Galatians 4:19

My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.

Until Christ be Formed in You

              This morning as I was praying for my children I found myself daydreaming.  I was picturing myself as a feeble old man on his deathbed.  I was speaking with my son as I had him put his hand in mine.  I was asking him about his relationship with the Lord.  I realized that one of the most important things in my life is that my children are in right relationship with Christ spiritually.  Our kids used to always ask us what we wanted for a birthday or holiday and we would almost invariably tell them we just wanted them to be right with the Lord, make right decisions and live good lives.  Anyway, as I held my son’s hand, I was telling him that even though I appeared to him as old and feeble, I was still the same dad that raised him and loved him through the good times and the bad.  I told him that even though I wasn’t sharpest pencil in the drawer the one thing I did know and believe with all my heart was the reality of Christ and His love for us.  The greatest disappointment in my life would be to come to find out that while I went to heaven one of my children went to hell.  Even though each person makes their own decision concerning their salvation and relationship with Christ, if my children missed it, I would feel the crushing blow of failure in the one thing that was most important to me.  

              I think Paul had this same kind of fatherly feelings when he spoke this scripture about his travail for his children in Christ.  Rather we are speaking of natural children or spiritual children, those that we lead into Christ become, or should become, the burden and the intercession of our heart.  The greatest heartbreak to us is to see their faith become shipwrecked or steered off course by wrong doctrine and teaching. 

              Even when we see our children make wrong decisions and choices, we know that us being the voice of condemnation, is probably only going to drive them further away.  I think we are like the prodigal son’s father who goes to the window everyday and looks out hoping and waiting to see his son return.  Every day he is lifting them up before the Lord in prayer and everyday he is in travail until Christ be formed in them.  We pray that the life we live before them will be the greatest testimony and witness to the reality and faithfulness of Christ. 

              I think above all else I, like Paul, desire to see Christ formed in my children.  In Malachi 2 the Lord says that he has made the husband and wife one that they might bring forth a godly seed.  That is the purpose of marriage and union.  That is that our purpose in the natural and in our union with Christ, that becomes our purpose in the spirit.  That is my desire and I believe that is the desire of God’s heart, that we bring forth a godly seed to His glory and honor. 

Blessings,

#kent

A Letter to My Son

July 28, 2020

A Letter to My Son

Proverbs 1:8

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

              My son, do you know how much I love you?  Do you know how I prayed for you even when you were in your mother’s womb and each day since?  A father’s heart is to see his son grow up and be even more than he could ever be.  He wants the best for him.  He wants him to prosper and know the joys and richness of life.  More than anything else, a father who loves the Lord will desire his son to grow up to embrace his own faith in Christ.  A father of faith desires to birth that faith and relationship with Christ into his son. 

              Why is that so important?  The father knows that in Christ are the issues of life, health, wealth and eternal salvation.  If a father can impart to his son how rich he will be through a committed relationship with Christ then he will have left a legacy that he can be proud of.  Your mother and I will have fulfilled one of the primary purposes for our being together.  Malachi 2:15 says, “And did not God make [you and your wife] one [flesh]? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why [did God make you two] one?  Because He sought a godly offspring [from your union]. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth.”  While Christian parents desire to live a godly example and be a light of salvation to others, there is no other soul more precious to them than you. 

              As a son grows up and matures he sees the parents he once perceived as so good with their faults and shortcomings.  As a son grows into puberty and adolescence he often becomes quite full on himself and defiant and resentful of his parents.  A father has had a few short years to try and instill the principles of life and godliness into his son.  He has disciplined him to try and teach him responsibility, integrity and character.  He knows he has made more mistakes than he would ever like to admit, but he prays that somehow, in spite of his shortcomings and failures God, by His grace, will make Himself so real to his son and that his son might now choose to make his parent’s faith his own. 

              As fathers we are often far less than perfect, but if this father doesn’t know anything else and if he doesn’t possess any other significant talents or abilities, the one thing that he does know and is fully committed to is that Christ is the answer to life.  He prays that if His son gets nothing else from him, that he will get that.  For a godly parent, there is no greater gift or reward than to see one’s children choosing the path of righteousness and walking in it.  There are no richer moments than when we see them instilling and teaching their children the ways and the love of the Lord. 

              My son, I leave you with these words of instruction from Proverbs 4:20-27, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”  My son, I love you and only desire for you the richness and goodness of God’s grace and love.

Blessings,

#kent

Pregnant with Child

October 6, 2014

Pregnant with Child

Revelations 12:1-6
1A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. 3Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. 4His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. 5She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. 6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

There are those to whom this passage may seem intimidating and too spiritual to understand, but what would the Lord speak to us through it today? We perceive this woman that is pregnant here to be the Church.
1 Peter 1:23-25 tells us, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” This self-same seed of the divine Word of Life has impregnated the Church who is the Bride and the wife of the Lamb. Here she is clothed as the sun, the righteousness and glory of God, sitting in a place of divine dominion and authority, but still obviously in contention and opposition with satan represented in the great red dragon with the dominion and authority that is still his. Here we are at a climatic time in spiritual history very much in keeping with what we saw when Christ Jesus was born in the earth and how Herod, an instrument of satan, tried to destroy this man child by ordering all of the infants and young children of Bethlehem to be put to death.
The purpose of the Church is to bring up and birth a holy offspring; this corresponds with what we read in Romans 8:19-23, “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected [the same] in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body.” In Revelations 2 and 3 where exhortations are given to each of the Churches; at the end of each, a promise is given to him that overcomes. God is looking for a company of overcomers that will grow up into Him who is the head even Christ. Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us the mind and purpose of God concerning the Church and her children, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”
The word of the Lord to us is that He wants a people of maturity, no longer little children tossed to and fro and moved by every wind of doctrine, but those who know and are established in who they are in Christ. There is a day and time when these mature ones will be revealed in authority and power. The purpose of the enemy is to destroy and devour them, but the purpose of God is that they would be the catalyst that would bring war in heaven where satan will be cast down and Christ’s enemies will be made his footstool. Our calling today is to grow up into Him in all things, to be the overcomers and those who would set creation free as His fullness and authority is revealed in this man child. Is this not what Paul saw when he said in Philippians 3:12-16, “12Not 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.”

Blessings,
#kent

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