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GOD

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

He was in the beginning with God.

All things came into being through Him,
and apart from Him nothing came into being
that has come into being.

LIFE

In Him was life,
and the life was the Light of men.
The Light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not comprehend it.
There was the true Light
which, coming into the world,
enlightens every man.

UNKNOWN

He was in the world,
and the world was made through Him,
and the world did not know Him.
He came to His own,
and those who were His own
did not receive Him.

BORN OF GOD

But as many as received Him,
to them He gave the right
to become children of God,
even to those who believe in His name,
who were born,
not of blood
nor of the will of the flesh
nor of the will of man,
but of God.

GLORY, GRACE, AND TRUTH

And the Word became flesh,
and dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of

grace 

and

truth.

For of His fullness we have all received,
and grace upon grace.

For the Law was given through Moses;
grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.

GOD REVEALED

No one has seen God at any time;
the only begotten God
who is in the bosom of the Father,
He has explained Him.

John 1:1-5, 9-14, 16-18 NASB


Happy Incarnation Day and Merry Christmas!

See you again soon

Ben

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To be honest, I’ve never paid much attention to this quasi-Christmas carol, but it shows up in many of those Classic Christmas song mixes.

While we decorated our tree yesterday, we kept the Christmas playlist going, and so it came up a time or two. One of those times I happened to tune in to the words.

Am I the only one who can listen to a song (and even sing along sometimes) and never really pay attention to the words? It happens to me with songs I loved as a kid in the 60’s and 70’s. I listen to them now realize I had no idea what the song was about. So it has ever been with this Christmas classic (or perhaps this is a classic xmas carol.)

Having written last week about King Herod’s deplorable reaction to a potential threat to his throne, I heard old Bing singing about a king getting news of a child’s birth, and actually listened to these words.

Said the shepherd boy to the mighty king,
do you know what I know
In your palace warm, mighty king,
do you know what I know
A Child, a Child shivers in the cold
Let us bring Him silver and gold
Let us bring Him silver and gold

Said the king to the people everywhere,
listen to what I say
Pray for peace, people everywhere!
listen to what I say
The Child, the Child, sleeping in the night
He will bring us goodness and light
He will bring us goodness and light

I suppose it could be talking about one of the three kings who saw the star in the east, so maybe I shouldn’t throw any stones here, but the shepherd is mixed into the story. (Not to mention talking sheep and a star with a tail—a commit?)

It was actually written by a couple, Noël Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, under threat of Nuclear war. It was their plea for peace in a time of great turmoil. It has since been recorded by dozens of artists over the years, and fills the shopping malls every Christmas season.

But just for the record, it has nothing to do with the incarnation of Jesus Christ.

The king in the true story had a much different reaction to the news of a baby lying in the cold.

“Kill it!”

Much like the religious leaders thought when the little child grew up and started to threaten their power base.

The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. - Mark 3:6 NASB

This One who was indeed able to bring goodness and light, and to whom we ought to pray for peace, was not embraced by the powers of His day. They wanted to be done with Jesus. He was hunted by Herod, hated by the pharisees, derided by the scribes, entrapped by the lawyers, condemned by the government, scourged at the command of Pilate, mocked by the crowds, and finally crucified by the Romans.

And yet they were not done with Him. Not by a long shot.

Every player in the life of Jesus will again face Him.

Each one of them will bow their knee to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Each one of us will face this Prince of Peace.

He is the One who will reign forever and ever in a kingdom of peace.

You can be part of that kingdom today. You can serve this King and be among those He welcomes home with open arms like the Father of a prodigal.

I pray for peace today, peace between you and the Prince of Peace.

Will you invite Him in today? Will you let His incarnation draw you to His side?

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks for coming by. Sorry this was such a ramble.

Celebrate the Incarnation!

Ben

Lyrics from 41051.com

Song history details from Wikipedia.org

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One of my favorite bloggers and gifted poet, Cheryl McGrath, who blogs at Bread for the Bride gives us this wonderful Un-Christmas Carol. In a few short lines she shines her light on the stark reality of the Lord's birth. Be sure and visit her site and leave her some love there.

Enjoy,

Ben

Music notes with Christmas carol and Christmas ornaments

The night was not so silent:

In the bustling streets

Crowds pushed and poked

With shoving elbows and trampling feet

Men cursed

Dust choked

Indifferent to a woman heavy with child

In desperate need of a place to sleep

 

The little town was not so still:

It’s streets and houses overflowing

With one night standers, out of towners

Compelled together by Roman decree

Eager to reclaim their normality

The shrill shouts of merchants intertwined

With the noise and smell of humanity

For trade was brisk and coins flowed free

 

The virgin mother was not so peaceful:

Her young face etched with pain and fear

On her lips a voiceless prayer

Her womb, its patience spent,

Pushing, heaving, stretching,

Sharply signalling its intent

Amid the turmoil of the dung strewn street

To expel her child right then and there

 

The Child’s face was not so radiant:

Don't miss the rest back at Bread for the Bride...

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Through Ezekiel God promised

"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. "I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. - Ezekiel 36:25-27

Christianity is no ‘religion of the mind.’ It’s not made up of ideas and dogmas. It is God coming and living – dwelling – in flesh.

It’s not man cleaning himself up and trying to be good enough to get back into God’s good graces.

It’s not making sure your good deeds out weigh your bad deeds on some celestial scale.

It’s an act of God

It’s God who cleans you

God who breaks the hold idols have in your life

God who takes out the heart of stone

God who put in a heart of flesh

God who put’s His own Spirit in you.

8 from the mouth of 4 prophets God repeated that we would be His people and He would be our God.

And check out this one:

"My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. - Ezekiel 37:27

Jesus links all this directly to us when He tells the disciples in John 14:

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

That “abode” is dwelling place – it is the noun form of the verb to dwell. This statement Jesus makes in John 14 is a direct reference to Ezekiel 37

Do you see it?

This is the crux of the Christian life. This is what sets Christianity apart from all other religions. INCARNATION – Christ in you.

In this last conversation Jesus has with the disciples before He goes to the cross He told them that He, Jesus Himself, and the Father – God the Father – the almighty King of the Angel Armies, and the Holy Spirit would all be moving into you as you surrender your life to Him.

You are a dwelling place – a home – for the God who created all things.

Paul said it this way – Christ in you, the hope of Glory – Colossians 1:27

Nora and Papa BenThanks for stopping by.

Have a blessed week.

Ben

 

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Old Historical Church With Large Bell Tower In Europe In The Evening At Sunset

The Creator of all things came to earth as a man. Lived a sinless life. Took the penalty for our sin – not just physical death on the cross – He drinks the cup of the Father’s wrath. He died, was buried, and rose from the dead. The sin He bore for us He left in the grave. He appeared to Mary, the disciples, and over 500 at one time. Then He was taken up into heaven on a cloud.

Before He ascended He did something that changed everything. Check this out:

So Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit.” - John 20:21-22

A few days earlier He had promised them:

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

And in His high priestly prayer in John 17 he prayed this prayer:

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. - John 17:20-21

You see, when Jesus breathed on them saying “Receive the Holy Spirit” it was like the moving van of heaven pulled up in front of each of them, and Almighty God moved in. They became a dwelling place for the Most High God. For the first time since the Garden of Eden, the breach between God and man was mended.

That’s a place to shout!

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by,

I'm in a shoutin' mood today.

Ben

 

photo credit - Graphic Stock

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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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