The Fragrance of Jesus

August 9, 2021

The Fragrance of Jesus

Psalms 45:6-8

Thy throne, O God, [is] for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom [is] a right sceptre. Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments [smell] of myrrh, and aloes, [and] cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.

Have you ever been around someone or in an atmosphere where all around you, you could smell Jesus.  It may not have been a physical fragrance as much as a spiritual one, but there is a fragrance you can sense that is not of this world.  That fragrance brings with it such a presence of God’s love, His peace and His awe.  Occasionally we may be in the company of someone who has that fragrance about them.  It may not be so much what they say as who they are and the spirit that emanates from them. 

As I closed my eyes this morning I imagined an empty elevator where it’s occupants had just exited, but it was like I could see a resident aura or like a lingering shadow of those who had been there.  There was something they had left behind of themselves. 

Have you been around a person that has a certain distinctive fragrance about them and every time you smell that fragrance you think of them?  When you smell their clothes or their pillow or towel.  What ever they have come into contact with retains a fragrance of them. There is a fragrance of Jesus and that is the fragrance I would desire that others would smell on me when I am in their presence.  We would desire that people would not be impressed with us, but with the Spirit and fragrance of Christ that we would give off because we have been in His presence.  Don’t you imagine that the fragrance of Jesus was on the disciples and the ones who spent so much time in His presence?  People are drawn to that aroma, for it is the smell of life and the fragrance of Love. 

The apostle Paul spoke of having that fragrance when he said in 2 Corinthian 2:14-17, “Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.”  There are a good many to whom the fragrance of Christ doesn’t smell good, because they have so long been entrenched in the stench of death because it bring conviction on the death they carry. Others, who have been surrounded by that stench, those in Christ are a fresh fragrance of life and hope.  They are like a breath of fresh air when stepping out of a dark and putrid dungeon. 

               It is my prayer that the fragrance of Jesus would so permeate our beings that people would not only smell His sweetness when we are present, but that that aroma of life would linger on even after we had left. 

               It is springtime with all the fragrant smells of blossoms and the newness of life in the air, but oh there is no smell so sweet as the fragrance of Jesus.  That is the aroma we want to carry with us and leave behind us, His presence, His life, His Spirit and the sweet fragrance of all that He is.

Blessings,

#kent

Arise, My Darling , and Come with Me

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.  For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over [and] gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing [of birds] is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines [with] the tender grape give a [good] smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

               Do you know the lover in your Lord Jesus?  The one who is passionately in love with you?  He watches you and longs after you.  His affections are ever toward you.  He would know your heart.  Do you love Him?  Are you passionately inflamed with love and desire toward Him?  Do you treasure those quiet times in His presence where the world around you fades away and it is only you and your beloved?  If you haven’t come to know Jesus as your lover you are missing the richest experience of love in your life.  So many of us know about Jesus, we know him in an outward sense.  We may go to church and worship him and occasionally read the Bible, and of course we do pray now and then. 

“To Know” in the biblical sense is to know in intimacy as a husband knows his wife.  Jesus wants us to intimately know Him in the secret place of our spirit.  He desires such union with us that the product of that union is divine life and nature within us.  As His life is alive and flowing through us it will in turn impregnate others with His divine life, love and grace. 

               Some of us have loved our Lord.  We have longed after Him, but He has seemed illusive as He did to the Shulamite maid in the Song of Songs.  She would not be dissuaded but continued to pursue her lover till she would lay hold of Him.  Are we that passionately in love with our Lord where nothing will turn our eye or heart from pursuing Him?  Perhaps these have been the winter seasons of your life.  Spiritually you are languishing as you have gone through the stormy trials of life and have so longed for that closeness with Christ. 

               His word to us today is “Rise up, my love, my fair one and come away”; it is springtime in the spirit and a time of renewal, refreshing and blossoming in His love and presence.  It is a time for fruitfulness and spiritual life to spring forth.  It is a time when He will meet with you in the intimacy of the chambers of your heart.  He will draw close to you as you draw near to Him.  His desire is for those that love Him just for Him.  Even though He is the source of rich blessing and provision our heart is not on what He can do for us or what He can give us.  Our heart is passionately in love with who He is.  There is nothing richer than our fellowship in His presence.  This is why we never cease to praise and adore Him, because He is so worthy, lovely and our heart beats for Him. 

