2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A Principle of Life about Fear

If given the choice, most of us would be quite content to live a nice, safe, secure, healthy and relatively uneventful life.  In many ways, a lot of us have.  We need to ask ourselves is that really living or is that comfortably dying a slow death?  

One thing fear does, is it gets us out of our comfort zone.  It often gets our heart racing and our adrenaline pumping.  Our senses come alive in the face of danger and uncertainty.  If we could see our lives in the light of the spiritual couch potatoes we would become if we never faced any trials, testing or adversity, then we can better appreciate why God allows them to come into our lives.  

In order for our faith to grow it must be challenged so that our faith can come up to the level of our challenge.  Since fear doesn’t come to us from God then we must realize that faith is the antidote to fear.  Faith sets our eyes and attention back where they belong.  Looking to the Father.  When we realize that fear comes from our inadequacy, weakness and inability to control a situation, we either have to face it in the frailty of human ability or have a revelation of what God has given us to counter it with.  God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but what He has given us is the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  We have a mighty arsenal to combat fear and to overcome it.  Fear only works as long as you are afraid.  When you are no longer afraid, fear has lost its power.  What the Word of God is telling us is that you don’t have to be afraid.  You don’t have to fret, worry or be anxious.  What you need to do, is lay hold with faith and confidence upon God’s Word, His promises and assurance.  The more you fill your self with the Word of God and spend time in His presence; the more bold, confident and faith-filled you become.  For the enemy and the spirit of fear, you then, become a force to be reckoned with.  The person who really has a revelation of their identity in Christ, who knows their position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and operates in their God given and appointed purpose is a dangerous person to the enemy of fear and darkness.  The gates of hell can not prevail against that person.  

An example of such a person was seen in David.  He was called, appointed, anointed and knew who he was in God when he confronted Goliath.  He didn’t fall into that trap of fear like the rest of the camp of Israel.  He came from a place of faith and authority, not his, but the Spirit of God in him.  Later, we see Saul, with all the resources and armies of Israel at his command pursuing David’s life, but unable to capture and take it.  He was that spirit of fear that pursued David, but was unable to prevail, because David put his trust and confidence in the Lord.  

Was that an easy place for David? No, it was a very difficult place, but at that time David lived and walked with God closer than at any other time in his life.  Adversities are often allowed in our lives to stir us into faith.  They cause our spiritual senses to come alive and get our focus off of the world onto the Lord.  Fear isn’t always a bad thing, not because we want to succumb to it, but because we want the faith to arise in our hearts, along with the resident power, love and the mind of Christ to overcome all fear and the adversary that stands before us.  The force of opposition only serves to make us stronger.

We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  Our Captain, King and Savior has conquered death and the grave.  He has set down at the right Hand of the Father until His enemies be made His footstool.  We are the body and feet of our Captain and King, Jesus.  He is putting the enemy beneath our feet, because we are His.  

Someone once said, “You need to either get busy living or get busy dying.”  Our time for being complacent, lethargic and comfortable is soon coming to an end.  We need to make the choice to live or to die, life or death.  If we are going to live then we need to live out of the place where we pursue fear and it doesn’t pursue us.  We have to come into that place of having assurance of who we are and what God put us on this earth for.  We were not put here to be subject to this kingdom that lives under the rule and power of sin and death.  We live under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  We were put here to invade this earthly kingdom with the kingdom Heaven, Life and God.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  We are God’s portals, conduits and well springs through which He invades the kingdom of this earth.  That is not going to happen through spiritual couch potatoes that are content with the leeks and onions of Egypt.  It is going to happen through an army of believers that are hearing the trumpet of war sounding in God’s camp and are responding to it.  If we don’t respond to God’s calling and come into that place of abiding in the Almighty and under the shadow of His wing, then soon the spirit of fear will arise and cover the earth and those who have not found their place in Him will be overtaken by it.  Father has not given us that spirit of fear,  He has given us the Spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”.  We are His kids and we were born for this, so don’t allow fear to rule your hearts, but come up into the faith and confidence of who you are in Christ and trample fear beneath your feet!

