Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Iron Sharpening Iron

Several years ago, before my faith walk changed so much, I found myself becoming a bit annoyed with a particular friend of mine & my husband's because of some of the things he was sharing on Facebook.  He was sharing Bible verses and his thoughts about them; but the way he was seeing things challenged my (our) current belief system.  This rubbed me the wrong way, and to be honest, I almost "unfollowed" him so that I would no longer see his posts!  However, I did not do that, and after a while I began to ask myself, "What is it about ______________ that bothers me?", and I would pray about it and examine the Bible verses that our friend had shared to see if there was any way in which I could be misunderstanding them or not.  

Have you ever heard someone sharpen a knife? It isn't really a pleasant sound, is it?  Looking back at how at first I thought our friend was "rubbing me the wrong way" with his thought process, I now see that what was happening was what it says in Proverbs 27:17  

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."

Picture taken from

Picture taken from
I used two different pictures because I have heard some say that the "iron sharpening iron" is referring to the blacksmith's process of hammering.  Either way, the sound of iron against iron can be annoying! But what I was experiencing at the time was the Holy Spirit convicting me of an erroneous understanding of certain Biblical principles. Thankfully, instead of unfollowing my friend and/or brushing off the irritations as something that was his problem, I took my misgivings and frustrations to Yahweh (God) and asked Him what He thought about it. I had learned from past experiences that sometimes the reason a person might rub me the wrong way could be because something about them was really a reflection of something about myself that I should address!  I asked Yahweh to reveal His truth to me and to give me understanding. I felt within my spirit that there was something there, or actually more appropriately said, not there in my life.  I shared that experience in a bit more detail in this post, so please check that out if you have not yet, or if it has been a while since you read it. 

After a while, my husband and I actually reached out to our friend (I will now call him our brother) and starting asking him why he was seeing things so differently.  Yahweh truly used him to help my husband and me dig deeper into the Word.  This brother of ours played a pivotal role in the change in my husband's and my faith walk, and ultimately our children as well; not only because of his words - but because of his actions backing up his words!  We are so thankful for this brother in Messiah and his willingness to share his faith and walk it out for us to see! 

Accountability.   That is what I see happened.  The Bible tells us in multiple places that we as Followers of Yeshua (Jesus) are to hold one another accountable.  Here are several verses that I want to share with you in hopes that you will read over them and consider them: 
  • Galatians 6:1-2  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
  • James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12  Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
  • James 5:19-20  My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
  • Ephesians 4:25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
  • Colossians 3:16  Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
  • Hebrews 3:12-13   Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
  • Ephesians 4:1-32    I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, ...
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
  • Luke 17:3   Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,
  • Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
  • 1 Corinthians 5:1-13   It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father's wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body, I am present in spirit; and as if present, I have already pronounced judgment on the one who did such a thing. When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord. ...
  • Hebrews 6:4-6   For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.
  • Galatians 6:1-18  Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. ...
  • Revelation 20:12   And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.  
  • Hebrews 3:13   But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
I don't know if our brother considered himself to be holding us (or anyone else) accountable or not, but by his willingness to share Bible verses and his willingness to share how he was living it out, his words and deeds were in essence holding us accountable.  He was "teaching and admonishing" (Colossians 3:16) us to walk out our faith in a Biblical way.  He was stirring us up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).  

Holding one another accountable can be tricky.  There seems to be a fine line between holding others accountable and judging others.  More and more it seems that we hear "Don't judge me!", but hopefully the verses I shared above will be enough to spur us all into searching the Scriptures to find out just where that fine line exists - or even if it does exist.  Growth in general is a process that isn't always pleasant.  Do you remember hearing as a child that your aches and pains were "growing pains"?  But just because something is unpleasant, uncomfortable, or even annoying, that doesn't mean we should dismiss it or avoid it.  

