Category Archives: Humility

Pray for the USA to turn back to God and become again a true light to the nations

The United States of America was founded based on Christian ideals and beliefs, but over the past few hundred years has largely turned their back on God and now embrace worship of self, worship of money, and many other sins. The word of God is tossed aside in favor of the wicked desires of men. God’s word shows us that when the people turn from God, He releases His blessing from that country. That does not mean He gives up on His people there, but rather that the country will suffer. There are consequences. The USA has great potential to serve God across the world if even those who profess Jesus with their lips would genuinely  turn toward Him and change their behaviors to be a light to the nation and the world.

2 Chronicles 7:12-22

     12Then the LORD appeared to Solomon at night and said to him, “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, 14and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 15“Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayer offered in this place. 16“For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that My name may be there forever, and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually. 17“As for you, if you walk before Me as your father David walked, even to do according to all that I have commanded you, and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, 18then I will establish your royal throne as I covenanted with your father David, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to be ruler in Israel.’

      19“But if you turn away and forsake My statutes and My commandments which I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20then I will uproot you from My land which I have given you, and this house which I have consecrated for My name I will cast out of My sight and I will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21“As for this house, which was exalted, everyone who passes by it will be astonished and say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land and to this house?’ 22“And they will say, ‘Because they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers who brought them from the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods and worshiped them and served them; therefore He has brought all this adversity on them.’”

Please take some time to pray for repentance and mercy for the USA as leader of the free world but also for other nations globally in which there still remains a remnant of true disciples seeking to follow the Lord’s will.

Psalm 85

Prayer for God’s Mercy upon the Nation.

For the choir director. A Psalm of the sons of Korah.

     1O LORD, You showed favor to Your land;
You restored the captivity of Jacob.

      2You forgave the iniquity of Your people;
You covered all their sin.

Selah.

      3You withdrew all Your fury;
You turned away from Your burning anger.

      4Restore us, O God of our salvation,
And cause Your indignation toward us to cease.

      5Will You be angry with us forever?
Will You prolong Your anger to all generations?

      6Will You not Yourself revive us again,
That Your people may rejoice in You?

      7Show us Your lovingkindness, O LORD,
And grant us Your salvation.

      8I will hear what God the LORD will say;
For He will speak peace to His people, to His godly ones;
But let them not turn back to folly.

      9Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him,
That glory may dwell in our land.

      10Lovingkindness and truth have met together;
Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

      11Truth springs from the earth,
And righteousness looks down from heaven.

      12Indeed, the LORD will give what is good,
And our land will yield its produce.

      13Righteousness will go before Him
And will make His footsteps into a way.

Grace and peace of Jesus Christ be with you.
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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 Of Us Have But A Role To Play For Our King

All of us will die and face our King. None of us are going to live forever in our earthly lives. No matter how important we think we are or others think we are, the Lord can manage a proper handoff with others to continue His work. We are not indispensable.  For those of us who have accepted Yahweh as Lord and accepted the offer of grace and forgiveness through Yeshua… we each have but a role to play in service to our Lord. Let us find joy in playing it well and contentment (or even joy) in coming to face Him when it is our time to die.

Deuteronomy 34

The Death of Moses

      1Now Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, Gilead as far as Dan, 2and all Naphtali and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah as far as the western sea, 3and the Negev and the plain in the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, as far as Zoar. 4Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not go over there.” 5So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6And He buried him in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor; but no man knows his burial place to this day. 7Although Moses was one hundred and twenty years old when he died, his eye was not dim, nor his vigor abated. 8So the sons of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the days of weeping and mourning for Moses came to an end.

      9Now Joshua the son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Moses had laid his hands on him; and the sons of Israel listened to him and did as the LORD had commanded Moses. 10Since that time no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11for all the signs and wonders which the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt against Pharaoh, all his servants, and all his land, 12and for all the mighty power and for all the great terror which Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

Moses was “one of a kind” in His relationship with the Lord. However, even He has but a role to play in the service of the King. He is one player on the stage which the Lord has established. Each of us has a role to play. Let us focus on what we are called to do and not envy or covet the role others have. Let us also remain humble that we are not indispensable to His work. It is His power and glory, not our own.

