Matthew  14:22-32

Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.

25During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

27But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

28″Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

29″Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

31Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

32And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

Faith Beyond the Normal

               Most of us are probably familiar with this passage of scripture where Jesus comes to His disciples walking on the water.  For them this is a pretty paranormal event that brings them into a state of fear, because they assume they are seeing a ghost.  Jesus reassures them and calls to them, “Take courage!  It is I.  Don’t be afraid.”  There are times in our lives when Jesus may come to us or make His presence known in ways that are unfamiliar to us.  This can be disconcerting for our natural man until we come into the peace that it is He and not another spirit. 

               We see Peter responding to this event in a rather unusual way.  We don’t hear of any of the other eleven disciples calling to Jesus to allow them to come to Him on the stormy waters.  But Peter represents a company of people that know Jesus well enough that they are willing to trust Him.  They are willing to step out and go where no man has gone before, because their eyes are upon the Savior.  Their faith and confidence are complete in Him. 

               We see Peter calling out to the master, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”  Just a note here, Peter was not so presumptuous that He bailed out of the boat without the Lord’s permission and assurance that he could.  Jesus replies back to him, “Come.”  We see a demonstration of great faith working in Peter as he crawls over the side of the boat and onto the water.  He is doing great.  He is actually walking on the water as he comes with his eyes upon Jesus.  Then he makes the error that so many of us make; he takes his eyes and attention off of Jesus and starts to look at the wind and the storm.  At this point he has just made a paradigm shift from walking in the Spirit to walking in the natural.  When he comes out of that place of faith he immediately begins sinking into the water.  Then he cries out to Jesus, “Lord, save me!”  None of us should fault Peter for what just happened, because most all of us have done the same thing.  We have a word of the Lord or a promise that He has given us.  We step out and start walking in that word and promise, but then when the storm kicks up and adversity comes we take our eyes off of Jesus and start looking at the surrounding circumstances.  Doubt and fear again find entrance.   Like Peter, the Lord asks, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  You were walking in the miracle power of the promise by faith, but then you let doubt come in.  It gives us an insight into how destructive doubt, fear and unbelief can be to our faith and our ability to walk in the fullness of what He wants to do through us. 

               It is imperative that we are being trained in this hour to hear and respond only to the voice of the Master.  There are many voices and some of them sound quite reasonable and good, but are they the Master’s voice.  We must learn in this hour to live, move and have our being in Him.  Seek that place where you know when you hear His voice.  Be obedient and do not waiver from that, which He has spoken to you, but set your eyes upon Him and be not moved by the storm all around you.  Dare to step out beyond the boundaries of the faith you have known, but do it at the permission and instruction of the Lord.  If He has spoken, He will not fail you and yes, He will even be there to raise you up if you fail.  Be like Peter, dare to step out in your faith and go where no man has gone before, just  remember, don’t take your eyes off of Jesus. 

Blessings,

#kent 

The Lord’s Presence

May 17, 2021

The Lord’s Presence

Jude 1:20-25

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, [be] glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

                There is no more awesome place than the Presence of the Lord.  It is a place of great glory and majesty where the power and presence of the Almighty emanates.   There are times in our worship and God experiences that we enter may enter into the Presence of the Lord where our actual body and soul experiences, at least a measure, of that Presence.  For those who have tasted of His Presence you know that there is nothing in earth that can imitate or match it.  When God’s Presence truly comes into a place, we become prostrate, for we can’t even look upon Him in our natural state.  He is as a consuming fire and cleaners soap.  There is no pretense, excuses or falsehoods that can abide in that presence, for they are totally exposed for what they are.  We know that as His children we have access into His Presence through the Son, for we are in Christ.  We are accepted in His Presence in Christ, our High Priest.  Hebrew 9:24 says, “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, [which are] the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”  It is His righteousness that clothes us and we wear those garments in faith.  The Apostle Paul gives us a revelation of what it is to press into the Presence of the Lord in this life in Philippians 3:8-11, “Yea doubtless, and I count all things [but] loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them [but] dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”  When we catch a revelation of the place of God’s Presence then everything else will loses its meaning and value in comparison.  That place of God’s Presence, it is the place of the richest treasure we can experience.  That is what makes heaven so wonderful.  It is filled with His presence. 

