Category Archives: Teachable

The Role We Should Fill Often Changes As We Age

It was brave of David and good leadership to go into battle with his men. However, the men recognized that perhaps the time for him to be physically in battle had passed and he should remain more protected. It certainly shows a bit of aging on David’s part, as he was a mighty warrior. We all slow down a bit as we age.

It is good that he had loyal group of men supporting him to protect and help him as well as advise him to stay more protected. It is good that he listened to them. We too should look to consider wise advice from those around us we trust. Let us not be too proud to let others help us and for us to fill a different role than perhaps we did when we were younger. Clearly we see the men see David’s value and want to preserve it. To say David should take a different role, less in the direct battle, is not to say his value has diminished. Quite the opposite. His value was still very clear.

2 Samuel 21:15-21

  15Now when the Philistines were at war again with Israel, David went down and his servants with him; and as they fought against the Philistines, David became weary. 16Then Ishbi-benob, who was among the descendants of the giant, the weight of whose spear was three hundred shekels of bronze in weight, was girded with a new sword, and he intended to kill David. 17But Abishai the son of Zeruiah helped him, and struck the Philistine and killed him. Then the men of David swore to him, saying, “You shall not go out again with us to battle, so that you do not extinguish the lamp of Israel.”

      18Now it came about after this that there was war again with the Philistines at Gob; then Sibbecai the Hushathite struck down Saph, who was among the descendants of the giant. 19There was war with the Philistines again at Gob, and Elhanan the son of Jaare-oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, the shaft of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 20There was war at Gath again, where there was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, twenty-four in number; and he also had been born to the giant. 21When he defied Israel, Jonathan the son of Shimei, David’s brother, struck him down. 22These four were born to the giant in Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by the hand of his 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.

The Reward of Humility And The Fear Of The Lord

The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honor, and life. Pause and ask the Spirit to guide you and speak to you as you read Proverbs today. May He open our eyes to the truth of God’s word and how it applies in our lives. May we be humble enough to identify and admit where we need to make changes.

Proverbs 22

On Life and Conduct

1A good name is to be more desired than great wealth,
Favor is better than silver and gold.

2The rich and the poor have a common bond,
The LORD is the maker of them all.

3The prudent sees the evil and hides himself,
But the naive go on, and are punished for it.

4The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD
Are riches, honor and life.

5Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse;
He who guards himself will be far from them.

6Train up a child in the way he should go,
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

7The rich rules over the poor,
And the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.

8He who sows iniquity will reap vanity,
And the rod of his fury will perish.

9He who is generous will be blessed,
For he gives some of his food to the poor.

10Drive out the scoffer, and contention will go out,
Even strife and dishonor will cease.

11He who loves purity of heart
And whose speech is gracious, the king is his friend.

12The eyes of the LORD preserve knowledge,
But He overthrows the words of the treacherous man.

13The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside;
I will be killed in the streets!”

14The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit;
He who is cursed of the LORD will fall into it.

15Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him.

16He who oppresses the poor to make more for himself
Or who gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

17Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise,
And apply your mind to my knowledge;

18For it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
That they may be ready on your lips.

19So that your trust may be in the LORD,
I have taught you today, even you.

20Have I not written to you excellent things
Of counsels and knowledge,

21To make you know the certainty of the words of truth
That you may correctly answer him who sent you?

22Do not rob the poor because he is poor,
Or crush the afflicted at the gate;

23For the LORD will plead their case
And take the life of those who rob them.

24Do not associate with a man given to anger;
Or go with a hot-tempered man,

25Or you will learn his ways
And find a snare for yourself.

26Do not be among those who give pledges,
Among those who become guarantors for debts.

27If you have nothing with which to pay,
Why should he take your bed from under you?

28Do not move the ancient boundary
Which your fathers have set.

29Do you see a man skilled in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before obscure men.

There is much wisdom, much treasure, in Proverbs. Read it slowly and carefully. Reflect on how each part applies in your life and the lives of others around you. Pray for insight and help to make necessary changes in your life to come more in line with God’s wisdom and advice rather than “how you have always done things” or “how the world does things” or what is “normal”.

