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Pimping Out A Gift From God?

Greetings,

“Now I commit you to God and to the word of His grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.  I have not coveted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.  You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.  In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”             Acts 20: 32-35

Seriously, I do not understand at all how anyone can read these words of Paul and still support a “church” system in which ministers get paid for sharing their gifts with the rest of the Body of Christ.  Clearly Paul’s example was to work a regular secular job in order to provide for one’s needs and living expenses.  In the New Testament there is no such thing as a professional Minister.  The Levitical Priesthood has been done away with by Jesus and now every single follower of Christ is a priest before both God and “men”.

Ministry was never meant to be a full time occupation.  The Lord wants us all to work hard in the communities we live in and serve, so that we can develop relationships with others and be good examples to all who view our lives.  In the true Body of Christ there is no Clergy/Laity system or division and everyone is a minister, not just a select few.

A true follower of Jesus is a servant to all and is not a seeker of position or power over others in the church.  Jesus is the only true Head of His Body and the only Leader we should be following in this life and in the church.  Every other member of His Body serves and functions under His Headship in order that we may grow and build up the Body in love, as EACH PART does its work.

Paul lived and worked among the Ephesians for three years, sharing the gospel free of charge and taking no money or support from the church whatsoever.  He held a full time job during this time and was never a burden to those he served.  In fact taking money for loving others has a name…it is called prostitution.   If Paul, who was an apostle, did things that simple way then why can’t the modern “church” do the same?  If we took the money that we pay Clergy and gave it all to the poor and needy, boy what a difference the church could make in numerous lives.  Add that to the money spent on “church” buildings and I bet we could easily feed the world.  I know some are now saying to themselves, “What no Clergy, no buildings…what else does this crazy guy want to do away with?”  My short answer would be sermons, traditions and programs!  You want a strong church?  Go with simple every member ministry and totally free and open Spirit led gatherings….and I am just getting started!  Am I stark raving mad or just totally in love with Jesus and His bride?

Love and …..

Kirk Out !

 

 

Does Jesus Weep?

Greetings,

Jesus said:

“To what can I compare this generation?  They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:  ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge and you did not mourn.’  For John came neither eating nor drinking and they say, ‘He has a demon.’  The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”‘ But wisdom is proved right by her actions.”  Matthew 11: 16-19

Does anyone else find it odd that Jesus loved and was a friend of tax collectors and sinners, but the vast majority of traditional/institutional “church” members avoid folks like that like the plague?  Many seem to preach and follow the doctrine of separation.  Which calls for “saints” to totally avoid sinners at just about all cost.  Jesus certainly did not live that way and neither should we.

Jesus lived, loved, and walked among every type of person in the communities He served, lived in and visited.  Not even the lepers were unclean to Him.  In fact the people He had the most difficulties with were the Pharisees who valued Law and separation over and above relationship.  Seems to me that there are a great number of modern day Pharisees in the “Church” today.  They are people who lift doctrine, Law and “right” teaching over and above relationship, grace, mercy and love.

In true community everyone is accepted and loved, even sinners.  Which raises this huge question….  are there any sinners in your life?  Or is your circle of community drawn so small and tight that it only includes members of your “church”?  Seems to me that Jesus was saying that we all need to play, dance, sing, eat, drink and mourn together with people from all walks of life.  If your “Christian” life is so narrow that no “sinner” can be a part of it at any time… I think you miss the true message of Jesus and have settled for something far less than Christ.

Of course this whole conversation begs the question of…  who is not a sinner in the first place?  Jesus emptied Himself, left heaven and His Father to come to earth as a mortal child and then as a mortal man loved us so much that He freely gave His life for all of us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5: 8)  Jesus is the friend of sinners and if you can fully grasp that in your heart and mind, you would have no problem whatsoever welcoming sinners into your life too.  We are all called to love and serve whoever comes into our lives.  To actually lay down our lives for our friends, and if your definition of “friend” is too narrow… I am most certain that Jesus weeps.

Love and….

Kirk Out !

 

 

Turn Or Burn In Hell Forever?

