The “Be” Attitudes

June 3, 2015

Matthew 5:1-11
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3″Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11″Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The “Be” Attitudes

” Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Why would I want to be poor in spirit? When I become rich in my own eyes I become prideful. I am no longer in a place of need, a place of seeking, openness, wanting and searching. Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalms 34:18 says, “The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” The poor in spirit is a condition of heart that is receptive and desiring of the richness of God’s presence and will in their lives.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Mourning is a yearning, hurting and grieving of all that is not conformed to the will and the purpose of the Father. It is the state of a repentant and contrite heart. It is always crying out for Abba Father. It is always travailing until Christ be formed and brought to birth in fullness. It is the mourning of the death that still operates through sin and all that is in our lives that is less than Him.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
The meek shall inherit the earth, because their strength is not outward, it is inward. It is the strength of Christ under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is a strength that is not flaunted or boasted of. It is a strength that is, because He is. It gives place to others, it submits to authority, it exalts others above itself and it gives honor where honor is due. It is often not recognized as strength by natural standards, but is the greatest strength by divine standards.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” we do not pray for mere physical substance. We are praying for Christ to fill us, for He is the bread of life and we must partake of His flesh and His blood daily if we are to have His Spirit life living and operating through us. Jesus told His disciples in John 4:34, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.” That needs to become our place of hunger and the fulfillment of that hunger is operating in the will and purpose of the Father. Those who hunger and thirst for this righteousness will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Mercy is the heart of God. James 2:12 exhorts us, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” Romans 2:1-4 reminds us, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” If you desire mercy, show yourself merciful, forgiving others as God through Christ gave mercy unto you.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
What makes us pure in heart but the cleansing blood of Jesus? As all sinful and impure motives are cleansed away our lives should have no motive or agenda other than the receiving and the expression of His life in us. His love is pure and when it fully captures our hearts it makes all things pure in us. 1 Peter 1:22 says, “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.” In His love and purity we see Him.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
Peacemakers are a restoration people. They restore breached and broken walls and relationships. They bring reconciliation where division has been present. They help restore man back into a right relationship with his God and Savior. The sons of God reconcile a lost creation back to its God. They walk by the Spirit to accomplish the work of the Spirit.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Those who suffer for righteousness sake see a glory and hope beyond this natural man. The natural man will not suffer long for that which is spiritually discerned, but the spiritual man who knows the hope that is before him is willing to pay the ultimate price even as Christ paid it for him. Romans 8:17-18 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Jesus says in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” In the world we will have suffering and tribulation, but nothing can separate us from the love of God and we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. No matter what the cost our life is His

These “be” attitudes are the make-up of kingdom people who have the vision of a spiritual kingdom and walk. They won’t make sense to the natural world, because they are not the attributes of the natural, but of the spiritual man. These are the foundation stones upon which we must live and build our daily lives as we are being transformed into His image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Let these attitudes so be in us as they were exemplified in Christ.

Blessings,
#kent

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The House of God

June 2, 2015

The House of God

Ephesians 2:19-22
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

The house of God, as most of us know, is not a structure of wood and stone. It is not a religion or an organization, but it is a living organism structured, designed, and formed by the Spirit of God for His Holy Habitation. It is like a house within a house. You and I are individually the temples and dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, but at the same time we are being formed corporately into the temple and dwelling of the Most High.
What comes to mind is a honeycomb of fitted individual cells all joined together into a hive. It is there that you find the honey, the anointing, the sweet out-flowing of the Holy One. All of its members work in one accord and unto one end, to perpetuate the life of that hive. Each member has their own functions and abilities and as each one is faithful to function in their gifting and calling, the hive will prosper.
Before we knew Christ we had no real home, no real purpose and we were strangers to God. It was His grace that led us unto repentance and salvation that He might join us unto His own where we now have purpose and true meaning in our lives.
It says we have been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets. These were the stones through which God’s Word came forth and established what we now read as our Bible. They gave the tenants and blueprints of God’s design so that we could continue to be built with continuity from generation to generation, not wavering from the original design and purpose of our Master Architect and Builder, who is Himself the chief cornerstone, the primary support and anchor of God’s temple as well as the capstone and crown of glory that completes and finishes it.
Ephesians 4:11-16 says, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” From this scripture has come the terminology of what we call the five fold ministry. A brother shared with us a good analogy the other day as we were having fellowship. He said he saw the five fold ministry much like the forms in construction that are assembled with reinforcements placed within them and then filled with concrete. The forms are not the actual structure or building, but are there to give shape, dimension, and form to the structure, but once the concrete has set up and taken the shape it was designed for the forms are stripped away. The fivefold ministry is not an end in itself, but they are the materials and tools to build the house into God’s design. The end purpose is to have a unified structure that is an organism that functions in the fullness of Christ, whose head is Christ. Each member works together with the other and no one member works for their own good, but for the good of the whole. Much of our mindset today is “what’s in it for me.” In the true body of Christ, me doesn’t exist, it is all about Him. That is the house of God.

