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Showing posts from August, 2012

To Hear Your Voice

“I love those who love me, and those who seek me early and DILIGENTLY shall find me.”  (Proverbs 8:17 Amp, emphasis mine)

"Keep asking, and it will be given to you; keep seeking, and you will find; keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps asking receives; he who keeps seeking finds; and to him who keeps knocking, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8 CJB)
It is a fairly common saying among the Spirit-filled community that the Father “knows how to get our attention when He needs to”, a saying that I have been guilty of using myself.  This is, however, a form of arrogance, and certainly a sign of laziness and complacency in our relationship with the ONE who created us.  According to the opening verses above, it is OUR responsibility to seek Adonai Elohim, to seek HIS wisdom, HIS fellowship, HIS direction and guidance, and even HIS daily instructions.  We seek Him out because we love Him, because He is our ALL in all, not out of obligation, or becau…

Ears to Hear

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who not only gives me ears to hear with, but also gives me the ability to distinguish between all of the different sounds, and the distance between one sound and another.  From the nearness of a baby’s cry, to the far away dog barking in another yard, they are all distinct in their own way. Yet it is Your voice, ABBA, that is the most precious sound of all – from the still, small sound, to the roar that is like many waters – YOUR voice, that strikes the chord within my heart.  Speak, Lord, for Your servant listens! 
Prov 20:12; Mark 4:23; 1Kings 19:12; Rev 1:15; 1Sam 3:10 ©2012

The Best

“Love … is ever ready to believe the best of every person…”  (1Corinthians 13:7 Amp)
Noah Webster defines ‘gossip’ as “one who runs from house to house, tattling and telling news; an idle tattler” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828).  A very dangerous practice, as often what is told is not the entire truth, and it may have destroyed lives in the retelling.  Ancient Jewish Wisdom condemns the practice of gossip, even to the one that listens, for it is criticizing and maligning one that is made in the image of God.
“A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” (Proverbs 16:28 NLT)
When we walk in Adonai YHVH’s love, we CHOOSE, by a deliberate act of our will, to NOT listen to, or accept, the negative reports concerning people that we know and love.  Instead, we CHOOSE to believe in the saving grace of our Messiah Y’shua, knowing that He is not “desiring the destruction of any, but that all may be turned from their evil ways.” (…

Words of LIFE

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who teaches me the importance of tasting my words BEFORE I speak.  Thank You, ABBA, for the classroom of the Ruach haKodesh, the Holy Spirit, as He reveals to me the power of the spoken word.  May all my words be words of LIFE, words that edify and bring encouragement, words that heal and comfort, words that echo the Father’s love.  Let no corrupt and evil speech issue from my lips, but only what is pleasing to You, “Adonai Elohai Kedosi”, the Lord, my HOLY God. 
“Set a guard, Adonai, over my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips.”
Job 12:11; Heb 11:3; Prov 18:21; Ps 34:12-14; Eph 4:14-16; Ps 141:3 ©2012

Examine Yourself

“If we would EXAMINE OURSELVES, we would not come under judgment….” (1Corinthians 11:31 CJB, emphasis mine)
When we are open and honest with ourselves, we KNOW when we have done something wrong.  The Holy Breath of YHVH, the Holy Spirit, convicts us of what is truth; this is one of the things that He gently does (see John 16:8,13 Amplified Bible).  However, it is OURresponsibility to test and examine OURselves; nowhere in the Word of God is there such a thing as a “Ministry of Critique”, where we are called upon to examine others.  We are to look at our OWN lives (no one else’s), hold them up and compare them to the standard that is found within the pages of the Word, the Torah.  We are also to look closely at the life of Messiah Y’shua, the LIVING Word, for He is our example in all things.
Do we find ourselves lacking in some areas?  Has the Holy Spirit pointed out, through the Word, areas in our character and personality that need adjusting?  Is our lifestyle not, perhaps, glorifyin…

