Abundant Life

June 22, 2015

John 10:10
The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

Abundant Life

When we talk about abundant life, where do your thoughts go? Do they go to your natural man, your financial success, your health and the resources of this world? Indeed God’s abundant life touches us on a natural plane, but if that is where our focus is then we’ve missed the bigger picture.
If the thief, which we know as satan, only comes to steal, to kill and destroy, then why are so many non-Christians blessed and prospering in this life. The quality of life we are talking about here is the Greek word Zoë, God life. One definition states, “life real and genuine, a life active and vigorous, devoted to God, blessed, in the portion even in this world of those who put their trust in Christ, but after the resurrection to be consummated by new accessions (among them a more perfect body), and to last for ever.” While satan is out to steal, kill and destroy, his focus is upon the “God life,” not the just the breath of life. When the Zoë of a person is robbed, killed or destroyed then what hope is left for a man? Separation from God is the ultimate darkness. While some may scorn God in this life, they have no concept of the life they have forsaken and given up.
The Apostle Paul brings this concept of abundant life into more focus in 1 Corinthians 15:9. He says, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” Paul wasn’t experiencing the abundant life as a big bank account and vacation home in Athens. In this life he experienced great tribulation and hardships. The revelation that he had was that this natural life was his investment into the abundant life he knew in Christ. It is not the seed itself that is the abundance, it is as it dies and gives place to the life within that abundance is released. It is not in the corruptible that we find the fullness of abundant life, but in the incorruptible, the resurrection life.
It is not in the abundance of this natural life that we rejoice or find the proof of abundant life. If we are blessed in our natural lives that is all well and good, but that is not the measure of God’s abundant life. Your abundant life is found in Christ. It is in your relationship with Him and the hope you have in Him. This natural life is but a corruptible seed planted in the ground. The question of abundant life is in what it brings forth through its death, not what it possesses in this life.
We want our life seed to possess the DNA of Christ in it. He is the essence of our abundant life, in this life and that, which is to come. Don’t allow satan or any one to steal that from you. The faith we have in Christ lives out of the abundance of who we are in Him.

Blessings,
#kent

Two Kinds of Life

June 5, 2015

Two Kinds of Life

John 12:25
The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

There are two kinds of life that pertain to man. It basically boils down to the one that he is living now in the form of a living and breathing soul. In the Greek this word is psuche; that which pertains to the soul, life, mind and heart. The other kind of life is that which in the Greek is called Zoë. It is the God-life or what we might term eternal life. If a man is only concerned for the psuche, the soul life that pertains to the here and now, then he will miss the Zoë. Now when the body stops breathing the psuche lives on, but its state beyond this life is determined by whether it possesses the Zoë life within or not. Jesus speaks to the fact that there will be a general resurrection of the soul or psuche life, in which all that have died in the body will be raised up. In John 5:25-29 Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Who are the truely dead? They are all of those who have possessed the psuche or soul life, but have not possessed the Zoë life, which can only be found through receiving Christ. Jesus says in John 14:6, “… I am the way, the truth, and the life (Zoë): no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” Again, He says in John 6:40, “And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” For us to possess eternal or Zoë life, we must possess the Son. When we invite the Son of God into our psuche life then that life must give place to the Zoë. Now, instead of living out of the soul life, we live out of the God life. It is as the apostle Paul puts it in Romans 8:1-2, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life (Zoe) set me free from the law of sin and death.” The psuche without Christ abides under the law of sin and death, but when the Zoë comes in, it brings us into the higher law of Zoë.
Simply put, our life without Christ is not life at all but, in reality, is living in death. Christ in our lives has lifted us out of this death and set us in a place of living out of the eternal Zoë life of Christ. We must distinguish between the two, so that our lives are no longer psuche centered, but Zoë centered. “When Christ, [who is] our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory (Colossians 3:4).”

