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

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Beware of what is unseen…

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:

8Then Moshe (Moses) said to Korach (Korah), “Listen here, you sons of Levi! 9Is it for you a mere trifle that the God of Isra’el has separated you from the community of Isra’el to bring you close to himself, so that you can do the work in the tabernacle of Adonai and stand before the community serving them? 10He has brought you close and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you. Now you want the office of cohen (Priest) too! 11That’s why you and your group have gathered together against Adonai! After all, what is Aharon (Aaron) that you complain against him?”

12Then Moshe sent to summon Datan (Dathan) and Aviram  (Abiram), the sons of Eli’av  (Eliab). But they replied, “We won’t come up! 13Is it such a mere trifle, bringing us up from a land flowing with milk and honey to kill us in the desert, that now you arrogate to yourself the role of dictator over us? (ii) 14You haven’t at all brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, and you haven’t put us in possession of fields and vineyards. Do you think you can gouge out these men’s eyes and blind them? We won’t come up!”

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

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

The heart of the matter is a grab for power.  It is couched in words of men’s reason. But God.  Truth is revealed to Moses:  “You want the office of priest.  That’s why you and yours have gathered against Adonai!” They made it appear to the assembly as if they were against Moses and Aaron for designating themselves as overseers of the assembly.  They made it look as if the wandering about in the wilderness was Moses’ and Aaron’s doing.  They questioned why they weren’t being taken into the land of milk and honey.  They accuse Moses and Aaron of attempting to keep control; have it their way.  Moses was able to see the truth of the matter.  Moses walked with God and because of this relationship saw beyond the men to the real enemy.  “You have gathered against Adonai!”  There is only one who defies God impudently and that is Satan the enemy of the human soul.  Truth will prevail.  Eyes are blinded, the people are manipulated by the lie.  “Did God say?”  continues to place doubt and cause division.

The political half of the rebellion refused to even come up when Moses called them.  Their arrogance is in full view of the people.  Their response to Moses clearly shows their intent to take authority from him.  They accuse him of blinding the assembly to truth when in fact it is they who do so.

These tactics continue today on so many levels.  Satan uses them to divide God’s people at every opportunity and those who are immature are taken in and deceived.  The assembly heard and were swayed by those rebelling.  None of these were open to instruction from God.  They were full of themselves and their ’cause,’ ideologies, thinking that is skewed away from God.  Unable to receive correction through Moses, they are left wide open to God’s judgment and correction.  Self has once again risen to take its place over God.  The move is subtle but can be heard by those whose ears are open to hear.

In this day, self-esteem led to self-awareness and now to self-identity.  Who do God’s people seek?  Their own identity or God’s?  A warning is being sounded, a caution.  The question: “Did God really say?” led to a lie.  ” He (God) knows that when you eat you will…”  And evil was revealed; was birthed in humanity. This deception continues today in the cloak of seeking identity.  Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, His righteousness is received and identity is revealed.  Then all these things will be added to you.  Matthew 6:33

Pray – Lord we have been given your Word both scripture and in Jesus.  May we heed what it says, apply it to our lives, our thinking and actions so we can build your kingdom, not one of our own making.

Repent – Lord, I’m sorry for the movement away from You.  Please open eyes and ears to see and hear from you.

Ask –  I join with you in asking that we be completely one and those outside the assembly of believers may realize who you are and who you sent.  I ask that your love be manifest in how we love one another.

Yes – Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these people have known that you sent me.  I have made your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I myself may be united with them. – Jesus.  I pray this with you, Lord, may it ever be You who is seen and glorified.

John 17:25-26

May I never be guilty of flattering you with my lips…may my heart be always yours, obvious in what I do and say…careful to follow your commands, to give you honor and respect.

Source: Numbers 16 and John 17

why do you lift yourselves up?…

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:

 1Now Korach (Korah) the son of Yitz’har (Izhar), the son of K’hat (Kohath), the son of Levi, along with Datan(Dathan) and Aviram (Abiram), the sons of Eli’av (Eliab), and On, the son of Pelet (Peleth), descendants of Re’uven (Reuben), took men and 2rebelled against Moshe (Moses). Siding with them were 250 men of Isra’el, leaders of the community, key members of the council, men of reputation. 3They assembled themselves against Moshe(Moses) and Aharon(Aaron) and said to them, “You take too much on yourselves! After all, the entire community is holy, every one of them, and Adonai is among them. So why do you lift yourselves up above Adonai’s assembly?”

4When Moshe (Moses)heard this he fell on his face. 5Then he said to Korach (Korah) and his whole group, “In the morning, Adonai will show who are his and who is the holy person he will allow to approach him. Yes, he will bring whomever he chooses near to himself. 6Do this: take censers, Korach (Korah)and all your group; 7put fire in them; and put incense in them before Adonai tomorrow. The one whom Adonai chooses will be the one who is holy! It is you, you sons of Levi, who are taking too much on yourselves!”

