In the beginning was the Word,…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

When you push back against God’s Word, you push against God.  His Word illuminates and divides right from wrong; good from evil; what is beneficial from what destroys.  When you attempt to ‘balance’ his Word with anything else, you diminish it and him.  His Word brought us into being and His Word gives us purpose – the ability to praise him.  We are blessed to have his Word in printed form; it has always existed as He has.

From John:

1In the beginning was the Word,

and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

2He was with God in the beginning.

3All things came to be through him,

and without him nothing made had being.

4In him was life,

and the life was the light of mankind.

5The light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness has not suppressed it.

6There was a man sent from God whose name was Yochanan. 7He came to be a testimony, to bear witness concerning the light; so that through him, everyone might put his trust in God and be faithful to him. 8He himself was not that light; no, he came to bear witness concerning the light.

9This was the true light,

which gives light to everyone entering the world.

10He was in the world — the world came to be through him —

yet the world did not know him.

11He came to his own homeland,

yet his own people did not receive him.

12But to as many as did receive him, to those who put their trust in his person and power, he gave the right to become children of God, 13not because of bloodline, physical impulse or human intention, but because of God.

14The Word became a human being and lived with us,

and we saw his Sh’khinah,

the Sh’khinah of the Father’s only Son,

full of grace and truth.

15Yochanan witnessed concerning him when he cried out, “This is the man I was talking about when I said, ‘The one coming after me has come to rank ahead of me, because he existed before me.’”

16We have all received from his fullness,

yes, grace upon grace.

17For the Torah was given through Moshe;

grace and truth came through Yeshua the Messiah.

Because of this we live, breathe, move and have our being.  Because of this we have light.  Giving warning and pointing God’s people back to Him and His Word is not to divide but to encourage, counsel, and reunite all to the Oneness of Christ, God, Holy Spirit and his body, the community of believers.  When the enemy begins to suggest there is something more than what is given; it is meant to divide.  The same deception was used in the beginning suggesting there was more than the garden, more than the life God had given.

That more brought sin; and the more sought today may lead away from not toward God.  If focus in anything shifts from God and his Word, deception has a toehold.  Be aware, be alert!

Have nothing to do with the deeds produced by darkness, but instead expose them…everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is…live wisely, not unwisely.  Use your time well…don’t be foolish but try to understand what the will of the Lord is. – Taken from Ephesians.

Pray – God, I want to imitate You as Your child.  I wish to live a life of love, just as also the Messiah loved me.  May my life be a sweet fragrance in sacrifice to You.

Repent – I repent for seeking outside of You, for fulfillment.  I repent for looking in places other than Your Word.

Ask – Your Word is honey to my lips, water to my soul. Renew my strength in keeping with your Word.  Keep deceitful ways far from me, and favor me with your law.  I choose the way of trust, faith; I set your rulings before me.  I cling to your instruction…you have broadened my understanding!

Yes – I will delight myself in your ways, in your works, which I have loved.  I will lift my hands to your ways, which I love; I will meditate on your Word.  I seek you in the morning, noon time and evening; step by step you lead me and I will follow You all my days.

Source: John and Psalms

 

 

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The voice in the wilderness continues…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From John:

18No one has ever seen God; but the only and unique Son, who is identical with God and is at the Father’s side — he has made him known.

19Here is Yochanan’s testimony: when the Judeans sent cohanim and L’vi’im from Yerushalayim to ask him, “Who are you?” 20he was very straightforward and stated clearly, “I am not the Messiah.” 21“Then who are you?” they asked him. “Are you Eliyahu?” “No, I am not,” he said. “Are you ‘the prophet,’ the one we’re expecting?” “No,” he replied. 22So they said to him, “Who are you? — so that we can give an answer to the people who sent us. What do you have to say about yourself?” 23He answered in the words of Yesha‘yahu the prophet,

“I am

The voice of someone crying out:

‘In the desert make the way of Adonai straight!’”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.1>

Where there is famine, there is desert; where the desert is there is famine.  My people are destroyed for want of knowledge.  Because you rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as priests for me.  Because you forgot the Word of God, I will also forget your children.  There is a famine in the land; a famine of hearing the Word of God.  God’s people are starving, they prefer the junk food and sweet meats of messages that tickle their ears.