               Christ is coming for a Bride that is passionately in love with Him.  She is the one that will know the deep places in the treasures of His love.  If you are that lover be encouraged that He is coming to take you away in Him.  He will be your all in all and He will meet the needs that no earthly person can.  If you have not known the Lord in this way, you are missing out on the greatest love relationship of your lives.  Come fall in love with Jesus in a way you never have.  Come to know Him as your dearest friend, companion and lover.  Your life will be so much richer than you have ever known.  “Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.”

Blessings,

#kent

Luke 2:51-52

And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Spirituality Begins at Home

               Today’s scripture is a reference to Jesus and the relationship He had with His parents as a child.  We see His subjection unto His parents even as a child when in reality His understanding was, no doubt, way beyond theirs.  Jesus could have easily been proud and arrogant in who He was, but He wasn’t. He was humble.  I am reminded again of a definition I once heard of humility.  Many often relate humility with wimpiness, weakness and lack of strength, but true humility is simply, “true strength under control.”  Jesus didn’t become spiritual when He was baptized and the Holy Spirit came upon Him.  He grew up day by day practicing a spiritual life in daily living.  Our greatest spiritual training and practice is not what we do before others, but what we do at home.  Our ministry should be a byproduct of who we are to our family and household.  Our true spiritual character is revealed in our daily relationships with our wife, children, parents and siblings.  The ways we serve and treat our families is a rue test of our spirituality.  What we are perceived as being in the spiritual community should be a reflection of who we are when nobody else is around.  There is no greater place to practice and perfect our spiritual walk than with the people we rub shoulders with everyday.  We might be in the place headship or in the place of submission, but both require a Christ nature to do well.  Many times we are less tolerant and more critical of the ones we love.  We are familiar with them.  We know their weaknesses and often we fail to respect and honor them as we ought.  Within our home and family, are we as diligent to build up and encourage one another in our strengths as we are to criticize and find fault with their weaknesses? We should already know that we are all cracked pots, we just have our cracks in different places, so the pot should look at its own color well before it calls the kettle black. 

               The true demonstration of our spirituality will be seen in our home, because that is where we are ourselves and all of our pretenses leave.  If we live the Christian life with our family and walk the walk with them, then we should have no trouble when it comes to living it in the world.  I pray that God will help us to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man by the way we live at home through our daily relationships.  How does our spirituality look in the light of your home life?  It is here that we will get an insight into ourselves and the areas we need to grow more in our spiritual walk with Christ.  True spirituality begins at home.


Blessings,

#kent

John 12:1-3

Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. 2Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. 3Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

Mark 14:3

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of a man known as Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

               Guilt and Shame

My choices have filled me with guilt and shame,

Now pursues me mental torment, anguish and pain.

How could God forgive all that I’ve said and done?

Could there truly be complete forgiveness through His Son?

Though His gift is something I could never deserve or earn,

Because of His grace, from darkness to light I’ve now turned.

Washed in the blood of Christ I’m now set free,

Guilt and shame no longer have a hold on me.

Kent Stuck

Shame and Guilt Anoints Love and Mercy

               Mary was a product of God’s grace and love through Jesus.  It becomes evident as we read further in the scripture that Mary was a woman of reproach, looked down upon by many of those who thought themselves far more righteous than she. 

               I saw Mary here as that alabaster jar.  Beautiful stone, but hardened by sin, shame, guilt and rejection.  We can only guess at what might have brought her to this place, but what Mary illustrated for us is that those who are forgiven much, love much.  As I see Mary here breaking this alabaster flask, I see her braking open her very heart.  Out of that formerly hardened heart flows a fragrance so rich, sweet and fragrant that the whole place is filled with it sweet aroma.  Mary doesn’t stop there.  She demonstrates the fruit of true repentance, humility, brokeness, love and adoration.  She pours out upon Jesus not only the sweet fragrance of this perfume, but the deepest expression of worship she could hope to give to Him and show Him.  It wasn’t just about the costliness of the perfume for Jesus, it was about a life, so precious to Him that would be purchased and fully redeemed through Calvary as He became that alabaster container that would be broken and the fragrance of His precious blood would be poured out to anoint all of humanity with the gift of forgiveness from guilt and shame.  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) 

I’m not guilty any more because the sweet fragrance of His mercy and sacrifice eradicated forever the stench of my guilt and sin.  When we get a real revelation of what that is then we will feel what Mary felt as she anointed Jesus and washed His feet with her hair and tears.  We will become worship poured out on the One who is so worthy of all the praise, glory and adoration that we can pour out upon Him.  We will no doubt be ridiculed and resented by the crowds and the religious without who operate out of pretense, rather than heartfelt worship. They have no real clue of what this love affair is about. 

