be holy because I am holy…

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 1Peter:

10The prophets, who prophesied about this gift of deliverance that was meant for you, pondered and inquired diligently about it. 11They were trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of the Messiah in them was referring in predicting the Messiah’s sufferings and the glorious things to follow. 12It was revealed to them that their service when they spoke about these things was not for their own benefit, but for yours. And these same things have now been proclaimed to you by those who communicated the Good News to you through the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things!

13Therefore, get your minds ready for work, keep yourselves under control, and fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah is revealed. 14As people who obey God, do not let yourselves be shaped by the evil desires you used to have when you were still ignorant. 15On the contrary, following the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in your entire way of life; 16since the Tanakh (Old Testament)  says,

“You are to be holy because I am holy.”

 17Also, if you are addressing as Father the one who judges impartially according to each person’s actions, you should live out your temporary stay on earth in fear. 18You should be aware that the ransom paid to free you from the worthless way of life which your fathers passed on to you did not consist of anything perishable like silver or gold; 19on the contrary, it was the costly bloody sacrificial death of the Messiah, as of a lamb without defect or spot. 20God knew him before the founding of the universe, but revealed him in the acharit-hayamim (last days) for your sakes. 21Through him you trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory; so that your trust and hope are in God.

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

Words in parentheses placed by this author

The Christian way is not new, only new to those who just received recently the message of Christ.  This way is rooted in the beginning of time.  It has prevailed all attempts to destroy it; it has withstood the test of time.  It is not a passing fad or trend.

The Father created and nurtured, disciplined and provided for his creation.  The Good News is how that was done.  The coming of Christ, his suffering and sacrifice are what was necessary to cleanse the creation of the evil it had given way to.

This event and its implications for mankind were foretold to give encouragement to those who sought after the Father.  Today the message continues to be told for the same reason.

To those who receive the Good News, Peter answers the question, “How then shall we live?”  One, “get your minds ready for work,” is a mind-set;  it is set on spiritual matters rather than earthly.  Fill up on scripture, God’s words of love, direction and encouragement.  Two, “keep yourselves under control,” speaks to possessing less self-inspired living and demonstrating more  God-inspired living.  Thirdly, “fix your hopes fully on the gift you will receive when Christ is revealed” tells where the focus is to be placed.  Next, “become holy yourselves in your entire way of life,” instructs the believer to be holy;  God is referenced when he says;

“You are to be holy because I am holy.” 

This last statement clinches that something is required of the believer.  But the believer is not abandoned; “trust in God, who raised him (Christ) from the dead and gave him glory; so that your trust and hope are in God.”

Pray – Father God, I praise you for what You do, for who You are.  I acknowledge Your majesty and greatness.  I look to You for help; no other can keep me as you do.

Repent – I am sorry for a generation who continues to turn from you to self.  I repent for those times I lived selfishly instead of selflessly.

Ask – Be the power that enables me to have a mindset for work in Your kingdom; that gives the ability to exercise control over selfish desires and actions; that gives me the breastplate of Your righteousness so that I may be holy as You are.

Yes – To you be all praise, honor and glory.

Source:   1 Peter and Leviticus 11, 19, 20

 

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be full of joy …

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:

1From: Kefa (Peter), an emissary of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah

To: God’s chosen people, living as aliens in the Diaspora — in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, the province of Asia, and Bythinia — 2chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father and set apart by the Spirit for obeying Yeshua (Jesus)  the Messiah and for sprinkling with his blood:

Grace and shalom be yours in full measure.

3Praised be God, Father of our Lord Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah, who, in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, 4to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for you in heaven. 5Meanwhile, through trusting, you are being protected by God’s power for a deliverance ready to be revealed at the Last Time. 6Rejoice in this, even though for a little while you may have to experience grief in various trials. 7Even gold is tested for genuineness by fire. The purpose of these trials is so that your trust’s genuineness, which is far more valuable than perishable gold, will be judged worthy of praise, glory and honor at the revealing of Yeshua (Jesus) the Messiah.

