Ephesians 2:10 Benson Bible Commentary

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10. For we are his workmanship — As if he had said, And it appears that it is not by any works or ability of our own that we are saved, or possess the faith whereby salvation is received, because all the ability we have in spiritual things is from God, and is the consequence of his creating us anew; for as all acts of acceptable obedience must proceed from faith, and this faith is wrought in our hearts by the gracious influence of the Divine Spirit, it is most certain that we must acknowledge ourselves to be his workmanship, so far as there is any thing in us agreeable to the nature and will of God; being created in and through Christ Jesus unto good works — In order that we may have inclination and power both to perform them, and to delight in so doing; and may give ourselves up to this, and be continually engaged therein, as far as we have ability and opportunity. This creation of believers through Christ Jesus unto good works, Dr. Taylor, in his Key to the Romans, understands of the formation of believers into one body or church, under the government of Christ, because in the Christian Church believers enjoy the greatest advantages for performing good works, and because this formation of the church is termed (Ephesians 2:15) a creation of Jews and Gentiles into one new man under Christ. The same account he gives of the making men alive, mentioned Ephesians 2:5. “Others, however, with more reason,” says Dr. Macknight, “think that a person’s enjoying, in the Christian Church, great advantages for becoming alive and for doing good works, is not the whole” (and is it any part?) “of what the apostle means” by these expressions, but that they “denote the operation of the Holy Spirit in making men alive, and enabling them to do good works by means of the advantages that they enjoy.” Which God hath before ordained — Or appointed in his eternal counsels, and in the declarations of his word; it being his will and pleasure, that they who have believed on him through his Son, and are thereby made new creatures, should be careful to maintain good works, Titus 3:8. But the apostle’s expression, οις προητοιμασεν ο Θεος, rather signifies, which God hath before prepared; that is, hath prepared the occasions of good works, and the means and opportunities of doing them. Or, as some render the clause, for which God hath prepared us, namely, by the knowledge of the gospel, and the influences of his Spirit: that we should walk in them — Should live in the constant performance of them, though not be justified by them. In other words, He hath purified the fountain, that the streams may be pure; hath made the tree good, that the fruit may be good; hath made us new creatures, that we may live new lives; one grand and important end certainly of our regeneration. So that we must still ascribe the whole glory of all the good that is in us, or is done by us, to God.

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How Do You See It Now

I love this section of Scripture: ” Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying: ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’”

Haggai 2:2-5 NKJV

At a quick glance several prominent things leap off the page….. Things like “Be Strong” it says it no less than 3 times!!!! And “Work”….
Concepts the modern church and believer needs to fervently lay hold of once again in our day… For sure!
It says “Do Not Fear..”…. We have a mission and that must take first place!!
When Angie and I were at friend Fest sitting in a tent with Peter Furler and Phil Joel and a hundred other people; I was reminded by the Lord how far we had been carried by His Spirit! Today, I have been thinking all day about something Peter Furler said at his breakout session. Roughly quoting he said, I would rather see 1 Christian man who knows how to talk to his wife than 5 red hot, popular evangelists….. You know thats right…. We can preach real loud but if we do not know how to live right, love well, and be holy; separated from the wickedness of the age then we are miserable failures as Christians……
Christians who play with Pornography, Booze, dope, and half a thousand other devilish things are being robbed of their destiny by their own Lusts. We need to drive it out by the Grace of God!

I began to think of the fact that God has had me in the ministry for the past 30 years and the Lord showed me how few people who start, finish…. I only have a small handful of folks with me now that I saw at the beginning of my ministry…. Most do not have the staying power… Running with a vision is never easy so Count The Cost! Many started with it, left, and have returned and new folks catch the vision each day and I am so burdened in prayer that they “stick it out”. Usually when people leave its exactly when you need them the most! Love is so cheaply and causally spoken but the actions are not matching up. Thats why we look solely to the Lord and to His Word and believe Him to send the right ones!

The most important thing to Jesus is souls…… Men may say whatever they wish about methods, policies, and procedures but God says that They who win souls are wise in His sight…… (Proverbs 11:30)
I enjoy hanging out with those who by their Godly Lives and examples challenge me to be a better person; a better Christian; and to let the Holy Spirit take control. No one is perfect; we all have issues; but we are told to strive to enter in… I love running with those who chase His presence!!!

AND NOW….. AS I LOOK BACK at all the trials, tests and valleys, HOW DO I SEE IT? Ladies and gentlemen, I am still as charged as I ever was in the things of God: Red Hot and moving forward as He leads… Never looking back and my goal is to win souls EVERYDAY… Keep my life Pure…. Treat my wife right…. Preach my heart, guts, and lungs out, and RUN WITH THIS VISION….. The latter will be greater than the former…

Thanks for takin the journey with me!
God bless,
Len

Cup Of Suffering. (old post)

St. John 18:11 ” Then said Jesus unto Peter, put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it ?”

