Forsaking Your own Mercy

September 10, 2021

Matthew 18:21-35

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23″Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talentswas brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. 26″The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

28″But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

29″His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

30″But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32″Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35″This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Forsaking Your own Mercy

               Today I felt the Lord speak this scripture into my heart, because still there are those that are holding on to grudges, hurts and offences that they are unwilling to forgive and release.  The Word speaks to us on more than one occasion to release forgiveness and forgive the debts, sins, offences and wounds we have received of others even as He has forgiven us.  In this parable obviously the Father is the master.  We have all been the wicked servants that owed a debt that we could not pay.  We could never, of ourselves, live up to the standard of righteousness that God has placed before us.  We all know in our hearts the times that we have disobeyed and offended the Lord are far too numerous to even count. Yet, when we fell before Him and asked His forgiveness, He forgave our debts and all of our sins in Christ Jesus who paid the penalty for all of them.  The Lord simply commands us, not requests us, to forgive others as He has forgiven us.  In comparison to what we owe the Father, what someone else has done to us is relatively small. 

               I believe God knows that sometimes it takes time to work things out where we can fully release our unforgiveness toward someone who has offended or hurt us deeply.  Bring those hurts, debts and the offences of others before the Lord in prayer.  Begin to pray for that person and ask the Lord to bring you to that place of full forgiveness and release. 

               What the Lord was impressing upon me this morning is that when we fail or refuse to forgive another we are negating and preventing God’s forgiveness for us.  In as much as we hold that grudge of unforgiveness to make them pay for their sins, we will in turn be held accountable and payable for our own sins.  The Lord gave us the example of forgiveness in Christ, so that we would, in turn, exercise it toward others. 

               We will all experience, hurts, disappointments, offences and wrongs at the hands of other people in our lives, but what are we going to do with them?  What does Jesus say in Matthew 5:21-25, “”You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brotherwill be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca, is answerable to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell. 23″Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift. 25″Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still with him on the way, or he may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26I tell you the truth, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny. Do not forsake your own mercy.  Settle your accounts and get things right with others.  We may not only need to forgive, but we may need to ask for another’s forgiveness for where we have wronged them.  Many of us have experienced the turmoil in our souls for far too long.  Release the forgiveness that only you can give, seek forgiveness for your wrongs and you will again find peace and know that the Father also has forgiven you. 

               Life is too short and too precious for us to waste it on hate or unforgiveness.  The love of God cannot thrive in this environment or attitude of heart, so make your peace with others and you will find your peace with Him.

Blessings,

#kent

Slipping in the Mud Puddle

               We mentioned before that our feet determine and speak of that way in which we walk.  How is our walk with Christ today? Are we walking on solid rock or are we going through the slippery places.  Sometimes with our walk in Christ our feet take us and land us where we would not choose to go in the natural.  There are times we get in those places where we get bogged down in the miry clay of life and the world around us.  We know we are not where we want to be or where we should be, but our feet are stuck.  We can’t seem to move out of that place.  We are like in a pit and can’t get out; we keep slipping back in.  David experienced that place.  He shares in Psalms 40:1-4, “I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. 4 Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods.”  No matter what you are going through.  No matter how defeated or discouraged with yourself or others that you have become, keep your heart and eyes on Jesus.  You may have strongholds in your life that are keeping you in sin and you can’t seem to get free.  You may hate yourself for who you are, what you have done or what you are doing.  God hasn’t forsaken you.  He sees your heart.  He sees your need and He knows your weakness.  He can lift you up out of that pit if you are willing and desiring to walk in the paths of righteousness.  Humble yourself and seek Him.  Seek out the help you need and that which He has provided for you in His body through the gifting He has given to those who can help you get free and deliver you out of your slippery pit.  Don’t let condemnation and the accuser rob you of the deliverance that God has for you.  He is greater than your weakness and He can restore your feet to the paths of righteousness. 