So, my word of encouragement to you today is that when/if you see, hear, or read something that challenges your current belief system, 
  • take it to Yahweh in prayer
  • ask Him to guide you into all truth
  • be willing to admit it when you are wrong
  • make the necessary changes to be in line with His Word  
If someone has "rubbed you the wrong way", but this led you to be a better person, a more worthy ambassador for Yahweh (Ephesians 4:1), take time to let them know.  Say a prayer for them and ask Yahweh to bless them in their walk that they will continue to grow as well. 

Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 
But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” 
that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 
Hebrews 3:12-13   

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Adventures in Spring Cleaning - 2018 Edition

picture taken from pixabay
**This blog post has been updated since it was first published. Please see addition at the bottom**

I have a bit of an embarrassing confession to make about spring cleaning: I used to not do it! Yeah, I know... ewww! But, once my family and I started trying to better walk out the Torah (aka Law, Instructions, Old Testament) including observing Passover and the other Biblical Feasts of the LORD, spring cleaning became a yearly thing.  I am so glad that the Father opened our eyes to the importance of His Feasts! I have learned, and continue to learn so many things during them all.Today, the day before Passover in 2018, I am going to share a few things.  These things range from helpful hints, to gross analogies, to hopefully something that you will find humorous.  

I am almost done with this year's spring cleaning! I actually thought that I already was, but I remembered a couple of kitchen cabinets that I have not yet cleaned out. 

Now, onto my Adventures in Spring Cleaning - 2018 Edition! 

Disclaimer: Some viewers might find some photos gross, so proceed with caution!

First off - helpful cleaning hint 

The glass oven door was proving to be a pain in the neck for me to clean. No product that I had on hand was cutting through the grease stains (those little brown streaks & spots):

But thanks to my genius husband, who gave me a great idea for how to remove those stubborn stains, the oven door is now super clean. Here was his idea: 

He told me to try using a razor blade edge.  It worked beautifully! 

Now - the gross analogy 

I considered not cleaning out the drawer underneath the oven.  Since I use the pots and pans that are stored there on practically a daily basis (which means I have seen the inside of the drawer regularly) I didn't think it would be all that dirty.  At least I had not noticed it being dirty.  But, I decided to go ahead and clean it out anyway, just to be thorough.   

Yeah, I know! Ewwww - again! That was so gross! But I saw this as a spiritual lesson for myself.  Even though I thought this space was going to be clean enough to leave alone, I didn't realize how filthy it really was until I pulled everything out and got down on my knees with a rag in hand and got busy wiping it out.  I really do need to make sure that every day I get down on my knees in prayer to the Father and ask Him to reveal any filth that has built up in my heart! 

This morning one of the first things I said was a word of thanks for a new day, which comes with His new mercies!! 

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
Lamentations 3:22-24 (ESV) 

 Last - a humorous reminder

One of the last things I clean out each year is the toaster oven.  Because we get into our daily routines (which makes us sometimes feel like we move on autopilot) I added this sign to the toaster oven - just in case! Hopefully it will do the trick. Tomorrow, whatever bread/pastries/breaded (aka leavened) products are left over will be thrown into the trash. However, over the past few years we have learned to start cutting back on buying those types of things the closer we get to Passover, so this time around we didn't have all that much to consume or throw out.  Our first year was a different story! It feels good to learn and to grow each year. 

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I thought I was finished with the spring cleaning, but remembered a couple more kitchen cabinets that I missed.  So, I am going to learn from that gross analogy and go ahead and clean those suckers out! Right after I finish my coffee break! 

Tomorrow after all of this cleaning is behind us, we can sit back and enjoy the clean house.  Then when our friends come over we will begin our Passover where we will read Scripture, remember the Exodus account of how the Father redeemed His people from slavery and led them to Mt. Sinai where He and His people came into Covenant with one another! We will also remember and discuss how because His people broke that Covenant, Yeshua (Jesus) came in the flesh to show us how to live according to that Covenant. He also came to take our punishment for breaking that Covenant, and because of that, we are redeemed as well! Halleluyah! What a Savior! 

