Be Careful How You Lead

April 28, 2015

Hosea 4:14
“I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—
a people without understanding will come to ruin!”

Be Careful How You Lead

Often we as parents are quick to judge our children for wrong things they do or choices they make. Often we as Christians are quick to judge our fellow believers who get caught up in sin or those who don’t agree with or accept our Christ. Are we above reproach? Have our own sins and shortcomings been the license for those who choose unrighteousness? Will not God hold us first accountable who are the leaders and the examples for others to follow?
Romans 2:1-10 declares, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?
5But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6God “will give to each person according to what he has done.” 7To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism.”
The Jews and the Gentile are like the leader and the follower, the parent and the child, the teacher and the disciple. If we don’t walk in the understanding that God has given us then we will come to ruin and we have the responsibility for the ruin of those who follow our example.
Before we point the finger at others let’s first examine the person behind the three fingers pointing back. Are you living in righteousness or self-righteousness? Is it more important that we are right or righteous? For the world to honor and desire Christ they must first see Christ in us. They must see in action what we profess in words. How can we judge them if we don’t even live the example before them?
Father is saying, ‘Take stock in the example of life that you are leading. If we are not walking in righteousness and in the light of understanding that God has given you, then you must ask who is the responsible one here?’ Often what we see in the lives of those who follow us is the reflection of ourselves.

Blessings,
#kent

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The Blessing of Obedience

December 16, 2013

Genesis 22:1-18

Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

2Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.”

3Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 4On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. 5He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

6Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

8Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

9When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12“Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”

15The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”


The Blessing of Obedience


This  story of God asking Abraham to offer up His only son Isaac, the son of promise, was God’s ultimate test of Abraham’s faith and obedience.  It is one many of us are familiar with and hopefully we have seen it as the type of God the Father offering up His only Son of promise, Jesus Christ.  What we see happening through this story and through Abraham’s faithful obedience is a perpetual blessing that has been cascading through the ages in both the spiritual and natural realms.  The focus of what is shared in this discourse is the promise and the blessing that was produced through this act of obedience.

We learn a number of lessons from this passage.  One very important one is that I don’t have to understand why God does or ask what He does, it is only important that I am willing to obey Him no matter what the cost.  When God requires a death it is for a multiplication of life.  When God plants a seed, that is sown by His people in faith, He has already seen the harvest it will produce.  A Father’s heart is for legacy, but legacy is not created by holding on, but in letting go.  What God gives us in promise and blessing can become our idol if we are unwilling to release it back to Him.  Our heart of complete trust and obedience is the key to unlocking God’s unconditional and exceedingly great blessings and promises.  

What God promised Abraham those many hundred of years ago we are still reaping in our world and in our personal faith today.  You, in Christ, are an element of that answered promise to Abraham.  You are one of his descendants, stars and grains of sand, rather you were born a Jew naturally or not.  “A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God. (Romans 2:28-29)”  You see God’s true seed that He is looking for are those that have that same kind of heart as His friend Abraham; a heart of complete surrender, trust and obedience.  This is what the Father is looking for in us.  

When God made this promise to Abraham, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me,”  He swore by what Hebrews 6 calls an immutable or unchangeable thing in which it is impossible for God to lie. 

Why did God do this?  Hebrews 6:17 says, “Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.”

What does that mean to you and I?  Sometimes as we labor in kingdom purpose we can get discouraged in well-doing and good works.  When can get lazy and complacent concerning our faith and the purpose that we have in Christ.  I believe this is what prompted the Hebrews’ writer to share this and remind us of our inheritance; “It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”  He says prior to this in verses 10-12, “God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. 11We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, in order to make your hope sure. 12We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”  

The promises of Abraham are flowing through you as you are faithful to persevere in the faith and His blessings are unto you as well who obey and keep His Word.  Faint not, for His promises never fail. 

 

Blessings,

kent

Curse for Blessing

August 9, 2013

Curse for Blessing

Galatians 3:13-14
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:
That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

The Lord Jesus Christ became a curse for us that in turn we might be the recipients of a blessing. Verse 14 tells us that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ. In Genesis 22:17-18 God pronounces blessing upon Abraham when He says, “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” Abraham received this promise when, in obedience to God, He was about to offer up his only son. That act was symbolic of God offering His only begotten Son as our sin sacrifice. That sacrifice carried with it the end of a curse and the beginning of a blessing. Jesus became a curse for us in taking the curse of the law against sin and in turn released the blessing of Abraham not only on the Jews but also on the Gentiles.
Galatians 3:16 goes on to say, “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” If Christ was indeed the “seed” spoken of to Abraham then we can easily see where God’s promise of blessing is upon Christ and all that are in Him. For all that are born again in Christ Jesus are the seed of Abraham by faith in Abraham’s seed which was Christ Jesus. That promise declares that his seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. Are we not more than conquerors through Christ that loved us and gave Himself for us (Romans 8:37)? Is He not greater within us than He that is in the world (1John 4:4)? The fact that we are blessed through Abraham not only means that satan is defeated and we possess his gate through Christ our Lord. It also means that in so doing we have the privilege of in turn becoming a blessing to the nations as we share our faith and bring others into that covenant relationship with Christ. It is a perpetual blessing that flows through Christ and through His body. It is much as Paul brings out in Romans 5:19, ” For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” As Abraham was obedient to be willing to offer his son and as Jesus was obedient as God’s Son to the cross, that act of obedience was our deliverance from the curse of one man’s act of disobedience that brought all of humanity under the curse.
The other part of the promise given in Galatians 3:14 is that “we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” It is the fulfillment of the promise to give us the Holy Spirit that empowers us to receive and complete the rest of Abraham’s promise, that in him and his “Seed”, Christ Jesus, all of the nations would be blessed. The Holy Spirit we have received through faith in Christ is our empowerment and provision to go forth and do the works that Christ did and fulfill the Great Commission that Christ gave the Church, which is to go forth into all of the world and declare the Gospel.
We are the recipients of a great and wonderful blessing today. It is a blessing that is still seeing its completion through us by our faith in Christ. As we are partakers of such a great inheritance and blessing in Christ Jesus, let us become the fulfillment of that blessing through overcoming lives that bring the light of Christ and His blessing to the world in which we live.

Blessings,
kent

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