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.

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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.

Give Justice

Tehillim (Psalms) 82:3-4

Give justice to the weak and fatherless!

Uphold the rights of the wretched and poor!

Rescue the destitute and needy;

deliver them from the power of the wicked!”

 

Do we as believers do this?  This psalm goes on to call us believers the “sons of the Most High” and we are to rise up and judge the earth.  How, by taking care of the widow and orphan, those who for whatever reason do not have the ability to care for themselves.  Failing to do this we fall into the very sin of Sodom and Gomorrah which in their selfishness in not looking after each other led them to pursue abominations in relationships.  Lord lead me to the people I can help and let my actions show the love You have for Your people.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Seek God’s Word

Divrei-HaYamim Bet (2 Chronicles) 18:5-7

So the king of Isra’el assembled the prophets, 400 men. “Should we attack Ramot-Gil’ad?” he asked them, “Or should I hold off?” They said, “Attack. God will hand it over to the king.”  But Y’hoshafat said, “Besides these, isn’t there a prophet of ADONAI here that we can consult?”  The king of Isra’el said to Y’hoshafat, “Yes, there is still one man through whom we can consult ADONAI; but I hate him, because he never prophesies anything good for me, only bad! It’s Mikhay’hu the son of Yimlah.” Y’hoshafat replied, “The king shouldn’t say such a thing.”

 

No matter how many in the crowd call for a believer to sin, there is always the Word of ADONAI to take refuge in.  In this case one true prophet Mikhay’hu but in my life I have found there is usually more than one voice speaking God’s wisdom like King Y’hoshafat searching for someone who actually heard from ADONAI and was not a “yes man” to the King Ach’av.  Lord in all the fuss and thunder of this life let me hear Your still small voice and align myself with people of good character who know Your Word.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Salvation is there for all

M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 21:25-29
Truly, there was never anyone like Ach’av. Stirred up by his wife Izevel, he gave himself over to do what is evil from ADONAI’s perspective. His behavior in following idols was grossly abominable; he did everything the Emori had done, whom ADONAI expelled ahead of the people of Isra’el.
Ach’av, on hearing these words, tore his clothes, put sackcloth on himself and fasted. He slept in the sackcloth and went about dejectedly. Then the word of ADONAI came to Eliyahu from Tishbe: “Do you see how Ach’av has humbled himself before me? Since he has humbled himself before me, I will not bring this evil during his lifetime; but during his son’s lifetime I will bring the evil on his house.”
 
King Ach’av for all his evil, sacrificing his children and leading others to do it, giving into his wife’s pagan ways, failing to obey ADONAI when he was handed the armies of Aram, for all his evil, ADONAI forgave him when he repented. It is the same for us, no matter what, when can be forgiven if we truly change our hearts and circumcise them to trust in the sacrifice of Yeshua and the lordship of ADONAI in our lives. Then we can experience the fill of the Ruach and know that God is with us. Lord keep me humble and prayerfully following You. I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Succor

M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 19:15-18

ADONAI said to him, “Go back by way of the Dammesek Desert. When you get there, anoint Haza’el to be king over Aram.  Also anoint Yehu the son of Nimshi to be king over Isra’el, and anoint Elisha the son of Shafat of Avel-M’cholah to be prophet after you.  Yehu will kill whoever escapes the sword of Haza’el, and Elisha will kill whoever escapes the sword of Yehu.  Still, I will spare seven thousand in Isra’el, every knee that hasn’t bent down before Ba’al and every mouth that has not kissed him.”

 

Eliyahu was at his wits end.  First, he stood forward for ADONAI and declared that no rain would fall on Israel until he asked God again to water the fields.  Then He confronted 850 prophets of Ba’al and of the Asherah, people who the King and Queen had placed in seats of importance and after ADONAI answered and performed the flaming miracle and accepted the sacrifice, killed them in full view of the nation and King so there can be no doubt what Eliyahu did.  Still the nation did not turn to ADONAI and the Queen swore he would die.  Fleeing, supernaturally deep into the wilderness broken and alone in a cave, God gives him the answer of salvation that was to come and more than that, Eliyahu’s work was almost done and he would have help.  While I have never been a prophet to a nation, I have been so broken, so tired of doing everything right and only have it not come out the way I expected.  It is in those broken moments God speaks to me, almost directly to my soul and shows me the salvation that is in the moment and strengthens me like He did Eliyahu to go on.  Lord thank you for those moments when I just want to duck and cover and holding me when I am discouraged.  Lord let me be the encouragement to others who have looked for their own cave of refuge.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Turn back to God for Restoration

M’lakhim Alef (1 Kings) 16:30-32

Ach’av the son of’ Omri did what was evil from ADONAI’s perspective, outdoing all his predecessors [in wickedness].  But then, as if it had been a trifling thing for him to commit the sins of Yarov’am the son of N’vat, he took as his wife Izevel the daughter of Etba’al king of the Tzidonim, and went and served Ba’al and worshipped him.  He erected an altar for Ba’al in the house of Ba’al, which he had built in Shomron.

 

Since the establishment of the kingdom of Israel (the northern kingdom of ten tribes), the kings of Israel have slowly created their own religion to control the nation and keep the people from following the Torah of ADONAI.  Finally, we get to King Ach’av who through his wife brings in the worship of Ba’al and the murder of the nation’s children through the sacrifice of convenience.  Just like America today Israel saw famine, crime, and disasters for the blood of the sacrificed babies crying out from the altars of Ba’al’s convenience.  How can we believe we as a nation will not be judged and have not already entered into judgement, just as Israel was?  We already have drought and flooding leading to famine, fires of massive destruction and acts of violence that stagger the mind as a godless government fumbles and give these criminals more opportunity in the name of making us safer.  The only thing that will truly save us is to repent and turn back to God just as the nation of Israel did after ADONAI destroyed the priest of Ba’al who accepted Eliyahu’s challenge.  Lord let me be as strong as Eliyahu and not leave the teachings of Your Word.  Forgive America for the murder of our children, just for the convenience of the moment and restore life to our land.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.

Declaration

Divrei-HaYamim Bet (2 Chronicles) 13:10

“But we are different. ADONAI is our God, and we have not abandoned him. We have cohanim performing the service for ADONAI, descendants of Aharon. With the L’vi’im doing their work,”

 

We, as believers must be like King Aviyah of Judah (southern kingdom) when he was being attacked by King Yar’ovam of Israel (northern kingdom) addressing the armies of Israel from the top of Mount Z’marayim.  We must declare with our words and show through our actions that we are different, set apart, to serve ADONAI through our trusting in the sacrifice of Yeshua.  We people talk about us there should be no doubt in whom we serve and when we declare our allegiance with ADONAI there should be power in those words that make armies quake in fear.  ADONAI TZA’VAOT, Lord of Host let me be as bold as King Aviyah and show Your leadership in my life.  I ask this in Yeshua’s name, amen.