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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.

Humility To Be Teachable and Boldness To Test Everything Against God’s Word

The account of Yeshua declaring Himself to be Messiah, “Son of Man”, in John 9 brings with it some interesting thoughts in the verses that follow. For context, He has healed a man who was blind since birth. The man testified that Yeshua healed Him and thus must have been sent by YHWH before the religious leaders. They put the man out of the temple because they declared him to be wrong, holding fast to their belief that Yeshua is not from YHWH… despite the obvious miracle. They did not have eyes to see. They were not humble enough to consider that their preconceived idea might be wrong and to test it, and Yeshua’s teaching, against the scriptures. That refusal to test what they believe against YHWH’s word ends badly for them. They remain blind.

The man who was healed, on the other hand, was persecuted for standing up for Yeshua. He was willing to look to the evidence around him and stand for Yeshua, even in the face of persecution. He received not only physical, but also spiritual sight because he was humble enough to know he may not have all the answers, and bold enough to test what the religious leaders were saying against evidence rather than simply taking their word for it.

This lesson in humility to be teachable and boldness to challenge and test everything against the word of YHWH is a powerful example to each of us even today.

John 9:35-41

Jesus Affirms His Deity

      35Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38And he said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped Him. 39And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.” 40Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?” 41Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.

Perhaps the most interesting verse is 41. I am not sure exactly how to understand the context of this verse. Clearly He is talking about spiritual blindness. I believe He is referring to their lack of humility, their stubbornness, to refuse to accept that they don’t have the answers. It closes them off from recognizing and accepting Messiah, even as He stands before them doing miracles and teaching the scriptures properly. Their refusal to “see”, to accept Christ, means they remain in darkness and remain accountable for their sin before YHWH.

We face similar situations today. Many in leadership of “Christian” churches teach things that are obviously and wildly out of line with what the Bible teaches. Many people just want to accept it because it is easy, because the religious leaders say so, because teaching has been changed to encourage believers to just blend with society or accept their sins without repenting and changing themselves. The sermons just tickle the ears and fill the seats.

Pray for YHWH to help you stand boldly to test everything, even teachings you have grown up with all your life, against the word of YHWH. Don’t seek answers only in the opinions of others. Many wise people have many different opinions. Seek answers personally by reading and studying the word of YHWH in the Bible daily. Challenge assumptions of basic doctrine that are taught by finding scripture to back it up rather than just accepting it because someone smart or someone who went to seminary said so.

One simple example… where in the Bible do we find any reference to Sabbath being on Sunday, the 1st day? No where. Man moved that to Saturday to distance themselves as “Christians” from the “Jewish” people. However, Yeshua was a Jew. The Jews are the people of YHWH. Scripture says we are grafted in to the vine (Christ). We were not supposed to start our own vine that is essentially a new plant and different. This is but one example. Scripture said we should base our calendar on the moon and the days in Biblical record started at sundown and went to sundown. Man changed it to midnight. Man changed it to the solar calendar we use today.

Most Christians say the law or instructions given to Moses are no longer valid because of Yeshua. But Yeshua lived according to those laws. He referred back to the Torah and its teachings. What did He actually say about this?

Matthew 5:17-19

   17“Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 18“For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19“Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Some changes just mentioned are from long ago. Others changes are more recent. In my lifetime I have seen what was left of the Sabbath disappear. Despite celebrating on Sunday instead of Saturday, people used to at least rest. Stores were closed. Families spent time together… not frantically going to and fro… but resting. Now that is all but gone. So too with churches now embracing homosexual and transgender sin rather than helping people find Yeshua and turn from their sin. Did YHWH suddenly change His mind? (Spoiler alert… He is timeless and unchanging so the answer is no, He did not.) These sins are no worse than other sexual sin rampant in our society. They are no worse than coveting, which is our true national pastime if you look at how many people suffer from it.