I hope that you are observing Passover and Unleavened Bread as well.  If not, and you aren't familiar with what that is, please take the time to read the Bible and look into these things.  I have written a little bit about them, so if you are interested, please read those posts of mine as well (links below).  

Blessings to you and your family
Happy Passover! 

Here is a link to my Youtube Passover playlist.

Here are links to some of my other blog posts: 

**Additional thoughts since first published** 

After I initially published this, and went back to finish the spring cleaning, I learned something else! I cleaned out the overlooked cabinets, and then I realized I had also overlooked the utensil turn-about.  It is a round thingy that holds all the serving spoons, etc (sorry, no picture).  I removed all of the utensils and had another Ewwww! moment! (no picture here, either, and you're welcome!)  I thought, "How in the world does this get so dirty? After all, I only put in clean utensils!"  But then I realized that stuff is in the air.  Some things can't be helped.  Dirt happens!  I thought of the Bible verses: 

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 6:12 (ESV) 

There are some physical things that we don't often notice, and over time they build up.  But more importantly there are spiritual things that are around us, and influence us on a daily basis.  We need to be paying attention to those things, calling on the Father to help us through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes because of where we are currently living - in the world - we can't help what surrounds us - but we can help allowing it to linger and build up in our lives!  

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Ephesians6:13 (ESV) 

Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Father's Heart

I am currently in my fourth year of my *Torah walk, however I have been a follower of *Yeshua over 30 years. Typically I begin each day with my morning coffee and reading my Bible, which consists of the Torah portion for the week.  I usually read a chapter a day, and write down things that stand out to me. This morning I read Exodus 25 and had a what I call a "No duh!" moment.  I call it that because it is something that I feel should have been obvious to me all along, but for some reason the significance just now came to me.  I have heard before that people need to hear/read something around seven times before they can remember it.  I know that I have read and heard teachings on this subject many times before, but today was the day that it really set in. 

Exodus 25 records the account of ***Yahweh giving Moses the instructions to follow in building the Tabernacle.  This might not sound all that interesting, but trust me - it is!  In the first verse of Exodus 25, Yahweh tells Moses to tell the children of Israel to contribute towards the Tabernacle, but Yahweh specifically says only those "whose heart moves him".  Yahweh only wanted people to contribute willingly.  

As I continued reading the chapter, I saw that the first thing the Father commanded to be constructed was the ark (Exodus 25:10).  He instructed that His "Witness" (some translations use testimonies or stone tablets) be placed inside the ark (Exodus 25:21). 

OK, maybe it was the coffee kicking in, but by the time I read up to this point I was getting more excited! The Holy Spirit started bringing to mind other Scriptures that correlate with the significance of what I was reading.  Even though I was reading about a physical chest that was being built to contain the physical Torah of Yahweh, I was now having a NO DUH moment because I finally really realized that these physical things represented a spiritual truth!!

 Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: Yahweh our ****Elohim, Yahweh is one!
And you shall love Yahweh our Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might. And these Words which I am commanding you today 
shall be in your heart,  
Deuteronomy 6:4-6 (ISR)

The Hebrew word for ark is aron, and it simply means: chest, ark, (or in one case coffin).  

Do you see the correlation? Let me share these verses for clarification: 

 I have treasured up Your word in my heart
That I might not sin against You.
Psalm 119:11 (ISR) 

I have delighted to do Your pleasure, O my Elohim, 
And Your Torah is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8 (ISR)

Father's Words, Father's Torah was to be housed in the ark (chest). The ark was to be housed in the innermost part of the Tabernacle. The Father instructed Moses to begin work on the Tabernacle from the inside first!  

His Torah is to be first and foremost in our hearts.

If we do not have a heart's desire to follow His Instructions, trying to do so is pointless, and apparently He doesn't even want us to try without having a heart to do it. 
 Oh, that they had such a heart in them, to fear Me and to guard all My commands always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!

 But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

 And I shall give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. 
And I shall take the heart of stone out of your flesh, 
and I shall give you a heart of flesh,
and put My Spirit within you. 
And I shall cause you to walk in My laws and 
guard My right-rulings and shall do them.

