Honor the Lord

January 19, 2016

Matthew 15:8-9

“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

9They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.”

Honor the Lord

Does the honor of our lips match the integrity and obedience of our heart towards God?

Yes, God loves the honor of our lips if it is coming from a pure heart of love and worship, but if we are just going through the program, singing and saying the things that we are directed to sing and say it is in vain.  It is hypocrisy to honor God with lip service, but then live in rebellion and sin.  A consecrated life is what honors the Father.  It is one that humbles itself before Him and draws its direction and strength from Him.  It is one that willing says “Yes” to whatever Father says do.  

The honor of the lips should proceed out of the honor of the heart.  If we don’t honor Him with our lives then we are hypocrites to honor Him with our lips.  How much of our religious service to God has just been our religious tradition of service and doing our religious duty.  If that is what it is, it is vanity and emptiness.  We don’t become holy by putting on our “Sunday go to meeting clothes” and playing Church.”  The church isn’t the building, it is who we are as the body of Christ.  “No ye not that God does not dwell in temples made with hands?”  He dwells in the temple of His people; those who fear and worship Him out of a broken and contrite heart.   We can no longer just go through religious motions and expect God to move on our behalf.  He is looking for an expression of Himself and to have that we must love what He loves and hate what He hates.  So many that call themselves and identify themselves as Christians really have no revelation of what Christianity is really about.  

This is a sober word, but one I believe God speaking to awaken some of us out of sleep.  Romans 12 exhorts us to present ourselves as living sacrifices which is our reasonable service.  That speaks to a daily walk where we are set apart unto Him.  We still live and function in life, but we are always pursuing His highest and His kingdom, not the kingdom of this world.  

The true church are those who are gathered in one accord to truly bring honor to the Father out a heart filled with gratitude and praise.  True worship emanates out of our spirit that so desires to fully connect with His.   It brings worship and honor because He is truly worthy of all worship and honor.  We are not only honoring Him with our lips, but out of our lives that have become an expression of worship, because they are an expression of Him.  True church endeavors to humble itself under the direction of the Holy Spirit and allows Him the freedom to move and direct the order of our worship.  It is not about a one man show, but a body functioning in His giftings in an orderly fashion where God is honored and the body is edified; building itself up in love.  

We have so missed it by making it all about our agenda and time constraints.  That is one of the reasons we often don’t experience God in the depth and dimension we might desire.   Yes, we still need good teaching and preaching, but we need the balance of the rest of God’s gifts and offices in operation as well.  

It is no longer a time just to play church.  It is the time for us to be the Church, in and out of the church building.  Let our lips praise Him from an honest heart of gratitude and worship, as well as a life that is living after the Spirit and not after the flesh.  We are the organism of Christ’s body, not His organization. 

