I’ve been mulling about in and around Romans 1:18 of late.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, - Romans 1:18 NASB

This comes in stark contrast to the two preceding verses.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH." - Romans 1:16-17 NASB

Both speak of a revelation and a relationship to the Truth.

In verse 16 the declaration of the Truth (the gospel) brings a revelation of God’s righteousness. (See Friday’s post.)

In 18 the suppression of the Truth (the gospel?) causes a revelation of God’s wrath.

Both expose righteousness. God reveals His own righteousness, while exposing the transparency of man's attempt to hide his own unrighteousness.

We try to pretend we didn’t know. We suppress the knowledge pressed upon us by all creation. We stand before Him without excuse.

In hopes of self-justification we respond like those goats in Jesus description of judgment, “Lord, when?” (See Matthew 25:44.)

Lord, keep me from suppressing the truth that rises up within me calling me to repent, the voice that is willing to make excuses and pretend I didn’t know. I want to be one of those who run to the light and walk with you in the Truth. Let my mouth—and my life—declare the Gospel so others might know of Your great righteousness, and turn.

BenHeadshotThanks for coming by,

See you again soon,

Ben

I'm using Tim and Kathy Keller's daily devotional that goes through the Psalms in a year, The Songs of JESUS. In today's prayer they quote a stanza from a hymn I had never heard of, Approach, My Soul, The Mercy Seat written by John Newton.

Here's the full hymn. The Keller's quoted verse five as a response to the prophetic Psalm 5 which depicts the agony of our Lord on the cross.

1 Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat,
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before his feet,
For none can perish there.

2 Thy promise is my only plea,
With this I venture nigh;
Thou callest burdened souls to thee,
And such, O Lord, am I.

3 Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely pressed,
By wars without, and fears within,
I come to thee for rest.

4 Be thou my shield and hiding place!
That, sheltered near thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him, "thou hast died."

5 O wondrous love! to bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame;
That guilty sinners such as I,
Might plead thy gracious name.

6 "Poor tempest-tossed soul be still,
My promised grace receive;"
'Tis Jesus speaks, I must, I will,
I can, I do believe.

Thanks to Hymnary.org for these lyrics. They supply a tune to go with it (Ballerma, by François Hippolyte Barthélémon - 1741-1808) in the form of sheet music, but the poem itself is in common meter, so many familiar hymn tunes will work including New Britain, the traditional tune for John Newtons famous hymn, Amazing Grace.

Thanks for coming by

BenHeadshotSee you again soon,

Ben

1

What does the Gospel teach us about God? What attribute of the Father is made plain by the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Is it His love? His grace? Perhaps His mercy?

Each of these is manifest in the Gospel.

But when Paul starts his wonderful treatise on the Gospel (also known as the book of Romans) he says:

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; - Romans 1:17 NASB

Not love, not grace, not mercy, but righteousness.

Sometimes I look at God’s great salvation plan, where He wipes away my sin, and think, it’s anything but righteous. You see, righteousness implies a keeping of the law, doing what’s right—doesn’t it?

So if I look at the Gospel’s implications toward me, it seems unrighteous. How can a righteous God turn a blind eye to all my crimes and rebellions.

But is that what God has done? Does He simply sit on His throne with His fingers in His ears while the accuser walks back and forth listing my indiscretions, my transgressions?

This line of thought belies a misunderstanding of the Gospel. God did—does nothing of the sort. God has not turned a blind eye to my lawlessness. Not by a long shot. The wrath of God was stored up for me according to the multitude of my transgressions and the magnitude of my rebellions. The cup of God’s wrath set aside for me was brim full.

And God in His righteousness, handed the cup of wrath set aside for me, to Jesus. Just as Jeremiah saw, God handed Jesus the cup of wrath assigned to me—assigned to you—and said drink all of it and die.

"You shall say to them, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, "Drink, be drunk, vomit, fall and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you."' - Jeremiah 25:27 NASB

God’s righteousness required that blood be shed—that the cup be taken.

And He gave it to Jesus.

And Jesus did not turn away the cup of the Lord, though He despised it, though He hated it.

Jesus took the cup from the hand of His Father, for thus He fulfilled all righteousness. He fulfilled the law by taking the judgement—the guilty verdict—for us.

