Romans 14:1-5
Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him. 4Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

Judgement on Disputable Matters

If we were all to gather around and talk our theology hopefully we would be in agreement concerning the basic tenants of our faith such as Jesus being the Son of God, His blood being the atonement for our sins, that we are saved through faith and not of works, the virgin birth and other foundational truths that define Christianity. Hopefully, what we do not do is what Paul and others warned us about and that is adding or taking away from the gospel. Many times men, doctrines and denominations want to put their addendum that it is not just by faith that we are saved. The Galatians had been deceived into thinking that it was Christ and the works of the Law that saved them, but Paul clarifies this all through the book of Galatians. In Galatians 2:16 it says, “Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” The Law is all about our doing and doing is never enough, therefore we find ourselves standing in condemnation because we can’t live up to the Law or we become judgmental and condescending because we think we are keeping it so much better than others around us. Christ came and died to deliver us out of the mentality and the separation from God that it brought. In Galatians 2:20 Paul puts our faith into perspective as to where our lives should be if we are a Spirit-led people. “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.” It is no longer about what I am or what I believe; it is about being the expression of the Christ that indwells me. “I” should no longer live, only Christ in me. The summary of our past, present and future in Christ is summed up in Ephesians 2: 1-10. “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Now if we agree on these basic tenants of our faith, then what is all of Romans 14 about? It is about all of little disputes about what we see, understand, are persuaded and comprehend the Word of God to say. I have found in myself, that over my lifetime many of my opinions and perceptions have changed and are still changing. We all walk in the light of what we know, see and understand, but 1 Corinthians 13: 12 says, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” The truth is, no matter how much we know, we all still just know in part, because we are limited through our natural mind and understanding. I read an illustration recently that helped me see this more clearly. If I held up a nickel between us and we were asked what was on the nickel, I would say an impression of Thomas Jefferson and you would disagree and say no, it is an impression of Monticello. The truth is that we would both be right depending on our perspective, paradigm and way of seeing it. Religious men, including us, have often been guilty of taking a particular truth and making a dogma out of it. The truths of God are like spokes in a wheel; they can only keep the wheel in round if they are balanced by all other truth. If I take any truth to an extreme it becomes out of balance. The truth is I need both Thomas Jefferson and Monticello to make that nickel work.
Let’s not get distracted by the minor points of truth that we loose sight of the bigger picture here. We are not in fellowship with one another to bicker over our differences, but to edify one another in who we are in Christ. Let us lay our petty differences aside and let us allow one another the freedom to walk in the light of what we know realizing that we are all growing in the light and knowledge of Him. God is our judge, not man, before Him alone do we stand or fall. The Lord told me once concerning trying to correct how someone else believes. Don’t argue and debate them. Speak the truth in love and the truth will set them free.

Blessings,
#kent

The Passion of Our Hearts

Psalms 86:12
I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.

