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Our Father (Matt 6:9)

We start this look at the Lord’s Prayer with one simple word
It is not “My Father” but “Our Father
The Lord Jesus is completely committed to community. [Tweet this] One of the things that so clearly demonstrates this fact is the small phrase “one another.” Below I have listed the one anothers of the New Testament. I would ask you to read through them. You don’t have to do it right now, because there are a lot of them. But some time in the next 24 hours, sit down and read these verses.
You might want to print them out and put them in your Bible. If the Bible says something once, you should pay attention, if it says it twice, that should make your ears perk up. Here are 36 verses, with the phrase “one another” 39 times, and the word love in fully 25 times as well.
John 13:34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
John 13:35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 13:8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
Romans 14:13 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way.
Romans 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
Romans 15:14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.
Romans 16:16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
1 Corinthians 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.
1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brothers here send you greetings. Greet one another with a holy kiss.
2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.
Galatians 5:13 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Ephesians 5:19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord,
Ephesians 5:21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
Hebrews 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.
Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
James 4:11 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.
1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 4:9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
1 Peter 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble."
1 Peter 5:14 Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
1 John 3:11 This is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
1 John 3:23 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1 John 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
2 John 5 And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.
OK, how could we possibly obey even a portion of these 39 instructions if we are not sharing our lives with others?
I am not talking about going to Church on Sunday either. I am talking about living in community. Getting together with others. Sharing life, hopes, dreams, fears, successes and failures.
Each of us in Christ needs to be in relationships with those we can walk through life with. Sometimes pulling them along, and sometimes being dragged forward ourselves. No Christian has arrived at the place where he or she no longer needs the body. Christian life does not work the way it is supposed to when we walk alone.
Believe me, I have messed this up more than once in my life. Many of you reading this can probably point out specific times you have seem me do it. I have allowed rigid doctrines or personal preferences or even hurts or slights to separate me from people God was using to speak into my life.
What about you? Are there relationships you need to fix, people you have hurt, or left, who you should reconcile with or you need to forgive? I want to encourage you to take some action on that today. Don’t wait another day!
Is there one of the "one another"s that you would like to see more of in the Church?
Let's talk about it.
Thanks for reading today! I appreciate you.

Hi all,

My Dad, Robert Nelson

I am trying to collect short (one paragraph - 50- 100 words) stories about good fathers. I would love to include pictures too.

I would love to have a picture to go along with the story. I will publish these stories in a blog post coming up in the middle of next week - So I can take input all week long.

I am looking for good stuff and will post positive stories. If thinking about your dad hurts, i would be glad to pray with you for that, but it would be better to get a private message for that.

Here is what you do:

1) Write a one paragraph story that answers the question. You can do it here or on face book. Or email it to me with the link at the bottom of this page.
2) Link to a picture of your dad on facebook or twitter (or anywhere else on the internet)
3) Get your friends to participate by posting this on Facebook or Twitter [Tweet Invite]

Thanks much for your help!