Like I said, I was pretty excited while reading Exodus 25 and having this "No duh!" moment, so I looked for insight from a Torah teacher whom I trust.  Brad Scott, with Wildbranch Ministry, has a very well done study on the Tabernacle and all of its articles.  I highly recommend you check out that study:
He shared some insights to the ark that was exactly what the Holy Spirit was bringing home to me this morning! I love confirmation!! Brad also has a series on ReviveTV (formerly Hebraic Roots Network) that goes into the Hebrew language and what words mean.  The Hebrew language is absolutely rich with meaning!

Something else that I noticed in Exodus 25 was that when Father described what the ark should look like, He instructed for two cherubim to be on the lid of the ark (aka Mercy or Atonement Seat).  These cherubim were to have their faces turned toward the lid.  Remember what was inside the ark? So in essence, they were facing the Heart (chest) of the Father - His Torah!

The righteous shall inherit the earth, And dwell in it forever.
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom, And his tongue talks of right-ruling.
The Torah of his Elohim is in his heart; His steps do not slide.
Psalm 37:29-31 (ISR)  

 Listen to Me, you who know righteousness, 
a people in whose heart is My Torah
do not fear the reproach of men, 
nor be afraid of their revilings. 

 "See, the days are coming,” declares Yahweh, "when I shall make a new covenant with the house of Yisra’ĕl and with the house of Yehuḏah,
not like the covenant I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand 
to bring them out of the land of Egypt, 
My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them,” declares Yahweh.
For this is the covenant I shall make with the house of Yisra’ĕl 
after those days, declares Yahweh: 
I shall put My Torah in their inward parts, and write it on their hearts
And I shall be their Elohim, and they shall be My people. 
And no longer shall they teach, each one his neighbour, and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know Yahweh,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Yahweh. “For I shall forgive their crookedness, and remember their sin no more."

 "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days", declares the Lord: 
I will put my laws on their hearts, 
and write them on their minds,” 

Oh, Father, how I long to have a heart that seeks after Yours! Work on me from the inside out and help me to be worthy of the calling with which You have called me. Please help me to hide Your Torah in my heart that I might not sin against You. Thank You for giving me Your Word to instruct me in righteousness and to teach me how to walk as Yeshua walked. I pray that everything I think, say, and do will glorify Your most holy Name! 
In Yeshua's Name, Amen.

*Yeshua is the Hebrew name for Jesus.
**Torah is the Hebrew word which means "Instructions".  Most English Bible translations use the word "Law". 
*** Yahweh is the Hebrew Name of God, most often translated into English as LORD.  
****Elohim is the Hebrew word for God.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

A challenge for 2018

I want to issue you a challenge for 2018.

Buy the truth, and do not sell it – also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Proverbs 23:23 

Let Scripture be the sole authority in your life! Not what someone else says about Scripture. Not how someone else explains Scripture to you - but Scripture itself! 

One of the things that I most remember from taking a Precept Bible study is how they would always say, “Let Scripture interpret Scripture”. That is what we need to be doing.

I know that you probably think that is what you are doing – so did I. However, if we are really honest with ourselves, we will have to admit that more often than not, we are taking the teacher’s word for it, or the preacher’s word for what Scripture says. Even though most pastors will tell you, “Don’t take my word for it. Study for yourself” - as they should – most of us simply don’t take the time to do that! And because people don’t take the time to be a Berean, and examine the Scriptures for themselves (Acts 17:11), false teachings and doctrines have been the basis of many belief systems for hundreds and hundreds of years! 

In the first chapter of the book of Romans, Paul talks about how people are “without excuse” when it comes to believing that God exists. Well, I am telling you that now with all of the world wide web at our fingertips, we are without excuse when it comes to finding out what the Bible says, and what it means! We have access to a plethora of Bible study resources – resources where we can find out what the Bible says in Hebrew, or Greek, and even resources that teach us the culture of the times and how the people of the period would have understood the Scriptures. That is huge!! Why? Because the Bible was written for us but not to us!!!

