Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Your Daily Sice


Adar 13
Insatiable


Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, because they shall be filled.” (Mat 5:6 ISR)


Noah Webster defines “insatiable” as “incapable of being satisfied or appeased; very greedy; as an insatiable appetite or desire; insatiable thirst”[1].  Someone who is addicted to a drug (ANY drug) will have an insatiable appetite for that drug he/she is addicted to.  This individual will do whatever is necessary to satisfy the craving for this drug, legal or illegal.  And that is the nature of an addiction; it is a bondage that is difficult to break free from. 

And yet, how hungry and greedy are we for the things of our Elohim, for His presence, for His Word, for His shalom, for the righteousness that only comes through obedience to Him?  This type of hunger is a blessing from our Creator, and one that He longs to satisfy, for He is the only One that can.

And יהושע said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall not get hungry at all, and he who believes in Me shall not get thirsty at all.”  (John 6:35 ISR, emphasis mine)

The things of this world are fleeting, they don’t last, and they certainly don’t satisfy.  Addictions, whether they are to drugs, alcohol, food, or even relationships, can destroy lives, for they are bondages meant to keep us ensnared.  But praise YAH for Messiah Yeshua; He satisfies the hungry soul, and He came to set us free!  The more that we feed on Him, the Living TORAH, the more we will be satisfied, the more we will be filled, and the more His image will be recreated in us.  Oh, that we would learn to be greedy, to be possessive and “famished” concerning our Creator, never satisfied with anything less than His holy presence, His holy Word, His holy touch …


“But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.”  (John 4:14 Amp, emphasis mine)

“With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.”  (Ps 91:16 Amp)


©2018


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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 12
Meekness

"Happy are the meek, for they will inherit the land." (Mat 5:5 HRV)


The concept of being “meek” in a world that is totally concentrated on individual human and civil rights is everything contradictory.  Most people associate meekness with weakness, and the statement that this is the class of believers that will inherit the earth seems ludicrous. Yet true Biblical meekness is everything but weak, as our Messiah Yeshua showed us in the example of His own life.  He illustrated incredible strength and boldness when He drove the money changers out of the Temple area, while overturning their tables (see Mark 11:15-19).  However, on the flip side of this coin, when Yeshua raised the only son of a widow from the dead, He showed great compassion, gentle mercy and the grace of our ABBA Father (see Luke 7:11-15).

Meekness is power and strength under the perfect control of the Spirit of Elohim.  Considered a fruit of the Ruach (Gal 5:22, 23), meekness will patiently stand under a volley of meaningless insults, knowing that YHWH our Elohim is the vindicator (Rom 12:9).  Meekness has no need to run rough shod over the rights of others, in order to insure that his/her own rights are met and protected.  Again, these individuals stand secure in their own relationship with ABBA Father, and this assures them that they will, eventually, be vindicated. 


"He who controls his temper is better than a war hero, he who rules his spirit better than he who captures a city." (Pro 16:32 CJB, emphasis mine)


Only by submitting to our Creator in His working within us can the fruit of meekness be brought to full maturity in our lives.  The individual that is continually ruffled, that is easily disturbed and offended, one that everyone has to walk on eggshells around, is the person that has probably aborted the fruit of meekness more than once.  And that person is a testing ground for our own fruit as well, to see how well our fruit is maturing … Remember, meekness will always produce peace.


“Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble.”  (Ps 119:165 Amp, emphasis mine)


These are the people that will inherit the earth, for these are those that walk in total submission, yielded to the operation and control of YHWH our Elohim in, and over, their lives.  Their delight is in our Master, and in all of His ways.  Because of the single mindedness of their lives, the earth, and all that it yields, is their inheritance. 


I yield, Master, I yield.  Create in me a clean heart, YAH, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me.  Lead me in Your truth, and teach me, for You are the Elohim of my salvation.  In the Name that is above all Names I pray, the mighty Name of Yeshua HaMashiach.  Amein.



©2018

Monday, February 26, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 11
Those Who Mourn


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


Most of us are familiar with the story of King David and Bathsheba, a story of adultery and murder (see 2Sam 11–12:23).  Nathan was the prophet chosen by YHWH (2Sam 12:1) to confront and expose the depth of these sins to David; upon doing so, the king’s comment to Nathan was: “I have sinned against יהוה.”  (2Sam 12:13).  Much of the heart-wrenching teshuva – repentance - that David went through is written for us to bear witness to in Ps 51.

How many of us can 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 ingratitude towards a Being of infinite benevolence”[1].  To mourn is to express much grief, pain and sorrow; genuine repentance for sin should be an area for us to mourn deeply over.