               Again, in Psalms, David speaks of a time when his feet almost slipped.  As he beheld the wicked, it seemed that they prospered and got fat and nothing bad ever seemed to happen to them.  Have we ever coveted the world?  Here we are struggling and going through trials and tribulations and those living in the world seem to be the ones that really have the good life.  In Psalm 73 David speaks of the way that his feet were taking him, as his heart was drawn to this seeming paradox.  “But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.  5 They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human ills. 6 Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with violence. 7 From their callous hearts comes iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds know no limits. 8 They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten oppression. 9 Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the earth. 10 Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance. 11 They say, “How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?” 12 This is what the wicked are like— always carefree, they increase in wealth. 13 Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning. 15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed your children. 16 When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me 17 till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny. 18 Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin. 19 How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!”  While the walk of the godly man or woman is difficult and often filled with hardship, God is simply preparing you for an inheritance that is so much greater than all of the riches of the world and the prosperity of the wicked.  Their eternal end is bitterness, anguish and suffering; yours is an eternal inheritance with riches stored up in heaven beyond what your mind can imagine.  As Jesus says in John 6:27, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

               The world and all of it ways can begin to look pretty good to us, but we must maintain our vision that we are strangers and so-journers in the land till the Lord comes to reign in righteousness upon the earth.  Isaiah 26: 1-8 says it like this, “In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah:

We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. 2 Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. 3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. 4 Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. 5 He humbles those who dwell on high, he lays the lofty city low; he levels it to the ground

and casts it down to the dust. 6 Feet trample it down— the feet of the oppressed, the footsteps of the poor. 7 The path of the righteous is level; O upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth. 8 Yes, LORD, walking in the way of your laws, we wait for you; your name and renown are the desire of our hearts.”  This is how the Lord encourages His people to be steadfast and abounding in a walk where our feet abide and continue in a righteous walk.  While it is a walk of humility it will open up into place of authority and dominion.  He tells His people in Isaiah 49:23, “Kings will be your foster fathers,

and their queens your nursing mothers. They will bow down before you with their faces to the ground; they will lick the dust at your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.” Again, in Isaiah 60:14 it says, “The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel.”  So, why would we want to envy the wicked or the high places of this earth?  Your position, your authority and your dominion in Christ is so much higher and so much greater than the best that the earth can offer.  Keep your feet steadfast in His ways.

Blessings,

#kent

Isaiah 61:1

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me because the LORD has anointed me

 to preach good news to the poor.

 He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives

 and release from darkness for the prisoners,

Ministry of Reconciliation and Restoration

                The greatest gospel we can preach doesn’t come out of theological words and sermons, it comes out of our hearts and our actions.  The greatest revelation any of us can get is that God really cares about and loves me.  He cares about my hurts, my fears, my weaknesses and the bondage that I live in.  When I know that He really loves me and accepts me, in spite of my sin, my failure and the mess I am, then I have hope.  Isn’t it strange that the anointing of the Lord didn’t come upon Christ and those who walk His ministry to preach to the religious, the rich and famous or to those who think they have it all together.  It is only when you come to the revelation of who you are and what you are without Christ that you are truly open to your need for Him.  Often in this state we are the most needy and unlovely of people.  We are the ones that others shun and reject, but the world’s rejection is God’s treasure.  From these “are nots”  God will bring to pass the things that are.  Through the rejects, the misfits, the brokenhearted and the meek of the earth will God come to rule and reign. 

                Do you want to preach the gospel of the good news, but you’re not an ordained preacher, or minister or anyone really recognized by the church.  Father wants to ordain you with the gospel of His good news.  He wants you to go out into the byways and the highways of your community and city.  He wants you to bring the love of God to the street level; to love on those that no one else cares about or is attracted too. 

                A word of warning.  You won’t be able to minister there with just your love.  Your love isn’t enough for this high calling in the lowest places.  You need an Isaiah 61 anointing of His love and grace that can flow through you; that can look past the filth, the sin, the stench and the vileness of humanity.  It has to be the eyes of Jesus that sees straight into the heart; who doesn’t regard the fault, but sees the need.  There is where you minister the love, the forgiveness and the mercy of Jesus.  There you preach the good news of the gospel.  There you will find your anointing and your ordination. 

