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

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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

House of Prayer

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 2

13It was almost time for the festival of Pesach (Passover)  in Y’hudah,(Judah) so Yeshua (Jesus)went up to Yerushalayim.(Jerusalem) 14In the Temple grounds he found those who were selling cattle, sheep and pigeons, and others who were sitting at tables exchanging money. 15He made a whip from cords and drove them all out of the Temple grounds, the sheep and cattle as well. He knocked over the money-changers’ tables, scattering their coins; 16and to the pigeon-sellers he said, “Get these things out of here! How dare you turn my Father’s house into a market?” 17(His talmidim (disciples) later recalled that the Tanakh (Holy Scripture) says, “Zeal for your house will devour me.” ) 18So the Judeans confronted him by asking him, “What miraculous sign can you show us to prove you have the right to do all this?” 19Yeshua answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again.” 20The Judeans said, “It took 46 years to build this Temple, and you’re going to raise it in three days?” 21But the “temple” he had spoken of was his body. 22Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his talmidim (disciples) remembered that he had said this, and they trusted in the Tanakh (Holy Scripture) and in what Yeshua (Jesus) had said.

23Now while Yeshua (Jesus)was in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem at the Pesach (Passover)  festival, there were many people who “believed in his name” when they saw the miracles he performed. 24But he did not commit himself to them, for he knew what people are like — 25that is, he didn’t need anyone to inform him about a person, because he knew what was in the person’s heart.

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

*Words in parenthesis are English for the Hebrew added by me.

Someone’s always looking for a sign, miracles, supernatural experiences as if they are necessary to validate who God is.  He knows the heart whether it seeks Him or the event that is big enough for news!! He did not commit himself to them…knew their hearts.  This is told to the believer as a gentle warning.  God loves us but he is looking for heart commitment, not followers of the sensational .  The miracles stop and the people leave. With heart commitment, people don’t need miracles to stay.  They enjoy them with everyone else, but the Master is who they take real, lasting joy in.

Pray – May I never be guilty of turning my temple into anything other than God’s house, a house of prayer.

Repent – I repent for taking my temple and using it for my pleasure or gain rather than giving it to you wholeheartedly.

Ask – Take up residence in this temple, make it clean and useful for Your kingdom.

Yes – Give praise to the name of Adonai!  Servants of Adonai, give praise!  You who stand in the house of Adonai, in the courtyards of the house of our God, praise Yahweh, for Adonai is good; sing to His name, because it is pleasant.

Source:  John 2 and Psalms 135:1-3

 

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

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.

Oneness…the Power of One

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:

Therefore, I, the prisoner united with the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you’ve been called

Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom.  There is one body and one Spirit, just as when you were called you were called to one hope.  And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all.

One is powerful; one implies unity and strength.  One is constant; one is pure. Look at all the facets oneness possesses.

One has no division; one works together, may be many but having one purpose.  The cord composed of three or more strands is still one; it is combined to give strength.

Christ brought the peace of oneness.  One call, one hope, one Lord, one body, one Spirit, one trust, one immersion, one God all give purpose and strength.  All is the result of one love; the love of the Father for the creation, so lost, and their love in return.  The same love sent Christ and provided his peace for all.

Pray – We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord and Your banner over us is love.

Repent – I repent for those times I am so focused on me I forget I am part of something much greater.

Ask – Keep my focus on our oneness in You

Yes – O how good, how pleasant it is for brothers and sisters to live together in harmony.