Rest

Hebrews 4:9-11

So there remains a Shabbat-keeping for God’s people.  For the one who has entered God’s rest has also rested from his own works, as God did from his.  Therefore, let us do our best to enter that rest; so that no one will fall short because of the same kind of disobedience.

 

Entering God’s rest is a vital part of our lives as the body of believers.  Here we are given weekly a time to recover from dealing with the slings and arrows of the adversary while communing with ADONAI through the Ruach so that our own spirit may grow even stronger in Him.  To fail to enter this rest is to let ourselves continue to move without recovery, like being forced to move on after spraining your ankle, without tending the swelling will increase and tendons could be damaged, but if you stop and rest and bind the hurts of your spirit with the love of God, like a person tending quickly to the sprain, you will be back fully recovered for the next adventure.  Lord let me lean fully on You, let me take the time to pause in Your embrace so that I am not worn down by the storms of this life.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Focused

2 Timothy 2:3-4

Accept your share in suffering disgrace as a good soldier of the Messiah Yeshua.  No soldier on duty gets involved with civilian affairs, since he has to please his commanding officer.

 

There will be conflict for anyone who trust in ADONAI and by showing that trust in accepting the sacrifice of Yeshua.  It is something that we as believers should expect out of the petty jealousies of a person who is still a slave to their own selfish sins.  But we as believers should focus only on what God has for us in our lives for it is our obedience to Him that will show the world that we are set apart as his people called to His purpose so all may know of the love God has shown them through Yeshua.  Lord let me as single mind as Sha’ul was writing to Timothy about obedience to Your Word.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Meet the need

Titus 3:14

And have our people learn to apply themselves to doing good deeds that meet genuine needs, so that they will not be unproductive.

 

As believers we should be doing “good deeds” but as Sha’ul writes in Titus the deeds we perform must meet genuine needs.  During Katrina the congregation I am apart of was sending a container of supplies to the area.  Can food, water and toiletries were what was asked for as donations.  Yet car full after car full brought used clothes.  People were not paying attention to the need, they were just cleaning out their closets and trying to feel better about it.  These are the people that James writes about when he states, “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?” (James 2:15)  If we cannot meet the needs of the people we are witnessing to then our witness is useless.  Lord let me be true to Your Word and meet the needs of the people around me while showing them the love of Your heart.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Aspire to be worthy

1 Timothy 3:1

Here is a statement you can trust: anyone aspiring to be a congregation leader is seeking worthwhile work.

 

This statement of Sha’ul’s needs to be taken in complete context.  Not all of us in the body of believers are called to be leaders.  As the saying goes to many chefs spoil the broth.  But to seek to aspire to be leaders is a good thing.  Why, because if we as followers are reaching for this goal then we are seeking spouses that are temperate, self-controlled, orderly, hospitable and able to teach.  We as believers are self-controlled and even tempered avoiding unnecessary conflict and always looking to nurture others in their understanding of salvation.  We seek to raise our children to be respectful and obedient to the authorities we place over them.  All these things a believer who is called to lead must do, so we to must strive to do them as well to support the leaders we follow so that their labor is easy and call Yeshua gives to His people can be easily heard.  Lord let me hold myself to Your standard, but not just under my own stubbornness but with Your truly fulfilling Spirit.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Prayer, it’s what’s good for you

Colossians 4:2
Keep persisting in prayer, staying alert in it and being thankful.
 
Sometimes it is just as simple as that, and as hard. Yet if we take the time to talk to ADONAI, to share the holes in our heart and the pains that keep us down we soon will be filled by His response and celebrate the triumphs of the spirit and rewards of being faithful to Him. Lord let me always stop to listen to Your voice in all that I do. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Be the good worker

Philippians 2:14-16

Do everything without kvetching or arguing,  so that you may be blameless and pure children of God, without defect in the midst of a twisted and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the sky,  as you hold on to the Word of Life. If you do this, I will be able to boast, when the Day of the Messiah comes, that I did not run or toil for nothing.

 

What good is our witness, the fruit of our labor for ADONAI if we are complaining the whole time we are doing it?  Or what good is our labor if we do the job in a lackadaisical way?  As Sha’ul has told the congregation at Philippi, when we obey God without complaint and work to our fullest effort then our witness will shine like stars to all who need to know God, and in that day of accounting we can show our trust in Him accounted for something not just mere words with no action behind them.  Lord let me be the good and faithful servant You would have me be.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Pursue God’s understanding

Tehillim (Psalms) 119:73

Your hands made and formed me;

give me understanding, so I can learn your mitzvot.

