Hebrews 10:35-36
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Hold Fast to Your Relationship

Have you ever exercised, ran a race or just lived life and you came to the place where you thought you couldn’t or didn’t want to go any further. You were tired, exhausted, maybe even discouraged and felt defeated. There are times as we walk through life trying to hold fast the faith that we get tired. We just want to let ourselves drift back into the flesh and quit the daily effort of living a life of faith and righteousness. Perhaps we have a friend or loved one who is always pressuring us to go out and have fun with them or do the things we know would be displeasing to the Lord. There are times we get weak, we get discouraged and we want to give up trying and fighting the good fight of our faith. “After all, God still loves me and maybe He is not all that interested in what I do and don’t do.”
I can tell you from experience that when we step through that door, we step out of our place of fellowship and relationship with the Lord that we have cultivated through our walk and prayer time with Him. Often we don’t even realize what we do have and what His fellowship means to us until we lose it. When we walk away from it, that ground is so much harder to gain back the second time. The Lord knows our heart and our feelings, but we must be careful not to allow the enemy to come in and rob us of that confidence and relationship we have in Him. It is often so subtle and many times perpetrated through the ones we like and love.
The Lord says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” The pressures and the trials of life often weigh heavy upon us and we sometimes want to give up, but the Word says, “don’t throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” Stay the course, don’t give up and don’t give in. Find your rest and your strength day by day in the Good Shepherds arms. “You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Blessings,
#kent

2 Corinthians 2:10
For the weapons of our warfare [are] not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds

Through the Heat of Battle

In the trenches of spiritual warfare you are not often going to look your best. In the daily battles and encounters we have we are often sweaty, dirty, tired and even bloody, bruised and wounded. Those who are walking out their faith are not dressed for ceremony they are dressed for battle. In the battle you most likely will not feel like a good warrior or hero. You may be scared, discouraged, fatigued, hurting and just trying to survive. While you may feel inside to be anything but an overcomer, that is who you are as you endure the battle and stand faithful to the banner of your faith. The survivors and heroes of war weren’t wearing their medals on their chest in the midst of the battle, those medals were the result of their fortitude, their faithfulness, their courage in the midst of the battle when all they were seeing around them was pain, suffering and death. Yet there was something in their character and in their hearts that brought them through the battle. Those men and women weren’t decorated with medals because they conducted themselves well, when everything was going good and they were at peace. Most medals are won in the midst of battle where if we get through it, it is not without loss and pain physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Many of you are on the spiritual battlegrounds today. It may not have been your choice, but you are there in the midst of the battle none the less. Most of us would like to just speak a word and have those battles resolved and go away, but we find that we are in a war that often rages on day after day. Some days we are not sure we can make it through another one, but somehow, by the grace of God, we do. God wants you to know that this is not a sign of your weakness or your defeat, it is the proving ground of your victory and your triumph. The enemy is fighting to take your life, but by your faithfulness and the fortitude of your faith, God is forming in you the heart of courage and the qualities of heroes. By your continued faithfulness you are prevailing and you are conquering, even though in your heart you may feel very discouraged and defeated. It is in these places that we learn to crawl out of the weakness of our flesh and put on Christ who is our strength and our life. We may have to endure the battle while in these weak and frail bodies, but in our spirits and in our hearts we have put off the flesh and put on Christ who is our strength. Through Him we are more than conquerors and can do all things. If He leads us into battle then we must trust that He can sustain us through it.
Whatever your battle and whatever front your are fighting on, whether it be health, finances, job, emotional, family problems, persecution, or whatever, He is there for you. In these places of battle the enemy tries to strip us of our dignity, our faith, our confidence and assurance. He rails upon us with condemnation, throwing before us our weakness and defeats. We can not take his bait. Sometimes he causes hurts so severe that we will harbor, hate, anger and unforgiveness. He assaults us on many fronts, but we must be wise and discerning of His tactics, holding fast the Word of God as our standard of truth and reality. We are what the Word of God says we are. 1 Peter 2:9-11 says of us, “9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Be encouraged today; strengthen yourself in His faithfulness. Stay the course, endure the battle and finish the race. “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. (1 John 4:17)”

