Be still and know that I am God
Psalms 46:10
Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

One of the most difficult things for us to do in our busy lives with all of its demand is to really be still before the Lord. Even in our prayer life, don’t we tend to want to say our peace to God and then move on? Most times we don’t want to take the time just to be still in His presence, to listen for His voice and meditate on His wonder and greatness. Psalms 4:4 says, “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah”
We tend do with God what many of us are guilty of doing with our loved ones, “I would really like to talk with you about it, but I’ve got to run. Maybe we can talk later.” Is that similar to the words that come out of our mouth sometimes? It is often really hard for us to be still, but until we do, we often don’t really hear the things we need to hear. Ecclesiastes 9:7 says, “The words of wise [men are] heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools.” Even in our human and family relationships, we don’t really hear their hearts until we are willing to take the time to really interact with them and listen to them. The greatest mysteries, the greatest truths, the revelations we receive are most often heard in the quite and still places. Those are the places and times when our minds are at rest and peace and we take time just to listen and focus. We all really need that time every day with our God and with each other to stay in tune and in touch with the ones and the One we really love. Perhaps one of the reasons we don’t want to sit and be still is because, even subconsciously, we are running away from facing issues or confrontations or unpleasant dealings we really don’t want to deal with. Maybe the reason those things even exist in the first place is because we don’t take the time on a regular basis to talk, heart to heart, on a human and a God level. We want the quick fixes of our present society and culture to handle our relational problems, but they don’t. They still take the investment of our time and our true heart to really deal with them effectively.
Our lives are incredibly busy and full, but we need to set aside those times every day when we can just be still and know that God is God and be able hear, should He wish to speak to us. More than likely He is speaking to us, or at least trying to throughout our day, but we aren’t tuned in to see and hear Him working in our lives and circumstances. The way we get ears to hear, eyes to see and a heart that is tender before the Lord, is to be still and really know that He is God in our lives. Don’t neglect the valuable time it takes to get quiet and be still before the Lord.

Blessings,
#kent

Spiritual Fitness

March 27, 2014

Spiritual Fitness

1 Timothy 4:8
For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come.

We live in a time and a society that is very health and fitness conscious. It almost seems ironic, considering over half our population would fall in the obese or overweight category. Yet we are hearing about it all of the time. The truth is we want to eat and enjoy all that we want, but we still want to have buff and gorgeous bodies and looks. Somehow God didn’t seem to create them to go together very well. If we want physical fitness, then we know that it requires discipline and effort on our part. People and companies have made billions of dollars by selling pills and products that told us we could have the one without the other. If I set in front of my TV and watch a workout program that should somehow help me to get fit. If I eat a snickers candy bar and a diet coke, then I think I’m on a diet and am going to lose weight. If I watch a lot of sports, then somehow that makes me an athlete.
This scripture makes an analogy. There is nothing wrong with physical training and staying in shape. Like anything it can get out of balance. While physical training in a natural sense can be good, in the light of what is really meaningful in life it isn’t that high on the list. We are in the process of maturing and training up our spiritual man. As in the physical, to be spiritually fit requires an investment of time, of dedication, discipline and exercise. What kind of spiritual shape is our life in today? Are we armchair and couch-potato Christians? Do we warm a pew, say a few weak amens, listen to a sermon or a word and then continue on through life without it affecting any change in our behavior, or actions, or involvement? Are we lethargic, complacent, dull, and self-willed? What is the state of our spiritual fitness today? How would you honestly rate yourself on a scale of 1 to10? When I look at my physical man and see how indulgent I have become in so many areas of my life, I realize that the same mentality can very well carry over into my spiritual life. Are we a nation of out of shape and overindulgent Christians? Outwardly we are very blessed, but inwardly do we fit the profile of Revelations 3:17? “17For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.” This is not written to condemn us, but it is a call to action for all of us. Many of you who are reading this are spiritually strong and fit, but others of us may be strong with our words, but weak in our actions.
The apostle Paul gives us another analogy in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, “Now every athlete who goes into training conducts himself temperately and restricts himself in all things. They do it to win a wreath that will soon wither, but we [do it to receive a crown of eternal blessedness] that cannot wither.
26Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). I do not box like one beating the air and striking without an adversary.
27But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].”
We all need to come to grips with the fact that God has a calling and a purpose in our lives. I am being convicted today that there needs to be both a physical and spiritual discipline in my life. I am not talking about legalism, but like Paul, I need to conduct my life with temperance, self-control and have myself in check, spirit, soul and body. God is calling us in this hour to prepare ourselves for a time of great spiritual battle and a time of His revealing. Most of us aren’t prepared for that with the mentality and habits that we harbor. God is calling us to spiritual fitness through such things as prayer, fasting, personal time with the Lord and walking out our faith in love and actions that reveal the character of who we are in Christ. We are a called out people, a separated people and a holy people. We are a people called after God’s own name and for His glory. We are being called to the gyms of spiritual fitness to be exercised in godliness and righteousness. We have an adversary who has been lulling us to sleep and into spiritual laziness. This is the day to discern our spiritual state and develop a mentality and lifestyle that is in harmony with God’s desire for our spiritual fitness. The overcomer is a person of spiritual strength and fortitude. Spiritual strength is developed in discipline, consistency, a right state of mind and a vision of what we are being strong for. We don’t want to find ourselves, after believing, coming up short and missing the mark of the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. Let us press on with all of our being into Him and be strong in the power of His might.

