Honor the Lord

January 19, 2016

Matthew 15:8-9

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

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

Honor the Lord

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings,

#kent

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Fallen is Babylon

November 4, 2015

Revelations 14:8
A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.”
Fallen is Babylon

Through the ages we have seen both a real church of God and pseudo church who worshiped God outwardly in form and in name, but the true Spirit and nature of God was not found in them. In the world they represented the church and truth of God and yet through inquisitions and martyrdom they persecuted and killed those who possessed the reality of Christ and refused to be conformed to her ways and doctrines. The great Babylon has been the source of tremendous influence in the world and yet she has been in bed with the world in so many of her ways and dealings. Ironically enough it has often been the real that has been hidden in the midst of this great harlot Babylon. Babylon is the epitome of man’s religion and devices. Her leaders have taken the holy vessel of God’s true temple and defiled them in their drunkenness and debauchery. The world sees her hypocrisy, but even they don’t see the depth of her sin and defilement of Spirit. Even so, in her midst, true saints of God and the Bride has been hidden, but their effectiveness and light has often been hidden and obscured by the corruption and watered down religion of that which surrounds them. This results from a system of men that use God for their own gain and power. They have built great edifices and monuments more to their own glory than to Father God. As they come into the fullness of their corruption they will try to bring their masses into the mindset of this world system. They will use condemnation and coercion to do what would not bear witness with the true Spirit of Christ. What she does not yet know is that her time is short and her days are numbered. Her spirit is that same one as the religious leaders that crucified our Lord.
We hear this word coming out of God’s word repeatedly as expressed in Revelations 18:4 to the saints of God to come out of her, because here in Revelations 18 it tells us of her demise and ultimate destruction. “After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. 2With a mighty voice he shouted: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. 3For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” 4Then I heard another voice from heaven say:
“Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; 5for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. 6Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup. 7Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’ 8Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her:
death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”
God is calling us saints of God to true religion and undefiled. He is calling us out of man’s version of religion and into the truth of Spirit and His life. In that place we find no longer just outward expressions, words and acts of religion, God is bringing us into that place of intimacy and relationship where we can intimately know Him, not just in head knowledge, but in Spirit and in Truth. It is a place where we can finally experience the reality of His presence and fellowship in our personal lives. Our relationship is no longer dependent upon what we do for God or how good we can be. We come into the place of knowing Christ who is the finished work of our salvation and who is able to complete the good work He has began in you and I.
This is the hour to leave the old wineskin of dead religion and move into the reality of His true Church, which is alive and pregnant with the Spirit of God. God loves His own and so He is calling His own unto Himself. He is calling us out of dead religion, old paradigms and ways of thinking and out of our traditions. Jesus told the religious leaders in Mark 7:13, “Thus you nullify the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And you do many things like that.”
Press in for yourself and find the reality of Christ for your life. He is bringing you into a place of freedom. Your religion may condemn you, but then little does it know it stands condemned and under the judgement of God. He is calling you to be part of the true Church that He is raising up to the glory and praise of His name. A church that will be mighty and will go forth doing exploits, signs and wonders. He is setting you free and He is calling you out!

Blessings,
#kent

Revelations 4:1
After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Where We See the Vision of God