Blessings,
#kent

Jeremiah4:8-9
So put on sackcloth, lament and wail, for the fierce anger of the LORD has not turned away from us.
9 “In that day,” declares the LORD, “the king and the officials will lose heart, the priests will be horrified, and the prophets will be appalled.”

Word of the Lord to Press In!

Press in! Press in! Press in!
You are being taken from faith to faith and from glory to glory, but this is not through the mountaintop, it is through the valley. It is not through the blessings, but through the fire. It is not in life to self, but it is through the death of the cross.
My people that are called by my name repent in your sackcloth and ashes. Come and wail before the altar, for the skies grow dark and the storm is brewing in the heavens that will come to pass upon the earth. It is not a day for taking your ease as you have in the past, but a day for pressing in. Your time is short before you will face true adversity and trial, as you have not yet known. You will need all of your faith and you will need your relationship with Me to take you through. Your safety and well being is in none other than Me. I alone will see you through says the Lord. I alone will order your step in the way of safety. My people know my voice, but how can they know it if they have not been intimately with me and walked with me that they may discern and know?
Season the pan as you season your hearts. Put within your heart my words seasoned with faith and faithfulness. Many will cry out in that day, because they do not know their God. Many will forsake their faith for a seemingly easier and better way, but it is a way of destruction and death. In that way they will not only lose their lives, but their souls. Cleave to Me, You who are my own. Come under the shadow of My wing, for there you will find your shelter and that which will preserve you in the coming days.
You are as raisins in the sun. To the world you look dried up and of no value or substance. The world is looking to the sweet grapes of the vine. They glean them, but they perish in a day for they have not stood the test, nor been dried in the sun, having been seasoned and tested. Drink of the new wine of My covenant that you may live and not die, for my remnant will hear my voice and know the way. My ways are not for the casual traveler, but for those who will press into Me in this hour. Your provision and your salvation are not in this world, but they are in your God,
Former things are passing away and a new day is pressing upon you. It is the day of the Lord. It is a day of reckoning and anguish for the world, but great is the salvation that will be revealed through My people that are walking in Me. I have prepared you for such a time as this, so do not be complacent, but press in!

Blessings,
#kent

Matthew 5:17-20
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

The Law: To Abolish or Fulfill

Often times many us think of the Old Testament as being a former dispensation of God that applied to the Jewish people, gave the Law, the history, the Psalms, Proverbs and a lot of good stories. Many might think that because we are a New Testament people that the Old Testament doesn’t have real application and promise to us. After all we are no longer under the Law. While there is truth to this we might be overlooking what Jesus is saying here. Jesus declares that His mission and purpose isn’t to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them. The Old Testament and the Law provided the foundation and groundwork for the fulfillment of that Law through Christ. What has changed for us is that it is no longer the works of the Law that we are trying to keep through the efforts of the flesh, but it is the Spirit of that Law now written upon the tablets of our heart. The nature of God has not changed or His Laws, but He has taken them from the outward to the inward through the power of the Holy Spirit and His nature that now resides in us. Romans 8:3-4 tells us, “For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” Christ fulfilled what we could not in that He fulfilled all of the requirements of the Law, but more than that, He became the sin offering to take upon Himself all of the penalty of sin for us. His faith in us embraces and appropriates that finished work of Christ that fulfilled the Law. It is that faith in His finished work that is now reckoned unto us for righteousness. The Law is fulfilled in us only through Christ. As we now live in Christ it is His nature within us that fulfills and keeps the Law. As we walk by the Spirit we no longer fulfill the lusts of our flesh. Romans 8:10-11 declares this truth by saying, “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” In Christ, in this New Testament man, we do not abolish the Old, but we become the fulfillment of it. We have the power, authority and life of Christ to walk into what the Old Testament saints dreamed about. They were our examples and mentors to help us walk into a greater dimension of faith and faithfulness to the Lord. We walk into it by the power of Christ in us and the identification that we have died to the weakness of the Law, which is our sinful flesh. We have the Holy Spirit living in us. We have the finished work of Christ behind us. We have a commission of Christ to bring Him into our entire world. The Law and the Prophets live on. They along with the apostles have become the foundation of our faith. What is it that God is building? Ephesians 2:19-22 declares, “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, 20built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.” We are God’s lively stones built upon this foundation to be the holy temple of the Lord. This is that place where God chooses to make His abode. Christ didn’t come to abolish the Law and the Prophets, but to fulfill them and we a part of that fulfillment as we abide in Christ Jesus.

