Righteousness

December 17, 2020

Righteousness

Philippians 3:9

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

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

Blessings,

#kent

Forgiveness

December 16, 2020

Forgiveness

Ephesians 1:7-10

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

                Forgiveness is a word that we use a lot and often fail to really consider the depth of what it implies and what it accomplishes.  Forgiveness is a necessary ingredient before any true restoration and reconciliation can take place in a relationship where an offence has occurred on the part of one or both parties.  Where an offence remains not forgiven, it may be pushed down or ignored by the offended one, but when forgiveness is not released it is like getting a splinter under the skin.  Even a small splinter that is not released will begin to fester and be a constant source of agitation until it is removed. 

                God, in His great wisdom, saw all the offences we committed toward Him as human beings.   While we might have good intentions, we have come to realize that God’s standards of holiness and righteousness are not obtainable in our fallen state and so we are a constant source of offense to Him.  We have come to realize that under God’s mandate and law we are all destined for judgement and the eternal consequences for our sins.  This was not God’s plan.  His plan was to provide for us forgiveness.  Through the sacrifice and the shedding of the blood of His perfect Son, He could extend release and pardon to us for our offences and sin.  God’s heart is to reconcile, redeem and restore His creation back to Himself and He paid the ultimate price to do so.  We all know what we deserve, but the mercy and grace of God said, “no”.  He has extended to us the olive branch of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation through the blood of His own precious Son.  God, in Christ, has done all the hard part for us and all we have to do is extend the hands of faith and receive this great and precious gift of forgiveness and pardon. 

                Imagine that you have murdered someone in the heat of passion and you have been tried, found guilty and sentenced to death.  Nothing you can do can undo the consequences of your sin.  Then one day the son of the president comes to you and says, “You know that you have committed a crime and the debt and punishment for that crime has to be paid.  I am here to take your place, pay for the crime and let you go free.  It will be just as if you had never committed that crime.  It will be erased from your record.”  If you accept this exchange then the doors to the prison open and you are free to go.  As if that were not great enough, the president’s son tells you that now that you are free he wants you to assume the position of the president’s son with all of its rights, powers and privileges.  Wouldn’t we be a fool not to accept such an offer?  Obviously, in turn we would owe the president and his son our lives for that exchange.  Obviously, what he is offering is far better than what we were facing.  We don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.  The point is that if we never accept the pardon and we hold on to our offence then it can never be pardoned or released.  With every gift given there is an exchange, but for the exchange to be complete it must be received.  The gift isn’t mine till I accept it from you and I can never open it and experience its contents until I am willing to reach out, take it and open it.

                In our human relationships forgiveness is an important part of our interactions with one another.  We offend and hurt one another rather intentionally or unintentionally all the time and we need to ask and extend to one another forgiveness.  As Christians we are commanded of God to forgive others as Christ has forgiven you and gave Himself for you.  Many of us are struggling with our relationship with both God and man because we have been unwilling to release forgiveness.  It doesn’t mean that we extend forgiveness and are expected to continue in a hurtful or destructive situation given a choice, but we need to forgive to set ourselves free.  It is the only way we can get those splinters of offense out of us.  When we withhold forgiveness we create a dam that withholds the love of God from flowing through us.  We close our heart and emotionally detach ourselves. 

                Many of us need the restoration and the reconciliation that can only come, as we are willing to release forgiveness.  We can’t always be responsible for the other party accepting it, but we can release it and thereby release ourselves.  Often pride, on both sides, is the greatest hindrance to our reconciliation.  You can see why God loves humility in us, because it is not too proud to say when it is wrong and it is not to proud to forgive someone, even when they don’t deserve our forgiveness. 

                Unfortunately, our unwillingness to forgive can become for us a puddle of self –pity that we continue to wallow in and feel sorry for ourselves.   We can do the same thing with our unwillingness to receive forgiveness.  We remain in the bondage of our offenses.  

                Forgiveness is one of the most powerful instruments of love that the Lord has ever given to us.  We all need to take it, use it and exercise it often.  Nothing can set us free and restore right relationships like forgiveness.  It can unlock the many prison doors of our hearts and sets us free to love and be loved with the love of God. 

                Search your heart and if you find their a hurt, a wound and offense that someone has committed either intentionally or unintentionally, exercise the gift of Father’s love and forgive them.  You are right.  They may not deserve it, but then neither did we.  When we set others free, we free ourselves and become again and instrument and a heart that God’s love can flow through.

