I think you'll love this.

The Cause of Christ
by Kari Jobe, Benjamin Hastings, and Bryan Fowler

Verse 1

The only thing I want in life,
is to be known for loving Christ,
to build His church to love His bride
and make His name known far and wide

Chorus

For this cause I live
for this cause I'd die
I surrender all for the Cause of Christ
All I once held dear I will leave behind
For my joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

Verse 2

He is all my soul will prize,
regardless of the joy or trial
When agonizing questions rise,
In Jesus, all my hope abides

Chorus

For this cause I live
for this cause I'd die
I surrender all for the Cause of Christ
All I once held dear I will leave behind
For my joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

Bridge

Jesus my Jesus, for Your glory, for Your name
Jesus my Jesus, I will only sing Your praise x3

Chorus

For this cause I live
for this cause I'd die
I surrender all for the Cause of Christ
All I once held dear I will leave behind
For my joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

For my, Joy is this, oh the Cause of Christ

Outro

It is not fame that I desire,
nor stature in my brother's eye
I pray it's said about my life,
that I live more to build Your name than mine

Thanks to MetroLyrics for the lyrics

BenHeadshotHave a great day!

See you again soon,

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

2

Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? John 7:19

Jesus is in the temple at one of the feasts and He’s teaching. His teaching amazes them. They wonder among themselves how He comes by such knowledge and authority without having an education. He has no degree. He did not train under one of their rabbis, and yet the words He speaks impact them. His words reach deep within.

The Jews then were astonished, saying, "How has this man become learned, having never been educated?" John 7:15

As it turns out, they are looking for a reason to ignore His teaching, and silence the whisper in their souls. The whispering voice of the Holy Spirit calls to them with conviction. He draws them to turn from their current trajectory and aim their lives at the Lord God.

Though they are visiting the temple expressly to keep the law (How cool is it that God law was full of feasts and festivals - but that’s a topic for another day) Jesus accuses them of ignoring the law.

Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? - John 7:19

The problem with these who seek to dispose of Jesus, the problem with many who follow after religion, is their keeping of the law is not out of love for the lawgiver. Their motives instead are self-focused.

Did you know you can simultaneously keep the law and distance yourself from God?

How so?

Do you keep the law to earn favor with God?

Do you keep the law to be seen by men - to earn favor with men?

Do you keep the law to increase business - to gain profit?

So Ben, what am I to do?

First, let’s acknowledge that keeping the law doesn’t please God. The law is a feeble relationship builder precisely because you can keep the law without it ever impacting your heart. [Tweet this]

Jesus gives us a clue.

"He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. - John 7:18

Of course, He is referring to Himself when He speaks of “the One” here, but the point still holds. When we seek to glorify the Father in all that we do—there is no unrighteousness found in us.

It’s funny because God is not impressed with their keeping of the law, but when our walk brings glory to Him, it is counted as righteousness toward us. Amazing.

Jesus said

"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. - Matthew 5:16

The light shining here is not your good works, though I’ve often heard it explained that way. But if you read the verse, the light is shining on the works, and somehow this light on our works brings glory to God.

So what is that light? (I know you're dying to know.)

Let’s get back to John 7:18. It’s that heart that seeks to glorify the Father.

Paul said it this way.

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, - Colossians 3:23

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. - 1 Corinthians 10:31

Ben NelsonWell - there's some good stuff to ponder today.

Keep the light on,

Ben

2

It’s another red-letter day! Let’s take a look at some red letter and see what we can glean.

Come with me to Mark 2:3-12.

Today Jesus actually gives His accusers proof. For much of Him ministry He did not offer any evidence to His skeptics. They pressed Him time and time again for confirmations and signs and He left them wanting. They questioned Him and He gave them more questions and less understanding.

But here in Mark 2 He gives them a reason to believe that He is Messiah, He is:

as Paul puts in Philippians—equal with God

and again Colossians—all the fullness of the Godhead

as the writer to the Hebrews states—the express image of God.

