Category Archives: Faithful

Put The Will Of The Father Ahead Of Our Own Desires

Yeshua is truly a perfect example of putting the will of the Father first and obeying, even knowing it will end in a painful death for Him. He does not whine or complain to His disciples. He willingly and courageously does the will of the Father. I appreciate the love and loyalty the disciples had toward Him also. They were not perfect. They often made mistakes or did not fully understand. However, they were genuine in their desire to follow and learn, even when they did not understand. They gave their full trust and support to Yeshua. We can all use fellowship like that to help us through hard times.

John 13: 21-38

Jesus Predicts His Betrayal

     21When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” 22The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23There was reclining on Jesus’ bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved. 24So Simon Peter gestured to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25He, leaning back thus on Jesus’ bosom, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26Jesus then answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27After the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Therefore Jesus said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. 29For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor. 30So after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night.

      31Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33“Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 34“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

      36Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you will follow later.” 37Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38Jesus answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.

Let us seek the Lord’s help to put His will above our own in our lives. Seek friends that would support us in this pursuit, rather than discourage us.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

A Clean Start… God Is Ready Anytime, Not Just in January

It has become very common for people to view the start of a new year as a means of getting a “clean start” with regards to making changes in their life to improve their situation. Sometimes people take this time to commit to stopping a bad habit or undesirable behavior and sometimes a start of something desirable. Somehow they come to feel as if a new year means their past mistakes are behind them and they have a clean start. If they tried to exercise regularly and failed, somehow now the past failure is forgotten. Unfortunately, seeking a “clean start” in the powerless framework of December turning to January usually falls apart quickly and by the end of January people have lost any momentum in their “New Year’s Resolutions”.

There is a way to make a true clean start, one that comes with power to help us… and it is available to us any time, not just in January. Through Christ, our sins can be forgiven. We repent of our sins, ask forgiveness, believe that He died for us and submit ourselves to the Father. He is waiting for us, looking on the horizon so to speak for our humble return to Him. There is no sin too big to be forgiven, no previous disrespect of God that we can not repent from.

Luke 15:11-32

The Prodigal Son

     11And He said, “A man had two sons. 12“The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13“And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14“Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15“So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16“And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17“But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18‘I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20“So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22“But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate.

      25“Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26“And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be. 27“And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28“But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him. 29“But he answered and said to his father, ‘Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; 30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’ 31“And he said to him, ‘Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32‘But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.’”

God waits for us to return home to Him, as the father waits for the prodigal son. He will run to greet us and welcome us. He will not, however, force us to come home. He will allow us to remain separated from Him if we choose to do so.

It is hard for us to get our minds around this type of forgiveness, because we can not imagine granting it to others, but He is God and we are not. Come home to Him now, without delay. He is always ready to receive you… not just in January.

When He receives us as His children, He also gives us a helper in the Spirit to bring His power to bear on our repentance and our fresh, clean start. We are not on our own. We have the power and help of God Himself.

John 16:5-15

The Holy Spirit Promised

     5“But now I am going to Him who sent Me; and none of you asks Me, ‘Where are You going?’ 6“But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. 8“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

      12“I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. 14“He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. 15“All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

Some may still be asking, does God really forgive all my sins if I repent and submit to Him in Christ? … yes and He speaks a lot about it. But to be clear, do not expect forgiveness if you continue in rebellion toward Him and do not live according to His word.

Isaiah 1:18-20

18“Come now, and let us reason together,”
Says the LORD,
“Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.

      19“If you consent and obey,
You will eat the best of the land;

      20“But if you refuse and rebel,
You will be devoured by the sword.”
Truly, the mouth of the LORD has spoken.