Blessings,

#kent

Five Smooth Stones

September 22, 2020

1 Samuel 17:40

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

Five Smooth Stones

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

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

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

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

              Ephesians 2:4-10 says, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” 

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

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

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

Blessings,

#kent

What is this Grace?

October 17, 2016

What is this Grace?

Ephesians 2: 1-10

1As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. 4But 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.

Grace is one of those basic principles we tend to assume that we know all that it entails and quickly skip over it.  The definition I have always heard of grace is that it is ‘God’s undeserved favor’. Indeed it is, but I sense the Holy Spirit saying you need to take a closer look at grace and the part that it plays in your life.  The very fact that we could not have even been cognizant and have come to Christ without His grace makes this quality something that deserves a closer look.  We might tend to acknowledge it and then quickly dismiss it as a fundamental of our faith.  It is kind of like breathing or your heart beating you don’t consciously have these take place, but I’ll guarantee you if they stop working you will be immediately be aware and concerned over it.  Grace is like the loving hands of the Father that caresses His humanity.  It is grace that provides us fellowship and relationship with our heavenly Father.  It was grace in the Father and the Son that extended the sacrifice of Christ’s holy life for our sinful ones.  All the benefits we enjoy in Christ we owe to grace.  The richness of our salvation is the product of God’s grace.  Even the incomparable riches of what God is going to do in and through us in the coming age are the benefits of His grace.  The riches of God’s grace are so much more than tangible elements could ever attain or express.  They are the fullness of God’s favor, His benefits, His mercies, His good will, loving kindness and His love.  Grace is an ocean of God’s blessing directed at mankind.  Like salvation, it is so shallow a small child can wade in it and so deep that the most profound and faithful of men will never sounds the depths of it.  What is contained in God’s grace is the fullness of Christ Himself.  What God has done in and through Christ He is doing in and through us, for the Lord Jesus is our prototype and the image after which our Father has called many sons to glory.  Even now the Word says that through grace working in us by faith, God has made us spiritually alive in Christ Jesus, but beyond that, He has raised us up with Christ and seated us in heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.  

Do we begin to catch a glimpse of the potential power and life of God at work in us even now through this grace that we have received?  Grace, by its very virtue, tells us that this is a gift and quality that we could never earn, deserve or merit in our own being.  Grace is all about God’s goodness, His undeserved favor and blessing.  The faith, that is not even what we possess, but that which He has placed in us, is the key to unlocking the riches of God’s grace.  Because God has enabled us to believe through faith in the marvelous thing He has done through Christ, we have the keys of His kingdom.  God is an extravagant giver and He has bestowed upon us such extravagant gifts that we still don’t fully comprehend and realize what we have and what has been so freely given to us.  

It might be kind of like you bringing home and giving to your child a fully loaded Mercedes worth a $190,000.  He kind of looks it over and then goes back to playing with his Legos.  What we should be saying is Father, teach me how to drive.  I can never fully enjoy what God has given me until I know how to use it.  The process of our lives is God teaching us about how to drive, how to operate in this grace which He has so richly bestowed upon us.  Let us not be content with our Legos and simple toys of this life, when Father has given and promised us so much more.  Press in that you might know the riches of this grace through faith.  

Verse 10 tells us the reason for God bestowing this grace upon us.  “10For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  God has given us grace that He might have a people conformed to His image and the expression of the good works that are in Christ.  We are not only the products of God’s grace, we, like Christ, are becoming the expression of God’s grace to the rest of this world.  We are the favored of God to express the favor of God.  Grace has delivered us from the dimension of condemnation, death and the law.  It has brought us into the dimension of Life, liberty and freedom in Christ.  It is the freedom to live out of the life God rather than our former life dictated through lust and sin.  2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us, “And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may abound to every good work.”  Faith is all about the endeavor to operate this vehicle of God’s grace; for it is grace working in us that will abound to God’s glory and praise and honor.  It is grace working in us that shows forth God’s strength in the midst of our weakness.  Grace must be received in all humility for it not anything that we could ever boast in of ourselves.  It is not the product of our being or doing, but the product of God’s loving kindness and mercy.  

God has called us out  of this world and into the grace of Christ.  Live out of the richness of the grace, which He has bestowed upon us.  Allow that grace to have its perfect work in you.  Never take for granted the marvelous riches and wealth of the grace God has bestowed and that now works so wonderfully within us.

