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Shine!

We all know that Jesus is the Light of the World. But once Jesus set His light in you, He says:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; - Matthew 5:14 NASB

I guess I always have thought that being light meant not doing bad things or perhaps doing good things that Jesus did and told us to do.

Then I started to consider Matthew 5:16:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (NASB)

Check it out:

You are the Light of the world

Your Light Shines

Your good works are illuminated

The Father is glorified.

You see? The light is shining on your good works. The works are not the light, but they are in the light.

I started looking at the other references where Jesus said He was the Light of the World, and I saw the same thing. Check this out from John 3:19:

And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. (NASB)

Men loved darkness because their deeds were evil. They did not love darkness because darkness was evil deeds, but because darkness hid their evil deeds.

This is why in the Old Testament men would leave the towns and fields and hide in groves to worship their false gods. They loved the darkness and cover that the groves provided for their evil deeds.

Our life shines in such a way as to expose our good works.

Does that sound like pride to you? Check out this little tidbit from brother Paul:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB)

You have been saved (Lit up) by grace (not works, no reason to boast.) Once saved by grace (not works) you are equipped by God to do good works that He planned and equipped you for.

The fact is, these good works you are doing in the light that Jesus has placed on, in and through you, are so good, no one will ever think it was your natural talent that produced such amazing fruit. It could only be God, and so He is glorified when your light shines on the works you do.

Was that too much for one thought?  It is leaking out of my brain even as I type it. (LOL) This makes me crazy happy. I am so excited that God has such an extraordinary plan for me that He will be glorified by stuff I do, and I can expose His amazing grace to me. And how will I do that. I will Arise and shine in this gross darkness, and let every man see what a miniChrist looks like.

If you are a letter written to this world, turn on the light so they don’t have to strain their eyes! [Tweet This]

Don’t cover up the stuff God giving you to do. Let it rip so He can get the glory He deserves.

Tell me what you think? Does this help you, or does it just bring up more questions?

Thanks for reading today.

Ben

photo credit: gigi 62 via photo pin cc

Originally published in September of 2012

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Photo credit - PatriotLeader.com
Photo credit - PatriotLeader.com

Merry Christmas!

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. - Philippians 2:5-11

He humbled himself.

He took off His royal robes and put on swaddling clothes.

He took off the purple robes of majesty and put on diapers.

The same mouth that uttered the words “Light Be” and exploded the universe into motion, now cooed and drooled and spit up on His mama’s shoulder.

The same mind that informed Solomon would soon sit and ask questions of the Spiritual leaders in Jerusalem.

The Captain of the Lord’s army who lead Israel into battle against Jericho would soon be taken captive by a Roman cohort.

The same lungs that breathed breath into the dust of the ground and brought forth Adam, would heave with the words, ‘it is finished’ and then be silent for three days.

The same Christ, this same Jesus, who condescended to put on flesh, would again put on immortality, and ascended into heaven.

This same Jesus who talked baby talk and ate baby food will one day judge all men dead and alive.

This same Jesus who was mocked and scorned is the One before whom every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.

O come let us adore Him.

Ben NelsonHave a great Christmas Incarnation Celebration

Come back soon!

Ben

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My friend Felecia from A Life Sanctified (a wonderful blog, I highly recommend you follow) asks:

Q: Ephesians 6:12 says (in the NLT) “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.”

As you probably know, I did a blog post on this verse and purposely didn’t address what falls after the last comma because I don’t really understand it. I’ve always been a touch concerned about the “evil spirits in heavenly places.” WHY would God allow evil spirits in Heaven? Is “heavenly places” some peripheral part of Heaven? Perhaps just outside the pearly gates where Pinkerton’s patrol to keep out the “evil spirits?”

This is a great question Felecia, and I do have some thoughts. Admittedly some of what follows is extrapolated from what is written explicitly, but I will try to document why I believe what I believe as much as possible. The executive summary is that there are three different things referred to as "heavens" in the Bible.

