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

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A Principle of Life about Fear

If given the choice, most of us would be quite content to live a nice, safe, secure, healthy and relatively uneventful life.  In many ways, a lot of us have.  We need to ask ourselves is that really living or is that comfortably dying a slow death?  

One thing fear does, is it gets us out of our comfort zone.  It often gets our heart racing and our adrenaline pumping.  Our senses come alive in the face of danger and uncertainty.  If we could see our lives in the light of the spiritual couch potatoes we would become if we never faced any trials, testing or adversity, then we can better appreciate why God allows them to come into our lives.  

In order for our faith to grow it must be challenged so that our faith can come up to the level of our challenge.  Since fear doesn’t come to us from God then we must realize that faith is the antidote to fear.  Faith sets our eyes and attention back where they belong.  Looking to the Father.  When we realize that fear comes from our inadequacy, weakness and inability to control a situation, we either have to face it in the frailty of human ability or have a revelation of what God has given us to counter it with.  God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but what He has given us is the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  We have a mighty arsenal to combat fear and to overcome it.  Fear only works as long as you are afraid.  When you are no longer afraid, fear has lost its power.  What the Word of God is telling us is that you don’t have to be afraid.  You don’t have to fret, worry or be anxious.  What you need to do, is lay hold with faith and confidence upon God’s Word, His promises and assurance.  The more you fill your self with the Word of God and spend time in His presence; the more bold, confident and faith-filled you become.  For the enemy and the spirit of fear, you then, become a force to be reckoned with.  The person who really has a revelation of their identity in Christ, who knows their position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and operates in their God given and appointed purpose is a dangerous person to the enemy of fear and darkness.  The gates of hell can not prevail against that person.  

An example of such a person was seen in David.  He was called, appointed, anointed and knew who he was in God when he confronted Goliath.  He didn’t fall into that trap of fear like the rest of the camp of Israel.  He came from a place of faith and authority, not his, but the Spirit of God in him.  Later, we see Saul, with all the resources and armies of Israel at his command pursuing David’s life, but unable to capture and take it.  He was that spirit of fear that pursued David, but was unable to prevail, because David put his trust and confidence in the Lord.  

Was that an easy place for David? No, it was a very difficult place, but at that time David lived and walked with God closer than at any other time in his life.  Adversities are often allowed in our lives to stir us into faith.  They cause our spiritual senses to come alive and get our focus off of the world onto the Lord.  Fear isn’t always a bad thing, not because we want to succumb to it, but because we want the faith to arise in our hearts, along with the resident power, love and the mind of Christ to overcome all fear and the adversary that stands before us.  The force of opposition only serves to make us stronger.

We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  Our Captain, King and Savior has conquered death and the grave.  He has set down at the right Hand of the Father until His enemies be made His footstool.  We are the body and feet of our Captain and King, Jesus.  He is putting the enemy beneath our feet, because we are His.  

Someone once said, “You need to either get busy living or get busy dying.”  Our time for being complacent, lethargic and comfortable is soon coming to an end.  We need to make the choice to live or to die, life or death.  If we are going to live then we need to live out of the place where we pursue fear and it doesn’t pursue us.  We have to come into that place of having assurance of who we are and what God put us on this earth for.  We were not put here to be subject to this kingdom that lives under the rule and power of sin and death.  We live under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  We were put here to invade this earthly kingdom with the kingdom Heaven, Life and God.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  We are God’s portals, conduits and well springs through which He invades the kingdom of this earth.  That is not going to happen through spiritual couch potatoes that are content with the leeks and onions of Egypt.  It is going to happen through an army of believers that are hearing the trumpet of war sounding in God’s camp and are responding to it.  If we don’t respond to God’s calling and come into that place of abiding in the Almighty and under the shadow of His wing, then soon the spirit of fear will arise and cover the earth and those who have not found their place in Him will be overtaken by it.  Father has not given us that spirit of fear,  He has given us the Spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”.  We are His kids and we were born for this, so don’t allow fear to rule your hearts, but come up into the faith and confidence of who you are in Christ and trample fear beneath your feet!