As Christians, brothers and sisters in Christ, we come from many different backgrounds and influences in our lives. We’ve even congregated and gravitated to groups or denominations that most reinforce our particular view, opinion and understanding of God and scripture. The primary problem we find with this is that it tends to separate us into different camps and we get caught up in internal squabbling over our sacred dogma or opinion. It seems to me that in this hour the Spirit of God is working in His body to tear down these walls of division. He is still “one body, and one Spirit, even as you are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who [is] above all, and through all, and in you all (Ephesians 4:5-6).” While it is fine for us all to have our own opinions about scripture, there are certain foundational truths we should all embrace and be in agreement about. What the Spirit of God wants to speak to us about is that our faith is not just about what we think or just us, it is about Him and what He thinks. The Word and Christ teaches us that the most important commandment is that, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. “ This is the foundation upon which all of the law and the prophets hinge and rest upon. If we miss this we are building upon sand. We all know the adage, “Divided we fall, united we stand”. This is why it is so important that unity be restored back into the body of Christ. Psalm 133:1 reminds us, “Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!” When part of my body starts conflicting and fighting with other parts I get sick and I can no longer function to my potential. God desires for us to lay down our pet peeves and doctrines and start becoming one with the rest of the body of Christ concerning what God’s will and purpose is for us in this hour. We must learn to build each other up and not tear each other down.
Isn’t it funny how when we meet someone and discover that they are a Christian, the first thing we want to ask them is, “where do you go to church”? We are more concerned about seeing what brand or mark of religion they have on them than seeing if the mark of Jesus is in them. We are all at so many different stages in our walk with God and most of us would agree that have been Christians for some time, that our views and ways of seeing and understanding things has changed over time. We may not have even accepted ourselves for the way we are now if we were judging ourselves by what we use to think and believe.
The thing that should be driving our lives is not our religion or denomination, but our passion for Christ and our love for Him. God sees men after the heart, not their denomination or belief system. What do you love the most? What is your deepest passion and desire? That is where Christ must be at the forefront or we are missing it. Our love and compassion for others should be a close second. Let us focus on what is important to God’s heart and not just our intellectual satisfaction. When we love and are able to lay hold of the truth, the truth will set us free from our wrong opinions. Often we think it is our duty to set everyone straight on how to believe. We need to quit stepping on the Holy Spirit’s toes and let Him do His job. Our responsibility is to judge our own hearts and make sure that we are walking in faith and obedience to Him. If we are all impassioned with Christ that will be our bond of fellowship and communion with one another and with Christ. Allow God’s law to be written upon the tablet of your mind and heart. “The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life ( 2 Corinthians 3:6).” God’s Word will guide us and His Spirit will give us peace. Be at peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Love them where they are at and if you have a greater revelation or insight then speak it through the way you live your life and in your actions. Above all things, be passionate in your love and pursuit of Christ.

Blessings,
#kent

The River of God

February 6, 2014

 

The River of God


Revelations 22:1-2

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations. 

 

I believe that through the ages of time there runs a river of life from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  It is a river of Truth and Revelation that God is unfolding to mankind as it flows to the consummation of the ages.  Christ, the Lamb of God, is the greatest truth this river has brought to mankind.  We know that He indeed is the Tree of Life that was there even in the Garden of Eden.  This river has ever been a source of blessing and spiritual fruitfulness.  Psalms 46:2-5 says, “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. [There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High. God [is] in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, [and that] right early.”  It is my prayer that you have been baptized and immersed in that river today, that you are, in fact, the wellspring of the life that is in that river.  That river is not a natural one, but that of the Spirit of God that flows through humanity in the lives of those who are yielded to Him.  When we are in the center of His Life we are in that river.  Jesus says in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers ofliving water.”   

It is producing the fruitfulness of the Spirit in your life.  There is a divine dispensation of that tree of Life in the midst of the river.  It yielded its fruit every month.  Through the Word of God and over time we have seen God revealing Himself more and more to man.  The greatest revelation has been in the revelation of Himself through the incarnate man Christ Jesus.  In Christ we see what God looks like in the flesh, how He acts and the fruit of His life.  We caught the vision and experienced the revelation of His grace and salvation through His blood.  When all around is shaken and moved we still have a river that makes glad the city of God.  

Through the church age we have seen different marked times when God would raise up and an individual or individuals through whom He would reveal a greater truth about Himself.  The greatest tragedy we see in this is not that the truths were not real and precious, but men built a doctrine and a religion around that truth, it became a source of exclusiveness where they saw themselves a little more right and perhaps a little more godly than others.  So they established churches, denominations and schools around that particular doctrine of truth.  Today we see all these denominations and we wonder can they all be right or which one is right?  God is not “a” doctrine or “a” truth, He is “the” Truth. The River of Truth that is never stagnant or still, but continues to flow and reveal itself in greater truth. The denominations have become the product of man’s work that have served to often splinter and divide the body of Christ rather that which causes it to function in unity and oneness as God purposed it too. If this is where you see your life today 1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye neednot that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  It is not to say that churches aren’t good and that we can’t learn from other men, but don’t relinquish the teacher you have within you, the anointing that is leading you into truth as you abide in Him.  This is your River.  We don’t want to find ourselves in the little eddy by the side of the river that just flows round and round but never goes anywhere new.  We want to be out in the depths of the river moving and continually growing in the swell of its Truth.  As part of that mainstream of the River of God we carry the fruit and fruitfulness of the Tree of Life for the healing of the nations.  You are the leaves and the fruit of the Vine.  It is through you and me that God is manifesting His Life and Truth to the world today through the Life giving and revealing Spirit of Truth within us.  We are not to be a stagnant pond of ‘has beens” who once experienced God and know about God, but are not experiencing Him in power and fullness.  If this sounds too much like you then it is time to wade back out into the River and experience the baptism of renewal and refreshing that the Holy Spirit brings.  Come alive and be a part of the pure crystal waters and a part of the tree of Life for the healing of the nations.  Our God is a dynamic force.  He is never stale, stagnant or complacent, but is always moving.  Get in His current and let it carry you to the places of Life in Him He wants to take you.

