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I love the sound of large groups of people given to worshiping the Lord.

This recording is from Jesus Culture's 'Awakening' in 2012 and some might think the lyrics are repetitive but isn't that the way with a desperate heart?

Why not add the cry of your heart to the cries of this multitude.

Blessing,

Ben

 

Yesterday, we looked at the fact that Jesus is the express image of God and to see God we should look at Jesus. But as I promised, I want to see where Jesus took this truth next as He answered Philip’s request:

Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." - John 14:8

Here is the passage again, with my highlighting:

Again, it would be awesome if you would read this aloud:

Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 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. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 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.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him. ~ John 14:9-21

Jesus, the way to know God

So along with telling the boys how they could see God, how they could get to know God’s character and nature, He was going to take this conversation to another destination.

The first paragraph of His answer basically goes like this. You have seen God because He lives in Me, and you have seen Me, the things I do and the words I say, show you exactly who God is.

And as we saw yesterday in Hebrews 1, He is not just the “good parts version” of the immutable (unchangeable) God, He is the “exact representation of His nature” (from Hebrews 1:3.)

The Other Shoe

After making it clear to the disciples that He was how they were to see God, He explains that in the very same way, they were, and we are, a way for people to see and know God.

Each reason Jesus gives Philip for seeing the Father through Himself, He turns around and explains how they will have the same ability to present or should I say re-present the Father to those they touch.

The same Spirit that was in Christ, “will be in you.” The same works that Christ used to demonstrate the character and nature of the Father, “he will do also; and greater works than these he will do.”

Just as Jesus spoke only what He heard the Father say, His promise to the boys comes down like this:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. - John 14:26

Honestly, this revelation is a bit of a world rocker to me. I can be such a screw up at times. I hurt the people I love on a regular basis because my head is stuck where the sun does not shine, and I am thinking about my agenda, my needs, my…self, and that is NOTHING LIKE GOD.

But THIS is His plan. The master plan, set in place before the foundations, before time, before sin, before life as we know it.

If you are in a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, His idea is that when people see you, they would be looking at the Father. [Boy, that feels downright blasphemous, doesn’t it?] [Click here to tweet it anyway]

OK – let’s not get all arrogant-n-stuff, because we fall, we fail, and that’s on a good day. But the fact is, when men and women look at YOU and ME, because of the new creation, the new heart, the new covenant, God, using His infinite power, gives your circle of influence a glimpse of the Almighty.

When they look at you, they see God, and when they see you fall, and God lift you up, they see their own need for God, their own need for “my Glory and the Lifter of my head.”

I know, crazy, right?

Lord, today, this day, shine through my successes and my failures, so those around me can see You, and are drawn to the Lover of their souls.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

See you again soon. In the mean time…

Shine where you're screwed in.

Ben

Hi all,

Today and tomorrow I'm going to re-air 2 posts from three years ago about the nature of Jesus. I think these two posts will bless you and I pray we would together turn our eyes toward Jesus. Here we go.

===

Let's dig into Jesus’ answer to Philip’s request:

Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us." - John 14:8

Have you been pondering this passage?

Here is what jumps out at me – Now normally I would put all these words in red, this being Another Red Letter Day, but today I am going to paint a just a few words in blue so they stand out.

It would be awesome if you read this out loud (or out quiet) but I want it to be oral. The more faculties you involve the more tuned in you are, so let’s have a faculty party today.

Jesus said to him, "Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? "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. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves. "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. "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.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. "After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him." ~ John 14:9-21

I know, that is kind of a big chunk of scripture for a blog post, but as you can see from what is highlighted, there are some pretty strong ties from top to bottom.

Here is what I saw as I pondered this passage.

There are two (or maybe three) aspects Jesus emphasizes, that He says will enable us to see the Father.

Indwelling, or cohabitation

The first is the fact that, as He says, “I am in the Father.” This He says three times, and two of these are followed with “and the Father is in Me.” He tells Philip and the rest of the disciples that they can know God. They can “see the Father” right before their eyes because Jesus is indwelt by the Father.

The best way for them to see God was to look at Jesus.

Words and Works

The second way they could see God was to look at the things Jesus was saying and doing, His words and works. He actually tells them that if they were not sure what to believe about Jesus’ relationship with God, this indwelling thing, they should believe just because of the works He was doing. He was… – well as Luke tells us:

You know of Jesus of Nazareth, how God anointed Him with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. - Acts 10:38

Jesus, because God was with Him, the Spirit of God dwelling on the inside, did works that demonstrated God, His character, and nature.

