, know and demonstrate God in ways that we didn’t even know were possible for us. Let us commit to love Him completely and fully through our obedience to His Spirit and His Word. In this place we will come to truly know Him.

Blessings,
#kent

The Finger of God

June 19, 2015

The Finger of God

Luke 11:20
But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

What is God personally touching and dealing with in your life? Is He meddling in areas you would rather that He leave alone? Is the Holy Spirit revealing and stirring up things that you have wanted to keep tucked away? In the Old Testament it was the finger of God that wrote the Ten Commandment upon the stone tablets, but in the New Testament it is the same finger of God that is writing His laws upon our hearts. The Apostle Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 3:3, “[Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” If we are the Lord’s and we truly want His highest in our lives then He is going to start dealing with our lowest. He will deal with those base things in us that cause us to still walk after the flesh and not after the Spirit. If we are stubborn then He may deal with us in stronger measures. What ever it takes, we need that purification that only He can bring into our lives. Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” God’s Word in the hand of the Holy Spirit is bringing conviction and dealings in our lives. He is bringing out things in us that we may not even have known were there, or attitudes and behaviors that have been quite contrary to His nature. This is often a very painful process.
We used to go to a chiropractor that was quite good, but you would dread going to him. He knew all the places to push where lactic acid and knots would form in your muscles. He would put his finger in those knots to work them out and you would literally be trying to crawl off of the table. He would keep pulling you back up there and working in all of those painful areas till they would let down and submit; only then would he be able to adjust you and bring you back into proper alignment. That is what the finger of God is doing in our lives. He is touching those sore spots, those tender areas where we don’t want to be touched and dealt with. We know it is necessary, but we cringe from it and really it is our flesh that is cringing. Our spirit man really longs for the spiritual health and well- being that comes from a properly aligned spirit and heart, but we are like the living sacrifice we are called to be in Romans 12:1, we keep wanting to crawl off of the altar. We all want spiritual health, but are we willing to pay the price to get there?
The holy scripture declares in Hebrews 10:12-17 concerning Jesus, “12But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God. 13Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool, 14because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. 15The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. First he says: 16″This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts,
and I will write them on their minds.” 17Then he adds: “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” If Jesus has sat down till His enemies are made his footstool and we comprise the feet of Christ in the earth, then we also must see our enemies of sin and flesh be made our footstool. We must gain the same dominion, authority and dominance over everything that is negatively affecting our lives. The Holy Spirit through the Word of God and through His personal dealings in our lives is dealing and touching our areas of unrepented sin. We all have those areas in our lives that we struggle with, but we must pray that the Lord will do whatever it takes in us to gain the victory and dominion over our giants. A lot of times we would be content to coexist with them, but the Lord has given the commandment to purge the land and not compromise, for He knows that our compromise will bring defilement and defilement will again bring us under bondage. Our flesh will do anything it takes if we will just let it live, but when we do it comes back to bite us. Our only recourse is the cross, painful though it is. It is death that gives place to life and death to self gives place to the life of the Spirit.
The finger of God is writing His laws upon our hearts of flesh. He is placing the mind and nature of Christ within us, but where the Lord is, His finger is being put upon the areas of our lives that need to come into conformity with His will and righteousness. I would leave us with 1 Peter 5:6-11, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

Blesssings
#kent

When Jesus is LiftedUp

January 22, 2015

John 8:3-11
3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

When Jesus is Lifted Up

A characteristic the Holy Spirit brought to my attention about Jesus is that every time that Jesus is lifted up the Father is manifested and glorified. In our passage today we see Jesus taking a lower position than the self-righteous accusers of the woman caught in adultery. When He does lift Himself up it is not to exalt Him, but to exalt the truth. When Jesus is lifted up things can change in the hearts of men. When His truth is exalted and the Father is glorified it brings light and conviction upon the ungodly and the sinner. When He is lifted up His light shines within our hearts to show their true motives.
Further in the chapter in John 8:28 Jesus tells the religious leaders, “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” When Jesus is lifted up the Father is glorified and the truth prevails.
In John 12:22 Jesus declares, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.” Taken out of context this sounds like a prideful statement, but taken in the context of the life and ministry of Jesus we know that His being lifted up on the cross was the greatest act of humility God ever performed towards man. He gave His only Son to die so that His being lifted up in death might result in mankind being lifted up in life. Again, His being lifted up on the cross glorified the Father and exalted the Truth.
Whenever Jesus lifted His eyes, His hands, others or Himself, the result was always blessing and life. His boast was never in Himself, even though He knew who He was. It was always in the Father that He boasted and gave glory. What an example this is for us who know who we are in Christ. It is never about us, but it is always about Him. In Him we live and move and have our being. In Him we are able to do all things through Christ that strengthens us. It should never be about lifting up who we are. That is a sign of one who is a novice and still indulged in self. We know that if Jesus is lifted up He will draw all men to Himself. We know that if Jesus be lifted up the Father will be glorified and the truth will be exalted, bodies will be healed and lives will be changed. When Jesus is lifted up the King is exalted and His kingdom becomes manifest. It is to the Lord Jesus that we give all the honor, the praise and the glory. It is His name that we lift up, because it is higher than any other and through the lifting up of His name the works of God are brought forth in the earth and He is exalted through our lives.