               Mary gave materially, without reservation, of the most costly possession she owned because it represented the gift of herself, her all, her very heart and soul poured out and given to Him who alone was worthy.  Shame and guilt had come to anoint Love and Mercy, because Love and Mercy no longer regarded or held her guilt and shame against her.  If ever there was a love story this is it.  It is a spiritual love exchange like no other.  Instead of her body, she comes to express the giving of all of her heart and soul.  She shows all of us that higher level of worship where what we do is no longer to earn or please, but to express gratitude and worship to the One who took all of our guilt and shame upon Himself and in exchange, allowed us to become partakers in His righteousness, which alone is acceptable to the Father.

               Are we willing that our lives would be broken open for Him, that all that we are might be dispensed to His glory and honor?  Do we have that heart of immense gratitude, love and worship for all that He has done for us?  Mary was an example to all us how that former guilt and shame can anoint Love and Mercy.  It is loving Him, even as He first loved us, giving Himself for us.  We are the products of the Lord’s grace and mercy.  No greater love should we have, than for Him who withheld nothing, and gave everything for us.  Should our lives, like Mary’s, be any less for Him?

Blessings,

#kent

Follow Peace with all Men

Hebrews 12:14

Follow peace with all [men], and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

                Often our relationships with others reflect the true condition our soul.  Just as our words are the reflection of our heart, our relationships with people should be the expression and the root of our relationship with our heavenly Father.  So often there is such a contradiction between what we want to think we are our as Christians and how we really treat other people.  Can we say that we are at peace with all of those that we have been in relationship with?  Have we ended up offending, hurting, betraying, backbiting, gossiping or taking advantage of someone we have been relationship with at some level of social interaction?  Have we found people that, for some reason, no longer want to associate with us or have turned against us?   Unfortunately, we aren’t often as pure and godly as we would like to think we are.  Through careless words, deeds or acts of selfishness, we can offend and hurt others without even realizing it.  This is especially true of the ones we say we love; our families, spouses, children or parents.  Loving and close relationships are much like our reputation, we can spend years building them and in one careless moment we can destroy them.  Perhaps some of us have issues like that today.  We may have even acknowledged our offense, repented of it, but maybe the person we have offended won’t allow us to mend that fence.  They may still carry that hurt and offense. 

                It is so important for our spiritual lives and social relational lives to line up with one another.  We say we love and serve God, but do we most often work in our self-interest or the interest of others?  Are we willing to truly live Christ before men and especially toward the irregular people that most push our buttons and whom we have a hard time dealing with? 

                We are all like a bunch of rocks in stream.  As the turbulence of life and trials pass over us we rub against each other with our sharp edges, we offend and hurt each other.   Over time the ruff edges begin to wear off and instead of rough rocks we become smooth stones.  Are you still rough around the edges?  Are you still wearing on and irritating those around you?  It is often ironic how God can turn the tables to allow us to experience from others what we ourselves have been guilty of.  When we judge others, do we first judge ourselves and see how, we too, have been guilty of many of the same offenses?  All of this is a part of growing up and maturing in Christ.  The end of the matter is that if we are truly pursuing holiness with God as the Word says we should, that also reflects on our human relationships and how Christ comes out of us with regards to others.  Our fruits of actions, words and deeds should bear out who we are in Christ; by the way we treat and respond to others.  Colossians 3:17 exhorts us, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  1John 3:18 likewise encourages and commands us, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”  Our actions speak louder than our words.  What have we promised our children or our spouse that we never follow through with?  Are we a people whose actions verify their words? 