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

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

Call to Worship

November 16, 2015

Psalms 95:1-11
1O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.
2Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
3For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also.
5The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land.
6O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
7For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To day if ye will hear his voice,
8Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:
9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my work.
10Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
11Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

Call to Worship

Do you want to be blessed today? If so come with me before the King of Kings, let us sing unto the Lord our God and Maker. Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation! Let us exalt Him, praise and magnify His Holy Name. If you want to experience joy then get glad about Jesus. Think upon all His wondrous works throughout the ages and then think upon all the things that He has personally done in your life. We are the products of His loving grace and mercy. No one should know the joy of the Lord like we do. “Oh come let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the Lord our God and Maker. For He is our God and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His Hand.” Can we truly comprehend what that means and how privileged we are to be His? Could we ever acknowledge and thank Him enough for the riches of His love toward us? When we come into His presence with joy and thanksgiving how can we be anything but happy and blessed. The deeper we enter into worship the richer His presence and joy becomes. Let us not neglect so great a privilege as we have to be His worshippers and the magnifiers of His great and Holy Name. For all things are through Him, by Him and for Him. We are created for Him, to be His children, to delight in our Papa God. He delights in you and so greatly loves you. When we honor Him in our praise, our worship and our thanksgiving, then we have the privilege of blessing His heart, for He delights in our love for Him.
It is somewhat strange that this Psalm would end on such a somber note, but it is a warning to us of how quickly our hearts can become hardened and we can lose sight of our great and illustrious King. Even though we know Him for who He is, we can, and still do, err in our hearts. It says “and they have not known His ways.” Let us walk carefully lest we also forget our God, tempt Him, grieve Him and provoke His wrath.
When we acknowledge Him day by day. When we spend the time to be with Him in the Word, prayer, praise and worship. When we center our world and lives on Him, then we come to know Him, delight in Him and know the peace that passes understanding. In this place we enter into the place of His rest, for we cease from our works and all that we are about. Our purpose is to be about the Father’s business, expressing that through our everyday lives and duties. Let every expression that we are be an act of worship and praise unto Him. We are a privileged generation of kings and priest that our God has ordained to magnify His Holiness. Unto Him be all praise forever and ever! Amen

Blessings,
#kent

You are a Person of Destiny

October 26, 2015

Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

You are a Person of Destiny

God’s love has many facets and forms of expressions. Some of them we love and some of them we don’t fully understand. Through all of the elements of His love one principle holds true, all things are working for our good if we are among those that love Him. If we love Him it is because we have been called according to His purpose. In His purpose we have a destiny. The thing that we must understand about destiny is that it requires us to reach a destination. God has not promised us an easy road to that destination, even Jesus said, “in the world you will have tribulation.” Who is a better example of this than Jesus is? From the time of His birth satan sought to destroy Him. In natural life He was not a child of privilege and in His ministry He continually faced those who sought to undermine and destroy Him. Even the end we see that He endured the cross, despising the shame. Could we ever say that the Father did not love Him? There was no greater love; yet through His natural life He endured hardships and difficulty. Should we expect something different?
What is our destiny? Romans 8: 29-30 goes on to say, “For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Our destiny is to be conformed to the likeness of the Son of God who went before us. Christ is our destiny. Even now that destiny is at work in our lives. Day by day, as we walk with Him and in Him, we see His grace operating in our lives even through difficult circumstances.
The enemy’s job and purpose is to rob you of your destiny and to turn you off course. His mission is destruction and death. This is why it is so important to know who we are in the love of the Father and what our destiny and purpose are. We learn not to be distracted by the chaos, calamity and circumstances that present themselves contrary to our purpose. Our eyes and heart must be fixed upon Him. Financial meltdown is going on all around us, but God’s economy is unaffected, because it is not of this world. What you have invested in His bank is safe; moth and corruption cannot touch it. Many of us are facing difficult times, but our daddy is God and He can sustain us. In all that is coming upon this world it is critical that we keep our focus and not take our eyes off of the Lord. He does love us. He does care for us and He is operating in our best interest.
Romans 8:31-39 concludes by saying, “What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Even as the Father has loved the Son, He so loves us.
Beware of the distractions that will come at you. Watch that doubt and fear have no entrance. Set your face as flint upon the One who will bring us through. We are not here to escape our tribulations but to walk through them and overcome them in Christ Jesus. Meditate always on what you have in Christ and who He is in you. You a person of destiny.