Blessings,
#kent

Heart Issues

April 28, 2014

Heart Issues

Proverbs 4:23
Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life.

What are your heart issues today? What is the source and the outflow of what is in your heart? Our heart deals with the motivation of our soul. Out of that motivation of our being is the direction and the resulting fruit of what our life will produce. The heart is a precious thing to God. It contains the attitudes and desires for the things of life or the things of death. Most of us through the course of our lives may be very distraught with ourselves because we see our lives going in directions that we know are destructive, contrary to the will of God and what is best for us. Inwardly, if we are the Lord’s, there is a grieving of the Spirit of God within us. There is an inward crying out of our spirit not to continue in those ways. Our heart is divided between flesh and spirit. There is war in the heavenlies of our soul. Sin and darkness battle for possession of our heart, but you have made a choice. At some point in your life you opened up your heart and asked Christ in. You confessed your sin; did you also renounce the works of darkness? Sometimes when we are saying yes to the Lord, we still aren’t saying “no” to the flesh. We wonder why we find ourselves with a heart for Jesus, but also a strong compulsion for sin. Have we been diligent to guard our heart or have we left open doors for sin and darkness to come in? This is a hard area, because it is often hard to see ourselves and really judge our motives without our mind and flesh trying to justify it’s position.
If you are on the Lord’s side and you really want Him to be Lord of your life, will and emotions then you have to be willing to allow Him to have complete Lordship. Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Without the Holy Spirit’s supervision and our permission to really allow Him to have His way, even as Christians, our hearts can become very perverse. Usually it comes about subtly as we have opened the door perhaps in what we thought were innocent ways. One day we start to become painfully aware that things are out of control and we don’t seem to have the strength and will power to stop them. The issues of our heart are producing sin and death, much to the dismay of our inner man, who is standing there, inwardly crying out, but weak and helpless. We cry out to God, but we still find ourselves overpowered by the strongholds of sin that has overtaken us.
Look around your life. Have you shut the doors and windows of your soul to the damning influences that have brought this corruption or are they still wide open for these demons to walk in and out of? The first step to guarding our heart is to close all the door of our senses, sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste to the influences that have taken over and are defeating us. It is in guarding and renouncing all impure thoughts and desires of our mind. When these sources of entrance are cut off you will have made a major first step. Be aware that you will not be able to do this in your own strength. You must ask the Holy Spirit’s help to free you from the bondage of your heart. We must take the Word of God as our sword to speak by faith what the mind and will of God is in our circumstance and weakness. He, His Word, is our authority over the strongholds of darkness. Ask Him to show you every in-road satan has in your life and cut it off. Your flesh will cry out and protest for all it is worth because it doesn’t want to die. It will ultimately relinquish anything if it can maintain some small place in your heart. Beware of the weed that is cut off at the surface, but whose root remains for it will spring forth to live again another day. Ask the Holy Spirit to continually show you every area that sin can gain entrance and get rid of it.
If you are struggling with heart issues, then you need help in the battle. Surround yourself with strong and godly people that can pray for you and help you be accountable in these areas of weakness. James 5:16 tells us, “Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Leviticus 26:8 tells us, ” And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.” This is a spiritual principle of warfare that we are much stronger when we are not trying to stand alone.
The third thing is that it is essential to give these unredeemed places in our hearts back to the Lord. Begin to totally saturate and baptize and immerse your heart back into Christ. Let Him come in and fill up the desolate and waste place that vanity and sin have left in their wake. Many times we turn to sin because we are not satisfying the spiritual longing of our heart. Pursue spiritual things and let the Lord fill your heart with His desires. Let Him move you out of that stronghold of sin, turn it around and let it become a weapon against the enemy.
God loves you with an everlasting love. He doesn’t love you more when you are good and less when you are bad. He loves you always. God is restoring His people in this hour. He is calling us out of the throes of worldliness and ungodliness and calling us back to be a separated people, a sanctified people for His possession and glory. God is interested in our future, not our past. He has provided His blood to cover our past blunders and sins, but to continue in them is to crucify the Son of God afresh. We are not the world’s toilet bowl. We are the sanctified, redeemed and holy consecrated vessels of the Lord. We are His dispensers of spiritual life, mercy, justice, loving kindness and salvation. We must get our hearts right with the Lord and then guard them with all diligence for out them are the issues of life, His life.

blessings,
#kent

Weapons of Our Warfare

January 3, 2014

 

Weapons of Our Warfare


1 Corinthians 10:3-6

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.