Blessings,
#Kent

Investment

November 20, 2013

Investment

John 3:16

For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever would believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our Mighty Heavenly Father invested in humanity the most precious gift He could give, His Son. Likewise, the Son willingly invested His life into humanity to the point of an excruciating and most painful death as He was beaten and bruised for our transgressions and His pure, spotless blood was shed even for the ugliest of our sins. God has quite an investment in this little planet called earth and the peoples that have inhabited it, past, present and future. Why has God invested in us so much? What has kept Him from becoming utterly exasperated with our sin and rebellion that He hasn’t obliterated the human race and started over? Could it be something we call love and relationship? Why do we get married, have children and invest our entire lifetime into raising a family? Isn’t it because of love and relationship? Our God, by nature is a “Father”. He has a Son that needed a bride, the church. That bride, by His seed, produces spiritual children. Those children comprise the family of God. Is there anything you wouldn’t invest in your family and children? Jesus laid down His life. As He hung there on the cross and his side was pierced, out flowed the issue of blood and water, the birthing fluids of the church. Our Lord and Father has invested Himself in us in awesome humility considering all that God is. Our God has given to us a privilege that is so wonderfully great we can barely comprehend and appreciate it. HE HAS INVESTED AND DEPOSITED HIS VERY LIFE INTO US! And it is all about love and relationship. He so loved us that He desired to bring us into relationship with Himself. Our God is a Spiritual Being who has created earthen vessels in which He has breathed into them His Spirit. The thing that sets us so far apart from every other creature is that we have eternal, God breathed life within us. This outward body may go back to the dust it came out of, but that inward spirit lives on. If God has sealed us to Himself by joining His Holy Spirit to ours, as we have responded in faith to Jesus and the promises of His Word, then what He is working in us is Spiritual Life that is fashioned in the image of who He is, His nature and character. Brethren, we are a natural people that have been birthed of the Spirit, brought into divine relationship with our Lord and Husband, Christ Jesus and made joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.” Joint-heirs mean everything that belongs to Christ now belongs to you and I, but we can’t ignore the conditions of this inheritance. When we partake of the Passover Lamb, which is the type of Christ, the children of Israel had to eat all of it, the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet. Part of our inheritance in Christ is the identification with His suffering. Jesus paid a great price in His suffering for us. While we like to focus on all of the blessings of our inheritance, there is also the side of suffering. As His children, we also may pay a great price as He calls us to identify with Him in suffering. Many who answer the call of God come to know this reality when they commit their lives, their possessions, and their families to the Kingdom of God. We also, are called to make our investment back into God as He made His investment into us. We are called to relinquish our will, our lives and all that we possess to His service. Paul says of this investment in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” We also must invest into God all that we are. That may come at a great price, but it can’t begin to exceed the eternal weight of glory that we shall possess. We are invested for the same reason as our Heavenly Father invested into us, for love and relationship. As we have come to know that love and relationship with God, so we become the perpetuators of this good news. While it is embraced of some, it will be despised by many. Even Jesus tells us in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.” Evil hates good and darkness despises the light. What then are the purpose and the end of this investment God has made in us and has called us to make in Him?

