Monthly Archives: December 2013

Inspirational Thoughts & Quotes from 2013 – Part 1

“Recap” of Inspirational Thoughts & Quotes from 2013 From My Facebook

Part 1 – January-March

I might have said a few things that I learned of the Lord in 2013 that will be impactful for the Kingdom. I have shared some of them here. Also, I have listed numerous quotes that impacted me, from local pastors to great Saints of old, including Tim Conway, Spurgeon, Chambers, Corrie Ten Boom, Pastor Jeremiah Stingl, Pastor Tom Myers, Pastor Don Morrison, Pasture Scott Mitchell, Pastor Alan Trippe, Major Ian Thomas, CS Lewis, Sparks, Phil Powell & many others. I know with confidence, these Saints, and I, would all say, in sincerity, that if any of these words are impactful, it is because they are not our own, but the Holy Spirit’s. I pray you find blessing herein. ~ Gary



JANUARY 14

Rebounding from a work related conflict due to personalities, frustrations, expectations & disappointments the Lord spoke to me: “Remember, you do not work for man, who will never appreciate you, as you deserve. You work for the Lord God, who will always appreciate you more than you deserve!” Well, that about sums it up nicely! Lord have mercy on me, make me a better Christian Man for your Kingdom. – Gary Kienel



JANUARY 18

QUOTE: “If following Christ has never cost you anything, you’re not following Him.” – Tim Conway



FEBRUARY 3

QUOTE: “Our good works are evidences of grace… our works are the proof of our love & hence they stand as evidence of the grace of God.” – Spurgeon


FEBRUARY 5

“In Christ: Suffering is a gift: needed by all, entrusted to many, treasured by few!” (Heb 5:8; Phil 3:10; Jam 5:11) – Gary Kienel



BLOG REPRODUCTION:

Romans 1:1 NASB: “Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.”

Paul opened his letters to the church in several different ways. The most common introduction he used though was something along the lines of, “Paul, an apostle, called by God.” I want to draw special attention to Paul’s introduction to the Romans that we just read in the verse above.

Paul first and foremost identifies himself as a servant of Christ. He speaks of his belonging before his title. The reason I think this is important is because often times we may fall short of our title or in some cases our title may be stripped away from us. It’s kind of like the 30 year old guy who attends a high school party wearing his letterman jacket…sad. This man is still trying to cling to his title, that has been long gone, because he doesn’t know who he is as a person.

Some days as a mom or a dad you may find yourself feeling unworthy of that title, especially after your lose your temper or raise your voice. You may be a salesman and feel like you’re not performing. You may struggle to find any kind of purpose in your job because technically there’s not even a title for the work you do because it’s so menial. In these times we must remember who we belong to. Our title does not define us, the One we belong to defines who we are. Plenty of people stripped the Apostle Paul of his title when they slandered Him, but they couldn’t touch the guy! Paul knew the One who gave him the title. Are you resting in your title or in the one to whom you belong?

Romans 8:37-29 NASB: “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

– Mathew Young



FEBRUARY 8

It is my conviction that, by and large, our focus (as Christ-Followers) is off in regards to our purpose or motivation to come to repentance regarding “the sins of America”. I believe as long as we 1) see it as “their” sin & 2) plead in prayer for “our Nation”, we are praying amiss and will see no change.

I believe I am responsible for the wickedness of my native land, and I need to repeat that my light has been so dim, that my influence has been, and is, failing to impact my realm of influence for the Kingdom. No exceptions, no finger pointing, no blame casting – I need to repent of my sin, not “America’s sin” – after all, how can God be just and hold me accountable for the sins of my nation, unless her sins are mine?

Secondly, I believe we would do well to remember that 2 Chron 7:14 was written to His “physical” people – how can we who are a “spiritual” people, look for a physical answer from this passage. Indeed it is for us, and it accurately promises “healing to our land”, but the land of “The Church” is not America, it is our lives – we are the temple – the body of Christ – the Church – we need healing. America is not the Church, nor the Promised Land. I am not saying don’t pray for her, but we must look inwardly first. God is far, far more concerned about His people than any nationality (save Israel).

The land that needs healing is ME!

I repent with no agenda, no ulterior motives – except His Kingdom, His Glory & His Name! – Gary Kienel



MARCH 10

My Personal Mission Statement: “To Know God, to be Known by God & to make God Known, through: Intimacy in Prayer; Passion in Worship; Intentionality in Discipleship; & Transparency in Evangelism” – Gary Kienel



QUOTE: “Often times the things that God blesses us with are the very things that we let hold us back from moving forward in Faith in God.” ~ Jeremiah Stingl



There are deep truths in these words from Pastor Jeremiah Stingl’s message this morning: “We aren’t called as Christ-followers to make our decisions based on risk management.” When we believe we have heard our Lord’s voice (as we are going forward in our Christian journey) we dare not make “pro’s & con’s” lists, measure the expense against our bank account or ask our advisors if it is a wise investment – for our King cares not about these things – if we err in our hearing, and our heart is for Him, He will shut doors or detour roads; but nevertheless, the time for counting the cost has passed, Christ-follower – He has said “go”, we have said “yes” – now he bids us “come!” – Pastor Jeremiah Stingl/Gary Kienel



MARCH 11

“If it stops you from getting closer to God, then it needs to go.” – Unknown



“God gives his hardest battles to his strongest warriors!” – Unknown



MARCH 13

Question Preacher?: Are we teaching what the Word of God teaches, or are we using the scriptures to support our own teachings? This is a critical question that I ask myself routinely. After all, satan used the scriptures quite well to support His agenda; but his agenda was not God agenda, revealed in the whole counsel of Scripture! #FoodForThought – Gary Kienel



MARCH 14

Osward Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest: The Discipline of Spiritual Perseverance – March 14th

Be still, and know that I am God . . . —Psalm 46:10

Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.

If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, “because you have kept My command to persevere . . .” (Revelation 3:10).

Continue to persevere spiritually.