Pure Gold

Blessed are YOU, Adonai our God, King of the universe.  You, by Your example, reveal to us all that we are NOT.  You then patiently take us by the hand, turn us around, and show us how to achieve what YOU desire us to be.  Many are the circumstances, twists and turns in the path of life that we stumble through, while from each one we pull a valuable lesson, always pressing on toward that goal in Messiah Y’shua.  At each turn, we leave more unnecessary baggage, cut off more flesh, eat more of the humble pie that tastes remarkably like TORAH, and gives us LIFE.  And through it all, we love You more, for we know that as ALL things are working together for our good, we WILL come forth as pure gold.  Thank You, “Elohim Avinu”, God our Father.
Eph 5:1; Ps 119:105; Prov 6:23; Phil 3:14; Heb 12:1; Rom 8:28; Job 23:10 ©2012

Maturity

“Therefore YOU SHALL BE PERFECT, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:48 NKJV, emphasis mine)
The word translated as ‘perfect’ in the above verse (this final verse of Matthew chapter 5) is from the Greek word “teleios” (Strong’s #G5046), and refers to that which has reached an end, it is finished, complete, perfect.  When applied to people, it signifies a total soundness, and includes the idea of being whole and mature.  Therefore, if we apply this principle to our lives in the sense of taking the total, all of the teaching and instructions we have received from Matthew chapter 5, it should, in truth, complete us, and step us up to the place of maturity.
We are now accountable for how we live our lives, for all we say and do.  We can no longer afford to act like young, spoiled children, throwing ‘temper-tantrums’ when we do not get our own way.  As the Apostle Paul said, we know in what hour of history we stand (Romans 13:11), and we do not have time to play trivial ga…

Master Potter

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe.  My heart overflows because of all that You have done, and continue to do, for me, in and through me – You are perfecting all that concerns me.  May I always be pliable in Your hands, the clay in my Master Potter’s hand, being molded and shaped into the vessel YOU have chosen me to be.  May I reflect the light – YOUR light – to those You put me in contact with, those whose paths cross mine.  And may all that I do and say be seasoned with the love of my Messiah Y’shua.  My desire is that all would know to whom I belong:  my Father, my King, my Master, my everything, my Adonai Elohim!
Ps 23:5; Phil 1:6; Ps 138:8; Jer 18:6; Matt 5:14; Prov 22:19-21; 1Cor 6:19 ©2012

Your Enemies

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, LOVE your enemies, BLESS those who curse you, DO GOOD to those who hate you, and PRAY for those who spitefully use you and persecute you …”(Matthew 5:43-44 NKJV, emphasis mine)
Love is not JUST a feeling; it is also a choice and decision that we make.  We CHOOSE, by an act of our own will, whether or not we will walk in love toward a particular individual.  We may also CHOOSE and decide when we will no longer do so.  However, our will is no longer our own, if we claim that we have been bought and paid for by the blood of Messiah Y’shua (1Corinthians 6:20).  We no longer have the option of ‘getting even’ with those that have done us wrong, that have hurt our feelings, or walked all over us.  WE are to be the example of the love that hung on the cross for all of mankind, because our Father is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL would come to repentance, and the knowledge o…

Extending Our Hands

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who teaches us how to love and care for one another.  In all of our interactions with each other, You continually stress that we are each one created in YOUR image, and must be regarded with due respect and honor.  Thank You, ABBA, that as You encourage us in the DOING of acts of chesed (Strong’s #H2617), we understand that chesed is truly “loving our neighbor as ourselves”.  By extending our hands, and ourselves, in kindness and willing assistance, we act as Your substitutes, and share Your love as well.  May we eagerly look for opportunities to participate in doing chesed, not because we have to, but because we love YOU, our Elohim Avinu, our God and Father.
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Yahweh require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy {chesed}, and to walk humbly with thy Elohim?
John 13:34-35; 1John 4:11; Gen 1:27; Rom 12:10-21; Lev 19:18; James 2:8; Micah 6:8 ©2012

Yes and No

Just let your 'Yes' be a simple 'Yes,' and your 'No' a simple 'No'; anything more than this HAS ITS ORIGIN IN EVIL.”  (Matthew 5:37 CJB, emphasis mine)
When called upon in a court of law to give testimony, we are required, by law, to ‘solemnly swear, that what we are about to say is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’.  For many years, this oath was taken while placing your hand upon the Word of God, the Bible, which most people recognized as being the Word of Truth.
Noah Webster defines ‘swear’ as “to affirm or utter a solemn declaration, with an appeal to God for the truth of what is affirmed; to promise upon oath; to give evidence on oath; as, to swear to the truth of a statement” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828).  In situations such as a legal issue, we understand where ‘oath taking’ is necessary to protect the innocent, and there are laws to insure that those who bear false witness are severely pun…