Here’s what’s going on. He’s in the house and there is a crowd as usual. This time there are a bunch of religious folk pressing in to question Him, to put Him to the test.

Luke drops a wonderful nugget into his telling of this story.

…And the power of the Lord was present to heal them. - Luke 5:17 NKJV

We can talk about that another day, but isn’t that wonderful. Even in this room full of skeptics, the power of the Lord was present there to heal them.

Back to the story, there is a paralyzed man with some really good friends. They carry him to Jesus on a stretcher but can’t get through the door. Because of the crowd, they can’t get the stretcher up to Jesus. So what do they do?

They carry their friend up onto the roof, (yikes) break through the roof, rig the stretcher with ropes and lower their friend down in front of Jesus.

Now Jesus sees all this and is clearly confused. (kidding) Obviously the man on the bed needs healing, and as we already noticed, the Lord is ready to go with the power to heal.

But instead of just breaking the tension and healing the man, Jesus scrolls through His options and chooses—provoke.

So many times when Jesus is healing the multitudes we see Him simply touch and bless, but this time He decides a lesson is in order.

It’s time to pull back the veil a little further and let the world see another level of His glory.

And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." - Mark 2:5 NASB

Let’s review. The room is full of the religious muckity-mucks and Jesus decides to demonstrate His authority over sin.

Why?

It’s time for them to understand that Jesus was not just another pretender come to stir up discontent. Jesus is Messiah, Emanuel, the One promised to rescue and redeem His people. God with us.

It’s time for them to leave their nets, their accounts, their religious garb, take up their crosses, and follow Jesus.

"But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--He said to the paralytic, "I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home." - Mark 2:10-11 NASB

This man who bursts onto the scene and starts stirring up the rabble is no pretender. He is the  real deal. And the healing He carried proves it.

No false Messiah before Him, and there had been many, moved with compassion through the crowds and brought healing to the nation. Only Jesus.

And He’s the same today.

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

He’s still in the same business.

"THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME,BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR.HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES,AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND,TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED, TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD." - Luke 4:18-19 NASB

It’s His family business, you know.

Don’t be confused by what the religious folks tell you. Don’t be distracted by all the shiny stuff the World dangles before you.

It’s time to drop your distractions, take up your cross and get after Him.

As Philip told his brother Nathanial in John 1, We’ve found the Messiah…come and see.

While you’re at it—if you’re in His family, it’s time you take up the family business too!

"And as you go, preach, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give. - Matthew 10:7-8 NASB

Let’s go!

See you again soon.

Ben

9

Here are some red letters that really thrill me.

Join me in Mark 1 today and let’s think about what Jesus said in these three little words. But first ... a little context.

And a leper came to Jesus, beseeching Him and falling on his knees before Him, and saying, "If You are willing, You can make me clean." Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, "I am willing; be cleansed." - Mark 1:40-41 NASB

Jesus ran into people every day during His ministry years. It is in fact why He came, to seek and to save the lost, to run into people and bring the kingdom of heaven into their lives. No two of the folks He encountered were alike. It was not as though everyone who came to Him for a miracle came with the same level of faith and expectation.

Some knew deep inside that if they could reach Him, they would find healing, like the woman with the issue of blood.

for she was saying to herself, "If I only touch His garment, I will get well." - Matthew 9:21 NASB

Some were not even sure He had any power whatsoever.

"It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!" - Mark 9:22 NASB

Some understood He was not limited to proximity, and could heal across the miles like the centurion.

But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. - Matthew 8:8 NASB

So what about this leper we meet in Mark 1? He had a concern I often hear voiced in Evangelical circles. It’s common thought today that Jesus can still heal and does still heal, but it is linked to some sort of whim or fancy or divine fiat. We come to the Lord in prayer asking for healing as though we hoping He’s in a good mood and might just condescend to do us a little favor and heal our loved one.

This phrase only comes up five times in the NASB and three of them are three accounts of this event. One is when Jesus is talking about John the baptist, explaining that he was Elijah who would come. The only other time we hear this phrase is in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus cries out to the Father:

saying, "Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done." - Luke 22:42 NASB

Many have adopted this phrase as part of their prayer life.