MARCH 16

“No one can rightly love anyone else, until they are fully IN love with God.” – Gary Kienel


MARCH 17

“Sin blinds. Oh God give me eyes to see! Dear Saint, no longer succumb to the ways of the dead sinner you were, rather live by the life of the Seed of God in your Spirit!” – Gary Kienel



QUOTE: “Wrong choices put us in a place of vulnerability.” – Pastor Alan Trippe


MARCH 18

“…now for a little while … you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6, 7 – Consider this: our faith MUST be tested, and proven genuine, thru grievous trials. – Gary Kienel



MARCH 24

“I wonder, if a person were stranded on a deserted island – with only the Bible, and the Holy Spirit as their teacher – what doctrines that we are “argumentatively” certain of, would they not even learn from scripture? And… what doctrines that we have “dismissed & ignored” would they learn as basic and obvious?” – Gary Kienel

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Inspirational Thoughts & Quotes from 2013 – Part 2

“Recap” of Inspirational Thoughts & Quotes from 2013 From My Facebook

Part 2 – April-June

I might have said a few things that I learned of the Lord in 2013 that will be impactful for the Kingdom. I have shared some of them here. Also, I have listed numerous quotes that impacted me, from local pastors to great Saints of old, including Tim Conway, Spurgeon, Chambers, Corrie Ten Boom, Pastor Jeremiah Stingl, Pastor Tom Myers, Pastor Don Morrison, Pasture Scott Mitchell, Pastor Alan Trippe, Major Ian Thomas, CS Lewis, Sparks, Phil Powell & many others. I know with confidence, these Saints, and I, would all say, in sincerity, that if any of these words are impactful, it is because they are not our own, but the Holy Spirit’s. I pray you find blessing herein. ~ Gary



APRIL 1

Since we have such great a salvation, how shall we live? Not as unrighteous, but as righteous! Indeed, to the women caught in adultery, Christ simply said: “Go and sin no more.” What? This is impossible. Sinners sin! Thank God that in Christ we have not only been redeemed from our past sin & justified before Him – no longer a sinner, but a saint! We now can come before Him, a new creature in Christ through baptism, regeneration, conversion & repentance, and be filled with Himself in the form of His Holy Spirit, and thus we can be empowered to walk in love, holiness & obedience, by the power of this New Life Source within! Glory to our God who not only redeems & justifies, but also sanctifies & glorifies!!! To Him be all Glory; may His Holy name be redeemed; and His Kingdom advanced! – Gary Kienel



APRIL 5

QUOTE:
“There is only one valid reason to invite someone to come to The Lord Jesus. It is not for forgiveness. It is not that they might go to heaven. It is for The Lord Jesus Himself. That He Himself might step into humanity; to come and live inside of them that they might become the temple of the living God on earth; a living member of His corporate body on earth.”
– Major Ian Thomas



The Lord Jesus redeems a person, justifies a person & regenerates a person, that He, Jesus, might inhabit that person, that He might sanctify that person, thereby bearing fruit for His glory and purposes alone. The rest – and there is SO MUCH MORE – is all just “icing on the cake”! – Gary Kienel



APRIL 6

Christian, if the “grace” that you confess saved you, & set you free from the bondage of sin & sins – you now believe to be the same “grace” that allows you to participate again in these same sins that you were set free from – you are deceived. Period. Wake up from your slumber. Repent! That is NOT how the Grace of God works, nor is that the freedom that He gives! Come out from among them and be (remain) separate, says The Lord. Return to the Grace that you once knew and be truly free – not free TO sin, but free FROM sin! – Gary Kienel



APRIL 7

By they way, Jesus isn’t looking for you to make “some room” for Him in your heart…. He wants the “whole thing”! – Gary Kienel



APRIL 13

QUOTE:
“We may be content to remain what we call ‘ordinary people’, but He is determined to carry out a quite different plan.”
C.S. Lewis



God will not settle for us just making “some room” for Him in our heart – He wants total control of our WHOLE heart. I challenge you, as I did myself – before you “like” this statement – take inventory of your heart; confess and repeat of the other junk in there that is NOT Him, and cry out in passion for the Grace to “surrender all”. For “our God is a jealous God” (Ex 20:5) – Gary Kienel



BOOK QUOTE:
“The only relationship God is interested in is one that is exclusive & completely committed. He is not interested in an ‘open relationship’ with you. He won’t consider sharing space on the loveseat of your heart. His throne has only one seat.”
~ Kyle Idleman, Gods At War



APRIL 15

“Indeed My God, In my wildest imaginations, I have no idea how supremely supernaturally other-than, You really are! And that makes me fearfully passionately excited!” – Gary Kienel



APRIL 17

QUOTE:
“There has been much lost, very much lost, of the true nature and essence of Christianity, and there has been much distortion, resulting in confusion….the need of our time is a re-presentation and understanding of what it is we have come into when we come into Christ.”
– T. Austin Sparks (approx. 1950)



APRIL 20

“These things I pray, all the days of my life: God be glorified, in all things, above all things – in me & through me; grace me to maintain a life of accountability; keep my heart soft towards Your Spirit; & keep me from deception.” – Gary Kienel



APRIL 21

Oh Lord, may I not stop short of what you require of me! May I not just come to You; may I not just hear Your Words; may I not just call You Lord; but may I also act upon Your Words by doing what You say! (Luke 6:46-49) – Gary Kienel



CHRISTIAN: Has “The Treasure” you have found transformed your outlook? Restructured your priorities? Altered your goals? Changed your values? Revolutionized your life? If not, then maybe you have yet to discover that The Treasure is Jesus Himself. For once we find The True Treasure, which is far more than “heaven” – we bankrupt our bank account, and sell ALL, to possess Him! (Matthew 13:44) – John Piper/Gary Kienel



APRIL 24

QUOTE:
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered to us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
– C.S. Lewis



APRIL 25

No matter how hard; no matter how unfathomable; no matter how confusing… We must trust in God’s sovereignty; His goodness; His trustworthiness; His love! God IS good & He can be trusted – it is not dependent upon my ability to understand. His goodness and His trustworthiness are dependent upon Him, and Him alone! I love you Lord, and I trust You! – Gary Kienel



APRIL 27

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” … Could it be that “that which was lost” is referring to: the Kingdom of God, in the hearts of men? – Gary Kienel



APRIL 28

QUOTE:
“When you come to God with intensity of need – come with boldness, persistence, shamelessness, & be specific” (Luke11:5-8)
– Pastor Don Morrison



QUOTE:
“The intensity of the needs, dictates the intensity with which we ask.” (Matt7:7)
– Pastor Don Morrison



APRIL 28

QUOTE:
“One always wants to reign over one’s own life. The worst possible result for the dog chasing a car is that he should catch it.”
– Phil Powell



APRIL 29

Reviewing the “pre-Christian” lyrics of songwriters that have come to Christ is amazingly insightful to their journey.

