Where isYour Focus?

May 26, 2015

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.

Where isYour Focus?

There is an old song that goes, “Set your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face and the things of earth will go strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” I believe this is what this scripture is, in effect, telling us to do. The attitude of a Christ-minded person is going to be focused on the things above and not on the things of this earth.
Our heart is to be honest and forthright in our dealings with others, because the Holy Spirit is honest with us in love as He deals with us. Our heart is to see justice, to uphold a righteous standard and integrity, judging and discerning all things out of the mind of Christ and not our flesh or earthly perspective. Our focus is on purity, putting away all defilement of flesh and spirit. In every area of our life we want to line up with God’s standard of holiness. This isn’t self-righteousness or an attitude of being more spiritual than everyone else is it is simply a mindset that runs everything we do through the purifying filter of the Holy Spirit. “What would Jesus do?” What is the attitude and position of the Word in what and how I do things? Often times our purity can be helped by accountability that helps us to see ourselves through the eyes of others and find areas that we have become blind, deceived or indifferent too. We can help wash one another’s feet by voluntarily guarding one another’s souls. We deal with each other like we would want to be dealt with, not in judgement, but in love. The enemy does his best work in the darkness of our hearts and where things are hidden. Are we doing anything that we wouldn’t want to be shouted from the rooftops? If we are able to keep all things out in the light, the enemy has nothing to work with in temptation or condemnation.
It is often so easy to see and major on the faults that we see in others and in those things around us. Here we are exhorted to look for the best, the lovely things in people and in our circumstances. Focus on the good and how God can use it to make something lovely out of that which may not be so lovely. Look for the positive attributes in people and focus on those things, being patient, longsuffering, forgiving and self-controlled concerning the areas in others that present themselves as offensive, selfish and hurtful.
Seek out the good news that edifies others and glorifies God, not on gossip, slanderous speech and backbiting. Turn away from those that only want to create dissention and find fault. We are builders and creators, not destroyers and wasters. Look for the things that are of good report, those things that speak graciously and out of a kindly spirit. How often we gather to find common ground for our negative feelings and viewpoints rather than to extol the virtues of another. If we can find any virtue and good in a person or a situation then set your mind there. Isn’t it amazing how our minds always want to gravitate to what is wrong with a person or a situation rather than what is right about it? When we see the wrongs they should compel our prayers and not our criticism.
We are in the midst of changing our paradigm and mindset. This passage definitely goes against the grain of what we have grown up with and the direction our own speech and point of view has gone. We are worshippers with praise and rejoicers in the truth. How can we rejoice in iniquity and evil? The worshippers that are filled with praise and rejoicing are focused on the goodness of God, His sovereignty and ultimate justice and righteousness ruling. We are now a kingdom people living in the kingdom of God and ruled in our hearts by kingdom principles and ways. We are exhorted in Christ Jesus to put away our negative, our pessimism, our criticism, our judgements and our impure ways. We are exhorted to set our eyes upon Jesus; ‘to look full into His wonderful face and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace’.

Blessings,
#kent

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Complicity

March 11, 2015

Acts 22:20
And when the blood of thy martyr Stephen was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting unto his death, and kept the raiment of them that slew him.

Complicity

Complicity is the involvement as an accomplice in a questionable act or a crime.
When I was a young boy growing up in my early teens I used to run around with a group of the neighborhood boys. I guess I was kind of known as the “holy Joe” of the group, because I wasn’t into some of the smoking and drinking that most typical kids experiment with. I remember after school walking down to the hardware store with them. At this time they started doing some shoplifting. Now I knew that it was wrong and while I didn’t go in to shoplift I believe I remember asking them to lift an item or two for me. In my mind, my hands were clean because I didn’t do the crime, but that was complicity. What I have come to discover is that a whole lot of our self-righteousness is complicity. Outwardly we maintain our pious front, while inwardly our hearts are participants in sin. I guess it is not so unlike what Jesus said about the Pharisees, “You are white-washed tombs, full of dead men’s bones.” They had the piety of their status and religion, but inwardly they were corrupt and morally bankrupt.
Paul didn’t throw the stones that killed Stephen, but was he any less guilty? He was like the guy driving the get away car for the bank robbery. He didn’t actually rob the bank, but he had complicity in the crime.
How many of us in our daily lives, may not physically participate in a sin or immoral act, but we have complicity through our passive agreement or compliance with these actions? I’m sure we have all done it through what we have taken in through our eyes and senses. Our complacency and lack of taking a stand against what is sin can bring us into this place of complicity with it. Complicity itself is often our sin.

Blessings,
#kent

The River of God

February 6, 2014

 

The River of God


Revelations 22:1-2

And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life, which bare twelve [manner of] fruits, [and] yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree [were] for the healing of the nations. 