Do you see how God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel?

It’s stunning.

And it get’s better. He takes these broken, sin scared vessels and put’s His righteousness in us. Just as Jesus became sin for us, we become the righteousness of God as we dwell in Him, and He in us.

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. - 2 Corinthians 5:21 NASB

We become the revelation of God’s righteousness to those around us, as we walk in the Spirit.

that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. - Romans 8:4 NKJV

Hallelujah!

I think I’ll say that again.

Hallelujah!

Arn’t you glad you stopped by?

BenHeadshotI am.

See you again soon

Ben

He named the place Massah and Meribah because of the quarrel of the sons of Israel, and because they tested the LORD, saying, "Is the LORD among us, or not?" - Exodus 17:7 NASB

We good Christians don’t say this out loud. We don’t test the Lord this way, do we?

Do we question the Lord’s promise never to leave us or forsake us when circumstances press in?

Does our heart secretly mummer against the one who promised to dwell within?

Has your heart cried out against God when you found your self in a dry and thirsty land with no water?

Have you said with Israel of old, why did you bring us out of Egypt, out of the world, to let us die here in the wilderness?

When Israel cried out for water, the Almighty sent Moses out to strike the Rock. Out of that Rock flowed water to satisfy the millions of Jews in the wilderness.

That Rock was Christ (so Paul tells the Corinthians.) He is the source of living water.

The implication is that when thirst threatens to overwhelm us, overwhelm you, overwhelm me, I need only go to Christ and drink.

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" - John 7:37-38 NASB

Jesus gives us this promise - not only will He give us the water we need for life, but He will make us a source of living water.

Paul tells us that Jesus is the Rock that Moses struck in the wilderness, out of which flowed the a river of living water to quench the thirst of the multitudes. Jesus tells us we can be (little “r”) rocks, connecting other to that same source of living water.

Come to Jesus today. Bring your ugly circumstances and lay them down at His feet. Don’t tempt the Lord by questioning His presence in your life. Press in to Him with personal worship and adoration. Listen at His feet.

Drink Deeply!

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks for coming by today.

Let the river flow through you - the world is thirsty.

Ben

Here's another wonderful heart cry from Jesus Culture. It's a very simple lyric. Let it wash over you, and let your heart cry out for His presence. There's more for you.

My Soul Longs For You
My Soul Longs For You
Nothing else will do
Nothing else will do

I believe You will come like the rain

You'll come like the rain

So let it rain
Let it rain

Thanks to AZLyrics.com.

2

My wife and I had a fight last week. It was a doozy!

The other man—he was in the fight too.

So why am I telling you about it?

You see, we fight together. The other man—I should say Man, He’s on our side too.

But we do have an enemy. That old liar, the devil, would love to see our marriage destroyed, so we have decided to be on the same side. My wife is my partner in this battle and we, together, follow our supreme Commander—the Captain of the Lord’s army, Jesus.

At the wedding of some close friends, the preacher said something very different.

When you show up at a wedding they ask you which side you want to sit on, bride or groom. When the marriage hits a rough spot, what happens? The bride goes back to her mom, her dad, her side and seeks allies. She goes looking for someone to take her side against that beast she married.

That’s the worlds plan—satan’s plan.

This preacher said to the brides side, “When this marriage gets rough, whose side will you take?” Then he asked the grooms side the same thing. “Whose side are you on when strife arises?” His or hers, hers or his?

Then he called us to promise to be on the side of the union, the side of the new creation, the “one flesh” that is this couple.

Men, when your buddy comes knocking on your door looking for a place to stay, and someone to complain to—pray with him and send him home.

Ladies, don’t give your BFF safe haven away from her hubby. (Please understand, I’m not talking about abuse here—we must be a safe haven in that situation—I’m talking about the growing pains that come with becoming one new creation) Pray with her—pray for him—and take her back home.

You see the biggest threat to satan’s schemes is a united couple with the Lord Jesus Christ at the head of the home in the center of this new creation.

The day I stopped seeing my wife as the enemy when we ran into each other, was the day I finally started winning.

Feel like screaming at her/him. Take a big deep breath and realize whose lies have you so aggravated. Remember, satan (he does not get the respect of a capital letter) is known as the accuser of the brethren. He spreads discord like I spread peanut butter.