The Third Heaven

Let’s start with Paul’s telling of his (we assume) trip to the “third heaven.”

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago--whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows--such a man was caught up to the third heaven. - 2 Corinthians 12:2

From his description

was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. - 2 Corinthians 12:4

I think it is safe to say this is what you and I might call heaven, where you would find the throne room of the Almighty. This is the place described by John, Isaiah and others, the location of the sea of glass, and that heavenly worship service.

This would also be the heaven we are invited to be seated in, since it is the heaven Jesus was raised up to:

which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, … and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, - Ephesians 1:20, 2:6

The First Heaven

Then there are many references in the Bible that speak of the “heavens” that are clearly that which we can see and perceive with our natural senses.

For the choir director. A Psalm of David. The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. - Psalms 19:1

This to me is a precursor to Paul’s comments in Romans 1

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. - Romans 1:20

This heaven is visible and reachable if you have the right equipment all by natural means.

The Second Heaven

Then there is another aspect that the Bible speaks of as another heavenly realm, which you have referenced here.

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 6:12

We see it in Daniel 10 where Daniel prayed in Chapter 9 and heard nothing for twenty-one days. Finally an angelic messenger makes an entrance, and describes a battle between what I take to be “spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” and Michael the Archangel.

Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. - Daniel 10:13

Since this is for the most part an invisible realm, my understanding is that, to put it in natural terms (which will always fall a bit short in explanation of supernatural reality) it exists more or less in the same space that we are in. To think of it in SciFi terms – an alternate reality, that co-exists, and is just as real, or perhaps more real, that what we can touch and feel.

In this day and age of wireless communications, microwaves, and satellite signals, it is not a stretch for anyone to understand that there are things going on beyond what we can feel and see.

So – if that satisfies, you can stop reading here. I do have a couple further thoughts that might muddy it up a bit.

We do know that at least at one time, satan stood before the throne (I guess I am actually assuming it is in the throne room) and accused our brother Job. This has often complicated my understanding of God not allowing sin in His presence.

Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. - Job 1:6

I suppose that does not have to be in heaven – could have been on earth – or some other neutral territory, since long before Job was on the scene, satan was cast out of the Third heaven.

One last thing – my understanding – though I would not defend this to the death – is that the pit of hell is actually in heaven. This comes from Revelation 14:

…he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name." - Revelation 14:10-11

Well – that’s enough unpleasantness for today. I hope that sheds a bit of light on the heaven question.

What do you think? Please jump in and add to, or correct what I have said. The conversation is the best part.

I bet Pastor Joe Lillie (@josephlillie) could shed more light on the matter. He is doing (and has been for quite some time) a series blogging through every mention of heaven in the Bible simply called Heaven. You should check it out.

Ben NelsonThanks much for stopping by. If you have questions of your own you would like to discuss, I would love to take a shot, and see what others have to say.

See you again soon.

Ben

Rembrandt: Christ in the Storm

So tell me the truth. When the hater of your soul throws storms at you…

And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He Himself was asleep. ~ Matthew 8:24

… how well do you sleep?

There is something about Jesus’ inner peace that allowed Him to sleep in the storm.

You know what, this peace is supernatural.

Paul tells us:

And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:7

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, ~ Colossians 3:15

You see:

1)    There is no apparent reason for this peace

2)    It comes from the inside, from the Spirit of the living God who…

My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. ~ John 14:23

3)    It stands guard, protecting your heart, keeping fear at bay.

4)    It protects your mind, keeping worry and fretting from dominating every thought. Worry and fretting is what your mind busies itself with when your heart is ruled by fear.

5)    This treasure of unaccountable peace is locked in the safest of all safes – “in Christ.”

Picture it with me.