We will never pull out of this decline in our society unless we start differentiating ourselves as followers of Christ from the rest of society. We need to be different to be a light. We need to focus on serving YHWH His way rather than our own ways. We need to change ourselves to be more in His image rather than change His image to reflect our own so we need not change. We need to give ourselves over to total transformation and submission, not just partial. We can’t say we serve YHWH and then insist on keeping certain traditions and lifestyle choices that are different than what He instructed His people to do.

Wisdom reminds us that we may not have all the answers, we may not be doing everything right, we may need to change, even if painful to do so. For those who want to look to “religious leaders” of today and say… “how could they all have it wrong?” Consider how many of these leaders disagree with each other on even significant issues. All of them may be, but most of them must be wrong about certain issues. Further, if you think there is strength or confidence in numbers, consider the religious leaders during Yeshua’s earthly ministry. They “all” or mostly were on the wrong side. They did not have everything wrong, but they had messed up quite a bit of YHWH’s instruction for the people… just like today.

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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.

The Lord Is A Loving Father, A Provider, A Protector

Our Lord is the Creator of the entire universe in all its magnificence, in all its grand size and scope, in all its infinite detail. He is all powerful. He is all knowing. He is present everywhere at all times. Yet He loves us as His children. Who are we that He should be mindful of us, but He is gracious, loving, and kind towards us.

Let us devote ourselves to Him and come before Him with supplication and thanksgiving as we would a loving father.

Psalm 116

Thanksgiving for Deliverance from Death.

     1I love the LORD, because He hears
My voice and my supplications.

      2Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.

      3The cords of death encompassed me
And the terrors of Sheol came upon me;
I found distress and sorrow.

      4Then I called upon the name of the LORD:
“O LORD, I beseech You, save my life!”

      5Gracious is the LORD, and righteous;
Yes, our God is compassionate.

      6The LORD preserves the simple;
I was brought low, and He saved me.

      7Return to your rest, O my soul,
For the LORD has dealt bountifully with you.

      8For You have rescued my soul from death,
My eyes from tears,
My feet from stumbling.

      9I shall walk before the LORD
In the land of the living.

      10I believed when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted.”

      11I said in my alarm,
“All men are liars.”

      12What shall I render to the LORD
For all His benefits toward me?

      13I shall lift up the cup of salvation
And call upon the name of the LORD.

      14I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people.

      15Precious in the sight of the LORD
Is the death of His godly ones.

      16O LORD, surely I am Your servant,
I am Your servant, the son of Your handmaid,
You have loosed my bonds.

      17To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving,
And call upon the name of the LORD.

      18I shall pay my vows to the LORD,
Oh may it be in the presence of all His people,

      19In the courts of the LORD’S house,
In the midst of you, O Jerusalem.
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.

We Choose Our Path, But We Do Not Get To Choose The Consequences

YHWH is no more pleased with us today when we take His blessings for granted and accept false gods among us than He was when the events in Deuteronomy 29 unfolded. He has provided us a great nation, founded in Christian principles, focused on Christian morals in both government and schools. Yet over the past 50-100 years we as a people have rejected Him more and more. We have embraced atheism (which requires more faith than accepting YHWH)… we have embraced false religions from around the world such as Islam and changed our culture and our schools and our government to accommodate their false beliefs. We have embraced paganism, celebrating Christmas and Easter and other occasions which have more roots in paganism than Christianity… no matter how much lipstick people try to put on those pigs by inventing Christian meaning to apply over pagan origins. Why not instead celebrate the appointed times that YHWH revealed in Leviticus 23?

We accept and normalize sin such as abortion and homosexuality. Rather than try to help the people who genuinely need it, we tell them they are fine and persecute the Christians who live out God’s word. As a culture, those who call themselves Christian embrace the world’s values and make excuses for ignoring or rejecting God’s word.  We see in our lifetimes Sabbath disappear from our culture, but somehow accept it and convince ourselves it is fine. We no longer even recognize the failing of our forefathers in walking away from God’s instructions over the past thousand years. One example is redefining the calendar from the Biblical calendar to the Gregorian. Man changed even how to count the days. Biblically they counted from sundown to sundown. Sabbath as Yeshua celebrated it was on Saturday, not Sunday.

