The Love of God

October 20, 2015

John 3:16-21
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

The Love of God
John 3:16 is one of those scriptures that many of us as young Christians memorize. Sometimes in its simplicity we forget or miss how profound it truly is. How many of us as fathers can really grasp what it would be like for us to give our only son as a sacrifice for someone else’s misdeeds? Romans 5:6-8 tells us, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

So even if you could be willing to allow your only son to be sacrificed for someone would it be your enemy? Would it be for the one who deserved your wrath and judgement rather than you love and mercy? When we really stop to analyze and think about God’s love for this world it should just blow us away, because it makes absolutely no sense to the natural mind or reason. How can we take this manner of love so lightly? How can we even regard it as common or ordinary? Our God is such an extraordinary God that works through such a supernatural and incomprehensible love towards us and the world rejects it. So many times, even we, as the people of God, treat as common place and ordinary this holy love, displayed and sacrificed for mankind. If we do, it is because we don’t truly comprehend it or have it operating fully within us. Those who go willingly and offer their lives as willing sacrifice for the gospel of Jesus Christ have come into a revelation of that love. They comprehend that if this love is so great that even the holy Son of the living God and Creator would lay down His life for us then it is worth our laying down our lives as well. Most of won’t even sacrifice our comforts let alone our lives.
One of the things a true revelation of God’s love will bring us too is that there is something so much greater at stake than just us. It will give us the heartbeat of God for creation. It will empower us to love the unlovely, the rejected and the destitute. It will cause our hearts to hurt for the lost and dying, just as Father’s heart hurts and longs for them to come to Him.
As human beings perhaps one of the things we like least is having our darkness exposed. We are often comfortable in our sin and deception even though it only brings us misery and pain. We don’t want to see ourselves for what we are and as God sees us. The capacity of the love of God is to see past our faults and see our need and it is to that need that He addresses Himself. He created mankind to rule and reign with Him, but we exchanged the truth for a lie and righteousness for pleasure. Romans 1:21-25 says, ” For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.”
“For God so loved the world.” What a blessing and a privilege that we have come to an acknowledgement and acceptance of this love by our faith in Jesus Christ. Is our love now so shallow that His love towards us stops with us? No, an immature child is one that is only concerned for their own needs, but when one comes into maturity they learn to become the givers and not the takers.
What is our revelation of God’s love in us today? Are we still just content to take it and not give it? God didn’t build us to be reservoirs to horde and store up for only ourselves, us four and no more. He is wanting to impart His heart of love into us that we may become the conduits and pipelines of His love and blessing. We are the salt of the earth and a city set upon a hill. We are the outshining of his glory and the expression of His love. If not us, then who?

Blessings,
#kent

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Numbers 11:23
The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

“Is the LORD’s Arm too Short?”

It was not so many years ago that this was the scripture that I stood on concerning a house we felt the Lord had put in our hearts to believe for. That house didn’t come to us in the way we had envisioned nor did it come at the time we thought it should come. It wasn’t even the house we originally thought that God was promising us, but when it did come to pass it was so much better than what we had even hoped for.
When we read the passage that this scripture comes from we find the people of Israel out in the wilderness and they have become discontent with the manna that God has provided to sustain them. They are wailing and crying out for meat. They are lamenting the fact that they ever left Egypt.
God speaks to Moses in verses 18-19, “”Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. 19 You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, 20 but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?” ‘ ” Now how is God going to feed a million plus people in the wilderness meat for a month? Moses is thinking even if they slaughtered all of the livestock that they had there would not be enough meat to last that long. Moses is saying that is a lot of meat Lord, how can you supply that much meat and then you want me to put my reputation on the line by telling them that they are going to receive the seemingly impossible. They were already living the seemly impossible by the very fact that they were no longer in Egypt, but here in the wilderness, being supernaturally fed with manna from heaven.
It is then that God gave Moses this Word concerning what He had spoken that would come to pass. “Is the LORD’s arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
It teaches this lesson, no matter how impossible it seems He is able and will perform the Word that He has spoken. In this particular case the meat that He brought to Israel turned into a judgement, rather than a blessing, because of their murmuring and complaint. Yet God honors those who operate out of faith, not murmuring and complaining about what they don’t have, but rather worshipping and giving thanks for what they do have even before they have received it. It is faith in God that reaps His blessing, but doubt, fear, discontentment and unbelief only attract judgement.
Our God, is a mighty God whose arm has not waxed short. What He says, He will do. It may not be in our time or our way, but God is God and we do Him great injustice to try to confine Him to the little box of our understanding and human comprehension. 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
As we pursue what God has for us and as He proclaims in 2 Peter 1:3-4, “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires,” lay hold of your inheritance with faith, confidence and thanksgiving. God is true to His Word and what He has promised He will bring to pass. Philippians 4:4-7 gives us the proper basis of how to approach the Lord for our needs: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Let us magnify the Lord for His faithfulness as we walk this walk of faith, for He does all things after the counsel of His will and not ours. What God has promised and what the Spirit, has truly spoken into your hearts, He will bring to pass in its season. Meanwhile, rejoice and be glad in Him, giving thanks and counting as already done that which He has faithfully promised.