Blessings,
#kent

Trust

May 11, 2016

 

Jeremiah 17:5-8

This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength 

and whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; 

its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” 

Trust

When we trust someone we are willing to put our confidence in them.  We are willing to believe in them, rely upon them and place our faith in them.  Perhaps some of you have seen or done the exercise where you stand, close your eyes and allow yourself just to free fall back into the arms of someone that you trust standing behind you.  Now our body knows that if that person fails us we are going to hit the ground and it is going to hurt, but it is an exercise in trusting another for your well being.  This is an exercise that is harder for some than others, especially if they have been disappointed, hurt or abandoned.  

Our faith in Christ is all about trust, but many of us find that we have real issues in areas that require that we free fall back into the arms of God.  We are very reluctant to give up the control we think that we have over our lives and circumstances.  Many of us feel a lot more comfortable trusting in the things that we can lay hold of with our natural senses and understanding.  Many of us want to trust in ourselves or in other men, which is the arm of the flesh.  The Word of God tells us that this is a cursed place to be.  It tells us that the place of trusting in the flesh is like a bush in the wastelands.  We are abiding outside of the blessings of God, because we are not willing to trust Him.  

Psalms 37:1-9 tells us, “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 

2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” 

Each day is an exercise in trusting the Lord.  We have to learn to rely upon Him.  Trust means that we may not understand all that happens to us, or why evil may befall us, but we know that we can trust the fact that God loves us.  That love is working for our good in ways we can’t even see or imagine.  While we may go through some very difficult times and outwardly everything may be saying that God has failed us, God can not fail.  Sometimes we may fall back further than we think we should before He catches us, but don’t abandon your trust.  God works in His times and His ways, not ours.  He sees the end from the beginning; we only judge things by the moment.  Psalms tells us to be still and wait patiently for Him.  Do not let the things you see and feel rule and dictate your heart, but put your trust in the Lord and know that He will work all things after the council of His will and for your good.  

Don’t be afraid to fall back into the arms of God in all of your ways, for you can trust Him like no other.  “Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)

 
 
Blessings,
#kent

Forgiveness

May 2, 2016

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Forgiveness

I would dare say that all of us have had experiences in life where others have wronged or hurt us and in some cases quite severely and repeatedly. It is often these experiences, wounds and hurts that we can not seem to release. They are a trauma upon our lives. It is in these adverse life experiences that we are confronted with a choice to forgive and release an offense or to hold on to it and maintain the unforgiveness. When we are hurt it is our natural inclination to want to hurt back.
In the natural we often are wounded through life and most are superficial. In most cases they require a little attention and then they heal and we go on. There are those times when we are wounded more deeply and without cleansing the wound and putting something on to disinfect, we can get it infected. When infection sets in the wound festers and will not heal. In fact, untreated, it will become worse and more compromising to our health. It can actually be the infection that comes into us through the wound that could end up killing us rather than the wound itself. That is what unforgiveness is like. With emotional hurts and wounds there is a natural healing process and with the right heart and attitude those wounds will heal. They may leave some scars, but life goes on. Unfortunately, for some of us, there are places and ways that we have been hurt where we let the infection of unforgiveness come in. It is a form of hate and it can even be toward ourselves as well as others. It is the love of God that is the antibiotic that heals the infection of unforgiveness. It is when we see Jesus, unjustly accused, mocked, ridiculed, beaten to the point of being unrecognizable and then nailed to cross who can, before he breathes his last breath, say,” Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” that we see what forgiveness really looks like. It is only as we are willing to apply that same forgiveness of love toward our offenders that we can receive the forgiveness of our offenses. Before God, we stand no less guilty of sin and offense than those who have wounded us. What we ask of God, we must be willing to extend to others.
It is the love released through making the decision to forgive, not just the feelings, that is the antibiotic that will bring healing and restoration. First it restores our relationship back to Father and then it works to restore our human relationships.
You may be saying, “yeah, but you don’t how many times this person has hurt me.” Peter addresses this question unto the Lord in Matthew 18:21-22, ” Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” You see sin kills, but God’s love is the multiplication of forgiveness that triumphs even over the depth and death of sin. It is the grace of God’s forgiveness that brought each one of us into a place where can know the restored fellowship and relationship with the Father. We receive that only through His forgiveness for us, because we all deserve condemnation and death. Luke 6:37 exhorts us, ” Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”
For some of us it is time that we examine our hearts and lay down this cross of unforgiveness that we have been carrying. We must realize that the unforgiveness is doing far greater damage to us than even the offense. It is keeping us from our own forgiveness and right relationship with the Father. Ask the Father for His love in you to release the unforgiveness you have been carrying, no matter how awful the offense. As He forgave us, we ought also to forgive others. How can we have Christ come forth in us if the very prominent part of His nature is forgiveness?
First come and release it to the Father and then release the individual or individuals. When you release you will be released from the judgement that unforgiveness can hold over us. ” If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)” Isn’t time to come into the freedom and the release of His Love?