There is this fabulous treasure chest. Do you reckon your heart and mind a treasure worth guarding? Well it is! [Tweet this]

It is hidden away in an impenetrable fortress. They used to call Alcatraz “the Rock,” but that’s a leaky bucket compared to Christ!

Standing guard is a legion of heavenly armed and seriously beefy soldiers. We could call them Peace Keepers if you like.

That is how Jesus sleeps in a storm. He does not let His heart and mind entertain fear and worry.

He has heard the voice of His Father, and knows they are headed across the sea.

I hope you can see this today.

Ben NelsonI hope you will join me then.

Ben

Thanks to my friend Pastor J. at Lilly Put for this great Church photo!
http://http://josephelonlillie.com/

Part two of a study of 1 Corinthians 15:12-34

We are looking at how Paul answers the heresy that had cropped up in the Church of Corinth.

Today we look at 5 problems he poses that would militate against a Christianity without the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ, and by extension the bodily resurrection of His followers.

Difficulty # 1

If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:13

It seems that this heresy simply stated was that Christ had been raised from the dead, but we will not be. That our future was in spirit only, so physical appetites would never be experienced once we pass into eternity.

It seems to me that Paul is saying, if Christ can be raised, clearly God could manage to raise us as well. It is not as if God does not have the power to raise us, and clearly He has demonstrated this by raising Christ.

The verse that jumps to mind is Romans 8:11

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

 Difficulty #2

…and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:14

I talked about this a bit last Friday, so I am going to let you peak back there for a discussion of vain faith.

Difficulty #3

More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:15

Speaking to a mostly Jewish community of believers, the next part of his argument is that if all this is a lie, then he, Paul, and all who preach the Gospel, Peter, Apollos, they are all liars, which in a culture where you are preaching about a man called Truth – could not be worse. There is just about nothing worse in Hebrew culture than a liar.

That culture of Truth is even stronger (or should be) in a Christian culture. After all we call our selves by the name of Christ, and He called himself The Truth. He is the Word made flesh, and David said “Thy Word is truth.” The Word of God is the ultimate source of Truth, and Jesus is the express image of that very Word from the mouth of God.

Difficulty #4

For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:16-17

There was a real eye opener for me.

These Christians who had come out of the Jewish religion, knew all about the Messianic prophecies. Hundreds of them. I am told there are over 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled during His life among us.

Can you see how clearly fulfilling 300 specific detailed prophecies would identify a person.

For example, to prove I am who I am to a bank web site, I need to specify my SS#, and answer a few specific questions that only I would know the answer to.

Perhaps a better example would be that if I want to get a piece of mail to my daughter across the country, I only need a few specific details to get it directly into her hands, and there will be no doubt if she is the right recipient either.

With a name and address made up of a few details like street, city, state, country, zip, etc, I can ID almost anyone in the world.

Ok – so these Corinthian Christians know that Jesus is indeed the Messiah, and was the sacrifice that God supplied for their sins.

If He did not rise from the dead, not only are they still in their sins, because they have abandoned their Jewish ways (perhaps) but even the Jews, who are looking for a Messiah are out of luck.

You see if Christ did not rise, then the hopes of every Jew were done. There was no other Messiah forthcoming. Jesus was it, and if it did not work, every lamb sacrificed for thousands of years was for naught.

Difficulty #5

Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:18

Clearly there is no hope for those who have died with their trust in a dead Christ.

Paul sums it up pretty well here with this final statement.

If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:19

But don’t despair! Come back tomorrow for some really (I mean REALLY) good news.

Ben NelsonSee you then

Ben

We have been poking about the edges of 1 Corinthians 15, gleaning some wonderful gospel truth.

Today I want to do a quick rescan of the passage and notice the “proof” Paul offers for the gospel, and specifically for the resurrection, since that is where he is planning on spending the rest of what we call Chapter 15.

Proof #1 ~ The transformation in the lives of the Corinthian believers:

the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

We have looked in-depth at these effects of the gospel already, but they also act as proof, a validation of the veracity of the Word. The gospel was received, and now the Corinthian believers stand, they are saved, and they hold fast.

