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Tender Shoot

For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;

Isaiah 53:2a NASB

I have heard so often folks tell me that in this area (perhaps the North East, perhaps New England, perhaps Germany, perhaps the West Coast, perhaps Australia) the ground is hard to the gospel.

It’s hard to penetrate this hardened soil with a 2000 year old message.

I am hear to tell you today, that though the ground is parched – dry – beyond hope – this tender shoot can break through.

And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. – Luke 10:2 NASB

Jesus looked at this parched ground Isaiah prophesied and rather than seeing dry earth with no hope – He saw a plentiful harvest. [Tweet This]

But you must believe – you must see the arm of the Lord – you must hear His voice with the hope of the nations.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

See you again soon.

Ben

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The Arm of the Lord

Arm of the Lord

Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed
?

Isaiah 53:1 NASB

Here we sit at the top of one of the most impressive bits of revelation in the Book.

I love where the Lord starts here.

Who will believe what I say, and who will see My strength?

Do you see that those who believe will see.

This flies in the face of rationalism. You may say seeing is believing.

The Lord says if you hope to see, you must first believe.

To those who believe, it is given to see the strong arm of the Lord revealed on their behalf.

I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. – John 14:16-17 NASB

The world does not see the Spirit of Truth and so cannot receive Him.

Lord, give me a heart to believe so that I can see and be saved by your strong arm. [Tweet this]

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

Ben

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The Right Way to Overcome Temptation

Ben Nelson:

Walter Bright lays out “The Right Way to Overcome Temptation” Here is some practical application of scripture.

Originally posted on Where are you... Where are you Going?:

Temptation is common to all men

The Bible tell us that temptation is common to all men. We should never thing it strange when tempted. We should never think that  our struggle to resist temptation is unique to us alone. Jesus urged his disciples when He walked the face of the earth to develop a life of watching and praying so that they wouldn’t fall into temptation. In other places in the Bible, it says, that sin is constantly knocking at our door, and Satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. We must do everything to resist temptation and sin by drawing near to God.

How does one overcome temptation?

James give us a strategy in his book chapter 1. Let’s take a look at what he teaches.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of…

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ON A COLT

Matthew 21:1-11

The time has finally come for Jesus to make His way towards Jerusalem. Approaching the city, He sends ahead for a donkey, with her foal, tied to a gate. Did you ever wonder why He ordered both the donkey and her foal to be brought to Him? According to Jewish custom when a Judge was going to hold court, he rode on a donkey and had his son alongside him on the colt. In the Matthew account, Jesus decides not to ride on the donkey, where the Judge would have been, but on the colt. What a powerful visual symbol. Then recall Jesus’ words in John 12:47: “…I do not come to judge the world, but to save the world.”

The crowds are unusually noisy and celebratory as Jesus makes His way through the Sheep Gate and into Jerusalem. The crowds ask, ” Who is this man?” the most important question they, and also we, will ever have to answer. Why so much enthusiastic welcome on Sunday, and, just days later, angry shouts of, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

But why had the crowds turned so quickly from adulation to rejection and murder? Had Jesus reduced His flow of people-pleasing miracles, such that the crowds forgot about what He had said and done, and just lusted for more self-satisfaction? What are our own individual motives for embracing and praising the Lord Jesus? Our challenge is to be faithful and consistent in our worship of Him because of who He is. Let’s not be a people who worship and praise Him on Sunday but murmur, complain, and even deny Him on Monday.

Pierre Biscaye, PBC Home Group Leader

Pierre has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. He was a friend to my father when I was of pre-school age. He was my Sunday school teacher at times when I was in elementary school. I have observed his life and love for the Lord across decades and am honored to post his meditations on the triumphal entry here. This meditation comes from Pascack Bible Church’s 47 day prayer guide.

Here is the passage from the NASB:

When they had approached Jerusalem and had come to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied there and a colt with her; untie them and bring them to Me. If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:

“SAY TO THE DAUGHTER OF ZION,
‘BEHOLD YOUR KING IS COMING TO YOU,
GENTLE, AND MOUNTED ON A DONKEY,
EVEN ON A COLT, THE FOAL OF A BEAST OF BURDEN.’”

The disciples went and did just as Jesus had instructed them, and brought the donkey and the colt, and laid their coats on them; and He sat on the coats. Most of the crowd spread their coats in the road, and others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in the road. The crowds going ahead of Him, and those who followed, were shouting,

“Hosanna to the Son of David;
BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;
Hosanna in the highest!”

When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.”

