obeying the truth…

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:

22Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth, so that you have a sincere love for your brothers, love each other deeply, with all your heart. 23You have been born again not from some seed that will decay, but from one that cannot decay, through the living Word of God that lasts forever. 24For

all humanity is like grass,

all its glory is like a wildflower —

the grass withers, and the flower falls off;

25but the Word of Adonai lasts forever.

Moreover, this Word is the Good News which has been proclaimed to you.

Leviticus 11:

 44For I am Adonai your God; therefore, consecrate yourselves and be holy, for I am holy; and do not defile yourselves with any kind of swarming creature that moves along the ground. (Maftir) 45For I am Adonai, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God. Therefore you are to be holy, because I am holy.

Leviticus 19:

“Speak to the entire community of Isra’el; tell them, ‘You people are to be holy because I, Adonai your God, am holy.

Leviticus 20:

7Therefore consecrate yourselves — you people must be holy, because I am Adonai your God. (RY: vii, LY: vi) 8Observe my regulations, and obey them; I am Adonai, who sets you apart to be holy.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/lev.20>

Isaiah:

6A voice says, “Proclaim!”

And I answer, “What should I proclaim?”

“All humanity is merely grass,

all its kindness like wildflowers:

7the grass dries up, the flower fades,

when a wind from Adonai blows on it.

Surely the people are grass!

8The grass dries up, the flower fades;

but the word of our God will stand forever.”

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/isa.40>

Obedience to the truth purifies.  The truth must be known to be obeyed.  This truth is Christ.  Jesus said “obey my words” and the words he spoke were commands to love one another.  Deeply.

This is a call to holiness; the call begins with an imperative statement; consecrate yourself.  Separate from what is of the earth.  What is of the earth, all humanity, is doomed to fail, to cease being.

do not defile yourselves with any kind of swarming creature that moves along the ground. 

All humanity is merely grass,

8The grass dries up, the flower fades;

What is holy – of God – will last, will endure beyond time.

Part of this holiness, most likely a major portion, is love.  Jesus said “love your God and love your neighbor.”  This is a spiritual love that can love deeply without corrupting or causing pain.  It is a love that comes from the whole being; that would include: words spoken, actions, thoughts.

love each other deeply,

Jesus lived in this manner.  God loves in this manner.  This is not a gateway to leniency; this demands discipline.  Holy as God is holy.  This requires knowing who God is; with that comes knowledge of who the people of God are to be.

Pray – God, You are holy; You are love that is beyond full understanding; You are beyond what words can describe. Ephesians 3

Repent – I repent for casual attitudes when approaching you.  I revere you, adore you, bow down before you, You are worthy O God.

Ask –  Search our hearts, know us, open ears to Your voice and eyes to Your glory.  Psalms

Yes – Thank you for mercy and grace.  Thank you for forgiveness and redemption.

 

Source:  1Peter, Leviticus, Isaiah

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

Prepare the soil of the soul…

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:

22After this, Yeshua (Jesus) and his talmidim (disciples) went out into the countryside of Y’hudah,(Judah) where he stayed awhile with them and immersed people. 23Yochanan too was immersing at Einayim,(Aenon) near Shalem (Salim), because there was plenty of water there; and people kept coming to be immersed. 24(This was before Yochanan’s (John)imprisonment.)

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

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

Preparing the soil of the soul and hearts of the people.

Turning the dirt,                                        man-hoeing-vegetable-garden-soil-organic-farm-preparing-ground-new-sowing-season-69612774

taking out the stones,

digging deep

to ready the heart and mind for the seed of heaven.

The harvest comes later and what a harvest it was and still is.  Souls continue to be prepared to receive, continue to receive, continue to bear fruit and it begins again, generation to generation.  All glory to God.

Pray – I acknowledge for some the soil is very rocky; for others more pliable.  Some have weeds and thorns to pull; others are a field of grass.  May I ever be faithful to whatever the job is; pulling weeds, picking up stones or digging deep.

Repent – I repent for missed opportunities to be active for your kingdom.