Consider Kerry Livgren and some Kansas hits such as: The Wall, Carry On My Wayward Song & Dust In The Wind.

Of recent discovery was the ole song “Poison” from Alice Cooper; though written about a women (sexually) – take away that visual and just see the song about “sin” – very powerful (As is Alice’s “Post-Christian” music!):

“Your cruel device,
Your blood like ice.
One look could kill,
My pain, your thrill.

“I wanna love you, but I better not touch (don’t touch)
I wanna hold you, but my senses tell me to stop
I wanna kiss you, but I want it too much (too much)
I wanna taste you, but your lips are venomous poison

“You’re poison runnin’ through my veins
You’re poison, I don’t wanna break these chains.”

~ Gary Kienel



MAY 10

QUOTE:
[CHRISTIAN]: “You and I are only accomplishing our mission on earth when others around us are becoming compellingly aware of God’s character.”
– Major Ian Thomas

Church, we are to be the visible image of the invisible God.



QUOTE:
“God did not send his Son into this world incarnate to die upon a cross & shed his precious blood, Rise from the dead, and ascend into heaven, so that guilty sinners could simply get out of hell and into heaven. It’s gloriously true, but it’s entirely incidental. The glorious gospel isn’t about man out of hell and into heaven, it’s about getting God out of heaven and into man!”
– Major Ian Thomas



MAY 15

A WARNING, CHRISTIAN: Be of sober spirit! Be on the alert! We are in a war. Our adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Guard your heart, it is the wellspring of life. If we do not do well, sin is crouching at our door; and its desire is to have us; but we must master it. The stakes couldn’t be higher. Listen to me please, I beg you!!! We are being lulled into a sense of permissiveness & compromise that desires to lead us away from the Truth. Do not listen to the lies. Do not flirt with evil. Do not play with sin. Do not give way to the lust of the flesh. Do not believe the lie that a little bit is okay. First a little sleep; then a little slumber; a little folding of the hands to rest, then your poverty will come as a robber and your need like an armed man. For a little yeast works its way through the whole loaf. Flee! Run! Let him who has ears to hear, hear… and LIVE! (1 Peter 5:8, Prov 4:23, Gen 4:7, Prov 24:33, 34, 2 Tim 2:22, Gal 5:9) – Gary Kienel



MAY 19

Wake up American Christian! The problem in NOT in the White House or in Washington; nor is the problem with policies or legislation (unless your kingdom & citizenship is of this world). The problem is within those who call themselves by His Name (Christian: citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven), who are not living lives of humility, repentance, holiness, faith & grace! If we would spend less time pointing fingers & focusing our attention on America, Obama, Congress, the economy and such; and more time searching our own lives, weeding out the evil & focusing on faith inspired, and grace empowered humility, repentance & holiness, theses problems would no longer be of concern to us. By and large, Christian, we are being distracted on one hand, and lulled to sleep on the other. Let him who has ears to hear, hear. – Gary Kienel



QUOTE:
“As aliens in this world, we should find ourselves loving the world less & less, and loving the things of heaven more & more!”
– Pastor Tom Myers



MAY 23

QUOTE:
“We pray the Holy Spirit will come. But why do we want him to come? So that our numbers will grow? So that our children will not go to the devil? We need to want him to come because we are jealous for the Glory of God!”
– Leonard Ravenhill



JUNE 1

“Above all else, Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life!”

How much clearer can The Spirit of the Lord be? From Genesis to Revelation, there may not be a more clear, direct, passionate appeal of life-threatening desperation from the Lord to us, as is this.

Through my life, but with frightening increase in occurrence in recent years & months, I have watched deception enter into the hearts of those who I have walked with, worshiped with, served with and communed with; I have repeatedly seen it begin with the simple justification of some small choice to entertain what seems an innocent song, place, action or thought. GUARD YOUR HEART! A simple choice – I can handle this… GUARD YOUR HEART! Oh, it’s just a little ______ – GUARD YOUR HEART! Justification of that which you once firmly knew to be wrong – GUARD YOUR HEART!!

Casting Crowns in their song “Slow Fade” remind us of the children’s bible song that says: “Be careful little eyes what you see” – oh so true – GUARD YOUR HEART! Their lyrics go on to say:

“It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away
It’s a slow fade when black and white have turned to gray
Thoughts invade, choices are made, a price will be paid
When you give yourself away
People never crumble in a day
It’s a slow fade, it’s a slow fade”

GUARD YOUR HEART Saint! The enemy is in this for keeps. Your enemy the devil, is prowling around and HE WANTS TO DEVOUR YOU – GUARD YOUR HEART!

It is as if our Lord is begging you, and I likewise say to myself, and I beg of you: ABOVE ALL ELSE, GUARD YOUR HEART. Don’t be a casualty of this great battle for your soul to the it’s enemy – but guard your heart and endure to the end that your soul will remain in the hands of The Lover of Your Soul.

If your mental response to this is that I am being extreme or overreacting… then to you I especially warn you:

“Be careful little eyes what you see
It’s the second glance that ties your hands as darkness pulls the strings
Be careful little feet where you go
For it’s the little feet behind you that are sure to follow
Be careful little ears what you hear
When flattery leads to compromise, the end is always near
Be careful little lips what you say
For empty words and promises lead broken hearts astray”

And in closing, if you have read this with arrogant confidence that this is not you, or can’t happen to you, then I beg you to join me at the foot of Our Lord’s Cross, and cry out for “Grace to endure; to stand firm; to persevere; to be kept from deception; and wisdom to GUARD OUR HEART!”

Let him who has ears, hear. Amen.

– Gary Kienel



JUNE 8

Sadly, this has arrived, in full force. The tragedy is not just the reality of this lie being propagated & embraced as truth in our midst today, but the blindness of the deceit that accompanies it! Oh God, keep us alert, sober, awake and in guard of our hearts; and Father, if there is a word we can speak to those who are blinded by this lie, may we hear with clarity, and speak with love!