Divorced

“And it has been said, ‘Whoever puts away his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ “But I say to you that whoever puts away his wife, except for the matter of whoring, makes her commit adultery. And whoever marries a woman who has been put away commits adultery.” (Matthew 5:31-32 ISR)
“He said to them, Because of the HARDNESS (stubbornness and perversity) OF YOUR HEARTS Moses permitted you to dismiss and repudiate and divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been so [ordained].”  (Matthew 19:8 Amp, emphasis mine)
The institute of marriage was created in the Garden of Eden, pure and sinless, and it is from the Book of Genesis that we find the original instructions concerning marriage:  Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and CLEAVE to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Ge…

Offended

If therefore thou shalt bring thy oblation {offering}to the altar, and shalt there remember that thy brother hath ANY offence against thee, leave there thy oblation {offering}before the altar, and go first and BE RECONCILED with thy brother; and then come and present thy oblation {offering}.” (Matthew 5:23-24 James Murdock New Testament, emphasis and insert mine)
Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh!”  (Matthew 18:7 Webster’s Bible)
The Greek word that has been translated ‘offence is the word ‘skandalon’ (Strong’s #G4625), and it is the root to OUR words ‘scandal’ and ‘scandalize’.  The meaning to this word paints a picture of a trap, or snare, hidden in a type of ambush, such as a pit covered by limbs or tree branches.  ‘Skandalon’ will generally refer to the conduct of the person who is ambushed, or trapped.  Messiah Y’shua told us emphatically that offenses would come; however, He NEVER made …

I Choose

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who reveals to me the importance of releasing EVERY hurt and offense, real or imagined.  You have shown me that I cannot nurse these offenses, hold them close to my bosom, for they will become a cancer, and ultimately destroy me. Looking to the example of Messiah Y’shua, I must CHOOSE to release every hurt and offense, and walk in complete forgiveness toward others – then and only then can You forgive me for all of my sins and failures.  ABBA – Father – forgive me for all that I have held on to, in my self-righteousness and pride.  Thank You for cleansing me, THIS day, as I walk in newness of life, life everlasting, and joy unspeakable.  Hallelu-YAH!
Matt 6:14-15; Heb 12:15; Luke 23:24; Matt 18:21-22; Matt 6:12; 1Pet 1:8 ©2012

True Righteousness

“But I warn you—unless your righteousness is better than the righteousness of the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven!”  (Matthew 5:20 NLT)
There are, unfortunately, still legalistic Pharisees in the world today, just as there were in the time of Messiah Y’shua.  These ‘pharisees’ would like us to pray certain ways, dress certain ways, attend church only on certain days, sing only the songs picked out by the appointed song leader (that was appointed to the position 40 years ago), never moving from established tradition, for that would be SIN.  And who are you to think that the Lord has called YOU to a ministry; you are a ‘woman’!  God only talks to MEN!  Emphasis is placed on the ‘appearance’ of religion, an outward display, and approval from the population, from MAN.
However, true righteousness begins in the heart; it is an inward attitude toward Adonai Elohim reflected in a holy, righteous life.  Love and obedience to God (and His To…

Instructions in Righteousness

Blessed are you, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who has given us TORAH.  These are the instructions and teachings of YOUR Word, instructions in righteousness that we can build our lives upon, a foundation that has stood firm and strong through the test of time. We stand in awe, “El Tsaddik”, our Righteous God, that because of the RENEWED covenant we have through the shed blood of our Messiah Y’shua, TORAH is now written on the pages of our hearts!  Thank You, Adonai YHWH, for the ‘Ruach HaKodesh’, the HOLY Spirit of God, who opens WIDE the eyes of our understanding, teaching us, leading us, and revealing to us the hidden things from Your amazing Word!  We delight in Your Word, and we treasure it above all else! Hallelu-YAH! 
2Tim 3:16; Ps 119:89; Isa 40:8; Isa 45:21; 1Cor 11:25; Jer 31:33; Eph 1:18; John 14:26; Ps 119:24, 77 ©2012