Daniel 9:7-14

  7“Righteousness belongs to You, O Lord, but to us open shame, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those who are nearby and those who are far away in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of their unfaithful deeds which they have committed against You. 8“Open shame belongs to us, O Lord, to our kings, our princes and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. 9“To the Lord our God belong compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him; 10nor have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in His teachings which He set before us through His servants the prophets. 11“Indeed all Israel has transgressed Your law and turned aside, not obeying Your voice; so the curse has been poured out on us, along with the oath which is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, for we have sinned against Him. 12“Thus He has confirmed His words which He had spoken against us and against our rulers who ruled us, to bring on us great calamity; for under the whole heaven there has not been done anything like what was done to Jerusalem. 13“As it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come on us; yet we have not sought the favor of the LORD our God by turning from our iniquity and giving attention to Your truth. 14“Therefore the LORD has kept the calamity in store and brought it on us; for the LORD our God is righteous with respect to all His deeds which He has done, but we have not obeyed His voice.

Acts 3:19-21

19“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Ephesians 1:3-14

    3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight 9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

Colossians 1:13-14

     13For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

1 John 1:9-10

9If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

Psalm 103:1-13

1Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

      2Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;

      3Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;

      4Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

      5Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

      6The LORD performs righteous deeds
And judgments for all who are oppressed.

      7He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the sons of Israel.

      8The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

      9He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.

      10He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

      11For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him.

      12As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

      13Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

And there are plenty more scriptures about forgiveness… a clean start can be yours, in Christ, in January or any other time of the year. You don’t have to do it alone, but the power and guidance is in God and not in the turn of a calendar from December to January and not in what our culture or society says is good and to be valued.

To learn more about following Christ, continue reading The Message of the Cross.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

The Blessings Of Moses

I really appreciate that Yahweh has a blessing for each of His tribes. Each is different, unique. Each receives a unique blessing. Moses takes time to address each one. He is not rushing through it. It is important. The other aspect that I find striking is that Yahweh just told Moses that the people would turn from Him in the future, but He still has a blessing for each of them now. Yahweh knows what will happen, but He will not break the covenant He makes with us… though if we choose to break it, the covenant is broken in its entirety.

Deuteronomy 33

The Blessing of Moses

     1Now this is the blessing with which Moses the man of God blessed the sons of Israel before his death.

     2He said,
“The LORD came from Sinai,
And dawned on them from Seir;
He shone forth from Mount Paran,
And He came from the midst of ten thousand holy ones;
At His right hand there was flashing lightning for them.

      3“Indeed, He loves the people;
All Your holy ones are in Your hand,
And they followed in Your steps;
Everyone receives of Your words.

      4“Moses charged us with a law,
A possession for the assembly of Jacob.

      5“And He was king in Jeshurun,
When the heads of the people were gathered,
The tribes of Israel together.

      6“May Reuben live and not die,
Nor his men be few.”

      7And this regarding Judah; so he said,
“Hear, O LORD, the voice of Judah,
And bring him to his people.
With his hands he contended for them,
And may You be a help against his adversaries.”

      8Of Levi he said,
Let Your Thummim and Your Urim belong to Your godly man,
Whom You proved at Massah,
With whom You contended at the waters of Meribah;

      9Who said of his father and his mother,
‘I did not consider them’;
And he did not acknowledge his brothers,
Nor did he regard his own sons,
For they observed Your word,
And kept Your covenant.

      10“They shall teach Your ordinances to Jacob,
And Your law to Israel.
They shall put incense before You,
And whole burnt offerings on Your altar.

      11“O LORD, bless his substance,
And accept the work of his hands;
Shatter the loins of those who rise up against him,
And those who hate him, so that they will not rise again.

      12Of Benjamin he said,
“May the beloved of the LORD dwell in security by Him,
Who shields him all the day,
And he dwells between His shoulders.”

      13Of Joseph he said,
“Blessed of the LORD be his land,
With the choice things of heaven, with the dew,
And from the deep lying beneath,

      14And with the choice yield of the sun,
And with the choice produce of the months.

      15“And with the best things of the ancient mountains,
And with the choice things of the everlasting hills,

      16And with the choice things of the earth and its fullness,
And the favor of Him who dwelt in the bush.
Let it come to the head of Joseph,
And to the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.

