Heavenly Words

I was reading the first verse of the gospel of John today and a thought hit me.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. – John 1:1

I’ve actually been mulling around the edges of it for a week since I read about Paul’s visit to heaven in 2 Corinthians 12.

There are lots of books out there these days about “my visit to heaven.” Some folks see mansions, some climb up in Jesus’ lap. Honestly, I don’t really know what folks have seen or heard in heaven, and I’m not sure what to do with any of that, if you get my drift.

So I had a heart attack a few weeks back on the 4th of July. I was dead for a minute or so. I got nothing–no visit to heavenno don’t bring me back mama–no white light. In fact, I don’t remember anything at all until the next day.

Back to Paul’s visit. He spent some time in heaven, but what overwhelmed Him?

I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago–whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows–such a man was caught up to the third heaven. And I know how such a man–whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows– – 2 Corinthians 12:2-3

Wait for it–what blew Paul away about heaven? It wasn’t streets of gold or angelic choirs. It was the words!

…was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak. – 2 Corinthians 12:4

Words fill heaven! Revelations so great, so amazing, it would break the mortal world to speak them here on this terrestrial plane.

We get tired of words. We wish the preacher would shut up. We take it as a chore to read a chapter or two in the Bible as though it was a price to pay for being a Christian. The fact is we just don’t get it.

In the beginning, the very beginning the Word is all that there was. Let me say it again – only the Word existed. The Word was God!

Remember what Jesus said about His words?

“the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. – John 6:63

He also told us this about God.

“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24

We know Jesus is the Word made flesh. He is God, in flesh. He is the Word of God. He is the Revelation of God. He is the Words that are so glorious–so beyond–that it’s not lawful to speak in their fullness here and now.

Sometimes I think I know Jesus. Then He shows me how little I know of Him. There is so much more of Him. His glory covers the earth, but that’s small potatoes.

The great wonder of heaven is not a big house with a yard where we can play football. The great wonder of heaven is the full revelation of Jesus.

And it’s going to take us all eternity to discover Him in His fullness.

John tells us one more thing.

… we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. – 1 John 3:2

Throughout eternity we will discover Him, and as we discover Him we will be conformed further and further into His image.

It’s really not about the stuff.

Just like all of life, it’s about Him–Jesus!

cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for reading,

See you again soon,

Ben

Things To Be Spoken Later

Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; – Hebrews 3:5

There’s something really cool going on here.

Moses lived his life some fourteen hundred years before Christ.

He spoke with God face to face as a man speaks to his friend.

He received the Word of God written by the finger of God on tablets of stone.

He saw first hand some of the greatest miracles ever recorded, parting of the Red Sea, water from a rock, daily provision of mana, pillar of fire and cloud.

But all this–his whole life–his full testimony pointed toward another Word, a Word not yet spoken, a Word who would come in the flesh. Moses’ life painted a picture of deliverance. The architect of the exodus from Egypt created for us through Moses a scale model of the temple He planned to build for Himself in the fullness of time.

That later Word: Jesus!

That later temple: Jesus!

Yes, they would tear it down and crow in victory, but three days would pass and that temple would rise out of the rubble.

Jesus, the mustard seed, planted in expectation of harvest by the sower, would burst forth from the ground, growing into the greatest tree in the garden. The grain of wheat, planted, buried, so life could come, a full harvest of life to follow.

Moses would receive the Word directly from the Father and bring it to the people. They said, “you tell us what He says, and we’ll obey every word.” So God sent His Word through Moses, and the people rejected it.

God sent His Word again. He sent this later Word to His own people, the ones who cherished Torah, the ones who knew His every jot and tittle.

They took one look at His later Word and plotted how to kill Him.

But today, you get to choose. You can receive God’s later (final) Word. You can allow the imperishable seed of God’s final Word to take root in the soil of your soul.

God wants to speak into your life.

Really all we need to do is tune in, get quiet, and listen.

BenThanks for coming by,

Blessings,

Ben

Provision

So Ben, What’s God talking to you about?

God’s been talking to me about provision but from a strange place.

In Matthew 4 after Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan, the Spirit leads Him into the wilderness to be tempted.

And the tempter came and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.” – Matthew 4:3

I want to focus on just one aspect of this temptation, though there are many. After all, Jesus experienced every temptation we do.

My thought…

The devil tempts Jesus to provide for Himself.

Again–I know that’s not all that’s going on here, but I realized that the devil tempts Jesus to do the very thing we spend our lives doing.

The more I ponder this, the more I think I’ve been missing something in my understanding of kingdom living my whole life.

Before I dig deeper, let me highlight the Lord’s answer.

It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE, BUT ON EVERY WORD THAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH OF GOD.'” – Matthew 4:4

Jesus says we are to live by every word God speaks to us. The “Word” here is Rhema, not Logos–spoken word, not written word. And in fact, Jesus lived this way. He said, I only do what I see the Father do and say what I hear the Father say. How did Jesus live day to day, how did He eat and drink?

When He wanted to throw a party, He sent the boys to a particular man who would give them a room to use. When He wanted to feed multitudes all He needed was a boys lunch–more accurately–all He needed was a word from God. When the tax man came, He sent Peter fishing–and not net fishing which would have been like saying “go work for it,” but “throw in a line” fishing. When He needed a donkey to make His entrance into Jerusalem, He didn’t call Uber.

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19

We all know this verse, but here’s a fact–most of us believe something much different. The average Christian I know believes this version:

I will supply all my needs according to my toil and hustle, and if I have a shortfall, desperate prayer to Jehovah Jireh, and some belt-tightening will rescue me.

Peter tell us:

seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. – 2 Peter 1:3

If you have ever given to a Christian charity then you know the mountain of junk mail that you’ve just signed up for. Have you ever had this thought which I have all the time: Why can’t you be more like George Mueller who never asked for support, but simply trusted God. If God ordained it, He’ll supply it. Stop begging.

Does this mean God didn’t ordain my life? Am I toiling for a living because that’s what God ordained for the common man, but the full time Christians should live by faith. Woops. There it is. I’m exposed. I’ve chosen to fall for the lie Jesus resisted. I’ve taken the bait and spent my life toiling.

Let me drop two more scriptures into the mix here.

…Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. – Genesis 3:17

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us–for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE” – Galatians 3:13

I’m not suggesting all the Christians in the world quit their jobs. Work is not the enemy here, but toil originates with the curse.

We know Paul made tents for a time to support himself and his ministry.

Let’s start with a simple change in perspective.

Let’s make hearing the voice of God our first and most important job. Stop thinking of Him as the safety net or the One Who fills our shortfalls, but rather the One responsible for all supply. Let’s ask Him to light our path and show us how to walk in His provision.

Paul, in his discourse about giving in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 says the Lord gives seed to sow, food to eat, and plenty to share. If our finances drive our lives from stress to stress instead of from glory to glory, we’re not doing it right.

Finances place high in reasons for divorce.
Finances figure among the top reasons for suicide.

God does not intend for His people to be stressing over money. Stop trying to provide for yourself! If you are a child of God, it’s His job to provide, and your job to listen and obey.

cropped-BenHeadshotWhat do you think?

Ben