                We have a portal of access, a door of faith by which we may enter in.  For those in Christ the Presence of the Lord is our fullness of joy, but to the sinner that seeks to come in some other way or with other garments than those washed in the blood of Lamb, there is a terror and dread.  For outside of Christ we would be cast out of the Presence of the Almighty.  This is why we want to put off the garments spotted with sin and flesh.  Put on Christ and pursue His Presence.   Pursue His Presence with intimacy, worship and fidelity to your faith.  Make the Lord what your eye and heart covets and let your contentment be with nothing less.

Blessings, 

#kent

The Loss of a Birthright

April 29, 2021

6/2/08

1 Chronicles 5:1-2

The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright, 2 and though Judah was the strongest of his brothers and a ruler came from him, the rights of the firstborn belonged to Joseph)-

The Loss of a Birthright

                There are several examples in the Word of those who lost their birthright.  We see Esau selling His birthright to Jacob for a bowl of pottage, which took him out of the lineage of God’s divine line through which the Christ would come.  We see those who forsook their higher calling and purpose because they failed in their faith and obedience to lay hold of the promise.  We first saw that birthright forsaken when Adam disobeyed God and brought all of humanity into sin and darkness.  He fell from the high place that His birthright had afforded him.  Authority and dominion were lost to him. 

Through Abram God brought forth the father of many nations and through his loins he began a seed line of faith and promise.  We see there were cases that this seed line did not follow through the firstborn if they proved themselves unfit or unfaithful.  What this all led to was the promised inheritance, restoration, dominion and authority restored through God’s firstborn son Jesus Christ.

Romans 5: 12-17 says, “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— 13for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. 14Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come.

15But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.”  Christ was the restoration of that which was lost through Adam’s failure.  Therefore, we have been called in faith to rise up in the birthright afforded to us in Christ Jesus and to produce seed worthy of acceptance through faith.  We have a birthright in Christ that we don’t want to take lightly or take for granted.  It is a high calling in Christ Jesus to come up into Him and to rule and reign in Him through the authority that He has once again afforded us.  Paul speaks of the calling of this birthright when he speaks in Philippians 3:12-16, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

15All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

                God has given us back a birthright in Christ Jesus full of faith and promise.  Let us not neglect so high a calling or be unfaithful to that which Christ has called us to inherit.  Secure the birthright afforded to you through your steadfast faithfulness and obedience to Him. 

Blessings,

#kent 

Why have You Forsaken Me, Oh Lord?

Isaiah 49:14

But Zion said, “The LORD has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.”

                How many of us have had experiences in our lives that have caused us to speak these words or ones like them, “why have You forsaken me, oh Lord?”  There are more than just a few believers that have been cruising down life’s road just enjoying getting to know God and His goodness.  They are growing in their faith and were so confident in God when it happened.  They hit that bump in the road that upset the apple cart of faith and blessing, their world was turned upside down and now it seems as though God has failed.  We prayed, but God didn’t meet our expectations or answer those prayers the way we thought He should.  He allowed something in our life that we thought never should have happened.  All the pieces of the puzzle we had put together in our understanding of God and His faithfulness are suddenly scattered from the devastation, trauma or disappointment that has touched our lives. 

                Many times we go from asking, “why God”, to being angry and then walking away from Him.  We feel like whatever it is that has happened to us or someone we love is God’s fault because He didn’t intervene when we prayed and believed Him for it.  We feel like God has let us down, disappointed us or has even forsaken us.  How many of us have gone through our rebellious times when we were angry or disappointed with God?  Maybe some of you still are.  If you still are, why do you think that you are reading these words right now?  Could it be because God has not really forsaken and turned His back on you?  He keeps drawing you back, but like pouting and angry children we keep pulling away.       

