Saturday, September 22, 2018

Your Daily Slice


TISHRI 13
Fear Not


“Fear not [there is NOTHING to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I WILL strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I WILL help you; yes, I WILL hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice.  (Isa 41:10 AMPC, emphasis mine)

The two words “fear not” appear more than 300 times in the King James Version of the Scriptures; many times, our Elohim is the one that is speaking these words.  It would it be safe to assume He is trying to get our attention, that these two words are extremely important.

‘Fear’ is defined as “a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.”[1]  What I would like to call attention to is the fact that ‘fear’ is an emotion, a feeling, and, as children of the living Elohim, we are not to walk according to what we perceive, and our corresponding feelings (see 2Cor 5:7).  Our focus should always be on the One who has delivered us, redeemed us, and calls us by name (see Isa 43:1).

There will be those, our adversary haSatan among them, who will come and whisper to us, reminding us of what losers we are.  We are never going to amount to a hill of beans, they say, and we might as well give it all up.  We may even try to convince ourselves that we are whooped, beaten, that others have the upper hand, and that our Elohim has forgotten all about us.  Or perhaps the adversary will try to convince us there really isn’t a God anyway, because if there was, surely He would have come through for us by now …

But Yahweh our Elohim, the El Gibbor, the mighty Elohim, says, fear not, all of these voices are nothing but liars (John 8:44).  Yes, it may be a day or two before we see, in the natural, the deliverance we know is coming, but NEVER, EVER, let the devil see you sweat …


Be sober, WATCH, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in the belief, knowing that the same hardships are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1Pet 5:8 ISR, emphasis mine)

What then shall we say to [all] this? If God is for us, who [can be] against us? [Who can be our foe, if God is on our side?]” (Rom 8:31 AMPC)


©2018


Friday, September 21, 2018

Your Daily Slice


TISHRI 12
Cling


“And having removed him, He raised up for them Dawiḏ as sovereign, to whom also He gave witness and said, ‘I have found Dawiḏ the son of Yishai, a man after My own heart, who shall do all My desires.’” (Acts 13:22 ISR, emphasis mine)


Years ago, when I first came to know and acknowledge Yahweh Elohim as my Creator and God, I asked Him to explain the meaning behind this principle, of being “after” His heart.  This simple, yet profound, illustration is one that I have returned to often, with both grief, and yearning:  grief, because it seems I still have so far to go; and yearning for more than a glimpse of the heart of my Creator.

Please visualize a small scroll, one that you recognize may have some value, laying just far enough ahead of you on a sidewalk.  You can discern that it is, in fact, a scroll, rolled up; the paper that is visible looks to have age to it.  You speed up, not fully believing what you are seeing!  However, just as you bend over and reach for the scroll, a sharp gust of wind comes and catches the object, carrying it along just a little further up the sidewalk.  You hurry to catch up, not willing to allow this item to escape.  The same thing happens again:  this sharp wind is keeping this scroll out of your reach, but right at your fingertips, always within sight.

Our pursuit of the Father’s heart is of a similar nature.  We desire to have a heart like His, in all its perfection, full of His love, His gentleness, goodness, mercy, and tenderness, in fact, full of all of the fruit of the Spirit.  We chase after Him, follow hard after Him, cling hard to Him, and endeavor to become more and more like Him, that His light would shine through us to the world that is in need of it.


“Only, diligently guard to do the command and the Torah which Mosheh the servant of יהוה commanded you, to love יהוה your Elohim, and to walk in all His ways, and to guard His commands, and to CLING to Him, and to serve Him with all your heart and with all your being.”  (Ps 63:8 ISR, emphasis mine)


Most Holy Father, we chase hard after You, for we desire You, and only You.  You are our first love, our only love, and the very breath that we draw – there is no life without You.  Fill us, fill us, Elohim, with You, for we desire to be the vessels, Your vessels, Your light, and Your servants.  In the Name that is above every name, Yeshua HaMashiach, we pray!  Amein!


©2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Your Daily Slice


TISHRI 11
A Firm Foundation


“But why do you call Me ‘Master, Master,’ and do not do what I say?  Everyone who is coming to Me, and is hearing My words and is doing them, I shall show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who DUG DEEP AND LAID A FOUNDATION ON THE ROCK. And when a flood came, the stream burst against that house, but was unable to shake it, for it was FOUNDED ON THE ROCK. But the one hearing and not doing, is like a man who built a house on the earth WITHOUT A FOUNDATION, against which the stream burst, and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”  (Luke 6:46-49ISR, emphasis mine)

Messiah Yeshua is painting a picture in these verses of someone who planned well in building a home, knowing that the foundation of the structure is the most important part of the building.  Without a solid, firm, square foundation, you do not have a building.  When asking the advice of any building contractor, we would receive the same answer:  our Master is completely correct.