Blessings,

#kent

The Law of Sin and Death

August 18, 2015

Judges 21:25
In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

The Law of Sin and Death

The state that we see Israel in, in the book of Judges is the same state that we could see a lot of us as Christians in. We have the promise and the inheritance and we have the Word of God, but we haven’t embraced our King. Just as the Israelites could be God’s chosen people by name, it didn’t mean they were His people in their heart. They became apostate, doing whatever seemed good to them, while ignoring who God had called them to be. Isn’t that the way many in the Christian world have become. They have become apostate because they live and do what is right in their own eyes and justification rather than according to the will and calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I am not writing this to bring condemnation, but to make us aware of which law we are living under in this state of mind. Before Christ, we were living under the law of sin and death. It was a law of the commandments whereby sin abounded because of the weakness of the flesh to live and keep it. Under that law we stood condemned because we were lawless and law breakers. Even in our best efforts we were not able to find reconciliation and intimate relationship with Papa because our sin stood to condemn us. Because sin would ultimately rule us, God had to send judgement to correct us and bring us back to repentance. There we would cry out under our judgement and God in His mercy would send a judge to bring us back to Himself where we would remain briefly before repeating the cycle again.
Now, we have a King and His name is Jesus. He is not only the King, but the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. In His realm of authority and dominion He has called us out of the old law of sin and death, because the crucifixion of His divine life nailed that old law of condemnation to the cross. When we come to Him in faith we must recognize that is where our old selfish sinful nature and man has been identified; with Him on that cross. We also died to that former way of doing, “whatever seemed right in our own eyes.” As He raised us up by faith into His life we come under a new law, because we have entered and become citizens and partakers of a new kingdom. The laws of this kingdom don’t operate like the former one. Here there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. “In Christ” speaks to a state of being in our spirit man that is manifested through our physical being.
We find this in Romans 8. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For 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.” The key to living in this realm and kingdom is living by faith out of the law of the Spirit and no longer after the flesh. A line of demarcation has been drawn that you live under one law or the other, but you can’t live under both.
Jesus says you can’t serve two masters in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mammon is the old world order that falls under the law of sin and death.
The question then really becomes, “What law are we living under?”
Romans 8 goes on to define what it is to live in the law of the Spirit of life and what the differences are. “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9You, 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.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now 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.”
The Word doesn’t say we don’t still struggle with the inclinations toward our former sinful nature, but it has become a matter of new identity, allegiance and citizenship. If you move to the United States from a foreign country and decide to become a US citizen then you have changed your identity, allegiance and citizenship. You must renounce the old to embrace the new. If the United States is at war with your former country, who are you going to fight for and stand with? Where is your identity and allegiance? You may feel the soul ties that want to draw you back to the former feelings you had for your country and countrymen, but now you have to cut them off, because it is no longer who you are. You can no longer go between countries and have your allegiance divided or you will be considered a traitor. You can no longer live under the former laws and traditions of the old country and still be a US citizen. They don’t work in this new country. You no longer have to live under tyranny, but you can live in freedom, but freedom isn’t freedom if it brings you again under the bondage of sin. “13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. You see it is the Spirit that now indwells you that is the power in you to overcome who you used to be. As we learn to live in obedience and faithfulness to Him we are led by Him. It is living under His banner and direction that we become the sons of God.
If we are still doing whatever is right in our eyes we are missing what it is to live under the higher law. It is only under this law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that we live and abide in the life of God and we come to experience the intimacy of relationship with Him. God has given us the choice to be sons or slaves. Where is our true identity, allegiance and citizenship, in the law of sin and death or the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus? Your identity is who you are, not what you call yourself.

Blessings,
#kent

Set Your Mind on Things Above

Colossians 3:1-3
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Where do we live in our thoughts and affections? What is the nearest and dearest thing to our hearts? What do we truly worship, spend our money on, and spend our time and energy in pursuing? An honest thoughtful answer may bring to us a revelation of where we are at in relationship with our God. Can we honestly say that He is at the foremost of all of these questions? If our pursuit is truly a closer walk with God, a greater sense of His presence and an increasing revelation of who He is, then this is a key to where we can start. I have heard it said that, “we become what we worship”. What are you becoming today? In order to walk close to our God, we must abide in His presence. This is the place we find holiness, communion, and the presence of God. Christ doesn’t want to be just a part of our lives; He wants to be our life. That is why we die to natural affections, that He may live in us and through us.
In order to be accomplished at any thing you must practice it over and over again. In the process of learning and perfecting a skill you will make many mistakes and experience some setbacks. That should not discourage us, but cause us to persevere the more. The Lord wants us to apply this principle to “practicing His Presence”. It becomes that place where we are ever mindful of Him, whether consciously or subconsciously. He becomes constantly a part of our thoughts. We are constantly filtering the world and activities around us through Him and through that mind of Christ that we have put on. We are constantly in silent or verbal conversation with Him. He becomes a unified part of our daily life and breath. We are in constant heavenly communication and communion. This is abiding in Christ. This is setting your mind on things above. This is the place where we enter in beyond the veil of the outer court things and we begin to commune with our God heart to heart, mind to mind and spirit to spirit. In this place our lives have become centered on His will, His purpose, His design and plan for us. It is no longer about us; it is all about Him. Our family, friends and those in the world around us get to become the recipients of God’s grace and love working through us. They may not always respond in a positive way. Jesus said your enemies might be those of your own household. When satan throws all he has against you, the blood of Jesus covers you. You simply rest, in humility and love. Matthew 5:44 says, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” When you find yourself in this place you will know that you have left off friendship with the world and you have become a friend of God. In this place of spiritual pursuit, guard against spiritual pride that wants to enter in. It is easy to begin judging others, seeing yourself as better, more spiritual and alienate yourself due to that spiritual pride. Jesus became as one of no reputation. He became the servant that got under the lowly and lifted them up. He was always bringing up the low places while He resisted and brought down the high places of spiritual arrogance and pride. His focus was always first to God and then to men. He didn’t isolate Himself, but became the servant of all.
Think what it is to set your mind on things above. Paul states it well in Philippians 2:5-8, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Blessings
#kent

