Every Kindred, Tongue, People and Nation

Revelation 5:9-10

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

               There is gathering around God’s throne a holy nation, a royal priesthood and people for His own possession.  They are not going to consist of only Jewish in race, or Protestant in faith, or of only Gentile or only Israel.  They are going to be of the diversity of the earth.  The one thing they will have in common is that the blood of the Lamb will have redeemed them all. 

               A brother and I were discussing the other day how the outward appearance of a human being is based on a very small percentage of their DNA. Yet, mankind seems to make about ninety percent of their judgements about others based on the outward appearance such as looks, color, race, nationality and geographical location.  Thank God, that He does not judge us by such criteria for we are all His workmanship.  Even though God chose out the Jewish race to perpetuate His name and be the vehicle for the Messiah, the vast majority ended up rejecting their own Savior and salvation.  In fact, in Act 13:46 Paul and Barnabas speak this to a Jewish assembly, “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”  God has His ways of opening salvation to every man, woman and child that through the blood of the Lamb they might be redeemed unto Him.  Indeed, God is a God of diversity, but He is not a God of embracing every sin and perversity of man.  We don’t come into the presence of the Lord on our terms, philosophies, thinking or will.  We are reconciled to the Lord on His terms and only by the blood of the Lamb, which we appropriate through faith in Christ Jesus.  Salvation is not on our terms, but on God’s terms.   We, as a people, often get backward in our thinking and somehow think that the clay should shape the potter rather than the potter shaping the clay.  The creation doesn’t get to tell the Creator how to make the rules and what is acceptable and what is not.  If we are God’s people, we play by His rules and do it His way, but He loves us all the same and is not a respecter of persons.  Indeed, the people of God that will be His kings and priest and rule the earth will be a diversity of men, races, tribes, tongue and nations, but they will have a singleness of heart and purpose.  All that they do will be to please, honor and obey the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

               If racism or prejudice of any kind possesses our heart based on the outward appearances then we have a spirit that is not of God.  1 John 1: 5-7 tells us, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”  Again, we are exhorted about our attitudes towards others both in the natural and in the Spirit in 1 John 2:9-11, “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. 10Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. 11But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.”  For us to walk in the fullness of the love of Christ and His salvation, then hatred, offense, unforgiveness, prejudice, respecter of persons; all of these must be put under the blood and washed from our hearts.  If we are to walk in the light as He is in the light, then it must be the Love of Christ that reigns within our hearts.  Are we willing to embrace the diversity of God’s family and walk in His love toward all men? 

Blessings,

#ken

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Seedtime and Harvest

May 27, 2014

Seedtime and Harvest

Genesis 8:22
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

Mankind is not so different from the other elements of nature. We are born into the earth, we grow up into maturity and fruition, we give birth, raise children, grow old and pass on giving place to the proceeding generations. 1 Peter 1:23-25 states it this way, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh [is] as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” We know that our lives on earth are not much longer than a breath of God. He inhales, exhales and we have expired. Our flesh is but a short season, but it is a critical season to us. It is the time that we come to cognizance and understanding of life and its purpose and our purpose in the midst of it all. Do you ever remember wondering when you were outside of a relationship with God, what life meant to you and what its purpose was for you? Do you remember wondering, “Do I just live my life the way I want too or the best I can, then die and that’s it? Soon I would be forgotten and remembered no more. My life would have just been a little blip on the radar screen of time. Then, somewhere in our lives, we made an amazing discovery; we discovered the meaning of life when we discovered Christ and the gospel. When we accepted Him into our hearts, suddenly our lives had new meaning and purpose. We no longer had just this life and our earthly carnal existence. We discovered that we also had a soul that contained a spirit and Almighty God wanted to come and live in it. He gave the hope of an eternity, of a heaven and of a revelation that through faith in Christ we were now a part of His family and His household. Wow, who can really phantom that? More than just making us a part of His household, we are His Children and His purpose is to work in us His nature and character and being. Suddenly we came to the understanding that this outward man is just the haul of the seed that contains perpetual life and blessing. The true and everlasting life is contained in His Spirit and in His Word. These abide forever and we are to abide forever in them. This is the manna of heaven that gives place to eternal life; it is the eternal Word in us through Christ.
No longer are our lives insignificant little pebbles of sand. Through Christ in us we become a pebble tossed into the pond of life and humanity and we realize that a Christ filled and Spirit led life can create ripples from our little splash that can effect generations to come. In Christ, our lives can make a difference and they should make a difference to those with whom we communicate and come to know.
Are we living now in the eternity of God’s Word? Is the Spirit of God impacting the lives of others as we give place for it to live through us? You are bigger, greater and more important than you know, not because of you, but because of Him who lives in you. Have a relationship with Christ that will spill over into your human contacts and acquaintances. Allow your life to impact the world you live in. Send some ripples of life and blessing through the pond of humanity. Allow Christ to make a difference through you because in the few short years that you walk the earth you have an eternal purpose and destiny in God, be faithful to fulfill it.

Blessings,
#kent

John 14:6-7 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Knowing the Father is the Expression of Jesus

This is a passage of scripture that is familiar to many of us. As the Father droped it into my spirit this morning I sensed that He was showing me that God the Father is Spirit. We so often don’t fully understand Him or comprehend His ways, but He has never revealed Himself more clearly than He did through the life of Jesus. Jesus is not only the way, the truth and the life; He is the open door to look into Father’s heart. When we observe and study the life of Jesus we see and understand that He was the open conduit of the Father’s heart and love for us. Jesus was the Father’s human expression to touch and communicate with us on the level of our understanding and comprehension. I’ll never forget an illustration I heard many years ago that related it like this. There was once a man looking through his window and observing the birds on a bitter cold, wintry, snowy day. The birds were gathered on his patio foraging through the snow for some morsel to eat. The man’s heart was moved with compassion and he thought if only I could invite them into my warm home and then feed them and warm them till the storm is past. He knew that if he tried to present himself as he was and opened the door he would only frighten the birds and they would fly away because they wouldn’t understand his heart. He thought, if only there were a way that I could become a bird and communicate to them my love and concern for them, then perhaps they wouldn’t fear me and would be able receive all that I want to provide for them. This is what the Father did through Jesus Christ, this God-man, who revealed the Father’s heart, love and intent for us. He made us to know that the Father’s heart is not condemnation and judgement, even though that is what we now live under outside of Christ because of our sin and separation from Father. We know that it is just and what we deserve in the light of His holiness, but Father’s heart is love and reconciliation back into a relationship with Him that He first had with Adam before the fall. What we have recognized in Jesus is the heart of the Father for each one of us and for His creation. What Jesus further reveals to us in John 17:20- 23 is His plan and desire was, not just for His disciples to be one with Him, but for us to be one with Father who would hear and believe their message, even as He is one with the Father. “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” What Father is wanting to express through us is what He expressed through Jesus, His heart of love and reconciliation. How can we truly know and understand the Father? By How we know and express Jesus. As He was the expression of God the Father in the earth, so He has called His believers to be also. Jesus completes His prayer in John 17:25-26 by saying, “Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.” What Jesus exemplified as one man that Father sent into the earth to reveal Himself through His Son, He now desires to do in a many membered body that functions as one man in Christ Jesus. Jesus, who is no longer the body, but the head of the body bringing us together in the unity of the Holy Spirit that has been given us that we might be corporately and individually the expressions of His love and truth. Jesus completed His course upon the earth. He gave Himself for us and for all of mankind to be the pure and holy lamb that sacrificed His life for our sins. Now He sits at the right Hand of the throne of God, ever making intercession for us that we, by His Spirit and life in us, might continue to be the expression of the way, the truth and the life. We know the Father, because we have first come to know Jesus. The more we know Him, the more we know the Father and the more we know the Father the more we can become the expression of the Father through His Spirit and life that dwells in us. To know Jesus is to know the Father, for they are one, even as we are being made one in them.

Blessings,

#kent

How Profound is His Love?

February 17, 2014

Romans 5:6-8

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


How Profound is His Love?



Meditate on this simple truth that we often so quickly read past.  Nothing you, I or anyone did or could do could provide for us what only God the Father could provide for us through the love of His Son Jesus Christ.  It speaks to a principle of God, that out of utter weakness, helplessness and depravity the power of God is revealed toward us.  Most of us know that we could never get good enough on our own to deserve God’s love and salvation.  He is not wanting us to come to Him only after we have cleaned up our lives, that is like trying to take a bath without water or soap. He is the only way that we can get clean. Faith in His blood and in the washing of the water and the Word is our cleansing.  It is by nothing we can do or earn, but by simple faith that embraces God’s Son who took our sins upon Himself, suffered the incomprehensible pain and shame that  should have been ours and then died the death of sin that we deserve.  

Who is this Jesus that He should die for me?  He was the divine expression of God’s insurmountable love for all of humanity.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).”  This is a very simple elementary truth of the Christian faith, but one we never want to loose sight of. It is the simple faith we placed in Jesus that has brought us into one body and one hope of our calling.  Nothing else exists without this foundational truth and reality.  Even the faith that we have to embrace Christ was the gift of His grace, lest any of us should boast (Ephesians 2:8).  

Do we fully understand that it is not our power that is at work here in our Christian walk and faith?  It is religion and a religious mindset that doesn’t comprehend this mystery of God and tries to establish a godliness out its own works, strength, knowledge and goodness, but God operates best out of weakness and total dependence upon Him.  Just as we couldn’t save ourselves, we can’t produce our own righteousness.  He alone is our righteousness.  It is in that daily exchange by faith of “who we were for who He is”, that we embrace that divine nature.  There is no amount of knowledge or gifting that can bring you into the likeness of the Son, only He can do that by the power of His Spirit working in you.  It doesn’t matter your status, your fame, your perception in the eyes of this world, Father knows and wants us to know that it is only His power working out of our weakness that makes us strong.  

Notice that there was an appointed time, just the right time, when we were still powerless , that Christ died for the ungodly.  There is another time, just the right time, when as 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says, “on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.”  You and I are the incubator and womb of this manchild that is growing inside the true Church.  There is a right time, the fullness of time when Christ shall be revealed in glory, within and without of His body, which we are.  

It is this simple truth that we first embraced that now grows within our womb.  This seed of life, deliverance, salvation and glory.  In your weakness He is working His strength.  Let your dependence and your hope be in none other, but Him.  He is the author and the finisher of your faith.  “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).”

 
Blessings,
kent
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