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Pray with me…

 

Colossians 1 has one of those wonderful “Paul prayers.”

Join me today in praying for someone who the Lord has put on your heart. I am using the pronoun ‘him,’ but you can obviously substitute ‘her’ or a persons name.

That you may be filled with the knowledge of His will…

I pray he would know with the same depth that he is known by You, Your will for him, not just what You wants him to do, but who You have made him to be.

…in all spiritual wisdom…

I pray he would not derive his motivation today from his natural tendencies, but he would hear the wisdom that comes from the Spirit of the Holy one that dwells in him, in whom he dwells.

…and understanding…

As he move in You today, he would see what Your hope is for him, that the eyes of his understanding would clarify Your call in him, and that he would see how his gifts and talents were to be deployed to glorify You, Jesus, today.

…so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…

His day would be full of faith actions, led by the Spirit, doing that which well re-presents You, the way You walked and Your actions re-presented the Father’s good pleasure.

…to please Him in all respects…

That every aspect of his day would draw the Lord’s pleasure. That he, like Jesus, would increase in favor with You today.

…bearing fruit in every good work…

Not only would his labor be pleasing to the Lord and edifying to him, it would be fruitful, bringing a harvest of character in his life, and a harvest of souls into eternal life (the knowing of the Father and the Son – John 17:3)

…and increasing in the knowledge of God…

Lord, increase him in knowing You. Not in the knowing of facts, but in intimacy with You. Though he may see You as through a glass darkly, let there be a deeper, clearer knowing of Your heart, Your will, Your intentions.

…strengthened with all power…

Father, let the supernatural of Your presence inside shine forth in wonders beyond his expectation.

…according to His glorious might…

Let his works reflect the size of Your works, Father, and the magnitude of Your power and not just the size of his faith.

…for the attaining of all steadfastness…

Allow the wonders You work in him to increase his faithfulness to you. Allow Your presence in his life to create a supernaturally strong link between You and him.

…and patience…

Let Your faithfulness to him create patience in his life equipping and enabling him to wait on you without murmuring and complaining as You do Your work in him day by day.

…joyously giving thanks to the Father …

Let there be joy in his day as He recognizes your hand and opens his mouth with thanksgiving to you.

…,who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.

I thank you that You have qualified him, by Your blood, Your death and resurrection, to be a partaker of the divine nature, that Your presence in him qualifies him to know you and receive from you all that he needs for life and godliness.

Colossians 1:9-12

BenBlessings,

Ben

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Dead is Dead

If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, - Colossians 2:20

Often I hear folks talk as though there is no hope for them to ever walk in a way pleasing to the Father as long as they are in this fallen world. Does that ring a bell?

Paul asks an intriguing question here, which betrays something about the way he thinks and lives.

If in fact you died with Christ in His death on the cross, as far as this world is concerned, you’re a dead person.

I love the phrase here:

“…AS IF you were living in this world”

Paul is like – the world’s power over you is a fantasy [tweet this] – an imagination – AS IF!

Do you live in this world or are you a citizen of heaven?

The choice is yours.

You can live in this world and of it if you want.

Or you can:

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. – Colossians 3:1-5

(Sounds like Romans 6 doesn’t it?)

Will you join me today?

I am going to:

Seek things above
Set my mind on things above
Consider myself dead to this world
Ponder my location in heaven
Look forward to being revealed with Him in glory

Lord help me see myself as you see me. It is so easy for me to see the waves crashing around me, to hear the call of the tempter of my soul and fall into earthly thinking. Give me eyes to see us seated together in heaven even as I walk as a testimony to your life today. I recognize, Lord, that I can not walk this without You in me and me in You.

Amen

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

Ben

 

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What “ALL” is that?

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. Colossians 1:16

Have you ever noticed that the ALL things that Paul lists here are all of one group?

Notice first what he does not list.

He doesn’t list trees and stars and eyeballs and magnesium.

He doesn’t list pizza and olives and cows and oregano.

What he does list is the authority structures of the realms heavenly and fallen.

Thrones
Dominions
Rulers
Authorities

Interesting list, don’t you think?

Then he tells us they are all created not only by Him, but FOR Him.

Simple math tell us then that:

President Obama was made for Jesus.
David Cameron was made for Jesus.
The top man in ISIS was made for Jesus.
Satan himself and all his underlings were made for Jesus.