They have been transformed, and this is the first proof, the power to change man’s life. I am not the man I was, and by this I know that Jesus lives.

There is a schmultzy old hymn we used to sing when I was a kid called “He Lives.” Though I never much like the music, I love the words. Here is the chorus.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He live, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart. ~ Alfred H. Ackley

I know Christ is alive because – well – He lives!

Proof #2 ~ Hundreds of fulfilled prophecies:

...according to the Scriptures ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3 & 4

We looked at a few yesterday, but I would refer you to a couple of my Christmas posts if you want to dig a little deeper.

My post “One more Christmas Gift” list more than 25 Old Testament prophecies that are fulfilled in the Life of Jesus.

My post “GF Handel’s Messiah – Lyrics” has the entire libretto for Handel’s “Messiah”  the text of which is 100% scriptures, and I have tagged it with references for easy access.

Proof #3 ~ Eye witnesses:

and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:5-8

1)    Cephas (a.k.a. Peter) ~ I love that Peter is listed first. He says, "first Peter," and clearly this is talking about after Christ met Mary in the garden and went to the Father to present His blood, but the fact that Peter is touched, since Peter was left hurting after the last week’s events.

I suppose it may be that Paul was not counting women at all, since in courts of the day, women were likely not considered. (sad)

2)    The 12 ~ Well – I would assume the name “The 12” was more of a moniker than an actual count, since Peter we already know about, and Judas was dead.

3)    Greater than 500 at one time. Hard to deny this testimony. And Paul points out that many of these are still alive at the writing of this letter.

4)    James ~ This was referring to His half-brother, not the son of Zebedee. This James always interested me. We know that Jesus’ half brothers didn't follow Him during His ministry, but now, risen from the dead, these are guys who could not be moved. James and Jude were both New Testament contributors, and we learn in the book of  Acts that James became the main leader of the early Church.

5)    Apostles ~ It interests me that Paul gives us Apostles in addition to “the 12.” Pretty clearly (to me anyway) demonstrates that Apostleship was not dependent on being a disciple.

6)    Paul ~ Finally talks about His own meeting with Jesus. The story of His meeting on the road to Damascus is told and retold (3 times total) in the book of Acts, but I believe those 1,000 days in the wilderness of Arabia, Paul was receiving from the Lord the gospel that he never did stop preaching.

Proof #4 ~ The Graces or gifts given to Paul:

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10

In particular we see Paul’s transformation from Christian killer to in his own assessment (which was sponsored by the Holy Spirit) the hardest working apostle to walk the earth.

Pretty compelling proof! Any lawyer would love to defend a case like this.

Christians, I hope this stirs up your confidence. The gospel stands incontestable.

Do not fear

Go and preach it today.

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

Ben

We looked at what it was not.

Yesterday, I brought out Paul’s definition of the gospel.

Today I want to look at what it is.

When Paul delivers the gospel to us, he basically states three facts.

Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
He was buried,
He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (slightly altered)

These are not even principles – they are simply facts.

So, we saw last week that salvation (and great salvation at that) comes through believing, receiving the gospel.

Are you telling me Paul, that believing these three facts makes me a Child of God? That is all I need to do to get into heaven?

Here is my question for you – is believing facts what makes you a Christian. Can your faith be boiled down to a list of things you agree with, or are willing to attest to? Can your “faith” be demonstrated by the recitation of a creed?

It’s more than that beloved. No, I don’t mean more as in you have stuff you have to do, but more as in – more than facts.

These three facts are what set Jesus apart from any other man – and really it is only one of these facts that creates this new abundant life we walk in.

Many people have died (ok – no one else died for my sins, but hold that thought)

Many people have been buried

These facts don’t move me.

Only Jesus was raised up once and for all – and lives on today.

