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Showing posts from August, 2013

Examine Yourselves

“If we would EXAMINE OURSELVES, we would not come under judgment….” (1Corinthians 11:31 CJB, emphasis mine) When we stop, and take the time to be honest with ourselves, we KNOW when we have done something wrong.The Holy Breath of YHWH, 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 anyone other than ourselves.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 lifestyl…

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, if we claim that we have been bought and paid for by the blood of Messiah Y’shua (1Corinthians 6:20) our will is no longer our own.We do NOT 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 every individual that has ever lived, because ABBA Father is not willing that any should perish, but that ALL would come to repentance, and the kno…

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 punished.

Offended

“If, then, you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother holds whatever against you,leave your gift there before the altar, and GO, FIRST make peace with your brother, and THEN come and offer your gift..”(Matthew 5:23-24 ISR, emphasis mine)
"Moreover, if your brother commits a sin against YOU, GO and show him his fault — BUT PRIVATELY, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.”(Matthew 18:15 CJB, emphasis mine)

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 (see Matthew 18:7); however, He NEVER made allowances for US to hold on t…

True Righteousness

For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens.(Matthew 5:20 ISR)

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 to tell us to ONLYpray 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), and never moving from established tradition, for that would be SIN.And they would also be quick to tell some of us, who are you to think that the Lord has called YOU to a ministry; you are a ‘WOMAN’!God only talks to MEN!Emphasis, to these people, 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 YHWH Elohim reflected in and through a …

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 YHWH 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 a covenant relationship with our Master, Messiah Y’shua from Nazareth, we ask Him to come into our heart and life by the power of the Spirit of YHWH. 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 righteousnes…

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 YHWH’s covenant with us, His c…

Your Grace ...

Blessed are You, YHWH our God, King of the universe, who not only hears my every cry, but answers me, blessing me above and beyond everything I could ever imagine.Thank You, Father, for Your love, and grace, which are both limitless and have no end.Your GRACE, Father, Your favor that I do not deserve, nor can I ever earn, yet it is through this grace that I am saved, redeemed, and restored to my right relationship with You. Thank You for Your arms around me, shielding and protecting me, and keeping me safe from all harm.O Lord, how excellent is YOUR Name in ALL the earth!


Ps 40:1; Eph 3:20; 1Cor 2:9; Eph 2:5,9; Deut 33:27; Ps 8:9 ©2013

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, 1828emphasis mine).History has taught us that the United States of America was founded on the principles of rel…

Makers of Peace

“Happy are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of Elohim.”(Matthew 5:9 HRV) 

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 atomic bombs.All indications are stillpointed toward a full scale war between Israel (who is defending its homeland) and Iran.The entire 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 we were not to let these things disturb us (Matthew 24:6).Why?Because peace, LASTING peace, begins with the Prince of Peace, the “Sar Shalom”, 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 be agitated and…

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 YHWH, 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 YHWH with joy and peace (Acts 7:55).And yet, 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 your nefeshot {your own self, your inner man and being}, whether you stand fast in the faith. Prove your nefeshot {your own self, your inner man and being}. Or do you not acknowledge that Yeshua the Messiah is in you? And if not, you are contemptible [ones]”(2Corinthians 13:5 HRV, inserts mine)
WE are responsible for testing and examining ourselves, for determining the condition of ou…

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 YWWH 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 YHWH 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 YHWH 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 are fellow “thumb-travelers”, bums (as some people would class them), and the homeless, destitute people that make up a segme…

Famished

“Happy are they, which hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”(Matthew 5:6 HRV)

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 adversary.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 YHWH, 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 world are …

Those Who Mourn

 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”(Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

Most of us are familiar with the story of King David and Bathsheba, a story of adultery and murder (see 2Samuel 11–12:23).Nathan was the prophet sent by YHWH to confront and expose the depth of this sin to David.Upon doing so, the king’s comment to Nathan was: “I have sinned against the Lord.” Much of the heart-wrenching repentance that David went through is written for us to bear witness to in Psalm 51.
How many of us would say we have truly “mourned” over the sin we have committed in our lives, sin that has brought sorrow to our ABBA Father, sin that has grieved HIM, disappointed HIM?Have we reached such a place of casualness concerning sin, of expecting AND assuming forgiveness, of taking it for granted, of treating it lightly?Noah Webster’s definition of ‘repentance’includes “real penitence; sorrow or deep contrition for sin, as an offense and dishonor to God, a violation of His holy law, and the basest i…