Only God is truly wise, so let us listen and obey.

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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.

Every Man’s Way is Right in His Own Eyes

Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in the daily events in our world or locality. We can be overwhelmed thinking about all the things that can go wrong and are going wrong… about the wickedness and evil… about those who claim the name of Jesus Christ but do not submit to and follow Him with their lives.

I find it encouraging as I think about such things to remember that even kings and rulers are in the hand of YHWH and can be used by Him. He is ultimately in control and we can trust Him. Rather than allow ourselves to be paralyzed with fear of what may happen to us or our brothers and sisters in Christ, let us reflect on what God wants from us. God wants us to obey His commands, demonstrating righteousness and justice. He wants us to love Him with our whole heart and if we do… we will follow His commands and not consider them a burden, but rather a helpful guide to lead us through our life on this earth.

As you read through Proverbs today, do not hurry, but rather dwell for a moment on each verse, thinking about how it applies today and to your life. Every verse still has wisdom to help us if we study it and apply it.

Proverbs 21

On Life and Conduct

      1The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD;
He turns it wherever He wishes.

      2Every man’s way is right in his own eyes,
But the LORD weighs the hearts.

      3To do righteousness and justice
Is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice.

      4Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
The lamp of the wicked, is sin.

      5The plans of the diligent lead surely to advantage,
But everyone who is hasty comes surely to poverty.

      6The acquisition of treasures by a lying tongue
Is a fleeting vapor, the pursuit of death.

      7The violence of the wicked will drag them away,
Because they refuse to act with justice.

      8The way of a guilty man is crooked,
But as for the pure, his conduct is upright.

      9It is better to live in a corner of a roof
Than in a house shared with a contentious woman.

      10The soul of the wicked desires evil;
His neighbor finds no favor in his eyes.

      11When the scoffer is punished, the naive becomes wise;
But when the wise is instructed, he receives knowledge.

      12The righteous one considers the house of the wicked,
Turning the wicked to ruin.

      13He who shuts his ear to the cry of the poor
Will also cry himself and not be answered.

      14A gift in secret subdues anger,
And a bribe in the bosom, strong wrath.

      15The exercise of justice is joy for the righteous,
But is terror to the workers of iniquity.

      16A man who wanders from the way of understanding
Will rest in the assembly of the dead.

      17He who loves pleasure will become a poor man;
He who loves wine and oil will not become rich.

      18The wicked is a ransom for the righteous,
And the treacherous is in the place of the upright.

      19It is better to live in a desert land
Than with a contentious and vexing woman.

      20There is precious treasure and oil in the dwelling of the wise,
But a foolish man swallows it up.

      21He who pursues righteousness and loyalty
Finds life, righteousness and honor.

      22A wise man scales the city of the mighty
And brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

      23He who guards his mouth and his tongue,
Guards his soul from troubles.

      24“Proud,” “Haughty,” “Scoffer,” are his names,
Who acts with insolent pride.

      25The desire of the sluggard puts him to death,
For his hands refuse to work;

      26All day long he is craving,
While the righteous gives and does not hold back.

      27The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination,
How much more when he brings it with evil intent!

      28A false witness will perish,
But the man who listens to the truth will speak forever.

      29A wicked man displays a bold face,
But as for the upright, he makes his way sure.

      30There is no wisdom and no understanding
And no counsel against the LORD.

      31The horse is prepared for the day of battle,
But victory belongs to the LORD.

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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.

A Gentle Answer Turns Away Wrath

Proverbs 15

Contrast the Upright and the Wicked

1A gentle answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger.

      2The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable,
But the mouth of fools spouts folly.

      3The eyes of the LORD are in every place,
Watching the evil and the good.

      4A soothing tongue is a tree of life,
But perversion in it crushes the spirit.

      5A fool rejects his father’s discipline,
But he who regards reproof is sensible.

      6Great wealth is in the house of the righteous,
But trouble is in the income of the wicked.