8Without having seen him, you love him. Without seeing him now, but trusting in him, you continue to be full of joy that is glorious beyond words. 9And you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.

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

Words in parentheses placed by this author.

“Born again to a living hope”  that is, Christ.

What is alive does not fade, spoil or decay.  The life received through faith in Christ, gained in his resurrection, is the hope he grants to always, eternally, be his chosen.  The rough times, testing times that come need not take the believer’s full focus.  They are a process of refining, as gold is.  The old is removed and the new remains.  In this, the believer can rejoice they are worthy to be refined!

The genuineness of the believer’s faith is revealed through the trials.  Therefore, rejoice in the tests, the down times, the stretching.  Rejoice because the very existence of the hard times speaks to the hope Christ gives.  The joy is in him, not in the trial, not in the pain, but in the Christ who will deliver.  So think of it as endurance or strength training.  It’s not easy, it calls for discipline, but the benefits are well-being and good health.  So too, the hard times bring spiritual strength and well-being; they should teach the believer how to lift their focus from themselves to God.  Not looking at the situation but looking forward to the deliverance, looking upward to the God who delivers.  “In all things give thanks” for this creates a strong army of believers who continue to stand for truth.

Pray – Praise be to God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in keeping with his great mercy, has caused us, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to be born again to a living hope, to an inheritance that cannot decay, spoil or fade, kept safe for us in heaven.

Repent – I repent for those time I allowed hard, painful experiences to refocus my attention from You to me.

Ask – May my experience with grief be the test of fire to reveal my genuine faith in You, God.  May I be found faithful, full of faith for removing my focus from my experiences to You and what You do.

Yes – trusting in You brings a joy the unbeliever cannot know. It is an impossibility to be thankful during pain; unless one is refocused to thank You for the deliverance which will come.  Loving Christ, even though unseen, is joy.  1 Peter 41:1-9

Source: 1 Peter

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

 

living water…

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:

1When Yeshua (Jesus) learned that the P’rushim (Pharisees) had heard he was making and immersing more talmidim (disciples) than Yochanan (John) 2(although it was not Yeshua (Jesus) himself who immersed but his talmidim (disciples) ), 3Yeshua (Jesus) left Y’hudah (Judah) and set out again for the Galil (Galilee). 4This meant that he had to pass through Shomron.(Samaria)

5He came to a town in Shomron(Samaria) called Sh’khem, near the field Ya‘akov had given to his son Yosef. 6Ya‘akov’s Well was there; so Yeshua, (Jesus) exhausted from his travel, sat down by the well; it was about noon. 7A woman from Shomron (Samaria) came to draw some water; and Yeshua (Jesus) said to her, “Give me a drink of water.”  8 (His talmidim (disciples)  had gone into town to buy food.)  9 The woman from Shomron (Samaria) said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for water from me, a woman of Shomron (Samaria)?” (For Jews don’t associate with people from Shomron(Samaria).) 10 Yeshua (Jesus) answered her, “If you knew God’s gift, that is, who it is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink of water,’ then you would have asked him; and he would have given you living water.”

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

bushkill-falls

Water gives life, without water there is no life.  What then is the difference between water from the well and water Christ gives?  One is temporal and one is eternal.  One is of the earth and the other is of heaven.  One relieves the physical thirst, the other relieves spiritual thirst.  Christ made it possible for mankind to once more be blessed in the spirit with life eternal.  This water, the Holy Spirit, fills up and satisfies mankind’s quest for spiritual life and completeness.

Christ was physically weary yet still had living water to give to this woman.

Pray – Fill me up, Lord.  I lift my cup, Lord; come and quench this thirsting of my soul.  Bread of heaven feed me till I want no more, fill me up and make me whole.

Repent – I repent for those times I relied on ‘physical’ water to satisfy spiritual thirst.

Ask – As the deer longs for running streams, God, I long for you.  I am thirsty for God, for the living God! Deep is calling to deep at the thunder of your waterfalls;

Yes – all your surging rapids and waves are sweeping over me.

John 4 and Psalms 42:2; 42:8

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