The voice in the wilderness continues to cry out in the desert ‘make  the way of the Lord straight.’  There is a continual need for the message of Jesus to be shared.  Make the message clear to all people.  Share the Word of the Gospel.  The voice did not find a need to answer the question “who are you?” rather repeatedly deflected that arrow to point it to Christ.

Enough of ‘me’ and more of ‘thee’.

Pray – I treasure Your word in my heart, so that I won’t sin against You.  Blessed are You, Adonai!

Repent – I repent for not sharing Your message as I should.  I repent for the times I closed my mouth when attacked for Your message.

Ask – Don’t take away completely my power to speak the truth; I will speak Your message without being ashamed.

Yes – Be exalted, God, above heaven!  May Your glory be over all the earth!

Source: John, Hosea and Psalms

speak boldly…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

19And pray for me, too, that whenever I open my mouth, the words will be given to me to be bold in making known the secret of the Good News, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may speak boldly, the way I should.

21Now, so that you may also be informed about how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus, the dear brother and a faithful worker for the Lord, will tell you everything. 22This is the very reason I have sent him to you, so that you may know how we are getting along and so that he may comfort and encourage you.

23Shalom to the brothers. May God the Father and the Lord Yeshua the Messiah give you love and trust. 24Grace be to all who love our Lord Yeshua the Messiah with undying love.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.6>

May all believers ask, as Paul did, for the words to be bold in sharing the news of Jesus as Messiah and what that means for all who receive him.  May all believers encourage one another as God grants faith and love to them.  May all believers ever be true to Jesus, loving him with all they are: a love that does not die out, rather it grows.

Pray – I ask for the love and faith You give, O Lord.  I ask for the words to speak as You wish; words of encouragement and love.

Repent – Keep from me a complaining spirit.  I repent for those times when my “warnings” have actually been ‘fault-finding.’

Ask – Let me speak always in love, with Your purpose of encouragement and love.  In love, let my words raise awareness without a critical spirit.

Yes – Your word continues forever, Adonai, firmly fixed in heaven; Your faithfulness through all generations.  I will never forget Your precepts for with them You made me live.  Thank you.

Source:  Ephesians and Psalms

Armed, protected and ready…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

10Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength! 11Use all the armor and weaponry that God provides, so that you will be able to stand against the deceptive tactics of the Adversary. 12For we are not struggling against human beings, but against the rulers, authorities and cosmic powers governing this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm. 13So take up every piece of war equipment God provides; so that when the evil day comes, you will be able to resist; and when the battle is won, you will still be standing. 14Therefore, stand! Have the belt of truth buckled around your waist, put on righteousness for a breastplate, 15and wear on your feet the readiness that comes from the Good News of shalom. 16Always carry the shield of trust, with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the Evil One. 17And take the helmet of deliverance; along with the sword given by the Spirit, that is, the Word of God; 18as you pray at all times, with all kinds of prayers and requests, in the Spirit, vigilantly and persistently, for all God’s people.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.6>

What to do?  How does one do the Word?  Grow powerful in union with the Lord.  Direct thoughts and questions toward Christ first.  Then put on and take up God’s armor.  It’s another set of gifts!  This armor is specifically designed to combat those in the spiritual realm that are always ready to attack the believer.

First, fasten the belt of truth around your core.  Here is the support needed to stand upright.  Truth is that spoken in the Word and truth is Christ, ” I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me..”  Next, put on righteousness as a breastplate, protecting the inner core of the believer.  This is God’s righteousness, able to do more than protect and supported by the belt.  On the feet fasten the shoes of peace, a unique peace hard to explain but there none-the-less.  Shoes designed to grip and dig in on slippery slopes of spiritually designed accusations and lies meant to make the believer trip and fall.   Now take up the helmet, shield and sword.

The helmet protects the mind and gives access to all God has spoken and done. With the uniform  on, the rest of the weapons available can be picked up for use in battle.  The shield of faith or trust will deflect the arrows of accusation coming often in the form of thoughts or words spoken by another.  God’s Word trumps all others and faith in that Word can be used a shield.  Which will the believer listen to and trust; God or other?  The sword is the Word given as truth and able to put to flight or final rest the attacks that come.

