Psalms 119:11
Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

What We Treasure in Our Hearts

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:21)”
Think about the things we protect, hide away, keep and save. They are the things that we value and that are meaningful to us. Most of the things that we treasure and value are temporal and perishing. Many of us save and put away money, possessions, jewelry and other items we consider valuable. The most precious and lasting treasure of all lies upon the pages of the book we call our Bible. While we treasure our earthly things, for many, the Bible sets upon the shelf and collects dust. It might even get taken to church on Sunday, but do we really appreciate the treasure that is contained and hidden there among the pages of God’s Word. The treasure that we find there is life-giving and eternal. It has the power to change our lives and helps us to know the true heart and mind of God. It has the power to show us ourselves and bring light where there has been darkness.
God no longer walks among us in flesh and blood as He did in Jesus Christ, but neither is He absent and gone from us. He has left us the testimony of His Spirit and His Word. It is His Spirit within us that unlocks the mysteries and reveals the treasures of His Word. If we want to walk with God and have a closer relationship with Him then we must treasure, honor and revere what is precious to Him. His Word is what reveals and imparts that to us. Do we desire to please God? His Word gives us that direction. Do we desire to be free from sin and avoid that which is evil? Again, His Word digested and hidden in our hearts is what transforms our thinking and renews our minds to think and see things as God does. It puts within us the fear, the reverence and awe of God that we would in no way want to offend or displease Him and at the same time dispells the fear that we find in the world and in our minds. We hide many things in our hearts, but far too often it isn’t the Word of God.
John 1:1-5 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning. 3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.” We know through the scripture that Christ declared that He was the Word. We know that spiritual life is contained and obtained through Him. When we possess the Christ and He truly possesses us then we will find that treasure that is hidden in our hearts. He will take those words from a page and make them a fire in our belly. His Word will illuminate and transform us. Come and find that treasure that doesn’t perish with the using, that only increases and never decreases and brings you into the presence of the Father.
Where is your treasure today? What do you value and store up in your heart? “Where a man’s treasure is, there will his heart be also.”

Blessings,
#kent

God’s Love though You

July 14, 2015

1 John 4:8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

God’s Love though You

Inherent in the nature of God is love. Jesus Christ is the personified expression of God’s love towards us. God is “agape” love, unadulterated, pure, undefiled, unselfish expression of affection and good will. 1 John 4:9-12 goes on to exemplify this love that God wants to see manifested in our lives, “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” We see expressed in this love of God the sacrificing of what is most precious to Him on our behalf. God is looking first to our interest and need. This love is not earned or deserved, it is simply expressed and freely given. Through this love we see the true heart of God toward us. He is working in our best interest and in what will bring us out of death and into life. Now He is saying this same love that you see exemplified from Me through Jesus Christ My Son, is to be your expression and your nature. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 defines for us the attributes of this love, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.” As the children of God this is our legacy and the expression of the Father that is now resident in us, because Christ is in us. This attribute, above any other, is what should define us, as God’s own. God is telling us that if this is not actively working in our lives then we don’t truly know Him. God is saying for us to know Him is to become like Him and that which most defines Him is His love. Most of us would agree that we probably fall desperately short of being the expression of God’s love, but here we see the commandment, not the request of God in 1 John 4: 7, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.” Our very ability to express this love is a God thing. We are able because of Christ in us. If we are missing it, it is because He is not the fullness of our heart and desire. When we are the expression of love to others, we are in affect loving on God, because to be the expression of His love is to love and honor Him. The world needs the fresh expression of the love of God through a people that are not looking for anything in return, but just want to bring glory and honor to the One who has first loved them. This love must first be resident within the household of God and how we treat and care for one another. We all have our personal agendas, but God’s agenda for us is that we be the expression of His love. Let us be cognizant of His nature within us and not stifle it with our own self-interests and agendas. He is our first priority and His first priority of us is that we would love others as He has first loved us.

Motives of Prayer

June 30, 2015

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

Motives of Prayer

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

Blessings,
#kent

The Blessing of Giving

November 26, 2014

Matthew 25:31-46
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34″Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
41″Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44″They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45″He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46″Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The Blessing of Giving

The greatest blessing we can give and gift that we can receive is in giving something of substance and ourselves that is life changing and life giving to someone else. There are few things more rewarding than the joy we feel when we have made a difference for someone else. Some of us struggle with that. We have become so focused on how to sell ourselves, our goods and services trying to provide for our own that we have missed the joy of caring and blessing another. There is always a constant barrage of mail, phone calls, pleas over the television and radio all asking for our contributions. We often begin to build walls that automatically shut out any plea for help. Realistically we can’t give to everything. Few of us have the financial resources to do that, but at the same time we don’t want to harden our hearts to become insensitive to every need that passes before us. This is where we need to be in tune with the Holy Spirit and where He would have us to extend ourselves in our time and our finances. We each have different gifts and abilities, but all of us have something we can give. It is wonderful that we give our tithes, but what can we offer of ourselves as a tithe. It isn’t really our money that God wants from us, He wants our hearts. Our tithe is an expression of obedience, worship, thanks and giving back in a small portion what He has provided abundantly toward us.
Our lives will be so much richer when they are filled with random acts of kindness and giving. We are the hands, the feet, the mouthpiece and the body of Christ to carry out His works. Acts 10:38 speaks of the works of Jesus, “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.” God has anointed us with the same Spirit that indwells Jesus. He has given us power and authority to act in His Name. Let us be sensitive in our every day lives to not pass by the opportunities to express the love of God in the lives of others. May we let our words and our deeds carry with them this anointing that was in Jesus, so that we are life givers and a blessing in the earth.