Blessings,
#kent

The Refiner’s Fire

November 5, 2014

Hosea 6:1-7
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. 2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. 3 Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”
4 “What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears. 5 Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets, I killed you with the words of my mouth; my judgments flashed like lightning upon you. 6 For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings. 7 Like Adam, they have broken the covenant— they were unfaithful to me there.
The Refiner’s Fire
Today is the day of preparation of the people of God. There is judgement, sifting, exposure and revealing of the inner thoughts and the intents of our hearts. He is sifting out our flesh, the religious junk that has a profession of godliness, but is full of defilement and hypocrisy. God is judging His house, not out of anger, but out of love. If He has torn us apart, it is so that He might heal us. If He has injured us it is so that He may bind up our wounds. For whom the Lord loves He chastens. He disciplines us for our own good that we may share in His glory (Hebrews 12). A prerequisite for glory is most often suffering. Romans 8:17 tells us, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.” Suffering is like the antiseptic that boils out and disinfects the wounded areas of our lives that have become contaminated with the bacteria of the world. It is what brings our focus upon the healer and the restorer of our souls. Is it pleasant? No, but it brings about an inward working of righteousness, because our dependencies and focus are no longer upon ourselves, but upon the Lord in the midst of our need.
Using the principle from 2 Peter 3:8, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” we can see a truth unfolded. In verse 2 of Hosea 6 it says, “After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence.” The last two thousand years the Church has grown and functioned actively in the earth, but our sights have not been on the joy of our everyday struggles, but upon the coming day of the Lord. Chronologically we have entered into that third day. It is as Jesus was in the earth for two days, but on the third day He was restored and resurrected. This is the day of our restoration and resurrection that we may live in His presence. The Lord also says Ephesians 5:27 that there is a quality that He is looking for in His bride. “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” I don’t know that any of us would argue that the Church has been without spot or wrinkle in physical appearance. The Lord see us pure and spotless through the blood of Jesus, but the in-working of that righteousness is like it was for Jesus, “through the things we suffer.” Through that process He is bringing us through the fire and into the blessing. “Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.” We still hold fast to the promise of His presence.
Today I believe we stand in the place of John the Baptist declaring the kingdom of God, giving a call to repentance and saying “Make straight the way of the Lord.” It is as Malicai 3:1-5 declares, “”See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.
2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
5 “So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.”
The Lord is preparing a royal priesthood, no longer offering up the blood of goats and bullocks, but the offering of righteousness. It will no longer be the sacrifices of works and religion, but it will be the mercy, love and compassion of the Lord. The imprint of the name of Jesus will be upon us and the fragrance of His nature will emanate from us.
Endure the time of hardship and suffering. Allow it to have its perfect work in you that you may be transformed and purified by its fire. For you are being brought forth as pure gold and refined silver. There shall be no more dross in you.

Blessings,
#kent

Acts 14: 1-3
At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed. 2But the Jews who refused to believe stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brothers. 3So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.

That Which Fills You, Spills Out of You

God hasn’t commissioned all of us to be apostles and prophets, be we all do have a mandate to share the Lord. While most of us will agree upon the commission that was given to the believers in Mark 16:15, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature”, many of us don’t feel qualified or comfortable sharing the Lord with others. How is it God would have us to share Him when preaching and teaching may be so far from who we are? What does this word preach mean? The word “preach” in the Greek here is kēryssō. It means, “to be a herald, to officiate as a herald, to proclaim after the manner of a herald, always with the suggestion of formality, gravity and an authority, which must be listened to and obeyed. To publish, proclaim openly: something which has been done.”
A herald is a messenger making a public proclamation. Some of us may say, I don’t feel comfortable or knowledgeable about talking about the Lord. That is something we need to work on getting over. The best witness is the one who is filled with the Spirit of God. Why are they filled with the Spirit of God? Most likely they are filled because they spend a good deal of time in His presence. They feed upon the Word, they are worshippers who spend time in His presence and they are intercessors who stand in the gap for others.
Why is it we don’t have any trouble talking sports, TV programs or who has the best bargains? We easily talk and converse about the subjects that we are most saturated in. If we are to more easily converse and share the message of the Lord of glory with others what is going to give us the comfort, the gravity and the authority to share that message more than saturating ourselves in Him?
The Word says, ‘that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.’ What are we filling our mind and heart with? If it is the things of God, then it should be spiritual things that flow freely from our conversations. We should easily acknowledge God’s working in our lives even in normal conversation. Even when we are not speaking verbally we are communicating non-verbally with our actions and attitudes. Paul declares in 2 Corinthians 3:2-3, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. 3You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
Some have taken this commission to preach the gospel of the kingdom as being ‘in your face’, dogmatic, judgmental and often rude. That attitude probably drives more people away from Christ than it ever draws to Him. All we need do is look at our example Jesus, to see the kingdom of God operating out of Him with love and humility, and yet with authority and confidence.
If we would be the epistles of Christ, read of all men, then what are our life and our words communicating to the world around us? That, which fills you up, will spill over in all you do and say.

Blessings,
kent

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