Time and Chance

February 24, 2021

Time and Chance

Ecclesiates 9:11

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

Things in life don’t always go according to plan or in the direction that we may have thought they should go.  We all have preconceived ideas about the way life is and how it should be.  Things happen in life that takes us in directions that we didn’t expect.  Life can bring upon us both good and evil in ways we didn’t anticipate or plan for.  We live according to certain principles that we expect to yield certain results, often it happens that way, but there are times that it doesn’t.  We may find ourselves coming into great riches and wealth or be diagnosed with cancer, neither one of which we would have expected to happen to us. 

                If we can’t rely on what life will bring us then what can we rely and base our lives upon?  What is a constant that we can count upon to not change?  There are a lot of principles and wisdom keys that we can use to govern and live our lives.  At the end of Ecclesiastes, Solomon sums it all up in these words in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this [is] the whole [duty] of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether [it be] good, or whether [it be] evil.”  We don’t have control over all the things that can touch our lives.  What we can have is faith and faithfulness to the One who has our lives in His hands.  Most all of us will enjoy times of blessing and all of us will endure times of adversity, but it is the Lord who is with us in all that we face in life. 

                No matter what you are facing today, no matter how inadequate you feel, or how bad you think you have failed, there is hope.  Ecclesiastes 9:4 says, “For to him that is joined to all the living there is hope: for a living dog is better than a dead lion.“  Life may not hold the quality that you had hoped for, but don’t give up on it.   God is the One who has our lives in His hand and we must never presumptuously take it from Him, but rather set our eyes upon Him.  What we truly long for and cherish is not found in this world, but in that which is to come.  The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:19, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.”  It wasn’t the joy of this life that brought Paul pleasure, but the assurance of that life he had in Christ that made it all worthwhile.  Whatever place in life you are in today, never lose your hope or fail to put your faith in the Lord that holds your life in His hands.

Blessings,

#kent

The Arm of the Flesh

February 11, 2021

The Arm of the Flesh

2 Chronicles 32:7-8

Be strong and courageous, be not afraid nor dismayed for the king of Assyria, nor for all the multitude that [is] with him: for [there be] more with us than with him: With him [is] an arm of flesh; but with us [is] the LORD our God to help us, and to fight our battles. And the people rested themselves upon the words of Hezekiah king of Judah.

            When we think about our arms, we think about limbs that are fundamental to our lives; by their strength we carry out the tasks of life, by them we defend and protect ourselves and by their strength we take care of ourselves from the small things to the large.  We have come to realize that often our strength is not sufficient for the needs we have in our lives.  This brings us to the place where King Hezekiah offered these words of encouragement to the people of his nation.  He had done what he could do, but in the natural, the forces that had come up against them were much greater and stronger than they were.

            Does that ever sound like your life?  You’ve done what you know to do, but some of the trials and circumstances in our lives are much greater and stronger than us.  If all that we have is our natural strength to rely upon then we know that whatever it is that we are facing will overcome and conquer us.  Praise God for the Word that says in 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”  Isn’t it marvelous and reassuring that we don’t have to rely upon the arm of our flesh, but we have the arm of the Lord to rely upon; “for there be more with us than with him;” him, being our enemy, our circumstance, our need, our sickness, our disease, and our adversities and trials.  The Word of God is rich with stories of those who by faith in their God were more than conquers, they were Overcomers of God.  They were able to do mighty, miraculous, and many times, supernatural things because they did not rely upon on the arm of the flesh, but upon the arm of God.  God wants to be our strength.  He wants to show Himself mighty in our circumstance that are too great for us and not only in the big things, but in the everyday things.  In fact, God is very strong about His feelings of where we put our trust and confidence.  In Jeremiah 17:5-8  the Lord speaks this to His people, “This is what the LORD says:  “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” God wants to get us out of this mindset of self-sufficiency and reliance.  He wants our eyes, our hearts and our confidence to be in Him and who He is and not ourselves.  We, like those before us, are all prone to self-worship.  We become our own god and it is always about us, what we can do and how we can get it.  That is not God.  God wants to be an integral part of everything that affects our lives.  He cares about your problems and your needs.  He wants us to bring them to Him, but more than that He wants us to believe for what He says He will do and stand in that faith.  God doesn’t work in the snap of our fingers or in the twitch of our nose; He works in His time and His way, His wonders to behold.