Finally, activate it all in prayer, with prayer.  There’s a scripture for every thought or word coming from the liar; it can be found and prayed against the lie.  And the lie will die its death, defeated by truth.  Search the scriptures daily for those healing words, those defensive words, words of recovery and words to take on the offensive which will attack and defeat the lie.  They are all there to be used.

When prayer rises, God activates his power on our behalf wherever we ask it to be directed.  His power activated is able ” to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine. ” His words spoken in prayer will “accomplish what they are set to do; they will not return empty, void.”

Pray – Help me, Father, to begin each day putting on the uniform You’ve given; that which identifies me as Yours.  Upon rising, may I speak Your truth putting on the belt, may I recognize the breastplate you’ve given of righteousness and be encouraged to get up and move forward, protected.  May I remember the shoes of Your peace that will help me stand firm.  I want that helmet to protect my mind; help me fill my mind with Your Word to be used as needed. I will take up the shield of faith for my trust is in You alone and I will follow Christ’s example and use Your Word, the sword of truth to fight the enemy.

Repent – I repent for waiting so long to fill up on Your Word when it is so vital to my success as Your child and servant.

Ask – May my ways be steady in observing Your laws.  Then I will not be put to shame, since I fixed my sight on all Your ways.

Yes – Praise Adonai, all you nations!  Worship him, all you peoples!  For his grace has overcome us, and Adonai’s truth continues forever.

Source: Ephesians and Psalms 119

Measure of love…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

1Children, what you should do in union with the Lord is obey your parents, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” — this is the first commandment that embodies a promise — 3“so that it may go well with you, and you may live long in the Land.”

4Fathers, don’t irritate your children and make them resentful; instead, raise them with the Lord’s kind of discipline and guidance.

5Slaves, obey your human masters with the same fear, trembling and single-heartedness with which you obey the Messiah. 6Don’t obey just to win their favor, serving only when they are watching you; but serve as slaves of the Messiah, doing what God wants with all your heart. 7Work willingly as slaves, as people do who are serving not merely human beings but the Lord. 8Remember that whoever does good work, whether he be a slave or a free man, will be rewarded by the Lord.

9And masters, treat your slaves the same way. Don’t threaten them. Remember that in heaven both you and they have the same Master, and he has no favorites.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.6>

How then shall we live?  We have received tremendous blessing, benefits, abilities and guidance.  What do they all require of us?  When one receives a gift one doesn’t set it aside and forget it; one says thank you and uses it.  And so it is with what God gives his children.  There are responsibilities that follow receiving the gift of salvation and all it grants the believer.

What is the best use of what is given?  It is outlined a bit here.  While details are given and much is explained it all comes down to how the fellowship of believers treat one another, in all relationships.  No matter the position held, all answer to the Creator.  When standing before him what account will be given?  How we measure up to one another is not the ruler of measure.  How we measure up to God’s Word, written and living will be the  ruler.  Do we know what is required of us?

Pray – I pray for the awareness and ability to treat those around me with love.  Keep me from fault-finding, defensiveness and complaining.  Rather, I would encourage, care, love and speak with thanksgiving and joy.

Repent – I repent for those times I used others as a measure rather than the standard you have given.

Ask – I trust Your words, O God; Your promises are faithful.  I ask You, Lord, to open my eyes to what you want; open my ears to hear Your instruction; open my mind to receive understanding.

 Yes – Your instructions are my delight; they are my counselors.

just as the Messiah loved…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From Ephesians:

25As for husbands, love your wives, just as the Messiah loved the Messianic Community, indeed, gave himself up on its behalf, 26in order to set it apart for God, making it clean through immersion in the mikveh, so to speak, 27in order to present the Messianic Community to himself as a bride to be proud of, without a spot, wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and without defect. 28This is how husbands ought to love their wives — like their own bodies; for the man who loves his wife is loving himself. 29Why, no one ever hated his own flesh! On the contrary, he feeds it well and takes care of it, just as the Messiah does the Messianic Community, 30because we are parts of his Body. 31“Therefore a man will leave his father and mother and remain with his wife, and the two will become one.” 32There is profound truth hidden here, which I say concerns the Messiah and the Messianic Community. 33However, the text also applies to each of you individually: let each man love his wife as he does himself, and see that the wife respects her husband.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.5>

Take a lesson from Christ’s example.  When we love as he loves, so much discord, misunderstanding, hurt, and pain is avoided.  The believing world should not be guilty of the same distrust, fighting and selfish motivation as is seen in the unbelieving world.  The contrast between the two worlds should be so obvious it draws unbelievers to the warmth and light of the believer’s world.