Today (Sunday, July 15, 2012) I preached on 1 Sam 17. Here was what I intended to say. [chuckle] Some time early this week, the audio will be available. [Here's a link to the audio version] It went really well, and since I had this all prepared, and some folks like to read; I figured I would put it out here.
If you are not a reader, I suggest you wait for the audio later this week.
Note – the blue text below is the actual text of the NIV copied from
We are going to look at possibly the best-known Bible story in the world today. The Story of David and Goliath is used as a metaphor everywhere, in sports, in business, in politics.  Everyone knows this story. I don’t want to just tell you the story today though, I would love to actually read most of it to you. For most people it is a 30 second sound bite story. Little guy kills big guy, but today I want to get down to some of the how and why he was able to do it.
The superhero thing comes from the fact that I was looking for a word that we would all understand that meant Killer of Champions. And this worked nicely since we probably all know what a superhero does – he solves BIG problems.
The first 4 verses of the text set the scene – in short the Philistines were on one mountain, the Israelites on anther, and there was a valley in between.
A champion named Goliath, [Boooo] who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span.
That’s 9’6” – add boots and a helmet and you have the height of this cross, (a 10 ft cross) and his shoulders – probably about like this cross bar as well.
 He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels[b];
His armor weighed about as much as David, fully clothed and soaking wet.
 on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels.[c] 
His spear head weighs (guys) about as much as 2 sledge hammers (ladies) or a medium sized turkey! (I know that was a bit sexist – sorry folks)
His shield bearer went ahead of him.
Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul?
Everybody say “Servants of Saul” (that’s important write that down)
Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” 10 Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel!
Everybody say “The Army’s of Israel” (that’s important write that down)
 Give me a man and let us fight each other. ” 11 On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
Everybody say “dismayed and terrified”
12 Now David [Cheer!] was the son of an Ephrathite named Jesse, who was from Bethlehem in Judah.
Jesse had eight sons, and in Saul’s time he was very old. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. 14 David [Cheer!]  was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, 15 but David [Cheer!] went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem.
16 For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
Forty days! Can anybody think of any other 40 periods in the Bible?
Noah’s Rain
Death of Jacob
Moses spent 40 days fasting waiting on the Lord for the law – twice!
Spies spent 40 days checking the wilderness, and Israel had to spend 40 years wandering – one for each of those days.
Elijah traveled 40 days and nights on one meal to get to Horeb, to hear from the Lord.
Jesus Fasted 40 days and nights
40 days is always a time of testing
17 Now Jesse said to his son David, “Take this ephah[d] of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread for your brothers and hurry to their camp. 18 Take along these ten cheeses to the commander of their unit. See how your brothers are and bring back some assurance[e] from them. 19 They are with Saul and all the men of Israel in the Valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines.”
20 Early in the morning David left the flock in the care of a shepherd, loaded up and set out, as Jesse had directed. He reached the camp as the army was going out to its battle positions, shouting the war cry. 21 Israel and the Philistines were drawing up their lines facing each other. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and asked his brothers how they were. 
Sometimes when you think you need a superhero, what you really need is a servant!
This is the starting point with God. No man can have a relationship with the Lord until first he has bowed his knee and become the servant of God.
The apostles had this identity. There is a word – Doulos in the Greek, and many of the writers of the New Testament called themselves by this name.
Ok –back to the story
23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath,stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 Whenever the Israelites saw the man, they all fled from him in great fear.
25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel.”
26 David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine
Everybody say Uncircumcised Philistine – we will be back to this in a minute.
Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
27 They repeated to him what they had been saying and told him, “This is what will be done for the man who kills him.”
28 When Eliab, David’s oldest brother, heard him speaking with the men, he burned with anger at him and asked, “Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle.”
29 “Now what have I done?” said David. “Can’t I even speak?” 30 He then turned away to someone else and brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before.31 What David said was overheard and reported to Saul, and Saul sent for him.
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”
34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep.
Sometimes when you think you need a Superhero what you really need is a Shepherd
A shepherd is the most despised of men. They are thought to be uneducated, unsophisticated outcasts. So it is today. Pastors and full time ministers of every sort are mocked at every turn by our society.
However, when you face a lion or a bear, or a giant you need a shepherd on your side.
You are not intended to walk though this life alone. God has put you in a body in your area, and has put people in your life. We have a good shepherd here, Chet, who cares for this flock well. I stand with a group of men, who love the Lord deeply, and I have often seen them weep over your souls, and your needs. 