            Now that we are “in Christ” we have His arms and His strength to sustain us.  That doesn’t mean we won’t go through the fires of trials and testing, but it does mean that we don’t go there alone and in our own strength.  It is there that we will see the manifest strength of our God in and through us. 

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)”

Blessings,

#kent

The Joy of His Fellowship

September 28, 2020

Psalms 5:11

But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.

The Joy of His Fellowship

              When you think back over your life what strikes you as the times when you had the greatest joy and contentment in your life?  For many of us has been the loving relationship that we have shared with our spouse or some special individual, but I don’t even know if that joy can exceed or compare to the joy of an intimate relationship with the Lord.  There is not greater joy than when we are in right fellowship with Jesus.  When I think of the times of greatest joy and fulfillment, I have to say they are in the Lord.  In those days when there is a constant dialogue with the Father and the Holy Spirit is just speaking little things into your heart that encourage you or just give you a new different revelation of Him.  It is such a joy to see the little miracles that He performs in our lives as we are fully trusting on Him and looking to Him for our every need.  That is why it is good that we don’t have everything.  We need to keep exercising our trust in Him.  Some of our poorest times were some of our richest times, because we had the privilege of seeing God’s ability working in our circumstances and His provision in our needs.  When we become prosperous and enjoy success, we often lose sight of the One who brought us where we are and who gave us the prosperity that we enjoy.  We begin to take ownership and pride in what we have accomplished rather than what the Lord has imparted through us and to us.   We tend to quit trusting in Him and looking more to our own devices and means.  He blesses us with all of His riches and wonderful gifts and then, ironically, we tend to have less and less time for Him because now we have to be focused on all that we have and all that we are still trying to get.  Meanwhile, in all of that we lose that most precious commodity and possession that we can have in life, the joy and fellowship of the Lord.  We have allowed that intimacy and fellowship we once enjoyed to become replaced by other things we think we want, but that usually only bring us into more bondage and obligation to care for them.  Somewhere in our travels through life we look back and we wonder where did it go, when did I lose it; that special relationship I had with Him?  It is not that we have forsaken our faith or that we don’t still love and trust the Lord, but it becomes like many of our marriages; we lose our first love. 

              God show us again how to recapture the fervent passion and joy we had in our first love.  Help us to turn our backs on the weights and sins that so easily encumber us, stumble us and have robbed us of our joy with YOU!  Help us to find again the elements of our love that made our time together so sweet and memorable.  Help us to revisit and possess again that joy.  We tend to lose it with You and in our marriages and other human relationships as well.  It was that joy that made life so rich and so worth living.  Bring us back to that joy of when You were everything and fellowship was so sweet. 

Blessings,

#kent

Maintain His Standard

September 4, 2020

Maintain His Standard

2 Chronicles 14:-2-12;15:1-8,

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God. 3 He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. 4 He commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to obey his laws and commands. 5 He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. 6 He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the LORD gave him rest. 7 “Let us build up these towns,” he said to Judah, “and put walls around them, with towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God; we sought him and he has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8 Asa had an army of three hundred thousand men from Judah, equipped with large shields and with spears, and two hundred and eighty thousand from Benjamin, armed with small shields and with bows. All these were brave fighting men. 9 Zerah the Cushite marched out against them with a vast army and three hundred chariots, and came as far as Mareshah. 10 Asa went out to meet him, and they took up battle positions in the Valley of Zephathah near Mareshah.