For sorrow over the things of YAHWEH works enduring repentance of the soul, that brings one to life. But the sorrow over the things of the world causes death.”  (2Cor 7:10 NLT, emphasis mine)


The promises of YHWH are “Yea and Amen” (2Cor 1:20).  For those of us who are not “just sorry we got caught”, but have spent our season in mourning over our past sinful state, are truly repentant, and have done teshuva, we have the promise of being comforted by the loving arms of our Creator (see Isa 49:13).  


There are those of us (myself included) who have lost loved ones, those especially dear and precious to our hearts.  This verse from Matthew is also a promise for us.  Our ABBA Father is well acquainted with how it feels to lose someone close to the heart; He lost His Son on the stake, and He has experienced grief.  But He also sends us the Comforter, the Holy Breath of YHWH, not only to comfort, but also to console, to strengthen, and to walk us through the dark days of grief until we come out the other side (John 16:7 Amp).  How great is our God, how merciful, how tender, how loving …




“To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven … a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance …”  (Ecc 3:1,4)


©2018



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

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 10
Poor of Spirit


“Happy are the poor of spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Mat 5:3 HRVS)


It is, perhaps, difficult to associate blessings with being poor; such, however, is the “banking system” in the finances of our Father’s Kingdom.  “Poor of spirit” has absolutely nothing to do with our external circumstances or conditions; it is the attitude and condition of our heart.  It is how we see ourselves when we look in the mirror of the Word of our Elohim, His TORAH, His divine instructions for righteous and moral living.  What kind of opinion do we have of ourselves?  If we were to realistically strip away everything that our Elohim is, and does, in and through us, just how proud of ourselves would we be?

For by favor you have been saved, through belief, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of Elohim, it is not by works, so that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Messiah יהושע unto good works, which Elohim prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Eph 2:8-10 ISR, emphasis mine)

The individual that welcomes this heart attitude of being “poor of spirit” has been through the furnace of the refiner’s fire, and knows that the only good thing in his/her life is the presence of Messiah Yeshua.  All self-righteousness is burned away; all pride, all vanity, all selfish ambition has been destroyed.  A truly humble spirit has been born; a recognition of how very insignificant we are without our Creator, and His life in us.  With this acknowledgement, we reach this “blessed” state.  Now, through our love and obedience to our Father and His Torah, we are counted among the ones who are eligible to receive the inheritance of the Kingdom.   

"For thus declares the high and exalted One who dwells forever, whose Name is set-apart, “I dwell in the high and set-apart place, with him who has a bruised and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of bruised ones." (Isa 57:15 ISR)


Alvinu Malkenu, my Father, my King I cry out to You.  I surrender this heart of mine, this heart that continually tries to assert dominance over my life, and I ask You to remold it with a heart that is totally sold out and committed to living in Your will.  Help me, YAH, to remember that my life is hid in my Messiah, and that only in Him can I do all things as He strengthens me.  Thank You, Adon Yeshua, for all that You have done for me, to you I gladly bow my knee, and confess You as my Master, and my soon coming King.  Hallelu-YAH!



©2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 9
Slinging Mud


Who is the man who desires life, Who loves many days, in order to see good? Keep your TONGUE FROM EVIL, And your LIPS FROM SPEAKING DECEIT. Turn away from evil and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it.” (Ps 34:12-14 ISR, emphasis mine)



Jewish Wisdom prohibits all calumny (a false and malicious statement designed to injure the reputation of someone or something[1]), backbiting and slander; in the Hebrew language, this is referred to as LaShon Hara, and literally means “evil speech”.  To the Torah-observant Jew, this is one of the worst sins that can be committed, for it brings death and destruction to relationships.  Jews believe that LaShon Hara commits a three-fold murder and desecration:  It ruins the slanderer, the listener, and the one being maligned.[2]

A “moral leprosy” is one description I found of this evil; the basis of this definition coming from Num 12:1-15, which is the account of the slander done to Moses by his siblings, Aaron and Miriam.  For the part she played in this situation, Miriam was struck with leprosy.  Because Moses intervened on her behalf, Miriam was healed, and after seven days, was allowed to return to the camp.

Lev 19:16 tells us that we are not to go “slandering among our people”, and Ex 23:1 instructs us to “not bring a false report, and to not put our hand with the wrong to be a malicious witness.”  Mr. Webster defines “slander” as “A false tale or report maliciously uttered, and tending to injure the reputation of another by lessening him in the esteem of his fellow citizens, by exposing him to impeachment and punishment, or by impairing his means of living; defamation.”[3]  However, the Jewish people believe that not only does falsehood spoken with a malicious intent come under LaShon Hara, but so also is the truth, when it is spoken in such a way as to cause shame and humiliation.  As such, the one who speaks LaShon Hara is one who markets and solicits slander and calumny.