#kent

You Have a Purpose

October 23, 2015

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

You Have a Purpose

What has been worked in us by the grace of God is a God-thing. It has not been birthed out of man’s wisdom, strength or ability. You are a God-thing. You are His handiwork and design, not just because He created you, but because He created you for a reason and purpose. You are not an accident, but a God intention.
Sometimes we can get pretty down on ourselves. We see the difficulties and challenges that this life constantly poses. We see our own weaknesses and failures. Sometimes we may tend to think what real good am I to myself or anyone else? There are times we want to just give up and either just live like the world or even give up on life altogether.
The enemy of our soul always wants to magnify and condemn our faults. He is always trying to get our eyes off of Jesus and on to self. We can always see self for more than it is or less than it is. If we put our eyes and minds where they belong, upon Him and upon His Word then it gives us His perspective. Verse 10 says, ” For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” You were prepared in advance for a mission and a purpose. Get your eyes upon the One by whose power you can carry out your purpose. Your purpose is good works, His works, the will and do of His good pleasure. It is no longer about us, but Him. He is the One we live for, we serve and we delight to please. He is our Papa and He loves us dearly in spite of all the reasons why He shouldn’t.
You and I have a purpose today. He is our purpose and it is His work that we have to do. We can’t carry that out as long as our eyes are upon us. Let us fix our eyes on the prize of the high calling that is in Christ Jesus. Psalms 119:15 says, “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Only He can lead us into the fullness of our purpose and destiny, but it is only as we fix our eyes upon Him and walk fully in the calling He has set before us. Your purpose is good works. They are good because they are His works and the Holy Spirit will lead you in how to carry them out as you yield your heart and life to Him. The accomplishment of your calling is centered in your identity with Christ. 1 John 4:4 declares,” You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
You are the object of His grace. Make Him the object of your life’s purpose.

Blessings,
#kent

The Love of God

October 20, 2015

John 3:16-21
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

The Love of God
John 3:16 is one of those scriptures that many of us as young Christians memorize. Sometimes in its simplicity we forget or miss how profound it truly is. How many of us as fathers can really grasp what it would be like for us to give our only son as a sacrifice for someone else’s misdeeds? Romans 5:6-8 tells us, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

So even if you could be willing to allow your only son to be sacrificed for someone would it be your enemy? Would it be for the one who deserved your wrath and judgement rather than you love and mercy? When we really stop to analyze and think about God’s love for this world it should just blow us away, because it makes absolutely no sense to the natural mind or reason. How can we take this manner of love so lightly? How can we even regard it as common or ordinary? Our God is such an extraordinary God that works through such a supernatural and incomprehensible love towards us and the world rejects it. So many times, even we, as the people of God, treat as common place and ordinary this holy love, displayed and sacrificed for mankind. If we do, it is because we don’t truly comprehend it or have it operating fully within us. Those who go willingly and offer their lives as willing sacrifice for the gospel of Jesus Christ have come into a revelation of that love. They comprehend that if this love is so great that even the holy Son of the living God and Creator would lay down His life for us then it is worth our laying down our lives as well. Most of won’t even sacrifice our comforts let alone our lives.
One of the things a true revelation of God’s love will bring us too is that there is something so much greater at stake than just us. It will give us the heartbeat of God for creation. It will empower us to love the unlovely, the rejected and the destitute. It will cause our hearts to hurt for the lost and dying, just as Father’s heart hurts and longs for them to come to Him.
As human beings perhaps one of the things we like least is having our darkness exposed. We are often comfortable in our sin and deception even though it only brings us misery and pain. We don’t want to see ourselves for what we are and as God sees us. The capacity of the love of God is to see past our faults and see our need and it is to that need that He addresses Himself. He created mankind to rule and reign with Him, but we exchanged the truth for a lie and righteousness for pleasure. Romans 1:21-25 says, ” For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
“For God so loved the world.” What a blessing and a privilege that we have come to an acknowledgement and acceptance of this love by our faith in Jesus Christ. Is our love now so shallow that His love towards us stops with us? No, an immature child is one that is only concerned for their own needs, but when one comes into maturity they learn to become the givers and not the takers.
What is our revelation of God’s love in us today? Are we still just content to take it and not give it? God didn’t build us to be reservoirs to horde and store up for only ourselves, us four and no more. He is wanting to impart His heart of love into us that we may become the conduits and pipelines of His love and blessing. We are the salt of the earth and a city set upon a hill. We are the outshining of his glory and the expression of His love. If not us, then who?

Blessings,
#kent

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