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Check out this great post about the power of our words by my friend Ginny Wilcox.

 

Speak the word only

ROMANS 4:17

‘…even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.”

Words have impact and power in our lives…

We all confess this to be true, but do we really believe it, do our lives reflect it? What about our prayers; are they prayers filled with item after item of what is wrong with a situation, begging God to hear our prayers and fix everything?

What about those words we choose when we speak to God, do they not have impact and power? (Positively or negatively) ... (Read more here.)

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I wanted to reblog a post from the archives of Another Red Letter Day. This was first posted in September of last year, but it's worth pondering afresh today.

Blessings,

Ben

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The Word of God tells us we serve a God for whom nothing is impossible.

'Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, - Jeremiah 32:17

In three of the gospels Jesus says similar things:

And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:26

Looking at them, Jesus said, "With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." - Mark 10:27

"For nothing will be impossible with God." - Luke 1:37

But He said, "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God." - Luke 18:27

Notice, in each of these instances the phrase the translators chose is “with God” rather than the Jeremiah passage where it’s translated “for You (God)”

I often hear folks pray for the impossible in a more or less resigned manner. It’s almost as if we pray for the impossible, but really don’t expect God is in the mood to stir up all that – what – Godness? – power to pull off this amazing feat.

Our perception of God’s ability to do the impossible seems grounded in the mythology of Greek and Roman God’s who were moody, and mostly just humans with super powers.

So we pray (ok this may be a little exaggerated – but it’s just for emphasis.)

“Lord, I know you are the God of the impossible, and nothing is too difficult for you, so will you please ___________________.”

Yesterday, I was reading Mark Shields blog, “Nothing will be Impossible,” and the verse he quotes at the end really struck me.

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

Do you see the difference?

It’s really not different. Remember, Jesus told us in each of those other verses that nothing is impossible WITH God, only this time He switched it up.

Let’s just mash it all together and say

Nothing is impossible for YOU with GOD.

In this Matthew 17 passage, Jesus is talking about the power of faith.

Let me take you one step further – do you have 2 more minutes?

In Hebrews 11, God’s wonderful “Hall of Faith” the writer lists the heroes of faith and their faith exploits, the impossible stuff they did because they had that mustard seed sized faith.

Most of our heroes of faith gain that distinction because of the impossible obedience they walked in, not because of their amazing exploits.

  • Able offered a sacrifice
  • Enoch walked with God
  • Noah built and Ark
  • Abraham obeyed God
  • Sarah conceived a son in her old age (ok – there’s a miracle)
  • Moses refused nobility, took the reproach of His people, left Egypt, kept the Passover, passed through the Red Sea (ok – there’s another one)
  • Do you see where I am going with this.

The most impossible thing we are called to do is live a life filled “WITH God.”

What impossible thing is God asking you to do today?

Perhaps the impossible for you is loving your kid today.

Maybe God is asking you to serve your spouse.

Is God asking you to tell the truth, take responsibility, for something you did or something you should have done?

Or maybe it’s just telling someone about Jesus, and what He's done in your life.

OK – get ready for the main point:

Nothing will be impossible for YOU (with God.) [Tweet This]

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by,

Go and do that impossible thing.

Ben

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Peter and John walked through the dusty streets heading toward the temple at the hour of prayer. Perhaps you know the story. There not dressed in any striking fashion, not wearing their Saturday bests. It’s just another mid-afternoon prayer time.

They met a lame man sitting near the gates begging alms of the passers-by. Peter get’s his attention—“Look at us.”

What do I do in this situation?

I dig through my pockets; Hand over a dollar or two; Make him promise not to buy liquor or drugs with it; Make my way to church; Pat my self on the back; Check—care for the poor—off my list.

But Peter said, "I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene--walk!" - Acts 3:6 NASB

When I was digging through my pockets, I overlooked the vast limitless Presence which “I do have.” The Spirit of the Living God who according to Jesus’s promise moved in years ago, never to leave me or forsake me.

