Real Love and Beauty

August 24, 2015

1 Peter 3:1-7
Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands, 6like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her master. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Real Love and Beauty

On the subject of beauty:
So many derive their value from outward perception and how they view themselves through the mirror of others. Thus many have believed a distorted view of who they are.
God says we were ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’.
Our truest beauty comes from within, not without. See yourself through the beauty
that God has created you to be. The greatest beauty is seen in the one who aligns their heart
with God’s purpose and design to best express Him.

On the subject of love:
Young love is sexy and beautiful. It is fresh, passionate, sensual,
but its roots are young and it thrives more on the feelings of the outward man.
Old love is not always as passionate. It is not as sexually driven or motivated,
but it stills sees the beauty that it first saw. Its roots are now deep, as are the scars and life experiences that have knit and grown these two souls together. What was once expressed
outwardly is now the inward sharing of two hearts that beat as one. They have learned
that it is not always feelings that keep you together, but the decision to love one another even when you don’t feel it. Love is not just an emotion, but a decision of will.

Blessings,
#kent

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Motives of Prayer

June 30, 2015

James 4:3
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Motives of Prayer

It is said of Jesus in Hebrews 7:23-25, “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” When Jesus intercedes for us what do you suppose His motive to be?
When we pray, what is the focus of our prayers? Of course when we pray and seek the Lord we all want to be favored and blessed and receive our petitions from the Lord, but to what end.? What are our motives in the things we pray and cry out to God for? If we think of God as a celestial Santa Claus to whom we come with all our needs and request to be met for our personal gain, we’ve missed the heart of God. Prayer is about seeking the heart and will of God.
If prayer is like a checkbook with an unlimited supply of resources and wealth, and it has been given to us, how will we write the checks? Will most of them have our name on them or are they written to benefit others we see in need? When God sees that our motives in prayer, intercession and petition aren’t centered around us, but others, do you think He might feel compelled to meet your needs as well? Selfish is never the heart of God and selfishness in us will always pervert the ways and means of God. God exemplifies Himself selfless in His giving. He doesn’t even give to us because we deserve it, He gives because that is His nature which flows out of love. He delights in His people that have this same heart to give and bless. His desire is to bless us so that we can in turn bless others. If we pray and seek with wrong motives then how can we truly pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus says in John 15 and a few other places, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” Jesus says He will give us what we ask in His name, but what is the prerequisite? “Go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” The name of Jesus speaks to the character and nature of God. If we pray outside or contrary to His nature then should we be surprised if our prayers are not answered. Jesus wants to empower us through power in His name to establish and perpetuate His will and His kingdom in the earth. It is one of the next principles He teaches us in the Lord’s prayer right after He establishes the position and the holiness of the Father. Jesus said in John 8:28, “So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” Prayer is our avenue to carry out the Father’s will, not our own. We want our prayers to never stem from selfish motive, but to be one with the Spirit of God that prays through us. It is when we have the heart of God, the intercession as priests of Jesus and the motivation to pray in the character and nature of His name that we will see our prayers be fruitful, because we seek the fruit that will last; His kingdom come and His will being done in earth as it is in heaven.

Blessings,
#kent

Fullness

November 25, 2013

Fullness

Ephesians 1:22-23
And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church, Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Some of us are pessimist and some of us optimist. Some of us see the glass half-empty and others see it half full. Many see what they can’t do while a few see what they can do. I would probably tend to categorize myself more on the pessimist side. I believe one of the reasons for this is that we see things often through the eyes of our perceived abilities and capabilities. While we don’t wish to be pessimistic, we see ourselves as more pragmatic and practical. While that may be of some advantage in the natural world as we move into the spiritual dimension of God’s calling and purposes that ideology becomes often impractical to our call of faith. As we read the Word and understand more and more of God’s high calling for us who believe, it demands that we leave off with our natural reasoning and thinking. This takes place as we begin to put on the mind of Christ and by the Spirit comprehend and lay hold of the mind and will of God. The Lord can often lead us in some very impractical ways according to our natural reasoning. Our faith begins to lay hold of God’s thinking and His plans and promises rather than our own. This is often difficult for us to do. The Lord says in Isaiah 55: 8-9, “For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” As some of us are truly grasping who we are in Christ and the high and holy calling and plans He has for us, it strains the natural mind to fully see ourselves in that place. We comprehend the concept that we are the body of Christ, but sometimes it is not as easy for us to comprehend that the body becomes the full expression of the head. We often try and see, as well as understand, this concept in terms of our immediate lifetime, but God sees it in the light of His eternity. While that may tend to put it out of the realm of our immediate grasp and concern we need to realize that the body of Christ is a culmination of Christians throughout the ages and that the body of Christ is not a function of time or space. It is an embodiment of the All Mighty, a holy temple of His divine presence, and as it says here in Ephesians 1, “the fullness of Him that fills all in all”. The divine destiny of each believer is incorporated in this truth. How we live out our individual lives in connection with the will and purpose of God is what determines what part we are in this plan. As we are yielding our hearts and lives to the life of the Spirit we are being incorporated into the fullness of Him that fills all things. “Christ in you” is your hope in glory. It is what takes you and translates you out of the perishable and corruptible into the incorruptible nature and life of God.
If we do one thing today, let’s take a moment to step outside of our natural thinking and religious reasoning and begin to grasp what it is that our God has called us too. It is that place that is so far beyond us and what we could ever hope to be in ourselves. The Lord our God has adopted us into His bloodline through Christ. The blood that flows through His body ebbs with the life of the Father of all eternity and creation. What a humble and awesome privilege to grasp that He desires to make us so much a part of Himself. Is it of little wonder, in light of these things, that He has called us to a place of separation from the world and the unclean things of this life? We have become a part of a different bloodline and lineage than that of our natural man. With the eyes of faith and confidence we must lay hold of the revelation of who we are in Christ and live our lives accordingly. Our growing and abiding relationship with Him is causing us to grasp in an ever increasing way the high calling that is ours in Christ Jesus, that even as He walked, lived, suffered and died all of those things are incorporated in our lives as we live by the Spirit. He is that hand and we are the glove in which it moves and ministers it’s divine service.
Let us open up our hearts and minds to what the Spirit wants us to comprehend right now. We need the vision of who we are and the calling that is upon us in order to pursue with our whole hearts the high and precious promises of His Word. Begin to imagine the fullness of Christ in you, for Ephesians 3:20-21 concludes with, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him [be] glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Blessings,
kent

