2

After Peter opens his second letter with an apostolic greeting and blessing he drops this bit of wonderful:

For by these [His own glory and excellence] He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. - 2 Peter 1:4 NASB

Peter sets forth the consequences of two kinds of promises.

The promises given by Father and Jesus our Lord, and the promises made by our flesh.

The promises of God are precious.

They are magnificent.

When we embrace and believe them they lead to an impartation of God’s own nature taking root in our lives.

The other promises mentioned are the lusts of flesh which are underwritten by the lies of this world and it’s god.

Unfortunately, we are inundated by these lies everyday from every side. If you live in the “civilized” world, these liars surround us pressing on us to embrace their promises, to live life to the fullest, to have it all, to follow your heart, achieve your dream, grab the gusto.

These promises the flesh offers, of a brief but real splash of satisfaction, lead to corruption, decay, destruction. They lead to one end. Jesus referred to it in as “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt 25:41)

The contrast couldn’t be more stark.

The promises of God conform us to the image of Christ. They take what is true in our spirit and work it out in our whole life. When you received Jesus, when you surrendered your life to Him, according to the promises of God, you became a son of God. (John 1:12, Romans 8:14)

A rabbit trail about being a son…I know it would be more PC for me to say child of God, but in the days the New Testament was written, a daughter would usually not receive an inheritance. She might take a dowry into a marriage, but her future inheritance would come through her husband. So when Paul writes to Rome and tells us we have become sons of God, it was because sons can be heirs. He knew he was writing to men and women as clearly demonstrated by his greetings at the end of the book where he mentions at least three women by name. But he called them sons, so they would understand that men and women in Christ receive the same inheritance!…end of rabbit trail.

The inheritance we receive in Him is not shared, its joint. We don’t get a portion of what the Father gave Jesus, we are joint heirs. This means that everything that the Father gave Jesus is ours by right of inheritance.

So what did the Father give Jesus? (I know you know this, but just because it is so precious and magnificent, I’m going to make it plain.) EVERYTHING!

All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He [the Holy Spirit] takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. - John 16:15 NASB

Here’s how this works.

You meditate on the precious and magnificent promises and you see what God has already done in your. Your spirit rises up and witnesses to your heart that theses things are true. Your life begins to reflect the truth in your daily walk. You look more like Jesus today because you embraced one of Father’s precious and magnificent promises.

And with each step into your true nature, that inheritance you share with Jesus, you look more like Him. Your life looks like His life. If John’s disciples sent a messenger to you, you could tell them:

the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. - Matthew 11:5 NASB

Now that looks like Jesus!

Hey - thanks for stopping by.

BenHeadshotHave a great day.

See you again soon,

Ben

2

Hi all.

I was poking through my archives and I wanted to share an oldie but goodie from a couple years back. Grab your coffee and check this out. I think you'll like it.

Blessings...

=== from February of 2014 ===

I have been pondering the picture of circumcision.

I understand that these Old Covenant requirements of the law have a real spiritual application in the New Covenant, and one day while I was minding my own business God began to press on my heart the meaning behind circumcision.

My favorite mode of discovery is to write or talk though an idea or concept – so here we go…

What is Circumcision?

First in the physical, it is the cutting away of a part of a man’s reproductive organ (trying to keep it polite here.) [I am not a doctor, nor have I ever observed this procedure, and I don’t really know any of the medical pros or cons, that is not my purpose here.]

I once heard one of my favorite preachers of all time, Jack Hayford, point out that circumcision has to do with our core identity.

Though I don’t remember it well, I am pretty sure the first thing anyone ever said about me was “It’s a BOY!”

Even now, in the days of ultrasound and pre-natal videos, when someone tells you they are having a baby, 90% of the time (yes, I have done a scientific study on this –wink) the first question is, “boy or girl?”

Just as your manhood or womanhood is at the core of your identity, so too, your spiritual identity without Christ is marked with one first observation.

When God looks at your, outside of Christ, there is one thing that stands out – this child is lost.

John tells us that this person, outside Christ, is condemned already and under the wrath of God. (John 3:18 & 36)

But in Christ we can say with Paul:

for we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh, - Philippians 3:3 NASB

This picture of circumcision is the cutting off of something intimately linked to our identity, a part of who we are at the core of our being.