How many of us are still trying to combat and fight flesh with flesh.  Is just a positive mental attitude, or using a right formula or trying to be good enough or religious enough going to win our battles over our flesh?  What we are experiencing in our lives is frustration, defeat and condemnation.  We want to do right, but we are still experiencing that law of sin working on our flesh. Our flesh and even soul are not very good at overcoming the weaknesses in themselves.  The Word says that the weapons that God has provided for us are mighty to the tearing down of strongholds.  There are many of us that haven’t experienced a lot of victory in tearing down these strongholds.  We continue to allow these stronghold to be a part of our thinking, behavior and being.  We are still identifying with them and in so doing we continue to give them life and power over us.  Our greatest weapons are not our earthly thinking.  That is the source of our greatest defeat.  We think as the world thinks and not as the Spirit of God thinks.  When the Word exhorts us to be renewed in the spirit of our mind, it is telling us to put on the mind of Christ and renew our thinking according to the Word and not according to our natural reasoning.   It is telling us to put our identification on who we are in Christ and not on whom we have been in the flesh.

The first place we must come too is a place of total surrender to the Lord and the Holy Spirit that indwells us.  We are like a country taken over by the Lord, but the flesh still maintains its pockets of resistance, it’s guerilla fighters that provide avenues for the flesh to have access and regain position and power.  Most of us don’t want to admit to these, but they’re there.  We know they are there because we are struggling with these fleshly strongholds in areas of our lives.  Romans 12 starts out by telling us the first position we need to take, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. “ The first thing we need to do is offer our lives a living sacrifice which means that we are willing to lay the flesh upon the altar and allow it to be consumed.  It means that we are turning our mind and thinking from a worldview to a kingdom view.  Our thinking, goals and attitudes are no longer geared towards this earth; they are geared towards heaven and the spiritual calling we have in Christ Jesus.  Here, in this earth, we have no abiding place, but our eyes must be set upon the city whose builder and maker is God.  It is in this mindset that we begin to fashion our lives and our thinking after the Spirit and no longer after the flesh.  As we begin to walk in the Spirit then all that flows through our senses begins to flow through Him.  He is the Discerner of the thoughts and intents of our hearts.  If we are sensitizing ourselves to Him then He begins to put His finger on the wrong motives, thoughts and attitudes that are working in our lives.  If we indeed want the weapons of the Spirit to operate in our lives, we must first be in agreement and submission to the Holy Spirit.  While the Holy Spirit indwells us to help us in living a godly life, He by no means usurps our will to decide and choose to whom we obey and to whom we give our mind and our flesh over too.  If we want to choose the fleshly things, then the Holy Spirit will back off.  We may still have a conviction that what we are doing isn’t right, but if we desensitize ourselves to the Holy Spirit through following after our self-will then we will be less and less sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  When God says draw near to Me and I will draw near to you, He is saying as you become more sensitive and obedient to Me then you will begin to sense more of My presence and dealings in your life.  The thing we learn about walking in the Spirit is that it is a continual conscious act to live in that place.  When we walk after the Spirit long enough it may become more natural to us, but our spirit man must always be a guarded city.  As soon as our defenses go down the enemy is ready to come in.  

Indeed the weapons of our warfare are mighty, but they do demand diligence and full surrender of our hearts and minds to Christ.  Our over coming is by allowing the Holy Spirit to over come every thought and temptation that is contrary to the will of God.  We will no doubt loose some battles along the way, but that must not discourage or detour us from our mission of being conformed to the image and likeness of Christ.  In this life, the warfare is continual and ongoing, but we do have the weapons to defeat our foe.  We must indeed to do as Ephesians 6 exhorts us too and put on the whole armor of God that we might stand against the whiles and schemes of the devil.  It is up to us to appropriate our spiritual weapons and armor through fully and unceasingly yielding ourselves as living sacrifices in obedience and submission to the Holy Spirit.

 

Blessings,

kent

Spoiled Leftovers

July 1, 2013

Spoiled Leftovers

Colossians 3:5-11
5Put 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.[b] 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.