                God is speaking this word to someone today and that someone may be you.  No, it is not a ministry of honor or glory.  Often times, it won’t even be appreciated or accepted, but it is a high calling in the Father’s eyes and He highly regards with His favor those who are willing to give up themselves to move into this place.  If you have a calling to a ministry here is the place to start.  When you can effectively minister with the love, reconciliation and the restoration of the Father in these places, then He knows your faithfulness to be used anywhere.  The Lord has been speaking to someone’s heart and this word is confirmation of His calling upon your life.  If you respond in obedience He will give you the grace to do what you have been called to do. 

Blessings,

#kent

Forgiveness

December 16, 2020

Forgiveness

Ephesians 1:7-10

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, 9 having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him.

                Forgiveness is a word that we use a lot and often fail to really consider the depth of what it implies and what it accomplishes.  Forgiveness is a necessary ingredient before any true restoration and reconciliation can take place in a relationship where an offence has occurred on the part of one or both parties.  Where an offence remains not forgiven, it may be pushed down or ignored by the offended one, but when forgiveness is not released it is like getting a splinter under the skin.  Even a small splinter that is not released will begin to fester and be a constant source of agitation until it is removed. 

                God, in His great wisdom, saw all the offences we committed toward Him as human beings.   While we might have good intentions, we have come to realize that God’s standards of holiness and righteousness are not obtainable in our fallen state and so we are a constant source of offense to Him.  We have come to realize that under God’s mandate and law we are all destined for judgement and the eternal consequences for our sins.  This was not God’s plan.  His plan was to provide for us forgiveness.  Through the sacrifice and the shedding of the blood of His perfect Son, He could extend release and pardon to us for our offences and sin.  God’s heart is to reconcile, redeem and restore His creation back to Himself and He paid the ultimate price to do so.  We all know what we deserve, but the mercy and grace of God said, “no”.  He has extended to us the olive branch of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation through the blood of His own precious Son.  God, in Christ, has done all the hard part for us and all we have to do is extend the hands of faith and receive this great and precious gift of forgiveness and pardon. 

                Imagine that you have murdered someone in the heat of passion and you have been tried, found guilty and sentenced to death.  Nothing you can do can undo the consequences of your sin.  Then one day the son of the president comes to you and says, “You know that you have committed a crime and the debt and punishment for that crime has to be paid.  I am here to take your place, pay for the crime and let you go free.  It will be just as if you had never committed that crime.  It will be erased from your record.”  If you accept this exchange then the doors to the prison open and you are free to go.  As if that were not great enough, the president’s son tells you that now that you are free he wants you to assume the position of the president’s son with all of its rights, powers and privileges.  Wouldn’t we be a fool not to accept such an offer?  Obviously, in turn we would owe the president and his son our lives for that exchange.  Obviously, what he is offering is far better than what we were facing.  We don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure that out.  The point is that if we never accept the pardon and we hold on to our offence then it can never be pardoned or released.  With every gift given there is an exchange, but for the exchange to be complete it must be received.  The gift isn’t mine till I accept it from you and I can never open it and experience its contents until I am willing to reach out, take it and open it.

                In our human relationships forgiveness is an important part of our interactions with one another.  We offend and hurt one another rather intentionally or unintentionally all the time and we need to ask and extend to one another forgiveness.  As Christians we are commanded of God to forgive others as Christ has forgiven you and gave Himself for you.  Many of us are struggling with our relationship with both God and man because we have been unwilling to release forgiveness.  It doesn’t mean that we extend forgiveness and are expected to continue in a hurtful or destructive situation given a choice, but we need to forgive to set ourselves free.  It is the only way we can get those splinters of offense out of us.  When we withhold forgiveness we create a dam that withholds the love of God from flowing through us.  We close our heart and emotionally detach ourselves. 