Could I stop and pray with the man?
Could I command him to look at me?
Would my eyes communicate such faith and expectation as to motivate this cripple would take my hand?
Would I have the courage to pull him up?
Does the name of Jesus still have this power?

And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. - Acts 3:16 NASB

I know it does! I have seen the lame walk. I have touched eyes and seen them healed. I have seen Father mend breaks, and I’ve seen demons flee.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. - Hebrews 13:8 NASB

So why not today?

Yeah—why not today?

Lord, lead me to someone who needs Your touch today. Give me eyes to see outside my fog of self-interest into the realm of Your compassion.

benheadshot1Let’s go and disrupt the kingdom of darkness. Let’s go wreck hell!

Be careful out there—no wait—Be fearless out there.

Ben

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Listen to me. Never let anxiety enter your hearts. ~ Jesus (Luke 12:22 TPT)

How do you guard your heart?

As I scanned through Luke 12 this morning, I was struck by how many times in this address, or this collection of addresses, Jesus gave instruction on what I would consider emotional control, or emotional intelligence.

The chapter starts with,

Don’t fear those who may want to take your life, but nothing more. (Luke 12:4 TPT)

Followed closely with,

The one you must fear is God (5)

A few paragraphs later we have,

Don’t worry about defending yourselves or be concerned about hot to answer their accusations. (11)

Next Jesus tells them,

Be alert and guard your heart from greed and always wishing for what you don’t have. (15)

Still further down the page,

Never let anxiety enter your hearts. Never worry about any of your needs, such as food or clothing (22)

And finally,

Don’t let worry enter your life. (29)

So with all that, I ask you, whose in charge of your emotions?

I know hormones and sleep and health (or lack there of) all play into your emotional state. I know there are chemical tricks your body can play on you, and sometimes the forces that would attack your peace are immense.

That’s why we must be super vigilant in the guarding of our hearts.

That’s why it’s imperative to stay in God’s word.

That’s why it’s important to stay in fellowship with folks who will stand with you and help you fight these external enemies.

I’m not saying “suck it up” and “stoic” your way though emotional valleys. There are things that are out of our control. I get that.

But we must do our part.

If you find certain activities bring you down, or draw you into lust, or greed, or anxiety, follow Solomon’s advise.

Avoid it, do not pass by it; Turn away from it and pass on. - Proverbs 4:15 NASB

In the same way we must guard against the feeling of condemnation. Don’t let any outside influence (including this post) wiggle it’s way into a place of condemning you. If you are in Christ condemnation can only come from the mouth of the liar.

Today, make choices that guard your heart.

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by.

Shine where you’re screwed in.

Ben

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Increase our Faith

Those closest to Jesus asked him to increase their faith:

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" - Luke 17:5 NASB

But it was not when He sent them out to…

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. - Matthew 10:8

For this they needed His gifting…

Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. - Matthew 10:1

So what is it that brought attention to their need for faith?

Jesus told them…

Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, 'I repent,' forgive him. - Luke 17:3-4

You see—if God gives you a commission (like in Matthew 10:8) he supplied the authority and power to complete it. They did not ask for faith at this stage. They had seen Him operate in healing and these other powerful manifestations of the presence of God.

The thing that stirred up a realization that they needed more faith was the command to forgive the ones who didn’t seem deserving of  such grace.

Forgiveness is a lynch pin of the Christian walk. [Tweet This] Many today, if asked the main reason to embrace Christ, would give an answer that includes the forgiveness of their sins.

Jesus, more than once makes forgiveness of our sin contingent on our forgiving others…

For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions. - Matthew 6:14-15

The disciples who no doubt had this floating in their consciousness became concerned when Jesus further laid out how serious He was about forgiveness. If you forgive, and the perp just keeps on messing up, you must continue to forgive.

“Whoa man—I need faith.” ~ The disciples. (My paraphrase.)