      17“As the firstborn of his ox, majesty is his,
And his horns are the horns of the wild ox;
With them he will push the peoples,
All at once, to the ends of the earth.
And those are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
And those are the thousands of Manasseh.”

      18Of Zebulun he said,
“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going forth,
And, Issachar, in your tents.

      19“They will call peoples to the mountain;
There they will offer righteous sacrifices;
For they will draw out the abundance of the seas,
And the hidden treasures of the sand.”

      20Of Gad he said,
“Blessed is the one who enlarges Gad;
He lies down as a lion,
And tears the arm, also the crown of the head.

      21“Then he provided the first part for himself,
For there the ruler’s portion was reserved;
And he came with the leaders of the people;
He executed the justice of the LORD,
And His ordinances with Israel.”

      22Of Dan he said,
“Dan is a lion’s whelp,
That leaps forth from Bashan.”

      23Of Naphtali he said,
“O Naphtali, satisfied with favor,
And full of the blessing of the LORD,
Take possession of the sea and the south.”

      24Of Asher he said,
“More blessed than sons is Asher;
May he be favored by his brothers,
And may he dip his foot in oil.

      25“Your locks will be iron and bronze,
And according to your days, so will your leisurely walk be.

      26“There is none like the God of Jeshurun,
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.

      27“The eternal God is a dwelling place,
And underneath are the everlasting arms;
And He drove out the enemy from before you,
And said, ‘Destroy!’

      28“So Israel dwells in security,
The fountain of Jacob secluded,
In a land of grain and new wine;
His heavens also drop down dew.

      29“Blessed are you, O Israel;
Who is like you, a people saved by the LORD,
Who is the shield of your help
And the sword of your majesty!
So your enemies will cringe before you,
And you will tread upon their high places.”

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

He will bless those who fear the LORD

I have grown not only to appreciate Psalms, but to love it. It helps guide me in praising our Father and leads me to celebrate Him when my natural tendency is to study Him and His word. Both are good and Psalms really helps me focus on Him and His glory.

Psalm 115

Heathen Idols Contrasted with the LORD.

     1Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.

      2Why should the nations say,
“Where, now, is their God?”

      3But our God is in the heavens;
He does whatever He pleases.

      4Their idols are silver and gold,
The work of man’s hands.

      5They have mouths, but they cannot speak;
They have eyes, but they cannot see;

      6They have ears, but they cannot hear;
They have noses, but they cannot smell;

      7They have hands, but they cannot feel;
They have feet, but they cannot walk;
They cannot make a sound with their throat.

      8Those who make them will become like them,
Everyone who trusts in them.

      9O Israel, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      10O house of Aaron, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      11You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD;
He is their help and their shield.

      12The LORD has been mindful of us; He will bless us;
He will bless the house of Israel;
He will bless the house of Aaron.

      13He will bless those who fear the LORD,
The small together with the great.

      14May the LORD give you increase,
You and your children.

      15May you be blessed of the LORD,
Maker of heaven and earth.

      16The heavens are the heavens of the LORD,
But the earth He has given to the sons of men.

      17The dead do not praise the LORD,
Nor do any who go down into silence;

      18But as for us, we will bless the LORD
From this time forth and forever.
Praise the LORD!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Delight Yourself In The Lord

It is very easy to focus on how much evil there is in our nation and our world… there are plenty who reject YHWH and His ways. We can get so wrapped up in that sometimes that we can start to miss out on the joy of the Lord. YHWH reminded me recently to delight in Him. I hope Psalm 37 can encourage you as well. We should be living joyful lives in relationship with our Creator and Father. Not only will this make our lives more enjoyable, but it is consistent with scripture and will actually help us be a light to draw others to the truth.

Psalm 37

Security of Those Who Trust in the LORD, and Insecurity of the Wicked. 

A Psalm of David.

     1Do not fret because of evildoers,
Be not envious toward wrongdoers.

      2For they will wither quickly like the grass
And fade like the green herb.