                Many of us need the restoration and the reconciliation that can only come, as we are willing to release forgiveness.  We can’t always be responsible for the other party accepting it, but we can release it and thereby release ourselves.  Often pride, on both sides, is the greatest hindrance to our reconciliation.  You can see why God loves humility in us, because it is not too proud to say when it is wrong and it is not to proud to forgive someone, even when they don’t deserve our forgiveness. 

                Unfortunately, our unwillingness to forgive can become for us a puddle of self –pity that we continue to wallow in and feel sorry for ourselves.   We can do the same thing with our unwillingness to receive forgiveness.  We remain in the bondage of our offenses.  

                Forgiveness is one of the most powerful instruments of love that the Lord has ever given to us.  We all need to take it, use it and exercise it often.  Nothing can set us free and restore right relationships like forgiveness.  It can unlock the many prison doors of our hearts and sets us free to love and be loved with the love of God. 

                Search your heart and if you find their a hurt, a wound and offense that someone has committed either intentionally or unintentionally, exercise the gift of Father’s love and forgive them.  You are right.  They may not deserve it, but then neither did we.  When we set others free, we free ourselves and become again and instrument and a heart that God’s love can flow through.

Blessings,

#kent

The Rains are Coming!

August 26, 2015

Joel 2:21-24 (The Message translation)
Fear not, Earth! Be glad and celebrate! God has done great things. Fear not, wild animals! The fields and meadows are greening up. The trees are bearing fruit again: a bumper crop of fig trees and vines! Children of Zion, celebrate! Be glad in your God. He’s giving you a teacher to train you how to live right—Teaching, like rain out of heaven, showers of words to refresh and nourish your soul, just as he used to do. And plenty of food for your body—silos full of grain, casks of wine and barrels of olive oil.

The Rains are Coming!

As I was asking the Lord about what to write this morning, I heard in my Spirit, “Tell my people the rains are coming.” He then reminded me of the rains spoken of in Joel 2:23. King James reads, “Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.” Just as the rains of heaven rejuvenate and give the life giving fluids to grow the crops, so the Spirit anointed teaching of God’s Word will come like rain to cause His people to come forth in spiritual fruitfulness. We have all set under much teaching and even good instruction, but this teaching and Word of God will be life changing and spirit transforming. It will come with the demonstration of such power and life that it will be a well of restoration, breakthrough and freedom. This rain comes after a time of great darkness upon the earth. It comes after a time where the people of God have entered into fasting and praying, of rending their hearts and not just their garments. It comes as we fully return to the Lord and bring the acceptable sacrifices of a broken and contrite heart.
When this rain breaks forth it will be like none you have seen before. It will be the former and the latter rain together, a double portion blessing upon the people of God. The rains are necessary both for preparing the soil to plant and also for bringing the harvest to fruition. These rains are for the bringing forth of a great harvest in the earth and also for the fruition of that which has already been planted. The rest of the passage of Joel 2 goes on to read, “24And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. 27And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. 28And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
29And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
30And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
31The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD come. 32And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”
There is a season for every purpose under heaven. There is a season for tearing down and destruction, but that preceeds the season of restoration, blessing and life. Let us prepare our hearts in the manner that God has prescribed, seeking Him in fasting, repentance and prayer. For surely He will answer us and bring the showers of His blessing and life.