Most of us expect that God is supposed to meet with us on our terms, in our earthly mentality and thinking. We are always wanting more of God, so we invite him into our box, into our preconceived and formed religious thinking and mindset. Remember when, in Acts 10, Peter was on the roof top praying and God showed Him a vision of a great sheet knit on four corners, let down from heaven. It was full of unclean animals, wild beast, creeping things and fowls of the air. A voice came to him and said, “Rise Peter, kill and eat.” Remember Peter three times refused and objected because these were unclean. Peter said, “Not so Lord, for I have never eaten anything uncommon or unclean.” God was challenging Peter’s religious thinking and his doctrinal box. This didn’t fit in Peter’s theology at all. There comes a time when God takes the type and shadow and makes it a reality. There was a whole lot of this going on when Christ came as the fulfillment of so many types and shadows of the Old Testament. This is the reason that Judaism doesn’t fit comfortably in the mold of Christianity. The former was based upon types and shadows and the latter is based upon the fulfillment of those types and shadows in Christ. God’s Word does not change, but the times and the seasons of it do. We don’t reap our harvest in the winter, it isn’t the season. In God there are seasons and Jesus taught us to recognize the seasons spiritually. If our eyes are only fixed on this former season and our minds are narrowed to only walk in what have known, we may miss the season for which we were created and purposed.
In our passage in Revelations, God didn’t come down to John’s level of thinking and reasoning, He showed him an open door in heaven and said, “Come up here and I will show you the things which must come hereafter.” If we, in our generation, have come to this time of hereafter, then it is important that our spiritual eyes, ears and mind are open to the things that God is doing and speaking in this hour. They may well go against the grain of our former way of thinking as they did for Peter. We are quickly approaching the fulfillment of many of the things that the Word has spoken to us, but we have not comprehended them because the hour was not yet. I believe we are already standing in a new season of God and it is imperative for all of us to really be open for God to show us and bring us into a new dimension in our faith and in our lives. We are standing in a new day when the things spoken of as hereafter are now becoming present tense. Be ready for change, not in fearful way, but in a faith-filled way. Keep your eyes and your faith upon Him that when He moves, you move with Him, even if it is not the way it has always been. God is calling us up through that open door in heaven to come up and see the things He is about to do upon the earth. Even as God was showing Peter that He was about to bring the Gentiles into the kingdom of God, He is bringing us into a new season in Him. You will hear the word from God’s anointed and it will sound strange to you, but listen with your spiritual man, then move in obedience to what the Lord will be prompting you to do. This will not make sense now, but it will as the Spirit of God unfolds it.

Blessings,
#kent

Offenses

December 23, 2014

Proverbs 18:19
An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of a citadel.

Offenses

Did you ever wonder why the body of Christ is so often offended with one another. Think about what is at the heart of most of our division within the body. It is offenses. Out of these offenses we do exactly as Proverbs 18:19 says, we become more unyielding than a fortified city and we become close minded. What is at the heart of these issue if it is not our pride and our determination to be right.
Our pastor once shared something to the effect that religion is the need to be right, but true Christianity is the need to pursue righteousness. Why do you think many that heard Jesus, in particular the religious crowd, were offended with much of what Jesus had to say? Jesus trampled on their pride because He spoke the truth about what was in their heart. He revealed God in a way that didn’t fit within all of their traditional perimeters.
What we have to understand about offense is it usually reveals a heart condition in us. Peter swore up and down to Jesus that though everyone else might be offended in Him, he would never be offended. What resulted as Peter was confronted with being one of Jesus’ disciples was his denial. It was the testing that revealed his heart condition that he was blind too until that moment of testing came. There are many things in life we are going to want to be offended about and we may feel totally justified in doing so, but remember offenses are but a test to reveal what is really in our heart.
I love a statement our pastor recently ministered, “Offenses are simply opportunities turned inside out.” They test where our faith is, where our love is and where heart is for others and for God. When we can pass these tests of offenses then we can move on to the next level in our walk with Christ. Discipleship is not just calling yourself a Christian, it the learning of how to walk out your faith and not be offended. It is the love that can forgive your accusers, those that curse, malign, abuse, deceive and defraud you. It is walking as Jesus walked, without offense, even when He had every right to be offended.
When we can walk without offense. When can release and forgive our offenders, then we have moved past pride and the need to be right, to find true love, humility and righteousness of the God kind.

Blessings,
#kent

When We Doubt

February 12, 2014

When We Doubt

 

Colossians 2:8

See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.


When We Doubt


There is a thief the comes to steal,

The identity he says that is not real.

He brings with him doubt, fear and unbelief,

He comes to rob my faith because he is a thief.


What if all my faith is in vain?

Then I can hold on to all my guilt and shame.

What if this message of the cross is just a lie?

Then wretched and most miserable of men am I.


Let me return to the sin and death from which I came,

Let me forsake life and hope if God’s Word is just a game.

Let me return to when my heart was perverted and my walk was lame,

If all roads lead to God, then Jesus why did you come to die in vain?


