be like newborn babies…

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 1 Peter:

1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people; 2and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. 3For you have tasted that Adonai is good.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/1pe.2>

9Taste, and see that Adonai is good.

How blessed are those who take refuge in him!

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/psa.34>

In the fellowship groupings of Christ there should be no malice, deceit, hypocrisy, or envy.  There should be none of the ways men use to speak against people.  It is more effective to speak, if it is necessary, about what is good; that would be teaching  practice in the opposing values of malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy.  Social media give an accurate picture of the heart of society with an abundance of what should not be. There is ample evidence of backbiting, malice, deceit, hypocrisy and envy.

This darkness can be fought by the same means that assist the believer in the process of growing in the spirit.  Peter says be thirsty for the pure milk of the Word for by it the believer will grow up into deliverance from these destructive ways.  Initial reuniting with the God of creation from the sin bound life brings a taste of Him that is good.  He intends that the believer get more than just a taste.

Malice is the “desire to cause pain for the satisfaction of doing harm.”  It comes in many forms: cattiness, hatefulness, meanness, spite, abusiveness, cruelty.  The opposite of malice then, which one would expect to see demonstrated in fellowships of Christ are: devotion, love, amiability, civility, cordiality, friendliness, hospitality.  The extent to which malice shows up in the social mainstream demands its opposing values  be in full force in the fellowship of believers.

Deceit is the inclination or practice of misleading others through lies or trickery.  It too comes in many ways, more subversive because of their nature. It comes or shows up as cunning, foxiness, dishonesty, furtiveness.  The opposites for which the fellowship of believers should be known are: candor, directness, frankness, openness.  These may make the believer seem childish or naïve in a culture full of deceit that is practiced without judgment.

Hypocrisy is the pretending of having virtues, principles or beliefs that one in fact does not have.  It can show up as insincerity, piousness, dishonesty, self-righteousness.  This is a term often used too loosely with the intent to attack.   Its opposites are truthfulness, artlessness, naturalness, genuineness and sincerity.  When truth is presented in a world that is used to judgmental statements, it often attracts the attack that calls the bearer of truth,  one who practices hypocrisy.  This term was used by Jesus to call out the need for correction among those who claimed to know God but followed the teachings of men.

Peter calls the believer to be like newborn babes who taste the mother’s milk and want more.  The believer will grow into honesty, candor, openness, truthfulness, genuineness, without an agenda other than to seek the truth of the Word of God, “thirsty for the pure milk of the Word.”

“Taste and see” leads to a vulnerable state of being, as a newborn open to criticism, cunning, attempts to discredit. The believer, however, can identify the unseen source of these attempts is the enemy who would destroy this babe.  The infant is not defenseless; it has a Father who has given an arsenal of weapons to use against the attacks.  This infant can “grow up into deliverance” by the Word of God.

Taste and see that Adonai is good.  How blessed are those who take refuge in him. – Psalmist.

Pray – Those who seek Adonai lack nothing good.  It shows in their lifestyle.  It shows in their relationships.

Repent – I repent for those times I engaged in actions that could be called malicious or deceitful.

Ask – I have tasted and the Lord is good.  Teach me the fear of Adonai.  Keep my tongue from evil and my lips from deceiving talk.

Yes – I will bless Adonai at all times; his praise will always be in my mouth.  Psalm 34

 

Source: 1 Peter and Psalms

I have put my words in your mouth…

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 Jeremiah:

1These are the words of Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) the son of Hilkiyahu (Hilkiah), one of the cohanim living in ‘Anatot (Anathoth), in the territory of Binyamin (Benjamin). 2The word of Adonai came to him during the days of Yoshiyahu (Josiah) the son of Amon, king of Y’hudah (Judah), in the thirteenth year of his reign. 3It also came during the days of Y’hoyakim (Jehoiakim) the son of Yoshiyahu (Josiah), king of Y’hudah (Judah), continuing until the eleventh year of Tzidkiyahu (Zedekiah) the son of Yoshiyahu (Josiah), king of Y’hudah (Judah), right up until the time Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) was carried away captive, in the fifth month.