We live in a time, unfortunately, where mud-slinging has reached a new peak, an all-time high.  From the White House, through all the chambers of our government, across the country to the supposed “elite” of the Hollywood screen, to law enforcement officials, to the proponents of the LBGT lifestyle, and to the average “Joe” in the work place:  the mud is deep.  And this ought to never be so.  It is sickening to hear people talk of one another in this manner, regardless of who you are, and it is something that YHWH our Elohim is not pleased with.  He is the giver of life, yet often we find ourselves engaging in this practice that kills and brings death to relationships and reputations.  Added to this, we are speaking against one that is created in the image of our ABBA Father.

The Word of our Elohim teaches us that HaSatan is the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10; Zec 3:1) in the Heavenly Courtroom, and that Messiah Yeshua is our Advocate and Defense Attorney (1John 2:1).  Every time we choose to backbite, slander, speak evil and use negative, criticizing, degrading speech about a person, we stand as a witness for the enemy, coming into agreement with him in his accusations against that person.  What does this do to the heart of the One who died to bring that individual redemption?

Brothers, do not speak against one another. He that speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah but a judge. There is one Lawgiver and Judge, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?” (James 4:11-12 ISR, emphasis mine)

Messiah Yeshua summed up all the Torah in two commandments: loving Elohim with everything in us, and loving our neighbor as we do ourselves (see Mark 12:30-37).  If we love and respect ourselves as someone created by YHWH our Elohim, would we be spending time (continuously) spreading negative, “evil speech” about ourselves?  Brethren, if we are to “walk in the light as HE is in the light” (1John 1:7; Eph 5:8), we must learn to love each other, and especially in the way we talk about each other.  Let us today decide, that our words towards each other, and concerning each other, will always be for encouragement, edification, and comfort (Rom 14:19, 15:2), and bring honor and glory to our ABBA Father … Amein.


©2018


[1] http://www.dictionary.com/browse/calumny?s=t
[3] American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

Friday, February 23, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 8
Worthless


But the way of the wrong comes to naught. (Ps 1:6 ISR)


This section of verse is, to me, not only very sad, but equally terrifying.  We learned that “the way” is the manner of life we live.  We also understand that the “wrong” are those who are wicked, ungodly and criminal.  But stop and think: these people were originally created in the image of Elohim, just as we are.  They have had the same opportunities to serve our Creator as we have had.  Yet they ultimately choose a path that will lead to their extermination.  Sad, and a terrifying reminder of what could have been us, had we made the same wrong choices.

The Hebrew word that has been translated as “naught” (some versions read perish) is the word 'âbad (Strong’s H6), and means to perish, be destroyed or exterminated.  Jeff Benner defines this word as “To be separated from the whole, life or functionality.”[1]  It appears to be a very final and serious word.  Mr. Webster defines “naught” as “nothing, worthless, of no value or account.”[2]  It is hard for me to imagine someone’s walk, or way of life, as being totally worthless.  Again, something to ponder.

One thing I found of note, as I was researching this word 'âbad, is its connection to another word found in Rev 9:11:  And they have over them a sovereign, the messenger of the pit of the deep, whose name in Heḇrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apolluon.  The name Abaddon means much the same as 'âbad, complete ruin and destruction.  An appropriate name for such a being, don’t you think?  And yet, the connection between Ps 1:6 and this verse in Revelation is startling when we think about it; do you suppose those who are considered “wrong”, whose lives amount to nothing, will find themselves citizens of “the pit of the deep”?

As we finish up Psalm 1, let us make the decision to be that one planted by the rivers of water, delighting and meditating in the Torah of our Elohim, bearing good fruit, and giving all honor and glory to Him.  Amein.

©2018



[1] Ancient Hebrew Dictionary, ©2007 Jeff Benner
[2] American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster, 1828

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 7
THE Way


For יהוה knows the way of the righteous …” (Ps 1:6 ISR)


The word derek (Strong’s #H1870) is the Hebrew word that has been translated as “way”, and means, literally, a road, path, or a way.  Also included in the meaning of derek is a journey, a manner, or the course of life.  It would appear that this word, a noun, implies an action – such as walking or traveling on the road or path.  And in truth, we are all embarked on this journey we call life, some one way, some another.