Paul continues 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.” What does that mean? It means that ultimately God has determined that it is through His sons, his divinely appointed children that He will liberate not only us from these corruptible bodies, but creation itself will be set free. The bondage of corruption, death, sin and sickness will be loosed and creation itself will be brought into the glorious liberty that we as the children of God have come into. Our Father will allow us to be the administrators of this great and fantastic restoration. So even if our investment into the Kingdom of God cost us everything in this life, it pales in comparison to the benefits and dividends of its return. We are God’s inheritance and He is ours.

Blessings,

kent

Parables of the Kingdom

August 7, 2013

Parables of the Kingdom

Matthew 13:44-52
44″The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45″Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
47″Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51″Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

Jesus has given us some parables here in Matthew to help us grasp a spiritual understanding of the kingdom of heaven. It is much like you having discovered a large reservoir of oil beneath your property. You grasp the potential wealth of what you are sitting on, but until the oil can be brought to the surface it has no practical and realized value or worth to you. Aren’t our lives the same way? We have discovered the great truth and wealth we have of Christ in us, our hope of glory, but as long as He stays locked up in our spirit, our property, remains pretty much unchanged. So what will we do? Now having this knowledge of the great treasure possessed beneath the surface, we will make it our primary pursuit and investment in gleaning the treasure we know is there. We will make what ever sacrifices are necessary of what we now possess outwardly so that we might tap into the rich resources that are hidden in our earth. 2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” There is treasure in these here vessels of clay and we need to mine it out. We are drilling for the nature, the power and the life of Christ, and we don’t want to spare any expense or fail to make any sacrifice necessary to lay hold of it. What is more is that as we are in pursuit of the riches within, we want to share the good news with others around us. We want them to know that they also can have this treasure, but we find that many are far too self-absorbed to hear us or lay hold of the truth that we are sharing with them. Paul says in verses 4-6, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” We have been blessed with the revelation of the riches we have within, now it is about laying hold of them till they become resident and manifest in our daily lives. In laying hold of these riches there are other things that we value in life that we will have to let go of. We have to decide where our treasure really is and what we are willing to give up to lay hold of it. If we choose the riches and what is valuable to us in this life then we will lose our grip on the eternal life and fail to realize the riches that we held. On the other hand when we are willing to forsake all else and spend all our resources to lay hold of this treasure within, then we will lay hold of riches that so far exceed those we could ever know in this world.
In another parable Jesus gives here of the net drawing in a great catch of fish we see that the kingdom of heaven is currently made up of a mixture of both good and bad. We see it in the realm of Christianity. It is a mixture of flesh and Spirit. We also see that in God’s time there will be a purification and casting out of all that is bad or that defiles. This same analogy could apply to our individual lives as well. We may often become disgusted with all of the flesh and ungodliness we see in the body of Christ, but we don’t have to look any further than ourselves to see where it comes from. We are like that net of fish, full of a mixture of good and bad. Surely, I am not the only one that becomes so discouraged with myself; with how far I miss the mark and fail to walk after the Spirit in so many aspects of my life. We are a mixed bag that the Holy Spirit is trying to help us sort out as we look and fully lean upon Him. Most any valuable thing in its natural state is impure. That is why God is processing us, to bring out the riches of His pure nature and love. Sometimes it is like going through hell with fire and gnashing of teeth as we deal with these areas of impurity and iniquity in our lives.
In Matthew 13:52 Jesus says something rather interesting, “52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”” It is like, the more the Holy Spirit instructs us in our lives through knowledge and experience in godliness, the more we understand and know of its ways. As we grow in understanding and experience we share that with others who are likewise seeking to know Christ in a deeper and more meaningful way. We all have rich experiences of how the Lord has dealt in our lives and how He has taught us. As we share these with others it is mixture of not just past experiences and knowledge, but also of fresh revelation and insight into areas of our lives. Our lives should be a combination of new treasures and old. It is like building a house, you are continually building upon the former with new material. God’s Word never changes and yet it is always fresh as He unveils new truth, insight and revelation in it.
What kingdom truths is the Lord opening up in your understanding and what are we doing to lay hold and see the reality of these truths come to pass in our lives? He is our resource, our provision and our salvation, but we have to let go of the world with that other hand. It is going to take both of our hands holding fast to His so that He can pull us up into Him.

