Ya’akov (James) 5:7-8
So, brothers, be patient until the Lord returns. See how the farmer waits for the precious “fruit of the earth”—he is patient over it until it receives the fall and spring rains. You too, be patient; keep up your courage; for the Lord’s return is near.
While my patience is growing with my age, I am still the one who looks to the next event before the first one, the one of this moment, is over. As believers we must be satisfied in the moment holding onto our trust in ADONAI so we can be worthy for what is to come. Lord let me be satisfied in what You have given me in this moment. Let me rejoice and praise Your name each day I have with You on this earth. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
Divrei-HaYamim Bet (2 Chronicles) 31:20-21
This is what Hizkiyahu did throughout all Y’hudah. He accomplished things that were good, right and faithful before ADONAI his God. Every project that he undertook in order to seek his God, whether in the service of the house of God or in connection with the Torah and the mitzvot, he did with all his heart; and so he succeeded.
We only succeed in accomplishing ADONAI’s will for our lives when we submit to Him. Like King Hizkiyahu we must constantly seek with all our heart, the very essence of our being, so that the truth of our commitment is pure and whole and just. That is the commitment that ADONAI blesses with success, not the surface worship of a couple of hours in a pew on any given day as a show of rote commitment only to fall back to sinful living for the rest of the week. Lord let me always pursue Your will and Your leadership in my life. Lord when I stray or get weak, correct my path and bring me yet closer to You. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
Ya’akov (James) 3:16-18
For where there are jealousy and selfish ambition, there will be disharmony and every foul practice. But the wisdom from above is, first of all, pure, then peaceful, kind, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. And peacemakers who sow seed in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Jealousy and selfish ambition lead to conflict and destruction while mercy and reason lead to peacefulness and righteousness. How many times have I hurt people looking out just for myself and not considering anybody else? I always looked to the example of David as a warrior and never understood until much later in my life, he never lifted a hand against God’s anointed. That for the violence he brought against the nations arrayed against God’s people he only fought to bring them peace. Lord I have fallen short of bringing peace to Your world. Forgive me my failings. Lead me as David asked to the green pastures and still waters so all may know You. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
Ya’akov (James) 2:14-17
What good is it, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but has no actions to prove it? Is such “faith” able to save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food, and someone says to him, “Shalom! Keep warm and eat hearty!” without giving him what he needs, what good does it do? Thus, faith by itself, unaccompanied by actions, is dead.
To be a believer we must be a people of action. We must heed and help all who ADONAI puts in our path so that the love of God can be seen by all. It is easy for me to invest and help friends and like-minded people but to truly be the light to the world we must help everyone and then we, the body of believers will truly be doing the will of God. Lord strengthen me so that I can serve You. Too many times I have passed opportunities to show Your love because it wasn’t convenient for me. Stir my heart so that I will serve You fully like Avraham. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
Anyone who thinks he is religiously observant but does not control his tongue is deceiving himself, and his observance counts for nothing. The religious observance that God the Father considers pure and faultless is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being contaminated by the world.
This is where I fail often, I keep the feast days, I keep Shabbat, but when I am away from my brothers and sisters I still have a need to speak worldly. To say I cuss like a sailor would both be funny and true, it is something I started in 3rd grade to seem more grown up and tough. I look back now and see how much damage I have done with just my words and I am heartbroken. All this and only in the last few years of my life have I understood the Word in how we are to be accountable to each other. To bring comfort to those in need, but equally important is to keep ourselves from worldly desires so that we stand apart for God. Dear Abba I fail a lot, the more I see my failures the more heartbroken I become. Lord look down and heal me because I cannot do this through my own strength, I cannot make myself worthy for You, only You can cleanse me and make me worthy of Your work. I ask this all in Yeshua’s name, amen.