We are not allowed to “hurt people’s feelings” by telling them about their sin, whether it is homosexuality, killing unborn children, gluttony, coveting, sloth… etc. All of that is unacceptable to be rebuked and all is provided many excuses. But should a Christian speak God’s word to rebuke someone or refuse to pretend their sin is ok and speak out against it… that must be punished with public shame and lawsuits.

There are many more examples. Man has continually separated himself from YHWH by adopting his own instructions rather than obeying those of YHWH.

YHWH is no more pleased about this than He was as the events of Deuteronomy 29 unfolded. After all He has done to bless His people and prepare them, a time still comes where they depart from His ways. His blessing is removed and as a nation we walk into a curse.

Deuteronomy 29

The Covenant in Moab

      1These are the words of the covenant which the LORD commanded Moses to make with the sons of Israel in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He had made with them at Horeb.

      2And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them, “You have seen all that the LORD did before your eyes in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh and all his servants and all his land; 3the great trials which your eyes have seen, those great signs and wonders. 4“Yet to this day the LORD has not given you a heart to know, nor eyes to see, nor ears to hear. 5“I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandal has not worn out on your foot. 6“You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or strong drink, in order that you might know that I am the LORDyour God. 7“When you reached this place, Sihon the king of Heshbon and Og the king of Bashan came out to meet us for battle, but we defeated them;8and we took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of the Manassites. 9“So keep the words of this covenant to do them, that you may prosper in all that you do.

      10“You stand today, all of you, before the LORD your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12that you may enter into the covenant with the LORD your God, and into His oath which the LORD your God is making with you today, 13in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

      14“Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the LORDour God and with those who are not with us here today 16(for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed; 17moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them); 18so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the LORD our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations; that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood. 19“It shall be when he hears the words of this curse, that he will boast, saying, ‘I have peace though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart in order to destroy the watered land with the dry.’20“The LORD shall never be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and His jealousy will burn against that man, and every curse which is written in this book will rest on him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven. 21“Then the LORD will single him out for adversity from all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant which are written in this book of the law.

      22“Now the generation to come, your sons who rise up after you and the foreigner who comes from a distant land, when they see the plagues of the land and the diseases with which the LORD has afflicted it, will say, 23‘All its land is brimstone and salt, a burning waste, unsown and unproductive, and no grass grows in it, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger and in His wrath.’ 24“All the nations will say, ‘Why has the LORD done thus to this land? Why this great outburst of anger?’ 25“Then men will say, ‘Because they forsook the covenant of the LORD, the God of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt. 26‘They went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods whom they have not known and whom He had not allotted to them. 27‘Therefore, the anger of the LORD burned against that land, to bring upon it every curse which is written in this book; 28and the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger and in fury and in great wrath, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’

      29“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.

As a nation we need to return to YHWH and His ways. As His people we must humble ourselves and pray for our nation. Let us give thanks for the blessings and ask forgiveness for our nation. Let us intercede on behalf of our nation and ask Him to awaken people to the truth and to lead them by His Spirit to a powerful revival not just to the American roots of Christianity, though that is a good start. Let us pray He would take us back to a thriving Biblical view of obedience and faith in YHWH through Yeshua.

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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.

To Whom Shall We Go?

Sometimes God’s word is difficult for us to fully understand. That does not make it wrong, but rather reveals our own lack of full understanding. It should be an opportunity for us to humbly admit we have more to learn and to seek the Lord in prayer and study of His word. Instead, all too often people who claim to follow Yeshua instead start to assume that if scripture does not make sense to them, it is wrong and God is wrong, and instead that they are correct. In some cases they just call scripture “dated” and ignore it as if it can be come obsolete. God’s word is no more obsolete because of its age than the law of gravity.

Too many just accept public opinion or their own opinion in place of the truth of God. Are we to seek refuge in ourselves rather than God?  We must decide if we will follow the Lord or not. If not, to whom shall we go?