                Allow me to share with you God’s response to Isaiah 49:14, following verse 14, “15 “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! 16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me. 17 Your sons hasten back, and those who laid you waste depart from you. 18 Lift up your eyes and look around; all your sons gather and come to you. As surely as I live,” declares the LORD, “you will wear them all as ornaments; you will put them on, like a bride. 19 “Though you were ruined and made desolate and your land laid waste, now you will be too small for your people, and those who devoured you will be far away. 20 The children born during your bereavement will yet say in your hearing, ‘This place is too small for us; give us more space to live in.’ 21 Then you will say in your heart, ‘Who bore me these? I was bereaved and barren; I was exiled and rejected. Who brought these up? I was left all alone, but these—where have they come from?’ ““

You see a faith unproven and without being tempered in the fire is not a faith that will stand, but a faith proven in fire will bear children that we aren’t even aware of.  Our faith has to be able to stand even when our understanding doesn’t.  We have to so know that the heart of the Father is love and grace towards us; even when He doesn’t meet our expectations it is not because He loves us any less or doesn’t care what we are going through.  Our faith must be proven to bring us to the next level in our walk with God.  You might say it is the passing from puberty to manhood in the spirit. 

Maybe now you are feeling like, “ I failed the test, so God probably can’t or won’t use me anymore.”  When Peter failed the test and denied Christ three times, did Jesus cast Him off and tell him he was disqualified?  It was that test that was needed to bring him into the higher ministry that God had for him.  Through that test he realized He could trust in no one, but Christ alone, even if it would lead him down a road and into places that he would not choose to go.  God has not disqualified you, He is telling you to get back up on that horse.  Don’t be afraid that it will throw you again.  Have faith that God is there no matter what.  Just because He doesn’t fit in the box of your understanding doesn’t make Him any less faithful, loving and true.

King David went through those times when he felt forsaken.  Where was God when Saul was seeking his life?  Why was God allowing this to happen to him, after all he had been anointed of God to be king?  David says in Psalms 71:10-15, “For my enemies speak against me; those who wait to kill me conspire together. 11 They say, “God has forsaken him; pursue him and seize him, for no one will rescue him.” 12 Be not far from me, O God; come quickly, O my God, to help me. 13 May my accusers perish in shame; may those who want to harm me be covered with scorn and disgrace. 14 But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. 15 My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.”  David’s faith was being proven and tested before he could rule and reign. 

                Then there is always the faithful story of Job.  Job didn’t just get his apple cart upset, satan hit him square between the eyes with a 4×4.  He lost everything but his life and that was so miserable he would have been happier dead. Yet, what was the testimony of Job?  Even when Job’s wife is telling him to just curse God and die.  His response in Job 2:10 is “But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.”  When Job had withstood the test and came out the other side we see God placing him in the position of a priest, praying and making intercession for his accusing friends, standing in the gap for his accusers.  It was an example not so unlike the Priest that stands in the gap and makes intercession for us.  Even Jesus didn’t get to take the easy way out.  Why do we think that we should?  God is not trying to destroy your faith, but to take it to the next level.  Let go of your anger, disappointment and your rebellion.  Turn again into His outstretched arms of love and acceptance.  God is not through with you yet, but He is training you for a higher order and deeper walk with Him.

                “And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee (Psalms 9:10).”