“There is a coming to the Church a doctrine called ‘cheap grace’ which will turn the grace of God into lasciviousness, which will allow the children of God to live fleshly, sinful lives, and still have the assurance in their heart that they are going to heaven” – Dietrich Bonhoffer, 1932.

– Gary Kienel



JUNE 23

I recently shared this thought-provoking question with my disciples and some close friends. I share it with you now for your consideration:

Jesus said to the rich young ruler that:

1) his confession that Jesus was God,
2) his belief that Jesus was the savior, &
3) his having lived a VERY holy life

were NOT ADEQUATE to gain him eternal life.

Jesus said to gain eternal life, he must:

1) sell all,
2) give it to the poor, &
3) follow Jesus.

What does selling all, giving it away & following Jesus look like in your life? It’s a critically important question. Without these entire last 3 things active in our life, we CANNOT gain eternal life! – Gary Kienel

Inspirational Thoughts and Quotes from 2013 – Part 3

“Recap” of Inspirational Thoughts and Quotes from 2013 From My Facebook

Part 3 – July-September

I might have said a few things that I learned of the Lord in 2013 that will be impactful for the Kingdom. I have shared some of them here. Also, I have listed numerous quotes that impacted me, from local pastors to great Saints of old, including Tim Conway, Spurgeon, Chambers, Corrie Ten Boom, Pastor Jeremiah Stingl, Pastor Tom Myers, Pastor Don Morrison, Pasture Scott Mitchell, Pastor Alan Trippe, Major Ian Thomas, CS Lewis, Sparks, Phil Powell & many others. I know with confidence, these Saints, and I, would all say, in sincerity, that if any of these words are impactful, it is because they are not our own, but the Holy Spirit’s. I pray you find blessing herein. ~ Gary

 

JULY 1

CHRISTIAN: We have reached an all time low when we call areas of sin in our life, the fulfillment of God’s promise to us!! Wake up from your slumber, Follower of Christ – our Lord doesn’t bless us with sin!! Abstain from wickedness; run from the appearance of evil; do not get friendly with the world, nor the things of it! Make your life-source the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. Alternately, if you’re are finding the desires of your flesh gratified (and calling it blessing or promises fulfilled) then you are not living by the Spirit. God says “Whoa to Us!” Isaiah 5:20; James 4:4; Gal 5:16 – Gary Kienel

 

JULY 4

Inspired by my “Band of Brothers” (You know who you are), with specific content from Scott Mitchell & Phil Powell. On this day, I do thank God for being born in America, but not like many might be thankful – nonetheless, we have been afforded much because of the sacrifice of many of America’s Founding Fathers, likewise, I have been afforded even more, by the Founding Fathers of Israel & Christianity – may I live a life of dependence upon Christ alone, that is worthy of the foundation they have laid!

“My In-Dependence Day”

Because the Lord God has made me independent from the tyranny of self-rule
& free to be subject to His benevolent sovereignty;

I therefore celebrate this day, and all days, as “Dependence Day”;
I am totally & joyfully dependent upon my King Jesus.

His Kingdom is a nation of the King, by the King and for the king,
and it will endure without end.

May God bless and raise up His Church,
as we kneel before Him in repentance & submission.

– Gary Kienel

 

Most will reject this statement, others it may anger, however, to those who have ears to hear: “it’s not about America”. It’s about the Church. We are, by and large, so distracted by prayers for “America” that we can’t see clearly to pray for ourselves. A far, far greater concern than that of the condition of the physical nation, must be our concern for a spiritual people, that is “The Church”. She is not well. She must come to repentance. She must get on Her knees in submission; subject to Her King. We are the ones we need to be praying for; we are the ones who need to come to repentance.

Our prayers for America are not answered because we are praying amiss, with wrong motives! It’s not about our 401-K, our “well-being”, our national security or even our liberties.

The statistics are staggering, if we look with eyes to see: It is our mistresses, girlfriends & wives who are getting abortions. It is our eyes that frequent pornography. It is our marriages ending in divorce, hatred & bitterness – all the while calling it freedom. It is us, living in sin, claiming grace. It is our perverted & permissive compromise of the very Word that has brought us salvation, that causes us to embrace sins, debauchery, whoredom and abominations. IT IS US, CHURCH, WHO NEEDS PRAYER LIKE NEVER BEFORE.

Once the church is who she is called to be, those around her will be affected by God as He sees fit, even America. I implore you Saints, don’t be distracted by prayers for America, but be focused on prayers for the Church! She is the only hope for the World. For She is the visible image, of the invisible Sovereign Lord God, to the world!

Oh God, have mercy on me… – Gary Kienel

 

JULY 5

The mandate of Biblical Discipleship as modeled by Jesus, requires 4 things of the discipler (mentor) and the disciple (apprentice):

1) Intentionality
2) Sacrifice
3) Intensiveness &
4) Relationship

We are not only to teach with words (which we MUST do), but we also must MODEL it with our daily lives! How else will we see fans of Jesus, become followers of Jesus? How else will followers of Jesus, become disciples of Jesus? How else will disciples of Jesus, become believers IN Jesus? How else will those believers in Jesus be seen by the watching world and called, with complement & criticism: CHRISTIANS?

The world is watching… let’s make disciples!! – Gary Kienel

 

JULY 6

WARRIORS OF THE MOST-HIGH LORD GOD: We are in a war. There are those among us with bull’s-eyes on their backs. You know who you are. Tragically, we are witnessing an increase of causalities to our left and right – casualties like we would have NEVER imagined. Stand firm. Remain vigilant! Be on you guard. Some are being wounded in such a way that they are no longer able to fight. Others are being eliminated entirely from the battle. Sexual compromise, doctrinal lies & permissiveness abound. We are loosing our comrades to the desires of the flesh, the lure of the world & the attacks of the enemy, like never before. Too much alarm cannot be sounded! This warning is not for someone else…. IT IS FOR YOU! Remain diligent to the camaraderie of your fellow soldiers; hold steady & firm to the instructions of the warriors that have gone before us; stay in constant two-way communication with The Commander-and-Chief; remember often, the Ultimate Price that has been paid to insure the Victory on our behalf. – Gary Kienel

 

JULY 9

BOOK QUOTE:
“When we hear God say, ‘You will have no other gods before me,’ we think of it as a hierarchy; God is always in first place. But there are no places. God isn’t interested in competing against others or being first among many. God will not be part of any hierarchy. He wasn’t saying ‘before me’ as in ‘ahead of me.’ A better understanding of the Hebrew word translated ‘before me’ is ‘in my presence.’”
– Kyle Idelman (Gods At War)

 

JULY 27

Recently a sister in the Lord posted a comment about how it seems that it has recently become the “cool thing” for Christians to cuss. Another sister in the Lord followed up with a comment that took this thought further and included references to drinking, promiscuity, tattooing and more. I had the following thoughts on such interesting statements as these:

The points that these sisters have made are thoroughly Scripturally solid – even if many of you take personal offense at the tattooing inclusion – bear with me, while I say this another way, quoting those who are far more respected than I.

