Seeking Wisdom From The One Who Is Truly Wise

Truly if you want wisdom, do not look to universities and degrees in higher learning, though those may have some value, but instead look to the Lord and ask Him humbly for the wisdom you seek. Pursue it in study of the scriptures and prayer and God will give it to you in the measure and time He deems appropriate.

Do not seek it though to accomplish your own plans and desires for you own glory, but the Lord’s plans for His glory through you. Do not ask for it expecting Him not to give it either, but rather expect and trust that He will grant what you ask.

2 Chronicles 1

Solomon’s Prayer for Wisdom

     8Solomon said to God, “You have dealt with my father David with great lovingkindness, and have made me king in his place. 9“Now, O LORD God, Your promise to my father David is fulfilled, for You have made me king over a people as numerous as the dust of the earth. 10“Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can rule this great people of Yours?” 11God said to Solomon, “Because you had this in mind, and did not ask for riches, wealth or honor, or the life of those who hate you, nor have you even asked for long life, but you have asked for yourself wisdom and knowledge that you may rule My people over whom I have made you king, 12wisdom and knowledge have been granted to you. And I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings who were before you has possessed nor those who will come after you.” 13So Solomon went from the high place which was at Gibeon, from the tent of meeting, to Jerusalem, and he reigned over Israel.

James 1:5-8

    5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

—-

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.

Give Thanks To The LORD, For He Is Good; For His Lovingkindness Is Everlasting

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Psalm 118

Thanksgiving for the LORD’S Saving Goodness.

     1Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

      2Oh let Israel say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      3Oh let the house of Aaron say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      4Oh let those who fear the LORD say,
“His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

      5From my distress I called upon the LORD;
The LORD answered me and set me in a large place.

      6The LORD is for me; I will not fear;
What can man do to me?

      7The LORD is for me among those who help me;
Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me.

      8It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in man.

      9It is better to take refuge in the LORD
Than to trust in princes.

      10All nations surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      11They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      12They surrounded me like bees;
They were extinguished as a fire of thorns;
In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off.

      13You pushed me violently so that I was falling,
But the LORD helped me.

      14The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation.

      15The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      16The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
The right hand of the LORD does valiantly.

      17I will not die, but live,
And tell of the works of the LORD.

      18The LORD has disciplined me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.

      19Open to me the gates of righteousness;
I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD.

      20This is the gate of the LORD;
The righteous will enter through it.

      21I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me,
And You have become my salvation.

      22The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone.

      23This is the LORD’S doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes.

      24This is the day which the LORD has made;
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

      25O LORD, do save, we beseech You;
O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!

      26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD;
We have blessed you from the house of the LORD.

      27The LORD is God, and He has given us light;
Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.

      28You are my God, and I give thanks to You;
You are my God, I extol You.

      29Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

—-

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.

What May Seem A Bother To You Now, May Actually Be Part Of His Plans

Sometimes our Father is at work in seemingly strange ways, without our knowledge. Consider The events which lead Saul to Samuel so he would be made king. It must have seemed a bother to chase lost donkeys and not find them. Little did he know what was coming. The LORD was at work in ways that he would just not understand at the time. This can be a lesson for us as well. Let us be patient as things seem to go wrong. Sometimes the LORD is arranging something we don’t fully understand yet.

We can also reflect on why YHWH chose Saul, from the “least of all the families” of the “smallest tribe”. The Father’s ways are not our ways… they are infinitely better.

1 Samuel 9

Saul’s Search

     1Now there was a man of Benjamin whose name was Kish the son of Abiel, the son of Zeror, the son of Becorath, the son of Aphiah, the son of a Benjamite, a mighty man of valor. 2He had a son whose name was Saul, a choice and handsome man, and there was not a more handsome person than he among the sons of Israel; from his shoulders and up he was taller than any of the people.

      3Now the donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. So Kish said to his son Saul, “Take now with you one of the servants, and arise, go search for the donkeys.” 4He passed through the hill country of Ephraim and passed through the land of Shalishah, but they did not find them. Then they passed through the land of Shaalim, but they were not there. Then he passed through the land of the Benjamites, but they did not find them.

      5When they came to the land of Zuph, Saul said to his servant who was with him, “Come, and let us return, or else my father will cease to be concerned about the donkeys and will become anxious for us.” 6He said to him, “Behold now, there is a man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor; all that he says surely comes true. Now let us go there, perhaps he can tell us about our journey on which we have set out.” 7Then Saul said to his servant, “But behold, if we go, what shall we bring the man? For the bread is gone from our sack and there is no present to bring to the man of God. What do we have?” 8The servant answered Saul again and said, “Behold, I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way.” 9(Formerly in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, he used to say, “Come, and let us go to the seer”; for he who is called a prophet now was formerly called a seer.) 10Then Saul said to his servant, “Well said; come, let us go.” So they went to the city where the man of God was.

      11As they went up the slope to the city, they found young women going out to draw water and said to them, “Is the seer here?” 12They answered them and said, “He is; see, he is ahead of you. Hurry now, for he has come into the city today, for the people have a sacrifice on the high place today. 13“As soon as you enter the city you will find him before he goes up to the high place to eat, for the people will not eat until he comes, because he must bless the sacrifice; afterward those who are invited will eat. Now therefore, go up for you will find him at once.” 14So they went up to the city. As they came into the city, behold, Samuel was coming out toward them to go up to the high place.