Blessings,

#kent

Through Tribulation

March 10, 2021

Through Tribulation

Revelation 1:9

I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

                Our walk in the faith of Jesus Christ is not always an easy one.  If we really are walking in a full commitment to Christ we, like John, may well come to know that beside the blessings that are ours in Christ, there is often a price to be paid to walk this way.  The Kingdom of God is not about God raising up spoiled children, pampered with every desire of their flesh.  He is raising an army of sons trained up in Kingdom principles and equipped for spiritual warfare.  When the Lord trains us up in His ways we may not feel very blessed because He leads us through hard places.   Places of trial and tribulation.  Often, just as in military training, there is a process of tearing down of the old ways in order to build us back up in the new ways. 1 Peter 1:7 says, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” Our faith is only a head and knowledge thing until the fire of tribulations and trials come to us.  It is there we either press into and lay hold of what we say we believe or we forsake what we may have confessed with our mouth, but has never been worked in our hearts.  Our faith is much like a marriage; it is a covenant commitment of our hearts and lives to our God.   Not unlike many marriages today, when the honeymoon is over and the rubber meets the road with trials and conflicts, our resolve and commitment of love quickly wanes.  We find ourselves in a place of tribulation and rather than overcoming through trust, obedience, patience and steadfastness, we want an easier, less painful way.  Jesus could have chosen an easier way, but He endured the beatings and the shame and the pain of the cross for us.  Father God could have chosen an easier way than giving His only begotten son to die for us, but He didn’t.  He gave the most precious gift He could give us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  When we accepted and were baptized into Christ we accepted and became identified with His cross.  Our flesh, with its sin and selfish desires were nailed there with Him.  We accepted a death sentence to our past life and in exchange we were given a new life in the Spirit.  While we are new creatures in Christ, born of the Spirit, there is a process and working out of our salvation wherein we are possessing our spiritual inheritance through faith and daily overcoming of those former passions and desires that still want to work in our earthly members.  As we yield to the Spirit there is being worked in us a greater and greater death to the old man as we come up from glory to glory in our spiritual man.  That process is most often worked through testings, trials and tribulations. 

                Paul says in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” For God to bring us into sonship He must work the nature of the Son in us.  Concerning Jesus it is said in Hebrews 5:8-10, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.”   When it says “and being made perfect” it is saying that perfection lies in running the race and staying the course.  The only way for Jesus to do this was to suffer on our behalf.  Just as were saved when we accepted Christ into our hearts, our salvation is being worked out day by day as we are being made perfect by our identification with Christ, which includes His sufferings.  When the children of Israel were told to eat the Passover lamb before Moses led them out of Egypt, they were told to eat the whole lamb, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs (Exodus 12:7-10).  We know that the Passover lamb, in type, represented Christ.  We must partake of Him today in the same way.  There is bitter with the sweet. 

                Jesus said in John 16:33, “in the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”  Again, in Acts 14:33 it speaks, “Confirming the souls of the disciples, [and] exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

                So what is this tribulation is working in us? “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  And not only [so], but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:1-5).”  As our faith is tested and exercised through tribulations, we learn not to look at our circumstances and adversities not as negative things, but as stepping stones upon which our faith and trust in Christ is built up and spiritually we are being built up unto that perfect man.  Though outwardly not pleasant God is using these negative experiences to work the positive treasures of His grace and glory in us as we run the race and the stay the course in our walk of faith. 

“Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him (James 1:12).”

Blessings,

#kent

Righteousness

December 17, 2020

Righteousness

Philippians 3:9

And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

                Righteousness, in a broad sense, is defined as the state of a person who is, as he ought to be. This is the condition acceptable to God.  This involves integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling and acting.  It is the definition of who we are in Christ.  As Paul so aptly puts it here in this scripture from Philippians, it is “not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ.”  While it is by faith it is not even of our faith. It is “through the faith of Christ.”  The Word is very clear here that God’s righteousness is not through the enactment of our will, but the product and dispensation of His life, appropriated by His grace through faith that is active within us.  Ephesians 2:8-10 says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  Our salvation and consequently our righteousness are the products of God’s grace and again it is not even from a faith that is from us, it is a gift of God.  We can never earn our way into heaven by being good enough; it is just not going to happen.  True righteousness is a God thing; it is not a man thing.  Only God has the power to impart righteousness in us and through us.  Now, it is important, having said that, to understand that we are the “Righteous.”  We are the standard bearers of God’s holiness and expression in this earth.  If we are the only Bible most people will ever read then they really need to be seeing the nature and character of God in our lives.  Isn’t it disturbing that the greatest turn off for the world at large toward Christianity is the hypocrisy and double-mindedness they see in those who proclaim to be Christians?  How do we think God must view this, that He is disgraced by His own people?  This is not said to be a condemnation, but we all do bear the shame of living less than fully committed lives for Christ.  The early Church set the world ablaze with Christianity because the world, in that time, saw something in them that was worth living and dying for. They saw lives truly changed and transformed by the power of God and they saw the Spirit of God alive and living through the people who embraced Christ.  Should it be any less true today?  Has God changed?  Doesn’t it say, “He is the same yesterday, today and forever”?  Where is our righteousness?  It is never going to be seen in a people that have merely embraced religion and the mental assent of being a Christian.  It is only going to be seen in a people whose eyes and hearts are steadfastly fixed on Christ and who are running every day and every moment deeper into Him.  As His people pursue Him with hungry hearts full of faith, He is filling and flowing through their lives in righteousness.   “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself ” (Philippians 3:20-21).  We are a work of righteousness in progress.  Let us press in by the faith, which our Lord has placed within our hearts to possess Him who possesses us, that we would indeed be and show forth the righteousness of God, which we are, in Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Five Smooth Stones