This cup very often points to some kind of suffering. God is in control, even of our suffering. No one likes to suffer. I do not enjoy suffering.   But God allows the things He allows for a reason; His reason.
God’s reasons for allowing suffering in our lives are never for our destruction. Read Romans 8: 18,28.
When we drink deeply from the cup of God; He is revealed in us and to us. The Glory of God is resident within us and can only be revealed when we come to the end of ourselves.
Sometimes it is as if we must force ourselves to choke down a bitter cup. Why ?  We do it because we believe in the Fathers bigger picture.  You see, your suffering is not your end. Yes, Jesus died on the Cross, but He rose from the dead; thereby making our redemption complete. The suffering is only a part, not the whole. Our completeness is awaiting us on the other side of the storm.
God’s purposes for us are always good, no matter where we are today. He has called us to His glory. God has equipped us to rise above any challenge, any struggle, any suffering; and be more like Jesus when we are through to the other side of the storm. Read Romans 8:37.
The purpose of God’s intense glory is often to change people &/or circumstances. So, we yield to a cup from our Father. We often do not know the ” why”, but still we yield to God in the midst of questioning. We echo Jesus words in Gethsemane ” Nevertheless, not My will but thine, be done.” [ Luke 22: 42].  As Jesus dreaded the coming brief separation from the Father, I too have dreaded my separation from all I know and love. But as I have learned to trust God, He has revealed a little of His glory in my heart and this increases daily.
We are coming through the storm. We will not die in the storm.
We will drink the cup and although it is bitter; we know that the future God has for us will be filled with His Glory.  Parts of our character may die, but we will experience the resurrection of God’s Glory in that area of our lives. The Lord will use the cup to accomplish His purposes and to make us what He desires us to be.
Suffering accomplishes another purpose as well. It often allows us to see some things from the perspective of Christ. If you have never suffered, it is difficult to see things from the perspective of those who do suffer. Jesus bore intense pain and only when I bear intense pain can I even begin to understand something of His thoughts and Love.  Sometimes, I have prayed and told Christ that I couldn’t stand much more. He spoke to my heart and said ” I know how you feel, I’ve been there too.”  Then I realized that in my suffering I could identify with Jesus in a way I had never known before.  Jesus and I are brothers in suffering and now I can see some things from His perspective.
Times of trial and suffering are never pleasant but God’s purpose can & will be accomplished as we learn to respond correctly to the cup that the Father gives us to drink.  We must never lose sight of Christ and Him Crucified. Our victory is through the Cross.
This was originally a partner letter that I wrote during a very difficult time in my life.
Angie and I had suffered betrayal at the hands of people that we cared alot about. It is our prayer that if you are in the midst of any kind of suffering today, that this message will encourage you.  We love you.

Friendly Friends

 

You get out of life what you put in… No sense crying if you put $10 in the bank and can’t get $50.. Proverbs 18:24

Proverbs 18:24King James Version (KJV)

24 A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

 

Proverbs 18:24GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

24 Friends can destroy one another,[a]
    but a loving friend can stick closer than family.

There is a way to generate interest in your ministry, project, and life….. Show interest to others.. No one is going to look at all your social media posts if you don’t want to look at theirs… ETC….

interact

(ˌɪntərˈækt)

vb

(intr) to act on or in close relation with each other
This is the only type of ministry relationship we are looking for..

Do you want to have a multitude of friends? If you don’t the only reason is that you haven’t invested the amount of time that you need to. It doesn’t matter how you look. Whether you are attractive or not or how big or small that you are not things that add to or detract from the equation. Have you ever known someone who was not good looking at all but had a multitude of friends? The only thing that made that person popular was the fact that they invested their time in the making of friends. The bible says that he who has a multitude of friends must show himself friendly. You have to make having friends a continual effort. I am sure that popular people get turned down by many people but that doesn’t stop them from trying to gain friends. Remember that any endeavor will only succeed with continual effort. The successful salesman only closes about one in ten sales. The all time home run hitters struck out many more times than they hit the ball so don’t be discouraged.

I was attempting to build a twitter following and I noticed that celebrities will have a lot of followers while they don’t follow very many people at all. Things were different in my case. I am an unknown so many of the people that I do follow won’t follow me back. This was discouraging at first but I knew that I couldn’t allow it to stop me. I now have a very large following because I did what I had to do. I would get only about one out of ten to follow me back so I just followed as many people as twitter would allow me to. I will admit that it took me longer but I did manage to get a decent number of followers. Sometimes I get more followers now because when people see how many others are following me they think that I am someone important.