11 Then Asa called to the LORD his God and said, “LORD, there is no one like you to help the powerless against the mighty. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on you, and in your name we have come against this vast army. O LORD, you are our God; do not let man prevail against you.” 12 The LORD struck down the Cushites before Asa and Judah. The Cushites fled, 13 and Asa and his army pursued them as far as Gerar. Such a great number of Cushites fell that they could not recover; they were crushed before the LORD and his forces. The men of Judah carried off a large amount of plunder. 14 They destroyed all the villages around Gerar, for the terror of the LORD had fallen upon them. They plundered all these villages, since there was much booty there. 15 They also attacked the camps of the herdsmen and carried off droves of sheep and goats and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.

The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, and he was found by them. 5 In those days it was not safe to travel about, for all the inhabitants of the lands were in great turmoil. 6 One nation was being crushed by another and one city by another, because God was troubling them with every kind of distress. 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded.”

8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD’s temple.

              In these scriptures we see a man given to doing right in the Lord’s eyes and in trusting Him. We see that the Lord honored him with peace and prosperity.  We see that when evil forces rose against and even though their numbers were great, they put their trust in the Lord, the Lord fought their battle and gave them great victory.  The prophet speaks the word of the Lord to Asa and says, “The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.”  These are good words for us to take to heart as God’s people and as His nation.  We have seen our nation’s history was founded on men who put their trust in God and who sought His wisdom when founding and creating the constitution that has been its foundation.  The foundational truth that was established and that which has even been printed on our currency is “IN GOD WE TRUST”.  What do you think will become of us as a nation and as a people when we depart from this foundational principle.  If we look further into the end of Asa we will see. 

2 Chronicles 16

In the thirty-sixth year of Asa’s reign Baasha king of Israel went up against Judah and fortified Ramah to prevent anyone from leaving or entering the territory of Asa king of Judah.

2 Asa then took the silver and gold out of the treasuries of the LORD’s temple and of his own palace and sent it to Ben-Hadad king of Aram, who was ruling in Damascus. 3 “Let there be a treaty between me and you,” he said, “as there was between my father and your father. See, I am sending you silver and gold. Now break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel so he will withdraw from me.”

4 Ben-Hadad agreed with King Asa and sent the commanders of his forces against the towns of Israel. They conquered Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim and all the store cities of Naphtali. 5 When Baasha heard this, he stopped building Ramah and abandoned his work. 6 Then King Asa brought all the men of Judah, and they carried away from Ramah the stones and timber Baasha had been using. With them he built up Geba and Mizpah.

7 At that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah and said to him: “Because you relied on the king of Aram and not on the LORD your God, the army of the king of Aram has escaped from your hand. 8 Were not the Cushites and Libyans a mighty army with great numbers of chariots and horsemen ? Yet when you relied on the LORD, he delivered them into your hand. 9 For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.”

10 Asa was angry with the seer because of this; he was so enraged that he put him in prison. At the same time Asa brutally oppressed some of the people.

11 The events of Asa’s reign, from beginning to end, are written in the book of the kings of Judah and Israel. 12 In the thirty-ninth year of his reign Asa was afflicted with a disease in his feet. Though his disease was severe, even in his illness he did not seek help from the LORD, but only from the physicians. 13 Then in the forty-first year of his reign Asa died and rested with his fathers. 14 They buried him in the tomb that he had cut out for himself in the City of David. They laid him on a bier covered with spices and various blended perfumes, and they made a huge fire in his honor.

              I believe this is prophetic of our nation in this day and this hour.  It is not just how we start the race, it is how we finish it.  Asa started well, but he finished foolishly and to his own demise.  Our nation started well and even though we were but a weak struggling infant nation God delivered and gave us victory over England, the strongest nation of the world at that time.  Now we, as the people of God, must intercede for our nation and its leaders as we see it quickly descending into this path of forsaking the Lord.  As you exercise your freedom to vote and be heard, hold up the standard of the Lord in all that you vote for.  Those who put their trust in the arm of the flesh will fail, but those who lean wholly and fully trust in the Lord will not be disappointed.  If we, as the people of God, will not lift up His standard then who will?  The spirit of darkness is strong all around us.  We can see it even in the media and news.  We are the light of the world, so let our light shine before men.   If we forsake the Lord, He will forsake us.