September 22, 2020

1 Samuel 17:40

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling [was] in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

Five Smooth Stones

              Close your eyes and imagine that you are David walking through the stream bed choosing five symmetrically smooth stones.  These little stones might have once been mighty rocks that over time and erosion and rubbing against one another had become those five smooth stones that David chose that day as he prepared to meet the giant that had all of Israel in fear and trembling. 

              “Come on David, picking up rocks to fight this mighty heavily armored giant is like bringing a pocket knife to a gun fight.  This guy can throw spears that weigh more than you do.”

              In biblical numerology five is the number of grace and redemption.  What was going out to confront this giant was not the might and strength of man, but the grace of God expressed through a little ruddy shepherd boy who had the faith and confidence in His God to know that this giant was nothing before him.  Most of us as Christians make the mistake of always looking to see how big our giants are rather looking and knowing how great our God is.  The power of God’s grace and love will bring down giants that the law and religion will only cower from.  David knew and had the revelation of a  secret that the other mighty men of Israel didn’t have.  He knew it was “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.”  He knew that in weakness God’s strength is made strong.  It was in the fact that David wasn’t anything to brag about that all of the glory could go to God.  What the giant failed to see was the mighty God that David carried with Him.  If he had really seen who David was in God, it would have been him that would have cowered and trembled. 

              Many of you really don’t think you are anything.  You make the mistake of looking with natural eyes like Israel did at this puny little shepherd boy.  The power and might of what you carry isn’t in the outward man, it is in the inward man.  It is the Christ in you.  You don’t carry Him because of your might, your goodness or your abilities.  You carry Him because of His grace that works in you.  It is His grace in you that is the stone that can defeat your greatest giant and fiercest enemy.  The giant fought with the weapons produced by man, David didn’t use man’s weapons to defeat the giant, he used what God had produced in those five smooth stones.  They represented the process of what God takes us through to prepare us for the destiny of who we are by His grace.

              Ephesians 2:4-10 says, “But 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.” 

              Did you catch what grace is doing for you?  It has changed and shifted your position from earthly to heavenly, not only heavenly, but seated with Christ in God. 

              And for what reason did He place us there?    “In order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.”  He has brought you up to bring the giants down.  His grace is the five stones that are able to bring down your Goliath.  It is not you might, your goodness or your abilities.  It is His grace working in you and through you as you embrace by faith who you are and where you are in Him.  When we are always trying to wage our wars and fight from an earthly perspective we are always experiencing defeat.  Father wants us to fight our battles from the position that we have in Him.  Your giants always look smaller looking down on them than when you are looking up.  Remember that you are seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.  Operate your life out of the grace of who and where you are in Him.  There is no giant greater than our God.  Go pick up the five smooth stones of His grace that will bring your enemy down and allow you to behead him with his own weapon.

              “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds (1 Corinthians 10:4)”

Blessings,

#kent

Unto Good Works

September 10, 2020

Unto Good Works

Titus 3:1-8

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. 3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men.

            How has our nature changed with regards to how we view and relate with others?

Do we still have a spirit of political dissidence?  Are we still tuned into the all the little faults of those around us?  Do we still gossip and offer our expert opinions about how others should change their lives? 

