become themselves nothings?…

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

Jeremiah 2:

1The word of Adonai came to me: 2“Go and shout in the ears of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) that this is what Adonai says:

‘I remember your devotion when you were young;

how, as a bride, you loved me;

how you followed me through the desert,

through a land not sown.

3“‘Isra’el is set aside for Adonai,

the firstfruits of his harvest;

all who devour him will incur guilt;

evil will befall them,” says Adonai.

4Hear the word of Adonai, house of Ya‘akov

and all families in the house of Isra’el;

5here is what Adonai says:

“What did your ancestors find wrong with me

to make them go so far away from me,

to make them go after nothings

and become themselves nothings?

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

Have we acted in such a way God would ask us this question?  The picture is of a bride so in love with her husband she leaves what is familiar to wander in a barren, wild place following him.  Why?  She was devoted to Him.

This nation followed hard after God, founded laws and education on His word, were not ashamed to pray and invite Him into their business and lives.  Now, there is plenty, this is a rich nation, and it begins to leave God bit by bit, denying and rejecting Him to follow after nothings and is slowing becoming a nothing.

God’s love for his people is so strong he curses any who would harm them.  He protects what is his. He provides for what is his.  He also disciplines those who are His.

Pray – In you, Adonai, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame.  In your righteousness, rescue me; and help me to escape.  Turn your ear toward me, and deliver. Me.   Psalm 71:1-2

Repent – I repent for my nation.  I repent for their turning from you. Have mercy, O God and open their ears and eyes to see you, to return to you.  Help me do my part.

Ask – God, summon your strength.  Use your strength, God, as you did for us before. Psalm 68:29

Yes – Sing to God, kingdoms of the earth.  Sing praises to Adonai, to him who rides on the most ancient heavens.  Listen! As he utters His voice, a mighty voice.  Acknowledge  that  strength belongs to God. Psalms 68:33-34

Source: Jeremiah and Psalms

Blinded by self…

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 Numbers 16

15Moshe (Moses) was very angry and said to Adonai, “Don’t accept their grain offering! I haven’t taken one donkey from them, I’ve done nothing wrong to any of them.” 16Moshe (Moses) said to Korach (Korah), “You and your group, be there before Adonai tomorrow — you, they and Aharon (Aaron). 17Each of you take his fire pan and put incense in it; every one of you, bring before Adonai his fire pan, 250 fire pans, you too, and Aharon (Aaron) — each one his fire pan.”

18Each man took his fire pan, put fire in it, laid incense on it and stood at the entrance to the tent of meeting with Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron). 19Korach  (Korah) assembled all the group who were against them at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Then the glory of Adonai appeared to the whole assembly.

(iii) 20Adonai said to Moshe  (Moses) and Aharon (Aaron), 21“Separate yourselves from this assembly; I’m going to destroy them right now!” 22They fell on their faces and said, “Oh God, God of the spirits of all humankind, if one person sins, are you going to be angry with the entire assembly?” 23Adonai answered Moshe  (Moses), 24“Tell the assembly to move away from the homes of Korach  (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram).” 25Moshe  (Moses) got up and went to Datan and Aviram, and the leaders of Isra’el followed him. 26There he said to the assembly, “Leave the tents of these wicked men! Don’t touch anything that belongs to them, or you may be swept away in all their sins.” 27So they moved away from all around the area where Korach (Korah), Datan  (Dathan) and Aviram   (Abiram) lived.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/num.16>

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

Moses expressed his anger at being unjustly accused to God. But when God said he would destroy all the people, Moses went down on his face once more to plead for them.   A man of God subjected to false accusations and attacked for his position expresses anger but only to God.  A humble man as well, he pleads for their redemption.

The taking of the fire and fire pans was a test.  These men were not dedicated to the task so in following through and doing so they were breaking established order set by God.  It was a defiant act of disobedience and disrespect.  They had to consider the previous events recorded in Leviticus 10:1-2 where two were consumed by fire when they inappropriately handled the incense. These are men who daily served in the tabernacle of God; they knew the possible consequences. When these failed to exercise caution and obedience to God, they demonstrated the true nature of their hearts.  Moses knows what is coming and warns the rest of the assembly to step away from the leaders of the rebellion.

It is a fearful thing to come against God’s commands.  There is no respect for Him, no honor when the self rises above his commands.  The ambition and arrogance of these men will be the cause for the judgment about to fall upon them from a holy God.  Their pride, self-importance and jealousy blinded them.  They could not spiritually discern God’s calling on Moses and Aaron.  It was to be their downfall.