The same is true with the Word of Elohim, what we refer to as “The Bible”.  The foundation that Messiah Yeshua, and the early believers stood on was called the Tanakh, what we know as the Old Testament.  Compiled of the Torah (otherwise known as the first five books of the Old Testament), the Prophets (see Mat 22:40; Luke 16:16), and what is called the Writings (those not included in the prophetical), these were the only Scriptures used by the first disciples to witness to the world about Yeshua.   A perfect example of this is found in the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch (see Acts 8:26-35). 

In 2Tim 3:16-17, the Apostle Paul is admonishing his young charge concerning the importance of Elohim’s Word for our lives:  All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.” (ISR, emphasis mine).  It is estimated that Paul wrote these words to young Timothy sometime around 66 CE, and history tells us that what we refer to as the New Testament had not been compiled and completed at that time (this was finally done around 390 CE).   It stands to reason that the “all scripture that Paul is referring to is the Tanakh.

The New Testament, or the Brit Chadashah, is built upon the foundation of the Old, upon the Torah and the prophets.  In fact, it is in our own best interests to become “noble” as the Bereans were (see Acts 17:11), and daily search the Tanakh (the Torah, the Prophets, and the Writings), to verify what we find written in the Brit Chadashah!  If what we are reading in the New Testament is contradicting the Old, there is a problem.  There should be only confirmation, not misinterpretation. 

Yeshua, and all of His disciples, were Torah-keeping Jews.  Messiah Yeshua is still a Jew.  When He returns in triumph on the “Great Day of the Lord” (see Zec 14:3-4), it will be to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, not to New York City, or Los Angeles, Paris, or Tokyo.  Yeshua will still be standing on the foundation of the Torah, and the prophets, when He returns.  Is it not time that we at least understand what this foundation of Torah is?


Thus said יהוה, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; and find rest for yourselves.”  (Jer 6:16 ISR)

As the whirlwind passes by, The wrong one is no more, But the righteous has an EVERLASTING FOUNDATION.” (Pro 10:25 ISR, emphasis mine)


©2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Your Daily Slice


TISHRI 10
The Bride


Messiah Yeshua is not only coming back for a bride without spot or blemish, He is also coming back for a bride that is mature and ready.  Yeshua is not an advocate of child-brides.  He has no wish to wed Himself to immature, self-centered and selfish people, who have no thought for His desires, and only concern themselves with their own wants and lusts.  Brothers and sisters, it is past the point in time to first, realize to whom we belong, then second, to whom we are betrothed, and then finally, begin to act like it.

“Having PUT ASIDE, then, all evil, and all deceit, and hypocrisies, and envyings, and all evil words, as newborn babes, desire the unadulterated milk of the Word, in order that you grow by it, if indeed you have tasted that the Master is good.” (1Pet 2:1-2 ISR, emphasis mine)

“… let US, too, PUT ASIDE every impediment — that is, the sin which easily hampers our forward movement — and keep running with endurance in the contest set before us ...” (Heb 12:1 CJB, emphasis mine)

“So that, my beloved, as you always obeyed – not only in my presence, but now much rather in my absence – WORK OUT your own deliverance with fear and trembling …” (Phi 2:12 HRB, emphasis mine)

According to these three verses, it is our responsibility to remove, to cast away, to put aside anything and everything in our lives that would hinder us from coming into the maturity that our Master desires for us to walk in.  And this is our challenge for today.  Since He has given us every key to victory, what is holding us back?

“Therefore, as you accepted Messiah יהושע the Master, walk IN Him, having been rooted and built up IN Him, and established in the belief, as you were taught, overflowing in it with thanksgiving.” (Col 2:6-7 ISR, emphasis mine)


Most Holy Father, we come to You, and lay at Your feet all of our excuses, all of our selfish desires and ambitions, and submit to the washing of the water of the Word.  Cleanse us, YAH; we yield to Your will in our lives, that the image of Your Son, Messiah Yeshua, would be perfected in us.  We must decrease, we know this, that You, and only You, may increase.  Help us, Adonai, to become that bride that You desire to spend eternity with.  In the Name that is above every Name we pray, in the Name of Yeshua of Nazareth, Amein and Amein.


©2018


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Tishri 9
Maturity


“Therefore, BE PERFECT, as your Father in the heavens is perfect.” (Mat 5:48 ISR, 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 is finished, complete, perfect.  When applied to people, it signifies a total soundness, and includes the idea of being whole and mature. 

One of the definitions Mr. Webster uses for the word “therefore” is “for that or this reason, referring to something previously stated”[1].  Using this definition, we can surmise that the entire chapter five of Matthew leading up to this verse is the “something previously stated”.  Neither do I believe it to be wrong if we were to take all of the instructions given to us throughout this chapter as the means for us to reach maturity, or ‘perfection’.  However, we will never be successful in this endeavor if we only hear, but never obey.

We are 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 (Rom 13:11), and we no longer may play trivial games with our Elohim.  We need to clothe ourselves with Messiah Yeshua (Rom 13:14), and be the light that He has called us to be.