Blessings,
#kent

Be Perfect

August 7, 2015

Be Perfect

Matthew 5:43-48
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

When we read the passage in verse 48 where Jesus tells us, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” what does that mean to you? Are you thinking that is impossible or yeah, maybe when I get to heaven? Why would he tell us this now when we perceive ourselves in such an imperfect state? How could we ever aspire to be perfect, as he is perfect? We are not only to aspire to it, it is our calling. Why would Jesus call us to do what was impossible to do?
Jesus throughout Matthew 5 is calling His disciples and following to a higher order of love than that of the world. He is calling us out of natural reasoning and fairness. He is calling us to a level of love that we have come to know as Agape’ love. It is a love that is not governed by what others do to me, it doesn’t respond to circumstances. It is an action and not a reaction.
The word “perfect” used in verse 48 is the Greek word “telios”. It means brought to its end, consummate human integrity and virtue, full grown, adult, of full age, mature. The purpose of God is to bring us unto perfection, to bring us into His unconditional love and divine nature. This is the reason He gives the five fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11-13, “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” The word mature here is that same word for perfect. It is going to take our faith to grasp this concept, because all that we see in us and in the body of Christ around us pretty much testifies against this. What we have to see here is that there is a standard that has been set before us, but what is impossible with men, is not impossible with God. God is the one that has called us to this standard and He alone can be the ability to attain it. It is obvious to us that it is not in our natural ability, so that is our first clue that we need to be walking and living in something that is beyond the natural. We are called up to walk in the supernatural. We are called to walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. It is only in the realm of the Spirit that we can even comprehend the perfection that Christ has called us too.
Listen as 2 Peter 2:2-4 reiterates our calling and where the power comes from, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” We see here that perfection and maturity in Christ is a calling of faith, because it is in laying hold of the promises of God’s Word that we move into this realm. There is no perfection without His power and life working in us, changing us and transforming us. The ability is not in us to change ourselves to perfection, but to position ourselves in Him, by faith and through a broken and contrite heart to yield to the working and moving He is doing in us. What we perceive as trials, hardships and adversities may truly be opportunities to exercise and mature in His divine nature.
Abraham became the friend of God because he had enough faith and vision to move out of the realm of the seen into the realm of the unseen. He counted God faithful to do that which He had promised. Are we counting Him faithful to perfect our lives in love and in all that pertains to godliness? Are we willing to quit looking at our circumstances and our inability’s long enough to see His ability and His promises to us? Are we like-minded with the apostle Paul to press into the high calling we have in Christ Jesus? “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you (Philippians 3:12 –15).”

