A Measure of Faith

January 30, 2014

 

A Measure of Faith


Romans 12:3

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith


This experience we call being a Christian and partaking of God’s salvation through Christ has one key element that we all have to start with, and that is faith.  It starts with faith to believe upon Christ and receive that which we cannot see into our hearts.   We start our walk with God and we enter into His saving grace because we heard a Word and by that Word we believed in our heart and acted upon it by praying a sinner’s prayer, asking Christ into our hearts.  For all of us to have taken this first step into a Christian walk we had to have a measure of faith.  The Word says here in Romans 12:3 that, “God has dealt every man the measure of faith.”  Now this faith will be common in many ways to the faith of other believers, but it will also develop its own personality because each of us has been given different gifts and abilities by the Holy Spirit.  All of us grow and function out of the faith that works through our lives.  As we begin to grow in faith and act out of faith we learn a reliance not on ourselves and our abilities, but upon God’s ability to channel Himself through these earthly vessels as we yield and trust Him to do so.  

Jesus, in His ministry and walk upon this earth, told us that He didn’t do His own will, “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me (John 5:30).”  Even Jesus is demonstrating through His earthly ministry that His life is functioning not in self-will or purpose but as an extension of the Father to do His will and speak His Words into the earth.  In Christ we see the full measure of faith in operation as the Godhead is channeled through His life through the full surrender of His will to the Father.   In the wilderness the account of Matthew 4:3-4 says the tempter came to Jesus and told Him He could turn these stones into bread, but Jesus knew that His life was not about what He could do, that would have only given place to pride and self-reliance.  Instead, He said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” He is communicating a profound revelation that my life is not about me; it is about the Father.  His Word is life, substance and reality.  At that moment, that statement didn’t make Jesus any less hungry, but Jesus knew and expressed that the spiritual realities of God’s Word superseded the natural realities of His hunger and present physical condition.  Throughout the trial Jesus faced, in a place of great physical exhaustion, His focus was on the Father and His strength and confidence was in the Word.  

We live in a natural world where we are constantly assaulted with trials and tribulations.  Whether they are physical, financial, emotional, family, work or any number of other things, problems are a part of our lives.  We have an enemy whose sole purpose is to rob, steal, kill and destroy.  Our faith is at the top of his hit list.  Our reality, as children of God, must be based foremost on the Word of God.  The enemy’s strategy is to divert our attention from what God’s Word says to what our circumstances and natural reality is telling us.  Jesus didn’t deny that He was hungry, but the basis of His obedience and trust was based on the Word of God, not his hunger.  We have to exercise our faith to exalt God’s Word above our circumstances and natural realities.  2 Corinthians 5:7 says, “We walk by faith, not by sight.”  Spiritual reality is first to the spiritually minded, natural reality is second and subject to the first.  If ‘faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God,’ as Romans 10:17 declares, then God’s Word is what we listen too, His promises are what we rely on, His Word is our declaration and profession over the obstacles in our lives that we face.  Our hope and confidence in that Word stands in the gap, our profession of His Truth and our praise in the midst of our battle, release the forces of heaven till faith has its manifestation in the natural.  Ephesians 6:10-13 tells us, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”  

As we exercise the measure of faith that God has given each one of us we will see His faithfulness, but it will not come without it stretching us from where we are to where He wants to take us.  Fix your eyes upon Jesus, set your heart upon His Word and rest upon His Promises.  That measure of faith will grow as you mature and exercise that daily and constant trust in Him. 

 
Blessings,
kent

His Church

October 3, 2013

His Church

Ephesians 5:25-30
25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body.