The Scriptures were written thousands of years ago in a completely different time and culture. We cannot read the Scriptures through our modern day westernize eyes and have a completely clear understanding of what it means. 

We also have resources to teach us about Church history. Church history might sound dry and boring to some, but it is vital for us to learn the who, what, when, why, where, and how our church doctrines came about.

Take the time and ask yourself why you believe something. Is it in Scripture? If not, then where did that belief system come from? Who was the first to teach it? When was it first taught? What was their basis for teaching that?  One of the most eye opening things for me was when I read the words of our supposed “Church fathers”, and how anti-Semitic they were! Another eye opener was reading the Roman Catholic Church’s words on how they believe they have authority to change the Sabbath from the last day of the week to the first day of the week! (I have written about this specifically here) Not only that, but to denounce the Yahweh’s Feasts and form their own! 

So just how can we seek truth? Well, first of all, we need to be reading the Bible. My challenge here for you is to go back to the beginning! Start 2018 by starting in Genesis. Read the Bible in its entirety. Choose a topic to be on the lookout for while you read (that is what helped me finally read through the Bible front to back). I highly recommend that you look for truth! Where is the word truth found in the Bible? Mark every occurrence of the word and make note of it.  Ask yourself the 5 W’s and H questions: 

  •     Who defines truth? Who walked in truth? Who did not walk in truth? 
  •     What is the definition of truth? What does that look like in my life? 
  •     When was truth lived out? When was truth challenged? 
  •     Where was truth first mentioned in the Bible? 
  •     Why is truth so important? 
  •     How was it lived out? How can I live it out? 

Also, take the time to research church history. I will share some resources to get you started. This is a great video

Please know that this challenge comes from a heart of love. I sincerely love you! I also love the Father, and His Word. He has challenged me to seek Him more and the more I do, the more He blesses me! 

Ultimately, His Word is what I base this challenge upon. Let these verses jump start you in your search for truth in 2018:
Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are judgement: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” 

Joshua 24:14 “And now, fear Yahweh, serve Him in perfection and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served beyond the River in Egypt, and serve Yahweh!” 

Psalm 25:5 “Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.”

 Psalm 43:3 “O send out Your light and Your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to Your set- apart mountain and to Your dwelling places.” 

Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever; and Your Torah is truth.” 

Psalm 119:151 “You are near, O Yahweh, and all Your commands are truth.” 

John 8:32 “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 

1 John 2:4 “The one who says, ‘I know Him,” and does not guard His commands, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” 

And again, Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth, and do not sell it – also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.

Seek truth in 2018! Let it change your life! You won’t regret it. 

Recommended resources:

Use these for looking up words in Hebrew and Greek:

E-sword also gives you access to early "church fathers" writings, as does this website:

This website is a great place to learn the cultural and historical aspects of Scripture:  I recommend Tom Bradford's teachings, as his are the only ones I am familiar with on this website:

I also recommend these books:

The Bridge 

King, Kingdom, Citizen

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Jospeh a Mirror of Messiah
Joseph is considered by many to be a prophetic figure pointing to, or mirroring, Yeshua. Those who know me know that apart from Yeshua, Joseph is my favorite person in the Bible, so the recent Torah portions have been especially exciting to me! In Genesis 45:8 I noticed four things that I had not previously noticed that I believe point to/mirror Messiah Yeshua. 

Genesis 45:8 "So then, you did not send me here, but Elohim..." 
          The Father sent Yeshua:  John 5:36 "But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me."

Genesis 45:8 "...And He has set me for a father to Pharaoh..." 
also back in Genesis 41 we read about Pharaoh placing Joseph second (only to him) in command, and also in  Genesis 44:18, we are told that Joseph was "like", or equal to Pharaoh 

Yeshua and the Father are one: John 10:30 "I and the Father are one." 

