In my ponderings, I ran across six of the saddest words I’ve ever read.

I found them right in the opening to the book of John.

…His own did not receive Him. - John 1:11 NASB

The “Him” here, thus far, has only been identified as “The Word” and “the Light.” We’ll learn later in the first chapter that the old apostle is talking about Jesus Christ.

John establishes first that Jesus and the God of the Jews are One in the same.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. - John 1:1-2 NASB

Next, He tells us that this same Jesus, the Word, is the agency through which all things came into being, He’s the creator.

All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. - John 1:3 NASB

But the heartbreak comes down in verse 11.

He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. - John 1:11 NASB

This creator of all things actually made a covenant with a people. He chose to reveal Himself to the Children of Israel.

He chose them

He brought them out of slavery

He established them in the land of promise

He protected them

He gave them a land and made them a people

But when He came to reveal Himself to His people

they rejected Him

they hated Him

they mocked Him

they scourged Him

they crucified Him.

There have been times when I’ve been unwilling to receive Him. Even as a child of God, even after He saved me and I received His free gift of salvation, there have been times when my heart closed up to Him. Has this ever happened to you?

He chose me

He revealed Himself to me

He delivered me from the power of sin

He blessed me with all spiritual blessings

He protected me from the punishment of sin

He joined me to a people who were not my people

And yet there are times when I don’t receive Him

When I set Him aside

When I don’t pursue Him

It is sad, isn’t it?

Lord Jesus. I am so thankful that you came, lived, and loved me/us. Forgive me and help me walk with my heart open to you today, moment by moment. I don’t want to be remembered like these you record in your Word who did not receive you, though you came to them.

You are a good, good Father, and I thank you for speaking through Your Word.

Don’t leave feeling guilty. Conviction comes from time to time to call us back to a place from which we’ve stepped away. Today is a good day to step back into the arms of the Father. He’s right there at the end of the lane, waiting with open arms. Every time we open our hearts to receive Him, He opens His arms to receive us…

…And great rejoicing ensues!!

Hallelujah!

Thanks for stopping by today.

See you again soon.

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!

 

Exploring Community Part One: In the Beginning

 

community

In the beginning Elohyim¹, the One God who is True and who Lives, the God who is Three in One, the God besides whom there is no other god².

And this true, living God who is perfect Oneness is also a community of three divine personalities: the Father, divine Lifegiver; the Son, divine Utterance; and the Spirit, divine Breath. In the eternal community of Elohyim each Member is covenantally connected to the other two Members. Disunity, desire for dominion and conflict are unknown. Within this community of absolute love working through absolute authority, unbroken Oneness flows continuously between the Members in perfect fluidity of purpose, intention and will. [Read more]

Exploring Community Part One: In the Beginning | Bread for the Bride.

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“I Shall Be Whole” { The Woman with an Issue of Blood } Painted by Al Young http://alyoung.com/art/work-hem.html
“I Shall Be Whole”
{ The Woman with an Issue of Blood }
Painted by Al Young http://alyoung.com/art/work-hem.html

Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" - Mark 5:30

Yesterday we looked at how the woman with the hemorrhage was able by faith to tap the power of God that was resident in Jesus. If you missed it, you can check it out here.

I think what Jesus did is super informative for us.

Jesus saw what the Father was doing and joined. There are times – maybe most of the time – that Jesus was way ahead of the crowd, but somehow, this time, Jesus was not aware ahead of time what the Father was going to do.

Does this seem like blasphemy to you? I promise I am not going for blasphemy. I believe Jesus is God, that He is the 2nd person of the Trinity. I believe He created all things, and that He is eternal.

Here is an important point of theology though. When Jesus walked the earth, He did not stop being God, but He limited His use of the supernatural to only what was possible for a human who was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Rather than Jesus being a magic man, doing miracles by His own creative and redemptive power as God, He did miracles by the Spirit using the power of God. He saw what the Father was doing, and joined Him. Jesus partnered with the Father to do every miracle He did as He walked the streets of Galilee.

And in the story we are pondering currently of the woman with the hemorrhage, the power had already flowed from Jesus into the woman when Jesus picked up on what the Father was doing.

He immediately saw what was happening, and joined it. He confirmed what He was with the Father in four ways

  1. He told her to have courage – “Daughter, take courage” (Matthew 9:22)
  2. He told her what happened – “your faith has made you well” (Luke 8:48)
  3. He spoke peace into her life – “go in peace” (Luke 8:48)
  4. He sent her away with the expectation that not only the bleeding, but the horror that had been her life for twelve years was now over. “be healed of your affliction.” (Mark 5:34)

Lord, I want to be so full of the Holy Spirit that others can tap into it. Let it be a river flowing out of my inner most being into a dry and thirsty land. Lord, I want to be attentive to what you are doing with that river, where it is flowing, so I can speak into the lives you are changing around me with Your words of life.

Ben NelsonThanks for coming by.

See you again soon.

Ben