Blessings,
#kent

Sleep Walking

March 19, 2015

Revelations 3:1-6
“To the angel of the church in Sardis write:
These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. 2Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. 3Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. 4Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels. 6He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Sleep Walking

I wonder how many of us today might find ourselves much in the same condition as the Church of Sardis. We have a reputation as a Christian and having a relationship with Christ and yet we have allowed the world to induce us to sleep. We still go through motions of Christianity, but inwardly we are slipping into apathy, complacency and lethargy that are causing us to fall into a spiritual sleep. When we are around the world and its values daily, hearing its talk, watching it values and trying to fit into its social norms, we can find ourselves drifting away from that purpose driven life of who we are in Christ and what He has called our lives to be. We may have said to ourselves subconsciously, “I’ll just sit here for awhile and rest from my spiritual journey. The warfare of walking in Christ has wearied me, so I’ll just let down for a while and go with the flow.” First we sit down and before we know it we are lying down in the spiritual filth of the world and our righteous garments are becoming soiled by our compromise.
The Holy Spirit is coming to us in this hour, shaking us and telling us to “Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of God.” We have allowed ourselves to slip back into the death that holds the world in darkness and sin. Shake it off and arise again with repentance into your purpose and calling in Christ. He has called us to live in daily faithfulness unto Him. He is looking for those who will not soil their garments of righteousness, but will walk in an overcoming life of righteous living in Christ, day by day fighting the good fight of faith and not growing weary in the battle.
If we examine ourselves and the Holy Spirit is revealing to us that we are in this state, then it is time for us to Wake Up and get our lives back into the flow of His life and purpose. Our Christianity cannot be a sleep walk; it must be a walk of overcoming through commitment, obedience and faithfulness.

Blessings,
#kent

Tired?

March 18, 2014

Tired?


Isaiah 40:31

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint. 


There are times on our journey through life that we just get tired.  We get emotionally, physically and spiritually weary; in those times our excitement and exuberance wanes.  Our desire ceases in its passion and we just want to turn away, escape and turn off all the demands and challenges that are present in our life.  

Perhaps you’re tired of fighting the battles in your life.  You know you need to get up and go, but your body is saying, “no, just let me sleep,” or your mind and emotions are saying, “I just can’t deal with it any longer.”  

Our lives have many demands, pressures and expectations placed upon them.  Some of them are of our own choosing and many just goes with the territory.  Without the proper rest, these issues and trials of life will tend to burn us out.  Maybe some of you are feeling that way even as you read this.  In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.”  Sometimes we think, “how can this be, when it is all of this trying to live right and do right that has gotten me to this place of exhaustion.”  Maybe we are trying to be everything to everybody and we just feel spent.  I think women in particular experience this because of all the emotional and physical demands they carry with family, career, household and a social life.  

Most of us know that a lot is often riding on our being able to keep up the pace and perform our duties.  Even though we feel the strain and exhaustion we keep on pushing.  Where is our rest?

Do you ever find that even if you could rest, you can’t?  Your mind is always racing with all of the things that need to be done.  It is like juggling, you are afraid that if you rest from your concentration you will start dropping the balls and your world will fall apart.  In our drive for success we often create our own mousetraps that keep us running.  But the issue is you need rest!  

Jesus is telling us that He has not come to heap more on to our already overflowing plate, but He has come to give our life perspective, meaning and purpose.  Maybe we think we already have all of that, but when we look at all that we do in the light of eternity and what it really means to the sum of our life, how much of it is still as meaningful?  

When we come into the rest that Jesus has for us we find that place where we are not carrying the entire burden of life.  The issues and trials of life we now share with our Savior.  Our reliance is now shifted from our ability to His ability and strength in us.  The Lord doesn’t require of us what He has not provided the resources to do.  Our scripture from Isaiah says, “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”  That waiting is the hope and expectation we have in God, in His Word and promises.  Our strength, our rest, our renewal is in laying hold of the life of Christ in us.  The Word says, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.”  The Lord is my place of rest and strength.  When I’m tired and weary, when my natural man doesn’t feel it can keep going on, it is like that story of “Footprints in the Sand”, the Lord has not deserted us, but as we come into His rest we find that He is carrying us.  When we are tired we need to crawl up on our Daddy God’s lap and just rest.  Let Him have all your burdens, all your cares, worries and pressures.  The Lord is your rest and in Him you will find the encouragement, the hope and strength you need to carry on.  