The Apostle Paul, who was quoting both the prophets Isaiah & Ezekiel, when speaking to the People of God, told us that “we are to come out from among ‘the people of the world’ and be different & be separate”. It is clear, to anyone who is willing to be honest with themselves, that, as this same Paul warned his son in the faith, Timothy, the pastor at the church in Ephesus: “in the latter days, people will turn away from the faith, and go astray, and abandon holiness & sound doctrine, and do as they please” – we see this in all manner of worldliness and ‘darkness’ currently appearing in the lives of those who claim to be in the “Light” (I am not saying live in “perfection”; I am saying that for a true Christian to “justify” or “excuse” sin in their life is either deception or rebellion).

There was a time, when rightly so, many of the things that “Christians” viewed as “un-Christian”, were taboo; most of these things – from foul language to drunkenness to fornication, and yes, maybe even tattoos and immodest attire – are now being embraced, justified, excused, and in some cases even promoted from pulpit, as “acceptable” among god’s holy people. God Himself spoke to Moses and said to God’s people: “set yourself apart and be holy, as I am Holy.”

And one more sobering quote from the Apostle James, speaking to those who would identify themselves as Christians: “You unfaithful people. Don’t you know that embracing things of this fallen world is hostility towards the God whom you say you love? Living in this way makes you an enemy of God!” Yes the bar for living as Children of God, that is, Children of Light (ie: “Christian”) is very high, but it was The Lord God Himself who set the bar so high (and has graciously granted us the power of the inhabiting Holy Spirit to walk in this Holiness).

Do not be misled thinking I am suggesting that we, as God’s Holy Children do no fail, sin and fall short of the goal; for I am not speaking of those who “struggle” to reach the bar that God has set, but rather, I am writing this to those who “deliberately choose” to live below it, and argue that it is acceptable by God to live there! – Gary Kienel

 

JULY 28

QUOTE:
“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away your ticket and jump off – you sit still and trust the engineer.”
– Corrie Ten Boom

 

JULY 30

“C S Lewis said: “The real problem is not why some pious, humble, believing people suffer, but why some do not.”

“After all, the Word of God says: “All who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)

“Understanding that suffering and persecution come in a wide variety of appearances; the question begs to be asked: If you & I, individually, are not suffering persecution, in some manner or another, for the sake of Christ & His Kingdom, then why not? Could it be a lack of desire for godliness?!? #LookingInTheMirror” – Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 4

“The Grace of God will never give you “permission” to return to a place where that same Grace of God has given you “remission” from!” ` Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 8

Saint of God, are you intimately experiencing the apparent injustice of the seeming success and advancement of the heathen in your life? Read Psalm 37 slowly & thoroughly. It is a game changer!

“Do not fret because of evildoers, Be not envious toward wrongdoers. For they will wither quickly like the grass & fade like the green herb. Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, and He will do it. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light & your judgment as the noonday. Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing. For evildoers will be cut off, But those who wait for the Lord, they will inherit the land. Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more; And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there. But the humble will inherit the land & will delight themselves in abundant prosperity. The wicked plots against the righteous & gnashes at him with his teeth. The Lord laughs at him, For He sees his day is coming. The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow to cast down the afflicted and the needy, To slay those who are upright in conduct. Their sword will enter their own heart, And their bows will be broken. Better is the little of the righteous than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the Lord sustains the righteous. The Lord knows the days of the blameless, And their inheritance will be forever. They will not be ashamed in the time of evil, And in the days of famine they will have abundance. But the wicked will perish; And the enemies of the Lord will be like the glory of the pastures, They vanish—like smoke they vanish away. The wicked borrows and does not pay back, But the righteous is gracious and gives. For those blessed by Him will inherit the land, But those cursed by Him will be cut off. The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand. I have been young and now I am old, Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his descendants begging bread. All day long he is gracious and lends, And his descendants are a blessing. Depart from evil and do good, So you will abide forever. For the Lord loves justice & does not forsake His godly ones; They are preserved forever, but the descendants of the wicked will be cut off. The righteous will inherit the land & dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, And his tongue speaks justice. The law of his God is in his heart; His steps do not slip. The wicked spies upon the righteous & seeks to kill him. The Lord will not leave him in his hand or let him be condemned when he is judged. Wait for the Lord and keep His way, And He will exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked, violent man spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil. Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more; I sought for him, but he could not be found. Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright; For the man of peace will have a posterity. But transgressors will be altogether destroyed; the posterity of the wicked will be cut off. But the salvation of the righteous is from the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, Because they take refuge in Him.”

– Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 9

Spoken by God through the prophet Isaiah nearly 3,000 years ago, who could have imagined the disgusting degree to which this perversion of Truth would become standard fare among those who claim to be “saved” – “born again” – “walking in the light”?!?

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!”

Wake up “Christian” – evil is evil! We are called to uphold holiness; calling anything less than holiness “good” brings upon us the “woes” of God Almighty, and brings reproach upon God’s name! Remember, it’s not just with words that we call evil good and good evil, it is even more so with our actions, behaviors and the things we embrace. Let him who has ears to hear, hear, & be awakened to Truth. (Isaiah 5:20)

– Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 12

QUOTE:
“Jesus promised His disciples three things: that they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and constantly in trouble.”
– G.K. Chesterton

 

AUGUST 18

Oh that we mere humans would quit trying to define God by our understanding of things. Isaiah 55:8-9 is foundational for all faith in God: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

The greatest hindrance to our trusting & believing in God is our foolish insistence that we understand Him, and He measure up to our standards… that is, “our ways, and our thoughts”. The greatest step that you can take towards faith in God is to accept that His ways, and His thoughts are so far above ours, that we cannot understand them – but we can “accept them” without understanding them.