We read again in my favorite of all scriptures (I am pretty sure this is the top of my top ten list:)

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, - Hebrews 1:1-3

We see here that Jesus is not "like" God, fuzzy around the edges, like what the prophets taught, according to verse 1. Instead, Jesus is the “exact representation of His nature.” He is not a partial image, where He is only depicting "the good parts" of who God is, but Jesus is a complete revelation of God. If you don’t find it in Jesus, it is not in God. Jesus is the complete study guide to God the Father. Jesus is perfect theology. [Tweet This] There is nothing in Jesus that is not in God, and there is nothing in God that is not in Jesus. And God has seen to it that what is recorded in the Word about Jesus is enough of a revelation for us to know the Father.

So my first takeaway is pretty simple. The best way to know God, and what God is like is to look at Jesus, His words and His works. He, Jesus, tells us this repeatedly and these other passages reinforce this idea, that He only ever did what God was doing, or would do, and His words were coming straight from the throne of God.

But Jesus does not stop here. He does not simply say, you want to see God look at Me! He takes it to a place that changes everything.

Come back tomorrow, and we will see as the other shoe drops.

Ben NelsonThanks for stopping by.

See you again soon. In the mean time…

Shine where you are screwed in.

Ben

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origin_4213511374

For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11 NASB)

Lord

I remember talking to you young boy (probably 9 or 10 years old) who had been involved in church programs for most of his life. I asked him about his relationship with the Lord Jesus, and he told me that he had made Jesus his Savior a couple years back.

I know he was young, but this was a turn of phrase that he had picked up somewhere, and it really got under my skin.

I gently (at least I think I was gentle, but in those days that was not necessarily my hallmark) explained that you could not make Jesus your Savior. Becoming a Savior is something He did. Your part is to surrender to Him as Lord.

In explanation of the concept of Lord, my friend Kim, who led me to the Lord a few decades ago, used to say (and no doubt still does) ‘unless Jesus is your Lord, your Master, your King, your Boss, you have no place in the kingdom of God.’

Let me be clear. This is not a works thing, it is a submission thing.

I have said it before in this blog, we come into the kingdom of God in the role of servant, bowing our knee to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The government of our lives must rest on His shoulders.

There are those who gather with the body of Christ, tares among the wheat, who believe all the right facts about Jesus, but have never bowed their knee to His Lordship. They live their own lives without any regard to Jesus and His word. Again it is not about their works, the things they do, but their hearts are not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. They never respond to the twinge of conscience when they walk their own way, if they are even aware of it anymore.

But you, beloved, who love Him and surrender to Him, living life listening for the voice of the Spirit, there is no condemnation for you. When you misstep, you quickly adjust as the Holy Spirit within you suggests adjustments and corrections to your path.

Do you see the difference?

One life ship guided by the rudder of the Holy Spirit (this is the Lordship of Jesus Christ) and one guided by self preservation, or betterment.

Who is Jesus to you today?

Will you bow your knee to Jesus this Christmas? He is still King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and is ready to be your King and Lord even now. [Tweet This]

Here’s how.

Simply call out to Jesus today. Tell Him you need Him to take leadership in your life. Confess every sin He brings to mind, right now, out loud. Take responsibility for your sin, pride and rebellion. Then open your heart to Him. (What does that mean?) Ask Him to be your Lord, Master, King, Boss and begin to submit to Him every day. Romans 8:14 says "They that are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God," so ask the Holy Spirit to guide you today and every day.

Hey, thanks for stopping in today. If you surrendered to Jesus for the first time today, tell somebody about it, get plugged into a church where they teach the Bible, and hang out with people who know Jesus and can help you follow Him.

BenDirector3CroppedMerry Christmas

Ben

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When will Christ Return?

Words are flying these days about proximity of the end. Talk of rapture and judgement has ramped up again.

When people ask me about the end times, I usually shrug my shoulders.

In His last days in flesh and bone the boys asked Jesus about the end.

So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"

He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." - Acts 1:6-8 NASB

During His ministry, Jesus made some statements about His second coming, but His discourse prepared them for a life of persecution and tribulation. It didn’t give them any sense of when.

In the passage above—apparently at the moment of His ascension—His language gives them a clear life priority.

Like this:

Disciples: Jesus, when do we get exalted and reign with You in Your kingdom?

Jesus: Don’t look for political power, but get filled with the Holy Spirit who will give you the power to be a witness.