A Light in the Darkness

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”  (Matthew 5:15-16 NKJV)
The sun is the principal source of light in our universe, and the Word of God tells us that the sun was created by Elohim (Genesis 1:14-19).  With the further discovery of fire, mankind learned how to keep the darkness at bay, and those things that the darkness could hide were no longer as fearful.
YHWH Himself is Light (Isaiah 60:19; John 8:12), and there is no darkness IN Him, for there is nothing in Him that needs to be concealed.  When we enter into covenant relationship with our Lord and Savior, Y’shua from Nazareth, we ask Him to come into our heart and life by the power of the Spirit of YHVH.  This HOLY breath of YAH, we need to remember, is also the Spirit of Truth, from whom NOTHING is concealed or hidden.  For those of us who “hunger and thirst after right…

YOUR Light

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who is always at work IN us, perfecting all the many things that concern us. Your goal, Your purpose, is to see the image of Y’shua, reflected IN and THROUGH us.  And our desire is reveal more and more of Your likeness, Your LIGHT, that the world would KNOW who we belong to. Thank You, “Elohim Avinu”, God our Father, while we surrender to Your work within us, we burn brightly on the lampstand that YOU have placed us on.  YOU are our light, for there is NO darkness IN You … Hallelu-YAH!
Ps 138:8; Rom 8:29; Matt 5:16; Matt 5:14-15; 1John 1:5 ©2012

Seasoned

“You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless.”  (Matthew 5:13 NLT)
Salt in the Middle East is in plentiful supply, and found in several different forms.  The Dead Sea, in Israel, has one of the highest percentages of salt of any body of water on the face of this earth, and is more than 1300 feet below sea level.   Much of the salt taken from the area surrounding the Dead Sea is NOT ‘pure’ salt, and has other minerals mixed in with it.  When exposed to certain purifying elements, the outer layers, or crusts, would lose their ‘saltiness’, and need to be cut off.  This would expose the inner layers, the pure salt, which would be used for ‘seasoning’ and preserving.  The outer layers were most often used as a road base in the time of Messiah Y’shua, so yes, the worthless salt was trampled underfoot (see our opening verse).
Salt is one of the symbols of God’s covenant wi…

Persecution

“God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.  God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.  Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.”  (Matthew 5:10-12 NLT)
When I looked up the word ‘persecute’ in Noah Webster’s Dictionary, I was somewhat astonished at how ugly and cruel this word is.  It means:  “to pursue in a manner to injure, vex or afflict; to harass with UNJUST punishment or penalties for SUPPOSED offenses; to inflict pain from HATRED OR MALIGNITY; to afflict, harass OR DESTROY for adherence to a particular creed or system of religious principles, or to a mode of worship” {(American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828) emphasis mine}.  History has taught us that the United States of America was founded on the prin…

You are Mindful

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who is the Creator of everything that lives, moves, and has breath.   In spite of the vastness of this universe, You are mindful of each individual one of us, and call us by name!  You care about our needs, our wants, our pains, our joys, and when we are careful to delight ourselves IN You, You are gracious to give to us the desires of our hearts.  You are glorious, YAH, and there is none, NO ONE, like You! You are the “El Chaiyai”, the God of MY life, and I adore You …
Eph 3:9; Col 1:16; Rev 4:11; Ex 33:12; John 10:3; Ps 37:4; Ps 42:8 ©2012

Makers of Peace

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for it is they who will be recognized as sons of God.”  (Matthew 5:9 NTMS) 
When I originally wrote this Mailbag (several years ago), the headlines of that particular week told us that Iran was again stalling concerning the disposal of their uranium supplies, which are the key ingredients to their atomic bombs.  All indications are stillpointed toward a full scale war between Israel (who is defending its homeland) and Iran.  The whole world is looking for peace, yet never, in its history, has peace been more elusive.  Messiah Y’shua Himself told us that we would hear of ‘wars, and rumors of wars’, but that we were not to let these things disturb us (Matthew 24:6).  Why?  Because peace, lasting peace, begins with the Prince of Peace, and with HIS kingdom.
“Peace I leave with you; MY [OWN] PEACE I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to …