Circumcision is the violent cutting off of our sin nature.

Let me say it again.

Your sin nature has been violently cut off and thrown away – cast off like the foul piece of dead flesh it is. [Tweet this] It's a bloody mess – leave it alone.

Who in their right mind would pick up that bit of death and try to fit it back into their life?

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, - Philippians 3:8 NASB

This word rubbish is defined: “any refuse, as the excrement of animals, offscourings, rubbish, dregs - things worthless and detestable” [From Thayer’s Greek Lexicon]

The result is that you are no longer identified in God's eyes by your sin nature! Hallelujah. You have a new identity with Him. You are clean, pure, without that former blot!.

Let’s walk in the Spirit today, and step away from life in the flesh. See yourself from God's perspective - clean and free.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

See you again soon.

Ben

4

Hi all,

I know - I've been missing from the Blog-o-sphere and I will be back.

For now - won't you worship King Jesus with me?

Be Enthroned

Verse 1
We’ve come to join the song
Sung long before our lives
To raise our voice along
Heaven and Earth alike

We’ve seen Your faithful hand
Your mercy without end
A king who bled and died
A God who sacrificed

Chorus
Be enthroned upon the praises of a thousand generations
You are worthy Lord of all
Unto You the slain and risen King we lift our voice with Heaven
Singing worthy Lord of all

Verse 2
All through this life we lead
And on to eternity
Our endless praise will cry
Jesus be glorified
Jesus be glorified

Bridge
Highest praises Lord of all
Highest praises Lord of all
(repeat)
(play this line when going back into the chorus)
Highest praises You are worthy Lord of all

Chorus (Alternate Chords)
Be enthroned upon the praises of a thousand generations
You are worthy Lord of all
Unto You the slain and risen King we lift our voice with Heaven
Singing worthy Lord of all

Thanks to Bethel Music for the lyrics! You can get the chords there too!.

Have a great Wednesday.

See you again

Ben

4

Our home church is studying Romans and we’re working through chapter 6. In our Bible Study last night, my dear friend Helen pointed out the word “instruments” found twice in Romans 6:13, can also mean weapons. With this change, where the text reads, “instruments of righteousness” it can be read “weapons of righteousness.” 

and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments[weapons] of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments [weapons] of righteousness to God. - Romans 6:13 NASB

In my reading this morning I came across that exact phrase in 2 Corinthians

in the word of truth, in the power of God; by the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and the left, - 2 Corinthians 6:7 NASB

That piqued my interest, so I followed the trail a little farther, and I found two other very interesting places this word is used.

The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor [weapons] of light. - Romans 13:12 NASB (Like spiritual light sabers!)

for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. - 2 Corinthians 10:4 NASB

So here is a thought:

We are in a war, and the spiritual weapons at our disposal include our own body given to God for the purpose of walking in righteousness. It is an act of war against satan and his kingdom to walk in newness of life, reckoning ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God.

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks for stopping by,

See you again soon

Ben

3

In our home church we’ve been studying Romans. On Thursday night we were talking about Romans 6 and how our baptism is a picture of Christ’s death and resurrection.

I was listening to Steve Bremner’s Fire On Your Head Podcast and he interviewed Carlos A. Rodriguez. They got talking about Jesus’ baptism and how God tore heaven open.

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens: "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased." - Mark 1:9-11 NASB

You can check out the interview here. The segment I’m reacting to was at about 36 minutes in and went for less than three minutes, but the whole podcast is worth listening to.

This got me thinking about how this relates to Romans 6 and the believers baptism.

Christ’s baptism not only a fulfilled all righteousness, like He said to John the Baptist, but it gave us a picture of what was coming for all of us upon His death and resurrection.

When He was baptized, God tore open the heavens. I love what Carlos A. Rodriguez (check out his blog, HappySonship here) says about this. When you tear something, it’s not because you are planning to sew it back together. It is a destruction. God tore the heavens open and Jesus walked under an open heaven every day of His life.