Here’s the thing.

Jesus answered the question.

He answered this man in no uncertain terms.

He could have simply healed the leper to demonstrate His will without saying a word.

But Jesus—the Word of God—the very Will of God incarnate—the express image of God—Jesus—answered.

I am willing!

And if this doesn’t answer it for you with enough clarity, look at His ministry. He healed all who came to Him. Time after time we see Him heal them all.

The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them. - Matthew 4:24 NASB

But Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. Many followed Him, and He healed them all, - Matthew 12:15 NASB

We are not calling out to God for something unclear, or something unprecedented.

Jesus, in the Garden, placed Himself into a circumstance we could never see. He was facing separation from the Father, He was facing the cup of God’s wrath stored up against all our sin and the prospected was horrifying.

This is not our case when the come to the Lord Jesus for our healing. He told us His name is Jehovah Rapha - the Lord our Healer.

I understand that when we are talking about our future James tells us to leave it in the Lord’s hands.

Instead, you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that." - James 4:15 NASB

But James is not teaching us to pray. He’s talking about our attitude toward life.

Jesus Christ who is the same, yesterday, today and forever, said without hesitation:

"I am willing; be cleansed." - Matthew 8:3 NASB

Hallelujah! (That’s a place for shouting!)

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks for coming by today.

Walk in the light.

Ben

I'm using Tim and Kathy Keller's daily devotional that goes through the Psalms in a year, The Songs of JESUS. In today's prayer they quote a stanza from a hymn I had never heard of, Approach, My Soul, The Mercy Seat written by John Newton.

Here's the full hymn. The Keller's quoted verse five as a response to the prophetic Psalm 5 which depicts the agony of our Lord on the cross.

1 Approach, my soul, the mercy-seat,
Where Jesus answers prayer;
There humbly fall before his feet,
For none can perish there.

2 Thy promise is my only plea,
With this I venture nigh;
Thou callest burdened souls to thee,
And such, O Lord, am I.

3 Bowed down beneath a load of sin,
By Satan sorely pressed,
By wars without, and fears within,
I come to thee for rest.

4 Be thou my shield and hiding place!
That, sheltered near thy side,
I may my fierce accuser face,
And tell him, "thou hast died."

5 O wondrous love! to bleed and die,
To bear the cross and shame;
That guilty sinners such as I,
Might plead thy gracious name.

6 "Poor tempest-tossed soul be still,
My promised grace receive;"
'Tis Jesus speaks, I must, I will,
I can, I do believe.

Thanks to Hymnary.org for these lyrics. They supply a tune to go with it (Ballerma, by François Hippolyte Barthélémon - 1741-1808) in the form of sheet music, but the poem itself is in common meter, so many familiar hymn tunes will work including New Britain, the traditional tune for John Newtons famous hymn, Amazing Grace.

Thanks for coming by

BenHeadshotSee you again soon,

Ben

2

Proclamation Ornaments
Proclamation Ornaments

A few years back my dear one, Corinne, was listening to a radio preacher – Adrian Rogers of Love Worth Finding Ministries. (http://www.lwf.org/)

At that time they were selling what they called “Proclamation Ornaments.” It is a set of tree ornaments with an Old Testament Prophecy and on the back of the ornament was the New Testament fulfillment. They were intended to be an advent devotion tool, one ornament for each day of December leading up to Christmas day.

By the time we got them our kids were in High School and College so it was not practical for us to have daily family time with everyone present.

So the first year we got them, we bought a little tree which we set up in the room with our main tree, and as we opened presents that year, you would open a present, and then you would take an ornament and look up the Old Testament and New Testament passage.

I will not say it was easy to stay on track all day, but it really added to our Christmas. We don’t do it every year, but we have done it a number of times, and by the time you are done you have such a wonderful sense of assurance in your redeemer.