Blessings,

#kent

Random Order

July 29, 2020

Random Order

Psalms 119:133

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

              God does not operate out of chance.  He does not spin a wheel and wherever the ball lands that’s the direction He goes.  Our God is a magnificent God of design and order.  He has a plan and He knows the beginning to the end.  Your life and mine aren’t a chance happening, they are ordered of the Lord.  He has put within each one of us a destiny and a purpose for our being. 

              Someone may be thinking, “You don’t know my life, what I have been through or what a mess I am.”  God does and He is able to take what the enemy has meant for evil and destruction and turn it around to be a stronghold for His glory and praise.  He is able to lift you up out of the death and darkness you have been in and set your feet in the way of light and truth.  He is able to take our weakness and turn them into the strongest areas of righteousness and victory in our lives.  God has a destiny, plan and purpose for your life, but the only way you will fully realize it is as you allow Him to order your steps according to His Word.  God has a divine and fulfilling plan for each of us, but we don’t have to follow it.  It is sin and rebellion that have caused us to miss it and that is why many of us are in the misery we are in. 

              As we look back over our lives, what do we see?  Are we satisfied and content with the results?  Do you feel you have lived your life to the fullness of God’s will and design for you.  We must come to the place that we realize our greatest joy, happiness and fulfillment doesn’t come out pursuing our own pleasures and desires, it will only be realized in the unity with God’s will and order for your life.  As I look back over my own life and the times I have walked close to God and the times I haven’t, I can see that my greatest joy, blessing and fulfillment are the times when I am passionately pursuing Him and seeking the fullness of His will for my life.  Our Father didn’t give us His Word and commandments to imprison us and make us miserable.  He gave them to set us free to be the children of righteousness and holiness that could enjoy the riches of all that He has for us.  It is our own sin and rebellion that prevent, inhibit and imprison us from enjoying the full blessings and promises that God has given us. 

              Our God is a God of divine and precise order.  We can look all around our universe and see the evidence of that in all of creation.  Only the fool could truly say the world and all its wonders were created by mere chance, how absurd.  An atheist has to have more faith to believe that, than a believer does to believe in God.  All of creation is a testimony to the wonder, greatness and order of God.  We have to realize that so much of our thinking, values and beliefs have been the persuasion of a lie.  All the chaos, disorder, anarchy, rebellion and discord in the world is the result of the devil’s influence on the minds and hearts of men.  We at war with terrorism today because men bought the lies of satan and in the name of religion and their god they terrorize by killing, wounding and maiming innocent men, women and children.  That certainly has no connection with the God I know. 

              If our steps are ordered of the Lord then He will not allow iniquity to have dominion over you.  In fact, in Christ, He has already empowered you to have victory and dominion over sin and iniquity.  He is our righteousness and we stand complete Him today because of Jesus.  Jesus did it all. He has issued us all the equipment we need to go out, conquer and prevail.  All we have to do is, in faith, put it on and use it according the operations manual of the Word of God, your Bible.  If we are living in defeat, oppression and failure in our lives, then we are like a homeless person using hundred dollar bills to stuff the bag he is sleeping on.  God has given us the resources, but we must rise up in the authority of His Word and the name of Jesus Christ and use them. 

              We cannot live our lives by random order and expect the fullness of God’s best in our lives.  It will be a hit and miss proposition.  As we live methodically and purposefully in the principles of God’s Word then we will reap the benefits of His promises and provisions.  If you want victory, joy and fulfillment in your life then order your steps in the Lord and in His Word.

Blessings,

#kent

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A Principle of Life about Fear

If given the choice, most of us would be quite content to live a nice, safe, secure, healthy and relatively uneventful life.  In many ways, a lot of us have.  We need to ask ourselves is that really living or is that comfortably dying a slow death?  