Genesis 45:8 "...and master of all his house...
Yeshua speaks of Himself as the Master of the house in a parable: Mark 13:35 "Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—"

Yeshua was zealous for His Father's house: John 2:17 "His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Genesis 45:8 "...and a ruler throughout all the land of Mitsrayim [Egypt]." 
Yeshua will be worshiped by everyone throughout all the lands! Psalms 72:11 "May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve him!"
Romans 14:11 "for it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.'”

Philippians 2:10-11 "that at the Name of יהושע [Yeshua] every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and every tongue should confess that יהושע Messiah is Master, to the esteem of Elohim the Father. 

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Giddy Over Answered Prayer

Genesis 24 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  It details the account of Abraham sending his trusted servant to find a wife for his beloved son, Isaac.  

This servant fascinates me.  I see in him a tremendous level of faith, and even a degree of boldness, seasoned with humility, in his approach to Yahweh.  Genesis 24:12-14 records his prayer: 

And he said, “Yahweh, Elohim of my master Aḇraham, please cause her to meet before me this day, and show kindness to my master Aḇraham. See, I am standing here by the fountain of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming out to draw water. Now let it be that the young woman to whom I say, ‘Please let down your jar to let me drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink, and let me water your camels too,’ let her be the one whom You have appointed for Your servant Isaac. And let me know by this that You have shown kindness to my master.” (ISR) 

Did you notice the very specific request he made?  He asked Yahweh to orchestrate a certain encounter at a certain place, with a certain conversation to occur with the woman whom Yahweh had chosen to be Isaac's bride.  This speaks volumes to me! I believe it displayed a tremendous level of faith in Yahweh to make such a detailed request.  But Yahweh's response is also amazing: 

And it came to be, before he had ended speaking, that see, Rebekah, who was born to Bethu’ĕl, son of Milkah, the wife of Naḥor, Aḇraham’s brother, came out with her jar on her shoulder.
Genesis 24:15 (ISR) 

Yahweh began answering the servant's prayer before he could even finish asking!  How awesome to have an answer to prayer that quickly! 

But it was Genesis 24:21 that stood out to me this time.  

 And watching her, the man remained silent in order to know whether 
Yahweh had prospered his way or not.

The word for "watching her" is the Hebrew word מִשְׁתָּאֵ֖ה (mistaeh), which comes from the root שָׁאָה (sha'ah) .  The Strong's definition for this word is: gazing; to gaze, wonder. A primitive root (identical with sha-ah through the idea of whirling to giddiness) to stun, i.e. be astonished

Considering that Yahweh answered his prayer - his very specific prayer - before he could even finish asking, makes it easy for me to believe that this man would have been stunned, astonished, dare I say - even possibly giddy with amazement?! 
In my opinion, the English translation of this verse does not give a complete picture of what this servant was experiencing.  

I will admit that I do find it difficult to imagine that he was whirling with giddiness, but I can picture him standing there jaw dropped in stunned silence as he watched Rebekah not only bring him a drink, but go back and forth hauling gallon after gallon of water for ten camels!  Do you know how much water camels drink?! Neither do I! But I bet it is a lot!! So even though he likely was not bouncing, whirling, and/or skipping with delight, I still think that "And watching her" just doesn't cut it. 

So here is my translation attempt: 

"And standing there astonished, stunned in complete awe and wonder, holding his hand over his mouth, the man remained silent in order to know whether Yahweh had prospered his way or not." 

He was silently waiting because he needed to know whether or not this woman was from Abraham's family (see verses 1-4). This verse reminded me of Psalm 46:10:

 Be still, and know that I am Elohim; I am exalted among nations, I am exalted in the earth!

After the servant verified her family lineage, he then knew for certain that she was indeed the answer to his prayer! His reaction here is also understandable: 

 And the man bowed down his head and worshipped Yahweh.
Genesis 24:26 

 Halleluyah! So would I!

 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; 
knock, and it will be opened to you.