Blessings,
kent

Investment

April 16, 2013

Investment

John 3:16
For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever would believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our Mighty Heavenly Father invested in humanity the most precious gift He could give, His Son. Likewise, the Son willingly invested His life into humanity to the point of an excruciating and most painful death as He was beaten and bruised for our transgressions and His pure, spotless blood was shed even for the ugliest of our sins. God has quite an investment in this little planet called earth and the peoples that have inhabited it, past, present and future. Why has God invested in us so much? What has kept Him from becoming utterly exasperated with our sin and rebellion that He hasn’t obliterated the human race and started over? Could it be something we call love and relationship? Why do we get married, have children and invest our entire lifetime into raising a family? Isn’t it because of love and relationship? Our God, by nature is a “Father”. He has a Son that needed a bride, the church. That bride, by His seed, produces spiritual children. Those children comprise the family of God. Is there anything you wouldn’t invest in your family and children? Jesus laid down His life. As He hung there on the cross and his side was pierced, out flowed the issue of blood and water, the birthing fluids of the church. Our Lord and Father has invested Himself in us in awesome humility considering all that God is. Our God has given to us a privilege that is so wonderfully great we can barely comprehend and appreciate it. HE HAS INVESTED AND DEPOSITED HIS VERY LIFE INTO US! And it is all about love and relationship. He so loved us that He desired to bring us into relationship with Himself. Our God is a Spiritual Being who has created earthen vessels in which He has breathed into them His Spirit. The thing that sets us so far apart from every other creature is that we have eternal, God breathed life within us. This outward body may go back to the dust it came out of, but that inward spirit lives on. If God has sealed us to Himself by joining His Holy Spirit to ours, as we have responded in faith to Jesus and the promises of His Word, then what He is working in us is Spiritual Life that is fashioned in the image of who He is, His nature and character. Brethren, we are a natural people that have been birthed of the Spirit, brought into divine relationship with our Lord and Husband, Christ Jesus and made joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.” Joint-heirs mean everything that belongs to Christ now belongs to you and I, but we can’t ignore the conditions of this inheritance. When we partake of the Passover Lamb, which is the type of Christ, the children of Israel had to eat all of it, the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet. Part of our inheritance in Christ is the identification with His suffering. Jesus paid a great price in His suffering for us. While we like to focus on all of the blessings of our inheritance, there is also the side of suffering. As His children, we also may pay a great price as He calls us to identify with Him in suffering. Many who answer the call of God come to know this reality when they commit their lives, their possessions, and their families to the Kingdom of God. We also, are called to make our investment back into God as He made His investment into us. We are called to relinquish our will, our lives and all that we possess to His service. Paul says of this investment in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” We also must invest into God all that we are. That may come at a great price, but it can’t begin to exceed the eternal weight of glory that we shall possess. We are invested for the same reason as our Heavenly Father invested into us, for love and relationship. As we have come to know that love and relationship with God, so we become the perpetuators of this good news. While it is embraced of some, it will be despised by many. Even Jesus tells us in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.” Evil hates good and darkness despises the light. What then are the purpose and the end of this investment God has made in us and has called us to make in Him?
Paul continues 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.” What does that mean? It means that ultimately God has determined that it is through His sons, his divinely appointed children that He will liberate not only us from these corruptible bodies, but creation itself will be set free. The bondage of corruption, death, sin and sickness will be loosed and creation itself will be brought into the glorious liberty that we as the children of God have come into. Our Father will allow us to be the administrators of this great and fantastic restoration. So even if our investment into the Kingdom of God cost us everything in this life, it pales in comparison to the benefits and dividends of its return. We are God’s inheritance and He is ours.