Greetings,
                         “Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?”  Romans 2: 4
                         One day I saw a very disturbing video on facebook.  It was a street preacher threatening a crowd with hell and eternal torture and damnation if they did not repent of their various sins and follow Jesus.  This preacher when confronted by a young woman defended preaching hell as “THE biblical method” to reach those who had not yet fully surrendered to Christ.  He basically said that all Christians are supposed to preach hell and quote the Law in order to convict people of their sins before we ever offer them the freedom and saving grace of Jesus.
                         Now I know that many denominations and “churches” hold to doctrines that fully support preaching hell and eternal damnation as a precursor to sharing redemption through Christ alone.  Turn to Jesus or burn in hell is their primary message to those both in and out of the “church”.  They believe that the threat of going to hell to be tormented forever is the best motivation for someone to come to Jesus.  I wholeheartedly and forcefully disagree with their stance.
                         In my over 50 years of following Jesus I have helped to bring quite a few people to the saving grace of Christ Himself.  However, I have never used hell fire, or anything like it, as a threat or message to scare them into making a decision for Christ.  In fact I strongly declare that using hell or anything else negative as leverage to push people towards Christ is a total work of the flesh and not of the Holy Spirit at all!  It is nothing short of perverted manipulation.  God’s wrath is not a tool for true evangelism.
                         Friends, it is HIS kindness that leads us to repentance.  God is a God of tolerance and great patience.  Love is the greatest motivator any of us can ever have.  Fear of judgment and punishment should never be our message to those who are seeking His truth in love.  If you preach a Gospel of fear the fruit will just be more fear. (And there we have most of the “church” today)  The AWE (it should have never been translated as fear) of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.  If you desire folks to experience the AWE of the Lord then share with them His great love, truth, grace, mercy, and patience.  When I share Jesus with others I treat them with the same great love and care that HE has always shown me.  By His love they will know we are His disciples.  Never forget that His mercy triumphs over judgment EVERY SINGLE TIME.  We love God because He first loved us.  Because of that I am motivated by His great love to continually seek and serve Him.  I will not offer someone else anything less than what I have been freely given.  For everyone it starts and ends with Love.
                         Love and…..
Kirk Out !
                         The following is a link to an excellent Leslie Phillips song that compliments this blog:

Once Again THE Command Is To Love

Greetings,

“We love because He first loved us.  If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  1 John 4: 19-21

His great love fills and overflows from my heart.  I can not restrain it.  In my inner being I have been completely apprehended by His all consuming love.  When you allow Christ to use you as a conduit of His love for others, it completely changes you from the inside out.

In the last six years the love of Christ has done a complete renovation within me. Now my first instinct is to love others regardless of past experience or how they present themselves to me.  Because of His enlightenment I now seek my nourishment from The Tree Of Life; and the fruit of that tree is Love.  In the past I visited the other tree very often and my first instinct then was to judge all things and people as either good or evil.  Now my heart is capable of love without judgment.  There is only one Judge and I do not sit on that throne.  Instead I am totally free now to love everyone right where they are at in life with absolutely no exemptions.

Love sets people free from the Law of sin and death.  When we accept and love our brothers and sisters without passing judgment people get set free and Christ is uplifted and glorified.  When I choose to walk in His life, love and light instead of my own carnal reasoning; His love then is able to flow freely through me and I am blessed and then in turn can be a blessing unto others along the way.

In fact I feel that the very reason Jesus has been using me to bring so many others to Him the past six years is that I am walking in love like never before.  Love is very attractive to those who need Him in their lives.  The supernatural fruit of abiding in the vine of the tree of life is Love and His love sets people free.  When you are able to freely offer the Love of Christ to others out of the abundance of your heart… miracles happen.  In the last four years I have been able to share the truth in love with followers of Buddha and Islam.  In the past I may have shared the Gospel with them, but it would have been a gospel contaminated with my judgment of good and evil, and the fruit of those encounters would have been tainted.  However, since I now no longer walk in judgment and instead walk in Love and life those men were set free from their religion and now are my brothers in Christ.

Living in His Love is awesome and amazing.  It is also very contagious.  If those in the Body of Christ would just receive and grasp that simple message we would change the very world around us. Jesus is waiting and the choice is either Love and Life or judgment and death.  The future of many depends on the choices we make.  Two paths are set before everyone of us.  One path is narrow and the other is wide.  So choose wisely my friends.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

P.s.  I have found that most Muslims and Buddists are easier to love than many traditional “church” Christians.  They have far less religious baggage and false Jesus to overcome.

 

 

The Commandment Is Simply To Love

Greetings,

“One of them, an expert in the law, tested Him with this question: ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’  Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is just like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: 35-40

There it is!  Anyway you slice it, it is all about LOVE.  If this is true, then why do we struggle so much where it comes to love?  Many wrestle with this all important concept.  Saying they have difficulty “feeling” God’s love for them.

I have several close friends who have continual problems feeling loved and accepted by God or anyone else.  To be totally honest at times I experience periods of feeling unloved too.  For some reason many judge themselves as being unworthy of love and they have great difficulty accepting that God’s love is totally unconditional.  My struggles with love seem to be rooted in my childhood issues.  Having been seriously raped and abused by my natural father has caused me to feel totally rejected by just about everyone at some point in my life.  I thank Jesus that He has relentlessly pursued me with His love in spite of my many attempts to run and hide from Him all these years.