Blessings,
#kent

Losing my Head

June 24, 2015

Losing my Head

Philippians 4:12-13
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

As I was praying this morning my thoughts went back to my childhood where I spent a great deal of time with my grandparents on their farm in Oklahoma. I remember times when my grandmother would get a chicken that she was going to prepare for a meal. She would put its head under a metal bar, step on it and pull its head off. I’m sorry if that is a little gruesome and graphic for some. The thing that was coming to me is that after the chicken’s head was removed I saw them do things that I never saw them do in everyday life. They might just flop around, but I saw some of them fly distances that I had never seen a chicken fly before. How could they do that without a head? I know, involuntary reflexes and such. The thing that struck me is that if they could do that in death, why did they never do it in life? The only time a chicken would leave the ground normally is if it was being pursued and took flight out of fear.
I believe what the Lord was showing me is that our greatest limitation is between our two ears. We grow up saying, doing and being what everyone else around us does. Think of the disciples. Here were twelve very ordinary men. I imagine not all of them were the sharpest pencils in the drawer, but they all did one thing, they left all to follow this man Jesus. As they followed, communed and lived with this man they observed someone who was not like all of the other chickens in the hen house. They observed someone who thought differently, acted differently and did things they had never imagined anyone could do. It was a process over time where the normal way they used to view their world changed. They begin to see and understand their world from a heavenly and kingdom perspective rather than an earthly one. After the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus they received power from on High when the Holy Spirit came upon them at Pentecost. Now Jesus was physically gone. They had lost their earthly head and a new mentality had to kick in. The mind of Christ had now come within them for them to carry on the work of the Kingdom with power and authority. They began to speak under the anointing of the Spirit and would see thousands respond and come to Christ. They had miracles happening as they extended their wings in faith. In some cases people were even raised from the dead. These ordinary men were doing exploits that rattled the religious order of the barnyard. The religious leadership thought that they had rid the hen house of this One that upset the natural order of things. He was obviously out of the pecking order. Now there were more of these people doing the same kind of things while proclaiming this Jesus as the Christ and the Messiah, not only in word, but also with signs and wonders.
What we have to realize is that when we accepted Christ as our Savior we became identified with His death on that cross. In effect, out head got pulled off. We are no longer like every other chicken in the barnyard. The great news is that we didn’t just lose our head, we put on the headship of Christ in the process. We lost our mind that we might have His. Like the disciples before us we have began a process of changed thinking. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” It goes on to say ‘don’t think of yourselves more highly than you ought.’ It is never this earthen vessel that is great; it is what fills it.
What fills you my friend is what gives you the power and abilities to do what you have never done before. It gives you the ability to rise to heights that in the natural mind you never thought possible.
There are wings of faith in God’s Word that must be stretched and exercised. We have had them all along; we just have never really used them. God has given us the ability to be extraordinary people and maybe not in the way the world views as extraordinary. We have the power within us now to be different, something more. That more may not be as the world views greatness, but it will be seen in the power of an obedient life yielded to Christ and available for His power to manifest through in the ways that please Him and further His Kingdom. Have you lost your head and put on His?

Greetings,
#kent

1 Thessalonians 1:5
For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.

Living from our Position

Our fleshly mind sets and earthly limitations are capping the reservoir of blessing God has to release through us and to us. We hear it and often receive it in our minds, but our soul hasn’t yet come into alignment by faith and action to uncap these reservoirs of living water. It is still living under the surface of natural limitations; we have to realize that we are a supernatural people who are to live after the Spirit and no longer after the flesh. Supernatural things happen to those who dare to live in supernatural ways.

Blessings,
#kent

Mark 7:24-30
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre.g He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
27“First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
28“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”
29Then he told her, “For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter.”
30She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Advance the Kingdom in Violence

At first reading this language may sound a little harsh and yet we have to understand that Israel was God’s people, so in the context of God’s spiritual order the Messiah was first promised to them, because they were the children of the promise, even of Abraham, Genesis 18:18 says, ” Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him.” There was an order to the blessing, first the Jew and then the Gentile.
Jesus, in His earthly ministry, had come to proclaim the kingdom to the house of Israel. When this Syro-Phoenician woman came to Him begging on behalf of her possessed daughter she was really coming in a time that was out of God’s time and order for her to receive of kingdom impartation, thus Jesus spoke what He did about it not being right to take their bread and give it to the Gentiles.
This woman answers with such wisdom and faith that it moves the heart of Jesus to step out of divine order and impart to her the request that she desired. She has insight into the mercy and grace that is in God’s heart. While He does move in divine order and on behalf of His chosen people, He still responds to the faith of the Gentiles. The Roman officer in Matthew 8:5 was another example of God moving out of divine order and time to release to them what wasn’t yet to be released.
What does that speak to us?
It tells us that there is realm of faith that moves God’s heart to release kingdom into the earth that is not yet in season to be released. It is not an ordinary faith, but an extraordinary faith that moves God’s heart. It is interesting to note that both of these examples didn’t come to Jesus asking for themselves, it was their intercession on the behalf of another. What can happen when we begin to take bold and extreme faith and ask God to move through us in a supernatural way on behalf of others? Matthew 11:12 says, “From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” The forcefulness of the kingdom is the faith that seizes and lays hold of it. It advances in faith and it is faithful forceful men and women that lay hold of the those things that are out of spiritual season to bring them into spiritual season. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says, ” So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
Let us be those violent men and women of faith that bring forth God’s kingdom and manifest it in the earth by our extreme and violent faith.