Blessings,
#kent

Haggai 2:15-19
” ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD’s temple. 16 When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty. 17 I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not turn to me,’ declares the LORD. 18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
“ ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ “

It is Time to Rebuild the Temple

Haggai has a strong message for us in this hour. Then, it concerned a remnant of people that came out of the captivity in Babylon. They have returned to their holy city and temple that has been reduced to ruins. The basic message here is that we have a temple of God that needs to be rebuilt, but we have been too focused on building our own little kingdoms and attending to our own needs that God’s house lies in ruin. God is asking this people through Haggai, “Have you wondered why everything you touched and labored at come up short? Why things don’t ever seem to work out or come together?” God is speaking to them that just as when a person touched a dead body they became unclean and everything they touched became unclean so it is with our spiritual works. They have been defiled because they have been mixed with the flesh, the dead body that was crucified with Christ.
If we wonder why we only see God working in a small measure of His glory and power here is where we may find our answer. If we want to see the glory and power of God and if we want to see the release of His blessing upon our lives then it has to become about Him and not about us. God is giving His people a promise and I believe it is the promise He is speaking to us in this hour. If we will come together, lay aside our agenda and our dead works we will see the blessing of God.
More than ever before I find myself praying, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” This is the day and the hour for the temple of God to be restored in the spirit. He is restoring a spiritual house that will worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. In that place He will be Lord and He will move according to His will and purpose and no longer ours. Church will no longer be a place we meet once or twice a week to go through religious motions and exercises. It will become a central part of our lives, because we will all come together, to labor together that the body might be built up into spiritual maturity and wholeness. In that spirit will we see God’s Spirit poured out upon us. It is God’s heart to bless us in ways that we can’t imagine, but He is waiting for us to step into our purpose as the body of Christ and to walk by the Spirit and no longer in the flesh. When His body is in proper alignment and place He will shake heaven and earth. Even now we are beginning to see the shaking taking place. This is not a place for us to fear, but a sign to us to move into the purpose of God for our lives personally and corporately. God has a blessing awaiting us and the increase of His kingdom is upon us, as we will move into the restoration of His house. Those called out ones from Babylon which are represented by Zerrubabel will become His government and the signet ring which represents His divine authority to bring to pass His will in this earth.
It is a day not to look to the economies and systems of this world. They are passing away. We are moving into a divine economy and kingdom whose builder and maker is God. That means our way of thinking and doing must change drastically for many of us. The principles of God’s kingdom are the principles of His Word and Truth. Today we are called to line up with these principles. People aren’t going to be made holy just because they brush up against the holy flesh we are carrying in the skirt of our garment, or the Christ in us. They are going to be made holy, as they personally become partakers of the flesh and blood of Christ. God is looking for the laborers and the priesthood to take this message to the world. Come and let us labor in His house by His Spirit that we might partake of His blessing and be a part of that blessing to others.

Blessings,
#kent

1 Samuel 30:1-23
David and his men reached Ziklag on the third day. Now the Amalekites had raided the Negev and Ziklag. They had attacked Ziklag and burned it, 2 and had taken captive the women and everyone else in it, both young and old. They killed none of them, but carried them off as they went on their way. 3 When David and his men reached Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. 4 So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. 5 David’s two wives had been captured—Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail, the widow of Nabal of Carmel. 6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.
7 Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelek, “Bring me the ephod.” Abiathar brought it to him, 8 and David inquired of the LORD, “Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
“Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
9 David and the six hundred men with him came to the Besor Valley, where some stayed behind. 10 Two hundred of them were too exhausted to cross the valley, but David and the other four hundred continued the pursuit.
11 They found an Egyptian in a field and brought him to David. They gave him water to drink and food to eat— 12 part of a cake of pressed figs and two cakes of raisins. He ate and was revived, for he had not eaten any food or drunk any water for three days and three nights.
13 David asked him, “Who do you belong to? Where do you come from?”
He said, “I am an Egyptian, the slave of an Amalekite. My master abandoned me when I became ill three days ago. 14 We raided the Negev of the Kerethites, some territory belonging to Judah and the Negev of Caleb. And we burned Ziklag.”
15 David asked him, “Can you lead me down to this raiding party?”
He answered, “Swear to me before God that you will not kill me or hand me over to my master, and I will take you down to them.”
16 He led David down, and there they were, scattered over the countryside, eating, drinking and reveling because of the great amount of plunder they had taken from the land of the Philistines and from Judah. 17 David fought them from dusk until the evening of the next day, and none of them got away, except four hundred young men who rode off on camels and fled. 18 David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. 19 Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back. 20 He took all the flocks and herds, and his men drove them ahead of the other livestock, saying, “This is David’s plunder.”
21 Then David came to the two hundred men who had been too exhausted to follow him and who were left behind at the Besor Valley. They came out to meet David and the men with him. As David and his men approached, he asked them how they were. 22 But all the evil men and troublemakers among David’s followers said, “Because they did not go out with us, we will not share with them the plunder we recovered. However, each man may take his wife and children and go.”
23 David replied, “No, my brothers, you must not do that with what the LORD has given us. He has protected us and delivered into our hands the raiding party that came against us. 24 Who will listen to what you say? The share of the man who stayed with the supplies is to be the same as that of him who went down to the battle. All will share alike.” 25 David made this a statute and ordinance for Israel from that day to this.