When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, 35 I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God.37 The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”
Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you.”
38 Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. 39 David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off. 40 Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.
41 Meanwhile, the Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, kept coming closer to David. 
The original indicates this means he was coming up – One thing about our enemy is that left unchecked, he will continue to take ground
42 He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him. 43 He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals! ”
I want to take a few minutes here and talk to you about The Power of Words
Paul says in Eph 6:16 - In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
I want you to understand that he best weapons satan has are his words. I am not talking about some fuzzy spiritual warfare theory here, I am talking about the real world. How did satan nutralize the entire Israeli army in our story. Some big guy stood up and started distorting the truth. Let’s go back to those important things we wrote down before.
Servants of Saul
The Army’s of Israel
Goliath puts a spin on the truth that distorts it just enough to cause terror, or total discouragement.
But David knows how to talk as well. When confronted with a lie, or half-truth David recites the actual truth.  And in his words we will find the next characteristic of a superhero.
Remember what he said above
Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
In this one phrase we learn David’s main superpower –he calls Goliath an uncircumcised philistine. What’s the point you ask?
Circumcision is a sign of covenant. David knows that he has a covenant with the Lord God – the Ruler of the Angel Armies, The King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And this giant does not have any such ally.
Sometimes when you think you need a superhero, what you really need is a Son
David knows he is a son. He has a covenant with God, and he knows this from experience as a shepherd. He walked in his son-ship every day.
Let’s get back to the story – pay attention to the way David talks to this giant.
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
In my mind – that is the best part of the story right there. David is not intimidated by the words of the enemy. He goes on the attack – and set’s the proper groundwork for this battle.
It is not between a giant and a little boy, it is between a giant and the Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Eternal God of the Universe. And suddenly the Giant doesn’t look so big. [Tweet This]
I love that David who is standing there with a shepherds crook, a sling and a few small stones has just told the giant he was going to cut off his head.
David – get real – you don’t have anything sharp in your possession – You can’t even reach his head –could you please be a little more realistic?
I love this – let read on.
48 As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. 
Do you see this – David is running toward his enemy!
49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. [Big Cheer]
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.
51 David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.
Sometimes when you think you need a superhero, what you really need is a Savior
When David cuts off the giant’s head, he demonstrates his total mastery of this battle. This day David is a savior to Israel.
When the Philistines saw that their hero was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the men of Israel and Judah surged forward with a shout and pursued the Philistines to the entrance of Gath[f] and to the gates of Ekron. Their dead were strewn along the Shaaraim road to Gath and Ekron. 53 When the Israelites returned from chasing the Philistines, they plundered their camp.
54 David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem; he put the Philistine’s weapons in his own tent.
There it is – no big surprise today, David killed Goliath. But how does it help today.
How do you know a giant when you see one?
Well – know for a fact that there are giants in the land. They may not have the name Goliath, but perhaps you have seen giants around. You know how you can recognize a giant. When you hear it talk you get afraid.
Maybe you have run into a giant – Unemployment, Recession, Cancer, Fibro Mialga,
They use words like Hopeless, Incurable, bankruptcy, foreclosure.
We here these words, and we loose hope. We sit on the hillside and sharpen our swords, polish our shields and shake in our boots.
You say – Ben, you don’t understand. This is not a storybook, this is real life. How do I deal with this HUGE stuff in real life?
Let me tell you something. Aa long as you treat the Bible – even the story of David and Goliath like a story book, rather than a testimony of God showing up on the behalf of his own people, you will be stuck on the hill side shaking in your boots.
We must run to the battle – we must take the promises of God to His New Testament Children and Run to the battle.
Big brave words from the pulpit, but I could not be more serious. The enemy wants to shake us to our core, and rob us of any impact we might have in the world, and he uses his words to shut us down.
We must rise up and fight this battle.
I want you to see how each of these 4 characteristics is in Jesus life, and then I want you to hear a call for you to walk in this same anointing.
Jesus came as a servant (Phil 2:5) He is the Good/Great Shepherd, He is the very Son of very God, and clearly He came to save us from our sin.
You need to:
Be a servant!(it take your eyes off the fear for your own life.)
Be a shepherd(get in a relationship with someone you can help and you will see God show up for you in the small ways)
Realize you are a son(don’t see your self as an outcast, but as a son or daughter of the King)