This word witness in the Greek is martus where we get our word martyr. When Jesus used the word witness, it had the meaning you would expect. Its original meaning was like we would use it in a court room setting, someone who saw something—some one who can give testimony to what they have seen, heard, or know.

But because so many witnesses gave their lives because of their witness the word itself took on the meaning of one who would lay down their life for the truth they carry.

This power to lay down your own life for the sake of your loved ones—your neighbors—your enemies—your Lord—is the very power promised by Jesus and poured out at Pentecost.

Jesus diverted the disciples' attention from the end times to their present calling.

Don’t worry about tomorrow—pray for the power to lay down your life today. [Tweet this]

Keith Green put it this way:

Thank you, O my Father, for giving us Your son, and leaving Your Spirit till the work on earth is done.

from, There is a Redeemer, Keith Green - 1982

There’s a sermon that will get a cold, silent reception.

But I pray we hear it.

benheadshot1Thanks for coming by.

Walk in His presence today.

Ben

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You see, I’d like to minister to those in need, but I just don’t have the resources in place for effective ministry.

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

Oh—wait.

You mean all I need is God inside and I have everything I could ever need.

With You plus nothing, Peter and John led thousands into Your Kingdom.

I guess I’ve been thinking myself out of ministry.

Lord, teach me this simple lesson. You are the only resource I could ever need.

benheadshot1Thanks for stopping in.

Don’t wait any longer—let the Lord flow through you today.

Ben

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Among the attendants at Jesus baptism were two very important VIPs—that’s right, very important Very Important Persons.

God His (our) Father—a.k.a. YWYH and the Holy Spirit.

And He (Abba) had something to say.

Check out the account from the Passion Translation:

One day Jesus came to be baptized along with all the others. As he was consumed with the spirit of prayer, the heavenly realm ripped open above him and the Holy Spirit descended from heaven in the visible, tangible form of a dove and landed on him. Then God’s audible voice was heard, saying, “My Son, you are my beloved one. Through you I am fulfilled.” - Luke 3:21-22 TPT

This may be the only time (at least I can’t think of another off the top of my head) where Father, Son and Holy Spirit all show up in a form that can be perceived by all present. Of course, they are always together in all of Jesus life, but right here by the side of the muddy Jordan river the Father is heard, the Spirit is seen, and Jesus is the center of attention.

We don’t get this kind of manifestation at Christ triumphal entry.

Not at any of His miracles.

Not for the sermon on the mount.

Not even at His birth, crucifixion, or resurrection, though They were all completely involved in each.

There’s something really significant going on at the baptism of Jesus Christ.

Mark and John don’t even mention Jesus birth—Christmas—but all four gospel writers include a description of Jesus baptism. This is the launching of Jesus ministry. This is the day the age old plan, that was set in motion before the foundations of the earth were set in place by the Word of God, is going into it’s final phase. It’s a big deal!

But what really caught my eye was this phrase used by Abba. Most of us are familiar with the usual rendition, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” And if you are anything like me, you long to have those words spoken over your life too. You long to hear the Father say He is pleased with you and your life.

But the way Brian Simmons (translator of the Passion Translation quoted above) renders it, the Father tells His beloved Son, “I am fulfilled through you.”

Jesus tells us that He came to fulfill the law that was crushing us.

Here we see that Jesus—the God man—fulfills the Father. The triune inseparable, incomparable God is completed by this flesh and blood man, Jesus.

And I guess that is how you would have to define trinity in the first place. If any one of them was not, God would be incomplete.

By the same token, in Jesus high priestly prayer, He used His words—same kind of words that set Jupiter in orbit of our sun—to ask the Father to allow us into that same relationship.

I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 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.

The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. - John 17:20-23 NASB

Could it be that we may someday here the same words from the Father, “you fulfill Me?”

So many Christians live lives of condemnation and feeling like they can never please God, or live up to His expectations. But what Jesus did for us, on the cross, gives us His nature, and His ability to please God, and to fulfill Him.

I heard Praying Medic say in a podcast yesterday that he finally heard to work from the place of rest, when he figured out that God was pleased with him, and even delighted in him. That’s when the spirit of striving died in him, and it set him free to minister in confidence.

Encounters With JesusSorry - I’m rambling a bit today, and now I have to get going.

benheadshot1Blessings on all of you today.

Thanks for coming by.

Ben

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If you haven’t taken a look at my new book, Encounters With Jesus, check it out!

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I had one of those “Oh WOW”s tonight.

