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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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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

Kingdom of Heaven"He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end." - Luke 1:32-33 NASB

When the angel Gabriel came to Mary to give her the good news that her life was about to be tossed into the tumbler, He included some details we don’t see in fulfilled as yet.

He tells her the Son she is to bear will be given the throne of His father David, and He will have an everlasting reign over the house of Jacob.

David’s line had lost the throne over 400 years before Christ was born. The house of Jacob had been dispersed across the known world. They had no common ruler. They were a scattered people.

When the Great Shepherd walked the streets of Galilee with a dozen followers he showed no kingly ambitions.

He made no move for political power.
He didn’t try to reestablish the throne of His father David.
He didn’t stir up the crowds that gathered to Him for a revolt.
He didn’t preach a political agenda.

So here’s the question. Is His reign a future reign. Is Gabriel prophesying of a second coming reign, where Jesus will come and rule and reign?

Or is Gabriel speaking of dominion of Christ in the hearts of the true Israel—the true people of God—the called according to His plan and purpose.

Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. - Galatians 3:7

John the Revelator grabs Gabriel’s words and applies them to His second coming. He paints a picture of the heavenly throne room where God’s most honored fall on their faces before Him.

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders, who sit on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, - Revelation 11:15-16

And so it shall be.

All that said—His reign did begin in Galilee with that band of uneducated fishermen whom He picked up along the edge of the Sea of Galilee. He began His eternal reign that day on the shore:

And He said to them, "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." - Matthew 4:19

They followed, and He reigned. He took His place on the throne of their hearts.

When tempted to go elsewhere, Peter famously replied:

"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." - John 6:68-69

There will be a day when every knee will bow to Him and honor Him as Lord of All, but today He reigns in those like Peter who answer His call, “Follow Me.”

Truly, even in this day of gross darkness, His rule—His government is increasing. As the dark grows darker, the light continues to shine.

He’s still inviting people to follow Him and become fishers of men (and women). He’s still setting those alight who will follow and sending them into the immense darkness of our day, to shine.

He’s walking the shores of your life today and calling you to leave your nets and follow Him. He wants to give you new nets—nets for catching men and women.

And so His reign does increase even today.

Will you forsake all and follow Him?

What would that look like in your life?

cropped-BenHeadshot.jpgThanks for coming by.

Think on these things.

Ben

11

Wheat

OK, we have gone long enough talking about the Sabbath, without getting into the Red Letters. Today, I would like to unpack a few of Jesus’ comments about the Sabbath.

The fact is Jesus’ words and actions on and about the Sabbath were a major contributing factors to the Jewish leadership’s hatred for Him.

Let’s jump in.

I want to start with one of Jesus’ most provocative statements:

For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. - Matthew 12:8

This is the end of a story in Matthew 12, one of two piles of trouble Jesus pressed through on a busy Sabbath during His early ministry.

The boys were walking through a grain field, and popping off the heads of the grain in the gleanings and eating them. (Gleanings were the edges of the fields left by the land owners to give the poor and hungry some place to gather food – someday we should talk about God’s welfare plan that included working rather than begging – ooopps did I write that out loud.)

They were breaking so many Sabbath laws – they were “gathering” – they were “preparing food” – they were “eating without washing” – and who knows what else, but they got busted. The Pharisees were right there to point out this problem and quiz the Master.

But Jesus had an answer, three actually. He gave them a theological answer using an example from the life of David. He gave a legal answer, talking about how the priests break the Sabbath in the keeping other laws.

But it all end with Him stating in no uncertain terms “the Son of Man is [aka – I AM] Lord of the Sabbath.” [Tweet This]

Wonder if that got Him in any trouble? Jesus takes on these religious muckety-mucks by simply declaring His own deity.

I hear folks say Jesus never claimed to be God, but you really have to ignore His words to come to that conclusion.

God refers to the Sabbath as “My Sabbath” fifteen times in the Old Testament and yet here Jesus takes ownership, or Lordship over the Sabbath. Jesus is Lord and not just Lord of the Sabbath, although that is a great title for this King of kings and Lord of Lords. He is Lord of all.

Lord Jesus, I worship you today for you are Lord, you are Lord of the Sabbath, and Lord of my life. Have your way today. Reign over this day in my life. – Amen

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by today.
This study is blessing me a bunch, and I hope it’s doing you some good too.
Come back tomorrow. There is lots more from Jesus, and then we will press on to Paul and the writer to the Hebrews. We are not done yet.
Bye for now
Ben

River of Living Water

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us. (John 4:25 NASB)

Well now she has said a mouth full!

When the anointed one comes He will declare all things to us.

Jesus is the Word made flesh

Jesus is the express image of God

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. (Hebrews 1:1-2 NASB)

So here is this woman, who does not know the first thing about worship, talking to the King of Kings and Lord or Lords, the very Word that God spoke to spin the universe into the nothing.

Do you get how completely crazy it is that someone like this broken woman should have an audience with the First born of all Creation, the One who has all above all and in all, in whom all the fullness of the God head dwells bodily?

Jesus is nothing like the gods of this world who spin us to their whim and fancy, bending us unnaturally to do their bidding, then letting us crash and burn, all the while laughing at our plight.

Not Jesus. He actually takes time away from the 12 who left everything to follow Him, and spends time interacting with a broken woman.

I love this man!

Do you hear today that no matter how you have screwed up your life to date, Jesus is ready to meet you at the well where you are trying to draw life, and lead you to living water?

And what will He declare over your life?

Much as He said to this woman – it might go like this.

I know who you are, I know what you’ve done, yet I have living water for you to drink that will satisfy the longings I placed in your inner most being, when I spoke your name in your mother’s ear.

Come to Jesus and drink deeply today.

BenThanks for stopping by.

See you tomorrow.

Ben

 

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 years back, 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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