                Sometimes we create offenses that we can’t fix or make right, ‘but as much as possible live peaceably with all men.’  Roman 12:16-21 leaves us with this instruction about our human relationships, “Be] of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but [rather] give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance [is] mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” 

                Let’s be right and make things right as much as possible with others.  Let us really walk in love toward our neighbor and fellow human beings.  May they truly see Christ and not us.  This is pursuing holiness in the fear of God.

Blessings,

#knet

Practical Religion

March 29, 2021

Luke 10:25-37

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26″What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27He answered: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

28″You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he fell into the hands of robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, took him to an inn and took care of him. 35The next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36″Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Practical Religion

                Most of us are quite familiar with the story of the “Good Samaritan”.  The Lord began to convict me this morning that what you know and what you practice can be two totally different things.  When we stand before God we won’t be judged for what we knew, but what we did with what we knew.  This story brings this point home when it talks about how the priest and the Levi both saw the man’s plight, crossed over to the other side of the road and passed him by.  These were representatives of the most knowledgeable, pious and masters in religious and godly matters.  Was their knowledge translated into practical application?  No, they, like many of us don’t have time, don’t want to get involved, don’t want to get our hands dirty or don’t consider it our responsibility.  Yet Jesus demonstrates a man that they despise as a heathen and half-breed coming along and giving of himself, his time and personal resources to care for a man that probably wouldn’t have given him the time of day, because he was a Samaritan and despised by the Jews. 

                True religion is practical religion.  James 1:27 says this, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world.”  Doesn’t it strike us as strange that he doesn’t say it is how many times you go to church or how long you read your bible or pray?  It is in the doing.  Often God imparts much to us, but we are like a stream that has become dammed up.  We don’t allow the life of God to flow through us.  We hoard it up unto ourselves so that we can appear religious and pious.  As a result we stagnate spiritually and really benefit no one else but ourselves. 

                I remember a friend telling me his testimony of how he came to the Lord.  He said he was either building or remodeling his house and he had a friend at work that would talk to him about the Lord.  He said what really made the difference for him is when this friend took his personal vacation to come and help my friend to fix his house.  That practical application told him that this Jesus was more than just mere words and an ideology; He was practical love expressed through this man that sacrificed to help him.  That is how our world will know and embrace Christ, when they see the reality of His love expressed in ways that are not natural or normal.  If actions speak louder than words then Christ is amplified and magnified as we live and walk our talk. 

                There are basically two directions that our faith must express itself.  The first is upward in our personal relationship and obedience to God the Father and our trust in Jesus Christ.  The second is in the expression of what we receive in that vertical relationship and then in stretching out our arms to those around us.  This is what Jesus did when He hung on a cross.  His vertical obedience and relationship with the Father expressed itself in His outstretched arms to all of humanity.  He became the intersection where we could turn the corner on our lives and head in a heavenly direction back to the heart of the Father.  We also find that in our identification with Jesus, we also must lay down our lives for others.  Those others, often might be the people we would least care to serve or love in the natural, but then truly loving your neighbor is a God expression and not just a human one.

                How practical is our religion?  Does it really express who we are in Christ or just what we know about 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

Advice to Live By

August 31, 2020

Colossians 3:17

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Advice to Live By

              If we are to take a short and concise statement as to how we should walk and live each day, this scripture might well be it.  If we filter all of our thoughts, words, intentions and actions through the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to meet the criteria of this command it will check us in a lot of areas.  It will also keep us in a state of constant communion and fellowship with the Holy Spirit.  It is only as we walk by the Spirit that we can fulfill this requirement. 

              Name is represented in nature, character and authority, so that as we do all in the name of Jesus, we operate out of His character and nature in all the aspects of our life.  It is the authority of that name that gives us victory and dominion over sin.   I can tell you that what we do in the name of Jesus will not always align with how we feel about a person or a situation.  Most often our feelings will have to be brought into conformity with God’s love.  True Agape love is most often a choice and not a feeling. 

              Contrary to our popular feelings and beliefs life is not about our rights, it is the relinquishment of all that we are so that He is lifted up and glorified through us.  Our life is all about what is pleasing and honoring to Him.  In Him we live and move and have our being.  By the Spirit of Christ in us let us live and operate our lives in the love, power, authority and the nature of the name that He has given us.  Let all things be to His glory, honor and praise as we ever give thanks to God by Him. 

