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After Peter opens his second letter with an apostolic greeting and blessing he drops this bit of wonderful:

For by these [His own glory and excellence] 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 1:4 NASB

Peter sets forth the consequences of two kinds of promises.

The promises given by Father and Jesus our Lord, and the promises made by our flesh.

The promises of God are precious.

They are magnificent.

When we embrace and believe them they lead to an impartation of God’s own nature taking root in our lives.

The other promises mentioned are the lusts of flesh which are underwritten by the lies of this world and it’s god.

Unfortunately, we are inundated by these lies everyday from every side. If you live in the “civilized” world, these liars surround us pressing on us to embrace their promises, to live life to the fullest, to have it all, to follow your heart, achieve your dream, grab the gusto.

These promises the flesh offers, of a brief but real splash of satisfaction, lead to corruption, decay, destruction. They lead to one end. Jesus referred to it in as “eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matt 25:41)

The contrast couldn’t be more stark.

The promises of God conform us to the image of Christ. They take what is true in our spirit and work it out in our whole life. When you received Jesus, when you surrendered your life to Him, according to the promises of God, you became a son of God. (John 1:12, Romans 8:14)

A rabbit trail about being a son…I know it would be more PC for me to say child of God, but in the days the New Testament was written, a daughter would usually not receive an inheritance. She might take a dowry into a marriage, but her future inheritance would come through her husband. So when Paul writes to Rome and tells us we have become sons of God, it was because sons can be heirs. He knew he was writing to men and women as clearly demonstrated by his greetings at the end of the book where he mentions at least three women by name. But he called them sons, so they would understand that men and women in Christ receive the same inheritance!…end of rabbit trail.

The inheritance we receive in Him is not shared, its joint. We don’t get a portion of what the Father gave Jesus, we are joint heirs. This means that everything that the Father gave Jesus is ours by right of inheritance.

So what did the Father give Jesus? (I know you know this, but just because it is so precious and magnificent, I’m going to make it plain.) EVERYTHING!

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

Here’s how this works.

You meditate on the precious and magnificent promises and you see what God has already done in your. Your spirit rises up and witnesses to your heart that theses things are true. Your life begins to reflect the truth in your daily walk. You look more like Jesus today because you embraced one of Father’s precious and magnificent promises.

And with each step into your true nature, that inheritance you share with Jesus, you look more like Him. Your life looks like His life. If John’s disciples sent a messenger to you, you could tell them:

the BLIND RECEIVE SIGHT and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the POOR HAVE THE GOSPEL PREACHED TO THEM. - Matthew 11:5 NASB

Now that looks like Jesus!

Hey - thanks for stopping by.

BenHeadshotHave a great day.

See you again soon,

Ben

Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me.” (Matt 5:11)

When I read this I think, didn’t we just talk about persecution, why is Jesus repeating Himself? Since Jesus is doing it again, I am drawn to the difference or as they say in France “vive la différence” (though they are probably thinking of something else entirely.)
So what is different? Actually there are a number of things that set this apart. Lets look at a few.
  • ·      Blessed are YOU… This is so personal. Jesus has been addressing the group and talking more or less 3rd person. Blessed is this guy and blessed is the one who is like this or does that. Now He says YOU are blessed! One thing I love about Jesus is how personal He was with those He touched. Obviously, as we have been reading, He preaches to crowds, but much of the time He deals with individuals. I think of Peter and his tax question – Jesus was like, take some money out of my ATM (Automatic Tilapia Mouth) and pay the taxes for YOU and me. I love that!!!! Or how about when He looks on the rich young man with compassion, and tells him exactly what he needs to hear in order to break the power of the enemy in his life.
  • ·      …when men… This is not about your character, but actions taken against you. Every other one of these items are issues of character and your reaction to life. This, on the other hand, is about men attacking you.
  • ·      …on account of Me. This is not even your fault. These things are happening to you completely because Jesus has changed your life.

 

Jesus does not seem to have a clue about self-help systems. Doesn’t he understand that nobody wants a system of steps that take you from a vaguely guilty conscience to life on the receiving end of insults, accusations, and if you are really good at it, maybe even stones. Or does He?
What I hear is this “I am with you in this. I know what YOU are going through, and you are not alone.” We have left off principles and promises, and now we see Christ in You – specifically – no generalities, no group think here. I hear Jesus speak directly to me – I, Jesus, your master, your friend, your husband, I will personally bless you, Benjamin, when people mock you, or bad mouth you, or lie about you, or think you’re an idiot because you are walking in these things.
Jesus is saying, the abuse you are receiving is because of the stand you are taking for me, and I am taking personal responsibility for your blessing as well. Such great assurance!
Know this, whatever the cost to follow Jesus, He is in it with you personally every step of the way. Remember He says, “As much as you have done it to the least of these, you have done it unto me.” (For more on this check my blog on the subject.)
Have you known this personal touch of the Lord in your life? Perhaps you have heard His voice of comfort or direction at a key time in your life. Share it with us please <smile>.

Thanks for stopping in today.

Ben

they will be called the sons of God. (Matt 5:9)
OK – now that is a big promise! Peacemakers will be called the sons of God. Interesting since the one and only begotten Son of God is called the Prince of Peace.
This promise raises a couple of questions for me.
First, who is doing the calling? Who will call us the sons of God? And this one gets 3 answers.
  • Those outside the family will be inclined to say “these have been with Jesus,” or perhaps “you must be one of them.”
  • Those inside the family will see the family resemblance, and welcome us in with open arms.
  • But the best and most significant is the Father who has called us, has called us His sons!
My next question is: What does it mean to be a son of God?
Romans 8 does a great job of describing this.
We call Him “Abba” which is akin to Papa in my understanding.
We share in Christ’s inheritance. And the Word does not imply that we get a share, but rather that we share – Joint heirs! In Christ we inherit all things. Ephesians 1 tells us we already have every spiritual blessing, and again in Romans 8 we find that He who did not spare His only Son will withhold nothing from us.
It is a big deal to be a son of God! I suggest you ponder for a while what it would be like in the natural to be the prince of a wealthy nation. What are the privileges and what are the responsibilities. What would it mean to be the prince? What does it mean to be a Son of God? What are the privileges and responsibilities?
BenThanks for reading
Ben

There are times when I hear folks talk about suffering they are dealing with, and talk as though it was a gift from Jesus for them to struggle with in this life. I hear people talk about diseases this way, and financial problems, bad jobs, even bad marriages. As if Jesus tricked you into marrying the wrong man to help you mature. Hmmm. Is this what Jesus was talking about when He promised us trouble in this life?
Let’s just look at a couple verses. I won’t even comment much today, I just want to put some Scripture out there and let them do the talking. (ok I might just do a little highlighting along the way so you don’t miss the point.

Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt 5:10-12

They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God. (John 16:2)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR THY SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:31-39)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Are they servants of Christ? (I speak as if insane) I more so; in far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have beenon frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have beenin labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily pressure upon me of concern for all the churches. (2 Corinthians 11:23-28)

Boy – it did me good just to read though all that scripture – How about you?
Well – all that is to say, the suffering God promises is the stuff that will be done to us by men. God promise stands sure, He will not leave us or forsake us, but He is not trying to crush us either – that would be our enemy. God is our comfort and strength, a very present help in trouble, not a very present cause of trouble.
Tell me what you think. Comment on the post or on facebook if you get stirred up reading these scriptures.
Thanks for coming today.
I remain, Ben.
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