              If so, we need to be reminded of whom we were before Christ and what we would still be outside of His mercy and grace.  Paul is telling Titus to remind the body of Christ that Christ has not saved us to sit in judgement of others, but to be the extension of His love and mercy through good works.  It is the humility and the evidence of a transformed life living through us that is most going to impact our world for Christ.  The Holy Spirit is looking for vessels that are not intent on their agenda and not just full of their opinions and feelings.  He desires vessels that are offered up to Him willingly and are open channels for Him to live and move through.  We are encouraged not to fall into the pitfalls of those that are contentious and only want to strive with us and get us to operate out of the flesh rather than the Spirit.  It is the power of the godly life we lead in word and deed that is our greatest testimony and witness of God really living in us and through us.  Many of us only want to talk about our faith, but really have no substance when it comes to living it out in our day to day world. 

              Are we mummers, complainers, discontents, political activist, always unhappy about the way things are and the laws and policies we must live under?  Or… do we see that we are strangers and sojourners in this world.  Yes, we speak out against social injustice and sins of society, but we realize that the only way men will change in their hearts and thinking is when they also are partakers of Christ and the Holy Spirit transforms their heart and thinking.  Yes, we cast our vote for righteousness and have our say in government and the laws of our land as long as we have the freedom to do so.  What we must realize though is that we, by our godly lives and good works, should be the thermostats of our society, setting the standard not just by laws, but by example. 

              Many of us are guilty to one extent or another of saying one thing but living another.  That obviously lends very little credibility to what we preach and teach about Christ.  Christ is more than rhetoric; He is a lifestyle.  We will change the world around us when we all come into conformity with how Christ wants to live through us with regards to our good works and attitudes toward those around us. May we prepare our heart unto every good work as we give our hearts and lives for the Holy Spirit to live through, showing all meekness, humility and gentleness toward others.

Blessings,

#kent

Psalms 118:17-18

I will not die but live and will proclaim what the LORD has done.

The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

You shall not Die, but Live

              “Has fear and doubt come against your mind?  Has your faith been sorely tried?   Reach out your hand from whence cometh your help.  It is Jesus, for you He has died.  Rise and be healed in the name of Jesus.  Let faith arise in your heart.  Reach out your hand from whence cometh your help.  It is Jesus, for you He has died.” 

              I was just impressed that the Lord was bringing this song up in my heart as I began this writing.  There are those of you who need this word this morning, because it is the Word of the Lord for you.  If you need it, take hold of it with all faith and don’t let go.

              Oh, the Spirit of the Lord has heard your cry as you have faithfully cleaved to Him.  He knows your every need and He is your healing and your answer today.  Take hold of Him, nothing wavering.  Set your face as flint upon the promises of His Word and refuse to be moved, ‘for has the Lord spoken and will He not make it good?’  “God is not a man that He should lie, neither the son of man that He should repent.”   Ephesians 5:30 says, ” For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.”  “The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you. (Romans 8)” 

You are no longer identified with this man of the flesh, even though you can be touched by its infirmities and weaknesses.  “You are more than a conqueror through Christ who loved you and gave Himself for you. (Romans 8)”  1 Peter 2:24 declares to us, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”  We, who are in Christ, already possess our healing, it has already been done for us in Christ.  The fact that we are afflicted doesn’t negate the truth that we are healed.  Healing is not something we have to get.  It is what we already have.  When the circumstances of this natural realm presume to rob that from us then we have to stand in truth and declare the truth of God’s Word over our circumstance and affliction.  We are not of this world, even though our natural man is still subject to it.  We are kingdom people “who worship God in the spirit and put no confidence in the flesh.”  As God’s children who set at the right hand of the father in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6), we have been raised up to declare and to live out God’s kingdom on earth.  “His kingdom come and His will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  We live our lives not out of the life of this natural man, but out of the Spirit of God.  We are identified and one with a risen Savior, Christ and Lord; bone of His bone and flesh of His flesh.  God has declared life into us by the power of His Son and the manifestation of His Spirit. 