Blessings,
#kent

The Streams of our Hopes and Dreams

Psalms 127:3

Lo, children [are] an heritage of the LORD: [and] the fruit of the womb [is his] reward. 

Springs bubble up from the melted winter snow

Pure little streams trickle down to larger ones below.

How precious the resource of these little bubbling springs

They are like the wellsprings of all our hopes and dreams.

They bubble to the surface birthed into their little stream.

They are so rich in hope as they start off pure and clean.

Hopes and dreams cascade over the rocks smoothing them to stone,

They cascade over waterfalls showing a splendor all their own.

Sometimes they are muddied as they flow to rivers below,

Sometimes they are unappreciated among the river’s flow.

Still they exist in the heart of the spring from which they came.

Even when they become muddied they are cherished just the same.

Our children are often the seed of so many of our hopes and dreams.

We hope and desire they are not just milk, but rise to be the cream.

Even when life doesn’t bring to pass all that we had dreamed for,

Forever we cherish our dream in them and for them pray the more.

They are our legacy to carry on the resource of our life,

Sometimes they turn from us and it cuts us like a knife,

But we look beyond what we see as we hold on to our dream,

We hope, as long as there is life, that our waters again become clean.

Never lose your hopes and dreams though they become clouded along the way,

Bath them in prayer and faith as you look to a brighter day.

Look to the promise of the seed that you planted within their precious hearts,

Believe that when they are old, from God’s grace and love, they will not remain apart.

Blessings,

#kent

Ephesians 5:22, 24

Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it…

Did I tell you that I love today?

Did I tell you that I loved you by the way I greeted you today?

Did I hug you and tell you how special you are in so many ways?

Did I do those special little things to serve you and bless you?

Did I look into your eyes, hold you and say, “I love you?”

So often I am rushing through life with so many things on my mind.

I so often fail to communicate and to cherish our special time.

People, work, business, payments, bills, so many pressing things,

I tend to forget how special you are and why I bought that ring.

Forgive me for treating you so ordinary when you’re so extraordinary,

When I think about all of the things you do for me it is exemplary.

What fool runs through their garden and doesn’t stop to smell the flowers?

What gardener doesn’t pull the weeds, nurture the plant and pray for showers?

You are the blessing of my life, so why do I provoke bickering and strife?

So many little hurtful things that I say and do must cut you like a knife.

Life is too short to spend on the things that divide and keep us apart.

Let every morning be brand new and the gift of a brand new start.

It isn’t riches that will make our hearts glad; it is the simple things.

Taking walks, holding hands, just holding you, gives life such meaning.

The visits over a cup of coffee, sharing a book, sharing what touches you.

These are the simple things that bind us close and make our love like glue.

Did I tell you that I love you today and that you’re special in so many ways?

I want you to know I appreciate you and I cherish you every day.

Did I tell you that I really want to work on giving you all of my heart again?

I want to remember at the end of life all that it was, not what it might have been.

I Love You!

Kent  

Blessings,

#kent

Sticking Together

September 9, 2016

Sticking Together

Matthew 19:5-6

and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’]? 6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” 

Remember when we first met?

When we spent that time together falling in love?

I knew you were the woman that I needed to get.

You were that woman I had been dreaming of. 

Remember when I nervously proposed?

You smiled and said yes,

We had no idea of the future I suppose,

All that I knew was that I was happy and blessed.

When we think back of all we’ve been through,

We both know the grace of God has kept us together,

The blessings were many, but there were trials, more than a few.

Times I didn’t know if we would survive the stormy weather.

Have I always loved you, yes.

Have we always felt in love, no.

There are times when we don’t feel blessed,

There are times we want to pack our bags and go.

Yet, we both knew that God had set us as one,

We’ve often questioned,  “What was God thinking?”

We are so different and life together isn’t always fun.

But one of us has lifted the other in the times one was sinking.

The storms of life and marriage have many casualties.

But it is the bond of God’s love alone that can see us through.

Many times we may have given up, becoming another marriage fatality.

God’s love and grace was greater than what we were able to do.

I thank God that you are still by my side.

I thank God for a woman that has loved me like you.

We both thank the Lord that He has been our guide

We both would be in the ditch of life had He not been true.