Understand that you have Savior DNA– ok – you are not The Savior but you are hooked up to The Savior and His name is JESUS.

Thanks for reading today. Keep your eyes open for the audio copy - it's better!



Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49 NKJV)
These are the earliest recorded words of Jesus (post incarnation) and I want to look at how they lay out the pattern for His entire life. I was a little confused when I jumped in, because I was meditating on the verse as I had memorized it many years ago in the KJV much as it appears above, but then I looked it up in my “BlueLetterBible” ap in the NASB it shows up like this: “Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?”
I am thinking – which is it? So I looked up this word that can be business or house, and found that it is a pretty vague word. It is basically a pronoun that is translated based on context as: which, who, those, this, mother of, son of, and dozens of other things. I think if I, the great Greek scholar that I am (just kidding) were to translate this today, I would probably go with “Didn’t you know I’d be doin’ My Father’s stuff?” (Clearly not an English major either – sorry Eva.)
Let me get serious for a couple minutes. This is probably one of the most significant defining points in my theology. Jesus says it over and over again. He came to do the will of the Father, and has called us to do the same.
Consider these other statements of Jesus:


Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner.” (John 5:19)

I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30)

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” (John 14:10)

For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.” (John 12:49)

This is not exhaustive either. It is critical for us to understand that Jesus is a demonstration of the will of God. In fact in Hebrews 1:3 the writer makes the point that Jesus is the best picture we will ever see of the will of God this side of heaven. The writer says that Jesus is “the exact representation of God.” The writer also says that Jesus is a better representation of God than God earlier revelations of Him through the prophets, so don’t let something you read in the prophets trump what you see in the life of Jesus. Jesus is the plumb line by which all scripture and all interpretation of scripture must be measured. That’s right, Isaiah does not trump Jesus, nor does Paul. Moses and Elijah came to learn from Jesus, not the other way around!
I want to make 2 simple points here.

    1)    If you want to know the will of God, look at Jesus. This may sound obvious, but we often argue against this with our nearly fatalistic theology. Everything that happens to you is not necessarily the will of God for your life! If you can not find Jesus doing something, do not assume it is something God does. Jesus never put sickness on anyone, yet often we blame God for our diseases. Jesus calmed storms, yet we call them acts of God. Jesus fed multitudes, but we blame God for famines. Be careful of the accusation you make against God.
2)    Jesus said over and over in the verses above, that He did not do these things by His own power. In other words He did not heal the sick because He was God, but because He was connected to the will of God, and walking in what He was seeing the Father do. This is why He could tell us to do the same thing. It is still the will of God to save, deliver, heal, set free, feed the multitude and raise the dead. We just need to submit to His will to the same extent Jesus did.

BenI desire to walk this out. Do you? I am convinced that as we meditate on His words, and press into His will we will see more and more the Fathers “stuff” show up in our lives.
Thanks for reading. Come back again soon!


they will be called the sons of God. (Matt 5:9)
OK – now that is a big promise! Peacemakers will be called the sons of God. Interesting since the one and only begotten Son of God is called the Prince of Peace.
This promise raises a couple of questions for me.
First, who is doing the calling? Who will call us the sons of God? And this one gets 3 answers.
  • Those outside the family will be inclined to say “these have been with Jesus,” or perhaps “you must be one of them.”
  • Those inside the family will see the family resemblance, and welcome us in with open arms.
  • But the best and most significant is the Father who has called us, has called us His sons!
My next question is: What does it mean to be a son of God?
Romans 8 does a great job of describing this.
We call Him “Abba” which is akin to Papa in my understanding.
We share in Christ’s inheritance. And the Word does not imply that we get a share, but rather that we share – Joint heirs! In Christ we inherit all things. Ephesians 1 tells us we already have every spiritual blessing, and again in Romans 8 we find that He who did not spare His only Son will withhold nothing from us.
It is a big deal to be a son of God! I suggest you ponder for a while what it would be like in the natural to be the prince of a wealthy nation. What are the privileges and what are the responsibilities. What would it mean to be the prince? What does it mean to be a Son of God? What are the privileges and responsibilities?
BenThanks for reading
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