Move past your doubts, your fears, your thoughts & your ways – believe!

– Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 19

When Jesus said, “repent” for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand, he spoke the word “repent” – it was recorded in Greek as “metanoia” which means: “To change your mind”. Change our mind from what? Wrong thinking? Thinking about what?

When Jesus spoke the word “Kingdom”, it was recorded in Greek using the word “basileia” which means: “the right or authority to rule & reign”. Rule & reign over what? My life?

Consider for a moment, that what Jesus was saying was: “Change your mind, from your own rule & reign over your life, to the rule & reign of God over your life.”

What must I do to be saved? It all starts when you “Repent” – Kinda changes everything, huh?

– Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 26

“Yes, God is Love; but He is also the King. His Kingdom is a kingdom of love, but it is, nonetheless a Kingdom. To remove His Kingdom from His Love, creates a god in our own image, perverting Him into a Santa Claus or fairy godmother. To remove His Love from His Kingdom creates a cruel taskmaster, yielding slaves that can never achieve the requirements of the master. Oh but the good news is the King Loves! But before you “amen” this with your “like button”, remember, the only response to a loving king, is loving obedience! For these two neither can be separated – obedience without love is fruitless legalism, and love without obedience is self-indulgent permissiveness. God’s perfect way? A wholly compassionate father ruling & reigning over His obedient children who are madly in love with their daddy!” – Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 26

Pity the one who is able to walk lukewarm & casual without obstacle or difficulty. “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son [& daughter] whom he receives” (Heb 12:6) – Gary Kienel

 

AUGUST 29

James chapter 1 teaches us that there are 2 responses to every trial:

1) we allow our faith to be tested, demonstrating our trust in God’s rule & reign supreme, and we come forth as Gold, that we might receive the crown of Life, or

2) we allow temptation to stir the lust within us to doubt God’s rule & reign, and trust in our own lordship, which give birth to sin, who’s intent is to bring death.

Today, I choose faith… who’s with me?

(2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. 12 Blessed is a man who perseveres (endures) under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.)

– Gary Kienel

 

SEPTEMBER 6

“By Grace; Through Faith; [Not BY Works, but FOR Works] have we been saved.” The same Grace that saved us by no effort of our own, is now displayed in us & through us “as a result of” – even the very purpose for – our having been saved. In other words, the purpose for redemption/justification is restoration resulting in sanctification! (Ephesus 2:8-10) Whoa to the one who after partaking in redemption, fails to position himself, through restoration, for sanctification, thereby making a mockery of the very Love that redeemed & justified him. Let him who has ears to hear, hear. – Gary Kienel

 

SEPTEMBER 13 (3:33am)

To whom it may concern: My heart breaks for those “precious and dearly loved, called out children of the most high God” who have strayed from The Path.

Some have wandered far off and don’t even know it. Others knowingly have set their course (and their hearts) to lands far far away. Still others have stumbled and been knocked off course and are roadside wondering what to do. For many, an ever-so-slight course correction will return you to the straight and narrow.

To some, I whisper: “You know.”
To other I scream: “Wake up!”
Some will not hear either; others will have a sudden enlightenment, and find rescue!

But to all His own, I assure you:

You cannot go too far;
You cannot go too often;
Your failures need not be fatal;
Your shame, which is good and necessary for a season, will not keep you from Him!

For He, our Lord, is a rescuer & a restorer of His own – after all, you know His voice!

He cries out: “It’s never too late! Child come home!” as He leaves the 99 and comes lovingly, with determination, after you, the one.

Whether knowingly one step off the Way in the midst of a solid journey – or deliberately running hard away from the path altogether – you will never outrun Him, nor be out of His reach, or beyond his love.

This promise is for His own, alone!

You are precious.

You are called.

You have been chosen!

You are set apart.

His faithfulness & goodness will sustain you!

He will – in fact He did – rend heaven & hell for you.

Child Come Home!

– Gary Kienel

 

SEPTEMBER 14

Saints. Mistakes will happen. Sometimes errors in judgement; sometimes overcome by our “evil desires within”; and sometimes with sincere hearts seeking our Lord’s will. Sometimes it is a mix of two or all three. Whatever the case, we have a few promises from our Lord regarding “mistakes”, and despite the commonality of the first promise, I don’t want to gloss it over: “All things work together for good, for those who love The Lord, and are called according to His purpose.” Additionally, in the other extreme case, we have a similar result, and can say, as Joseph said: “that what [the enemy] intended for evil, God intended for good.”

Now I am not suggesting that because of God’s sovereignty, we can be apathetic or careless in our decision making; but what I am doing is making much of the truth of scripture’s teaching that we (born again saints of God), can rest assured that we have been “given a new heart & a new spirit” and have had “His Spirit placed in us” and we are, therefore a “new creature in Christ!”

So, you find yourself “awakening” from a condition of “oops, what have I done?” Consider your response carefully. If, as I shared above, you are in this place because the “evil desires within your flesh” rose up and you gave into them – then repent and rejoice! Repent not from just the giving in, but also repent from the evil desire within you! Then, rejoice! Rejoice that you were awakened to the mistake! Rejoice that God was not asleep at the wheel when this mistake was made, and that what was intended for evil by forces other than our Lord, were (past tense) intended for good by our Lord; additionally, rejoice that He has promised to work it for good in your life (you chosen lover of God)! Be encouraged to not too quickly blow past or through the repentance phase. You should not die there in your guilt & shame, but neither should you gloss over it as if it matters not that a mistake has been made.

As for errors in judgment. We are in Christ, yes – but, unfortunately we are “under construction” regarding our “mind” being transformed. So there are times we will just plain “get it wrong!” Again, repent & rejoice! Repent for the wrong thought processes that led you to a wrong conclusion & ask God to fix your mind of self, and make it the mind of Christ. Rejoice then, for you were awakened to your mistake & your wrong thinking… You could have stayed in that place & even died there – what joy that we have been graced to be awakened! God has intended & can work this too for good!!