 

I believe that through the ages of time there runs a river of life from the throne of God and of the Lamb.  It is a river of Truth and Revelation that God is unfolding to mankind as it flows to the consummation of the ages.  Christ, the Lamb of God, is the greatest truth this river has brought to mankind.  We know that He indeed is the Tree of Life that was there even in the Garden of Eden.  This river has ever been a source of blessing and spiritual fruitfulness.  Psalms 46:2-5 says, “Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; [Though] the waters thereof roar [and] be troubled, [though] the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. [There is] a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High. God [is] in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, [and that] right early.”  It is my prayer that you have been baptized and immersed in that river today, that you are, in fact, the wellspring of the life that is in that river.  That river is not a natural one, but that of the Spirit of God that flows through humanity in the lives of those who are yielded to Him.  When we are in the center of His Life we are in that river.  Jesus says in John 7:38, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers ofliving water.”   

It is producing the fruitfulness of the Spirit in your life.  There is a divine dispensation of that tree of Life in the midst of the river.  It yielded its fruit every month.  Through the Word of God and over time we have seen God revealing Himself more and more to man.  The greatest revelation has been in the revelation of Himself through the incarnate man Christ Jesus.  In Christ we see what God looks like in the flesh, how He acts and the fruit of His life.  We caught the vision and experienced the revelation of His grace and salvation through His blood.  When all around is shaken and moved we still have a river that makes glad the city of God.  

Through the church age we have seen different marked times when God would raise up and an individual or individuals through whom He would reveal a greater truth about Himself.  The greatest tragedy we see in this is not that the truths were not real and precious, but men built a doctrine and a religion around that truth, it became a source of exclusiveness where they saw themselves a little more right and perhaps a little more godly than others.  So they established churches, denominations and schools around that particular doctrine of truth.  Today we see all these denominations and we wonder can they all be right or which one is right?  God is not “a” doctrine or “a” truth, He is “the” Truth. The River of Truth that is never stagnant or still, but continues to flow and reveal itself in greater truth. The denominations have become the product of man’s work that have served to often splinter and divide the body of Christ rather that which causes it to function in unity and oneness as God purposed it too. If this is where you see your life today 1 John 2:27 says, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye neednot that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”  It is not to say that churches aren’t good and that we can’t learn from other men, but don’t relinquish the teacher you have within you, the anointing that is leading you into truth as you abide in Him.  This is your River.  We don’t want to find ourselves in the little eddy by the side of the river that just flows round and round but never goes anywhere new.  We want to be out in the depths of the river moving and continually growing in the swell of its Truth.  As part of that mainstream of the River of God we carry the fruit and fruitfulness of the Tree of Life for the healing of the nations.  You are the leaves and the fruit of the Vine.  It is through you and me that God is manifesting His Life and Truth to the world today through the Life giving and revealing Spirit of Truth within us.  We are not to be a stagnant pond of ‘has beens” who once experienced God and know about God, but are not experiencing Him in power and fullness.  If this sounds too much like you then it is time to wade back out into the River and experience the baptism of renewal and refreshing that the Holy Spirit brings.  Come alive and be a part of the pure crystal waters and a part of the tree of Life for the healing of the nations.  Our God is a dynamic force.  He is never stale, stagnant or complacent, but is always moving.  Get in His current and let it carry you to the places of Life in Him He wants to take you.

 
blessings,
kent

Created for Good Works

December 4, 2013

 

Created for Good Works

 

Ephesians 2:10

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 

               Everything that is created and fashioned has a purpose and function.  Some things are fashioned for honorable purposes and some for less than honorable purposes.  God’s word to us today is that He has taken special time, effort and direct thought to create and fashion you for a specific and wonderful purpose.  In Christ Jesus, the Father has chosen you out and is forming His nature and character in you for good works, His works.  The awesome thing about it is that it didn’t depend on any ability or natural attribute you had.  You and I strictly are a product of His grace at work within us.  That grace took us out of the place of the dishonorable and placed us in the position of the select and the elect of God.  He chose us out and is fashioning us in the likeness of Christ Jesus for a reason, “good works.”  This is how we can know what the Father is working in us, by what comes out of us.  It won’t be religious works or self-righteous works or even our works.  It will be us walking and producing good works because of the One that has separated us out and made us His workmanship.  What is He working in you today?  Are you yielding yourself to the master craftsman’s hand so that He can fashion you to be all that He desires and purposes you to be? 

               Let us remember our purpose and on purpose yield our will and our lives to Him so that He can work His precious work of grace in us. We will recognize it by what our lives are producing.  We will produce the fruit that will bear witness to the tree from which we came from.  James 2:14-18 says it quite well: “What [doth it] profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be [ye] warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what [doth it] profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.”  True faith will manifest the works of God in a practical way.  Our good works should not just be the product of self-efforts at doing well.  Those efforts will fail when they are tested with scorn, criticism or lack of appreciation.  The good works Christ is working in us comes out of the Father and it is unto Him we live our lives and work the works that are produced out of His unconditional love.  They will not cease because of circumstances and response of others.  They are being fashioned into our being as a product and witness of our faith.  Through these works people will see that we do not have just a superficial religion, but a true and unshakable faith, that truly we are the workmanship of God unto good works in Christ Jesus.

 

Blessings,

kent

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