      3Trust in the LORD and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

      4Delight yourself in the LORD;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

      5Commit your way to the LORD,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

      6He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.

      7Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.

      8Cease from anger and forsake wrath;
Do not fret; it leads only to evildoing.

      9For evildoers will be cut off,
But those who wait for the LORD, they will inherit the land.

      10Yet a little while and the wicked man will be no more;
And you will look carefully for his place and he will not be there.

      11But the humble will inherit the land
And will delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

      12The wicked plots against the righteous
And gnashes at him with his teeth.

      13The Lord laughs at him,
For He sees his day is coming.

      14The wicked have drawn the sword and bent their bow
To cast down the afflicted and the needy,
To slay those who are upright in conduct.

      15Their sword will enter their own heart,
And their bows will be broken.

      16Better is the little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked.

      17For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the LORD sustains the righteous.

      18The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
And their inheritance will be forever.

      19They will not be ashamed in the time of evil,
And in the days of famine they will have abundance.

      20But the wicked will perish;
And the enemies of the LORD will be like the glory of the pastures,
They vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

      21The wicked borrows and does not pay back,
But the righteous is gracious and gives.

      22For those blessed by Him will inherit the land,
But those cursed by Him will be cut off.

      23The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way.

      24When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.

      25I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.

      26All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.

      27Depart from evil and do good,
So you will abide forever.

      28For the LORD loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.

      29The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.

      30The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice.

      31The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.

      32The wicked spies upon the righteous
And seeks to kill him.

      33The LORD will not leave him in his hand
Or let him be condemned when he is judged.

      34Wait for the LORD and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.

      35I have seen a wicked, violent man
Spreading himself like a luxuriant tree in its native soil.

      36Then he passed away, and lo, he was no more;
I sought for him, but he could not be found.

      37Mark the blameless man, and behold the upright;
For the man of peace will have a posterity.

      38But transgressors will be altogether destroyed;
The posterity of the wicked will be cut off.

      39But the salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
He is their strength in time of trouble.

      40The LORD helps them and delivers them;
He delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
Because they take refuge in Him.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Seek The Lord and Give Him Thanks Continuously!

Let us remember the victories YHWH has performed in our lives, as a nation and as individuals who wholeheartedly seek Him. Let us remember His power and His mercy. Let us seek the Lord and give Him thanks continuously!

Psalm 105

The LORD’S Wonderful Works in Behalf of Israel.

1Oh give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name;
Make known His deeds among the peoples.

      2Sing to Him, sing praises to Him;
Speak of all His wonders.

      3Glory in His holy name;
Let the heart of those who seek the LORD be glad.

      4Seek the LORD and His strength;
Seek His face continually.

      5Remember His wonders which He has done,
His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth,

      6O seed of Abraham, His servant,
O sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!

      7He is the LORD our God;
His judgments are in all the earth.

      8He has remembered His covenant forever,
The word which He commanded to a thousand generations,

      9The covenant which He made with Abraham,
And His oath to Isaac.

      10Then He confirmed it to Jacob for a statute,
To Israel as an everlasting covenant,

      11Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
As the portion of your inheritance,”

      12When they were only a few men in number,
Very few, and strangers in it.

      13And they wandered about from nation to nation,
From one kingdom to another people.

      14He permitted no man to oppress them,
And He reproved kings for their sakes:

      15“Do not touch My anointed ones,
And do My prophets no harm.”

      16And He called for a famine upon the land;
He broke the whole staff of bread.

      17He sent a man before them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.

      18They afflicted his feet with fetters,
He himself was laid in irons;

      19Until the time that his word came to pass,
The word of the LORD tested him.

      20The king sent and released him,
The ruler of peoples, and set him free.

      21He made him lord of his house
And ruler over all his possessions,

      22To imprison his princes at will,
That he might teach his elders wisdom.

      23Israel also came into Egypt;
Thus Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.

      24And He caused His people to be very fruitful,
And made them stronger than their adversaries.