The take-away is for all believers to consider God’s commands as supreme.  One cannot defy a holy God with disrespect without also incurring the consequences.  Grace is available today to those who repent; but consequences will come.  The age of grace does not change who God is and what God does.  It provides for humankind’s redemption and shows mercy to a repentant heart.  This is not a call to legalism but to spiritual discernment.  The quest for self blinds the seeker.  They are vulnerable to deception which leads to separation from God.  It is vital to a healthy, overcoming life to be seekers of Christ and disciples of who he is and what he does.

Pray – O God, you are my God and I will ever praise you.  It isn’t about who I am but who you are.

Repent – I repent for the direction many take leading away from you in a search for self.  Please be merciful with them.

Ask – May we always lift you up: “If I be lifted up, I will draw all men to me.” – Jesus. You, Lord, Your will is our desire.

Yes – Bless, Adonai, my soul!  Adonai my God, you are very great!  Psalm 104:1

Source: Numbers, Leviticus, and Psalm 104

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

Learn from History; Avoid Deception…

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

History repeats itself as anyone who has studied old documents can say.  It makes little difference if the present society tries to rewrite history; ample documentation is found among individual writings from the participants.

Therefore it is wise to heed the consequences of actions taken in the past to avoid repeating the errors.

From Micah: Here is what Adonai says in regard to the prophets who cause my people to go astray, who cry ‘peace,’ as soon as they are given food to eat but prepare war against anyone who fails to put something in their mouths:

Put in today’s setting, are there those who cause God’s people to go astray, used by the enemy to deceive?  Any ‘word’ given that emphasizes self-worth or ability has the potential to lead away from God’s worth and ability.  Are our prophets fed well?  Do they prophesy for pay?  Do they ‘war’ by finding fault, causing strife with any who fail to ‘pay’ or do they engage in fear mongering?

In Micah it states further how God views these actions.  A good Father disciplines and corrects:

“Therefore you will have night, not vision, darkness and not divination; the sun will go down on the prophets, over them the day will be black.”

Discipline and correction is not pleasant.

“The seers will be put to shame,

The diviners will be disgraced.

They will have to cover their mouths,

Because there will be no answer from God.

On the other hand, I am full of power

By Spirit of Adonai,

Full of justice and full of might,

To declare to __________his crime,

To _____his sin.

Hear this, please, leaders of _________,

Rulers of the house of _____________,

You abhor what is just

And pervert anything that is right,

Who build up _____________with blood

And ______with wickedness.

Her leaders will sell verdicts for bribes,

Her priests teach for a price,

Her prophets divine for money—-

Yet they claim to rely on Adonai!

“Isn’t Adonai here with us?”  they say.

“No evil can come upon us.”

Therefore, because of you,

______ will be plowed under like a forested height…

There is more, much more in Micah to learn from, to take warning from, to heed the direction given and to rejoice in the promise given.

The blanks can be filled in with current names.  See if they fit and speak truthfully.  This was spoken to another people at another time but could have been saved for today.  It is wisdom to use what has been shared to judge whether anything be of God.  Do not be deceived by pretty pictures, great music, etc. For the enemy is clothed in light that is deceptive.

Pray – With all prayer and petition (I) pray at all times, 1. in the Spirit, 2. and with this in view, 3. be on the alert, with 4. all perseverance and 5. petition for all the saints, 6. and pray on my behalf.  I pray for our spiritual leaders.

Repent – I repent for selfish prayer and now ask for mercy.  I repent for not lifting up and encouraging God’s called leaders and now ask Your blessings on them.

Ask – I pray they be alert, they persevere, they pray for all saints, they stay close to God’s Word and not be deceived or used by the enemy to destroy God’s people.

Yes – I thank You for Your Word that quickens, guides, feeds, and blesses Your people.

Ephesians 6:18 source.

Gather my people…

Please be more noble than those in Thessalonica. Be more like the Bereans who “searched the scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Inspiration from Joel:

Gather the people; consecrate the congregation; assemble the leaders; gather the children, even infants sucking at the breast; let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride the bridal chamber.  Let the religious leaders, who serve Adonai, stand weeping between the vestibule and the altar.  Let them say, “Spare your people, Adonai!  Don’t expose your heritage to mockery, or make them a byword among the Gentile.  Why should the peoples say, “Where is their God?”  … “I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate, the grasshoppers, shearer-worms and the cutter-worms, my great army that I sent against you.  You will eat until you are satisfied and will praise the name of Adonai your God, who has done with you wonders.  Then my people will never again be shamed.  You will know that I am with Isra’el and that I am Adonai, your God, and that there is no other.  Theny my people will never again be shamed.”    