      7The lips of the wise spread knowledge,
But the hearts of fools are not so.

      8The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But the prayer of the upright is His delight.

      9The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD,
But He loves one who pursues righteousness.

      10Grievous punishment is for him who forsakes the way;
He who hates reproof will die.

      11Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the LORD,
How much more the hearts of men!

      12A scoffer does not love one who reproves him,
He will not go to the wise.

      13A joyful heart makes a cheerful face,
But when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.

      14The mind of the intelligent seeks knowledge,
But the mouth of fools feeds on folly.

      15All the days of the afflicted are bad,
But a cheerful heart has a continual feast.

      16Better is a little with the fear of the LORD
Than great treasure and turmoil with it.

      17Better is a dish of vegetables where love is
Than a fattened ox served with hatred.

      18A hot-tempered man stirs up strife,
But the slow to anger calms a dispute.

      19The way of the lazy is as a hedge of thorns,
But the path of the upright is a highway.

      20A wise son makes a father glad,
But a foolish man despises his mother.

      21Folly is joy to him who lacks sense,
But a man of understanding walks straight.

      22Without consultation, plans are frustrated,
But with many counselors they succeed.

      23A man has joy in an apt answer,
And how delightful is a timely word!

      24The path of life leads upward for the wise
That he may keep away from Sheol below.

      25The LORD will tear down the house of the proud,
But He will establish the boundary of the widow.

      26Evil plans are an abomination to the LORD,
But pleasant words are pure.

      27He who profits illicitly troubles his own house,
But he who hates bribes will live.

      28The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer,
But the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

      29The LORD is far from the wicked,
But He hears the prayer of the righteous.

      30Bright eyes gladden the heart;
Good news puts fat on the bones.

      31He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof
Will dwell among the wise.

      32He who neglects discipline despises himself,
But he who listens to reproof acquires understanding.

      33The fear of the LORD is the instruction for wisdom,
And before honor comes humility.

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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.

Don’t Pass Over Passover

Most of us who grew up as Christians do not recognize or truly understand the Biblical holidays or “holy” days that YHWH instructed his people to celebrate. Christians turned away long ago from his appointed times to follow their own traditions, which are now blended with many pagan traditions. There was a clear intention by man to separate from the Hebrew roots of our faith. We must now each ask ourselves if that was right or wrong and decide what we will do personally in our pursuit of YHWH.

Exodus 12 provides a clear example of where God places a lot of emphasis on celebrating according to His instruction… Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Yet many Christians ignore this celebration because the traditions of men have taught them to consider this a “Jewish” holiday. The Bible says it is God’s holy day, not a Jewish holiday.

Remember, that God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in order that he would not let God’s people go easily. He did so in order that He would demonstrate more signs and wonders so that His people would remember how He set them free from slavery in Egypt. God did not want His people to soon forget the momentous event. So much so that He even commands his people to celebrate it multiple times in scripture.

If it was that important to celebrate in order to look back on how YHWH delivered his people from slavery in Egypt, how much more so now that we can also look back and celebrate remembering how Yeshua died as our Passover lamb, setting us free from slavery to sin once and for all. When we celebrate it, the focus is on our relationship with our Father and his power and what he has done for us as his people… unlike common holidays of today in which the focus is on a magical man in red who brings gifts or a mythical bunny that brings candy.

Exodus 12:42-51

Ordinance of the Passover

42It is a night to be observed for the LORD for having brought them out from the land of Egypt; this night is for the LORD, to be observed by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations.

43The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the ordinance of the Passover: no foreigner is to eat of it; 44but every man’s slave purchased with money, after you have circumcised him, then he may eat of it. 45“A sojourner or a hired servant shall not eat of it. 46“It is to be eaten in a single house; you are not to bring forth any of the flesh outside of the house, nor are you to break any bone of it. 47“All the congregation of Israel are to celebrate this. 48“But if a stranger sojourns with you, and celebrates the Passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near to celebrate it; and he shall be like a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person may eat of it. 49“The same law shall apply to the native as to the stranger who sojourns among you.”