Blessings,
kent

Investment

October 30, 2012

Investment

John 3:16
For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever would believe on him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Our Mighty Heavenly Father invested in humanity the most precious gift He could give, His Son. Likewise, the Son willingly invested His life into humanity to the point of an excruciating and most painful death as He was beaten and bruised for our transgressions and His pure, spotless blood was shed even for the ugliest of our sins. God has quite an investment in this little planet called earth and the peoples that have inhabited it, past, present and future. Why has God invested in us so much? What has kept Him from becoming utterly exasperated with our sin and rebellion that He hasn’t obliterated the human race and started over? Could it be something we call love and relationship? Why do we get married, have children and invest our entire lifetime into raising a family? Isn’t it because of love and relationship? Our God, by nature is a “Father”. He has a Son that needed a bride, the church. That bride, by His seed, produces spiritual children. Those children comprise the family of God. Is there anything you wouldn’t invest in your family and children? Jesus laid down His life. As He hung there on the cross and his side was pierced, out flowed the issue of blood and water, the birthing fluids of the church. Our Lord and Father has invested Himself in us in awesome humility considering all that God is. Our God has given to us a privilege that is so wonderfully great we can barely comprehend and appreciate it. HE HAS INVESTED AND DEPOSITED HIS VERY LIFE INTO US! And it is all about love and relationship. He so loved us that He desired to bring us into relationship with Himself. Our God is a Spiritual Being who has created earthen vessels in which He has breathed into them His Spirit. The thing that sets us so far apart from every other creature is that we have eternal, God breathed life within us. This outward body may go back to the dust it came out of, but that inward spirit lives on. If God has sealed us to Himself by joining His Holy Spirit to ours, as we have responded in faith to Jesus and the promises of His Word, then what He is working in us is Spiritual Life that is fashioned in the image of who He is, His nature and character. Brethren, we are a natural people that have been birthed of the Spirit, brought into divine relationship with our Lord and Husband, Christ Jesus and made joint heirs with Christ. Romans 8:17 says, “And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.” Joint-heirs mean everything that belongs to Christ now belongs to you and I, but we can’t ignore the conditions of this inheritance. When we partake of the Passover Lamb, which is the type of Christ, the children of Israel had to eat all of it, the good and the bad, the bitter and the sweet. Part of our inheritance in Christ is the identification with His suffering. Jesus paid a great price in His suffering for us. While we like to focus on all of the blessings of our inheritance, there is also the side of suffering. As His children, we also may pay a great price as He calls us to identify with Him in suffering. Many who answer the call of God come to know this reality when they commit their lives, their possessions, and their families to the Kingdom of God. We also, are called to make our investment back into God as He made His investment into us. We are called to relinquish our will, our lives and all that we possess to His service. Paul says of this investment in Romans 8:18, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” We also must invest into God all that we are. That may come at a great price, but it can’t begin to exceed the eternal weight of glory that we shall possess. We are invested for the same reason as our Heavenly Father invested into us, for love and relationship. As we have come to know that love and relationship with God, so we become the perpetuators of this good news. While it is embraced of some, it will be despised by many. Even Jesus tells us in John 15:18, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.” Evil hates good and darkness despises the light. What then are the purpose and the end of this investment God has made in us and has called us to make in Him?
Paul continues 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.” What does that mean? It means that ultimately God has determined that it is through His sons, his divinely appointed children that He will liberate not only us from these corruptible bodies, but creation itself will be set free. The bondage of corruption, death, sin and sickness will be loosed and creation itself will be brought into the glorious liberty that we as the children of God have come into. Our Father will allow us to be the administrators of this great and fantastic restoration. So even if our investment into the Kingdom of God cost us everything in this life, it pales in comparison to the benefits and dividends of its return. We are God’s inheritance and He is ours.

Blessings,
kent

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