We are the example

Titus 2:6-8

Similarly, urge the young men to be self-controlled, and in everything set them an example yourself by doing what is good. When you are teaching, have integrity and be serious; let everything you say be so wholesome that an opponent will be put to shame because he will have nothing bad to say about us.

 

It has only been in the past seven to ten years have I become truly aware of how my actions are teaching the next generation whether I want to or not.  Grandchildren are fantastic for bringing this to the front of my thoughts, everything I do is observed and applied to how the those watching will act towards me and others in the future.  Sha’ul tells Titus to have integrity and seriousness so that our detractors will never have anything bad to say about us in the future.  Lord let me keep my tongue and actions to reflect honorably to You.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

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Family

Titus 1:4

To: Titus, a true son in the faith we share:

Grace and shalom from God the Father and from the Messiah Yeshua, our Deliverer.

 

While Titus was not a biological son of Sha’ul, he was bound to Sha’ul through the trust they shared in ADONAI and the sacrifice that Yeshua the Messiah had made.  It is our trust that unifies us into one body and the experiences that we have exercising that trust that binds us into family for one another to depend on in our crises as well as our victories.  Lord let me be faithful always to You and a stand-up friend to all who trust in You.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

God tells all

‘Amos 3:6-7

When the shofar is blown in the city,

don’t the people tremble?

Can disaster befall a city

without ADONAI’s having done it?

ADONAI, God, does nothing without

revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.

 

God does nothing without telling us and by us, I mean everyone on the planet before He does it.  Sometimes He tells us so we can know it was by His power such as the plagues of Egypt that led to the freedom of Isra’el.  Sometimes He tells us so we can turn from our ways and be reconciled back to Him such as Ninvah.  God being true to Himself does nothing without telling us first so that no matter what we, those that hear and obey, can see His hand at work among us.  Lord I get so caught up in the moment and loose myself in my personal worries, clear a path for me.  Let all Your Words hit me like the blast of a Shofar so I can be like Sh’mu’el and never let them hit the ground but carry them all in my heart.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Give God His Glory

Divrei-HaYamim Bet (2 Chronicles) 25:14-20

After Amatzyahu returned from the slaughter of the people from Edom, he brought the gods of the people of Se’ir and set them up as his own gods, prostrating himself before them and offering incense to them.  As a result, the anger of ADONAI blazed up against Amatzyah, and he sent him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you sought out the gods of those people, when they couldn’t even rescue their own people from you?”  But as [the prophet] was speaking to him, he interrupted him: “Were you made an adviser to the king? You had better stop before you get yourself killed!” So the prophet stopped, but he added, “I know that God is planning to destroy you for having done this and for refusing to listen to my advice.”

Then, after taking counsel, Amatzyah king of Y’hudah sent a challenge to Yo’ash the son of Y’ho’achaz, the son of Yehu, king of Isra’el: “Come on, let’s have it out face-to-face.”  Yo’ash the king of Isra’el sent this reply to Amatzyah king of Y’hudah: “Once, in the L’vanon, the thistle sent a message to the cedar: ‘Give your daughter to my son in marriage.’ But a wild animal passed by the thistle and squashed it.  You say you defeated Edom, which is true; so you’re excited and itching for more glory. But now, stay home! Why provoke calamity, to your own ruin, yours and Y’hudah’s too?”  But Amatzyah wouldn’t listen. And this was from God, so that he could hand them over [to their enemies], because they had sought the gods of Edom.

 

Too often this is the problem with our successes, we forget who the author of our blessings is.  Amatzyahu at the word of ADONAI through the prophet Jonah reduced his army by a quarter by sending the mercenaries of Isra’el home.  God honored this and blessed his defeat of Edom to which King Amatzyah credited to the pieces of wood and stone selfishly rejoicing in a victory that God had given him.  ADONAI in His loving kindness sent a Word through a prophet to turn back to Him but the king dismissed the warning and correction came quickly through the king of Isra’el, Amatzyah lost his army, his treasure and his freedom for honoring a piece of wood an stone over the Creator of all things.  I have done this more than I care to count, being blessed by God and taking credit for His blessing only to have it fall apart for failing to recognize His hand in my life.  Lord forgive me for my hubris and lead me in Your ways so that can be no doubt that it is You who lead in my life.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

By our deeds

Yonah (Jonah) 3:10

When God saw by their deeds that they had turned from their evil way, he relented and did not bring on them the punishment he had threatened.

 

It wasn’t enough for the people of Ninveh to cry out to ADONAI in prayer and repent, or even to put on sackcloth and cover themselves with ashes.  No, their deeds, the absence of violence to one another, the ending of treating each other with evil intent and caring corporately what happens to one another, these were the deeds that turned God’s wrath and brought His mercy.  It is the same for us as believers, it doesn’t matter where or when we worship so much as what we do after we worship.  It is by our deeds day after day that people will know us as part of the body of believers or just like the people of Ninveh before Yonah’s warning, so selfishly concerned about ourselves that we allow violence and evil to fall on our neighbor.  Lord let me be open to all You would have me do and stand boldly in Your service.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

L’dor va’dor, from generation to generation

Yo’el (Joel) 1:2-3

“Hear this, you leaders!