One thing fear does, is it gets us out of our comfort zone.  It often gets our heart racing and our adrenaline pumping.  Our senses come alive in the face of danger and uncertainty.  If we could see our lives in the light of the spiritual couch potatoes we would become if we never faced any trials, testing or adversity, then we can better appreciate why God allows them to come into our lives.  

In order for our faith to grow it must be challenged so that our faith can come up to the level of our challenge.  Since fear doesn’t come to us from God then we must realize that faith is the antidote to fear.  Faith sets our eyes and attention back where they belong.  Looking to the Father.  When we realize that fear comes from our inadequacy, weakness and inability to control a situation, we either have to face it in the frailty of human ability or have a revelation of what God has given us to counter it with.  God hasn’t given us the spirit of fear, but what He has given us is the Spirit of power, love and a sound mind.  We have a mighty arsenal to combat fear and to overcome it.  Fear only works as long as you are afraid.  When you are no longer afraid, fear has lost its power.  What the Word of God is telling us is that you don’t have to be afraid.  You don’t have to fret, worry or be anxious.  What you need to do, is lay hold with faith and confidence upon God’s Word, His promises and assurance.  The more you fill your self with the Word of God and spend time in His presence; the more bold, confident and faith-filled you become.  For the enemy and the spirit of fear, you then, become a force to be reckoned with.  The person who really has a revelation of their identity in Christ, who knows their position in heavenly places in Christ Jesus and operates in their God given and appointed purpose is a dangerous person to the enemy of fear and darkness.  The gates of hell can not prevail against that person.  

An example of such a person was seen in David.  He was called, appointed, anointed and knew who he was in God when he confronted Goliath.  He didn’t fall into that trap of fear like the rest of the camp of Israel.  He came from a place of faith and authority, not his, but the Spirit of God in him.  Later, we see Saul, with all the resources and armies of Israel at his command pursuing David’s life, but unable to capture and take it.  He was that spirit of fear that pursued David, but was unable to prevail, because David put his trust and confidence in the Lord.  

Was that an easy place for David? No, it was a very difficult place, but at that time David lived and walked with God closer than at any other time in his life.  Adversities are often allowed in our lives to stir us into faith.  They cause our spiritual senses to come alive and get our focus off of the world onto the Lord.  Fear isn’t always a bad thing, not because we want to succumb to it, but because we want the faith to arise in our hearts, along with the resident power, love and the mind of Christ to overcome all fear and the adversary that stands before us.  The force of opposition only serves to make us stronger.

We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.  Our Captain, King and Savior has conquered death and the grave.  He has set down at the right Hand of the Father until His enemies be made His footstool.  We are the body and feet of our Captain and King, Jesus.  He is putting the enemy beneath our feet, because we are His.  

Someone once said, “You need to either get busy living or get busy dying.”  Our time for being complacent, lethargic and comfortable is soon coming to an end.  We need to make the choice to live or to die, life or death.  If we are going to live then we need to live out of the place where we pursue fear and it doesn’t pursue us.  We have to come into that place of having assurance of who we are and what God put us on this earth for.  We were not put here to be subject to this kingdom that lives under the rule and power of sin and death.  We live under the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  We were put here to invade this earthly kingdom with the kingdom Heaven, Life and God.  “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.”  We are God’s portals, conduits and well springs through which He invades the kingdom of this earth.  That is not going to happen through spiritual couch potatoes that are content with the leeks and onions of Egypt.  It is going to happen through an army of believers that are hearing the trumpet of war sounding in God’s camp and are responding to it.  If we don’t respond to God’s calling and come into that place of abiding in the Almighty and under the shadow of His wing, then soon the spirit of fear will arise and cover the earth and those who have not found their place in Him will be overtaken by it.  Father has not given us that spirit of fear,  He has given us the Spirit of Sonship, whereby we cry, “Abba, Father”.  We are His kids and we were born for this, so don’t allow fear to rule your hearts, but come up into the faith and confidence of who you are in Christ and trample fear beneath your feet!