- Matthew 21:1-11 NASB

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The Harlot – Beauty Arise – Lyrics – Misty Edwards

What follows here is one of the most moving works of art I have ever heard. At the bottom of the post is a link to the Youtube of this song, but i wanted to post the song lyrics here for those who “hear” better in written form. Misty Edwards is one of the most anointed ministers of worship of our day. Here you will find the gospel beautifully depicted in an encounter with Jesus. Please make time to read or listen this week as we move toward the Crucifixion and Resurrection celebrations this week.

 

The Harlot – Beauty Arise

I am broken
I am wounded
I am wretched and ashamed
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck
it’s my name

She sings the song of humanity the song of you the song of me

They drag her through the city square
dragging her by her hair
she’s kicking screaming and fighting

I’m broken I’m wounded
I’m angry and afraid
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck
it’s my name

She’s face down

There’s tangled hair
everywhere as she’s crying in the dust
as the dust turns to mud on her face

There’s tangled hair
everywhere as she’s crying in the dust
face down

Open up o open up o ground beneath me
how long does it take to stone one harlot down

I know the law as well as they do and I’m guilty, guilty
an adulterer, and I know I know

O will this day never end
how long does it take to stone one harlot

I am broken
I am wounded
I am wretched and ashamed
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck, it’s my name

As the congregation of the righteous gather round
they are ready to stone her down

And someone from that frenzied mob
shouts out, “let’s take her to the Teacher
let’s test Him and see what He will say!”
An erruption of agreement

As they take her by her hair
they drag her through the city square
they’re dragging her by her hair
she gave up the fight like a limp rag

They drag her through the city square
dragging her by her hair

She’s faced down

I am broken I am wounded
I am angry and afraid
and a harlot is like a chain around my neck, it’s my name
it’s who I am

Open up o open up o ground beneath me

It wasn’t supposed to end this way
but I am guilty and I know it
I’ve got so many plans so much to do
but now it’s too late

Guilty and I know it

Face down

What is He doing?

As the congregation of the righteous gather round
they’re ready to stone her down
they throw her at the feet of the Teacher

Dare I look up?
Surely they have brought me here to mock me..

There’s tangled hair
everywhere as she’s crying in the dust
as the dust turns to mud on her face

There’s tangled hair everywhere she’s faced down in the dust
in the mud
and there is a hush
in the congregation

What is he doing?

Time stands still

 

As the court of heaven was seated
there is a great throne of judgment
and there is the harlot and she is me

Face down

Looking through the tangled hair and the mud in my eyes
With a grimace I raise my gaze only to realize
I am surrounded by beauty that would never be mine
as regret like a wave came crushing over me

If I had only known that such beauty was available
if I had only known but now it’s too late-

And the accuser of the brethren was pacing back and forth and back and forth and to and fro
as he spat out his words

He was going back and forth and back and forth
he was listing off my sins one by one
and the thing was he was telling the truth
guilty guilty guilty guilty

And the great count of witnesses and the angels o the angels
looked on the scene

As the accuser of the brethren was going back and forth
glee in his eye
guilty guilty guilty guilty
and resounded to the corridor of eternity and time
like a thunder in my soul

He was right I was guilty
guilty to eternal damnation for my soul
and there was nothing I could there was nothing I could do

Face down

Face down

Couldn’t even open my eyes
the regret was so strong

There’s a hand on my shoulder
a hand on my shoulder
and I hear a voice
like music in my ear

Dare I look up?

I couldn’t lift my eyes but all I saw
were those beautiful feet
and I heard that voice like music
music to my soul

He said, “Father, I desire that she will be with me where I am.
show her my glory.

“Father, I desire this one
this one she is mine
she is mine
she is mine.”

He was praying for my soul
He was pleading for my behalf
He was praying for me

I couldn’t comprehend it
I couldn’t understand what was going on

“Father, I desire that everything that’s Mine would be hers and everything that’s hers would be Mine.
Father, Father, I desire this one, this one,
she is Mine
she is Mine
she is Mine.”

And all the heaven gasped unbelief
and I opened up my eyes
and I watched in wonder

This beautiful one stood to His feet

I looked up and there was a great throne and there was the Father
and He had a cup of wrath with my name on it
it had my name on it

And I was just about to rise to drink
guilty guilty guilty
but I watched in unbelief
As this Beautiful One
He walked over to His Father
and took of the cup

And before I knew what was going on
He drank of the cup
He drank of the cup

He drank of the cup of the Father’s wrath
He drank of the cup of the marriage wine
He drank of the cup with my name on it
He drank of the cup
and oh the blood..

I jumped to my feet and I ran over to Him and it was too late

I tried to stop him but I didn’t know it was too late

And oh the blood
and oh the blood
and oh the blood

It should have been me
and I was weeping and weeping
and I ran over forgetting where I was
and I fell down
face down
O please Father to crush Him
but it was too late

I began to plead it should have been me
it should have been me
but it was too late
why did he do it
but it was too late
and oh the blood

I was weeping and weeping and crying it should have been me
it should have been me
face down
Why did He do it?