Run, Pursue and Overtake

These were the words I was hearing in my Spirit before I awakened this morning. As I have meditated on what the Lord was speaking, I came upon this passage about when David and his men had their families and goods plundered and taken from them by the Amalekites. This is a type of what the enemy has done to God’s people. They have come in and plundered taken our families, divided our home, robbed our finances and left sickness and death in their wake. God is arousing His David Company as they are sorely grieved at what has been taking place. The prayer of David has gone up, ““Shall I pursue this raiding party? Will I overtake them?”
The answer of the Lord has come back, ““Pursue them,” he answered. “You will certainly overtake them and succeed in the rescue.”
Even as I prayed this morning I sensed the Lord reminding me to put on the full armor of God (Ephesians 6). A warrior spirit was arising in my spirit as I began to go in by the Spirit and take back those whom the enemy had afflicted and taken captive.
Warriors of God, I sense this is an hour for us to gird ourselves with the armor of God in the Spirit and arise and pursue our enemies. We have been pursued, attacked and abused long enough. It is now a time for us to take the offensive in the Spirit and pursue the enemy in spiritual warfare. The Word of the Lord is that we will overtake them and succeed in the rescue.
I bring to remembrance a portion of the Song of Moses that the children of Israel sang after they had crossed the Red Sea and their enemies were destroyed behind them in Exodus 15:9-12.
“‘The enemy boasted, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them. I will divide the spoils;
I will gorge myself on them. I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.’
10But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11“Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
12You stretched out your right hand and the earth swallowed them.”
The battle is not ours, but the Lords as we arise in faith and pursue our enemies. It is a day for his back to be broken and the captives released and set free. In Psalms 18:34-42 David writes these words that speak into this hour and this time. “He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me;
you stoop down to make me great. 36You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn. 37I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
38I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 39You armed me with strength for battle; you made my adversaries bow at my feet. 40You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.
41They cried for help, but there was no one to save them—to the Lord, but he did not answer. 42I beat them as fine as dust borne on the wind; I poured them out like mud in the streets.”
This is an hour of victory for the Lord’s people that will arm themselves in the Spirit and pursue the enemy. There is no more place for fear or shrinking back. It is a time of retribution upon the enemy of our souls. The Lord goes before us in battle and by the power of His might the enemy can not stand and all of his powers are broken. Enter that spiritual warfare. Arm yourself in Him and the authority of His Word. It is a day wield the sword of the Spirit as we take heavenly authority and mandate to destroy our enemy and the works of the devil. It is fulfilling the very purpose as to why Jesus said He came in 1 John 3:8, “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
So today put on your armor, “Run, Pursue and Overtake”, for the battle is the Lord’s and we have the victory! Amen