BenDirector3CroppedI thought I would lay them out for you here. They do go right through Christ life so it would work well for Easter as well.

Merry Christmas

Ben

====================

Day one - Son of God
Day one - Son of God
Day 1 Son of God
Prophecy Psalm 2:7
Fulfillment John 3:16
Day One Fulfillment
Day One Fulfillment
Day 2 Seed of a Woman
Prophecy Genesis 3:15
Fulfillment Galations 4:4
Day 3 Savior
Prophecy Isaiah 42:5-7
Fulfillment Matthew 1:21
Day 4 Born of a virgin
Prophecy Isaiah 7:14
Fulfillment Matthew 1:18-25
Day 5 Born in Bethlehem
Prophecy Micah 5:2
Fulfillment Luke 2:4-7
Day 6 The Way Prepared
Prophecy Isaiah 40:3-5
Fulfillment Matthew 3:1-3
Day 7 Teacher
Prophecy Psalm 78:3-4
Fulfillment Matthew 13:34-35
Day 8 Deliverer and Healer
Prophecy Isaiah 61:1-3
Fulfillment Luke 4:16-21
Day 9 Rejected by Men
Prophecy Isaiah 53:3
Fulfillment John 1:11
Day 10 Triumphal Entry
Prophecy Zechariah 9:9
Fulfillment Matthew 21:1-11
Day 11 Betrayed
Prophecy Zechariah 11:12-13
Fulfillment Matthew 26:14-16 & 27:3-10
Day 12 The Disciples Scattered
Prophecy Zechariah 13:7
Fulfillment Matthew 26:31,55-56
Day 13 Accused by False Witnesses
Prophecy Psalm 35:11
Fulfillment Mark 14:57-58
Day 14 The Silent Lamb
Prophecy Isaiah 53:7
Fulfillment Matthew 27:12-14
Day 15 Reviled and Mocked
Prophecy Psalm 22:6-7
Fulfillment Matthew 27:39-44
Day 16 Lots Cast for His Garments
Prophecy Psalm 22:18
Fulfillment John 19:23-24
Day 17 Not a Bone Broken
Prophecy Psalm 34:20
Fulfillment John 19:31-37
Day 18 Pierced for our Transgressions
Prophecy Isaiah 53:5
Fulfillment Luke 23:33 & John 19:34
Day 19 Buried with the Rich
Prophecy Isaiah 53:9
Fulfillment Matthew 27:57-60
Day 20 He Arose
Prophecy Psalm 16:9-10
Fulfillment Matthew 28:2-7
Day 21 The Righteous One
Prophecy Jeremiah 23:5-6
Fulfillment 2 Corinthians 5:21
Day 22 He Ascended!
Prophecy Psalm 68:18
Fulfillment Mark 16:19
Day 23 The Cornerstone
Prophecy Psalm 118:21-23
Fulfillment Acts 4:11-12
Day 24 He is Coming Again
Prophecy Isaiah 9:7
Fulfillment Revelation 19:11-16
The Ultimate Promise!
The Ultimate Promise!
Day 25 Jesus
Fulfillment Luke 1:26-35 & Luke 2:1-20 & Matthew 2:1-12
The Ultimate Fulfillment
The Ultimate Fulfillment

When I was younger my family went every year to hear the wonderful oratorio Messiah by GF Handel. Even today as I was listening in the car it brought me to tears at points.

There is much credit due the wonderful music, but at the heart of this work is the text which is directly from the Word of God. I wanted to share it with you. No Rush, but sometime in the upcoming days you should sit down and just read through it (or find a copy and listen while reading the words so you don't miss the breath of God on this wonderful piece.

BenHeadshotMerry Christmas

Ben

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Messiah (HWV 56)[1] is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennensfrom the King James Bible, and from the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer (which are worded slightly differently from their King James counterparts). It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742, and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.[n 1] (Wikipdeia)

To make it a little easier to follow I put the names of the songs in bold followed by the scripture reference which was supplied by the source listed below, followed by the text of the scripture printed out in the quotes boxes.