We are still conforming to one another’s ways.

We don’t always feel love or act the way we should.

We still struggle, fuss and have our off days.

But God’s love is the glue that sticks together these two pieces of wood.

As we grow older I see we need each other even more,

We have to be the strength in one another’s needs.

You are still that young girl that my heart longs for.

You are my garden and the precious fruit upon which I feed.

Blessings,

#kent

Christ in You

May 3, 2016

 

Matthew 25: 35-40

“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.’ 

Christ in You

You are a ray of sunshine.

You are the extension of God’s divine.

You bring healing in the midst of pain.

You are heaven on an earthly plane.

When you walk into a room it brightens up.

When you spend time with me you fill my cup.

You are my companion when I feel alone.

The voice of love is in your tone.

You are the servant that gives your all.

You pick those up who stumble and fall.

You encourage those who have lost their worth.

You share the life that brings new birth.

I see His face when you smile.

I see His walk when you go the second mile.

I see His love in your unselfish ways.

Yes, you are His expression day by day.

Kent Stuck

Blessings!

Forgiveness

May 2, 2016

Matthew 6:14-15
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Forgiveness

I would dare say that all of us have had experiences in life where others have wronged or hurt us and in some cases quite severely and repeatedly. It is often these experiences, wounds and hurts that we can not seem to release. They are a trauma upon our lives. It is in these adverse life experiences that we are confronted with a choice to forgive and release an offense or to hold on to it and maintain the unforgiveness. When we are hurt it is our natural inclination to want to hurt back.
In the natural we often are wounded through life and most are superficial. In most cases they require a little attention and then they heal and we go on. There are those times when we are wounded more deeply and without cleansing the wound and putting something on to disinfect, we can get it infected. When infection sets in the wound festers and will not heal. In fact, untreated, it will become worse and more compromising to our health. It can actually be the infection that comes into us through the wound that could end up killing us rather than the wound itself. That is what unforgiveness is like. With emotional hurts and wounds there is a natural healing process and with the right heart and attitude those wounds will heal. They may leave some scars, but life goes on. Unfortunately, for some of us, there are places and ways that we have been hurt where we let the infection of unforgiveness come in. It is a form of hate and it can even be toward ourselves as well as others. It is the love of God that is the antibiotic that heals the infection of unforgiveness. It is when we see Jesus, unjustly accused, mocked, ridiculed, beaten to the point of being unrecognizable and then nailed to cross who can, before he breathes his last breath, say,” Father forgive them, for they know not what they do” that we see what forgiveness really looks like. It is only as we are willing to apply that same forgiveness of love toward our offenders that we can receive the forgiveness of our offenses. Before God, we stand no less guilty of sin and offense than those who have wounded us. What we ask of God, we must be willing to extend to others.
It is the love released through making the decision to forgive, not just the feelings, that is the antibiotic that will bring healing and restoration. First it restores our relationship back to Father and then it works to restore our human relationships.
You may be saying, “yeah, but you don’t how many times this person has hurt me.” Peter addresses this question unto the Lord in Matthew 18:21-22, ” Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” You see sin kills, but God’s love is the multiplication of forgiveness that triumphs even over the depth and death of sin. It is the grace of God’s forgiveness that brought each one of us into a place where can know the restored fellowship and relationship with the Father. We receive that only through His forgiveness for us, because we all deserve condemnation and death. Luke 6:37 exhorts us, ” Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”
For some of us it is time that we examine our hearts and lay down this cross of unforgiveness that we have been carrying. We must realize that the unforgiveness is doing far greater damage to us than even the offense. It is keeping us from our own forgiveness and right relationship with the Father. Ask the Father for His love in you to release the unforgiveness you have been carrying, no matter how awful the offense. As He forgave us, we ought also to forgive others. How can we have Christ come forth in us if the very prominent part of His nature is forgiveness?
First come and release it to the Father and then release the individual or individuals. When you release you will be released from the judgement that unforgiveness can hold over us. ” If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:36)” Isn’t time to come into the freedom and the release of His Love?

Blessings,
#kent

Kindness

March 31, 2016

 

Kindness

Colosians 3:12-13

Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also [do] ye.