Blessings,
#kent

2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Garments of Righteousness

When you came to Christ, you made an exchange. He took your old filthy garments of sin, which He died for on the cross and exchanged, through faith and by His grace, the garment of your sin for the garment of His righteousness. What we could never do or earn to bring us into right standing with God the Father, Christ has done for us through the cross.
There are days when you are going to feel so condemned, so unworthy and so unrighteous. There are days when you feel only failure, defeat and discouragement. Remember it is not about your self-worth, but about your God-worth and what God has called righteous, who are we to call it unrighteous. Our defeat comes when we relinquish to the feelings of self. We are not who the accuser says we are. We are what God says we are “the righteousness of God in Him.” If we want victory, we must get our eyes off of self and on to Him. We must stop living in the cemetery of the old dead man and start living in the sanctuary of the Life-giver. When we set our eyes upon Him, we see what we are and what we are becoming. It is Christ that is now our value and our worth. There is none that can devalue Him. His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness and maintains our right standing in Him.
Here is what the Lord would say to you who are discouraged. Isaiah 61 says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. 8 “ForI, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”

Blessings,
#kent

More than all Burnt Offerings and Sacrifices

Mark 12:33-34
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

While we no longer literally offer burnt offerings and sacrifices we still do it in type. Many times I might rather love my neighbor, whoever that might be, from a distance rather than up close and personal. Just allow me donate some money for their cause, or pray for them, anything, but don’t make me become personally involved in their lives. Most of us like our own space and some of us like to be around friends and family, but even that has its limitations. How much time do I have for my neighbor, those people that I encounter in my daily life, business or work? Many times we might think to ourselves, “You know, I have enough problems of my own, I don’t need to get involved with someone else’s.” If we love ourselves enough to care about our problems, our needs, our wants, desires and goals in life, then aren’t we mandated to care about the similar needs of others as well?
Most of us would agree that in a world where every time you turn around someone wants to sell you something or ask you to contribute something we begin to become rather cold and callused. We build these walls to try and keep these people out. It is true, we can’t be everything to everybody and we do only have so many resources, still, are we loving our neighbor as ourselves? All of the things that I do for me, am I willing to do them for someone else? Personally, I am not a real people person and the majority of the time I am quite content and comfortable to be by myself, doing my own thing, but can I really love my neighbor as myself from that position. Loving others is always stretching us. It causes us to move out of our comfort zone. It causes us to come out of the place of just making the token efforts of the burnt offerings and sacrifices and requires me to get involved. Jesus was involved with those around him and not just with the upper crust, the easy to get along with, the likeable or the ones that could benefit Him. He was relating to humanity at all levels, classes, sexes and races. He would relate with children and adults alike, to the whole and the broken, rich and the poor and to the sinner and the righteous. Jesus was not a respecter of persons and He was sensitive to the heart cry of people. There are a lot of people out there that just want to take advantage and use others. This tends to make us wary and cynical, but the Lord wants us to tune into the heart cry of others. Listen, by the Spirit to the real need in people. It often isn’t what we see being portrayed on the outside or in their actions. We need a spirit of sensitivity, not to be duped by everyone that comes along, but to see into the heart need of others.
As the ambassadors and representatives of Christ in this earth we are the channels of God’s blessing, healing, restoration and reconciliation. If we don’t take the time and make the time for the needs of others, then who will. If I want someone to love me, be sensitive to my needs and to just care then that is the love I need to be extending to others in whatever capacity I have to give it. It isn’t the religious gestures that I make and the token giving that the Lord is looking for. He is looking for my heart to be one with His heart in me. He desires me to love Him through the way I love others, through a heart that is really caring and concerned for the needs of others. So often we are like the Scribe, the Pharisee, “the Christian”, who walks to the other side of the road when we see our neighbor in need. We don’t want the inconvenience and the investment of our time and resources to get involved. If my neighbor is important to the Lord, then they have to become my priority also. We have to remember that our mission in the earth is not about us, it is about Him through the way that we serve others. Loving God and loving our neighbor are all part of the same pie.
“Lord, give us sensitive hearts and eyes to see into the real needs of others and to make ourselves available and willing to minister to those needs in what ever way we can. Give us your heart to really love others as we would love ourselves, not from a distance, but up close and personal. Help us to truly be the extension of your compassion, love and grace. May the world truly know us by our love and not just by our name and religion. Allow us to be willing to pay the price of the personal sacrifice required in the giving of ourselves and that which cost us personally to love You with all of our hearts; to love our neighbors as ourselves, no matter who they may be.”