Blessings,

#kent

A Letter to My Son

July 28, 2020

A Letter to My Son

Proverbs 1:8

Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.

              My son, do you know how much I love you?  Do you know how I prayed for you even when you were in your mother’s womb and each day since?  A father’s heart is to see his son grow up and be even more than he could ever be.  He wants the best for him.  He wants him to prosper and know the joys and richness of life.  More than anything else, a father who loves the Lord will desire his son to grow up to embrace his own faith in Christ.  A father of faith desires to birth that faith and relationship with Christ into his son. 

              Why is that so important?  The father knows that in Christ are the issues of life, health, wealth and eternal salvation.  If a father can impart to his son how rich he will be through a committed relationship with Christ then he will have left a legacy that he can be proud of.  Your mother and I will have fulfilled one of the primary purposes for our being together.  Malachi 2:15 says, “And did not God make [you and your wife] one [flesh]? Did not One make you and preserve your spirit alive? And why [did God make you two] one?  Because He sought a godly offspring [from your union]. Therefore take heed to yourselves, and let no one deal treacherously and be faithless to the wife of his youth.”  While Christian parents desire to live a godly example and be a light of salvation to others, there is no other soul more precious to them than you. 

              As a son grows up and matures he sees the parents he once perceived as so good with their faults and shortcomings.  As a son grows into puberty and adolescence he often becomes quite full on himself and defiant and resentful of his parents.  A father has had a few short years to try and instill the principles of life and godliness into his son.  He has disciplined him to try and teach him responsibility, integrity and character.  He knows he has made more mistakes than he would ever like to admit, but he prays that somehow, in spite of his shortcomings and failures God, by His grace, will make Himself so real to his son and that his son might now choose to make his parent’s faith his own. 

              As fathers we are often far less than perfect, but if this father doesn’t know anything else and if he doesn’t possess any other significant talents or abilities, the one thing that he does know and is fully committed to is that Christ is the answer to life.  He prays that if His son gets nothing else from him, that he will get that.  For a godly parent, there is no greater gift or reward than to see one’s children choosing the path of righteousness and walking in it.  There are no richer moments than when we see them instilling and teaching their children the ways and the love of the Lord. 

              My son, I leave you with these words of instruction from Proverbs 4:20-27, “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart For they [are] life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh. Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it [are] the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil.”  My son, I love you and only desire for you the richness and goodness of God’s grace and love.

Blessings,

#kent

Life is Fragile, Handle with Care

1 Peter 1:22

Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently:

              There are many today that are environmentally sensitive.  They are very concerned about the land, its resources and the wildlife that inhabits it.  The wheels of progress have been stopped because of how it might impact a mouse.  Some of the things we hear about seem a little extreme.  There is nothing wrong with caring about the environment and taking care of it.  That is the responsible thing to do.  I wonder though if we are often as sensitive and caring about the needs of people and especially the people that occupy our environment?  How often do we go crashing through someone’s life and emotions with little regard?  We can be critical, judgmental and degrading of others and we hardly give it a second thought.  Some of us have developed a bulldozer lifestyle of speaking and acting critically, harshly and unkindly to others.  How are we impacting the quality and the development of their lives?  Are we as sensitive to them as some are to the environment or do we just go crashing through their emotions wounding and tearing without a thought of the impact we are having?  Do we treat everyone with the same dignity and respect we want to be treated with?

              Sometimes it takes a tragedy for us to wake up to what we were doing and even then there is a good chance that we are still too insensitive to realize what we have done.  Take a good look around at the environment of the souls that you dwell among and interact with.  Do you see the person that everyone criticizes and makes fun of?  Do you see the person that has become invisible and nobody else even acknowledges or cares about them?  Do you see any of the wounded and the broken that need an affirming word and the encouragement to know that they have value and worth?  Take time to survey the humanity that surrounds you.  Look for the opportunity to be an environmentalist of souls, protecting and caring for those who can not care for themselves. 

              What did Jesus come to do?  Isaiah 61 says, “The Spirit of the Lord GOD [is] upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”  As we are in Him and He is in us this has become our ministry as well.  Look for the opportunities to make life a better environment in which to live, especially for those that are so often despised and looked down upon.  Maybe that person is as close as someone in your own family.  Life is fragile, handle it with care.

Blessings,

#kent

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