However, our focus is on the road, or path, that the righteous one is on.  If we allow the Word of our Elohim to define this word derek, we find the “way of the righteous” will primarily be focused on Torah.  We have learned that the one who is righteous is the one who does what is right, observing the “right-rulings” of Torah (see Deu 4:8).  The “way of the righteous” must therefore be the path of following Torah. 


“And you shall enlighten them concerning the laws and the Torot, and show them the way in which they should walk and the work which they do.” (Ex 18:20 ISR, emphasis mine)

“And now, Yisra’ĕl, what is יהוה your Elohim asking of you, but to fear יהוה your Elohim, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, and to serve יהוה your Elohim with all your heart and with all your being …” (Deu 10:12 ISR, emphasis mine)

“The steps of a man are ordered by יהוה, And He delights in his way.” (Ps 37:23 ISR)

For the command is a lamp, And the Torah a light, And reproofs of discipline a way of life  (Pro 6:23 ISR, emphasis mine)


©2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 6
Relationship


For יהוה KNOWS …” (Ps 1:6 ISR, emphasis mine)


Yâda (Strong’s H3045) is the Hebrew word that has been translated as “know”, and means so much more than just being acquainted with someone.  I like Jeff Benner’s definition the best:  To have an intimate and personal understanding; to have an intimate relationship with another person.”[1]  The idea that my Creator is so closely concerned with me is beyond my comprehension.

However, it takes two people to have any kind of an intimate relationship, and it can never be intimate without each party giving that 150%.  Any good relationship takes work – giving that 150% - to make it successful and strong.  And without the commitment to making it work, any association will be just that: a casual acquaintance.

As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual: we can all relate stories of relationships that were once close, yet fizzled away and died, mostly because one (or both) individuals just no longer cared.  With that in mind, the question I would ask myself is at what level of intimacy is my relationship with my Father?  Do I no longer put forth the effort required to have close, intimate contact with the One who formed me?  Do I “know” Him as He “knows” me?

Brothers and sisters, the depth of our relationship with our Elohim is the key to everything we do, of who we are.  From out of this relationship comes our desire to be obedient, to be the children He desires us to,  And a person who genuinely loves the Father is one that will draw people to Him, simply by the love reflected in their lives.

I know my portion of this intimate relationship with my Maker can stand some improvement.  How about yours?


“Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one!  And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.” (Deu 6:4-5 ISR)

“And the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one Elohim, and there is no other besides Him.  And to love Him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the being, and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself, is more than all the burnt offerings and offerings.” (Mark 12:32-33 ISR)



©2018




[1] Ancient Hebrew Dictionary, ©2007 Jeff Benner

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Your Daily Slice


Adar 5
Congregation of the Righteous


“…Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (Ps 1:5 ISR)


I believe it would be safe to say that the opposite of “sinner” is one who is “righteous”.  We have already discussed what a sinner is in this series; however, let us look again at the definition given to us by Mr. Webster, to refresh our memory:  One that has voluntarily violated the divine law; a moral agent who has voluntarily disobeyed any divine precept, or neglected any known duty (emphasis mine).”[1]  This is the group of people that will have no part in the Kingdom of our Elohim.

What does it mean to be righteous?  According to a leading Torah-teacher, righteousness is something we do, it is an action.[2]  We often speak of “walking” Torah – is this not something we are doing?  Therefore, when we make the willing and conscious decision to live a lifestyle of doing what we know to be right, we are righteous.  This is not to be confused with the righteousness we receive through Messiah Yeshua (see 2Cor 5:21; Phi 1:11).  The righteousness I am speaking of here is what we walk and live, through our obedience to Torah (see 1Tim 6:11; Deu 6:25).

On THAT day – the day of YHWH our Elohim (see Zec 14) – sinners will be removed from the congregation of the righteous.  For further confirmation on this, we have the parable of the wheat and tares, taught to us by our Master Yeshua (see Mat 13:24-30).  And we have HIS promise, the tares will be destroyed …

More and more, our lives must be focused on our Elohim, and His Torah.  In fact, our lives may depend on it.


‘Let both grow together until the harvest, and at the time of harvest I shall say to the reapers, “First gather the darnel and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my granary.” ’ ” (Mat 13:30 ISR)

But you have not so learned Messiah, if indeed you have heard Him and were taught by Him, as truth is in יהושע: that you put off – with regard to your former way of life – the old man, being corrupted according to the desires of the deceit, and to be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the renewed man which was created according to Elohim, in righteousness and set-apartness of the truth.” (Eph 4:20-24 ISR, emphasis mine)

©2018



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

Your Daily Slice

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