Lyric Source - http://www.worshipmap.com/lyrics/messiahtext.html

Handel's Messiah
George Frederic Handel (1695-1759)

Part I

(1) Overture

(2) Comfort Ye

Isaiah 40:1-3

1. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. 2. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned. . . .

3. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

(3) Every Valley

Isaiah 40:4

4.Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.

(4) And the Glory of the Lord

Isaiah 40:5

5. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together:for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.

(5) Thus saith the Lord

Haggai 2:6,7

6. Thus saith the Lord of Hosts; Yet once, a little while and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7. And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come

Malachi 3:1

1. The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in:Behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of Hosts.

(6) But who may abide the Day of His Coming?

Malachi 3:2

2. But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when He appeareth? For He is like a refiner's fire.

(7) And He shall Purify

Malachi 3:3

3. And He shall purify the sons of Levi. . . that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness.

(8) Behold A Virgin Shall Conceive

Isaiah 7:14 (Matthew 1:23)

Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name EMMANUEL, God with us.

(9) O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion

Isaiah 40:9

9. O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, and be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!

Isaiah 60:1

1. Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.

(10) For behold, darkness shall cover the earth

Isaiah 60:2,3

2. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. 3. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

(11) The people that walked in darkness

Isaiah 9:2 (Matthew 3:16)

2. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: and they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

(12) For unto Us a Child is born

Isaiah 9:6

6. For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

(13) Pastoral Symphony

(14) There were shepherds abiding in the field

Luke 2:8

8. There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flocks by night.

Luke 2:9

9. And lo! the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

(15) And the Angel said unto them

Luke 2:10,11

10. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

(16) And suddenly there was with the Angel

Luke 2:13

13. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

(17) Glory to God

Luke 2:14

14. Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(18) Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion

Zechariah 9:9,10 (Matthew 21:5)

9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee. He is the righteous Savior. . 10. . . And he shall speak peace unto the heathen.

(19) Then shall the eyes of the blind

Isaiah 35:5,6

5. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing.

(20) He shall feed his flock like a shepherd

Isaiah 40:11

11. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd; and he shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.

Matthew 11:28, 29

28. Come unto [Him], all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and [He shall]give you rest. 29. Take [his] yoke upon you, and learn of [Him]; for [he is] meek and lowly of heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

(21) His yoke is easy

Matthew 11:30

30. [His] yoke is easy, and [his]burden is light.

Part II

(22) Behold the lamb of God

John 1:29

29.Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.

(23) He was despised

Isaiah 53:3

3. He is despised and rejected of men: a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. . . Isaiah 50:6 [He]gave [His] back to the smiters, and [His] cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: [He] hid not [His] face from shame and spitting.

(24) Surely He hath borne our griefs

Isaiah 53:4,5

4. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows. . . . 5. . . He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities:the chastisement of our peace was upon him,

(25) And with His stripes we are healed

Isaiah 53:5b

5. and with His stripes we are healed

(26) All we like sheep have gone astray

Isaiah 53:6

6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(27) All they that see him laugh him to scorn

Psalm 22:7

7. All they that see [him]laugh [him] to scorn: they shoot out their lips, they shake their heads, saying:

(28) He trusted in God

Psalm 22:8 (Matthew 27:43)

8. He trusted [in God] that he would deliver him:let him deliver him, if he delight in him.

(29) Thy rebuke hath broken His heart

Psalm 69:20

20. [Thy] rebuke hath broken [his] heart; [He is] full of heaviness. [He]looked for some to have pity [on Him], but there was none; neither found [He] any to comfort [Him].

(30) Behold, and see if there be any sorrow

Lamentations 1:12

12. Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto [his] sorrow. . .

(31) He was cut off out of the land of the living

Isaiah 53:8b

8. he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of [Thy] people was He stricken.

(32) But Thou didst not leave His soul in hell

Psalm 16:10 (Acts 2:27)

10. [But] thou [didst] not leave [his] soul in hell; neither [didst]thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption.