Blessings,
#kent

Leap of Faith

August 26, 2013

Leap of Faith

Acts 3:4-8
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted [him] up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength
And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.
The context of our scripture today comes from the account of the lame man that sat daily by the temple in Jerusalem at the gate “Beautiful” begging for alms. This had been his routine for years. All through the New Testament we see examples of people that had accepted their infirmities until one day they have an LCE (Life Changing Event) happen in their lives. It does something so miraculous that their lives are never the same again. Have you had an LCE in your life yet? Has God figuratively reached down into your life and circumstance and raised you up and set you on your feet? Some of us will say “yes,” others may say “no, nothing really extraordinary has happened to me.” I would hope we could all say that concerning our salvation and our coming into relationship with Christ, for nothing can change your life like having Christ come into it and having our lives filled with the Holy Spirit. Even at that many of us have grown complacent. Perhaps we have been enduring long time afflictions, sicknesses, or other trials of the body, mind, and spirit. Perhaps we, like this man, have grown accustomed to looking to man to meet those needs in us. Day after day we cry out in our state of weakness, begging of men not our deliverance, but our subsistence. We have grown so accustomed to the natural, that we no longer consider the supernatural.
I believe God wants to do a supernatural work in many of us. That won’t happen while we are still content with the natural things. It is going to take us hearing the Word of the Lord with spiritual ears out of the inner man and fixing our eyes in faith on the Lord whom is Lord of all. Do you believe that God is not only able, but it is His desire to lift you out of your lameness and restore you unto wholeness? We must be willing to reach up and embrace His hand in faith, so that He can lift us upright. We must be willing to step out into that which is the unknown for us. The leap of faith that embraces a Word made flesh, a revelation Word that becomes substance and life in us. We may be the vessel and instrument, like Peter and John, through whom the Lord would impart His power and grace. Do we believe that God wants to be glorified through our lives? Then we must act in accord with His will and purpose. God is great and wants to do great and marvelous things in and through our lives.
Today, don’t limit what God can do for you or through you. You have the bomb of the Holy Spirit within you. In Him there are no limitations, all things are possible to him that believes. Fix your eyes on Him today and allow Him to bring you into that Life Changing Event. Take that leap of faith.

Blessings,
kent

Enemy Thine

July 31, 2013

Enemy Thine

Romans 12:20
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

I am reminded in this verse of the parable Jesus gave of the good Samaritan, whom, though despised of the Jews, took pity and showed mercy on a robbed and nearly beaten to death Jew, whom his own countrymen had crossed the road to avoid. How many times do I cross the road in life to avoid the inconvenience of ministering to someone in need? Let alone, someone who despises me as his enemy. There is no more searing testimony of love than that shown through our unselfish actions. We have been the partakers of such a One’s love, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” We were the enemies of God and yet He loved us unconditionally and poured His hot coals of love on our heads through the Lord Jesus Christ.
There will be those in our lives who will hurt us, abuse us, take advantage of us, and treat us shamefully. They would be the objects of our hate and revenge if we were still natural men and women. There is something God wants to flow out of us that is supernatural. It stands in defiance of all natural laws of human relationships. It is a quality that can only come from the Father’s love and the nature of Christ He is bringing forth in us. It is that ability to return good for evil, blessing for cursing and prayer for those who despitefully use you. Mathew 5:44, “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;”
There are those of us today that are carrying deep hurts from the wounds others have wrongfully inflicted upon us. Jesus is asking something that may be very hard for us to do. He is asking us not only to forgive them, but also to pray for them and to do good to them. I believe He is convicting some of us right now in this area and as we are able to be obedient to the direction of His Spirit concerning these offenders it will be the source of great release and spiritual blessing in our lives. This is a Word of the Lord for you. God is going to show you how to feed your enemy and give him drink, but you must be obedient to lay down the offense and act on what God will show you. Remember we are no longer ordinary people, but extraordinary people because of the Spirit of Christ that indwells us.

Blessings,
kent

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