We, the Church, the loving bride of Christ, are taking in our hands the faces of the world’s wounded, downtrodden and outcast. We are the voice of God’s love and good news to those that are looking for direction and purpose in their lives. At some point, I think most people come to the realization of how shallow and empty that life is without God in it. Some would scorn and say we just use God as a crutch, because we aren’t able to think for ourselves and have no mind of our own. I am just so thankful that I have the wisdom to recognize how lame I am without Him. They are right I have no more use for my mind, because I understand how much greater it is to have the mind of Christ. Yes, the world and its spirit will often mock and ridicule us, but in the end what do they have but themselves, a meaningless life and an eternity of darkness. Mock the church if you will, but a least she is full of light and hope. She has purpose for living and being. She is more than just the expression of humanity; she is the expression of God’s redemption working in humanity. Yes, we will find in her many cracks and flaws if we are only looking on the outward vessel, but contained within her is a treasure beyond measure. It is the awesome presence of God’s Holy Spirit and Life. So many and varied are her members, all of them unique and different, but each one reflecting some aspect and dimension of God’s nature.
The Church is the redeemed of the Lord. It is the blood of Christ that now courses through our veins with the life-flow of God’s life, love and forgiveness. His mind is renewing our mind. His thoughts are becoming our thoughts. His eyes are becoming our eyes as we see our world from a kingdom of heaven perspective. As we hear with spiritual ears the world’s voice, we are moved to compassion for the hurting and the weak. We are moved to indignation over the world’s sin and antichrist behavior, but in it all, we are the salt of the earth. We are the ones that season it with the flavor of life and godliness. We are the ones who bring hope and the message of God’s love and reconciliation. Our world is perishing before us as we speak, but are we speaking God’s life and His love? Are we communicating with our world only on its terms, or are we communicating in a manner that our world is seeing something different in us? It doesn’t take us standing on a soapbox, preaching hell, fire and damnation to communicate God to people. It takes living a life that is like His, full of self-sacrifice, compassion, righteousness tempered with humility. It is not about us being lifted up or us being better than others, it is about us rolling up our sleeves and being willing to get down in the mud and dirt so that we lift someone else up. God didn’t place us in the position of looking down on others. He has placed us in the position of servanthood, of being the least that we might serve the greater. People won’t care about what we have to say until they know we really care.
It is sad when see so much of the church caught up in the outward show of things, in crowd appeal, pomp and splendor. You are more likely to find the greater presence of the Lord in some small nobody minister of the Lord who is simply in the fields of humanity laboring for the kingdom. His notoriety is not in the way he dresses, or performs, or orates, it in the likeness he has to Christ and His nature. He stands out the way Mother Teresa stood out. These people are a unique breed who have lost their life in expressing His.
Is that who we are today? How much of our life is still about us? Most of us would have to admit an awful lot of who and what we are is still about us. This is not to condemn us, but it is not in living for us that we will find God’s highest and His richest blessings. We have to become about serving others and that doesn’t mean letting everyone manipulate you into what they think you should do. It is in being humble and listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit to direct you in His purpose and His plan.
The Church is a beautiful woman, but she is not yet without spot or wrinkle. It will no doubt take the fuller’s soap to cleanse her and the fire of God to iron out her wrinkles, along with the washing of the water of the word. Each one of us is a part of what makes up God’s church and His bride. How are we living out our part?

Blessings,
kent

Live for Life

September 26, 2013

Live for Life

Genesis 2:7
And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

When God breathed into man the breath of life He gave man something that no other living creature had, an eternal spirit and soul. As there are three forms of expression in God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; so there are three expressions of man: spirit, soul and body. This is brought out plainly in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” While animals are organisms that have the breath of life, this form of life only exists as long as the organism is living. We have that same form of life working in our bodies. We also have another form of life; it is spirit life that God breathed into us. It is what connects us to the spiritual world. We wear this physical body to give expression to the soul which is made up of the mind, will and emotions of man. Your soul is your distinct personality and person. The physical body is the temporary residence that houses and allows this soul its expression. The spirit is the inter-most entity contained within the soul. It is the Holy of Holies, if you will, of a man. The spirit is where we connect with forces beyond the natural realm. The soul is the processing center of both the natural and the spiritual realm. It becomes the battleground in which all the dramas of natural and spiritual life are played out.
Adam and Eve fell from a state of spiritual life and living when they disobeyed God and sinned in the Garden. With them fell all of mankind back into a state of natural life and living. While man still possessed a spirit it was dead to the life of God in its natural state. In this state, darkness and spiritual ignorance hid the face of God from man. While man may have given up on God, thank God, He has never given up on man. God’s whole plan of the ages has been to bring us back to the place of restoration of that which was lost. His desire is to set us again in heavenly places in right relationship with Him. Ephesians 2: 1-6 says, “And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus.” Satan, the perpetrator of death has come to rob, steal and destroy. But God has sent His Son to redeem that, which was lost, because He is the author and perpetrator of Life, Spiritual Life. He has come to quicken these dead spirits of ours that we might begin again to enter into the spiritual life we had lost. In this knowledge and the quickening of His grace and life in us, we no longer live and operate out of the natural man. We understand that this man of the natural is soon to pass away, but it is the spiritual man within and his condition that determines our spiritual destiny of life or death.
Romans 8: 1-2 says, “[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Herein is stated the two laws under which a man can live, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus or the law of sin and death.” As believers we have chosen the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ. As such it is important to us that we maintain within our souls the reality and gravity of whom we now are in Christ. It is in living in this life principle in Christ that we truly live and move and have our being in Him. It is in this law of life that we come into the knowledge and revelation of who God really is and His relationship with us. It is in this law of life that we begin to live out the purpose for which we were created and exist. There is now a paradigm shift in our thinking and our living that moved the center of our universe from us to Him. Now everything revolves around our God, because we realize and embrace the fact and the truth that we are first spiritual creatures, quicken in these mortal bodies to live lives to the glory of our Creator. We have and are coming out of the place of self expression to the place of God expression where now it is the life principle of Christ in us that is expressing the life of God to a world that is still in darkness and ignorance of Him. We are His lights and His instruments of God expression. So each day as we live in this natural life in these natural bodies, let us live out the higher principle of the eternal life in Christ that resides now within our spirit and soul. May our bodies become the expression of His Spirit and righteousness as we live by the Spirit out of the law of LIFE.