      25He turned their heart to hate His people,
To deal craftily with His servants.

      26He sent Moses His servant,
And Aaron, whom He had chosen.

      27They performed His wondrous acts among them,
And miracles in the land of Ham.

      28He sent darkness and made it dark;
And they did not rebel against His words.

      29He turned their waters into blood
And caused their fish to die.

      30Their land swarmed with frogs
Even in the chambers of their kings.

      31He spoke, and there came a swarm of flies
And gnats in all their territory.

      32He gave them hail for rain,
And flaming fire in their land.

      33He struck down their vines also and their fig trees,
And shattered the trees of their territory.

      34He spoke, and locusts came,
And young locusts, even without number,

      35And ate up all vegetation in their land,
And ate up the fruit of their ground.

      36He also struck down all the firstborn in their land,
The first fruits of all their vigor.

      37Then He brought them out with silver and gold,
And among His tribes there was not one who stumbled.

      38Egypt was glad when they departed,
For the dread of them had fallen upon them.

      39He spread a cloud for a covering,
And fire to illumine by night.

      40They asked, and He brought quail,
And satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

      41He opened the rock and water flowed out;
It ran in the dry places like a river.

      42For He remembered His holy word
With Abraham His servant;

      43And He brought forth His people with joy,
His chosen ones with a joyful shout.

      44He gave them also the lands of the nations,
That they might take possession of the fruit of the peoples’ labor,

      45So that they might keep His statutes
And observe His laws,
Praise the LORD!

Don’t overlook verse 45. Think about it. He wants us to keep His statues and observe His laws. He has not changed His opinion on this, because YHWH does not change. He is eternal and immutable. But do not confuse His desire for us to observe His laws with salvation. We are saved by grace through faith in Christ, not by following the law. But nonetheless He calls us to obedience, which is exactly the example which Yeshua set when He lived among us in the flesh. We obey because we love Him, not because we will be saved by our obedience.

A covenant requires both parties meet certain conditions. YHWH has offered much in terms of blessings and help beyond what we deserve. We are called to obey Him and to seek Him and to be grateful and humble in our relationship with Him. Sounds like a very good deal to me!

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

All The Commandments That I Am Commanding You Today You Shall Be Careful To Do

Over and over again in scripture YHWH emphasizes a very key point which is lost on most Christians today. He calls for us to live according to His commandments and be blessed, remembering Him and He contrasts that with a dire warning about ignoring His commandments and growing prideful and diminishing His role in our lives.

We can certainly see this today as many Christians declare “Christian freedom” as an excuse to not obey God’s clear instructions. They ignore more and more of His instructions over time. We can see it even in looking back over our own lifetime, let alone over the past thousands of years since Jesus walked among us in the flesh. Today most who identify as Christian do not love God above all other things. They may use those words, but many things take His place in their heart and how they spend their time, money, and talent declare they love other things more than God. We are a culture of coveting. Sabbath is ignored and considered “odd” and “unnecessary”. Children do not honor their parents. The majority of people in the USA identify as Christian, but as a culture we tolerate the murder of unborn children and embrace “diversity” amongst those who worship false gods. We allow persecution of Christians for living God’s instructions regarding failing to honor homosexual marriage but are told to tolerate all manner of sinful behavior amongst people who reject or ignore God. We let Atheists continually chase God out of our public schools and government and mainstream life. Surely we are not on the path God calls us to follow as a nation.

Deuteronomy 8

God’s Gracious Dealings

     1“All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your forefathers. 2“You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. 3“He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD. 4“Your clothing did not wear out on you, nor did your foot swell these forty years. 5“Thus you are to know in your heart that the LORD your God was disciplining you just as a man disciplines his son. 6“Therefore, you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God, to walk in His ways and to fear Him. 7“For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing forth in valleys and hills; 8a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and honey; 9a land where you will eat food without scarcity, in which you will not lack anything; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. 10“When you have eaten and are satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.