We must think of making friends much the same way that we think of growing a garden. We must invest time into making them, planting the seeds of friendship, fertilizing the ground with kind words and watering it with good deeds. The quality of the friendship will take on the appearance of the type fertilizer that we use. Gossip will produce malnourished and anemic plants, while strong positive words and deeds will grow a Friendship which is strong and vibrant. False flattery is the same as a fertilizer which doesn’t contain the advertised ingredients. It sounds good and may come in a colorful package but in the end it will do absolutely nothing for the friendship that you are attempting to nourish. If you want to grow a good garden you must use the best available ingredients.

Have you heard the saying that if you want to be the boss you must pay the cost? Well the same is true about friends. You will have to make a conscious decision about your life. The time that it takes to cultivate friends will take away from other social endeavors. You must be a people person. You must esteem your relationships with people more important than your other endeavors. There is a cost associated with having friends as with any other endeavor. The elite athlete spends most of his or her time training. I spend a lot of time on twitter, so must you spend a lot of time cultivating friends..

 

Thanks to Cedrick Rice for his input on this…..

 

Some do refuse and resist this principle but the truths of Gods word do not change.. Stubborness only gets one a seat on the bench.. Cheers..

Upcoming Writing

CpYc2lbW8AEq6jF.jpgI have had this in my bedroom for years and an just now publishing a thesis in book form. Dealing with wolves..A wolf is anyone who tells others they don’t need a Shepard!

If they are not submitted to pastoral authority do not give them any power in your life or church.My published thesis will deal with bitterness, envy, jealousy, rivalry and flesh in ministry. We r going to expose this devil!!Included in the thesis will be the spirit of Absolam, Korah and Jezebel to name just a few. This is going deep from the original language..

The Lord has spoke to my heart to give myself to writing several detailed works and when I am not preaching this is what I will be doing..

Major changes were declared in prophecy for my ministry and they are here. No longer silent on these crucial issues..

One of the key indicators of self glory– refusal to track with others…

Nuggets From My FB part 7

In Many circles these days, there is precious little seeking of the will of God. One reason is because we automatically presume we know it…. But we must realize that in the economy of God Bigger is not always better; Numbers are not the gauge by which true spiritual success is measured. In Christ, sometimes the road less traveled is still the finest path. Do not presume that God is looking at your life through your eyes but rather pray to see it through HIS!!! We must return to seeking HIS will carefully if we ever hope to see revival……..

To many are far to busy proclaiming their innocence rather than pleading the Blood of Jesus!

As a Christian, you may not be drunk down at the bar….. But, are you drunk on the spirit of this age? This is an urgent hour…. Its the time to let Jesus purge our lives!

Jesus urges his followers to “seize the day” because no one knows when he will return. But we do know that each of us will come face-to-face with Jesus and give an account of how we have lived for him.
Jesus wants us to be ready no matter when he returns—to be “faithful and wise” servants (Matthew 24:45). Who are the faithful and wise servants? Those who are ready—those whom the Master finds doing his will when he returns.

Jesus…… This ole world is pretty jaded….. But I still believe…. You can wash away our stains…. and set the captives free….. I will Not stop calling on your Name!!! (idea from a song by Rotterham November)

Every Time we choose to worship Jesus……. we denounce the tyranny of this world that holds us in bondage by telling us “Its all about me”!

Question for the times…… “• What steps can you take to cultivate a selfless and humble heart of service?”

Let the Lord live Big in you each day…………

Its sad that we live in a day when the ignorant can stand up and preach; spueing forth insults upon their own brethren and spreading unChristlikeness and hundreds of their peers will rise up in agreement….. But let someone bring a true message from the Lord and most of the church turns a deaf ear. God is trying to say to us today: Love one another…….

Today, Let freedom find a voice; Yours. Don’t use your words to pick others apart while building yourself up. Tell of the Freedoms Jesus can bring………

We have both the privilege and the responsibility as believers to bring clarity to the public discourse, reminding people of the truth.. Don’t buy the lie that we must be silent on social and political issues. Take Christ into every arena….

Jesus did not come and die on the cross so that Theology students would have another argument…… God loves PEOPLE….. And the CROSS is the ONLY answer to the deepest needs of PEOPLE… The CROSS takes away the sins of the PEOPLE….. And it conforms the PEOPLE into the very image of JESUS….. Preach the CROSS with a burning desire to see PEOPLE saved………

We are in a process. God is looking for our direction (walking in the Spirit) not our sinless perfection; which we will never reach in this life. BUT, if we maintain proper faith in what Jesus did at Calvary; SIN SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER US.