Blessings,
#kent

Trust

May 11, 2016

 

Jeremiah 17:5-8

This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength 

and whose heart turns away from the LORD. 6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes. He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. 7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; 

its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” 

Trust

When we trust someone we are willing to put our confidence in them.  We are willing to believe in them, rely upon them and place our faith in them.  Perhaps some of you have seen or done the exercise where you stand, close your eyes and allow yourself just to free fall back into the arms of someone that you trust standing behind you.  Now our body knows that if that person fails us we are going to hit the ground and it is going to hurt, but it is an exercise in trusting another for your well being.  This is an exercise that is harder for some than others, especially if they have been disappointed, hurt or abandoned.  

Our faith in Christ is all about trust, but many of us find that we have real issues in areas that require that we free fall back into the arms of God.  We are very reluctant to give up the control we think that we have over our lives and circumstances.  Many of us feel a lot more comfortable trusting in the things that we can lay hold of with our natural senses and understanding.  Many of us want to trust in ourselves or in other men, which is the arm of the flesh.  The Word of God tells us that this is a cursed place to be.  It tells us that the place of trusting in the flesh is like a bush in the wastelands.  We are abiding outside of the blessings of God, because we are not willing to trust Him.  

Psalms 37:1-9 tells us, “Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; 

2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. 7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. 8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land.” 

Each day is an exercise in trusting the Lord.  We have to learn to rely upon Him.  Trust means that we may not understand all that happens to us, or why evil may befall us, but we know that we can trust the fact that God loves us.  That love is working for our good in ways we can’t even see or imagine.  While we may go through some very difficult times and outwardly everything may be saying that God has failed us, God can not fail.  Sometimes we may fall back further than we think we should before He catches us, but don’t abandon your trust.  God works in His times and His ways, not ours.  He sees the end from the beginning; we only judge things by the moment.  Psalms tells us to be still and wait patiently for Him.  Do not let the things you see and feel rule and dictate your heart, but put your trust in the Lord and know that He will work all things after the council of His will and for your good.  

Don’t be afraid to fall back into the arms of God in all of your ways, for you can trust Him like no other.  “Behold, God [is] my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH [is] my strength and [my] song; he also is become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2)

 
 
Blessings,
#kent

The Trust of an Office

April 27, 2016

 

1 Corinthians 4:2-5

Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful. 3I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. 4My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. 5Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. 

The Trust of an Office

As we know God has imparted to each one of us gifts and offices or positions of trust both in the natural and in the spiritual.  With our position of trust comes responsibility to honor and obey God, honor those in authority or position over us and carry out the responsibilities of our particular office to the best of our abilities as God enables us to do so.  That office or position of trust is not given to lord it over those beneath us or to exploit them.  It is to help and enable them to carry out their office and position of trust and authority.  All of us are ultimately accountable to God for how we do this.  The greater our office or position, the greater is our accountability to those we are over. 

Let’s take Moses for an instance.  Here is a man that God has ordained and raised up to lead His people out of bondage.  It is obvious that God is with him and has empowered him to carry out his commission.   What we see time and time again is that he is judged, ridiculed, mocked, slandered, condemned, criticized and murmured against when things get tough or there is a trial facing them.  Who this is really directed against was not Moses, but it was God in Moses.  These insults and dishonor were really directed at God.  That is why God dealt so harshly and severely with some of this murmuring and complaining, which is nothing short of rebellion and disobedience.

Whatever our office or position of trust is today, we are accountable to God, those in authority over us and to the people that we serve and have accountability for.  We must be faithful where we are to carry out that office to the best of our God given ability.  Meanwhile, those of us that are under authority need to guard against our judgements, condemnations, criticisms and the rebellious nature that we can develop against those who over us.  Paul basically says, it doesn’t matter what you think or even what I think, what matters is what God thinks.  Don’t judge a thing before its time.  It is before God that we stand or that we fall.  