50Then all the sons of Israel did so; they did just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron. 51And on that same day the LORD brought the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.

We should remember as well, that God used Passover as a foreshadowing of the sacrifice Jesus was to make on our behalf. God even arranged it so that Jesus was crucified at Passover because He wanted to emphasize the two events together… God setting His people free from slavery in Egypt and God setting His people free from slavery to sin.

For those of us who wish to draw nearer to our Father, prayerfully consider studying and observing Passover, even though it feels strange at first and contradicts what most Christian churches teach.

Considering this change personally can seem very overwhelming to many. Many Christian’s have adopted such a strong tradition of celebrating according to man made pagan traditions that it is hard to turn away from them. It often creates difficulty and stress within a family. Jesus warned us about this type of conflict when we choose to follow Him, even within our own families.

Matthew 10:32-39

32“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33“But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.

34“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35“For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.

37“He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38“And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39“He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

Ask yourself… do you wish to please man or God? I encourage you to pray for God to enlighten you and study the scriptures. Amazingly enough, even common encyclopedias identify the pagan traditions in Easter quite readily and consistently. The knowledge is not hidden… but we each have to make a choice about whom we serve and whom we follow.

To say we can only “have fun” by celebrating Easter with eggs and bunnies is not true. My family and I find it can be quite fun to celebrate Passover. It clearly reminds us of God setting us free. We enjoy a Passover seder which is rather informal and observe the Sabbath days of rest to celebrate God and family as we rest. We dress up as if we were Israelites on the original Passover, eating the seder prepared to leave Egypt. We then take up our livestock (ok… a dog and plush farm animals) and march out of Egypt and across the Red Sea (ok… around the house with imagination). We even celebrate the days of Unleavened Bread. Of course it felt unusual at first when we started, but we have found that if we just apply a bit of imagination and creativity toward how we celebrate according to God’s instruction, we can do so in a joyful and fun way. We also celebrate Messiah’s sacrifice and his resurrection as part of this appointed time, which is clearly intentional timing from our Creator.

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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.

Seeking The LORD In His Moedim (Holy Days)

Each year as Passover approaches, I am reminded to reflect on my personal journey with Yeshua. I was raised in a household that identified as Christian. We went to church weekly, but we did not study the Bible or seek to apply it in our lives actively. We watched things on TV which we should not have. There was little discernment about separating from the commonly accepted ways of the world to seek out the set apart ways of YHWH. We embraced and celebrated every common cultural holiday, apparently unaware or unconcerned about the significant pagan influence in shaping each of these holidays. In fact, holidays like Christmas and Easter often have more pagan roots and traditions than Christian.

As YHWH has continued to lead me, he has opened my eyes to his appointed times, or Moedim. They are described in Leviticus 23 and other places in scripture. Do not get tied up into the traps of whether or not they are required and if required, how “must” they be celebrated. Start by learning about YHWH’s holy days and participating in them. They look back at the relationship he has with his people and look forward to it as well. Each has meaning, not just from a “Jewish” perspective, but also from a Christian perspective. Christ is the ultimate fulfillment of these celebrations, including looking forward to his second coming. They are not “Jewish” holidays, but rather YHWH’s holy days. We can not or do not have to try to live them out perfectly as they were laid out for his people in the Torah, in Leviticus to harvest value from celebrating them.

We do not have to celebrate them absolutely according to what is now Jewish tradition. Only seek to study and better understand them so we better understand our relationship with God. Celebrate them as a great way to help teach your children as well. How much more rich than just “book learning” alone!

Here are a few resources where you can learn more about the Moedim, the Creator’s calendar (often called the “Jewish” calendar), and given this time of year, Passover in particular.

I hope you join me in a pursuit to know, love, and serve our Father more. Learning about and celebrating the Moedim is a fun and meaningful way to continue together on this journey. I invite you to start with Passover, which takes place in the upcoming weeks.

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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.

Is Deception Always Wrong?