Monday, September 18, 2017

Taking Thoughts Captive - Part Two

In Taking Thoughts Captive - Part One, I attempted to explain what it means to "take our thoughts captive".  Basically it means that anytime we have a thought/belief, as Followers of Yeshua (Jesus) we need to make sure those thoughts/beliefs line up with the Word of Yahweh (God). I shared a few quotes from Dr. Neil T. Anderson, from his book The Bondage Breaker. I also shared one of the main verses that he frequently refers to - 2 Corinthians 10:5.

  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (KJV, emphasis mine)
In this part two of my post, I want to address the latter part of 2 Corinthians 10:5. What is the "obedience of Christ? I am going to share what I saw in my Bible study this week, and I hope that you will prayerfully consider it and test it with the Scriptures.  

In Deuteronomy 31:9-13, it states that all the people of Israel were supposed to have the Torah (aka Law) read to them at the Feast of Tabernacles every seven years, "that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law," (ESV) Personally, I prefer the ISR translation for this verse because it reads "guard to do all the Words of this Torah".  I think that the word "guard" is a better translation because the Hebrew word used is shamar, which means to " to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. Guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc". The word "guard" has a stronger emphasis than "do", don't you agree? 

After reading Deuteronomy 31 this week, I had a thought and wrote it in my Bible study notebook (side note - in case this is your first time reading my posts - instead of God and Jesus, I use the Hebrew names Yahweh and Yeshua.  Also, instead of Law, I use Torah, which simply means "instructions", but is most commonly referred to as Law): 

If Yahweh commanded that the Torah be read to everyone every seven years during the Feast of Tabernacles, then obviously the Torah would be hearing the Words of Yahweh.  Yeshua repeatedly said that His words were not His own, but His Father's.  And He also said in John 5:46-47, "For if you believed Moses, you would have believed Me, since he wrote about Me.  But if you do not believe his writings, how shall you believe My words?" Yeshua equates His words with Moses' writings - Moses wrote the words of Yahweh! 

In Matthew 4:4, Yeshua says: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of Yahweh." (ISR) Yeshua was quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, and it was the Book of Deuteronomy from which He quoted the most during His ministry!  

I want to share with you more of the thread that I saw in my study: 

In Deuteronmy 18:18-19, Yahweh tells this prophecy concerning Yeshua to Moses: 

I shall raise up for them a Prophet like you out of the midst of their brothers. And I shall put My Words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be, the man who does not listen to My Words which He speaks in My Name, I require it of him. (ISR)

In John 3:34a, referring to Yeshua, John the Baptist says: "For the One whom God has sent speaks the words of God." (ESV) 

Yeshua Himself said in John 7:16-19:

My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood. Has not Moses given you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why do you seek to kill me? (ESV) 
Here Yeshua is again pointing to the Torah! 

John 12:44-50: 

And Jesus cried out and said, Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me." (ESV)

John 14:23-24:

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (ESV) 

And finally, in John 17 Yeshua is praying to the Father.  In verses 6-8 He says: 

 I have revealed Your Name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world. They were Yours, and You gave them to Me, and they have guarded Your Word. Now they have come to know that all You gave to Me, is from You. Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to them. And they have received them, and have truly known that I came forth from You, 
and they believed that You sent Me. (ISR)

According to this last passage in John, Yeshua was telling the Father that His disciples were indeed guarding the Torah! 

Yeshua consistently referred to the Torah. 

Yeshua personally guarded, or said differently - was obedient to the Torah!  

This, I believe, is the "obedience of Christ" that Paul referred to in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus the Christ) was obedient to the Torah - the words of Yahweh.  We are to imitate our Messiah. Let it be said of me, "Father, Christy has guarded Your Word. Because the Words which You gave to Me, I have given to her, and she received them."

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2 ESV) 

A list of references in the Book of John alone that refer to Yeshua speaking the Father's Words (there might be more that I missed): 

John 3:32-34
John 5:19
John 6:38-40
John 7:16-17, 19 
John 8:28-32, 38-42 
John 12:44-50
John 14:10, 21, 23-25 
John 15:7-11, 14-20 
John 17:6-8