 
blessings,
kent

Old Things Obstruct the New

Hebrews 9:6-8
Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service [of God]. But into the second [went] the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and [for] the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:

As I was looking around my yard and home today I was noticing areas where we have made improvements, remodeled and changed our existing structure and yard. I also noticed how much of the remnants of those old things still remained and cluttered my house and yard. Either I hadn’t gotten around to getting them hauled off or I thought they might come in handy someday, so for whatever reason they remain cluttering up our lives and home, keeping us from fully enjoying the fullness of the improvements that we have made. It occurred to me that our spiritual lives are a lot like that. While we don’t remove the foundation of our homes we do update and make improvements to our existing structure. The same is true of our spiritual lives. We are continually growing in our revelation and understanding of God, of who we are in Him and who He is in us. Why aren’t some these revelations having a more profound effect in our relationship with God?
The Lord showed me some time back that He gave the tabernacle of Moses, the priesthood and that spiritual service as a type and shadow of the true spiritual tabernacle and service that is revealed in Christ and His Church. This is clearly seen and discussed in the book of Hebrews. What the Holy Spirit brought to my attention is the little phrase contained the scripture above, “the Holy Spirit thus signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing (Hebrews 9:8).” Now we know through the Word that when Christ died upon the cross, the veil in the temple was literally torn supernaturally from top to bottom, the Lord spiritually signifying to us that we all now have access into the Holy of Holies, His very presence. Hebrews 10:19-20 verifies this by saying, “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.” Why is it that now that we have access to the Father we are not experiencing the measure of His fullness and presence we so desire? Much of it may have to do with the excess baggage we are still carrying with us from our former belief system that was steeped in law and the traditions of men. It may be that our first tabernacles are still standing or least remnants of them. We have our own religions, denominations, agendas and our own way of doing things. So much of it is not placed there by the Spirit of God, but by man, much of it by man’s own prejudices and opinions. While, in many cases it contains elements of truth, is it the truth of the revelation that God has for us in this hour. Just as the tabernacle of Moses and priestly service was truth in the day of Moses, in God’s reality it was only pointing the way to a deeper truth and reality of God’s true spiritual tabernacle contained in Christ and His Church. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.” The Lord is conforming and transforming us to His image from glory to glory, from understanding to understanding, from revelation to revelation. We are continually maturing and should be growing up into Him in all things. The question is, as we are growing in our understanding and revelation are we still clinging to the old? Do we still maintain our former belief system, our former mentality, our former thinking and level of faith? Is there a lot of clutter in our spiritual house that is hindering us from experiencing a deeper and more meaningful relationship with God’s presence? The only way we can enter into the Holiest of all is in full assurance of faith and the blood of Jesus. What other things in our lives and in our beliefs are we using to try and gain this access. The Lord Jesus has done it all, but we may not be experiencing it all because as long as the former temple is still standing the Holiest of all is still not going to be made manifest to us. The truth is most of us need to clean house and get rid of whole lot of junk that is doing nothing but hindering us from moving into a richer and more meaningful experience with God. This is where we need to begin to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in identifying and getting rid of old ways of thinking and believing that are not inline with His present revelation and truth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” As the old things have passed away we must get rid of even the remnants of them from our lives that we may come, unencumbered into the fullness of the new, into His Holy presence, with boldness, fullness of faith and with the blood of Jesus.

Blessings,
kent

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