Kindness, an obvious word with an obvious application, it is often descriptive of one of the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit.  Kindness is so obvious and so simple and yet so missing among so many of us.  It is simply goodness and favor toward another person.  Many families and relationships are missing this little social grace from their words and actions.  Even in our every day encounters with strangers and people that we interact with, we fail at this little thing called kindness.  Oh yes, we feign kindness through superficial words and platitudes, but is it an issue of our heart?  True kindness pities, it empathizes, sympathizes and identifies with another’s need.  Kindness puts itself in the place of its neighbor and then responds appropriately according to how it would want to be treated.   Kindness isn’t a social mask that we put on to give the illusion of our graciousness; it is something that issues out of the foundation of who we are in Christ.  Kindness genuinely cares for another and will not hesitate to go out of its way to minister or help another.  Kindness overlooks the opportunity to be right when it is at the expense of another.  It compliments the rest of the attributes of the Spirit and it chooses the high road even at its own expense.  Kindness is what covers another with grace and favor even when they may not deserve it.  Kindness is slow to be offended and it returns good for evil.  True kindness is often the brunt of abuse and is commonly taken for granted.  Yet, it is the kindness working in us that causes our Father to smile and reminds Him of Himself.  

Today and each day of your life, develop the habit of random acts of kindness, not just on the deserving but on the undeserving as well.  Practice that kindness on the ones you say you love and yet always rub you the wrong way.  While others may not always appreciate it and it may be abused by some, you will never regret the warmth it leaves inside and the smile it puts on the face of God. 

Blessings,

#kent

Peacemakers

March 11, 2016

Romans 12:18

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 

Peacemakers

We can not always control how others feel about us.  We can only be responsible and accountable for our own actions.  Obviously, in the course of life, we encounter those people who do not like us for one reason or another.  We can’t always submit to their way of thinking and being.  What we are expected to do in the Lord is walk in love and humility toward all men, submitting to the authorities over us to the degree that we don’t become disobedient to the Lord which is our highest authority.  Even our enemies we are to love and treat with kindness and respect, even when they deal to us a much lower hand.  We want to do what is right in the sight of all men, so that our deeds will not be evil spoken of.  We are the ambassadors of the Lord, so we must represent Him in our behavior, character and actions toward others.  When opportunities arise or even as much as you can, show acts of loving kindness toward those that despise and don’t like you.  By taking the high road and not returning evil for evil, we bring conviction and we demonstrate God’s love toward us, in that while we yet sinners Christ died for us.  

In as much as it is in your power, do the things that make for peace, in your home, with the body of Christ, in the work place and in the world.  Let us be a people of peace. Let go of those areas that are critical, judgmental, provoking and attitudes that stir up ill will and strife.  Don’t become self-righteous, but be righteousness of God in the love of Christ.  

Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9

Blessings,

#kent

Appreciation

January 28, 2016

 

Appreciation

 

Colossians 3:15

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

 

               One thing that is common in both God and man is that everybody likes to be appreciated.  We will go to great lengths sometimes for others if they have a grateful heart and are appreciative of our efforts.  It is important that we always appreciate the Lord.  It is this appreciation that keeps us mindful of Him and all of His wonderful attributes and the blessings we so richly enjoy from Him.  It is a dangerous thing for us to develop an ungrateful spirit.  That spirit shuts us off from people and causes us to only be caught up with ourselves. 

               We see that thankfulness and appreciation to the Lord are basic steps of etiquette to entering into His presence and fellowship.  Psalms 100:4 tells us, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.”  We can never appreciate the Lord too much and that heart of thankfulness and praise should be resident in us continually. Appreciation gives value to the one receiving it and it is an act of humility and respectfulness on the part of the one delivering it.

The lack of appreciation has far different results.  As many in the world were caught up in sin, it caused their hearts to become hardened toward God, as it can ours.  What was the result of their ungratefulness and lack of appreciation to the glorious God and Creator who authored our lives and gave us life?  Romans 1:18-32 gives the account of man’s ungratefulness and what results.  “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.”