              We declare the Word of the Lord today over all sickness and death that is at work in God’s people.  Declare this scripture in Psalms 118:17, “I will not die but live and will proclaim what the LORD has done.”  Do it out loud and with all authority.  The Lord is touching you even as you read this, believe and declare His Word.  You shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.  Remember Proverbs 18:21, “Death and life [are] in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”  Align your heart, your faith and your declaration with the Word of God. Stand believing and proclaiming what He has said.  Don’t look at your symptoms as the proof of your healing, keep your eyes only upon His Word.  Truth is greater than all the facts of the world.  They that stand in it, will be vindicated by it.  Rise and be healed in the name of Jesus! 

              This is the Word of the Lord to you who are sick or enduring the trials of affliction today.

Blessings,

#kent

Random Order

July 29, 2020

Random Order

Psalms 119:133

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

              God does not operate out of chance.  He does not spin a wheel and wherever the ball lands that’s the direction He goes.  Our God is a magnificent God of design and order.  He has a plan and He knows the beginning to the end.  Your life and mine aren’t a chance happening, they are ordered of the Lord.  He has put within each one of us a destiny and a purpose for our being. 

              Someone may be thinking, “You don’t know my life, what I have been through or what a mess I am.”  God does and He is able to take what the enemy has meant for evil and destruction and turn it around to be a stronghold for His glory and praise.  He is able to lift you up out of the death and darkness you have been in and set your feet in the way of light and truth.  He is able to take our weakness and turn them into the strongest areas of righteousness and victory in our lives.  God has a destiny, plan and purpose for your life, but the only way you will fully realize it is as you allow Him to order your steps according to His Word.  God has a divine and fulfilling plan for each of us, but we don’t have to follow it.  It is sin and rebellion that have caused us to miss it and that is why many of us are in the misery we are in. 

              As we look back over our lives, what do we see?  Are we satisfied and content with the results?  Do you feel you have lived your life to the fullness of God’s will and design for you.  We must come to the place that we realize our greatest joy, happiness and fulfillment doesn’t come out pursuing our own pleasures and desires, it will only be realized in the unity with God’s will and order for your life.  As I look back over my own life and the times I have walked close to God and the times I haven’t, I can see that my greatest joy, blessing and fulfillment are the times when I am passionately pursuing Him and seeking the fullness of His will for my life.  Our Father didn’t give us His Word and commandments to imprison us and make us miserable.  He gave them to set us free to be the children of righteousness and holiness that could enjoy the riches of all that He has for us.  It is our own sin and rebellion that prevent, inhibit and imprison us from enjoying the full blessings and promises that God has given us. 

              Our God is a God of divine and precise order.  We can look all around our universe and see the evidence of that in all of creation.  Only the fool could truly say the world and all its wonders were created by mere chance, how absurd.  An atheist has to have more faith to believe that, than a believer does to believe in God.  All of creation is a testimony to the wonder, greatness and order of God.  We have to realize that so much of our thinking, values and beliefs have been the persuasion of a lie.  All the chaos, disorder, anarchy, rebellion and discord in the world is the result of the devil’s influence on the minds and hearts of men.  We at war with terrorism today because men bought the lies of satan and in the name of religion and their god they terrorize by killing, wounding and maiming innocent men, women and children.  That certainly has no connection with the God I know. 

              If our steps are ordered of the Lord then He will not allow iniquity to have dominion over you.  In fact, in Christ, He has already empowered you to have victory and dominion over sin and iniquity.  He is our righteousness and we stand complete Him today because of Jesus.  Jesus did it all. He has issued us all the equipment we need to go out, conquer and prevail.  All we have to do is, in faith, put it on and use it according the operations manual of the Word of God, your Bible.  If we are living in defeat, oppression and failure in our lives, then we are like a homeless person using hundred dollar bills to stuff the bag he is sleeping on.  God has given us the resources, but we must rise up in the authority of His Word and the name of Jesus Christ and use them. 

              We cannot live our lives by random order and expect the fullness of God’s best in our lives.  It will be a hit and miss proposition.  As we live methodically and purposefully in the principles of God’s Word then we will reap the benefits of His promises and provisions.  If you want victory, joy and fulfillment in your life then order your steps in the Lord and in His Word.

Blessings,

#kent

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