There will be those in authority over us in life that we may not respect, consider competent, and feel they are totally wrong.  Does that give us the right to judge and condemn them?  When we murmur and complain against them are we really murmuring against them or against God who placed them in that place?  Sometimes, rather we can receive it or not, what seems all wrong about the person in that place is the very thing that may be working in us exactly what God wants us to develop in.  

Romans 13: 1-7 helps put some of these principles into perspective.  “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. God has established the authorities that exist. 2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. 4For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. 6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”  It matters not what walk of life we are in, God always has an order.  If you are children then respect and honor your parents.  If you are a wife, honor and respect your husband. If you are husband and father, honor and respect the Lord.  Let us yield and honor the offices that are over us.  Let us pray for those in authority over us rather than murmuring and complaining against them.  They need our prayers, encouragement and support; not our criticism and condemnation.  The same holds true in the workplace, business, government, schools and the church.  Honor those in authority over you, as you would have those in submission to you, honor you.   

Romans 2:1-4 teaches us, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance? 

Let us, with humility and trust in God, carry out the office of trust where He has placed us to His glory and honor.  Let us also be careful to honor the office that God has placed others in and be careful and fearful in our judgements against them.  One of the greatest detriments of our society today is our lack of honor and respect for others.  

Blessings,

#kent

The Worth of a Child

April 8, 2016

 

The Worth of a Child

Jeremiah 1:5

Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, [and] I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 

There is no knowing the potential that each child holds.  Every one of us is unique and special.  God has His purpose and design for each one.  Most all of us are made up of a mixture of strengths and weaknesses.  We can be so outstanding in one area while very lacking and needy in another.  

We are God’s children, children of destiny and purpose.  How many of us are living up too and into the purpose and destiny that the Lord created us for?  So often it is our will that God has given us that can subvert the desired purpose of God in our lives or yield to His design and plan through us.  Most of us seem to have this concept that we can do things in our lives better than God and we are always wanting to get our hands in His kitchen and change the recipe.  

The first thing that all of us must realize is how valuable we are to the Lord.  He couldn’t have stated that any better than His willingness to come into humanity and pay the price for our sins.  It is important that we are not proud or arrogant in who and what we are, but some of us want to perceive ourselves as of little or no worth or value.  We develop a self-defeated attitude.  We devalue in ourselves what God has created for His glory and purpose.  Often it really takes on the form of self-pity and a “woe is me” type of syndrome.   We need to realize that the source of that attitude is selfishness and sin.  That may surprise a lot of people in this category, because this is their view of humility.  It doesn’t glorify God to take what He made and talk down about it whether it is someone else or us.  Our potential is in Christ and not in ourselves.   The fullness of who we are and who we become is never going to realized in any of us in our own merit.  It is realized in who we are in union with Christ that transforms this lump of coal into a diamond.  

My grandson recently got a gift from his babysitter.  He is 8 years old and she gave him a necklace with that said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  That faith in that scripture is our power and our calling.  We all need a necklace or bracelet or just to remind ourselves daily of who we are in Christ.  The enemy’s victory is in getting us to forget that.  When we forget who we are in Christ we get out of Christ-reliance and into self-reliance.  We either get full of ourselves or we get discouraged and defeated in ourselves.   That phrase, “in Christ” is used some 224 times in scripture, do you suppose that the Holy Spirit is trying to communicate to us that this phrase is a pretty important part of who we are?  We are so prone to forget that our life is not about us, it is about Him.  We all have the potential and ability to love and serve God in whatever means and abilities He has bestowed upon us to do it with.  It is not about how much we have or how gifted we are; it is about what we do with what the talent God has given us.  You may be as the widow who had nothing and yet gave more, in the eyes of God, than all that had wealth and riches.  It is within God the Father and in Christ that that all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hid as it says in Colossians 3:2; those treasures become a part of us as our lives are hid in Him as well.  