 

Who else but the Creator of all things should we turn to when we pursue righteousness?  It is through Him by giving us the sacrifice of Yeshua to participate in that makes us holy, so why wouldn’t turn to Him for true understanding.  Where do we find that understanding?  In the Word that He has given us and in our spirit in prayer through the Ruach.  That knowledge, that understanding is our strength that Sha’ul writes about in Ephesians (6:10) Finally, grow powerful in union with the Lord, in union with his mighty strength!  He goes on to describe the depths of our understanding like armor to defend us against the attacks of this world.  It is by pursuing the understanding of God that we will be the light to the world.  Lord let me pursue you as the psalmist said, like the deer panting after water.   I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Renew daily and grow

Ephesians 4:17-24

Therefore I say this—indeed, in union with the Lord I insist on it: do not live any longer as the pagans live, with their sterile ways of thinking.  Their intelligence has been shrouded in darkness, and they are estranged from the life of God, because of the ignorance in them, which in turn comes from resisting God’s will.  They have lost all feeling, so they have abandoned themselves to sensuality, practicing any kind of impurity and always greedy for more.  But this is not the lesson you learned from the Messiah!  If you really listened to him and were instructed about him, then you learned that since what is in Yeshua is truth,  then, so far as your former way of life is concerned, you must strip off your old nature, because your old nature is thoroughly rotted by its deceptive desires;  and you must let your spirits and minds keep being renewed,  and clothe yourselves with the new nature created to be godly, which expresses itself in the righteousness and holiness that flow from the truth.

 

As believers our righteousness, our trust in ADONAI through Yeshua’s sacrifice cannot be stagnant.  We are to grow in our trust daily as we spend time at the fountain of living water, in study and prayer with the Word.  Failing to do that we abandon the very thing that is meant to sustain us in our trust and our growth in God becomes stunted.  We abandon the truth for convenience and false peace by appeasement to the sinful world around us.  I have lived as this person longer than I care to admit.  Yet when we really listen to the Ruach HaKodesh and take to the instruction God gives us through the spirit and the Word then that old nature is pruned off and it may be painful in the moment but the fruit of glory that we bring before ADONAI is amazing.  Lord let me heed the words of Sha’ul and strip away all my old nature so that I may better serve You.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

The Word

Romans 15:4-6

For everything written in the past was written to teach us, so that with the encouragement of the Tanakh we might patiently hold on to our hope.  And may God, the source of encouragement and patience, give you the same attitude among yourselves as the Messiah Yeshua had, so that with one accord and with one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.

 

Sha’ul affirms for us that everything written by Moshe, the prophets and recorded in the histories of the Old Testament is there to teach us salvation through the Messiah so that we can be reconciled back to ADONAI.  If we did not have the promises made to Avraham, the examples of perseverance of Iyov, Gid’on and David, and the prophecies of Yesha’yahu, Dani’el and Mikhah how could we know the fulfilment of that promise to Avraham through Yeshua.  It is the Word given down to us from ADONAI through godly men that shows us how to live.  Abba Thank You for the living water that is Your Word, the rock of my salvation.  Let it circumcise my heart till it is written fully in me.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Good Tenant

Romans 9:19-24

But you will say to me, “Then why does he still find fault with us? After all, who resists his will?”  Who are you, a mere human being, to talk back to God? Will what is formed say to him who formed it, “Why did you make me this way?”  Or has the potter no right to make from a given lump of clay this pot for honorable use and that one for dishonorable?  Now what if God, even though he was quite willing to demonstrate his anger and make known his power, patiently put up with people who deserved punishment and were ripe for destruction?  What if he did this in order to make known the riches of his glory to those who are the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—  that is, to us, whom he called not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles?

 

Sha’ul is writing directly to me here.  How many times in my anguish have I argued with God, accusing Him of creating for me the hardship I am whining about at the moment.  Yet Sha’ul states that instances of pain are necessary to show us the glory that ADONAI has for us.  Working in the apartment industry there are just some people that you know even though they qualify for the lease they are going to tear up the apartment and move on, while others will care for the unit and give a good return for the term.  Sha’ul is saying it is the same with ADONAI, even though He can see the result of our lives before we are even born He leases our time here on earth so those that care for His Word and circumcises their hearts with it will reap the reward of that good return, while, to keep with the example, dealing with the hardships created by bad neighbors.  Lord let me be that good servant and hold true to Your Word of salvation through the sacrifice of Yeshua.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.