We are studying John 16 in our Home group and talking about the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Just for the record – this wonderful person – the Holy Spirit is the most neglected and misunderstood member of our wonderful 3 in 1 God.

In any case we read this:

He [God the Holy Spirit] will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you. - John 16:14-15 NASB

Let me connect a few dots here and then I want to link this thought to one other passage.

Point 1 –All things that the Father has belong to Jesus.

We know that God has everything – all things temporal and spiritual – all things tangible and intangible. There is not anything that God does not own.

All of that all-ness that belongs to God – is the possession of Jesus.

Jesus has everything – temporal and spiritual… [you get the idea – right?]

Point 2 – The Holy Spirit take what belongs to Jesus (see point 1) and discloses it to us. Disclosure – like revelation – like removing the veil. Some translations render it “declare.”

How does the Holy Spirit do this? By reminding us of what Jesus said. By glorifying Jesus and reminding us of His words – His promises – His commands – His reprimands.

Peter opens his second letter like this.

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. - 2 Peter 1:3-4 NASB

Point 3 – By the knowledge of Him (the Holy Spirit will glorify Him and remind us of what He said) we receive everything we need for life and godliness.

This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. He gives us what the cross bought us by way of revealing truth to us.

Point 4 – through precious and magnificent promises we partake in the divine nature.

What!!!

That’s right – in John 16 when Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit will take what belongs to Jesus and disclose it to us, He is saying that He is giving it to us. His declaration makes it so, in us. Remember this is the one who made declarations in a vacuum and created everything that is. When these words are passed over us and to us, and penetrate us – we partake – take part in – the divine nature.

BN Writers Page 150Ok – chew on that for a while, and I will see you again next time.

See ya!

Ben

4

Oh man – Oh man – Oh man

Check this out!

In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. - John 14:20 NASB

WHAT!

Can this be true?

I mean – I get the first one. I get  the last one. But that one in the middle is kind of blowing my mind right now.

Jesus in the Father – ok I get that.

Jesus in me – well – I have heard about that since I was a little one in Sunday School.

But Me in Jesus –

The little one in there - that' s me.

Me in Jesus?

Why would He even want that?

Later Jesus says:

I will not speak much more with you, for the ruler of the world is coming, and he has nothing in Me; - John 14 30 NASB

So then

I am in Jesus.

And satan has nothing in Jesus.

How then could satan have anything in me?

If I am in Jesus, and Jesus is in me, and we are both in the Father

I could not be safer in Ft. Knox (is that safe?)

So here I sit, deep inside the Father and Son with the Son and the Spirit inside me and I look out at satan and declare – "you have nothing in me! Run along!" [Tweet This]

It’s a great day.

Ben NelsonIn Jesus

Ben

Photo thanks to Wikimedia.org

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The purpose of leading the Israelites out of Egypt wasn’t just to get them out, it was to get them in. ~ Diane Reid

As I mentioned yesterday, this is a line from a recent blog from DevoMom. You can read it here.

Yesterday I was tip-toeing around my point, but today I will just jump in.

Much of the history of Israel that is recorded for us in Holy Scripture is there as type and shadow. It is there to teach us, or prepare us for what we are living in now.

I want you to understand friends, that the land of promise is not the sweet bye and bye, but a picture of the Spirit filled life of the believer.

Moreover it is a picture of war!

This is of huge importance dear ones.

God said to Joshua

Every place on which the sole of your foot treads, I have given it to you, just as I spoke to Moses. - Joshua 1:3 NASB

And yet every thing they received from the hand of God, they had to contend for. And not just to get it in the first place, but to hold on to it.

The Philistines were trying to take back what Israel took from them from the day Jericho fell until the day – well – until a day that has not yet arrived.

What are you saying Ben?

I hear Christians talk about the promises of God in a totally different light.

If God wants me to have it, He will give it to me.

I thought I was healed, but I found my self with the same sickness again.

If God wanted me to be rich, He would provide a better job for me.

I am just waiting on God…

But:

God says:

I gave this land to your forefathers as a possession forever.

Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. "For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself." - Acts 2:38-39 NASB

God says:

It belongs to YOU. Every step you take into the land of promise is yours.

But you must go in.

You must take it.

You must fight for it (using God’s weapons and strategies – not your own striving)

You must keep it.

You must contend.

You must not relent.

Today beloved, we take a stand.

Today brothers and sisters, we take the land.

Come Holy Spirit!

Thanks for coming by today.

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

Until then, I remain,

your brother Ben.