Romans 10:19
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by [them that are] no people, [and] by a foolish nation I will anger you.

Why we should be Thankful

Some nearly four hundred years ago God led a small handful of people out of the religious oppression and intolerance of Europe to a new land, unfounded and virtually uninhabited by the civilized world of that day. These people possessed within their spirits a calling and a mandate of God to come out from among the religious beast of Europe that proclaimed its self to be Christianity. They stepped out in the faith of God, forsaking all to become the pilgrims that we remember as the founders of our nation. This little handful of people, who were no people in the eyes of the world, they heard a calling to a promise land that flowed with milk and honey. A place where they could worship in the manner that they chose without fear of reprisals. Here they could be true to themselves and to God. It was this kind people with which our God founded this great nation we live in today called the United States. If any ever doubts that there is a God or that He was the One who was at work to bring forth this great country, let them follow the true history and accounts that took place when this country was formed and through its growth, even till today. All that we are and all that we enjoy is only due to the sovereignty, goodness, mercy and the blessings of God.
How it must grieve Him that now we have laws that we can destroy our unwanted children, laws that prohibit our teachers from teaching the truth of God in public schools, that deny God as the Creator and forbid His Word from being read, along with the freedom to openly pray. We have tolerated those who would strike His name from every public place and have courts that will not even allow the display of His commandments. What kind of religious freedom is this that tolerates every other religion being taught about in our public schools except the one true gospel? What spirit have we allowed to come in that has blinded the hearts and minds of so many and even we, His people, have become complacent and lethargic?
These early pilgrims gave their very lives to establish a precedent of religious freedom. Even when the captain of the Mayflower offered to take them back to England, not one of them would go, even in the face of such great adversity and loss. They counted Him faithful who had called them out of darkness and brought them into the light. It didn’t come without great sacrifice and loss. Many of us don’t really think about or really appreciate all the sacrifice of so many throughout the history of this country that has sustained its freedoms and liberties.
Let us remember our heritage and how we that were no people, God has made us a great people with blessings like none other upon the earth. He has taken that which was nothing and has made it something. He has taken the weak and made them strong. He has taken the poor and made them rich. Great is the Lord!
God, please forgive us when we take so much that You have done for us for granted. Help us to truly acknowledge You and truly give thanks from the depths our heart and soul. We are a blessed people and You are the reason for that blessing.

Blessings,
#kent

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Take a Moment to Appreciate

Romans 1:21
Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

We have one day a year we set aside to be thankful and acknowledge God’s goodness, but our thankfulness and appreciation of God should be a daily continual occurrence. When we fail to acknowledge Him in all of our ways, our ways begin to become perverted and distorted. In America we live with such abundance and blessing that we take so much for granted. Our level of expectation is very high and we often complain or are discontent when it is not met. We most likely don’t really want to view the conditions and lifestyle of third world countries. Maybe somehow we feel we are more deserving of the wealth and abundance that we enjoy because we are a “Christian” nation. It is evident that we richly enjoy God’s blessing and bountiful provisions, but it is becoming continually more evident that many have failed to see and acknowledge where those blessing have come from. More and more there is pressure and movement to rid godly influence from education, government and the public in general. Many are failing to acknowledge and appreciate that we are great for one reason only, because God’s blessing and goodness alone has made us great.
Our scripture today points to a passage that tells about humanity when they fail to recognize, appreciate and acknowledge the Lord in all of their ways. They follow after their vain imaginations and their foolish hearts become darkened. They embrace homosexuality, idolatry, fornication and all manner of perverse things. Is that what we are becoming today as a nation and as a people?
It is so important that we do acknowledge the Lord in all of our ways and that we maintain a continual attitude of humility and thankfulness toward the Lord. What the Lord has given He can take away. We have what we have because of the godly heritage that established this country and did acknowledge the Lord in its founding. The Lord must always be the foundation of all that we do and of all of our ways. Without Him all is lost.
Let us be mindful to not become so busy and full of ourselves that we forget the great and awesome God that has provided all that we enjoy and so often take for granted. If we acknowledge and appreciate the Lord in all of our ways He will direct our path and keep it from perversion and corruption. Take time and with great frequency, acknowledge and appreciate the Lord, for He is so worthy and deserving of all our praise and thanksgiving.
“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Blessings,
kent

Did You Know You were Dead?

Colossians 3:1-4
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

A principle of salvation and the work of the cross that is hard for us to really grasp and assimilate into our minds and get down into our spirits is the fact that when we gave our hearts and lives to Christ we died. We became identified with Christ upon that cross. When we came into Christ our old man died there with Him. Romans 6:6 says, “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” We have so long been associated with this body of sin, that many of us haven’t really made the transition spiritually and physically to the reality of this truth. We are still identified with our old body of sin and sin-nature. We keep wanting and trying to change it and reform it. That is not going to happen. We have to grasp the reality that it is DEAD! When we came into Christ we became a new creation, a spiritual man or woman with a redeemed soul. One of the greatest strategies of the enemy is to keep us in that old mindset of being sinners, still living under the curse of sin. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” With that new life we found in Christ, there has to come in us a whole new mindset and way of seeing ourselves and our world through the eyes and mind of the Spirit of God. This is why we can be no longer conformed to the world, but as Romans 12:2 says,”transformed through the renewing of our minds.” Our nation, our country, our citizenship is Heaven. As such we must become heavenly minded in our thinking and actions. This is a hard rut for most of us to get out of, because we live in the world, we are around worldly people and our tendency is to think like they think and live like they live. But we have to remember that we are a redeemed and holy people now, living out our spiritual lives in these natural bodies. That is what makes us a peculiar people. Our thoughts, our dreams, our way of life and living and thinking are lining up now with the mind of the Spirit as revealed through God’s Word. The revelation of that Word is becoming alive in us more and more as we mature and grow up into Christ in all things.
So why are we still struggling with a sin nature that is no longer our nature? Much of it is because we are still housed in a body that can be influenced and moved by sin and temptation. Think of it this way: if when I came to Christ I literally died and went to heaven then I am in Christ and there is no more worries, no more struggles with the sin and the flesh. I can live a sinless life, no more temptations or trials. The reality is that while I did die and my life is in Christ, I am still left in this mortal body and subject to the curse of sin that is all around me and that still is trying to lay hold of my mortal body and soul. Even though I am dead to sin, I can’t run away from it influence. That is by God’s design, because He doesn’t want us to run away from sin, He wants us to overcome and conquer it even as Christ did. The power is not in us alone to overcome sin. If that were the case the law would have been enough and Christ would not have had to die for our sin. The only way to overcome sin is with a Savior whose life and power abides within us by faith. With the natural eye and understanding we may not see who we are in Christ, but with the eyes of faith, empowered by the Spirit and with the authority of God’s Word we go into battle. The battle to live out who we really are in the Spirit and at the same time bring others out of death and darkness, into light and life. As we have died to the natural man with it’s sin nature; we are now free to allow the Christ to live through us as we willing submit our wills to Him as a living sacrifice. We no longer hold our lives as being our own, but that ownership is now the Lord’s. We are His servants, servants of righteousness and no longer of sin. The more we lay hold of and live in this reality the less power sin has over us. It is as Romans 6:13 says, “Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God.” It is a paradox that when we die to sin and that old nature, we become alive in our spirits unto God. We have become the products of His life giving Spirit at work in us. While we have not yet physically made the ascent, spiritually we have stepped out of earth and into heaven where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins. Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:
That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1-7). We must walk in the revelation of who we are in Christ. Our state has changed from dead unto God to dead unto sin. That death is only made complete as Christ lives in and through us.

Blessings,
kent

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