Blessings,
kent

God’s Working

November 12, 2012

Psalms 95:6
Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker

God’s Working

Let us come, worship and bow down before the Lord, our God, our Maker.
In His presence is joy for evermore and the peace that passes all understanding. Come before Him with gladness, singing; making a joyful noise and melody in your hearts. The privilege of our eternity is to stand in the great hall of His presence, singing, “Holy, Holy , Holy to the Lord God Almighty, who was, who is and who is to come.”
Father paints the landscape of eternity with the beauty of His creation. Lavishly and wonderfully He creates from the mega to the miro and into universes we have yet to see or know. Only the mind of the Spirit in us can comprehend the height, depth and width of His love and the magnitude of His greatness. To the human mind, it is off the charts. How foolishly we so often try to fit God in the box of our understanding and limitations. Invariably He never fits the box or the formulas we try to equate Him too. Even His Word, we have pared and interpreted with the limitations of our insight and understanding. Father wants us to walk in the light of what we know and understand, but never be limited to that place, for to do so is to sentence one’s self to ignorance and dogma. God is the God of truth, but the light of that truth, burns so much brighter than our capacity to fully apprehend it. Even as God is bringing us from glory to glory in the light of understanding, revelation and transformation; God, Himself ever increases from glory to glory and we have the privilege of being His awesome children.
Let us never boast in ourselves or of ourselves, for any greatness in us is the reflection and outshining of our Father.
Oh, how we get our eyes upon the rudimentary elements of this world. Our fixed gaze is upon the temporal rather than the eternal. All that Christ is in us so transcends all that we covet and hold of value upon this earth.
The gold of God, are the souls of men. That gold He is always mining through us as we reach out and proclaim the good news of His reconciliation through Christ Jesus. As He mines from the earth, He begins in us the processing to refine our ore into pure fine gold. It is a lifelong process, of crushing, taking us through the fires of afflictions and removing the impurity that has been impregnated into our lives. He hammers us, shapes and molds and yet through all of this destructive-creative process He looks upon us with joy and longing. While the processing’s can be severe at times, He never allows our spirit to be crushed, but remains like the diamond in the center of us that withstands and shines more brightly through every level of processing. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” Here is the principle of Eternal Perspective. The temporary is the place of preparation for the eternal. If we are only temporal or earthly minded then we will miss the greater picture of God’s plan and design for us. The earth is filled with the inhabitants that only know to live for the here and now, when they even know, in a moment is will all pass away. Such is not the case for we who have hope, for we see that is not the things of earth that matter, but again, like Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 says, ” 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. Brothers, 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, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
We are a heavenly citizenship, called and set apart for heavenly purpose. Therefore our purpose is not in expressing our will, our desire or ambitions; it is in the expression of Father’s and those things which He has placed within each one of us for His glory. Jesus tells us, ‘don’t worry about these earthly things. Your Father already knows what you a have need of. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.’ You see when earthly wealth and allure are not our focus, but only the Father, His purpose and will; then Father is able to release into our stewardship the things of this world, because they no longer possess us, but we possess them and know how to steward them for Father’s glory and honor.
Father is our Treasure! He is what we live and breath each breath for. Let us get so caught up in Him that nothing of this world matters except that which pertains to His purpose and direction. ‘We are the light of the world and a city set upon the hill can not be hid. So let your lights so shine among men. ‘

Blessings,
kent

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