      11“Beware that you do not forget the LORD your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today; 12otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied, and have built good houses and lived in them, 13and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold multiply, and all that you have multiplies, 14then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God who brought you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 15“He led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water; He brought water for you out of the rock of flint. 16“In the wilderness He fed you manna which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do good for you in the end. 17“Otherwise, you may say in your heart, ‘My power and the strength of my hand made me this wealth.’ 18“But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19“It shall come about if you ever forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish. 20“Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so you shall perish; because you would not listen to the voice of the LORD your God.

I believe this passage is incredibly relevant today for the USA and most western nations. As we continue to diminish God and chase after sin He will surely remove His blessing from our country and leave us to the depravity of our own minds. For those of us who are followers of Christ, we must not tolerate sin and false religion. (Atheism is a religion too… it is not a “neutral” position.)

Pray for Christians throughout our nation and the world that we would be passionate and courageous for Christ. Pray for our nation to humble themselves, repent and turn back to God.  Pray for those who identify as Christian to live as Christ called us to do. Pray that the plans of the wicked would be defeated and God would lift up the righteous in His right hand and bring victory.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

YHWH Is Faithful To Those Who Love Him And Keep His Commandments

Often, people get confused and perhaps prideful, associating their relationship with YHWH to their own personal accomplishments. The Lord does not choose us based on our own merit or accomplishment. Often He chooses what we would consider the underdog or someone who can never accomplish what He calls them to do on their own. He does so to make it clear to His people that it is He who delivers the victory and not them on their own. This actually helps us not to get prideful and independent from Him. It helps draw us near to Him and reminds us we can depend on Him as our faithful, loving Father.

Another common mistake people make is that YHWH will accept and bless everyone the same just how we are, no matter what amount of sin we embrace and accept. Quite simply, this is wrong. He is faithful to those who keep His covenant, who love Him, who keep His commandments. He repays those who hate Him. The warning is clear and direct.

Deuteronomy 7:7-11

     7“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8but because the LORD loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the LORD brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments; 10but repays those who hate Him to their faces, to destroy them; He will not delay with him who hates Him, He will repay him to his face. 11“Therefore, you shall keep the commandment and the statutes and the judgments which I am commanding you today, to do them.

There is no excuse for our churches and culture to ignore this and teach that all are accepted as they are regardless of behaviors and attitudes filled with sin or holiness. They are leading people away from YHWH and on a path to hell.  Be sure you do not accept the common false teaching that helps people get complacent accepting their sin. We are called by YHWH to repent of sin and obey His commandments faithfully. It affects our relationship with Him dramatically. Our behaviors and attitudes are a reflection of whether we love ourselves or YHWH more. If we say we love YHWH but do not obey Him, the truth is not in us.

John 14:15, 21-24

 15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

21“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.” 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?” 23Jesus answered and said to 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 abode with him. 24“He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Follow Yeshua’s Example of Prayer and Submission

Yeshua sets the example for intense prayer. We have a hard time living up to His example. No matter what we face, however, let us follow His example and come before the Father in prayer. Let us submit to the Father’s will and trust in the Father’s wisdom, even if we have an opinion or preference which is different. We may even pray for the Spirit’s help that we would not fall into temptation.

Luke 22:39-46

The Garden of Gethsemane

     39And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. 40When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” 41And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, 42saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” 43Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. 44And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. 45When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, 46and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Let us model ourselves and our relationship with the Father after the example of Christ, whether we face big situations or every day small ones.

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Have you submitted your life to Jesus Christ? Are you living today filled with the peace and joy of truly knowing and following Jesus Christ? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.

Recount Your Blessings and Victories Which YHWH Has Delivered

Deuteronomy 3 reminds us to remember the victories which the Lord has given to us. While we journey through life with the Lord, He grants us many victories and blessings, in particular when we live in obedience to Him and with love for Him. Reflecting on what He has done for us can be very encouraging and remind us that He will continue to be with us, so long as we do not turn from Him.