Blessings,
#kent

Speaking to Purpose

April 28, 2016

Ephesians 2:6-10

And 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.

Speaking to Purpose

Do we ever think much about why God created us?  Why He saved us by His grace when we could never earn or deserve it?  He tells us His purpose in this passage of scripture.  You are His workmanship.  Now most of us realize that we are a work in progress, but also know that God beholds you as the finished product of His grace and workmanship in Christ Jesus.  He sees you far beyond what you can even comprehend of yourself.  He sees you as a good works people, not your good works, but His.  You are the administration of His righteousness in the earth.  You are the outshining of His glory and goodness.  You are the divine expression of His love and compassion.  In and through you is His divine nature revealed, because that is what He created you for.  

In this present state we see ourselves as in an apprenticeship for a greater works ministry.  The Holy Spirit is currently working in our lives to stretch us, train us and exercise us in righteousness.  As we yield in obedience to His dealings we often find ourselves going places we would not have gone and doing things we would not have done.  As we apprentice for this good works ministry Holy Spirit takes us out of our comfort zone and complacency. He exposes our prejudices and wrong motives and attitudes.  He is constantly dealing and meddling in our hearts.  The precious thing about the Holy Spirit as opposed to religion is He doesn’t expose our faults to condemn us, but to grow us and deliver us out of the place of our weakness and into the place of His strength and strong standing.  We have to understand that where He is bringing us is not out of the place of our righteousness, but out of the righteousness of Christ in us.  So as we present ourselves unto Him He begins to do in us what did in Joshua in Zechariah 3:1-10, ” Then he showed me Joshua  the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. 2  The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”

 3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. 4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”

      Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.”

 5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.

 6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua: 7 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.

8 ” ‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. 9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.

10 ” ‘In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

You see we, like Joshua, we were created and destined of God to be the kings and priests of our Most High God.  Jesus has taken our filthy garments off of us and clothed us with the garments of His righteousness.  He puts a clean turban upon our head signifying a renewed mind in Christ Jesus.  He gives us this same charge that He gave Joshua, ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.’ It is this people that He has prepared with His vesture to remove sin from the land in a single day.  The scripture says specifically, “‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come.”‘  That branch is Christ who has removed the sin by His blood shed upon the cross, but the administration of that righteousness is through His holy priesthood and His holy nation.  

In John 14:9-14 Philip is asking to see the Father, but it is because he doesn’t yet have a revelation of the Father.  If we are still looking to see Jesus, it is because we don’t yet have a revelation of Christ.  ” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  Jesus, Himself, has declared that we are that greater works ministry.  That was the purpose for which you were created  for.  Yield yourself to the in-working of the Holy Spirit for even now He is preparing and bringing you into the good works, ‘which God in advance, prepared for us to do.

Blessings,

#kent

Faith or Law?

February 26, 2016

 

Faith or Law?

Galatians 3:1-5

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? 

What we believe and have conviction for in our lives can come at a high price.  In many times and various places it could cost you your livelihood, your possessions and even your life.  With that kind of a price tag you want to be pretty sure that what you believe is right on and that it is worth the price you pay.  The Galatians were such a people.  They began their faith as they heard the gospel and embraced it by faith, but now the apostle Paul finds them mixing the law and faith.  They are getting caught up in the doctrine that the liberty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not sufficient in itself, but must be supplemented with works and the keeping of ordinances.  This was a battle that Paul had to war with on many fronts throughout his life.  If Paul ever had a thorn in his flesh, this was a major one. If anyone would have thought that faith alone in Jesus Christ was not sufficient for our salvation you would think it would have been Paul.  Having been raised and trained in the rigors of the Mosaic Law as a Pharisee, his whole life had been built upon this premise.  It is obvious by Paul’s passionate apologetic of the gospel that he no longer sees the law as a necessary component of our faith and salvation.  He in fact, strongly views the legalism brought in by the Judaizers as an undermining of the faith that stands in Christ alone.  