Blessings,
#kent

Lifted from Unworthiness

John 10:10-11
When 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?
She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

There are many who won’t come to Christ because of strong feelings of inadequacy, sin and failure in their lives. Condemnation and judgments, from themselves or others, have left them feeling like, for them; there is no hope, no salvation or redemption. Perhaps, if you are that person, you have had a “past”. There has been sin that you don’t think God would ever forgive you of, because you might not even be able to forgive yourself. You may be on a self destructive course, because you feel there is no hope, no more purpose to life and no more reason to live.
There is a word of hope and life for that person today. Jesus tells us in John 3:16-17 the plan of God for us, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.” What we must never let the devil rob from us is that no matter how deep our sin, God’s love goes deeper still. His purpose is not to condemn and judge because you missed it, His purpose is to restore you to life, to lift you up from your unworthiness and cloth you with His garments worthiness and righteousness.
What a beautiful example of this we have in the story where the woman was caught in the act of adultery. The Law, the Commandments said she should die. Her accusers surrounded her and demanded Jesus judge and condemn her. Jesus, with just a few words of divine wisdom showed that mercy is greater than the law, forgiveness is more precious than judgment. When He told them, “Let the one that is without sin cast the first stone”, He allowed their own conscience to judge themselves rather than the woman. Now instead of the finger pointing at the adulterous woman, they were confronted with the other three fingers pointing back at their own lives. None had the right to judge and condemn, but Christ. As our passage for today says, there was not a man that found place to condemn her based on their own righteousness. The mercy and love of God speaks to her and says, “Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.” That is what He is speaking to you and me today. The Lord’s mission was not to judge us for our sins, but to deliver us out of them, to forgive us and set us free from the power of sin.
If there are things in your life that you haven’t been able to forgive yourself of, if there are things others won’t forgive you of; then know that there is one greater than your conscience. There is one greater than the judgments of yourself and others. It is the blood of Jesus that paid that price and there is no sin so deep and dark that the blood can’t cover it if it is simply brought to the Lord in sincere repentance. The Lord wants to put purpose, joy and hope back into your life today. He wants to lift you out of that place of despondency and despair that you have been living in. He is the doorway to that new life of righteousness that we can only have as we put on Christ Jesus by faith. And when you bring that sin to the altar and you lay it before Him in true repentance then do as the woman was told, “go your way and sin no more.” Don’t take that trespass up again and keep condemning yourself with it once it is repented of. Then you grieve the Holy Spirit, because you have not really released it and left it under the blood. As far as God is concerned that sin is cast as far as the East is from the West. 1 John 1:9 tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
He will wipe the slate clean for you today if you will let Him. With your repentance you no longer have a “past” that was filled with sin and failure; you have a future to no longer be a slave to sin, but rather a slave of righteousness as we live our lives, by the power of God unto obedience to Him. He has lifted you out of your unworthiness and clothed you with His righteousness.

Blessings,
#kent

Lift Up a Standard

June 20, 2014

Lift Up a Standard

Matthew 6:13 (NLT)
And don’t let us yield to temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

All of us have had strongholds and weaknesses in our lives in which we were prone to sin and perhaps still are. When we came to Christ we found the truth of Ephesians 4:8, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Jesus suffered and died to break the power of the enemy over our lives. He bound the strong man of the house (satan) and loosed the captives held in sin and bondage. That was you and I. Romans 6:22 says, “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” And Romans 8:2 says, “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
How many of us have enjoyed the freedom we found in Christ, then one day have satan show up on the doorstep of our soul with the temptation to partake again of those things from which we had been set free? James 1:13-16 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.” So we know the temptation doesn’t come from God, but many of us know the slippery slope it has led us too and many of us have slid down that slope, feeling the shame and disgrace of again giving place to those temptations that led us into sin.
Jesus told his disciples when they were in the Garden with him just before the Passion, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak. (Matthew 26:41).” The flesh we live in is our weakest link in living a victorious life in Christ. While we have been set free from the sin nature, the power and temptation of sin can still influence our soul as it stirs up those former passions and desires. Jesus said this in Luke 12:39, “And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.” If you are the good man of your spiritual house and you knew that at a certain time satan was going to come to you with a particular temptation, you would prepare for it and strengthen and fortify that area so that you would not yield to that temptation. Check the doors of your spiritual house. Have we left an access open, windows or doors for temptation to find its way into our house? Have we failed to rid our lives of all the avenues that sin can again have access into our souls? Lock the windows and doors of your soul, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: (1Peter 5:8).” This is why we must watch and pray always, maintaining a vigil against the temptation that wants to come and entice us back into sin. The spirit man in us must be the strong man in our house as we are identified with Christ and each day we are to be walking in the revelation of our union and oneness with Him.
Isaiah 59:19 says, “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in, like a flood the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.” That standard is the Word of God and our faith in it. As Jesus used the Word to defeat devil’s temptations in the wilderness, so it is our standard by which we establish in our own hearts the righteousness upon which we stand.
Have we slipped back into those former sins? Are we tempted to do so now? The blood of Jesus is there to provide the way back. God does not want us beaten down by the condemnation of our failures; neither does He want us to remain in them. Reach out and take hold of the hand of Jesus. He is there to pull us back out of that miry clay and set our feet again on solid ground. 1John 1:9 is His outreached hand of grace to us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” We must find our victory, not out of condemnation, but in the love of whose we are. Wrap your spiritual arms around Jesus, let Him be the passion and desire that is above every other. Satan will come knocking at our door, but 1Corinthians 10:13 says, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].” Run away from the temptations that comes your way and run into the arms of Jesus that He might show and provide for you the way of escape. He is our standard, our banner and our victory.
The Word of God gives much mercy and grace to be forgiven and to turn from our sin, but it never gives us justification and excuse to continue abiding in it. It is where we change our direction, not our pretense of righteousness while we continue in sin.
Pull up all of those markers where sin has marked our life. Make a righteous declaration of faith based on what the Word of God says we now are in those places in Christ Jesus. Allow righteousness define you, where sin once defiled you.
When we harbor the fugitives of our repentance we are still in collaboration with the enemy of our soul. You can’t conquer the ground in the places where you are still giving place to the enemy.
True Christianity is not an ideology or a theology, it where we walk as Christ walked and where His Word becomes flesh in us. If we love God we will keep His commandments.