When we were saved and came into Christ we may have experienced a wonderful salvation and deliverance experience. While we by faith stepped into Christ and heavenly places not all of our old baggage fell by the wayside at that moment. While we were forgiven and all of our sins were washed away, it didn’t mean we never sinned or fell short again. The reality is that God didn’t just take all of the responsibility away from us and say now you are all pure, holy and you are just like me. In our spirits He did. In that inner man there is one in the likeness of Christ. But for that “Christ in us” to possess all of us it is a life-long process and one only fully consummated at His presence or coming.
Meanwhile we are caught up in the battleground of the mind and soul. Our inner man is intent on holiness, righteous and conformity to Christ, but sin still wants to work in our outward members. Did you ever have a beautiful refrigerator with great food in it, but you keep smelling this stench and wonder where is that odor coming from? You keep digging and digging and finally you find a baggy with an old rotten onion, so you throw that out, but it still stinks. You look some more and you open up this yogurt container that has more hairy mold than you’ve got whiskers. You grimace and wrinkle your nose as you throw it out. Still there is this smell, but what you find is that some of the foods you really like are the culprits. Oh man, you don’t want to throw those out, because you really like them, even if they aren’t good for you, so you tuck them away so they will be less noticeable, but you can still munch on them when you get the urge. Likely it is not the spirit man that wants to hold on to them, it is the flesh. We have ways of justifying our flesh and our little stashes where we make provision for those things we outwardly love, crave or don’t want to let go of.
What we deal with is that if we are maintaining a relationship with Christ and seeking to please Him in all of our ways we run into conflict. The Holy Spirit only allows us to indulge in our little hidden treasures for time until He begins to put His finger on them. Now it comes down to our will or His. The truth is that to His nose these things are spoiled leftovers of our past nature and they are a stench to Him, but will we let go of them? The Cross takes no prisoners in its process of holiness. It exercises extreme prejudice on those things our flesh holds dear, because they represent idolatry to the Lord. They are the place where our affections, commitments and loyalties often diverge from the Spirit as we make provisions for the flesh.
Most all of us deal with strongholds, these giants in our land in one area or another that keep defying the living God. Only as the Spirit of God rises up in us with dominion and authority will we conquer and overcome the strong will of rebellion that still abides in us. It has to be our will in union with His. Only as we relinquish every thing, every emotion, and every desire can Christ be fully Lord of the land. Romans 8:12-14 tells us, “12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation–but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.”
What are we going to do with our spoiled leftovers?

Blessings,
kent

A Pure Heart

June 24, 2013

A Pure Heart

Psalm 24:3-5
Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Titus 1:5 says, “Unto the pure all things [are] pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving [is] nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” The purity of our hearts and our relationship with God has so much more to do with the condition of our hearts than it does with just outward acts, or do’s and don’ts. Many of us are concerned with how others perceive us and how even God perceives us. We spend much of our life and efforts trying so hard to project the right image or performing the outward works of righteousness. The Lord wants us to focus on the truth that purity and righteousness are a condition of our heart. If our heart isn’t right nothing else will be either, no matter how religious or pious we wish to present ourselves.
Jesus said in Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” It stands to reason then that the condition of our heart toward God is the measure of our purity. Impurity takes place when there is a mixture of unclean and clean. With regard to our spiritual state that could be a mixture of impure thoughts, desire, emotions, actions, or motives. If we are God’s kids, His desire in us is purity of heart. He wants every thought and motive of our hearts to be centered in Him, in His nature and character. If the Lord is the treasure we are laying up in our hearts then our motives and that which is spoken out of our mouths will reflect that.
One of the ways the Lords helps us achieve purity is by fire. It is the tribulation and trials of life that reveal our true heart. How do we act in stressful situations? How do we handle sin and temptation? The Holy Spirit within us discerns the thoughts and intents of our hearts. If we want to be pure then it is by exercising the knife or the sword of the Word of God in our hearts through skillful instruction and conviction of the Holy Spirit that cuts us to the quick concerning the areas of impurity in our lives. Hebrew 4:12 says, “For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” The Word is able to cut into the gray areas of our lives and reveal true heart motive. Then it is our will and choice to purify and cleanse ourselves by relinquishing these areas of our lives to the Lord. If we are the Lord’s then we must always be mindful that this why Jesus came, “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)” Jesus has saved us to deliver us from iniquity. The purification is a process by which He is pruning us, cutting away the unproductive ways of our flesh and baptizing us into fire that is constantly dealing with the issues of our heart. Why? The Lord is desiring a peculiar, separated people unlike the world. They are as Peter puts it in 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
In order to have purity, we must by the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word be willing to deal with the impurity. That comes in that place of relationship and desire for all that He is, counting all that we value in this earth as dung in comparison. James 4:8 says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse [your] hands, [ye] sinners; and purify [your] hearts, [ye] double minded.” The motives of our hearts must be centered in His Love. It is not out of legalism or ceremonial ritual or practice that we will be purified. 1 Timothy 1:5 says the end of the commandment is this, “Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and [of] a good conscience, and [of] faith unfeigned:”
What is the condition of our heart today? Are we operating out of a pure heart and pure motives generated and birthed out of the love of Christ within us. It is in that continual, life-giving union with Him that the exchange of His nature for ours is taking place and purity of heart is the cream that rises from His love within us.

Blessings,
kent

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