God has not created you and called you to be something that you are not able to be, but to live by His strength, to the potential that He has called you to be.  That must be the legacy of our lives, to live well the life He has called us to live in the faith and confidence in Him.  

You and I are children of worth as are our children and their children.  We just must always remember that our worth is only fully realized and invested into the kingdom of God as we invest the fullness of ourselves in loving the Lord our God with all of our hearts, our minds, our soul and our strength.  It is the Lord that gives our lives value, purpose and a reason for being.  Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are his workmanshipcreated in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  You are of great value and worth, live accordingly. 

Blessings,

#kent

 

Joy is a Spiritual fruit, Happiness is a Choice

 

1 Timothy 6:6

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

              

               Isaiah 12:3 says, “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”  The thing I have experienced through my life is that when I am walking the closest in fellowship and relationship with the Lord is when I experience the greatest joy in life.  Since joy is a spiritual attribute and fruit of the Spirit described in Galatians 5:22-23, it only makes sense that as we walk in the Spirit and feed off of the fullness and goodness of God we are going to experience the joy and contentment of the Lord.  The thing about the joy of the Lord is that it isn’t dependent up the circumstances around us.  There can be great storms raging in our lives, but yet joy and peace can remain in our hearts when our eyes are fixed on Christ and upon the promises of His Word.  When we walk in the Spirit we see things and life from a God perspective.  If it pleases the Lord, it pleases us.  It is no longer about all of my needs and my wants being fulfilled.  This is where a lot of people confuse joy and happiness.  If happiness is reliant upon our feelings then it is going to be an elusive experience.  It will be here one minute and gone the next.  Why, because our feelings are up and down.  It rides the roller coaster of our emotions.  The feelings of happiness are circumstantial.  They are based again a lot on self: self-contentment, self-fulfillment, self-gratification, but not on self-control. 

               Here is an example many of us can relate with: Why do I have an unhappy marriage?  He or she doesn’t meet my needs.  They only think about themselves.  They don’t care if I am happy or fulfilled.  They don’t provide enough.  They don’t give enough.  They don’t do enough.  What is the central theme you hear in all of these phrases?  You don’t make me happy and what makes you happy for a short time is going to change to feelings of unhappiness and discontentment the moment your expectations aren’t met.  Happiness has to be a choice that you make that isn’t dependent upon what someone else does or doesn’t do.  I read this morning where marriages are more successful with people who go into marriage as already happy people rather than those who go into marriage looking for happiness.  Don’t put the responsibility for your happiness upon someone else.  That is your responsibility.  Otherwise you are always going to be disappointed and hurt.  People can never give you what only God can give you and that is joy and contentment. 

               Our verse today is so powerful because it is short but it says so much, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”  It simply says we have made a decision that God is enough.  What ever He supplies and provides in my life is enough.  That may be much or that may be little, but as long as I have God that is enough.  The apostle Paul made the statement in Philippians 4:11-13, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, [therewith] to be content. 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.”  Paul didn’t have his eyes on people to meet his needs.  Many of the churches didn’t help him financially or support him.  He could have gotten bitter or angry or upset with them, but he didn’t.  They weren’t his source and his supply, God was.  He had learned to be content with whatever God brought into his life because he had this revelation; “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”  Who is your strength today?  Who is your supply?  Who is your joy and contentment?  Maybe anger, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness have come in to make you so miserable because you have been looking to others to meet your needs and they have disappointed you. Let us learn what Paul did, that the Lord is enough.  We can make the decision that we are going to be happy because God is enough rather in much or little, rather we are abased or abound, rather we are full or we are hungry.   In order to experience the fullness of joy in our salvation we must take our eyes off of us and let Christ become the focus of why we live.  We live to serve not to be served.  We live to give and not to take.  We live that in all things we may please Him who has given us life.  “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).”  Experience the joy of your salvation by walking in the Spirit and make the choice to be happy because of the One that resides within you.

Blessings,

#kent

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