Love One Another

Blessed are You, Adonai are our God, King of the universe, who reveals to us HOW to place our neighbor before ourselves.  We know that all of the TORAH can be summed up in two commandments: loving YOU, our Adonai Elohim, above and beyond everything imaginable, and loving our fellow human beings as we love and care for ourselves.  Thank You, ABBA, as we study Your TORAH, Your Word, to show ourselves approved, You instruct us in the many ways we can extend our hand to our brother and sister, as an extension of You.  Help us YAH, to always do what is right, not because we desire the applause, but because it is the right thing to do …
Rom 12:10; Rom 13:9-10; Luke 10:27; 2Tim 2:15; Gal 5:13-14 ©2012

Pure in Heart

"How blessed are the pure in heart! For they will see God.”(Matthew 5:8 CJB)
How many of us yearn to see the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?  To be like Moses, during the forty days on the mountain top alone with God, then descending with the shining glory of the “El Elyon”, the MOST High God, evident on our face (Exodus 33:11; 34:30).  And then to be like Stephen, knowing our death is imminent, yet looking into the face of YHVH with joy and peace (Acts 7:55).  However, according to our opening verse, the first requirement of seeing God is a “pure heart”So how can we know if OUR hearts are pure?
“EXAMINE yourselves to see whether you are still in the Christian faith. TEST yourselves! Don’t you recognize that you are people in whom Jesus Christ lives? Could it be that you’re failing the test?”(2Corinthians 13:5 GWT)
WE are responsible for testing and examining ourselves, for determining the condition of our hearts(and not our brother’s).  What is the definition of ‘pure’?  Accor…

Pure and Pleasing

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who forgives me.  When I come to You, acknowledging the SIN, the disobedience to Torah that I have committed, You are quick and faithful to forgive me.  By the blood of Messiah Yeshua, I can stand cleansed before You, once again in right relationship with my ABBA Father, thankful, so thankful.  Continually search my heart, Lord, lest there be anything that is displeasing in Your sight.  Let my heart be found pure and pleasing to You.  My one desire is dwell in Your house forever … AMEN!
1John 1:7; Rev 1:4; Ps 139:23; Ps 65:4; Ps 24:4; Ps 84:4, 10 ©2012

Full of Mercy

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7)
A few years ago, a young friend of ours was instructed by Adonai YHVH to stop, and pick up a hitch-hiker, while on her delivery route in a town about 100 miles away from her home town.After arguing with the Lord for several miles (mostly to verify that it was the Lord), she turned her truck around, and went back to where the older black man was still standing by the side of the highway.The two of them had a conversation for a few minutes (during which time YHVH confirmed to our friend that this was of HIM), Louis was then invited to ride along for the remainder of her route, and away they went.
It turned out that Louis was a mature believer in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, spending his time traveling from coast to coast, ministering as the Lord would direct him to.Most of the people Louis reaches out to are fellow “thumb-travelers”, bums (as some people would class them), and the homeless, destitute people th…

Rich in Mercy

Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the universe, who is RICH in mercy, whose mercies are new every morning, who shows mercy to thousands upon thousands of those who love YOU, and keep Your Torah, Your Word.  Your very throne is called the Mercy Seat, and it is there we come to meet with YOU, our ‘AVI’, our Father, where You embrace us, and welcome us home.  How awesome is our God!  Hallelu-YAH!
Eph 2:4; Lam 3:22-23; Ex 34:7; Ex 25:22; Lev 16:2 ©2012

Famished

          “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”  (Matthew 5:6)
Noah Webster defines ’insatiable’ as “incapable of being satisfied or appeased; very greedy; as an insatiable appetite or desire; insatiable thirst” (American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828).  An individual who is addicted to a drug, any drug, will do whatever is necessary to satisfy the craving for this drug, legal or illegal.  That is the nature of an addiction; it is a bondage from the enemy.  And yet, how greedy are we for things of Adonai Elohim, for His presence, for His Word, for His righteousness?  This type of hunger is a blessing from God, and one that He longs to satisfy, for He is the only One that can.
“Jesus replied, I AM the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will NEVER be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will NEVER thirst any more (AT ANY TIME).  (John 6:35 Amp, emphasis mine)
The things of this…