Skip to content

Time Alone With God

Greetings,

“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.”  Mark 1: 35

This is just one example of the many numerous times that Jesus withdrew from the crowds in order to spend some time alone communicating with the Father.  Time alone with the Father is very important.  We all need to spend time with Father in order to relax and recharge our Spiritual batteries so that we can face life head on and energized to face whatever challenges that may lay ahead for us.  I cannot possibly emphasize this point strongly enough.  It is an utter NEED to step back away from life and spend time alone with God.

These past few weeks I did exactly that and while I spent time with God HE met me exactly where I was Spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.  As I allowed Him to touch me in my most inward being HE blessed me with revelation knowledge that I severely needed to address the difficult problems I was facing in life.  Where I was bound up, HE set me free!  Where I was struggling HE gave me insight and strength. Where I was lost and seeking HE provided the Light necessary to lead me into total freedom.  In short HE led me away from busyness, crowds and concern; and into total peace and tranquility in Him.   Where I was overwhelmed HE took the heavy load from off my shoulders and granted me full and complete rest.

We all NEED precious quiet time with The Lord.  Far too often we allow the cares of life and the world around us to overburden us and weigh us down.  All the while HE is right there calling us to spend some time alone with Him.  Just because we are busy, it does not mean we are being productive.  We all NEED to relax, unplug and cozy up to the One who gives us life.  Every time we do so, He guarantees that we will be blessed and encouraged.  Think you don’t have time for such a thing?  Think again and please take every opportunity to withdraw and just BE with Him. Time spent with Him is time well spent.  Please yield to the Spirit in this and every other matter?

Love and……

Kirk Out !

P.s.   It really is all about BEING in Christ, instead of DOING even Godly things.  I feel Jesus is trying to teach us something very important.  Will we respond and surrender, or just keep pressing forward without the rest HE says we all desperately need?

I start my annual road trip to Florida and back to see my 94 year old Aunt Marie and visit with several home fellowships on Thursday morning.  This will likely be my last blog post until at least the 20th of February.  I am taking my own advice and unplugging and spending time relaxing and relating.  When I have time and an available computer I may post short updates about my journey.

 

 

 

 

Love, And NOT Position Or Office

Greetings,

               “Therefore, although in Christ I could be bold and order you to do what you ought to do, yet I prefer to appeal to you on the basis of love. It is none other than Paul—an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus—”– Philemon 1:8-9 (NIV)

                Paul could have used positional authority (he was an apostle, after all), but instead he appealed to Philemon on the basis of love.  Positional authority will produce results at times, but not changed attitudes or hearts.  Wrestling with all of the dynamics that maintain a loving relationship is more challenging, but in the long run it produces results and fruit that go well beyond the task at hand—it gives us a perspective that will guide us for the rest of our lives.
                Positional authority in the church is never a good thing.  It divides and separates the Body instead of drawing us closer together in Christ.  On numerous occasions Paul makes it extremely clear that it was not a good thing to use positional authority.  Paul even refused to take the right of pay from the church saying it would “discredit” or “hinder” The Gospel, even though he could have claimed that right as an apostle.  In other places he said not to take food from others because if you did not work you should not eat, and that he never ate anyone’s food that he did not pay for.  Paul seemed to understand and completely grasp that he was PART of the Body of Christ, but not a HEAD or a Leader who had extra special rights or position that no one should ever take under the New Covenant.  In the Old Covenant Levitical Priests were compensated because of the hard work they did preparing sacrifices and maintaining the temple.  However, in the New Covenant Jesus is THE sacrifice, our bodies are the temple, and every follower of Christ is a priest and servant.
                Paul made tents and paid his own way so that he could share the Gospel without any strings attached or messy complications.  I feel that this is quite admirable and an example we all should follow today.  Technically, by the letter of the Law, Paul could have demanded the rights that his position called for.  Yet he did not, so that he could be a mere brother in good standing AMONG all of Christ’s Body and NOT a LEADER ABOVE everyone else.
                Paul made this appeal on the basis of love and not position.  This is the example that I want to follow and emulate.  Even as a parent I would rather explain where I am coming from in love to my children, instead of making a demand due to my position as their father.  And when it is time to make decisions within the Body of Christ I want to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the Body and share only my portion of the process, making not demands, but rather suggestions from my unique perspective and point of view.  Just as the rest of the Body is free to do.
                 The thing I value most in life and in the church is relationship.  I feel that having some sort of positional authority takes a lot away from relationship, so I simply refuse to go there.  I always want my motivation to be LOVE and NOT position.  I do not want to leverage others because I have some sort of special role to play, because in fact we all in the Body of Christ are special, vital and important to the life and well-being of the church.  So I will continue to make appeals and give suggestions as the Holy Spirit leads me, but I will not give edicts or demands.  This seems to be working well for me and all the relational home fellowships I now relate with, so I am not about to change my role as a sibling and peer to those I love and serve.  I sincerely hope I have given you all food for thought today.
                 Love and ……
 Kirk Out !