God of All Comfort

November 26, 2012

2 Corinthians 1:3-7
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.

God of All Comfort

Perhaps we have heard it said that what we endure and go through is not for just for ourselves, but it is to equip us to minister life, blessing and comfort to others in their distress and tribulation. It is one thing to preach and teach something out of head knowledge, but when you have already passed through the fires that someone else is currently in, then the weight of your ministry and comfort increases dramatically, because experience outweighs knowledge. It is from our experience that we have gained the knowledge of God’s comfort, strength and sufficiency that was there for us in our time of need.
If Jesus, the Son of God, was made perfect through the things that He suffered, then it tells me that a part of God’s working grace in and through me will come through suffering. There are many different kinds of suffering and each one of them is able to reveal and bring forth God’s grace in that situation. The comfort and strength we find in our tribulations is a supernatural one, because it is an attribute of Papa; that He is a God, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort.
The apostle Paul makes the statement, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” Suffering is a topic that much of the Christian community likes to side-step, because it is much more positive to talk about blessings and prosperity, but we do an injustice to the body of Christ if we neglect this part of the Christian walk. Paul says that he shares in the sufferings of Christ. We know that Jesus suffered as much or more than any other man. What is suffering, but our weakest, most painful and vulnerable moments. It is when we are hurting and our weakness is most evident. Those are the times we can find our God to be our greatest comfort and strength. Those are the times we lean most heavily upon His mercies to give us the endurance to overcome, persevere and find our ultimate victory in Him. It is out of these desperate places that we glean the consolation we can minister to others as they face these same hardships. When I see what you have gone through and how God has been faithful to you, then my faith and hope are increased, for what He has done for others, He can do for me.
What is an overcomer, but one that has walked through tribulation and suffering, in the strength of the Lord. In that weakened dreadful state, we often feel like anything but an overcomer, but it is in that place that we reach the deepest to lay hold of the revelation of Christ in us, the hope of glory. We are brought to the painful awareness of how utterly weak and frail we are in the natural, but in that place we find a strength, a comfort and confidence that is not our own. It is birthed out of the divine life that resides within. It is God that gives us the ability and strength to continue on when everything within us wants to give up.
We may be crying out, “To what end Lord must I continue to suffer and endure?”
He replies, “For as the sufferings of Christ abound in you, so your consolation also abounds by Christ toward others.” You are prepared to be the instrument of encouragement, hope, faith and salvation to those who follow in like manner of sufferings.”
Paul, like Jesus, was a man quite acquainted with tribulation and suffering, but he makes the statement in Romans 8:15-18, “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Jesus said, “Now am I glorified.” What preceded that glorification was an immense and intense suffering.
1 Peter 4:12 bears witness in that it says, “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.”
We have often been made to feel condemned, less spiritual or worthy it we are going through trails and sufferings, like real Christians shouldn’t have to endure such things. If that be true, then I guess Christ and the early Christians weren’t very spiritual or we are neglecting a component that is inherent in our faith, that of suffering, tribulation and trials.
It is these very components that seals and solidifies our faith; that takes it from words and concepts to faith in action. Faith will never be proven real until it is tested. When we found God’s faithfulness in the midst of our testing then we likewise have the ministry of mercy, consolation and comfort to encourage other through their moments of tribulation and trials. It is in passing through the fire that we walk into the glory.

Blessings,
kent

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