John 6: 59-71

Words to the Disciples

      59These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

      60Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” 61But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before?63“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64“But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65And He was saying, “For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.”

Peter’s Confession of Faith

      66As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew and were not walking with Him anymore. 67So Jesus said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” 68Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. 69“We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” 70Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” 71Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.

We must recognize that only those who are called by the Father will be able to see and come to Yeshua. By definition, not all will accept Him. Let us not be surprised by this, nor should we feel it is our failure when we can’t convince someone to accept Christ. We should certainly resist, at all cost, watering down the truth or changing it just to make it more acceptable to people. Yeshua Himself stuck by hard teaching and let it, intentionally, drive away those who were not sincere in seeking Him. Those who remained with Him and sought to understand more were rewarded richly by relationship with Him… by learning from Him. They knew they did not have the answers. Thus if there was hard material to deal with, they accepted that they had more to learn and put their trust in Yeshua. They changed their beliefs and understanding based on ongoing revelation of God’s word. They never redefined God’s word to fit their understanding. Humility is required. Trust and faith in Christ are required.

Ask yourself… if you will not follow Christ and follow the Word of God fully, then to whom shall you go?

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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.

Yeshua Must Increase, But I Must Decrease

How many of us truly live our lives in like manner to John the Baptist? His greatest testimony perhaps was his attitude of humility and his focus on serving YHWH in his appointed role, always pointing toward Yeshua.

John 3:22-36

John’s Last Testimony

     22After these things Jesus and His disciples came into the land of Judea, and there He was spending time with them and baptizing. 23John also was baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was much water there; and people were coming and were being baptized— 24for John had not yet been thrown into prison.

      25Therefore there arose a discussion on the part of John’s disciples with a Jew about purification. 26And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, He who was with you beyond the Jordan, to whom you have testified, behold, He is baptizing and all are coming to Him.” 27John answered and said, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given him from heaven. 28“You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Christ,’ but, ‘I have been sent ahead of Him.’ 29“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made full. 30“He must increase, but I must decrease.

      31“He who comes from above is above all, he who is of the earth is from the earth and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32“What He has seen and heard, of that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony. 33“He who has received His testimony has set his seal to this, that God is true. 34“For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. 35“The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hand. 36“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Let us prayerfully and with humility approach our lives with the intent for Yeshua to increase and our own focus on self to decrease. Let this permeate our wants and desires. Let it guide our choices and behaviors. It means choosing against our own wants at times and focusing on His. It is hard to do without the help of the Spirit.

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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.

Praise The Lord!

How often do you praise the Lord? Not for something specific He has done for you, but just for who He is and what He has done for others? As I reflect on that personally, I find that the answer for me is, “not often enough”. I am thankful that His word reminds me! Praise the Lord indeed! He is mighty and filled with glory. Let His name be praised throughout the Earth. He does not help those who help Him, He does not need our help. He helps those who submit to and follow Him, who cry out to Him. We can give Him nothing in return. Praise the Lord almighty!

Psalm 113

The LORD Exalts the Humble.

     1Praise the LORD!
Praise, O servants of the LORD,
Praise the name of the LORD.

      2Blessed be the name of the LORD
From this time forth and forever.

      3From the rising of the sun to its setting
The name of the LORD is to be praised.

      4The LORD is high above all nations;
His glory is above the heavens.

      5Who is like the LORD our God,
Who is enthroned on high,

      6Who humbles Himself to behold
The things that are in heaven and in the earth?

      7He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,

      8To make them sit with princes,
With the princes of His people.

      9He makes the barren woman abide in the house
As a joyful mother of children.
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.

The Focus Should Be On Christ

Many pastors today almost become celebrity. They make the church they lead and the gospel more about them than Christ. That is not to say that every famous pastor is this way. By all means not. But you can see them if you pay attention. Their picture is everywhere, on every book, flyer and website. Their name is everywhere. It becomes almost a cult of personality. Pay attention any time the personality of the leader eclipses the focus on Christ. Instead, seek after leaders like John the Baptist. It was all about Christ, even when people asked him about himself. He was humble. He knew his place and purpose. He did not glorify himself.