Listen, all who live in the land!

Has anything like this ever happened in your days,

or in your ancestors’ days?

Tell your children about it,

and have them tell it to theirs,

and have them tell the next generation.

 

As parents and grandparents, we have an obligation to teach our children and grandchildren about the life changing miracles of ADONAI.  How when the indwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh fills us and we live according to the light of His Word, Yeshua, on the path of our lives, we live in the shelter of God’s blessings.  How all things, even those that would discourage people without trust in God, work together so that true believers will be comforted in the end.  I have failed many times over in this while my children were young, I didn’t have the trust as much as I put on while their mother’s illness slowly took her away from us.  I pray now after going through that terrible time, I am a better man for them.  Lord forgive me of my failings of the past and support me in Your ways in the days ahead.  Let no one doubt that I serve You.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

True Religion

1 Timothy 6:6-8

Now true religion does bring great riches, but only to those who are content with what they have.  For we have brought nothing into the world; and we can take nothing out of it; so if we have food and clothing, we will be satisfied with these.

 

As believers “true religion” is being satisfied in the position that ADONAI has given us to provide service for Him.  Being content with what we have, not overcome with the pursuit of riches and seeking God’s face in all that we do that is the real religion of the heart, the very heart Sha’ul tells us to circumcise so that we can receive the indwelling of the Ruach and had God’s Word written on us and in us.  When we stand open to ADONAI and willing to immediately follow His will then we are acting in the “true religion” God has called us to.  Lord keep guiding me and pursuing me, make me want Your Word infused in everything I do.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Be Diligent

1 Timothy 4:15-16

Be diligent about this work, throw yourself into it, so that your progress may be clear to everyone.  Pay attention to yourself and to the teaching, continue in it, for by so doing you will deliver both yourself and those who hear you.

 

I am continuously drawn to these verses.  As believers we must be diligent as Sha’ul urges Timothy digging into the Word so ADONAI can write it on our hearts and praying for guidance in our lives.  This is how we pay attention to ourselves so we can minster to others.  It is like the safety briefing on an airplane, if the cabin loses pressure parents have to get the oxygen on themselves first so that they can assist their children.  So, it is the same for the body of believers, we must attend to the teachings of ADONAI first before we and share them with others.  Lord let me always start my day communing with You.  Continue to shape me into the man You would have me be.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Heal not Harm

M’lakhim Bet (2 Kings) 6:21-23

When the king of Isra’el saw them, he asked Elisha, “My father, should I attack them? Should I attack them?” He answered, “Don’t attack them! You wouldn’t even attack prisoners you had captured with your own sword and bow, would you? So give them food to eat and water to drink, and let them return to their master.” So he provided well for them; and after they had eaten and drunk, he sent them away; and they returned to their master. After that, no more raiding parties entered the land of Isra’el from Aram.

 

How Elisha instructed King Yoram of Israel to treat this enemy from Aram is how we as believers are to treat people living in sin who enter our lives.  Not with hatred for coming into our city in a warlike state with chariots and spears, but with pity and loving kindness with the knowledge that if they don’t repent this is the best they will ever know for all eternity.  Once they have received our assistance then we are to let them go away from the body of believers and back into their sin so that one day it may convict them and they will come to faith and turn back to ADONAI just as General Na’aman did after being supernaturally healed.  Lord let me hold to this teaching and not be judgmental when You place people in my life who need succor from sin.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Walk Humbly

M’lakhim Bet (2 Kings) 5:9-14

So Na’aman came with his horses and chariots and stood at the door of Elisha’s house.  Elisha sent a messenger to him, who said, “Go, and bathe in the Yarden seven times. Your skin will become as it was, and you will be clean.” But Na’aman became angry and left, saying, “Here now! I thought for certain that he would come out personally, that he would stand, call on the name of ADONAI his God and wave his hand over the diseased place and thus heal the person with tzara’at.  Aren’t Amanah and Parpar, the rivers of Dammesek, better than all the water in Isra’el? Why can’t I bathe in them and be clean?” So he turned and went off in a rage.  But his servants approached him and said, “My father! If the prophet had asked you to do something really difficult, wouldn’t you have done it? So, doesn’t it make even more sense to do what he says, when it’s only, ‘Bathe, and be clean’?” So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Yarden, as the man of God had said to do; and his skin was restored and became like the skin of a child; and he became clean.

 

Na’aman came with all the pomp and circumstance that bespoke of his position as a leader and general in the army of Aram.  Elisha didn’t even answer him but sent a servant to give him the answer he was seeking.  When that answer was something so normal as bath in the river Na’aman was incredulous and insulted but ADONAI when He calls us to service, He calls us in our weakness so that there can be no doubt that He called.  For Na’aman he had to overcome his pride and conventional understanding, for Moshe he had to overcome his stutter, Yonah his hatred for a pagan people.  ADONAI uses us in these times so that in our witness there can be no doubt who granted salvation.  Lord let me recognize Your leadership in my life and follow without question or concern.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.