That warmth and light is the result of receiving from the Creator the same.  On a cold, dark night most love to move close to a bright, warm fire; not to be burnt but to be comforted. Are we comforting or burning one another?  Submission comes gladly, willingly to a comforting, warm place.  Are we living and acting in such a way others outside our personal circles are drawn to us?  Are we radiating the fire of the Spirit in love?

The enemy places thoughts that grow, thoughts of rebellion and strife, thoughts of accusation and suspicion.  Prowling like a lion to disturb the peace and set God’s people fighting one another, sometimes over words that are often just misunderstood.  Know the enemy, be aware of the efforts to divide.  As it is that often words are what tear apart families and spouses, so also they work at destroying God’s kingdom on earth.  The armor of God is given to us to deflect and put out those burning arrows.  Knowledge of truth around the waist and God’s righteousness guarding the heart and lungs keeps the core protected and supported.  Feet shod with peace that gives stability and a helmet to protect the mind complete the ‘uniform’ put on by the believer.  Weapons to protect and advance; the shield and sword, faith and God’s Word taken up by the believer.

just as the Messiah loved …Can we treat one another in this way?

Pray – God, be gracious to us and bless us.  May Your face shine toward us.

Repent – There have been times I’ve been guilty of not submitting, willingly to You.  Forgive me.  I am so blessed by Your forgiveness.

Ask – Grant me the strength to grasp the height, breadth, depth and length of Your love.  Help me to know it, even though it is beyond all knowing, so that I may be filled with the fullness of You God and others may be warmed and comforted at Your fire.

Yes – Let my lips speak praise, because You teach me Your ways; let my tongue sing of Your promise because all Your commands are righteous.  Thank you.

He came…He is…

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans
Comments, thoughts and reflections welcome

From John 3:

16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only and unique Son, so that everyone who trusts in him may have eternal life, instead of being utterly destroyed. 17For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but rather so that through him, the world might be saved. 18Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.3>

It may be this is quoted so often it is not fully understood.  It may be, as is often the case, it is so isolated in the quoting the context is lost and the full implication is missed for some.

Where there is already a judgment levied against an offender there is no requirement for more judgment.  The general creation has already been judged and found guilty.  Jesus did not come, therefore, to place more judgment; rather he came to pay the penalty so those already judged could be free of their judgment, death.

Someone engaging in sin is not being judged if the sin is exposed; they are already judged.  Exposing the sin provides opportunity for forgiveness of its consequences.  Exposure provides opportunity for change.

Those accepting the payment made for them by Christ are set free from the penalty already imposed.  They receive life for death.  They receive freedom from bondage.  They receive peace due to a restored relationship with God.

Pray – Lord, long before You came, David, prophets of old, all who know you knew you were coming.  They knew.  They knew salvation was part of Your plan from the beginning; salvation from the penalty of sin.  May your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation, as You promised; then I will have an answer for those who taunt me.  The enemy with his accusations will flee.  The thoughts that rise will be taken captive and brought into obedience to You; for I trust in Your Word.

Repent – God, You know how foolish I am; my guilt is not hid from You.  Let my prayer to You come at an acceptable time; in Your great grace, God, answer me with the truth of Your salvation.

Ask – May Your grace come to me, Adonai, Your salvation as you promised.  Don’t take away completely my power to speak the truth; for I put my hope in Your rulings; and I will keep Your commands always, forever and ever.

Yes – Bless the Lord, my soul!  Everything in me bless his holy name!  Bless the Lord, my soul and forget none of His benefits!

Source:  John and Psalms