So you say, but Gary, I prayed, I sought The Lord. I even fasted. I sought counsel. I thought my heart was right in the direction I went, but alas, I see now, it was a mistake. Good news! Yep, you got it: repent & rejoice! Repent for missing the mark, even though all indications were a “green light” – ask for wisdom as to where you went wrong; He will show you, for he promises wisdom to those who ask, and He who has called you is faithful! Then, while listening for wisdom, rejoice! Rejoice that your weren’t lost in your mistake and that He awakened you! Rejoice that He promises to work ALL things for good for you because you love Him, and are called by Him!

What I am saying is, no matter the reason you, as a lover of God, called by Him, with a heart for His kingdom, find yourself on the “other-side” of a mistake, you should simply, yet thoroughly, repent; then with excitement and courage, stand up, dust the dirt off of you, and with rejoicing, go again for God!

Mistakes will come, Saint. But for us, it is a matter of “rejoice when you face trials of various types” (and these mistakes are indeed trials of the flesh), for they are granting us the privilege of repentance, and the command to rejoice!

– Gary Kienel

 

SEPTEMBER 16

QUOTE:
“Christ can never be known without a sense of awe and fear accompanying the knowledge….No one who knows Him intimately can ever be flippant in His presence.”
– A.W. Tozer

 

SEPTEMBER 17

QUOTE:
“My problem with sin is that I don’t hate it enough!”
– Pastor Tom Myers

Inspirational Thoughts and Quotes from 2013 – Part 4

“Recap” of Inspirational Thoughts & Quotes from 2013 From My Facebook

Part 4 – October-December

I might have said a few things that I learned of the Lord in 2013 that will be impactful for the Kingdom. I have shared some of them here. Also, I have listed numerous quotes that impacted me, from local pastors to great Saints of old, including Tim Conway, Spurgeon, Chambers, Corrie Ten Boom, Pastor Jeremiah Stingl, Pastor Tom Myers, Pastor Don Morrison, Pasture Scott Mitchell, Pastor Alan Trippe, Major Ian Thomas, CS Lewis, Sparks, Phil Powell & many others. I know with confidence, these Saints, and I, would all say, in sincerity, that if any of these words are impactful, it is because they are not our own, but the Holy Spirit’s. I pray you find blessing herein. ~ Gary

OCTOBER 2

QUOTE: “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself because it is not there. There is no such thing.” – C.S. Lewis



OCTOBER 10

QUOTE: “God has not made this world to be a nest for us, and if we try to make it such for ourselves, he plants thorns in it, so that we may be compelled to mount and find our soul’s true home somewhere else, in a higher and nobler sphere than this poor world can give.” – Charles Spurgeon



OCTOBER 14

QUOTE: “The treasures contained in the most basic truths of the Lord Jesus are enough to last for more lifetimes than you can measure.” – Rick Joyner



OCTOBER 23

QUOTE: “Our greatest problem is that we esteem self more than we esteem God.” – Paul Washer



OCTOBER 26

Oh how I cringe when I hear someone say: “As Christians, we need to remember that we are all sinners.” Seriously?!? Oh Preachers, we need to get our theology right coming from our pulpits!

Yes, Christians “sin”, but we, as a “born again new Creature in Christ”, are no longer “sinners”. We are saints. Watchman Nee said it best in The Normal Christian life: “We are not sinners because we sin – we sin because we are sinners. Likewise, we are not Saints because we do works of righteousness; rather we do works of righteousness because we have been made saints.”

As a Christian, I am a saint – FACT – not a sinner. Do I from time to time stumble and fail? Sure (sometimes more often than time to time) – but my new heart, given to me by Christ (Ezekiel 36:25-27) no longer loves SIN, it loves God – in fact I hate sin.

The difference in a born again Christian and the world, is that when we sin, we hate what we do, but the world loves its sin. A sinner loves sin. A Saint loves God. Both sin, but the difference is who/what they love.

Let him who has ears to hear, hear.

– Gary Kienel



OCTOBER 27

QUOTE: [Christian]: “If you say you are saved, but there has been no radical change in your life, you need to check to see if you have indeed been born again!” – Pastor Tom Myers



NOVEMBER 5

The distance between the mind & the heart, is the distance between Life & Death. Don’t confusing “believing about”, with “believing in” – remember, the demons believe, but they did not “trust” the One whom they believed… do you “trust” Him with your whole “heart”? Then “confess your whole trust in Him” with your mouth! (Rom 10:10) – Gary Kienel



NOVEMBER 13

What kind of lives are we called to live as “Christians”? A life of holiness – a life of being set apart – a life of otherness – a life that looks like “strangers and aliens”. It’s not about alcohol, smoking, pre or extra-marital sex, tattoos, cussing or even the style music you listen to. These merely bring the topic to light. It’s about the Lordship of Jesus Christ in the lives of those who call themselves by His name.

It’s about putting the good of others ahead of your personal wants and needs.

It’s about laying down your “rights” and “freedoms” (perceived or actual) because you care more about how it might negatively impact your “brother”, your neighbor and your community, than your self-indulgence.

As followers of Jesus, we are to be Christ-centered, not self-centered. We are to live by the Spirit, and thereby put to deeds the desires of the flesh.

I am not perfect at this, but it is my goal – and it is a biblical goal worthy of all my efforts!

– Gary Kienel



NOVEMBER 25

“Oh Holy Spirit, may the same grace that prompts me to say such quotable inspiring words, work in me to live out those very same words. Quotable words are not inspiring when they’re not lived out with sincere action.” – Gary Kienel



NOVEMBER 30

The Christian journey begins with Jesus’ Cross – then the journey continues with my cross!

Typically, we forget that Jesus spoke of two crosses – His Cross, and our cross. It is because of His Cross, that we are privileged to carry our cross – His Cross was once for all – our cross is for a lifetime. His Cross brought me life, my cross brings me death. Oh the wonderful, wondrous cross – both of them!

– Gary Kienel



“One more night with the frogs”

A dear brother of mine, who has now gone on to be with the Lord, used to preach a message entitled: “One more night with the frogs.” A simple message detailing the truth that after months of a variety of miseries, Moses came to pharaoh and said: these frogs that plague you will “end” if you let God’s people go. Pharaoh’s response? “I will let you know tomorrow, Moses.” – Pharaoh knowingly suffered one more night with the frogs, to “think about it” – when he could have repented and slept “frog free” that night.