               Our ungratefulness and lack of appreciation causes a perverted and arrogant way of thinking and leads us to God’s wrath and judgement.  On the other hand, a truly grateful, thankful and appreciative heart can lead us into God’s very presence and the fullness of joy.  What does God command us to do?  Love Him with all of our hearts and love our neighbor as ourselves.  That means we truly need to appreciate the Lord and appreciate those that God places in our lives.  We might be amazed at the difference we would have in our relationships if we really became sensitive and attentive to appreciating those around us.  We all want to feel that the things we do are worthwhile and that we are valued.  We all want to be appreciated, even God.

Blessings,

#kent 

Honor and Respect

December 22, 2015

 

1 Peter 2:17

Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.

Honor and Respect

One of the areas our society that has greatly deteriorated is this value of honor and respect.  When we loose that value and principle of honor and respect then the structure and foundation of godliness and righteous deteriorates.   It starts first in our honor and respect of God our Creator, Lord and King.  When we fail to bestow upon our God the honor that is due then all honor and respect beneath Him begins to fall away.  Where honor and respect fail to be present, abuse, slander, oppression and discrimination are quick to fill the void.  

A Pharisee questioned Jesus about the greatest commandment in Mark 12:28-32.  “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

29“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

32“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.””  

How does this scripture pertain to honor and respect?  

One of the primary attributes of true agape’ type love is that it greatly honors and respects the object of its love.  Why did Jesus have honor?

Jesus tells the Pharisees in John 8:54, ” Jesus answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honors me; of whom ye say, that he is your God.”  Men have honor because they were made a little lower than the angels and they were made in the likeness and image of God.  Because each person was created in the likeness of God and has an eternal spirit, they also have a purpose and destiny bestowed upon them from creation.  God told Jeremiah in Jeremiah 1:5, ““Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.””  So we see that God knows each of before we were formed in the womb what our destiny is.  Because we are His creation and meant for His expression and relationship, honor and respect should be given to all men, even as 1 Peter 2:17 says.  

Our first commandment is to love and honor God.   Then God gives us the commandment in Exodus 20:12,” “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”  For God to make this one of His top ten commandments means that He considers the honor and respect of parents to be of utmost importance.  These are the people that birthed you, raised you and laid down their lives for you.  They are worthy of the greatest honor and respect.  It is never a pretty sight to see a child who dishonors and disrespects their parents.  

When Jesus gives the greatest commandments of love for God, He tells us to first love God, but then the second is ‘to love your neighbor as yourself’.  In order to love your neighbor properly you first must love and have a proper paradigm of yourself.  Now there are many people that have no idea how to love others because they don’t first love and respect themselves.  We must realize that we are God’s creation and though we have fallen from our estate with God and are sinful creatures God has honored us in His love by giving Jesus, His only begotten Son, to die and bear the judgement of sin on our behalf.  If we simply appropriate what He has already done for us by faith and acceptance then we can experience restoration back to who God created us to be.  Now our life has been refurbished by the love of God and He loves and accepts us no matter what our past has been.  We are a new creation in Him.  God has created us to be His temple and habitation.  Because God has loved, honored and respected us, we must have that same love, honor and respect for others; seeing in them what God saw in us, which is that we are worth His love and honor.  If God loves, honors and respects us, should we do any less in the way we treat and view others.  He loved us even when we were still His enemies and in that state Jesus came and gave His life for us.  

God wants us to recognize and embrace the value of our worth to Him and in so doing extend that same honor and respect to others.  It is not dependent upon their viewpoints, philosophies, politics, race or religion.  God’s love through us should supercede all of those things.  

We, as the body of Christ must by our own practice and obedience, become the expression of true honor and respect for others, not matter what their relationship is to us.  It doesn’t mean that we necessarily embrace or agree with their values or behavior, but we see them through the filter of the love and blood of Christ and in that place we count them of honor and worth to God.  Our respect starts with our honoring the Father, then our parents, ourselves, our spouse and children, our brethren and our neighbors.  The Word says our spiritual leaders are worth double honor.   God is love and one of the greatest expressions of that love is the honor and respect with which we treat others and one another. 

Blessings,

#kent

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