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

Christ in You

March 22, 2013

Colossians 1:25-27
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— 26the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. 27To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christ in You

There are many powerful truths that are imparted to us through the Word of God. Perhaps the greatest truth aside from knowing Christ as my personal Savior and being filled with the Holy Spirit is the truth that I am sharing with you today. When we get a revelation of what Paul calls the glorious riches of a hidden mystery then we are empowered, because now we are no longer orphans. We know who our true Daddy is and we now know our true identity. That identity is no longer associated with the weak man of the flesh that I was born of in the natural. It is identified in knowing that I am a son of God. Papa’s DNA is now in me, because Christ is in me. When I really lay hold of that and begin to live my life in the light of that truth I realize I am not my own, I am His. It is as Paul says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” That former me died back when I ask Christ into my heart and Christ entered into me to give me my new identity in Him.
Oh, how the enemy wants to rob that truth and revelation from us. If he can confuse or hide from you who you really are then he can perpetrate his lies into you about who you really aren’t. If you don’t know your identity he is more than happy to give you his. That is why so many of us live defeated, discouraged, condemned and robbed of our joy, strength and power.
Does anyone reading this ever feel so unworthy, like a failure and separated in their relationship with God. It is because you are allowing your identity to be taken from you. Your identity is not in your feelings and it is not even in your own righteousness, it is in the Righteous One who died for you. He took our sins and imparted into us His righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Romans 3:21-24 speaks to this, “But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” We have such a hard time releasing our old identity because that is exactly where the enemy wants to keep us living. In that old identity he can put us again under the law of sin and death, instead of the liberty we can find in the law of the Spirit of life that is in Christ Jesus.
Jesus speak to it this way when He is praying to the Father in John 17:20-23, “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.” Jesus places us in the same context of relationship with Him as He is in with the Father. That is a powerful insight into how He now sees you and receives you. You are no longer a foreigner, an outsider, but an heir and joint- heir with Him. We are family! Your family doesn’t love you because you’re perfect they love you because you are a part of them. When we realize that we are family, that we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone, then we can get a real revelation of the calling that is upon our lives because of who we truly are. Life is no longer about pleasing me, it is about pleasing my father because I have that Christ nature in me.
What did Jesus come to do?
John 14:31 says, “but the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” That is the mandate of a son; to do the will of the Father. We know that we don’t have that within our former self, but we do have it because of who we now are in Christ and because the nature of Christ is being formed in us.
1 John 3:1-3 affirms that identity, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.” 1 John 2:3-6 exhorts us with this, “We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. 4The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: 6Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” Because you have born again in His nature you will live in His truth. If you are struggling with this then look at where you identity is at and get it in alignment with who God says you are and what He has called you to be.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory!”