Christ And Christ Alone

Greetings,

“When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ.  He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.  And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”  Colossians 2: 13-15

Wow, let me see if I understand this passage……  When I was dead in sin God forgave me and made me alive with Christ?  100% His action and He required neither response or acceptance on my behalf to make that happen.  That sure is the way it reads to me.  However, any cooperation on our part does make navigating this side of life much more pleasant, peaceful and rewarding.

The written code and all its rules and Law is now gone and totally obliterated by grace and the work of the cross.  All powers and authorities are now totally disarmed.  Now the only Authority in our lives is Christ Himself.

How can we deny or ignore such a great salvation?  Jesus bought and paid for our lives before we were ever even given a choice. His arms are open wide at this point and it is up to us whether or not to enter into a full and complete relationship with Him.  Now, in this life, we can choose His narrow path to righteousness or the wider path that leads only to destruction.

Salvation by grace is clearly intended for everyone, but not all will choose relationship with Him.  By Ignoring relationship with Jesus we will miss out on much love, truth, mercy and grace.  Jesus desires to gather us all under Himself as the sole authority, but some will still be unwilling and will suffer in this life because of it.

Some will choose authorities for their lives other than Jesus.  Thinking that being under a Pastor or some other “man” is true, right and biblical.  However, it is a grand error to allow a human to rule over you in this manner.  Following a leader other than Christ Himself will eventually lead only to sorrow and bitter disappointment. To be under Christ and Christ alone is the one and only true way to successfully navigate through this life and on to the next.

Jesus appeared to me when I was only 4 years old and I have tried to follow Him ever since.  When my eyes are upon Him…He will bring me through any situation or obstacle.  In this He has proved Himself over and over again.  While I was being raped and abused as a child Jesus was ALWAYS there holding and comforting me.  He may have first chosen me, but now in all things I choose Him and no other.  Christ is our life!

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Spirit Has Written On Our Hearts

Greetings,

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts……….He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”  2nd Corinthians 3: 2-3, 6

This passage shows us that what really matters most in life and ministry are Spirit forged relationships.  It is all about being Spirit led and touching people’s hearts.  If we desire to give people life and well being we will do so by allowing the Holy Spirit to guide all of our interactions.

Ink and paper do not give life to anyone and that includes even the ink and paper of the bible.  Life comes only from the Spirit and the best way to communicate life is via relationships.  The bible does have a role in the life of a Christ follower, but it was never intended to be the primary source of light and life.  When we place the bible ahead of the Spirit and relationship with God and others the letter then kills instead of enhancing our life in Christ.

However, when we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth (John 16: 13) the bible then becomes perhaps the greatest resource in the life of a believer.  There is a HUGE difference between seeing scripture as THE Source and Authority in one’s life, instead of simply seeing scripture as the great gift, tool, and resource that it is.  Quoting scriptures may appeal to the intellect of others, but they in no way give life to them.

If you want to give abundant life to others then simply share your whole life with them as you are being led by the Spirit of God along the way. Touching people’s hearts while sharing the Truth in Love is what our faith is really all about.  The most important thing in life is having a relationship with Jesus, but right immediately after that is having relationships with others that are built on the Cornerstone that is Christ.  Forever remember that this is always a matter of heart and not just the head.  Heart to heart relationships are birthed via the Spirit of Christ and are maintained by deep sincere Love for one another.  May the Great Comforter write Truth and Love on our hearts today.

Love and …….

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Your Family

Greetings,

“A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling.  God sets the lonely in families, He leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”  Psalm 68: 5-6

Please notice that God does not set the lonely in “church”, “church” buildings, growth groups, cell groups, home groups, special programs or singles ministries.  What God does do is set them in families within the Body of Christ.  The true Church is a family and it functions as one and not as a business, corporation or 501c3.

In this family all those who follow Christ are God’s children and are also sisters and brothers in Christ.  We are all related supernaturally by the blood of Jesus and should love, honor, serve and accept one another even more so than natural siblings do.  I am talking about being an extremely close knit family that shares everything with one another.  We should share all of our hopes, dreams, fears, successes and failures with each other.  As siblings we should give one another extremely deep love, support and care beyond what the world can even imagine.

Jesus said the following about this deep and meaningful love:

“A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are mine, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

In God’s family we must love one another as Christ has loved us.  Jesus held absolutely nothing back and His love was so great that He even gave His life to save those He loved.  I consider myself very blessed and fortunate to have experienced this type of Holy Love with many sisters and brothers over the years.  Once you have tasted this great love and the depth of relationship that accompanies it; you will find it impossible to settle for anything less.  If you have not yet encountered this outstanding type of love and relationship please do not lose heart or give up.  Press deeply forward in Jesus and you will find others who embrace this grand love and are more than willing to share it with you.