Blessings,
#kent

You are the Luminary of God’s Life

Genesis 1:14-15
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Did you know that God’s redeemed and called out ones are the lights of heaven that divide the day and night of earth? We are God’s sign for the days and seasons of His plan and we are the lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. God has forever had a presence in this world since it turned to sin and darkness. His presence has been revealed unto and through the people that He has shown and made Himself known too. They in turn became the light of revelation and the truth of God to the world of the darkness around them. If any of you ever wanted to be a star, then know that you are one of the stars of God’s heavens. He has set you as a luminary, a diadem of light, in the midst of a dark world.
Luke 12:34-36 says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Let your loins be girded about, and [your] lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.” Lights burn with varying intensity. The intensity of our spiritual lights are directly proportional to our relationship with the Son of God who is the great light of the world and to His spirit living through us. John 1:4-5 tells us of Jesus, “In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” We comprehend it because the Spirit of God has quickened our hearts to receive the truth. Truth known is not truth revealed. For truth to be revealed is has to have expression through action. It has to have an embodiment to express itself through. As Jesus was the daystar that was the light of the world and expressed through His life the life and love of God, we, as believers are the embodiment of His truth and life. We have received light and truth that we in turn might become the transmitters of that light and truth to a world still lost in darkness and ignorance of who God really is. In John 8:12 Jesus says, “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Again in John 12:46 He says, ” I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” We can now not only walk in the light, but we can be light, because of the Spirit of Truth that abides within us is the oil and the Word of Truth is the lampstand upon which we rest. Jesus teaches in Matthew 5:14-16, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The light that this world has is revealed through you, His people, as you are faithful to let that light shine before men. It is revealed not only by what we say but also by what we live. It says, “that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The world has too long heard Christians saying one thing and living another. We have all been guilty of that, but that it is not what brings God glory. Hypocrisy is like polluted water, it holds the promise of quenching our thirst, but then sickens us when we go to drink. We all have a sphere and circle of influence through which the people in darkness walk through. What effect will the light of your life have upon them?
We often murmur and complain about the difficulties and trials in our lives. We must realize that these are but opportunities for the application of God’s truth and the opportunity to see our faith in that truth produce substance in our lives and consequentially in the lives of others as well. Jesus gives a parable in Matthew 25 of ten virgins representing His church, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five [were] foolish They that [were] foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.” A lamp without the oil is useless for producing light, so are our lives if we do not allow the Spirit of God to live through us as we exercise ourselves by reason of the Word of God and faith in that Word. You and I must be workable, functioning lamps that can and are producing the light of God’s truth through our lives. The wise virgin, accepted by the Lord, is seen in her diligence and preparation. Our lives, daily lived out in faith and relationship with Christ, by the power of the Spirit is producing in us the oil that will make our lamps acceptable to Him. In the mean time they will provide a light by which others may find their way to Him. You are the light of God, set in heavenly places, be faithful to be the life giving light of your solar system and realm of influence.

Blessings,
kent

The Word

February 1, 2013

John 1:1-5
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

1 John 1:1-4
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4We write this to make our joy complete.

You are a Word without measure.
You are a Word beyond worth.
You are a Word of priceless treasure.
The Word that transforms all the earth.
Kent Stuck

The Word

How interesting that John is keen on this analogy that Jesus is the Word of Life. Words are used to communicate and no other word communicates the Father and His love like Jesus Christ.
He is not just a word written on a page or in a book. He is not just some story of a man or prophet from history past. John makes one thing abundantly clear. This Word is living. This Word is life-giving. This Word communicates with Spirit and Life into the hearts of those that read and believe its words. This is the Word of God communicated through the ages and manifested as the Son of God and the Son of man. This is that Word which was from the beginning, who was with God and was God.
Hebrews 1:1-5 tells us this about this Word. “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.”
From this passage we glean that God was in Christ representing and manifesting Himself through Him in all of His glory. That through Christ the universe was made and all things are sustained by His powerful word.
I remember once getting a bit of a vision and revelation as I envisioned God speaking forth the Word, the Christ, in faith. That Word, that Christ went forth into the empty void of darkness and created matter, energy and light. It was shaped and formed as the Father Architect so designed and willed into place in the heavens to give creation a small inkling of what Father represented in magnitude, wisdom and power. All that Father spoke forth was that Christ Word of faith that brought all of creations into existence and is held together by the Word of His power.
John says this same mighty Word that was with God from the beginning in such glory and majesty came into the earth through Jesus. This same Word we have heard with our ears, seen with our eyes and touched with our hands. This same Word became personal, touchable and tangible. This is the same Word of eternal life that we have received and now believe. This is that Word which has been proclaimed to us by His disciples and personal witnesses that all that He is, is indeed true so that we also might have fellowship with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ.
What a stunning revelation John proclaims. Even in the book of Revelation 1:1-3 John again refers to this Word. “The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
Listen also as John describes the second coming of Christ in Revelation 19:11-16, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war.12His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself.13He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.14And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.15From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.16And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
Take note that the name of Jesus Christ is the “Word of God”. This is that same Word that has been indelibly written upon the tables of our very own hearts as His believers, followers and sons.
Paul describes it this way in 2 Corinthians 3:3, “You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” We carry this mighty Word within us. Our lives are sanctified and written in His blood into the book of Life. We carry that same Word within us in His mighty power and life. Let our lives be so read of men as to give proper description and weight to that which has been written upon the pages of our life. May others read through us that which communicated from the beginning, that which was with God and was God, for Christ now live in us to be read of all men.

Blessings,
kent

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