(33) Lift up your heads, O ye gates

Psalm 24:7-10

7. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. 8. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. 9. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of Glory shall come in. 10. Who is the King of Glory? The Lord of Hosts, He is the King of Glory.

(34) Unto which of the angels said He at any time

Hebrews 1:5 (Psalm 2:7)

5. For unto which of the angels said He at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee?

(35) Let all the angels of God worship Him

Hebrews 1:6b

6. "Let all the angels of God worship Him."

(36) Thou art gone up on high

Psalm 68:18 (Ephesians 4:8)

18. Thou art gone up on high, Thou hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men; yea, even for Thine enemies, that the Lord God might dwell among them.

(37) The Lord gave the word

Psalm 68:11

11. The Lord gave the word: great was the company of [the preachers].

(38) How beautiful are the feet

Romans 10:15 (Isaiah 52:7)

15. How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

(39) Their sound is gone out

Romans 10:18 (Psalm 19:4)

18. their sound is gone out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world.

(40) Why do the nations so furiously rage together?

Psalm 2:1,2 (Acts 4:25-26)

1. Why do the heathen rage, and why do the people imagine a vain thing? 2. The kings of the earth rise up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against His Anointed,

(41) Let us break their bonds asunder

Psalm 2:3

3. Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us.

(42) He that dwelleth in heaven

Psalm 2:4

4. He that dwelleth in the heavens shall laugh them to scorn; the Lord shall have them in derision.

(43) Thou shalt break them

Psalm 2:9

9. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

(44) Hallelujah

Revelation 19:6

6. Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Revelation 11:15 15. . . the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever. Revelation 19:16 16. . . . KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS.

Part III

(45) I know that my redeemer liveth

Job 19:25, 26

25. I know that my redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand on the latter day upon the earth: 26. And though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.

1Corinthians 15:20

20. [For] now is Christ risen from the dead. . . the firstfruits of them that [sleep].

(46) Since by man came death

1Corinthians 15:21,22

21. Since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

(47) Behold I tell you a mystery

1Corinthians 15:51,52

51. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep; but we shall all be changed, 52. In a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet;

(48) The trumpet shall sound

1Corinthians 15:52b-53

52. the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

(49) Then shall be brought to pass

1Corinthians 15:54b (Isaiah 25:8)

54. then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, 'Death is swallowed up in victory.'

(50) O death where is thy sting?

1Corinthians 15:55-56 (Hosea 13:14)

55. O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? 56. The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

(51) But thanks be to God

1 Corinthians 15:57

57. But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(52) If God be for us

Romans 8:31, 33, 34

31. If God be for us, who can be against us? 33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is at the right hand of God, who makes intercession for us.

(53) Worthy is the Lamb

Revelation 5:12, 13

12. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 13. . . . Blessing, and honour, glory and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.      Amen.

 

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Birth of Jesus by Bradly Parish - www.parishfineart.com
Birth of Jesus by Bradley J. Parish - www.parishfineart.com

Have you ever wondered why Joseph lineage traced back to David? I mean, after all, he had no “blood in the game” so to speak. Jesus was "seed of the woman." Joseph was Jesus’ step-father.

I’ve heard it taught that Joseph’s lineage was what give Jesus right to the throne, but wouldn’t there have to be blood for that to be true?

His kingly blood came from momma Mary.

Joseph’s part was not one of blood.

Joseph had one very important part of the puzzle. His lineage took them back to that little town of Bethlehem.

Micah foretold an eternal ruler’s beginning.

"But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,Too little to be among the clans of Judah,From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel.His goings forth are from long ago,From the days of eternity." - Micah 5:2 NASB

The census decreed by Caesar in the fullness of Mary’s pregnancy required them to go to her husband’s ancestral home town for the counting.

It amazes me. Decade upon decade I’ve read these accounts of our Lord’s birth, and yet every reading exposes another layer. How complex and complete is our Lord’s mastery of time and events! I do so love You Lord.

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks for coming by.

Merry Christmas.

Ben