John 1:19-34

The Testimony of John

      19This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” 21They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” 22Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”23He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

      24Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?” 26John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. 27It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.” 28These things took place in Bethany beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

      29The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30“This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ 31“I did not recognize Him, but so that He might be manifested to Israel, I came baptizing in water.” 32John testified saying, “I have seen the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven, and He remained upon Him. 33“I did not recognize Him, but He who sent me to baptize in water said to me, ‘He upon whom you see the Spirit descending and remaining upon Him, this is the One who baptizes in the Holy Spirit.’ 34“I myself have seen, and have testified that this is the Son of God.”

Let us all testify of Christ. Let us point others to Him rather than ourselves, even in our daily lives. What is good that the Lord has done in our lives, when others notice, point to Christ rather than ourselves. Let all the positive attention go to Him, for He is Lord and we are but servants.

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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.

Sin In A Community or a Nation Is Serious Business

Many reject the law as obsolete or meaningless. Some are even less kind. However, Paul reminds us that all of the scripture is good. When he wrote 2 Timothy, the only scripture was the Old Testament. The New Testament had not yet been written.

2 Timothy 3:16

 16All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

I openly admit that sometimes I am more challenged than others to find the value in some of the scriptures as it would still apply today. That said, just because I don’t understand it does not change the fact that it is meaningful. My lack of understanding should lead me further in study and prayer rather than simply dismissing it.

Deuteronomy 21 documents expiation of a crime. Expiation is the act of making amends or reparation for guilt or wrongdoing. I am not sure how to process the specific activity that is done for expiation in this case and apply it for life today. However, I am struck by the seriousness with which they were instructed to confront sin. Even if they did not know who committed the crime, they still considered it a serious matter. It was not just a serious matter for the “police” to investigate, but for the community to seek forgiveness from before YHWH. I believe we have lost this in our culture today for the most part. The people no longer come together in prayer before YHWH to confront sin and ask forgiveness.

2 Chronicles 7:13-14

13“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people,14and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

I believe we would do well to routinely humble ourselves and pray for our nation. This is not just something for “those guilty people” to do. This is a call for YHWH’s people to humble themselves and pray. As His people, we can do this even for a nation with many who reject YHWH. We are all sinners. We are a common people… one nation. Let those of us who serve YHWH humble ourselves and pray and seek Him and turn from our wicked ways. Let us try to lead others to turn from their wicked ways as well. We must not simply be “silent Christians”. That is an oxymoron, a contradiction. The disciples and prophets and Yeshua all took bold positions to share truth even when others opposed them and rejected the message. So should we.

Deuteronomy 21: 1-9

Expiation of a Crime

      1“If a slain person is found lying in the open country in the land which the LORD your God gives you to possess, and it is not known who has struck him, 2then your elders and your judges shall go out and measure the distance to the cities which are around the slain one. 3“It shall be that the city which is nearest to the slain man, that is, the elders of that city, shall take a heifer of the herd, which has not been worked and which has not pulled in a yoke; 4and the elders of that city shall bring the heifer down to a valley with running water, which has not been plowed or sown, and shall break the heifer’s neck there in the valley. 5“Then the priests, the sons of Levi, shall come near, for the LORD your God has chosen them to serve Him and to bless in the name of the LORD; and every dispute and every assault shall be settled by them. 6“All the elders of that city which is nearest to the slain man shall wash their hands over the heifer whose neck was broken in the valley; 7and they shall answer and say, ‘Our hands did not shed this blood, nor did our eyes see it. 8‘Forgive Your people Israel whom You have redeemed, O LORD, and do not place the guilt of innocent blood in the midst of Your people Israel.’ And the bloodguiltiness shall be forgiven them. 9“So you shall remove the guilt of innocent blood from your midst, when you do what is right in the eyes of the LORD.

Sin in a community or nation is serious business and we should address it before YHWH on His terms.

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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.