Some might argue will if you have faith and the law isn’t that even better?  Don’t we have the best of both and isn’t that more pleasing to God?  

The reason that Paul is so passionate on this point is that the law is based in man’s righteousness.  The whole reason that God gave us the tutor of the law was to teach us that man’s righteousness would always miss the mark of God’s righteousness and holiness.  If the law had been sufficient we would not have needed Christ.  Our faith in Christ bases our righteousness in Christ and not in ourselves.  The Law leads us to believe that by our goodness and observances of the law we obtain favor with God.  Yet the Bible teaches us without faith it is impossible to please God.  Our faith cannot be in us; it must be in Him.  Roman 10:1-4 bears out this truth, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

When Paul speaks of the two laws in Romans 8:1-4 he says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” The Law doesn’t work because it is dependent upon our goodness.  Faith in Christ works because it is dependent upon His goodness which is imputed to us by faith and not by works.  When we mix the law with faith we put ourselves again under the law of sin and death.  The only way that we abide in the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is through faith in His finished work upon the cross.  When we say we still need the law, observances and ordinances to supplement that faith, then we are in affect saying, “Jesus, you are not sufficient for our salvation.”  Any of us who are still putting ourselves under the law need to strongly consider that.  We will never enter into the fullness of God’s Holiest while we are still clinging to the former things.  Hebrews 9:8 says, “The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.”  The new wine was never meant to be put into old wineskins.  Luke 5:37 says, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.”  The Old and the New Testaments are two different covenants; they were not made to be mixed.  

Through the Old Testament we gain many wonderful insights into examples of man’s interaction with God, God’s nature and revelations of the principles and purposes of God, but we see them consummated and fulfilled in Christ.  In Christ, we live out of His righteousness by faith.  When the Word tells us that we are the righteousness of Christ, it is telling us that when the Father looks upon us, He sees us in His Son who is without spot or wrinkle.  How do you stand before God today, in your righteousness or in His?

Blessings,

#kentt

The Privilege of Honoring Him

February 22, 2016

The Privilege of Honoring Him

Ephesians 1:3-14

3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ. 

11In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

How blessed and privileged we are when we comprehend that our great and awesome God has chosen you and I out of all humanity.  He gave us spiritual eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to receive such a great and glorious salvation that He has chosen to reveal to us.  Far to often we take way too much for granted that God has honored us to know Him, comprehend and receive the great calling He has for our lives.  We treat as ordinary and common this special gift of eternal life and the great privileges and honor that go with it.  We often see our faith as despised by the world and so sometimes we feel embarrassed by it.  You have what the world will covet in the ages to come.  We don’t yet see all of the glory and honor that is ours in Christ if we hold fast to our faith.  You hold a position with the King of Kings.  You are personally known and called out by the Father.  Regardless of how you feel about it, you are exceptionally special, a priceless stone and gem of great price.  

We must not be dulled and dumbed down to the great and awesome calling we each have in Christ.  He has even given us the seal of the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we are His.  We are a blessed people who need to be so constantly appreciative, thankful and aware of our Father who has so loved us and His Son who gave His very life for us.  We must refocus our hearts, our goals, our desire and plans to be made conformable to His divine will and purpose in us, for it is glorious beyond measure and we don’t want to miss it.  We all get caught up so much in the vanity of this world, but that is a distraction and mask concealing our true identity and purpose.  Embrace and comprehend who you are in Christ.  When the revelation of this truth fully dawns on us we are so broken and humbled by a God that could love and care so much just about us.  Let us not take for granted our salvation and the high calling that we have in Christ Jesus.  Let us present ourselves as living sacrifices wholly acceptable and pleasing to the Father; that is our destiny and calling that Christ can have a manifested expression through us.  Only we can give ourselves over to His will and purpose in us.  Let us not neglect so great a salvation and calling in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,

#kent

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