But don’t forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
We are to extend ourselves in the service of others. That is what makes us stand apart from the world as believers in Yeshua. Caring for the widow and orphan in our lives, seeing to the needs of the foreigner seeking salvation, and loving and forgiving each other as we grow in the passion and the service of ADONAI are the good things we need to be doing as people who trust God. Lord let my obedience be a pleasing sacrifice to You. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
Keep pursuing shalom with everyone and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses out on God’s grace, that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble and thus contaminates many, and that no one is sexually immoral, or godless like Esav, who in exchange for a single meal gave up his rights as the firstborn. For you know that afterwards, when he wanted to obtain his father’s blessing, he was rejected; indeed, even though he sought it with tears, his change of heart was to no avail.
I like to think that I pursue God’s peace with everyone, but I don’t, not by myself. I can and have been offended and I have offended people both intentionally and unintentionally and while I can easily apologize and make amends for the unintentional offense, by myself the intended offense just stands there like an open sore ready to burst forth with pain. That is if I operate in my own selfish sinful desire. But if I am truly pursuing God’s peace, then I am giving up my godless ways and looking to Him so that I give no offense, so I help and edify all who ADONAI brings me in contact with, so no one can say I failed to show them the love of God. Lord let me be Your instrument in these times. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
Let us continue holding fast to the hope we acknowledge, without wavering; for the One who made the promise is trustworthy. And let us keep paying attention to one another, in order to spur each other on to love and good deeds, not neglecting our own congregational meetings, as some have made a practice of doing, but, rather, encouraging each other.
And let us do this all the more as you see the Day approaching. For if we deliberately continue to sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only the terrifying prospect of Judgment, of raging fire that will consume the enemies.
When we come together as believers there is a purpose that Sha’ul tells us we should do, “spur each other on to love and good deeds”. We are to encourage each other in our daily lives, to build up each other’s trust in ADONAI. It is when we come together and serve each other even if it is just a heartfelt greeting, and worshiping God as one body, the Ruach flows through us with power. Failure to do so leads to isolation which can open the door so sin to come into our lives and cuts us off from the Ruach into a selfish separation which sin encourages us to wallow in until we are lost to ADONAI. But when we stand together that encouragement, that sustaining love for one another, that devotion to the Word ADONAI has given us will see us victorious in the end. Lord I have seen the bitterness of depression and lost myself in my own selfish grief at the bad things I have experienced in my life. Forgive me for not looking to You for my care and salvation as I pulled away from family and friends. Thank You know for the congregation You have included me in and the support I have in the loving kindness You raise there. Lord let me be worthy to serve You through them and others You bring into my life. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
This symbolizes the present age and indicates that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by the gifts and sacrifices he offers. For they involve only food and drink and various ceremonial washings—regulations concerning the outward life, imposed until the time for God to reshape the whole structure.
Outward acts of worship cannot and will not provide salvation. For as Sha’ul states they only involve things of the natural. It takes a circumcised heart given over to the trusting of ADONAI as the Lord of our lives and participating in the sacrifice of Yeshua to confess that trust. Then we are filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and the actions we take in the natural have supernatural connotations of the blessings God gives us in our trust. Lord build Your trust in me so I will have the servant’s heart that You are looking for. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 9:7-10
Adonai sent a word to Ya’akov,
and it has fallen on Isra’el.
All the people know it,
Efrayim and the inhabitants of Shomron.
But they say in pride,
in the arrogance of their hearts,
“The bricks have fallen,
but we will rebuild with cut stone;
the sycamore-fig trees have been chopped down,
but we will replace them with cedars.”
So ADONAI has raised up Retzin’s foes against him
and spurred on his enemies—
As believers we must study and know the Word. Since 9/11 many leaders of this nation have quoted one verse out of this passage as a word of encouragement to the people. Yet reading in context it is final word of destruction for the Northern kingdom’s failure to turn from idol worship and return to ADONAI. We must be like the good people of Berea and study the Word so when people speak we can discern if it is from ADONAI or a baser selfish sinful desire. Lord give me the wisdom to know Your Word and use it for the light of my path into the days ahead. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.