 

Blessings,

#KentStuck

On Eagle’s Wings

October 22, 2013

Isaiah 40:27-31
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God”? 28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

On Eagle’s Wings

Are we to worry in troubled times? Do we think that the Lord does not see our need and our cause is disregarded? If we think that then we don’t know who our God is.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:25–34, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?”
28″And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Our lives can no longer be measured by what we possess, the position that we hold or our social standing. Who possesses us and how much we are His possession is the measure of our lives. The Lord cares for His own. Psalms 37:25 says, “I have been young, and [now] am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” These can be great times of opportunity for the people of God, because it causes us to become focused on what is the most important thing, our relationship with the Father. Suddenly the things of this world that seemed so important yesterday are gone today. That which we placed our confidence and hope in yesterday has vaporized and is no more. Does that mean all hope is lost and the Lord does not care? No, it should mean that now we can turn our attention to Him who has cared so much, but before we were too busy for Him. Suddenly the resources of this world have dried up and we must discover whom our true resource and provision is.
People of God, Know Your God! “Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
When young eagles get to a certain age of maturity it is time for them to get out of the security of their nest. Up until this time everything has been comfy and cozy. Their food has been brought to them and they have become complacent that this is the way life will always be. Then one day the parent eagle begins to ruffle the nest, disrupting the smooth soft lining, making it poky and uncomfortable. Then one day they make those little eagles leave that comfortable nest and jump out into nothingness hundreds of feet above the ground. Now to that young eagle what is probably going through their mind is, “My goodness they have raised me up to kill me.” Eventually they take off and fall, flailing their wings as they are falling. Before they hit the ground the parent eagle sweeps under them and bears them back up to the nest. Now you know that has to be an adrenaline filled moment, but it has to happen time and again until these little eagles find their wings. When finally they find their wings they find that, like their parents, they too can fly. They have just come into a new dimension that they had never known before. Before it was only the parents that could do this, now they too can soar up to the heights of heaven and see for miles and miles.
This speaks of us in this hour. God is beginning to toss us out of our comfortable nests. It has to be so as to bring us into the fullness of who we are in Him. We were not created to feed in the barnyard with the other chickens. We were created to rise up on our eagle wings and soar in the heavens. God is the wind beneath your wings and He will bear you up as your faith relies upon Him. Don’t be fearful when you fall. Falling is part of the process of learning to fly, but if you never find your wings eventually you will be allowed to crash.
We have a destiny and it is not life on earth status quo. We have been raised up to not only experience the fullness of salvation, but to be the instruments of His salvation to a creation subjected to vanity, yet in hope. We are the instruments of His salvation in the earth.
Do not become discouraged or dismayed when hard times come upon us. This is a day of opportunity and advancement to the people of God that will press us in to truly know Him. God is not trying to defeat you, but promote you. This is a day when you can truly experience Him as your resource and provision. In order for us to fly we will have to adhere to dynamic kingdom principles that perhaps we have not held too so closely before. It is a place of faith and obedience as we learn His voice and find His provision in our every need.