Deuteronomy 3

Conquests Recounted

     1“Then we turned and went up the road to Bashan, and Og, king of Bashan, with all his people came out to meet us in battle at Edrei. 2“But the LORD said to me, ‘Do not fear him, for I have delivered him and all his people and his land into your hand; and you shall do to him just as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.’ 3“So the LORD our God delivered Og also, king of Bashan, with all his people into our hand, and we smote them until no survivor was left. 4“We captured all his cities at that time; there was not a city which we did not take from them: sixty cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 5“All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates and bars, besides a great many unwalled towns. 6“We utterly destroyed them, as we did to Sihon king of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women and children of every city. 7“But all the animals and the spoil of the cities we took as our booty.

      8“Thus we took the land at that time from the hand of the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan, from the valley of Arnon to Mount Hermon 9(Sidonians call Hermon Sirion, and the Amorites call it Senir): 10all the cities of the plateau and all Gilead and all Bashan, as far as Salecah and Edrei, cities of the kingdom of Og in Bashan. 11(For only Og king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim. Behold, his bedstead was an iron bedstead; it is in Rabbah of the sons of Ammon. Its length was nine cubits and its width four cubits by ordinary cubit.)

      12“So we took possession of this land at that time. From Aroer, which is by the valley of Arnon, and half the hill country of Gilead and its cities I gave to the Reubenites and to the Gadites. 13“The rest of Gilead and all Bashan, the kingdom of Og, I gave to the half-tribe of Manasseh, all the region of Argob (concerning all Bashan, it is called the land of Rephaim. 14Jair the son of Manasseh took all the region of Argob as far as the border of the Geshurites and the Maacathites, and called it, that is, Bashan, after his own name, Havvoth-jair, as it is to this day.) 15“To Machir I gave Gilead. 16“To the Reubenites and to the Gadites I gave from Gilead even as far as the valley of Arnon, the middle of the valley as a border and as far as the river Jabbok, the border of the sons of Ammon; 17the Arabah also, with the Jordan as a border, from Chinnereth even as far as the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, at the foot of the slopes of Pisgah on the east.

      18“Then I commanded you at that time, saying, ‘The LORD your God has given you this land to possess it; all you valiant men shall cross over armed before your brothers, the sons of Israel. 19‘But your wives and your little ones and your livestock (I know that you have much livestock) shall remain in your cities which I have given you, 20until the LORD gives rest to your fellow countrymen as to you, and they also possess the land which the LORD your God will give them beyond the Jordan. Then you may return every man to his possession which I have given you.’ 21“I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done to these two kings; so the LORD shall do to all the kingdoms into which you are about to cross. 22‘Do not fear them, for the LORD your God is the one fighting for you.’

      23“I also pleaded with the LORD at that time, saying, 24‘O Lord GOD, You have begun to show Your servant Your greatness and Your strong hand; for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as Yours? 25‘Let me, I pray, cross over and see the fair land that is beyond the Jordan, that good hill country and Lebanon.’ 26“But the LORD was angry with me on your account, and would not listen to me; and the LORD said to me, ‘Enough! Speak to Me no more of this matter. 27‘Go up to the top of Pisgah and lift up your eyes to the west and north and south and east, and see it with your eyes, for you shall not cross over this Jordan. 28‘But charge Joshua and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go across at the head of this people, and he will give them as an inheritance the land which you will see.’ 29“So we remained in the valley opposite Beth-peor.

Take time to list some of the major victories and blessings that the Lord has delivered to you in your lifetime or just recently. Consider writing it down and sharing it with someone. Surely I could not remember all of them in one sitting, but I could remember many key victories. There are many. YHWH is such a wonderful, loving, and generous Father! Praise Him! He alone is worthy of our worship.

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Do you know for sure if you will go to heaven or hell when you die? Are you experiencing in your life the peace and joy of a personal relationship with our Creator and Father? Learn more about salvation through The Message of the Cross.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.