David must surely have been both someone desperate and very bold to escape Saul by living among the Philistines, of whom he had fought and won many victories. 1 Samuel 27 is a very thought provoking chapter.

1 Samuel 27

David Flees to the Philistines

      1Then David said to himself, “Now I will perish one day by the hand of Saul. There is nothing better for me than to escape into the land of the Philistines. Saul then will despair of searching for me anymore in all the territory of Israel, and I will escape from his hand.” 2So David arose and crossed over, he and the six hundred men who were with him, to Achish the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 3And David lived with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s widow. 4Now it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath, so he no longer searched for him.

      5Then David said to Achish, “If now I have found favor in your sight, let them give me a place in one of the cities in the country, that I may live there; for why should your servant live in the royal city with you?” 6So Achish gave him Ziklag that day; therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings of Judah to this day. 7The number of days that David lived in the country of the Philistines was a year and four months.

      8Now David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites and the Girzites and the Amalekites; for they were the inhabitants of the land from ancient times, as you come to Shur even as far as the land of Egypt. 9David attacked the land and did not leave a man or a woman alive, and he took away the sheep, the cattle, the donkeys, the camels, and the clothing. Then he returned and came to Achish. 10Now Achish said, “Where have you made a raid today?” And David said, “Against the Negev of Judah and against the Negev of the Jerahmeelites and against the Negev of the Kenites.” 11David did not leave a man or a woman alive to bring to Gath, saying, “Otherwise they will tell about us, saying, ‘So has David done and so has been his practice all the time he has lived in the country of the Philistines.’” 12So Achish believed David, saying, “He has surely made himself odious among his people Israel; therefore he will become my servant forever.”

David does not explicitly seek the LORD for whether or not he should go to Philistine. While there, he deceives the Philistine ruler with outright lies and intentional plans to back them up and make them convincing. Further he makes raids on neighboring people and leaves none alive. He leaves none not because God said so and not because it was necessary to get the supplies he needed, but to make his lies and deception to the ruler convincing. He does so repeatedly.

There is no rebuke for this behavior recorded.

This must surely cause some to struggle and others just to not think about it much and quickly turn the page. Is YHWH ok with David’s approach? He does not punish David for it and elsewhere He does punish David for his sin, at times in dramatic fashion. Is this leading us to accept that sometimes we can not be absolute in our desire not to lie? For example, is it ok to lie in order to accomplish a greater purpose or avoid a greater threat? Yeshua did  reinforce that we must give more thought to how we apply / obey the commands than simply absolutes in many cases. One such example is recorded in Mark 2.

Mark 2

Question of the Sabbath

      23And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain. 24The Pharisees were saying to Him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25And He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and he and his companions became hungry; 26how he entered the house of God in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the consecrated bread, which is not lawful for anyone to eat except the priests, and he also gave it to those who were with him?” 27Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. 28“So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

If this is a bit uncomfortable concept to accept, let it sink in awhile. Do not dismiss it. Pray about it and reflect on it. Remember, we test everything against scripture, and not against teaching of men in churches. However, do not let this be an invitation to lie and deceive freely. May it never be.

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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.

Ministries With Online Presence To Help You On Your Journey

Ministries

Many claim to bring a Christian message, but far too often there are false prophets mixed among the true Christian ministries and even genuine Christian ministries have significant gaps or wrong teaching embedded in their teaching. We are called to study God’s word and use discernment to determine which ones line up with the Bible and reject the rest.

I have attached links to some of the ministries I have found helpful that have a lot of information online that can help us in specific focus areas to help us grow in our walk with the Lord.

I pray you would find these resources as a helpful place to start or continue your studies in seeking the Lord in all His truth. No one person or ministry has it all right, but many have learned enough that they can help you on your journey. If you have limited time or if you want to know where to start, I truly encourage you to spend time Understanding the Hebrew Roots of our Christian faith. It provides insight into what most of the Christian teachers are missing, including ones that are listed on HearingFromJesus.org. As with all teaching (including mine), as you study also seek the Lord in prayer and test everything against the holy scriptures themselves.

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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.