Blessings,
kent

When You Get Weary

April 4, 2013

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

When You Get Weary

You who are believers, do you ever get discouraged in your Christians walk? Do you ever get tired of swimming upstream and going against the flow? Do you ever just want to give up and give in?
You’re not alone. I think all those that have really walked their faith have had those times and maybe you are struggling right now. You may have grown very weary with the trials and the assaults of the enemy. It may seem the more you try to live for Jesus the worse things get and the more others try to get you to compromise and back off.
That only means you are doing something right. If we were not facing opposition of some kind, then we may need to examine how earnestly we are walking in our faith, because the Word says, ‘those who live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.’ The Lord is just letting us know that it goes with the territory.
I know we can grow weary and we are all continually tempted to compromise with the world and its values. Just remember this, you have fought the good fight. You have persevered in faith, prayer and holding fast to God’s Word. Just as in a natural war, the ground you gained spiritually has come at personal price and sacrifice. It was ground that you had to do spiritual warfare to gain. The last thing you want to do is retreat and give it up.
The enemy wants to wear us down, discourage us, make us feel defeated and lose sight of the prize of the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. Sometimes when we are walking uphill and get tired and exhausted we don’t realize what ground we have gained until we look back and see how far we have come and how steep the grade. The same is true of your faith.
Yes we can just let down, give in and quit fighting so hard, but if we aren’t moving forward we are moving backwards. God knows you need times of rest and refreshment and He will never allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but He will stretch you beyond what we may think we are capable. He wants you to know that the strength and power that you need is not in you, but in Him. When you have nothing left then you find the rest and the strength of His arms that carry you through. He will honor your faithfulness.
Remember that no ground that is lost is easily regained. It is much harder the second time around, so be encouraged and stay the course. Enter into the strength of God’s rest, and trust Him to help you to continue on, knowing that He who began a good work in you is able to bring it completion. You are not alone. Your identity is now in Him and through Christ you can do all things.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9

Blessings,
kent

In His Image

November 5, 2012

In His Image

John 3:2-3
Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.

With the natural mind and vision it seems impossible to come into the likeness of all that Christ is. Yet, this is what we live for, this is what we endure affliction, hardship, persecution and trials for. We are so often focused and filled with the concerns of the outward perishing man with all it weaknesses and shortcomings, but inwardly we behold Jesus, the pattern son, the first born of many sons that are coming into glory. There are those of us who haven’t endured that much adversity in our life, but there are others of us who are tired from a hard road of suffering and trials that they have traveled and it is only the grace of God that they are holding on today. Some of you have said, “ Just take me home Lord, I don’t want to continue on as I have been.” Why some of our roads are so much harder than others I can not say, but this I know, what you have suffered and endured is not in vain. God sees your faithfulness as you have endured, and though you may not see it, you have been walking the way of the Overcomer. You may laugh and say, “What have I overcome, look at the mess my life is in and the pain, suffering and heartache I am still enduring?” Abraham was given promises of God that seemed impossible and did he receive them immediately? Some of those promises are still being fulfilled.
Jesus prays for all that believe on Him in John 17:10-16, “”My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24″Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. 25″Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. 26I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”” Have we seen all that Jesus prayed for fulfilled? We are a people who live by faith and the greatest testimony of our faith is when we can walk in the hope of the promises that are set before us, even when we do not see the manifestation of them. Some of our promises we carry into glory with us. Does that mean that God is not faithful to His word? God is not limited by our natural lifetime.
For those of us that are discouraged and tired of life let me encourage you not to give up in the battle. Your faithfulness and perseverance have not gone unnoticed by the Lord. You have not suffered in vain. The enemy is always there to tell you to give up and that God has failed you. No, God has entrusted you with a walk that most of us couldn’t endure and would fail at, but by His grace you will carry on in faith and you will overcome by your faithfulness and trust, regardless of whether you see the manifestation of the promise or not. I believe God is a great rewarder of those who are faithful to Him, especially through the fire and trials. Allow that place you are in to have its perfect work in you. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:16, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.” Psalm 34:9 says, “Many [are] the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivereth him out of them all.” Come and rest your head upon the breast of Jesus. Let Him be your comfort and your confidence. He will give you grace to see you through if you will hold fast to Him and not let go.
Hebrews 11:10 says of Abraham, “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” Hebrews 11:13-16 goes on to remind us that this time, this place this life is not the fulfillment of all of our promises. “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”
We have the promise of coming into the image of Christ if we persevere and hold fast the confession our faith. Let us not become discouraged, but let us remain faithful holding fast the promises as we journey into the place that God has prepared for us, both in this sanctuary and that which is to come.

Blessings,
kent

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