The Jews passed down the account of all the works that God had done.

They did this so they would not forget all the battles by Him they won.

Take some time to recount all of your blessings, one by one.

You will be find yourself amazed at what the Lord has done.


Intellects want to rob your faith through philosophical clatter,

But what you know in your heart is really what does matter.

What you know to be real in your heart, let no man steal,

Christ in you, redeemed by the blood, that is what is real.


Satan and man can throw up all kinds of smoke and mirrors,

But in the end it is the power of Christ that removes all doubt and fears.

If you embrace the lie it is to your shame,

You’ve been stripped of the truth of why Christ came.


There remains no other sacrifice to take away your sin,

You’ve been robbed of life and power that is only found in Him.

Beware of your reasoning that tells you that Christ is a fairytale,

Lest in that time when all hope is lost, your heart will begin to fail.


If Christ be a lie I will still embrace Him until the end,

Because I have experienced His love and know Him as my friend.

No, I don’t understand the mystery of all of His ways,

But I believe when He calls me up, in Him I will be raised.


So you go ahead and embrace the lie if you will.

But I choose to embrace my Savior still.

I have identified with Him, and so I am no longer my own,

I am becoming flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone.


I will not let fear, doubt and unbelief rob me of the identity that is mine.

In Him my life is hid and out of His righteousness my life will shine.

I know who I am and I will not let anyone take that from me.

For in Christ I live and through His blood I have found my liberty.


Poor indeed is the man that let his faith be robbed,

In the day of judgement bitter tears he will sob.

Stand your ground and hold fast the truth proclaimed,

When faith has stood the test, His promises you will claim.


Kent Stuck

 
Blessings,
kent

The Greatest Gift

December 24, 2012

John 3:16
“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.”

The Greatest Gift

If we do the research we find that Christmas isn’t really a biblical institution as much as it is a religious one. One could get as religious about dispelling it as one could get trying to defend it.
Hopefully for most it hasn’t become just an obligation of giving, of materialism, of fantasy, gluttony and wanton revelry. It’s one good and primary focus should be to help us prioritize those things that are most important to us in life, God and family. With all of the busyness of life this is one of those Holidays that should get our focus off of ourselves and on to others. It is a time to re-prioritize our family and loved ones. It is a time to exercise God’s grace and forgiveness toward our family and others. It should be a time of reconciliation, healing, and letting old things go. Life is too short, for us to continue to hold offenses, anger, hatred, bitterness and resentment. Our humanly love, will at best , put up pretenses and false gestures while maintaining our grudge or dislike. God’s love in us will enable us to resign our feelings to be able to love, forgive and accept even those who have wronged us or hurt us.
The Holidays can pull us into all that men have made it about, but for us, as believers, it should be a time to remember and proclaim to the world God’s greatest gift of all to mankind. “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.” John 3:16 Out of the abundance and fruit of that gift, which we now hold in our hearts, should come the greatest expression of His love through us. People need to see through our lives, not just at Christmas, but in all seasons, the unconditional love and gift of giving we have living in us.
Perhaps at this time of the year some non-believers are more open and tolerant to hearing and receiving about Christ than at any other time. Our strongest message may not be in what we say, but in the actions with which we say it. This is our exceptional opportunity to be a blessing and to show Christ though the way we touch the lives and needs of others.
More than a tradition, Christmas should just be an exclamation mark of who we are in Christ and who He is in us. Christ is truly the reason for all seasons.

Blessings,
kent

The Corner of God and Man

October 12, 2012

The Corner of God and Man

Mark 12:10
And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:

A corner is a point where two lines meet usually at about a ninety-degree angle. There is an intersection in our lives where we have to make a choice about which way to turn and the direction we want our lives to go. A few of us will make the corner and head up through the straight gate up a steep and narrow incline called the “way of Life”. Most will turn the other way and head down the wide and popular road which leads to destruction, as Matthew 7:13 tells us, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.” It is at this intersection of God and Man that life and death choices are made. That intersection is also known as the cross of Calvary where one man, the Son of man and the Son of God, was nailed to become that intersection for mankind. His arms were stretched out to all of mankind to say, “I love you this much and I’ll pay the price for sin and I’ll shed the blood required that you might enter in.” The way up through the straight gate that leads to life is through this man Jesus who became the open gate to heaven and eternal life.
When a building is built, again the corner is the key to the building’s strength, integrity and longevity to stand and weather the storms that will come against it. The corner stone is that key foundational stone upon which the rest of the building is supported and stands. Jesus was the Messiah, the corner stone that Israel needed to complete a spiritual temple built unto the Lord. They were content and set upon the former things: the law, the traditions, the ceremony, and the hierarchy of the religious system. So when Jesus came, the fulfillment of what they had hoped for and waited upon, promised by the prophets, they missed it. They rejected the cornerstone of their salvation. The natural mind can become so set in it’s tradition and order of doing things, that it doesn’t want to accept that God might have a new order of doing things. We, as Christians can fall into this same mindset of our religious traditions, because it is comfortable and familiar. Be careful that we don’t also reject the moving of the Holy Spirit as He moves on to greater dimensions of truth and revelation for the Church. The Spirit of God is not stationary and stagnant. He is a dynamic moving force. If we want to reject God’s way and build our own building with the works of our hands, the sweat of our brow, then we can do that. Israel, as a whole, is still doing that. 1 Peter 2: 4 says of this rejection, “And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.” When we enter into the building that God is building we enter into a temple not made with hands. It is being fashioned and built by the Spirit of God upon the chief cornerstone of Christ Jesus. We are the lively stones that make up its walls. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ (1Peter 2:5).” He is the cornerstone, which the world, secular religion and His own people rejected. 1 Peter 2:6-10 goes on to tell us, “Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past [were] not a people, but [are] now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.”
That corner we turned back at God and Man was a right turn that is taking us not up the easiest road, but it is the high road that leads to life and godliness. When we made that decision and as we continue on in that decision we are becoming a part of God’s house and His household. It was and still is the best corner we ever turned.

Blessings,
kent

Odd Little Christmas Tree

October 11, 2012

Isaiah 53:3
He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

Odd Little Christmas Tree

As I closed my eyes to meditate on what to write I saw a Christmas tree lot full of trees. The lot was a sea of dark green trees, six to eight feet tall, but in the front was a little, maybe four foot tree that was bright, light green. While it stood out from all of the other trees, it wasn’t what the majority of people would be shopping for. Every now and then I would catch a glimpse of an aura around this tree that was maybe twenty feet high and much larger around. This was a special tree, unlike the others, not nearly as impressive in the natural, but what it carried, made it the tree to really be desired and purchased. What it carried was not the appearance of Christmas, but the true spirit of it. It was not about a season when men summon up the spirit of giving and expectation. It was about a tree that carried that spirit through every season of the year. It was the Spirit of God that defined this little tree and though it didn’t appear to be anything in the natural eye, when you saw it by the Spirit, its stature and glory far exceeded all around it.
That little tree may represent you today. You are not seen as anything of importance in the world. The world may hardly notice you and if it does it may be to ridicule you and mock you because you don’t look and act like everyone around you. You may be in the same lot with all of the other trees, but you are unique and different.
The other trees are Christmas trees, grown and cut uniformly for the tradition of the season. You are not for the tradition or the season; you don’t just carry the imitation of Christ, you carry the Spirit and identity of His life within you. You will not die and whither in a month, because through the Spirit in you, you abide in the Vine and draw your life from Him. You are unique and special, but not in a worldly kind of way. You were cut and placed in the lot to bring new light, meaning and understanding to the traditional ways around you. You were meant to stand apart, because in that contrast some will see the real from the facade and fake. You are here to make a difference. Don’t allow what others say or think determine your value or your worth. That has been determined by the Father and you far beyond earthly value or worth because what you carry within you is without measure and price. It is priceless. Be who God is calling you to be, even if that doesn’t look like every other tree in the lot. You are here to make a difference and blessed are the people that choose you to adorn their home and their lives. Be encouraged, what some may reject, others will cherish. Be the light and the true Spirit of Christ in the earth for all seasons.

Blessings,
kent

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