So next time you have a fight with your spouse—remember—you’re on the same side!

BenHeadshotThanks for stopping by.

See you again soon.

Ben

4

I grew up in a church tradition that knew nothing of lent. I thought it was a Catholic only tradition, and it was foreign to me. The church we are part of now uses lent as a time of focus.

Encouter cover samples covers onlyWhen I was putting Encounters With Jesus together last year, I was initially hoping I could get it published in time for lent, but there were just too many things I had to learn about self-publishing and whatnot.

But now, the book is ready to go and there's time for you to order one in time for Lent. Why not spend the forty days leading up to Easter getting to know Jesus in a new and fresh way?

Starting with a few stories surrounding Christ's conception and birth, walking through His ministry years and culminating in His passion and resurrection, this book takes you right through the life of Jesus. As we approach Easter, your heart will be full of joy as we celebrate His glorious resurrection.

Perhaps you would like to go through the book with a Bible study group or Sunday school class. Read the stories and the scriptures behind each.

Amazon has the book on sale now for 7.99 in paperback. It's also available for your Kindle. I'm also adding it to the Kindle lending library today, so you can borrow it at no cost if you're an Amazon Prime member.

Can I ask a favor from you my blogging friends? Would you consider sharing this little ad on your favorite social media outlet to help me get the word out? It would be a huge blessing. Just post the photo below with a link to the Amazon page.

Book ad for Lent

Thanks so much!

See you again soon.

Ben

4

Today is a day for joy! See if you can keep from dancing.

by Chris Quilala & friends, performed by Kim Walker-Smith

There is a river where goodness flows
        
There is a fountain that drowns sorrows
       
There is an ocean deeper than fear
         
The tide is rising, rising


There is a current stirring deep inside
     
It's overflowing from the heart of God
       
The flood of heaven crashing over us
          
The tide is rising, rising


Bursting, bursting 

Up from the ground we feel it now

Bursting, bursting 

Up from the ground we feel it now

We come alive in the river

We come alive in the river

We come alive in the river

We come alive in the river



Break open prison doors

Set all the captives free

Spring up a well, spring up a well

Spring up the well in me

Nothing can stop this joy

We're dancing in the streets

Spring up a well, spring up a well

Spring up the well in me

===

Have a great Wednesday!

Ben

1

...giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. - Colossians 1:12 NASB

In the middle of this prayer Paul prays over the Colossians there is this little phrase “has qualified us to share in the inheritance.”

What qualifies you to gain an inheritance?

That's an easy one, you have to be a son or daughter.

What did God do to qualify us?

He signed the adoption papers—in blood--the precious blood of Jesus.

The only thing He asks of you is that you say yes.

Yes Lord, I want to be your child. Yes Lord, I’m want to join your family.

Yes Lord, take me away from this hellish orphanage run by the devil and his angels.

Yes Lord, be my Abba—my Papa—and I’ll be your beloved son.

BenHeadshotThanks for stopping in.

See you again soon.

Ben

2

Here's an excerpt from the FREE 21 day prayer guide from the Colson Center (http://www.colsoncenter.org/21days)

Abortion Facts And Statistics

No one knows who first said, “You can have your own opinions, but you cannot have your own facts.” Facts are indeed stubborn things, and knowing the facts about abortion can help you in your conversations with friends, family, and others.

• About one in three women will have an abortion by age 45.
• Nearly two-thirds of women having abortions say they are Christians.
• Almost half (49 percent) of abortions are among women and teens
24 years old and younger.
• More than 85 percent of “abortion-minded” women will change
their minds about having an abortion if they are allowed to see an
ultrasound picture of their babies.
• About 13 percent of American women are African-American, yet they
account for more than 35 percent of all abortions.
• Less than one in seven Caucasian pregnancies end in abortion, but
almost one in two African-American pregnancies end in abortion.
• Hispanic women account for 21 percent of all abortions.
• About 85 percent of women who had abortions in the U.S. were unmarried.

Get your copy today and get started!

My thanks to Eric Metaxas (@ericmetaxashttp://www.metaxastalk.com/) for pointing me to this resource.

Join me as I pray for our nation and the life of the unborn for these next 21 days.

Blessings

Ben