Blessings,
#kent

The Crossroads of Life and Death

John 5:24
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

We have discussed how Adam’s sin and fall brought all of mankind into a state of spiritual death and separation from God and the tree of Life. Not only was it manifested in spiritual separation, but also the spirit of death worked to bring corruption and decay to all of creation. That spirit of death is at work in every creature from the time that they are born till the time that it consummates in the cessation of physical life.
When we come to the cross of Jesus Christ, we come to a crossroad and intersection of Life and Death. It is a place and a valley of decision that leads us to a turning point in our lives where we believe in Christ and pass from death to Life or we continue down the road to spiritual death. Jesus Christ stands as a doorway to Life and faith is the key to enter in. When we make the choice to enter into Him a couple of things should happen. When we enter the Master’s door and come into His house we need to remove our outer garment of the body of sin. We hang it there on the cross where Jesus died, as we identify with His death. Where we have now come too, that outer garment of self is but a hindrance and unacceptable apparel in the house where we now abide. Not only do we take off the outer garment or our former self-centered ways, but also we remove our shoes, for now we are standing on Holy ground. We no longer walk in those former ways that we walked in when we walked down the pathway of death. Now, instead we have shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel wherein we carry and communicate the life of God to all men. “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; (Ephesians 6:15).”
When we come into the Father’s house through our faith in Christ, the blood of Jesus has washed us from the filth and stain of sin and death. In the place of our garment of sinful flesh, we are given the spiritual garments of the righteousness of Christ. In these garments we now have right standing and restored fellowship with the Father. When He now beholds us, He no longer sees the sinful man or woman that we were. He sees the righteousness of His Son, because His blood has washed us clean of all unrighteousness. 1 Corinthians 1:30 says, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Also at the door we are given a white turban upon our heads called the mind of Christ. Along with this cleansed body we are given a new mind as it exhorts us in Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Clothed with spiritual apparel and now abiding in the place Christ has prepared for us we begin living in the Life He has given us. Formerly we did not discern between life and death. All we knew was the natural dimension of life and death. Now at the juncture where we have made a right turn into the way of Life we begin to choose the ways of Life. More than a right and wrong issue of our moral choosing, our life in Christ becomes choices of life and death. We know that His Word and His Spirit are Life. The spirit of the world is selling death and calling it life. In as much as our eyes are open to the Spirit of Life and godliness we perceive the lie, rejecting it and make our choices for Life. Proverbs 23:7 warns us, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so [is] he.” It is warning us that things and people are not always as they appear on the surface. The truth is in their heart. What is in our hearts today? Are we feeding from the tree of Life? Many of us are still planting the seeds of death and bearing it’s fruit in our lives because we are not choosing and living in the Life we proclaim to have. We are experiencing spiritual defeat and we wonder why? What are we continually abiding in? What is the focus of our lives? Which tree are we feeding off of, the tree of Life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? The Lord doesn’t want us to be double minded in our living and our choices. He has called us to abide in the Spirit of Life and to choose Life and not death. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)”

Blessings,
kent

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