Ask – Adonai, I have heard the report about you, Adonai.  I am awed by your deeds, bring your work to life in our own age, make it known in our own time; but in anger, remember compassion.

Yes – I will rejoice in the God of my salvation.  Elohim Adonai is my strength!  He makes me swift and sure-footed as a deer and enables me to stride over my high places.  – Habbakuk

 

Source:  John and Habbakuk; image from Dreamstine: https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-video-footage-man-hoeing-vegetable-garden-soil-organic-farm-preparing-ground-new-sowing-season-video69612641

 

Undisciplined children

Parents,

Proverbs 13:18 – [Pro 13:18 KJV] 18 Poverty and shame [shall be to] him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.

Children who choose to disregard instruction face shame (correction consequences) and poverty (lack of knowledge and lack of learning) both of which shows in the final assessments (grades). Children who choose to listen and exercise self-control need only to be told once and learn. They too face consequences; honor, for as they are able to listen they learn, they have knowledge and they apply it. In the final assessments (grades) it shows. They are honored in many ways one of which is the honor roll. They are also developing into individuals who will succeed at what they do. It is a choice. When we block the natural consequences, we harm them. We teach them self-control is not important, it will be overlooked time and again and they become adults who if they make any gains make them at the expense of others, for that is what they have learned. Forbearing one another, treating one another with kindness, preferring one another is foreign to them. They have been catered to and believe that is how it should be. What and how are we teaching our children? My experience in the classroom says we are not following scripture. My experience in the classroom says we are spoiling the child. Our natural love gets in the way of what is best for the child. It is hard to discipline a wayward child. They are cute, they are ours, they are masters at manipulation, they persevere till they get what they want,

[Pro 22:15 KJV] 15 Foolishness [is] bound in the heart of a child; [but] the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.

That rod can come in many forms. It does not always have to be corporal punishment. It is a rod of correction, it is reproof, it teaches consequences, it follows God’s Word. Time to take a close look at what we are doing to prepare our children for their future.

The Most High rules…

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.

Daniel 4:16-24

Then Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, was dismayed for a while, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king answered and said, “Belteshazzar, let not the dream or the interpretation alarm you.” Belteshazzar answered and said, “My lord, may the dream be for those who hate you and its interpretation for your enemies!

 The tree you saw, which grew and became strong, so that its top reached to heaven, and it was visible to the end of the whole earth,

 whose leaves were beautiful and its fruit abundant, and in which was food for all, under which beasts of the field found shade, and in whose branches the birds of the heavens lived—

 it is you, O king, who have grown and become strong. Your greatness has grown and reaches to heaven, and your dominion to the ends of the earth.

 And because the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, ‘Chop down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field, and let him be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts of the field, till seven periods of time pass over him,’

 this is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king,

 that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.

 And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules.

 Therefore, O king, let my counsel be acceptable to you: break off your sins by practicing righteousness, and your iniquities by showing mercy to the oppressed, that there may perhaps be a lengthening of your prosperity.”

 All this came upon King Nebuchadnezzar.

At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon,

 and the king answered and said, “Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?”

 While the words were still in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, “O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you,

 and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will.”

 Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles’ feathers, and his nails were like birds’ claws.

 At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;

ll the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

 At the same time my reason returned to me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my majesty and splendor returned to me. My counselors and my lords sought me, and I was established in my kingdom, and still more greatness was added to me.

 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

“until you learn that the Most High rules in the human kingdom and gives it to whomever he pleases.”

Has God changed? Has humanity? It is good for us to recognize who is in control. We do not grant it to him, he has it! We do well to recognize who he is, what he does and who we are. We can do all things in him. The key lies in two small words…in him. Let us recognize who he is, give him all honor and glory. Give him respect as that one does who works with a dangerous substance knowing what it can do if misused. He is all power and his words stand. Let us not be found in a place where the word is spoken against us. Let us be in that place of love and obedience, respect and honor, recognizing who he is and what he does and what he has done for us, It is not his wish that all perish; for that reason he gave his son for our salvation. Can we rest in that and give him glory? Let us say with Nebuchadnezzar:

 

praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble.

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