Blessings,
#kent

Orphan, Son and Father

April 14, 2015

Luke 15:11-31
Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.

13“Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.

17“When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.
“But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.
25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
31“‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’”

Orphan, Son and Father

Many of us have read or heard sermons on this parable many times before, but the Lord was dropping into my spirit just a few key principles from this example that I don’t know that I had ever heard or thought about before.
In the midst of Christianity today there are many of us that have an orphan spirit. It is one that really doesn’t know its identity. It is one that is not secure in who they are in Christ and they don’t often have a good sense of what the nature of their Father is. They are often only looking after their own best interests, they like to hoard and keep things for themselves and they really lack that security of just being loved and accepted. As a result most of their world is pretty much about them.
In this younger son we see such a spirit. He had everything and yet all he could see is what he thought he didn’t have. He didn’t want to build into his father’s house, but wanted to take his inheritance and use it to his own self-indulgence which is another quality of an orphan spirit. So father gave him his inheritance and let him go. Now, an orphan spirit, isn’t interested in legacy or building and sowing into something greater than himself. All he really sees is himself and often carries a victim mentality and sense of entitlement. After all, his father “owed him” his inheritance because it was rightfully his. He had a “right” to be free and spend his inheritance how he wanted. What an orphan spirit does is take us down a road of perpetual poverty, because we never see beyond ourselves. All that we think we have or gained becomes dust and blows away, because we don’t have a vision to see our Father’s heart.
Now this orphan spirit son finds himself where this spirit will always tend to lead you, being dependent upon others to feed you the pig’s food. “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.” Finally, he gets a revelation that even his father’s servants are living better than he is and it would be better to go back to father as a servant than to live starving and dwelling among the pigs. He now sees the fruit and the consequences of his orphan spirit.
Now we see the heart of the Father as he comes back home. ““But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
21“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22“But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
You see the Father’s heart is always for restoration and legacy. He was willing that his son departed for a time that eventually he might come to repentance and be restored. The Father never saw this boy as any less than a son when he left and when he returned. His love, his heart and longing was always for him. The father didn’t receive him back because he deserved it. He didn’t kill the fatted calf and celebrate because of his great choices and he didn’t put the ring on his finger because he deserved to be a part of the family any longer, but because the father wanted him to know who he was to him and know that he still belonged to the family not just as servant, but as a son.
Now we see the spirit of the son. “Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.’
28“The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
The older son has been faithful to his father and to his father’s house. He has staid the course and paid the price, so this causes a great offense in his heart when he sees how his younger prodigal brother is received back with celebration and royalty. He becomes very angry. For those that are in the Christian faith who have been sons and have walked the walk and staid the course, take note, because the day is coming when the prodigal is going to come home and your hearts are going to be tested in similar manor. The son sees from the perspective of what is deserved, but the Father’s heart is one of grace and restoration. Just because we are sons doesn’t mean that we have a father’s heart, but God wants us to get one, because it is the next level of maturity. It is where we understand that it is not about us and never has been. It is about the kingdom. It is about restoration and reconciliation of that which was lost being restored back to the Father. It is not that the father didn’t already love the older faithful son, but what did he tell him?
““‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.” This is what we must understand as sons; all that that the Father has is ours and it is our for a reason so that which is lost may be found and restored back to the Father. As sons we have to catch the Father’s heart or we will be offended. Just like Jesus, we must descend so that we can ascend and bring others up with us. It is not about us, it is about the Father’s house and kingdom, His love for the lost and His desire for legacy which is a lasting representation of His nature and character in the earth.
Thus we see the Father’s heart to restore the orphans to sonship and the sons to fatherhood, so that Father God’s kingdom will come and His will, will be done in earth as it is in heaven.

Blessings,
#kent

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