The truth of the resurrection is the lynch pin of all truth. Paul is going to spend the rest of this chapter making his case for the resurrection, and it’s importance and prominence.

Today however, I want to give this one more turn and say we are not saved because we can believe these facts. Facts do not save, doctrine does not save, theology does not save, ideas do not save.

Jesus saves!

It is not believing facts about Jesus that takes us from darkness to light. It is putting our trust and faith in Jesus Himself that saves us.

Let me say it again.

Jesus saves!

The gospel is not facts, it is a man, The Man Christ Jesus.

The Perfect Man Christ Jesus, who lived a perfect life and was therefore a worthy sacrifice for sin.

He died on the cross for our sins, not for His own, but for our sins, yours and mine.

He was buried.

He was raised up on the third day.

He lives to make intercession for you.

I have more to say, but you don't have to wait - You can give your life to Jesus right now.

Give Him your sin scarred life, and let Him resurrect you into a brand new, clean, whole life, with Jesus on the inside.

Ask Him. He will!

Ben NelsonI love Jesus.

See you tomorrow.

Ben

Ok – I have a question.

I am studying 1 Corinthians 15 in preparation for some preaching I will be doing at the end of the month, and I wanted to put this concept out there for some group think.

Twice in the top of this chapter Paul uses a term that would fit nicely in my formerly hard and legalistic theological structure.

In verses 1 & 2 he says this:

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

Then again in verse

But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10

What’s bugging me is this idea that somehow because he worked (labored) it proved that he was indeed an apostle.

Does this mean that in the first section, our salvation somehow does not count if we don’t get to work?

Clearly Paul militates against this idea in the book of Galatians where he reprimands them for going back to a trust in works after being saved by faith.

Ephesians 2:8-10 also clearly demonstrates that works are a result not a cause:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10

It is interesting that the Greek word is not the same in both cases

In verse 2 the word is “eikē”  -

1) inconsiderably, without purpose, without just cause
2) in vain
a) without success or effort

In verse 10 the word is “kenos”

1) empty, vain, devoid of truth
a) of places, vessels, etc. which contain nothing
b) of men
1) empty handed
2) without a gift
c) metaph. destitute of spiritual wealth, of one who boasts of his faith as a transcendent possession, yet is without the fruits of faith
d) metaph. of endeavours, labours, acts, which result in nothing, vain, fruitless, without effect
1) vain of no purpose

So here is what I think at this point in my process. It sound to me like in the second case, Paul was given a gift  - that of apostleship. Had he denied it, suppressed it, ignored it dispensationalized it (saying for example he could not be an apostle because he did not walk with Jesus) or what ever – the gift would be like that juicer you received as a wedding gift that still has the ribbon on it. All it is good for is using up space on the shelf, though it is capable of so much more.

I think many of us Christians (myself included) leave the fabulous gifts the Lord has chosen for us, prepared us for, and equipped us with unused, perhaps because we don’t even realize we have them.

But what’s up with this first one – the word believe is the standard word for faith, so I have a hard time reconciling this, without some sugar coated cop out answer.

What do you think?

Do you have questions – or some topic you would like to discus in the this forum? Click the link in the side bar and ask away. I don’t promise right answers, but you can at least watch me think – LOL

Ben NelsonSee you again soon

Ben

 

 

Thanks to blueletterbible.org for the definitions!

 

Shine!

We all know that Jesus is the Light of the World. In my last post I pointed out that He says you are the light of the world as well!

I guess I always have thought that being light meant not doing bad things or perhaps doing good things that Jesus did and told us to do.

Then I started to consider Matthew 5:16:

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. (NASB)

Check it out:

You are the Light of the world

Your Light Shines

Your good works are illuminated

The Father is glorified.

You see? The light is shining on your good works. The works are not the light, but they are in the light.