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

*words in parentheses placed by me from English translation.

Korah is a Levite whose assignment from God – given through Moses – is to work in the temple serving the people but not as a priest.  Dathan, Abiram, and On serve as leaders of the community.  Questions are raised against the authority that was granted by God; they are coming from two camps; religious and political.  Dissatisfaction with the present assignment is causing strife.  They are ambitious and arrogant.  They say they are asking for the ability to assist or share in the responsibilities of Moses and Aaron.  This is deception.  They manipulate the assembly through the use of words.  They question the mantle of authority placed upon Moses and Aaron by God.

Moses does not defend himself.  The opposite is true.  He lays prostrate on the ground before the assembly; his is an act of humility and vulnerability.  His trust is in God and His Word, not in his own accomplishments. God has already spoken on the subject.  (See Leviticus 30:9) The question:  why do you lift yourselves up above Adonai’s assembly?” is directed at Moses before the people but as God told Moses before; in reality it is directed at God. It is God’s Word that they rebel against.  Moses rises from the dirt to say they will once again let God speak His will.

Two groups, Moses and Aaron, anointed by God, and some leaders of the community are in conflict.  The first relies upon God for direction and wisdom, the second relies on their own imagination, reasoning and abilities.  This type of conflict persists today among the community of believers.  It has been suggested that what is also at work here is an example of spiritual immaturity.  Those in rebellion have not engaged in the spiritual battles Moses has.  They have not had the same communication with God.  This is evidenced by their actions. What did they know of Moses’ relationship with God?  Did they not know that Moses and Aaron acted only under the direct command of God?  These rebels did not face Pharaoh…as Moses and Aaron had. When conflicts of this nature arise today it is best to seek God for wisdom.  The Word of God gives the believer the advice to seek unity not division, to serve one another not selfish desires.

Pray – Lord, examine me to see if I am living the life of trust in You.  The Messiah is alive in me and You say I am not a failure.  I pray to God, to You, that I will do nothing wrong.  2 Corinthians 13:5-7

Repent – I repent for the times I was more concerned about what others thought than what You think.

Ask – I cannot act against the truth, only for it.  So I will rejoice when I am weak and You are strong.  You are not weak in dealing with me, but strong.

Yes – You died in weakness but rose in power and You are powerful in me.  I will live with You, Jesus, by God’s power. 2 Corinthian 13:1-10

Source: Numbers 16 and 2 Corinthians 13:1-10

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.

Submit…

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

21Submit to one another in fear of the Messiah. 22Wives should submit to their husbands as they do to the Lord; 23because the husband is head of the wife, just as the Messiah, as head of the Messianic Community, is himself the one who keeps the body safe. 24Just as the Messianic Community submits to the Messiah, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

From <https://www.bible.com/bible/1275/eph.5>

This is not a ‘boss’ thing.  How is Jesus the Head of the church?  We submit that authority to him.  What is His example, set for husbands to follow?  He provides, loves, gives support and looks out for the best for the group?  Husbands then, do the same for their families.  When they are true to Christ’s example it is not difficult for family, wife and children, to submit to his authority.  Being ‘boss’ distorts and subverts God’s intent for the family.

Pray – Teach me, Adonai, the way of your commands. Give me understanding so my decisions follow your will.

Repent – I repent for those times I hold back from honoring Your rightful position in my life.  I submit myself to You.

Ask – Guide me on the path of Your commands; directions that are for my benefit as I serve You.  Bend my heart toward Your instructions and not toward selfish gain, selfish will.

Yes – Fulfill Your promise; in Your righteousness, give me life!

Source: Ephesians and Psalms

“he has stamped you as his” …

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 stripping off falsehood, let everyone speak truth with his neighbor, because we are intimately related to each other as parts of a body.  Be angry, but don’t sin – don’t let the sun go down before you have dealt with the cause of your anger; otherwise you leave room for the Adversary.

The thief must stop stealing; instead he should make an honest living by his own efforts.  This way he will be able to share with those in need. 

Let no harmful language come from your mouth, only good words that are helpful in meeting the need, words that will benefit those who hear them.  Don’t cause grief to God’s Ruach HaKodesh, (Holy Spirit) for he has stamped you as his property until the day of final redemption.  Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, violent assertiveness and slander, along with all spitefulness.  Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted; and forgive each other, just as in the Messiah God has also forgiven you.

 

Wow, a to-do list.  Those actions will naturally follow in one who loves. ” Love God,” ‘ love your neighbor” are two commands to wake with, go out and come in with, speak sitting down and getting up, place in the mind, heart,  doing of the hands and going of the feet.  Truth reigns in all that is said and done.  Jesus is truth and truth is found in Scripture.