And the Elohim of peace who brought up our Master יהושע from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, MAKE YOU PERFECT in every good work to do His desire, working in you what is pleasing in His sight, through יהושע Messiah, to whom be esteem forever and ever. Amĕn.” (Heb 13:20-21 ISR, emphasis mine)

Avinu Malkeinu, we thank You.  We thank you that You are faithful to teach us, to perfect everything that concerns us.  We know that we are Your workmanship, created in Messiah Yeshua for good works, and that You will complete that which You began in us.  Master, help us to remain pliable on the potter’s wheel, as You continue to shape us into the image of the Beloved, of Your Son, of Yeshua.  May we always remember that it is Your hand on the wheel, loving and caring, and always faithful.  In the name that is above every name we pray, the name of Yeshua, our Messiah King.  Amein.


©2018



[1]American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

Monday, September 17, 2018

Your Daily Slice


TISHRI 8
Beginnings


“In the BEGINNING Elohim …” (Gen 1:1 ISR, emphasis mine)

In the BEGINNING was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.  He was in the BEGINNING with Elohim.” (John 1:1-2 ISR, emphasis mine)


Everything starts with our Elohim, the Creator of the universe.  He is the starting point, the beginning of everything, for everything originated from and with Him.  People ask:  where did Elohim come from?  Elohim is; there has never been a time when Elohim did not exist.  His existence is not dependant on anyone or anything, and He Himself has never had a beginning, nor will He ever have an end.  He is the beginning, and He is the ending (see Ps 90:2; John 5:26; Rev 22:13; Isa 57:15; Deu 33:27).

“You did found the earth of old, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They shall perish, but You remain; And all of them grow old like a garment; You change them like a coat, And they are changed. But You are the same, And Your years have no end.” (Ps 102:25-27 ISR, emphasis mine)

The Book of Genesis, in the Hebrew, is named Bereishit, which means, literally, ‘in the beginning’, or ‘the point at which something starts’, for this is where everything starts, where it all begins.  This is where our foundation is found, this is the beginning of creation, of a human society, of the nation of Israel.  And this is the beginning of the promise of our Messiah, our Adon Yeshua, and of the life that we can live pleasing to Him.  This too, must be where we need to start, in our search of who our Elohim is, of His character, His ways, of what He desires from us, and what He requires from us:  at the beginning.

Birth is a beginning.  So too, when we come in genuine repentance, doing teshuva, to our Creator, with the heartfelt sorrow for having lived our lives in opposition to His Torah, so too we experience a ‘new’ birth and a new beginning.   As we progress and learn in our day by day walk, let us go back to the beginning of the book, to where it all began, to the foundation, and learn again who the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob really is …


“For I am יהוה, I shall NOT change …” (Mal 3:6 ISR, emphasis mine)

יהושע Messiah is THE SAME yesterday, and today, and forever.” (Heb 13:8 ISR, emphasis mine)


©2018


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Tishri 7
Called AND Chosen


“For many are called (invited and summoned), but few are CHOSEN.”  (Mat 22:14 AMPC, emphasis mine)

There is an annual event televised internationally, a gala pageantry, recognized as the “Miss Universe” contest.  Countries from all over the world participate in this pageant, choosing, then sending their most beautiful and talented young ladies.  A process of elimination brings it down to the eventual winner of the competition, the one who will wear the crown for the coming year. From several hundred attractive and stunning women, only one is chosen.

In the Book of Esther, there was a similar pageant, but the prize for this was the crown of a Queen.  There is no record of exactly how many virgins were ‘called and summoned’ to this contest, but according to the Scriptures, Esther was the one that won the king’s love and approval, and consequently was chosen to become Queen (Est 2:17).

There were ten virgins – attendants – who, with their lamps, were to meet the bridegroom (see Mat 25:1-13).  They were all “called”, or invited, but only five were chosen to go in the bridal chamber.

There were twelve disciples called by our Master, but only three chosen to accompany Him to the Mount of Transfiguration, and later, to the Garden of Gethsemane.

What do we have to do to qualify to be chosen?


“Yeshua answered him, "If someone loves me, he will KEEP my WORD; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:23 CJB, emphasis mine)


Abba, Father, we love You, and we thank You for all that YOU have done for us, and continue to do.  We gladly lay down our lives, and bow our knees to You, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  Help us to live our lives according to Your Word, Your Torah, and may we always bring You praise, honor and glory.  In His Name, Yeshua HaMashiach, we pray.



But you are a CHOSEN race, a royal priesthood, a set-apart nation, a people for a possession, that you should proclaim the praises of Him who CALLED you out of darkness into His marvellous light ...” (1Pet 2:9 ISR, emphasis mine)


©2018

Your Daily Slice

TISHRI 13 Fear Not “Fear not [there is NOTHING to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, fo...