Lord, please increase  my faith and give me the grace to forgive all who you bring in my path. They need to see a demonstration of Your character, and you’ve put them in my life for that purpose.

benheadshot1Thanks much for coming for a visit.

See you again soon.

Forgive somebody today.

Ben

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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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The indwelling Christ!

so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, … - Colossians 1:25-27

So based on what I’m seeing here, Jesus – God – is going to live in me. Clearly it will be by His Spirit – the indwelling of the Holy Spirit – right?

I mean there is not a 5’9”ish rabbi in robes and sandals living somewhere in the organ that pumps blood to my extremities on a good day.

So when Jesus says:

If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. - John 14:23

…what He is talking about is the Holy Spirit.

So how much Holy Spirit lives in us? What is the maximum allowable measure?

I know this about Jesus:

For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. - John 3:34-35

Can a man – a born again child of God – walk in that same measure or are we given a rationed amount of the Spirit?

We have a few passages that might inform this.

Can we correlate the indwelling Spirit with grace as in:

But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. - Ephesians 4:7

Or when I think this way am I limiting God’s ability to use me by diminishing His presence in me to a smidge of the Spirit?

Look where Paul goes from this “measure” of Christ’s gift…

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. - Ephesians 4:11-13

Follow me for a minute.

Christ gives grace by measure in verse 7, then He gives men to the body – apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These are given for the express purpose of equipping us for service.

This equipping is to lead to the building up of the body in unity.

This unity of the faith in the body of Christ brings us to a place in our corporate knowledge and experience with God.

WE (ok – this is really important) become A mature man – comparable to the fullness of Christ.

Notice please – It is not that I equal the measure of Christ – it is not that YOU mature to that level. It is that WE – the body of Christ – have the potential - in unity – to be ONE MATURE PERSON.

This can only happen together – with brothers and sisters. A lone believer will never mature. [Tweet This] Without the gifts of Christ (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers) we are not being equipped, we are not being sharpened, we are not growing.

You may sit at home and read your Bible, and sense God’s voice, but there are some things He will not share with you, except through life in community.

Oh this is hard for me. I am such and independent soul. I soooo want to do everything on my own, and never want to depend on anyone for anything.

And so I sit here, missing God’s best, missing His plan for my growth because I won’t submit to a teacher, or listen to a prophet, or I despise some evangelist.

Lord, save me from my self.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

Walk with somebody today.

Ben

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so that I might fully carry out the preaching of the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, … - Colossians 1:25-27

Paul speaks of a hidden mystery, hidden for all the ages of the past, given to Him to preach.

This great mystery is the lynch pin of the Christian life. It’s what sets Christianity apart from religion. It sets faith in Jesus apart from all other faiths.

This mystery that sets Christians apart from every other man or woman is not hidden in the rigors of our rituals, nor gained through our sacrifices. It’s not even the words we say or the deeds we do.

All of these things are important to our faith, and can certainly be indicative.

But the simple mystery that sets a Christian apart from every other person is simply this.

Christ in you, the hope of glory. - Colossians 1:27

Jesus divulged this mystery during His last discourse (John 14-16) and in High Priestly Prayer (John 17.)

Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. - John 14:23

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. - John 15:4

that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me. - John 17:21

This mystery is part of our communion celebration.

After Jesus fed the five thousand, His attending crowds were growing. In the end of John 6, He thins this herd substantially with His explanation of the Bread of Life.

He draws their attention to the manna their forefathers ate in the wilderness. Once the pictures was clear in their minds, He tells them - That was me, that bread they ate to live is standing before you today.

If that didn’t sound crazy enough, He took it further.

I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. - John 6:51 NASB

But wait – it get’s worse (or better…)

So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. "For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink." – vs 53-55

Then He brings it home.

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. – vs 56

And there it is – there’s the mystery.

Christ in you, the hope of glory!