4Here is the word of Adonai that came to me:

5“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you;

before you were born, I separated you for myself.

I have appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”

6I said, “Oh, Adonai Elohim, I don’t even know how to speak! I’m just a child!” 7But Adonai said to me, “Don’t say, ‘I’m just a child.’

“For you will go to whomever I send you,

and you will speak whatever I order you.

8Do not be afraid of them,

for I am with you, says Adonai,

to rescue you.”

9Then Adonai put out his hand and touched my mouth, and Adonai said to me,

“There! I have put my words in your mouth.

10Today I have placed you over nations and kingdoms

to uproot and to tear down,

to destroy and to demolish,

to build and to plant.”

 

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

*English names for Hebrews are in parentheses placed there by this author

The believer is a chosen one, separated from the unbeliever.  God knows his own and before they were formed he had purpose for them.  Jesus was an example of this to the world.  Jeremiah was also prior to Jesus.  They were chosen, separated from the rest and had a given purpose.

God’s touch gives the ability to speak the words He, God, speaks.  Jesus stated that he spoke the words of His Father. 

Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. John 14:10

The believer today has the words of the Father.

God says ‘speak my words.’ He says his words will prevail over those of the nations and kingdoms.  He says his words will ‘uproot and tear down, destroy and demolish, build and plant.‘  God’s words accomplish what they set out to do.  His people, his chosen, those who are faithful to Him, speak His words.  Any who deny the words of God are denying the One who gave them.

Note God’s words are multifaceted.  They ‘uproot and tear down.’  They find what is evil, anti-God and take out what is as simple as thoughts that come unbidden to hinder God’s work, or what may be hidden in the words of others directed at the believer and intended by the enemy to find a toehold of offense to build into a stronghold of bitterness. It is stated that the words of God do more.

The Words of God ‘destroy and demolish.‘  This can be an ideology that has potential to lead God’s people astray from His Word.  It may be humanism vs. God-centered thinking.  The believer has an arsenal of God’s words that confront and confuse the intents of the enemy.  Psalm 55

Confuse, Adonai, confound their speech!

Speaking the words of God doesn’t stop with eliminating the enemy and its tools.

God’s words ‘build and plant.’  Building and planting bring visions of new life.  When the old thoughts, ideas, idol-worship are removed they are replaced with new thoughts, ideas that are biblically based and the worship of God.  The believer bears the responsibility of ‘filling up’ with God’s words.  God has supplied the believer with the written word, the Bible.  God will, through the Holy Spirit,  bring them to the believer’s remembrance, quicken the written word to the believer and inform their spirit of what to say.  Many times God says, “Don’t worry about what to say, I will fill your mouth with my words.” There is a well of words to draw from.

Pray – My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from him.  He alone is my rock and salvation, my stronghold; I won’t be greatly moved.  Psalm 62:1-2

Repent – I repent for my busyness that prevented me from waiting to hear from you.  I repent for the busyness of your people, my people and fellow believers.

Ask – I ask you to open eyes and ears to see and hear what you say.  Please let it not be so that you will once again have to say, “when I called, no one answered; when I spoke, they did not hear.”  Isaiah 66:4b

Yes – “Hear the word of Adonai, you who tremble at his word…” Isaiah 66  O, God, you are my God; I will seek you eagerly.  My heart thirsts for you, my body longs for you in a land parched and exhausted, where no water can be found, I used to contemplate you in the sanctuary, seeing your power and glory, for your grace is better than life. My lips will worship you.  Yes, I will bless you as long as I live:  In your name I will lift up my hands.  I am as satisfied as with rich food; my mouth praises you with joy on my lips when I remember you on my bed and meditate on you in the night watches.  Psalm 63

Source:  Jeremiah, Psalms, Isaiah

open your eyes and look… – Jesus

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 4:

31Meanwhile, the talmidim (disciples)  were urging Yeshua (Jesus), “Rabbi, eat something.” 32But he answered, “I have food to eat that you don’t know about.” 33At this, the talmidim (disciples) asked one another, “Could someone have brought him food?” 34Yeshua (Jesus) said to them, “My food is to do what the one who sent me wants and to bring his work to completion. 35Don’t you have a saying, ‘Four more months and then the harvest’? Well, what I say to you is: open your eyes and look at the fields! They’re already ripe for harvest! 36The one who reaps receives his wages and gathers fruit for eternal life, so that the reaper and the sower may be glad together — 37for in this matter, the proverb, ‘One sows and another reaps,’ holds true. 38I sent you to reap what you haven’t worked for. Others have done the hard labor, and you have benefited from their work.”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.4>

*words in parentheses are mine; English for Hebrew.