God is good and tolerates no evil…when His people followed His commands and loved Him only, giving Him due praise they were blessed.  He intervened on their behalf.  Take note…

I will extol you, O Lord, For you have lifted me up.  For the Lord Most High is awesome, He is a great King over all.  I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear.  But now my eye sees You.  Therefore I repent…I will be a doer of the Word, not a hearer, only.  Father, I ask You to help me to receive the Word of God not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is at work in me as one who believes.  Help me, Father, to be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…I give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Neglect precludes destruction…

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

More from Hosea:

 

My people are destroyed for want of knowledge.  Because you rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as religious leaders for me.  Because  you forgot the Word of God, I will also forget your children.  The more they increased in number, the  more they sinned against me.  I will change their glory into shame.

These same leaders feed on the sin of my people and are greedy for their crimes.  But the leader will fare no better than the people; I will punish him for his ways and pay him back for his deeds.  They will eat but not have enough ad consort with prostitutes but have no children, because they stopped listening to God.

This, spoken to Israel, could well stand true for much of Christendom today, in America.  Beware and guard the heart and mind, Christian.  It is said ‘a people without understanding will come to ruin.’   Leaving God’s Word for experiential knowledge is leaving foundational teaching…a neglected foundation will bring down the building.  The enemy knows where the most productive attack is located.  The very foundational knowledge of scripture is being left by many to go chasing after experiences.  Experiences fade; the Word stands forever.

That is not to say experiences are not given or beneficial; only that what needs to be sought after is the structural foundational knowledge of God’s Word.  The experiences are gifts, given by the Spirit to those who seek the giver; not the experience.  He is found in his Word, through prayer and revelation.  He is known by knowing who He is from the Word He has given. There will be no deception, no confusion when the genuine is known.  The counterfeit is identified by those who know the genuine.

The promise given and fulfilled is the promise of life through Christ.  “On that Day,” the Lord says, “you will call me Ishi [My Husband]; you will no longer call me Ba’al [My Master].”  Further He states, “I will betroth you to me forever, yes, I will betroth you to me in righteousness, in justice, in grace and compassion; I will betroth you to me in faithfulness, and you will  know God.”  He calls us “my people” and says we will say “you are my God.”

Paul reminds the believer not to neglect the foundational teachings.  He gives a picture of putting on the armor of God to stand today; to withstand the attacks of the enemy  in those vulnerable places.  Beware of chasing after what glitters and shines; rather than standing and digging into His Word.  The enemy disguises himself as light and children love what glitters.

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“That offends me…” thoughts on perceived ‘judgmental’ statements

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

Ephesians 4 and Luke 12

 

A very recent experience has highlighted just how much impact the current manner of thinking has had on everyone, believer and unbeliever alike. Any comment or critique is immediately seen as judgmental and that is as a negative view. It has been said that truth in its first form is negative…

Luke 12: He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? “And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?

The present society has for so long bought into the raising of self-esteem (the definition of the word is enough to raise caution flags) that any criticism, any correction is seen as judgmental. It is. Scripture is full of instruction to judge. Judging is done every day by everyone. Judgment comes into play when deciding where to buy gas, which fruit to choose, what will be eaten from the menu, what will be worn. Quality is judged in areas of retail, food, housing, friendships…the list goes on.  And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? -Jesus

 

There has been a constant drip, drip, drip, of negativity attached to judgment. If anything is said to an individual that opposes what they hold to, judgment is raised, as in they are being disrespected or hated. All have opinions and some decisions are made based upon those opinions. All have likes and dislikes and all are not in agreement. That does not indicate the suggested companions of judging; hate, dislike, superiority, etc. are implied. If one says they prefer chocolate, those who prefer vanilla or strawberry are not being disrespected or hated. The mentality of every opposing thought being seen as judgmental in the form of passing judgment or sentence upon someone, or of being a statement of hatred or disrespect has gone over the top. It is time to be confident enough in the identity held by an individual that these accusations are not immediately forthcoming from them when faced with conflict or dissenting opinions. It is time to reach for maturity and stability in who one is as Paul states:

We will no longer be infants tossed about by the waves and blown along by every wind of teaching, at the mercy of people clever in devising ways to deceive. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in every respect grow up into him who is the head, the Messiah. …

 

Where there is offense, those receiving the offense, more properly stated accepting offense, should consider what is making the thing offensive. When the individual is strong in their identity with God, in who they are; they can receive instruction, hear opposing points of view and not take offense. They are grown up into maturity in Christ who is the head…His opinion is what should be of concern. If offense is taken, the question why needs to be answered. At times offense is taken when it is the Holy Spirit who is at work correcting something within the individual. Voiced offense in the form of stating that an opinion or stated truth is judgmental is actually judgmental itself and seeks to silence the spoken or written word.

 

sshh that offends me...it's judgmental...

sshh that offends me…it’s judgmental…

 

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