At the crucifixion of Jesus, God tore the veil in the temple open, once and for all. It was not for the priests to sew back together. It demonstrates that like Jesus, all who are in Christ now walk under an open heaven. No longer do we need to sacrifice yearly for our sins to make atonement to the Lord, so that He will hear our prayers. Now the veil is torn—the heaven open—and we are free to commune with God the way Jesus did. We have the same access to heaven as Jesus did. The store house of heaven is open to us. God's rich supply is as available to us as it was to Jesus.Need direction for your life? Need healing? Need provision? Need comfort? Heaven is open and God is talking.

Not to mention, in the same way as the Father did at Jesus baptism, He poured out the Holy Spirit on us so that we can walk in newness of life. We are new creations—a new species—no longer sin-natured. We are now God-natured. We are not living with dead spirits, suffering from the curse of Adam’s sin. We have living spirits—having been breathed on by the breath of God—inhabited by the Holy Spirit—and benefitting from Jesus’ own righteousness.

Like Paul tell us in Romans 6 when he's talking about our baptism as a demonstration of the fact that we now walk in newness of life—life with an open heaven—with a torn veil and a new spirit.

Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. - Romans 6:4 NASB

Hallelujah!

That right there is some good news!

Ben NelsonHey, thanks for coming by.

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

See you again soon.

Ben

1

I can't get this song out of my heart. I've been singing it all week long. I picked up Bethel's new collection (I want to call it an album, and I suppose that still works - but it does show my age) and have been loving it, but this one has grasped me.

Have It All

Written by Brian Johnson, Bobby Strand, Lindsey Strand, Mia Fieldes, Joel Taylor

Chorus
You can have it all, Lord
Every part of my world
Take this life and breathe on
This heart that is now Yours

Verse 1
Oh the joy I’ve found
Surrendering my crowns
At the feet of the King
Who surrendered everything

Verse 2
Oh the peace that comes
When I’m broken and undone
By Your unfailing grace
I can lift my voice and say

Chorus
You can have it all, Lord
Every part of my world
Take this life and breathe on
This heart that is now Yours

Bridge
Ohhhh, Ohhhh
There is no greater call
Than giving You my all
I lay it all down, I lay it all down
There is no greater love
No higher name above
I lay it all down, I lay it all down
Singing Ohhhh, Ohhhh

===

Isn't that wonderful!

You can pickup the CD or MP3 here.

Enjoy.

Ben

4

What makes the law so attractive?

We’ve been choosing law over grace from the very beginning. Adam and Eve chose the knowledge of good and evil over life. (Genesis 3) Israel chose being given instructions over a relationship with God. (Exodus 20:19)

Even after God demonstrated the inability of the law to save us (Romans 8:3) we go back to choosing the law.

We have tasted and seen the amazing blessings of grace—forgiveness of sins, new nature, life in the light.

We have been given a new heart, been washed clean of the guilt and stain of our sins. Even our old nature has been sent packing, and we have received the very Spirit of the Living God dwelling in us.

And still we choose law.

How, you ask?

In so many ways.

We do to earn the favor of God.

We give to receive a blessing.

We hold the law up to demand our rights as citizens of this new kingdom.

I’ve done it a thousand times. I’ve demanded that God keep His promise based on my performance.

I’ve spent money I didn’t have because God owed me a blessing based on my giving.

I’ve demanded that He heal because He already paid the price.

I believe the problem is not that God is slack concerning His promises, but that I’m living in a law based paradigm. I slip back into law too easily. I begin to demand to receive what I’m owed, not realizing it’s already been given. I lose sight of God the giver and see Him the One withholding the things I am owed. I must plead my case with Him as my opponent rather than my Advocate.

My mistake may be that I’m using a law based reasoning for healing, or prosperity, or promotion, instead of establishing grace as the foundation of my life.

What earns me healing? Do I, by my tithing, pry open the windows of heaven?

Or are these things simply gifts from the Most High, given freely?

Are all the gifts of God like salvation? There is nothing I did to deserve salvation. In fact, I came to the Lord doubly dead—dead by my sin nature—deserving of death by my own sins and transgressions. There’s not much a dead man can do to save himself.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. - Romans 5:8-10 NASB (Emphasis mine

I didn’t stand before God and demand absolution from my old nature. I, with confession on my lips bowed my head and asked His forgiveness and accepted His great grace toward me.