Humility is a result that comes from realizing that what each accomplishes rests upon the efforts of others and all that is done is the result of God’s work.  The call is given to ‘see.’  There is always work to be done; some work the soil, preparing for those who sow the seed, and those who harvest come after.  God gives the increase.

The kingdom  grows and benefits from the efforts of those who can see and hear the voice of God.  These efforts provide the ‘food’ of which Jesus spoke.  When one is engaged in a project and they are inspired to complete it; all else, even hunger, disappears until it is accomplished.  And the results satisfy more than any food or drink.

O that the church would catch this inspiration from Jesus!  The fields are ripe.  There is so little of real truth and worth today in this society that the hunger for God is increased.  Not a hunger for ‘church’ or even a brand of Christianity for what it has become in much of this world, but a hunger for the genuine Word of God, Jesus, come to give what is missing in today’s world.  He came to give genuine peace of spirit, genuine  love and compassion, genuine praise that is God-centered and not self-centered.

Pray – May my eyes and ears be opened to hear your voice, Lord, directing me to do what you want and bringing your work to completion.

Repent – I repent for the times I do what I want, thinking I am working for you.

Ask – Open my eyes so I can see the fields!  Open my eyes so I can see the harvest ready to reap.  May I be a part of the harvest team you are sending to reap what isn’t sown by us but by you.

Yes – How happy are those who observe Your instruction, who seek You wholeheartedly! Psalm 119:2

Source: John 4 and Psalms

Could it be that this is the Messiah?

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 4:

25The woman replied, “I know that Mashiach (Messiah)  is coming” (that is, “the one who has been anointed”). “When he comes, he will tell us everything.” 26Yeshua said to her, “I, the person speaking to you, am he.”

27Just then, his talmidim (disciples) arrived. They were amazed that he was talking with a woman; but none of them said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28So the woman left her water-jar, went back to the town and said to the people there, 29“Come, see a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could it be that this is the Messiah?” 30They left the town and began coming toward him.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.4>

  • Words in parentheses are English for the Hebrew placed by this author

“Could it be that this is the Messiah?”  One piece of evidence was all she needed.  “He told me everything I’ve ever done.”  And with this alone, words of question and prophecy, the crowd came.  Drawn to one who might be the Messiah.

‘Everyone needs someone’ the song of the people states.  That community with others, with a special someone is sought by all born into existence.  Society offers lots of ‘special’ people, celebrities to fill that void.  But it isn’t close and personal.  Christ knows each one.  That is close and personal.

The Creator knows his creation.  When the creation turns to the Creator and accepts the possibility of a relationship, the connection completes and fills the emptiness.  This satisfies the longing for that ‘someone.’

The Messiah has come.  God accepts all who believe into relationship with Him.  For some it comes simply, as this woman demonstrates.  He knows me.  For others, more is required, where is the ‘sign’?  Those who believe can speak to the truth that he is…

Pray – Lord, I am so thankful to be one of Your chosen people, part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to You, God, that I may declare the praise of You who called me out of darkness into Your wonderful life.

Repent – Father God, I ask you to lead me when I am blinded by ways I have not known.  My faithful Father, You’ve warned me that when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom…Proverbs 11:2…feelings of inadequacy come on the heels of thinking I’m greater, wiser, superior in knowledge; they are arrows that penetrate because the shield is not in place; my trust has transferred from you to me and my accomplishments.  Fill my mind with assurance it was always You, never me…

Ask – Let not my heart be troubled, I believe in You and I believe you.  Lord I have heard the slander of many; at times there is terror on every side; I sometimes feel that others conspire against me and the enemy plots to take my (victorious) life.  But I trust my times are in Your hands; deliver me from my enemies (my thoughts) and from those who pursue me.  Let your face shine on Your servant; save me in Your unfailing love.