 Stop looking for this deep sincere love within the religious institutions and traditions of “men”.  For it is rarely to be found there.  You are not seeking a place to belong to, but rather a people to be a part of.  O’ lonely one, follow your heart and I guarantee you will find your family.  Even now they are praying and waiting to embrace you.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning Very Graphic Content Ahead!

Greetings,
               There Is A Very Huge Difference Between Praise And Worship……..
 “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.”  Hebrews 13: 15
               “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship.”  Romans 12: 1
               To me it all simply boils down to this…. praise is what you say with your mouth and worship is about what you do with your very being and entire life.  You can praise the Lord in word, prayer and song, but worship is much more difficult and comprehensive in scope than merely speaking well of our Creator.  It is easy to open your mouth and give God complete honor and credit for all the wonderful things He has done in your life, but worship is literally laying down your life for Jesus and His Holy purpose.
               On Sunday mornings all across the land traditional/institutional “churches” host what they call “worship services”, but that is really not an accurate description of what they actually do is it?  True worship rarely, if ever, occurs during these gatherings.  What they really do is praise God for a bit, receive tithes and offerings, and then get a pep talk from a professional Pastor.  That is not worship my friends…it is “Christians” paying for and receiving a performance and show that is hopefully somewhat about God.  I contend that a group of Christ following volunteers building a home for Habitat For Humanity is much more worshipful than what occurs in most “church” buildings on Sundays and Wednesdays.
               Much of what passes for praise and worship on Sunday mornings is nothing less than manipulation of the masses.  Praise leaders and bands many times use music and song to control the tempo of the service and the emotions of the congregation.  When you have fast songs to get you up and going and slow songs to get you in the right mood…what usually happens is a sad sick form of back and forth spiritual masturbation.  The music is there just to get you off at the right time.  So that you give well and listen intently while sitting in the afterglow of the sermon.  How does any of that truly exalt Christ and give Him true praise or worship?
               Worship is NOT a prayer, some songs, an offering, and a sermon……  IT IS A LIFE LAID DOWN for the sake of God, His children, and His purposes!  It is about being a living sacrifice while serving only Jesus The One True King!  True worship is difficult to find in the modern “church”.  Most of the church is unwilling just to be inconvenienced for the sake of God and others.. and they flat out refuse to die in any sense, form , shape or method for His higher purpose.  You can’t be selfish and worship God at the same time.  It is just impossible.  Has His glorious Church really been reduced to a bunch of spoiled rotten, crying brats?  I hate it, but I have to honestly admit that this is me on some days.  Many of us are driven by feelings rather than being led by the Holy Spirit.  Lord Jesus please help me to die daily so that You may be glorified through and in me.  We all need your help and guidance Lord.  Please help us to worship you in Spirit and in Truth?
               Love and……
Kirk Out !

Not Counting Sins Against Them

Greetings,

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”  ”Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”  1 Corinthians 15: 54-58

So death has been swallowed up in victory.  Amazing!  In Christ we are no longer held in bondage to the laws of sin and death.  This is about total victory in Christ for every single person with no exceptions.

 In Christ the law of sowing and reaping or what some call karma is no longer in full effect.  At least not in the big picture pertaining to our salvation.  Sure in the small picture of day to day life in Him, He uses sowing and reaping to teach us and build character in us.  However, grace and total reconciliation will eventually absolutely and completely obliterate karma.  This message is clear in 2nd Corinthians 5: 19, where it states that God reconciles the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  Plus on top of that God has made us Christ’s ambassadors and committed to us this message of great grace and reconciliation.

That means instead of us reaching out an arm to point out and judge sin in others; we should open wide our arms and accept everyone right where they are, and for who they are right now in this very moment.  Jesus did this for us while we were still sinners, so we should do the same for others with a glad and sincere heart.  Far too often “Christians” have required sinners to clean up their act before they would even offer Jesus and Christ’s love to them.

If we are truly operating in His grace and reconciliation we will love and accept everyone no matter what baggage or filth they may carry with them.  If we welcome them open and free they will then receive Jesus and He will help them get free and clean in His perfect timing.  We should NEVER require someone to get clean first in order to eventually bathe in Christ.  Love, acceptance, grace and forgiveness is what it is all about.  If we build relationships on that foundation everyone would have more hope and a whole lot more people would discover Christ.  After all, Christ in us is THE hope of glory.  If we give people the love, grace, and reconciliation that Jesus freely offers, it would change everything for everyone.  Today I choose grace over judgment.  Who is going to join me?

Love and……

Kirk Out !

P.s.  Yes, this blog post is from the sites archives.  I have been re-posting and re-working some other older blogs too.  The past several days The Lord has had me pondering the passages I used in this post and instead of writing a completely new post He led me to just make some adjustments and share this one again.  I feel this is a very important message both for the Body of Christ and those yet to fully know and follow Jesus.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 130 other followers