Good to know.

nora and papa at the table, benSee ya

Ben

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The accumulation of Hope

I ran across this phrase in my reading this morning:

…because of the hope laid up for you in heaven, – Colossians 1:5

I love the idea that there is a stock pile of hope being accumulated for me in heaven. Some translators turn it around to sound more like I am looking forward with expectation for all the good that is awaiting me in heaven, and I am ok with that.

But this morning when I read that phrase, I got the image in my head of a vault in heaven where Father is placing bundles of hope in little paper bands, like stacks of bills.

And since I am a citizen of heaven and this account is a joint account, I have access to hope any time I need it.

You understand how joint accounts work right?

God makes deposits and I make withdrawals.

Hear this today if you are feeling hopeless.

God has set aside hope in and account just for you. You can draw from this account today.

This hope is withdrawn as we meditate on the goodness of God. As we look at who He is and what He has done, hope is transferred from our heavenly account into our soul’s hope wallet.

How is it with you? Are you in desperate need of some hope?

Try this out:

Father, I am feeling hopeless. (might as well be honest – don’t you think?)
You, Lord are good. You created me. You love me, and have even when I was fighting you. No place is too dark for the light of your life to penetrate. Come and give me hope today.

nora and papa at the table, benThanks for stopping in

See you again soon.

Ben

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Unique

Many Waters - SoS header

But my dove, my perfect one, is unique:

Song of Songs 6:9 NASB

That’s right – You’re Unique – just like everyone else.

No really though – the bride, this one who is pursuing the Lord is set apart and without compare in the courts of the Lord.

I know it’s been said a brazilian times, but there is only one you, and you just have not gotten it yet.

You know how I know?

You are still trying to be like someone else.

You still look at other folks gifts and try to figure out ways to mimic them.

You’re still not satisfied with the way God made you.

But God has made you with a temperament that is unique.

He has given you gifts that are unique, especially when attached to your temperament.

He has placed you in a story that is unique. No one has your background and upbringing, not even your siblings. Each one of you (yes – I mean us) was born into a different family, and some into no family at all.

Then when you came to faith, He set you in His body, but not alone, with a group of other believers, a unique group, with their own mix of temperaments, gifts, talents, callings – giving you a solid hold on the title of ‘YOU.’ You’re the only one.

Then we have the aspect of God’s amazing plan.

Check this out:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10 NASB

(I’ve heard that word ‘workmanship’ rendered God’s ‘masterpiece’ – nice!)

When did Father plan these works for you?

David saw it this way:

I will give thanks to You,
for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.

When I awake, I am still with You.

Psalms 139:14-18 NASB

I have an assignment for you today.

Be YOU.

Let me know how it goes.

nora and papa at the table, benBen

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But That’s Impossible – Update

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A couple weeks ago I was pondering some red letters:

And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.Matthew 17:20

This weekend I am attending a wonderful conference in Harrisburg PA, and one of the speakers, Bill Vanderbush, (I will probably mention him again, since he is always a few yards ahead of me in the same revelation stream) mentioned the same train of thought.

He took the same tack I did by pointing out that we have no problem understanding that with God, nothing is impossible, and then taking us to Jesus’ words (above) that nothing will be impossible to us.

This made me happy. It told me that God is opening up the same scriptures to others in the body at the same time.

Then he made this wonderful observation.

If nothing is impossible with God and nothing is impossible to us, we have the same limitations as God! [Tweet This]

Ok – so – I ‘m just letting that sink in.

Isn’t it strange how when we take the words of Jesus at face value it almost feels like heresy? But that is what He said.

Ponder that for a while and I’ll be back again with more.

nora and papa at the tableBlessings

Ben

 

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Seedless Christians?

Originally posted on Mustard Seed Budget:

seedless ChristiansSeedless watermelons have been engineered so that you don’t have to spit. You can devour sweet, wet, red fruit without the hassle of separating out the seeds. Scientists have also genetically engineered seedless grapes, bananas, oranges, lemons, tomatoes. They are a contradiction in terms because fruit is defined by the seeds they carry.

So too, the Christian is defined by the seed s/he carries, seeds of evangelism, seeds of change, seeds of revolution. A seedless Christian is one who remains continually unmotivated to do much for Christ. He is inwardly focused, self-centered and immature.

Seedless fruits were altered to make the fruit more palatable to the eater. If you are a seedless Christian, you are more palatable — to the devil.

The good news is, of course, that we can pray to become full of seeds. We can begin to aim our lives in a new direction and do the…

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