It should have been me
was weeping and weeping
why did he gave his life
Oh the blood
was weeping and weeping
and I heard a whisper like music
“what’s yours is Mine and what’s Mine is yours”

I looked to the left
I looked to the right
and i was on a sea of glace like crystal

There was a great great great congregation dressed in white
from every tongue
from every tribe
from every people
and the music began
and a celebration erupted

and I opened up my eyes
and there was the Lamb
as though he was slain
and I was at a wedding
and I couldn’t believe my eyes

I looked down
and I was dressed in garments
garments of beauty
and the music erupted and the angels sing hallelujah hallelujah the chorus broke out

And I looked out and saw the lamb with eyes like fire radiating radiating with desire
and he said what’s yours is Mine and what’s Mine is yours

Arise and sit on the throne, prepare for your beauty arise beauty arise, beauty arise

And we say with one heart and one voice
“Worthy is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world”

“Oh worthy is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world”

“Worthy is the Lamb of God yeah,
who takes away the sins of the world”

We will marry the Lamb
Halle halle hallelujah
Halle halle hallelujah
we will marry the Lamb forever amen

and worthy is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world
worthy is the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world

hallelujah hallelujah

There’s gonna be a wedding
There’s gonna be a wedding
there’s gonna be a wedding yeah people get ready

There’s gonna be a wedding
There’s gonna be a wedding
there’s gonna be a wedding people get ready

There’s gonna be a wedding
There’s gonna be a wedding
there’s gonna be a wedding

What’s yours is Mine and what’s Mine is yours
who can comprehend where this is going
He said, “Beauty arise, arise, arise”

Misty Edwards & David Brymer – The Harlot Lyrics

 

Misty Edwards – Beauty Arise (the harlot) – YouTube.

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Psalm 100

Here is another great piece from our “47 Days of Prayer” booklet. Jane is a leader and teacher in our body, and a great blessing to all who know her.

===

Psalm 100 

A Psalm for Thanksgiving.

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.

Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.

Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.  

Psalms 100:1-5 NASB

One day during the presidency of Abraham Lincoln a woman was brought into his office. Lincoln noticed she carried a basket and he asked her what he could do for her. She replied that she wasn’t there to ask for anything. She simply had heard that he was fond of cookies and she had baked a basket full for him. As the president listened, his eyes welled up and he said, “Your thoughtfulness and unselfish deed moves me. Thousands have entered this office but you are the first to enter asking for nothing.” 

I wonder how God would like us to enter His presence. Psalm 100 invites us to approach Him with shouts of joy. Why? Because He is God. He has created us and those who trust Him belong to Him forever. That’s cause for celebration! The Psalm continues to tell us what pleases God as we enter His presence. We are to come thanking and praising Him because He is good-all the time, and because His love and mercy are always available, regardless of our circumstances.

Why don’t we, like the woman in the story, enter God’s presence where our only agenda is to show gratitude, love and awe for all He’s done for us.

by Jane Marshall, PBC Home Group Leader

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Wait – You Brought Your Friends? – SoS Saturday

Many Waters - SoS header

I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride;
I have gathered my myrrh along with my balsam.
I have eaten my honeycomb and my honey;
I have drunk my wine and my milk.
Eat, friends; Drink and imbibe deeply, O lovers.

Song of Songs 5:1 NASB

The maiden (OK in my mind that is me – the individual believer given over to a life abiding in Jesus) has just handed the keys to her garden, her own personal inner life over to the lover of her Soul.

The Shepherd King (Jesus) has come to her garden, accepted it as His own, and what is the first thing He does. HE INVITES HIS FRIENDS!!!
What happened to intimacy?
What happened to privacy?
What happened to my own personal relationship with Jesus?

I learn from this wonderful Song of Songs that my relationship with Christ is anything but private. I am born again as a part – a member – of the Body of Christ.

He created me with specific talents and strengths, and the day His Spirit took up residence in my newly regenerate soul, He began giving me gifts. He allows me to hear the call from His heart to mine, and then…

He gives me to the body of Christ.

In 1 Corinthians 12 we see a list of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but in Ephesians 4 we see the gifts of Christ. The Spirit gives us gifts, many of which play out a new abilities. But Christ’s gifts are men and women given to the Church.

You are a gift from Christ to the Church.

Don’t let satan rob the Church of one of Jesus’ greatest gifts – YOU. [Tweet this]

Ben NelsonThanks much for stopping by.

Don’t be a stranger.

Ben

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