Emotions belong to the individual, are felt but are not in the driver’s seat.  Therefore anger, the most destructive of emotions, must be dealt with, or the enemy has a toehold into the relationship and it quickly becomes a stronghold of bitterness driving believers apart.

Basic principles of good living follow with advice to work with one’s own hands and be able to assist others as a result.  Speaking only what will encourage and help others grow, showing kindness and forgiveness, all are actions that demonstrate a love for God and neighbor.  They are actions that are beneficial to the receiver and giver both.  The ‘stamp’ God places identifies who is his and can be seen by others.  It is seen by way of the actions, words and thoughts.

Pray – I pray for truth to be evident in my life.  I pray that Your stamp on me be obvious to others through my words and actions toward them.

Repent – I repent for using a sharp tongue to respond when it could have been a gentle tongue spoken with love.  I repent for the times I allow stress and fatigue to rule instead of Your love.

Ask – I lie prostrate in the dust; revive me, in keeping with Your word.  I told You of my ways and You answered me; teach me Your laws.  Make me understand the ways of Your precepts, and I will meditate on your wonders.

Yes – Father God, I praise You that the reason Jesus came was to destroy the work of the enemy.  I acknowledge that the one who keeps on sinning is from the enemy for they do not bear Your stamp.  You say no one who is born of God will continue to sin because Your seed has been planted in him.  I will make the right choices to demonstrate how much I love you and transfer that love to my neighbor as well.

Sources: Ephesians and Psalms

But Lord!…

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.

Psalm 31

 

In you, Adonai, I take refuge;

Let me never be put to shame;

In your justice, save me!

Turn your ear toward,

Come quickly to my rescue,

Be for me a rock of strength,

A fortress to keep me safe.

Since you are my rock and fortress,

Lead me and guide me for your name’s sake.

Free me from the net they have hidden to catch me,

Because you are my strength.

Into your hand I commit my spirit;

You will redeem me, Adonai, God of truth.

 

This passage above would be a great prayer to pray for Saeed and the Christians under siege in the Mid-east.

 

I hate those who serve worthless idols;

As for me, I trust in Adonai.

I will rejoice and be glad in your grace,

For you see my affliction,

You know how distressed I am.

You did not hand me over to the enemy;

You set my feet where I can move freely.

 

Show me favor, Adonai, for I am in trouble.

My eyes grow dim with anger,

My soul and body as well.

For my life is worn out with sorrow

And my years with sighing;

My strength gives out under my guilt,

And my bones are wasting away.

 

I am scorned by all my adversaries,

And even more by my neighbors;

Even to my acquaintances

I am an object of fear–

When they see me in the street,

They turn away from me.

Like a dead man, I have passed from their minds;

I have become like a broken pot.

All I hear is whispering,

Terror is all around me;

They plot together against me,

Scheming to take my life.

 

But I, I trust in you Adonai;

I say, ‘You are my God.’

My times are in your hand;

Rescue me from my enemies’ power,

From those who persecute me.

 

Make your face shine on your servant,

In your grace, save me.

Adonai, don’t let me be put to shame,

For I have called on you;

Let the wicked be put to shame,

Let them be silenced in Sh’ol.

May lying lips be struck dumb

That speak insolently against the righteous

With such pride and contempt.

 

But oh, how great is your goodness,

Which you have stored up for those who fear you,

Which you do for those who take refuge in you,

Before people’s very eyes!

In the shelter of your presence

You hide them from human plots,

You conceal them in your shelter,

Safe from contentious tongues.

 

Blessed be Adonai!

For he has shown me his amazing grace

When I was in a city under siege.

As for me, in my alarm, I said,

‘I have been cut off from your sight!’

Nevertheless you heard my pleas

When I cried out to you.

 

Love Adonai, you faithful of his.

Adonai preserves the loyal,

But the proud he repays in full.

Be strong, and fill your hearts with courage,

All of you who hope in Adonai.

 

Matthew 7:21-

 

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, only those who do what my Father in Heaven wants. On that Day, many will say to me ‘Lord, Lord! Didn’t we prophesy in your name? Didn’t we expel demons in your name? Didn’t we perform many miracles in your name? Then I will tell them to their faces, ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!

 

Taking refuge in God is by the mind, emotions, will, our soul, our spirit. This cannot be a physical refuge but a guarding of the mind especially. A guarding of the heart…out of the heart, the mouth speaks. We experience constant attack and bids for our minds, our heart. Immersed in God’s Word, immersed in him and by His Spirit we are kept true to him. Then, in that Day, we will be known by him, we will enter into his kingdom, we will not be sent away. We cannot work for our salvation, but we can work to keep our focus on him alone. David tells of his fears, his depressions, his attacks but always keeps his focus on the One who created him, can protect and provide for him. For this he was rewarded with exactly that. He made known his fears and God covered them, he made known his attacks and God fought for and with him. We have the same promise. In this relationship we know Him and He knows us. We need have no fear of being turned away in that Day.

 

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