And you know what He did? He sprinkled me with clean water—washed me clean from my old nature and my sinful deeds. He forgave each and every sin I had ever committed. He took the stoney heart out of my soul—the heart that could not keep His law and kept me from obeying His command to love Him and love my neighbor. Then He replaced that old stone heart of mine with a new heart—one that love’s Him—one that has the capacity to keep His Word. (Ezekiel 36:25-27)

Then, best of all, He came and took up residence in that new heart.

We’re not adversaries any longer. I was the enemy of God, but today, I’m His dwelling place, and He’s mine. He is my Home. I am His home. I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. (Song of Songs 6:3)

I don’t have to argue my case in order to get what I think should be mine. I don’t have to drag Him into court and show the judge my marriage license and say, He owes me healing, He owes me prosperity, He owes me a good life.

God Forbid!

Our access to all God has for us comes through intimacy not litigation. [Tweet this]

My beloved Father blessed me with all spiritual blessings the day I surrendered my life to Him. (Ephesians 1:3)

My dear Abba God seated me in Christ in heavenly places years and decades ago when I laid down the weapons of my warfare against Him. (Ephesians 2:6)

The Lover of my soul gave to me all things that pertain to life and godliness through the increasing revelation of who He is, day by day as we dwell together. (2 Peter 1:3)

This great God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has made me a partaker of His own divine nature through His great and precious promises. (2 Peter 1:4)

I’m going to start pressing into His grace, and giving Him space to multiply that grace into my situations and circumstances. I’m done demanding from God, and contending with Him. He is more than enough for me.

Thanks for listening as I slog through some thoughts chasing around in my heart.

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

In Jesus,

Ben

1

This is the cry of my heart this morning.

FALL AFRESH

Written by Jeremy Riddle

©2011 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing

VERSE

Awaken my soul, come awake
To hunger, to seek, to thirst
Awaken first love, come awake
And do as you did, at first

CHORUS

Spirit of the living
God come fall afresh on me
Come wake me from my sleep
Blow through the caverns of my soul
Pour in me to overflow

BRIDGE

Come and fill this place
Let Your glory now invade
Spirit come and fill this place
Let your glory now invade

===

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Walk in the grace.

Ben

Today I want to feature another song from Amanda Cook. It's a great declaration of God's love.

Enjoy.

Peices

written by Amanda Cook, Steffany Gretzinger

Amanda Cook, Steffany Gretzinger © 2015 Bethel Music Publishing (ASCAP). All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.

VERSE 1

Unreserved, unrestrained

Your love is wild, Your love is wild for me

It isn’t shy, it’s unashamed

Your love is proud to be seen with me

 

CHORUS

You don’t give Your heart in pieces

You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

 

VERSE 2

Uncontrolled, un-contained

Your love is a fire burning bright for me

It’s not just a spark, it’s not just a flame

Your love is a light, and all the world will see

 

DOUBLE CHORUS

You don’t give Your heart in pieces

You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

You don’t give Your heart in pieces

You don’t hide Yourself to tease us

 

BRIDGE

Your love’s not fractured

It’s not a troubled mind

It isn’t anxious, it’s not the restless kind

Your love’s not passive

It’s never disengaged

It’s always present

It hangs on every word we say

Love keeps its promises, it keeps its word

It honors what’s sacred, cause its vows are good

Your love’s not broken

It’s not insecure

Your love’s not selfish, Your love is pure

 

Here's one of my current favorites.

Mercy -

written by Amanda Cook and Steffany Gretzinger

VERSE 1

My past embraced

My sin forgiven

I’m blameless in Your sight

My history rewritten

 

CHORUS

Cause You delight in showing mercy

And mercy triumphs over judgement

 

VERSE 2

Oh Love, great Love

Fear cannot be found in You

And there will never be a day

You’re uncertain of the ones you choose

 

BRIDGE

So I will awake

And spend my days

Loving the One who has raised me up

From death to life

From wrong to right

You’re making all things beautiful

===

Thanks to Bethel Music for these lyrics.

BenHeadshotSee you again soon.

Worship today.

Ben