What frogs are you sleeping with “one more night” rather than repenting right now, and sleeping frog free?

– Gary Kienel



DECEMBER 1

“You can’t have the will of God, without the Kingdom of God. His Kingdom always precedes His will (Matt 6:10). If you are looking for His will, search our His Kingdom (basileia) first.” ~ Gary Kienel



DECEMBER 4

QUOTE: “It costs something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a person in an arm-chair and taking them easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory.” – J.C. Ryle



DECEMBER 6

QUOTE: “It’s in the valleys where true disciples are made; it’s on the mountains where they are displayed.” – Pasture Scott Mitchell



DECEMBER 8

QUOTE: “True Grace always leads to a healthy fear of The Lord.” – Pastor Tom Myers



DECEMBER 8

QUOTE: “If you ask ‘how much do I have to give?’ or ‘how much can I afford to give?’ then you have yet to be permeated by the Grace of God.” – Pastor Tom Myers



DECEMBER 12

CHRISTIAN: Jesus came to be your Savior, in order that He might become your Lord – nothing less. He came to restore the Father’s rule & reign in your heart – let Him reign! – Gary Kienel



“Oft times the problem is not the sin itself (behavior), but our attitude towards it.” – Gary Kienel



CHRISTIAN: The consequences of knowingly, and willfully, embracing and engaging in sin in this life for the momentary pleasures & happiness it brings, reaps massive results in this life and in the life to come – even when there is repentance from one with a heart after God. So I implore you Saint, turn from the dead life of the flesh, and live by the Spirit of God within you, while He strives with you, for His Spirit will not always strive with man. (2 Samuel 12:9-14; Genesis 6:3) – Gary Kienel



DECEMBER 13

BLOG QUOTE: “We are called to make faithful disciples—and that will never be cool in the eyes of the world. At some point, we have to leave the adolescent realm of cool to reach spiritual maturity.” – Lee Grady (What ‘Cool’ Churches Could Learn From Abercrombie & Fitch)



DECEMBER 18

QUOTE: (From the book, Not A Fan) “Fans will try and make Jesus one of many. Some fans may even make Jesus the first of many. But when Jesus defines the relationship he makes it clear; he wants to be your one and only.” – Kyle Idleman



DECEMBER 19

QUOTE: “Grace is the voice inside your head telling you to turn around when you’re going in the wrong direction, then gives you the power to do it.” – Misty Edwards



“Christ-Follower: we need to be less concerned about the world’s hell-bound culture taking Christ out of Christmas, and more concerned about the liberal fleshly culture invading the church, that is taking Christ out of Christian. Now that’s a problem worth getting upset over!” – Gary Kienel



DECEMBER 20

QUOTE: [CHRISTIAN]: If you think you have found “happiness” in your sin(s) – think again! Sin is directly “against man’s good, both present and future, here in time and hereafter to eternity, in this life and world which now is and in that to come. It is against all and every good of man, and against the good of all and every man.” – Puritan Ralph Venning



DECEMBER 25

“Open Last”

Do you remember how, from time-to-time, you would get those Christmas gifts, or birthday gifts, that came in 2, or even 3 packages. Careful instructions were given to “Open 1st”, “Open 2nd”, “Open last” – Well, the Gift of Jesus is just like that…

The first “package” is Christmas: Emmanuel, a babe in a manger. This gift alone, is extremely thoughtful and absolutely amazing, and is the stuff that holiday TV specials & Christmas Carols are made of, however, without the second gift, it is just a magical night, filled with wonder and awe; love, giving and humility. “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6) Worldwide, not all will open this gift, but many will.

The second “package” is Easter: the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord & Savior of the mankind. Yet, this gift too, without the third, remains a inspiring, emotional story, filled with obedience, sacrifice and love! “So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!” (Acts 2:36) Worldwide far less will open this gift.

Ah, but the third “package”, rarely given, even more rarely received, and not even seen as a “gift” by most: The gift of ears to hear, and eyes to see, and a heart to understand the Truth & Purpose of the Life of Jesus. Most will leave this package “under the tree”. Without it, Christmas is just Santa, Carols, Gifts & Lights; Without it, Easter is just baskets, eggs, pretty dresses and religion. “He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45) “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God.” (Luke 8:10) Worldwide, fewer still will open this gift.

It is my Christmas Prayer for YOU, that YOU will discover this gift beneath your tree & open this 3rd Package – the gift of “eyes to see, ears to hear and a heart to understand, the secrets and mysteries of the Kingdom of God found in the Holy Scriptures”, this, and every, Christmas Day!

May this Christmas, be YOUR year!

Merry Christmas 2013

– Gary Kienel



DECEMBER 26

“For unto you is born this day in the city a David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

I am strongly inspired by this verse to consider the seemingly absolute & inseparable connection between “Savior” and “Christ the Lord”. Our church culture has done such a poor job of making this connection as clear, as it is here in the Gospel of Luke, 2nd Chapter, 11th verse.

Answer these questions in your mind: What is a Savior? How about this: What is “Christ” (Jesus’ last name?!?) – and lastly, what about “the Lord” (just a tagline to Savior?)?

Luke tells us that “the Savior” which we readily embrace, IS “Christ the Lord”. He is not just “Savior” – period. No, He, Jesus, is Savior, which is “Christ”, and He is “The Lord” (also see, Acts 2:36b).

I would propose that if we, out of ignorance or otherwise, attempt to separate Jesus the Savior, from Jesus the Christ & Jesus the Lord, then we neuter the very purpose and reason for which He came as “Savior”. This verse says that The Savior, is the Christ. This inherently means that this Savior, is the “Promised Anointed One From God” – this elevates & equates our Savior to a place of divinity. He is not just Savior, He is also God.

Secondly, He is “the Lord” – with “Lord” comes one with “authority”. In fact Jesus is called the Lord of lords, meaning He is the absolute Authority for all, and above all. So, Jesus is not just Savior; He is not just God; He is also King.

How precious is this truth, this promise, this creative reality, that the Babe in the Manger, is fully Savior, fully God & fully King? “God” Himself, came to “Save” me unto His “King”-dom!

May we, during this season of Epiphany, with the celebration of the advent of both Jesus and the New Year – enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus – embracing Him as thoroughly as God (Christ) & King (the Lord), as we have as Savior!

– Gary Kienel