Blessings,
kent

Where my faith leads me, I will follow

1Timothy 6:10-12
10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 11But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 12Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Most of us are aware that faith is paramount and essential to our walk and relationship with God. Without faith we know that it impossible to please God, for it takes faith to believe that He is and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. We often hear teachings that instruct us that through faith we can obtain all things if we only believe. Perhaps what some of us miss is that faith doesn’t stand alone, it has other key components that work with it if is truly godliness we seek. In our scripture today we see that misdirected faith can lead us to much grief. Here we are instructed not only to pursue faith, but righteousness, godliness, love, endurance and gentleness. We may remember from Galatians 5:22-23 that all of these are attributes and fruit of the Spirit.
Our faith can take us in many directions, but are all of them the will and purpose of God in our lives? How do we know? Faith has a motive. Some of us can listen to teachings on prosperity, health and wealth and all we really hear is God wants to give me all that I want and desire. Yes, God does desire to bless you, but more than that He desires that our hearts are in the right place in the blessing. Our scripture today speaks of the love of money as the root of evil. More than many of us realize our faith can be motivated by covetousness cloaked in religious apparel. If our motivation is wrong then faith won’t lead us where we need to go and we won’t produce the fruit of the Spirit. After speaking to us of the fruit of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5 goes on in verses 24-26 to talk to us about motivation, “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.”
It is really the love of God in us that should motivate our faith. Galatians 5:6 tells us, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availed any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Often we wonder why our faith doesn’t seem to work. What is our true motive behind our faith? Love has to be the motivation for our faith to work; otherwise it can’t produce the life and works of God. James 4:3 says, “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.” What is the underlying motive of our faith today, is it really to please and walk with God or ultimately to better ourselves. Is it the love of God or the love of self that compels us? Faith can work from each one, but they will not lead us down the same road or produce the same results. To follow God you indeed need faith, but you also need the heart and love of God for your faith to operate out of. Then you will walk by the Spirit for the purpose of pleasing and honoring the Lord and not to fulfill the lust of the flesh. When we are truly walking in the unselfish love of God, then we will see our faith be more effectual and accomplishing the will and purpose of God through our lives. Our faith will lead us in the way of righteousness, godliness, love, endurance and gentleness; these, in turn will become the motivating forces in our life and our faith.

Blessings,
kent

Joy Unspeakable

November 19, 2012

1 Peter 1:3-9
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Joy Unspeakable

Isn’t it amazingly awesome that this Truth, Jesus, that we possess, through faith, can bring such continual and inexpressible joy in your hearts, in spite of your circumstances? You know what protects and shelters that inexpressible joy? Our faith.
What God has promised and has given us is shielded through faith until it is fully revealed and made manifest. That is not dependent upon our lifetime or life lived upon the earth. We are eternally secure through faith and all that we are promised is secure as well.
This is why we can rejoice, even in the midst of all of our trials and tribulations upon the earth. These only come to enhance and intensify the flavor and aroma of our faith. While the enemy would use them to destroy us, as we trust in Jesus, we wax stronger. Our faith is strengthened as in our weakness we find His strength. In our losses, He is our greater provision. In our suffering He remains our hope and comfort.
Jesus is our joy unspeakable. Though we haven’t seen Him, yet, we so intensely and fervently love Him, because we know Him after the Spirit and not after the flesh. That faith fans the flames of our relationship and bond with Him. Our faith brings us through the fires of our trials and tribulations. It is proved genuine and refined by the fires it has passed through. Instead of discouragement and defeat we continue to stand, abounding in the joy of the Lord. Because we believe and because we can experience the power of the inner relationship we have, we are comforted and find our assurance.
Circumstances do not dictate our relationship with God. God is still the Lord of our circumstances, no matter how grim they may be. We don’t look at the doom and gloom of the world around us and get caught up in its terror, because we know the One who has written history and the future. He is the same One that is the author and the finisher of our faith. So today we will be encouraged! We will be exceedingly joyful, because our God reigns in the heavens, in the earth and most importantly to us, in our hearts!
If we are enduring trials and tribulations today, may those pains and pressures only drive us to worship and praise God more intensely. May they drive us deeper and more intimately into Him, who is that hiding place of our safety and our victory. The trials and tribulation of this life should only embed us deeper into our Papa. There that shield of faith and confidence in Him shields us from the enemies’ darts and arrows. Papa covers us with the shadow of His wing, for He is our refuge and our fortress.
Let not doubt and fear overtake you. Remember your God, all of His mighty works and all of His unspeakable benefits. We are His children. What can man do to us, but drive us deeper into His presence? Let us remember and praise Him with unspeakable and resounding joy. Our God is the salvation of our souls and the Redeemer of all who call upon His name. Blessed be the Name of the Lord!!!

Blessings,
kent

%d bloggers like this: