The Secret of the Kingdom

November 7, 2014

Mark 4:10-12
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that, “‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’”

The Secret of the Kingdom

Jesus spoke to the multitudes in parables which were stories of word pictures that carried within them kingdom truth. Now to many in the multitude they either didn’t understand or they may have just caught the natural understanding of what was being said. What Jesus was telling His disciples is that these parables carry kingdom mysteries and truths that are meant to be revealed by the Holy Spirit to true believers and followers of Christ. As we come to an understanding and revelation of kingdom truth it is to teach us how to live out of that truth and not what we see in the world. The blind follow the blind, but those who have spiritual eyes to see and spiritual ears to hear, pursue the truth that the Spirit wants to reveal and not just what their natural mind perceives.
What I believe Jesus was saying is that a lot of what He was sharing wouldn’t make a lot of sense or have a lot of meaning unless you have a real heart for the kingdom and the truth that is contained in these parables. A lot of us, through personal revelation or the teaching, we have heard through the years have some grasp of the these kingdom truths that Jesus spoke. What He spoke for His people to really hear was how to change your paradigm and thinking from the worldly culture you have grown up in to the heavenly culture of the kingdom. The secrets of the kingdom are keys for transformation from what we have been, into what we have been called to be. Many of us hear, but don’t put into practice what Christ taught. They just remain noble ideas, but they fail to transform our culture and paradigm because we haven’t become kingdom minded.
Jesus expresses it well in His parable in Matthew 7:24-27, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Kingdom building in our lives establishes Jesus Christ as the foundational rock upon which all of our life values, principles and cultures are built. Many will sit in church or hear the messages of the kingdom and give mental ascent, but fail to put into practice these truths. What Jesus is saying is, ‘it is not what you hear and agree with as being truth that makes you wise, it what you begin to apply and walk in that builds the kingdom in you. God’s kingdom can not be moved, but every pretense of it will be washed away. That is the foundation of sand. Sand is believing something in your heart, but never acting upon it to cement it into your life. This is where many “so called” Christians are deceived. They acknowledged the reality and truth of Christ, but denied the power of its life changing ability within them, by only coming and hearing, but not putting it into practice.
The secret of the kingdom is stepping into what you know with the grace, the power and direction of the Holy Spirit. Christ in you is not just in word, but it is in power, love and a faithful walking into kingdom truth.

Blessings,
#kent

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Parables of the Kingdom

August 7, 2013

Parables of the Kingdom

Matthew 13:44-52
44″The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
45″Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
47″Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. 48When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away. 49This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous 50and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
51″Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked.
“Yes,” they replied.
52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”

Jesus has given us some parables here in Matthew to help us grasp a spiritual understanding of the kingdom of heaven. It is much like you having discovered a large reservoir of oil beneath your property. You grasp the potential wealth of what you are sitting on, but until the oil can be brought to the surface it has no practical and realized value or worth to you. Aren’t our lives the same way? We have discovered the great truth and wealth we have of Christ in us, our hope of glory, but as long as He stays locked up in our spirit, our property, remains pretty much unchanged. So what will we do? Now having this knowledge of the great treasure possessed beneath the surface, we will make it our primary pursuit and investment in gleaning the treasure we know is there. We will make what ever sacrifices are necessary of what we now possess outwardly so that we might tap into the rich resources that are hidden in our earth. 2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” There is treasure in these here vessels of clay and we need to mine it out. We are drilling for the nature, the power and the life of Christ, and we don’t want to spare any expense or fail to make any sacrifice necessary to lay hold of it. What is more is that as we are in pursuit of the riches within, we want to share the good news with others around us. We want them to know that they also can have this treasure, but we find that many are far too self-absorbed to hear us or lay hold of the truth that we are sharing with them. Paul says in verses 4-6, “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” We have been blessed with the revelation of the riches we have within, now it is about laying hold of them till they become resident and manifest in our daily lives. In laying hold of these riches there are other things that we value in life that we will have to let go of. We have to decide where our treasure really is and what we are willing to give up to lay hold of it. If we choose the riches and what is valuable to us in this life then we will lose our grip on the eternal life and fail to realize the riches that we held. On the other hand when we are willing to forsake all else and spend all our resources to lay hold of this treasure within, then we will lay hold of riches that so far exceed those we could ever know in this world.
In another parable Jesus gives here of the net drawing in a great catch of fish we see that the kingdom of heaven is currently made up of a mixture of both good and bad. We see it in the realm of Christianity. It is a mixture of flesh and Spirit. We also see that in God’s time there will be a purification and casting out of all that is bad or that defiles. This same analogy could apply to our individual lives as well. We may often become disgusted with all of the flesh and ungodliness we see in the body of Christ, but we don’t have to look any further than ourselves to see where it comes from. We are like that net of fish, full of a mixture of good and bad. Surely, I am not the only one that becomes so discouraged with myself; with how far I miss the mark and fail to walk after the Spirit in so many aspects of my life. We are a mixed bag that the Holy Spirit is trying to help us sort out as we look and fully lean upon Him. Most any valuable thing in its natural state is impure. That is why God is processing us, to bring out the riches of His pure nature and love. Sometimes it is like going through hell with fire and gnashing of teeth as we deal with these areas of impurity and iniquity in our lives.
In Matthew 13:52 Jesus says something rather interesting, “52He said to them, “Therefore every teacher of the law who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.”” It is like, the more the Holy Spirit instructs us in our lives through knowledge and experience in godliness, the more we understand and know of its ways. As we grow in understanding and experience we share that with others who are likewise seeking to know Christ in a deeper and more meaningful way. We all have rich experiences of how the Lord has dealt in our lives and how He has taught us. As we share these with others it is mixture of not just past experiences and knowledge, but also of fresh revelation and insight into areas of our lives. Our lives should be a combination of new treasures and old. It is like building a house, you are continually building upon the former with new material. God’s Word never changes and yet it is always fresh as He unveils new truth, insight and revelation in it.
What kingdom truths is the Lord opening up in your understanding and what are we doing to lay hold and see the reality of these truths come to pass in our lives? He is our resource, our provision and our salvation, but we have to let go of the world with that other hand. It is going to take both of our hands holding fast to His so that He can pull us up into Him.

Blessings,
kent

Oracles of Soberness

March 8, 2013

Oracles of Soberness

Luke 19:26-27
“He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. 27But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and kill them in front of me.”

The Son came to seek and save that which was lost, but many that were lost would not be found. Their rejection was their rebellion and their rebellion was their loss. Unto the faithful is more given and unto the faithless; even that which he was given will be taken away and given to another.

Fear of the Lord is the mark of wisdom, but a foolish man rails against his master. The foolish man exalts himself to be more than he ought, but the wise man humbles himself to be less than he is.

All will answer to the King, whether they accepted his dominion and lordship or not. All of us must answer for what we were given and what we have done with it. The faithful will be exalted, but the faithless will be cast out. The Lord is no respecter of persons, but He deserves and is worthy of everyone’s respect.

The God of Love is also a just and exacting God. In the spiritual realm, there are only two kingdoms. One is the kingdom of darkness and one is the kingdom of light. There is no kingdom of middle gray and compromise. The grays are an extension of darkness masquerading as light, but their deceitfulness draws men into darkness. The Lord does not compromise His own and His own cannot compromise His light with darkness.

Not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter into the kingdom, but those that do the will of the Father. Our love for God is marked in our obedience and not in our words. Words can be deceitful and our appearances can be vain, but a heart that is given to Christ will bear the marks of His handiwork. It cannot go on unchanged, but each one must give account for the grace that was given. It is not given for a man to earn his salvation, but to work it out with fear and trembling. The garments of righteousness have been given, but it is up to each one whom receives them to put them on and wear them in faithfulness. There are no other garments acceptable before the Father than those that have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.

As in the times before many that accept God in word, reject Him in heart. “The heart [is] deceitful above all [things], and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jeremiah 17:9)” “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)” Humble yourself before the Lord, examine your heart before Him and set your life to honor Him.

Blessings,
kent

Matthew 14:34-36
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. 35And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to him 36and begged him to let the sick just touch the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.

Progressing in Faith and Power


At the name and presence of Jesus the multitudes would gather and the sick were brought.  Jesus was like no other.  He was a “God sent” that wasn’t just words, but love, power and demonstration of God Himself.  Many didn’t fully comprehend who this Jesus was, but they certainly wanted to receive what He had to give.  He could do what no man could do and could speak such marvelous things that was different from the dry manna that was presented at the temple.  This man was able to make it come alive with stories and parables that they could relate too.  He didn’t come speaking down to them, but speaking into them the love and calling of God upon their  lives.
Jesus hadn’t always manifested who He was in such a manner.  It wasn’t always evident to so many that He was the extraordinary man that He was.  While, He may not have always demonstrated the power and the outward miracles, my guess is that He was always willing to talk to those who were interested about His Father.
We as believers carry that same Spirit that Jesus carried.  It is His Spirit that abides within us.  While the fullness of our time may yet to be seen; it doesn’t lessen the potential  of who you are and what you carry inside of you.  We all carry Christ within us, but because we are His body we carry different stronger expressions of Him in one area or another.  We are being instructed by the Spirit how to unify and fitly join together those strengths of expression that we may more fully operate as the body of  Christ.  We will move in the fullness of His time, but we must always move by faith.  As faith increases so will the manifestation of that faith.
We see these people coming to Jesus having no problem believing Jesus for healing for their bodies.  Yet, Peter in the previous passage waivers while walking on the water, but he is stepping into areas of faith that he had not yet experienced.  As we grow in Christ we must continue to step up our faith as well as step out in faith, not looking to our ability or spirituality, but to His Spirit within us to bring us into that greater revelation and release of His power.  That power has to flow out of His love that is the expression of the Father through us.  He is training us.  We are learning.  Don’t be discouraged, but ever pressing in; not allowing the “What ifs” to over take us.  We don’t do the miracles, we are simply the messenger and carriers of them.  We simply follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and do as He directs.  He is the one that then brings about a supernatural change in the events of man.  Our responsibility is simply faith working through obedience.  In John 5: 19, “Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”  In the same way, we don’t move out of ourselves in demonstration Father’s power and love, we follow and obey the Spirit.  That is why it is so important that we spend the time building a relationship where we readily hear and recognize the Spirit’s voice.  What ever He says do, do it without trying to second guess or doubting.  When the Spirit is in it, it will happen in His time and His way.
Keep trusting. listening and stepping out.   Holy Spirit is growing us up into Him.

Blessings,
kent

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