He never explains this mystery to the crowds, and He lets some time pass before, finally, at the last supper, He takes the bread and breaks it explaining:

This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me. - Luke 22:19

Next time you take communion, as you put the bread or wafer or matzo in your mouth, as you swallow that bread, remember this mystery. Christ in you is what sets you apart (hey – isn’t that the meaning of holy?) from every other form of faith.

The creator of the universe has not only removed your punishment, but has given you a new covenant.

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, "I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. - 2 Corinthians 6:16

HALLELUJAH!!!!!

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

As Robert A. Cook used to say closing every radio broadcast,

Walk with the King today and be a blessing.

Ben

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The Word of God tells us we serve a God for whom nothing is impossible.

'Ah Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You, - Jeremiah 32:17

In three of the gospels Jesus says similar things:

And looking at them Jesus said to them, "With people this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." - Matthew 19:26

Looking at them, Jesus said, "With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God." - Mark 10:27

"For nothing will be impossible with God." - Luke 1:37

But He said, "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God." - Luke 18:27

Notice, in each of these instances the phrase the translators chose is “with God” rather than the Jeremiah passage where it’s translated “for You (God)”

I often hear folks pray for the impossible in a more or less resigned manner. It’s almost as if we pray for the impossible, but really don’t expect God is in the mood to stir up all that – what – Godness? – power to pull off this amazing feat.

Our perception of God’s ability to do the impossible seems grounded in the mythology of Greek and Roman God’s who were moody, and mostly just humans with super powers.

So we pray (ok this may be a little exaggerated – but it’s just for emphasis.)

“Lord, I know you are the God of the impossible, and nothing is too difficult for you, so will you please ___________________.”

Yesterday, I was reading Mark Shields blog, “Nothing will be Impossible,” and the verse he quotes at the end really struck me.

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

Do you see the difference?

It’s really not different. Remember, Jesus told us in each of those other verses that nothing is impossible WITH God, only this time He switched it up.

Let’s just mash it all together and say

Nothing is impossible for YOU with GOD.

In this Matthew 17 passage, Jesus is talking about the power of faith.

Let me take you one step further – do you have 2 more minutes?

In Hebrews 11, God’s wonderful “Hall of Faith” the writer lists the heroes of faith and their faith exploits, the impossible stuff they did because they had that mustard seed sized faith.

Most of our heroes of faith gain that distinction because of the impossible obedience they walked in, not because of their amazing exploits.

  • Able offered a sacrifice
  • Enoch walked with God
  • Noah built and Ark
  • Abraham obeyed God
  • Sarah conceived a son in her old age (ok – there’s a miracle)
  • Moses refused nobility, took the reproach of His people, left Egypt, kept the Passover, passed through the Red Sea (ok – there’s another one)
  • Do you see where I am going with this.

The most impossible thing we are called to do is live a life filled “WITH God.”

What impossible thing is God asking you to do today?

Perhaps the impossible for you is loving your kid today.

Maybe God is asking you to serve your spouse.

Is God asking you to tell the truth, take responsibility, for something you did or something you should have done?

Or maybe it’s just telling someone about Jesus, and what He's done in your life.

OK – get ready for the main point:

Nothing will be impossible for YOU (with God.) [Tweet This]

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by,

Go and do that impossible thing.

Ben

5

After Jesus fed the 5,000 the crowds grew.

Jesus answered them and said,

Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal."

John 6:26-27 NASB

A quick observation today.

One of the names that Isaiah gives us for Jesus is “Wonderful” which at its root is miracle. He is Healer – even today. He is Provider – even today. He is the Gift of God – even today.

And even today, some seek Him for what they might get. They come only to be healed – to be fed – to escape judgment.

Does He today look at the crowds and say: “Do not work for the food which perishes?

Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent. - John 6:29 NASB

I need to get about my Father’s business today.

Lord, give me the faith I need to follow you – to work for the food that is eternal.

Ben NelsonThank you for stopping by.

See you again soon.

Ben

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