I started looking at the other references where Jesus said He was the Light of the World, and I saw the same thing. Check this out from John 3:19:

And this is the judgment, that the light is come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light; for their deeds were evil. (NASB)

Men loved darkness because their deeds were evil. They did not love darkness because darkness was evil deeds, but because darkness hid their evil deeds.

This is why in the Old Testament men would leave the towns and fields and hide in groves to worship their false gods. They loved the darkness and cover that the groves provided for their evil deeds.

Our life shines in such a way as to expose our good works.

Does that sound like pride to you? Check out this little tidbit from brother Paul:

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB)

You have been saved (Lit up) by grace (not works, no reason to boast.) Once saved by grace (not works) you are equipped by God to do good works that He planned and equipped you for.

The fact is, these good works you are doing in the light that Jesus has placed on, in and through you, are so good, no one will ever think it was your natural talent that produced such amazing fruit. It could only be God, and so He is glorified when your light shines on the works you do.

Was that too much for one thought?  It is leaking out of my brain even as I type it. (LOL) This makes me crazy happy. I am so excited that God has such an extraordinary plan for me that He will be glorified by stuff I do, and I can expose His amazing grace to me. And how will I do that. I will Arise and shine in this gross darkness, and let every man see what a miniChrist looks like.

If you are a letter written to this world, turn on the light so they don’t have to strain their eyes! [Tweet This]

Don’t cover up the stuff God giving you to do. Let it rip so He can get the glory He deserves.

Tell me what you think? Does this help you, or does it just bring up more questions?

Thanks for reading today.

Ben

photo credit: gigi 62 via photo pin cc

Thy Will Be Done (Matt 6:10) Part 1

Can I know the will of God? This is a question I hear in one form or another all the time.

  • A teen trying to decide where to go to college
  • A 20 something trying to decide whether to get into a relationship, or how far to take one. “Is he the one?”
  • A woman choosing to leave a job to take another,
  • A man choosing to leave a job to pursue “full time” Christian work (as if there is any other kind of Christian work.)

There are 3 places in the Bible where we can see the will of God.

Lucas Cranach the Elder - Paradise (cropped)
  1. The first is the Garden of Eden, where things were just the way God intended. There was no sin, but more than that, God, Adam, and Eve were all in right relationship. When Jesus (ok – I am assuming Jesus since He is the one that most often takes human form, but perhaps it was the Father) and the lovely couple goes walking through the garden in the cool of the day. (This is the will of God on earth.)
  2. The glimpses we get of heaven must also be a demonstration of life in the will of God. We get some suggestions of how this will be, and I know there are men and women who have much greater revelation than me about what this will look like. I know one thing. Then I will know as I am known, then I will see Him and I will be like Him because I will see Him as He is. Then this part of me that struggles to keep me bound even after I have been set free, will no longer entangle me, and I will be in right relationship with the Father again. (This is the will of God in heaven.)
  3. Finally, and to my mind, the clearest and fullest look we get of a man living in the will of God is the Man, Christ Jesus. Jesus, the man who knew no sin, but came only to do the will of the Father, is the perfect expression of the will of God. There is much to say about Jesus and His perfect re-presenting of God’s will to us, but for today, all I want to point out is that Jesus was in perfect communion with the Father. His relationship with the Father could not be better. His first priority at all times was His connection with the Father. “I only do what I see the Father do,” “I only say what I hear the Father say.” “I have come to do Thy will.” (This is the will of God on earth as it is in heaven.)

My point today in this first pass at “Thy will be done” is that God’s will for your life is first and foremost about His relationship with you. [Tweet This] The details of what to do, who to date, where to work or go to school will all work out, if you have this ONE THING right. David said it this way in Psalm 27:4

One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to meditate in His temple.

This is the will of God for you!

Are you intentional about your relationship with the Lord, or just let it happen?

Today, make some time to walk with the Lord in the cool of the day.

Thanks for reading. In the next days we will look at some other aspects of the phrase “Thy will be done.” Come back again.

Ben

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