Feelings of rejection can hinder loves power and effect in our lives.  I have dear friends who have experienced rejection from various “churches” over the years and the judgment they felt inflicted upon them impacted their ability to receive and perceive love from God for many, many, years.  When God’s supposed “instrument” of love turns on you, it is nearly impossible to escape feeling unloved by God to a certain degree.  The fact is that the traditional religious machine rejects and devours many in it’s attempts to keep and control the masses.  Organized systems of belief serve only themselves and in them anyone is dispensable.  While true organic Bodies of love embrace everyone because they operate like a family instead of a cold hard business.

We love God because He first loved us and while we were still sinners He entered into relationship with us and He will never leave or forsake us now.  Loving Him is certainly easier than loving our neighbors, yet Jesus asks us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  Right there is a huge sticking point for many of us who love God. How does one effectively love their neighbor when they find great difficulty in first loving themselves?  There are no easy answers that is for sure.  However, for me it all starts and ends with the Love of Christ.  When I endeavor and surrender to spend precious time in the Spirit with Him…His love is magnified greatly and I am then able to allow myself to be filled with a greater understanding of His affection and care for me.  And when I feel His love in and for me I have a much greater potential of loving myself and then also in turn serving and loving others. It all begins and ends with love.  Love is the answer!  Feeling unworthy of love?  None of us deserve it.  It is a gift!  It is unconditional and given freely to us all by His grace and great mercy.  Jesus Loves you!  Please run into His warm and welcoming embrace today?

Love and….

Kirk Out !

 

 

God Has No Equals

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.  Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.  Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  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: 2-6

In this passage Paul, via the Spirit’s leading, makes it quite extremely clear that the Holy Spirit is much, much, greater than the written letter.  In fact the letter in and of itself kills, while the Spirit gives life.  This is exactly why I always say that we need to be Spirit led and NOT bible led.  In fact without the Spirit guiding us through the bible, we would not even properly comprehend or apply what had been written in the first place.

Please allow me to take that one giant step further?  I contend that what the Spirit writes on our hearts is superior to everything else that is written with ink or on stone.  In other words clear cut Holy Spirit guidance should be desired over and above either the New or Old Testament writings.

Note, I am not saying that the bible is not important.  However, I am saying right up front that the leading of the Holy Spirit is more important than biblical head knowledge. Jesus made it abundantly clear that you can know the scriptures and still not know Him.  The bible is awesome when you allow the Holy Spirit to teach you through it, but is a dead book of Law and death by itself.

We all need to offer up and open our hearts to Jesus and fully allow the Holy Spirit to write on them as He sees fit.  Direct revelation from the Spirit is greater than receiving secondary revelation from the great book.  I agree that it is best to have both the Spirit and the bible in our lives, as long as we never forget that one is actually God and the other is just a book from God; and God has no equals.

Love and……

Kirk Out !

 

 

Totally Unconditional

Greetings,
                         “……  God is love……”  1 John 4: 16
The last several days in my heart and mind I have been pondering some wonderful mysteries.  I have come to several conclusions and I thought I would share them here with you today.
                         “….  God is love….” that is an undeniable fact, and His love is also unconditional. He loves everyone at all times and nothing we can say or do can change that.  At our very best or very worst He continues to love us no matter what we have ever done, or what we can ever do.  His love is constant and unchanging.
                         I was pondering His great love and then it hit me….not only is God’s love unconditional, but because of His love and great character God’s grace must be unconditional too.  The best definition I have ever found for grace is…unmerited favor.  Grace cannot be earned, it is something freely given to us by our Lord.  Just take a moment and think about it?  Unconditional grace; that is a total game changer.  In fact grace of this magnitude totally obliterates karma. Jesus fully bought and paid for everyone of us on the cross.  His total sacrifice means our complete freedom in Him for eternity.
                         Still hanging with me?  The rabbit hole goes even deeper.  I will now close with one life changing statement.  Because of who God is…His mercy is totally unconditional too!  I am coming to understand these things and it is completely rocking my world.  Unconditional love, unconditional grace and unconditional mercy….truly walking in HIM means we will practice these things in our daily lives, towards ALL people and all the time.  If the true Church would rise up and grasp these simple concepts the whole world around us would be transformed.  The early Church in the book of Acts turned the world upside down by walking in Love, Grace and Mercy.  Now is our time to do the same.
                         Love and……
Kirk Out !
                         P.s.  Seems to me that much of the modern traditional “Church” system gets it almost totally wrong where it comes to distributing God’s love, grace and mercy.  Most of these “churches” seem to measure and dole out love, grace and mercy like they have an extremely limited supply on hand.  Plus they only give to people that meet their predetermined conditions and qualifications for care and aid.  When according to God they need to give unconditionally of HIS bountiful unlimited supply.
                         P.s.s.  Jesus met and exceeded ANY and EVERY condition ever seemingly placed upon us for ALL time.