Yes – In all things I will give thanks.

Who? do you worship?..

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 4:

19“Sir, I can see that you are a prophet,” the woman replied. 20“Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you people say that the place where one has to worship is in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).” 21Yeshua (Jesus) said, “Lady, believe me, the time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). 22 You people don’t know what you are worshipping; we worship what we do know, because salvation comes from the Jews. 23But the time is coming — indeed, it’s here now — when the true worshippers will worship the Father spiritually and truly, for these are the kind of people the Father wants worshipping him. 24God is spirit; and worshippers must worship him spiritually and truly.”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.4>

*words in parentheses are English for the Hebrew added by this author.

Do worshipers know who they are worshiping? Jesus tells this woman, “you people don’t know what you are worshiping.” The argument was between Jew and Samaritan and was over where to worship.  Jesus pointed to a greater difference; the Samaritan did not know what they were worshiping; the Jew knew who they worshiped and salvation would come through the Jews.  He then threw the argument over place away by prophesying the coming time when neither would worship in either place.  Then, all that is left is who to worship — God — in spirit and in truth.  Jesus was the gate to this change.

Worshipers worship a god.  Who that god is trumps anything else.  Worship is directed at the entity being worshiped.  If the worship is by music using lyrics, what is heard in the words?  If by prayer, again, words are telling.  If by actions, where’s the focus?

True worship, spiritual worship doesn’t need a specific time or place.  When that worship is God ward, it is true.  When it is directed and focused on the Lord it is spiritual.  God inhabits the praises of His people.  He must be the total focus of worship.  Then he visits; then he comes, when the praise is raised to him alone.

“God is spirit; and worshipers must worship him spiritually and truly.”  – Jesus

Pray – O Lord, may You always be the focus, the recipient of all my worship!

Repent – I’m sorry for the thing we’ve made it.  I’m bringing it back to you.  I will not be  silenced.

Ask – May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord.

Yes – You alone are worthy of all my praise and honor.  It isn’t about me; it’s about thee!

Source: John 4 and Psalms 19:15

 

water that springs eternal…

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 4:

11She said to him, “Sir, you don’t have a bucket, and the well is deep; so where do you get this ‘living water’? 12You aren’t greater than our father Ya‘akov (Jacob), are you? He gave us this well and drank from it, and so did his sons and his cattle.” 13Yeshua (Jesus) answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again! On the contrary, the water I give him will become a spring of water inside him, welling up into eternal life!”

15“Sir, give me this water,” the woman said to him, “so that I won’t have to be thirsty and keep coming here to draw water.” 16He said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” 17She answered, “I don’t have a husband.” Yeshua  (Jesus) said to her, “You’re right, you don’t have a husband! 18You’ve had five husbands in the past, and you’re not married to the man you’re living with now! You’ve spoken the truth!”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/jhn.4>

*words in parentheses are English for the Hebrew added by this author.

Water of life, knowledge, mind -set, a mix of spiritual and natural.  The place of operation for most, understandably so, is in the present and of the physical realm, the natural.  Jesus points to another realm that spans time – has no time – and functions in the spiritual.

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Water.  Physical water satisfies thirst.  However, the thirst returns for the water is used up.  Spiritual water satisfies the soul and spirit and does not get used up rather becomes a stream of life-giving water.  Both, physical and spiritual give life.

Reflection demands assurance that the life-giving, eternal flow of water is present in the believer.  This flow will not damage but heal.

Pray – Lord, you alone are my shepherd; I lack nothing.  You have me lie down in green pastures feeding me your word, and You lead me by quiet water, You restore my inner person.

Repent – True, I was born guilty, was a sinner from the moment my mother conceived me.

Ask – Guide me in right paths for the sake of your name.  Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me.

Yes – Goodness and grace will pursue me every day of my life; and I will live in the house of the Lord for years and years to come.

Source:  John 4 and Psalms 23; image and song eHymnbook.org