God’s Choice for King

     15Now a day before Saul’s coming, the LORD had revealed this to Samuel saying, 16“About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be prince over My people Israel; and he will deliver My people from the hand of the Philistines. For I have regarded My people, because their cry has come to Me.” 17When Samuel saw Saul, the LORD said to him, “Behold, the man of whom I spoke to you! This one shall rule over My people.” 18Then Saul approached Samuel in the gate and said, “Please tell me where the seer’s house is.” 19Samuel answered Saul and said, “I am the seer. Go up before me to the high place, for you shall eat with me today; and in the morning I will let you go, and will tell you all that is on your mind. 20“As for your donkeys which were lost three days ago, do not set your mind on them, for they have been found. And for whom is all that is desirable in Israel? Is it not for you and for all your father’s household?” 21Saul replied, “Am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak to me in this way?”

      22Then Samuel took Saul and his servant and brought them into the hall and gave them a place at the head of those who were invited, who were about thirty men. 23Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the portion that I gave you, concerning which I said to you, ‘Set it aside.’” 24Then the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, “Here is what has been reserved! Set it before you and eat, because it has been kept for you until the appointed time, since I said I have invited the people.” So Saul ate with Samuel that day.

      25When they came down from the high place into the city, Samuel spoke with Saul on the roof. 26And they arose early; and at daybreak Samuel called to Saul on the roof, saying, “Get up, that I may send you away.” So Saul arose, and both he and Samuel went out into the street. 27As they were going down to the edge of the city, Samuel said to Saul, “Say to the servant that he might go ahead of us and pass on, but you remain standing now, that I may proclaim the word of God to you.”

—-

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.

Let Us Give Thanks

We should always seek to be thankful to the Lord for all He provides, but Thanksgiving is a great time to remind ourselves to come together as family and as a community and a nation to give thanks together to our Lord,  YHWH. For those who follow Yeshua (Hebrew for Jesus), we always have that most important gift of salvation through grace by faith for which to be thankful… no matter what else may be going on in our lives.

I have found it is very easy to lose focus on the Lord as we get busy in our holiday traditions and celebrations… even Thanksgiving. It seems the Lord dropped a surprise in my shopping bag on my recent trip to a store. I want to share it with you. Lifeway Christian store put together a small booklet of scriptures into a “Thanksgiving Table Devotional”. We have it at our table and we read and share as we come together to eat our meals.

Psalm 106:1

1Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

18in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:17

17Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Philippians 4:6

6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Psalm 9:1-2

1I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart;
I will tell of all Your wonders.

      2I will be glad and exult in You;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.

As we read these scriptures together we take time to go around the table and ask about examples of things that are specific to us for which we are grateful to our Father who provides. This is not particularly unique, but it sure is easy to overlook. I appreciate the Lord putting these scriptures where I would find them as I was looking for ways to make Thanksgiving more meaningful and focused on Him for my family. Praise the Lord He cares for each of us as His children!

What will you make the focus of this Thanksgiving season? Football, shopping, food, fellowship… or our Creator and Father and a right attitude towards Him? My suggestion is to focus on our Father with a healthy side of family fellowship.

—-

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.

One Nation, Under One True God…Thankful and Humble Before Him

You will often hear today about “separation of church and state”. Many will claim we must separate our faith and obedience to the one and only God from our government. This is clearly not the intent of our founders and more importantly not the intent and desire of God. Further, it is a lie to say that this is how our nation functioned. “separation of church and state” is nowhere in the Constitution. It appears in some letters from the founders. It is primarily focused on the government not determining which denomination of Christianity we should follow. We see overwhelming evidence in history, if we study it (because schools will not teach it anymore). I have previously shared George Washington’s Thanksgiving Day Proclamation and also some resources about our history (Silencing God). Today I wanted to highlight another Thanksgiving proclamation from Abraham Lincoln to help us remember how our country should be humble and repentant and thankful before God… and yes how our government should represent our Christian faith in the one true God without apology.

I am referencing below a website by a historian named Bill Petro for Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation and afterwards Fox News for Abraham Lincolns 1864 proclamation. I am sure you can search these out online in many places.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S THANKSGIVING PROCLAMATION – 1863

Following the initial Presidential Thanksgiving proclamations of George Washington, John Adams and James Madison, there were no further Presidential proclamations for this day until Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day during the Civil War, but it was not initially in November. Instead it was in the Spring of 1862 and then again on October 3, 1863 for victories in battle. He later established the common Fall celebration of Thanksgiving for the blessings of the year on Thursday, November 26 1863. It was on March 30, 1863 that Lincoln, in his Proclamation for a Day of Prayer and Fasting said the following:

“…It is the duty of nations as well as of men to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

“We know that by His divine law, nations, like individuals, are subject to punishments and chastisements in
this world. May we not justly fear that the awful calamity of civil war which now desolates the land may be a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins; to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people?

“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown.

“But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

“Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

“It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Abraham Lincoln later went on to say on October 3, 1863:

“It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.”

Editor’s note: The following is a proclamation from Abraham Lincoln on Thanksgiving Day, October 20, 1864. (Fox News.com)

It has pleased Almighty God to prolong our national life another year, defending us with His guardian care against unfriendly designs from abroad and vouchsafing to us in His mercy many and signal victories over the enemy, who is of our own household. It has also pleased our Heavenly Father to favor as well our citizens in their homes as our soldiers in their camps and our sailors on the rivers and seas with unusual health. He has largely augmented our free population by emancipation and by immigration, while He has opened to us new sources of wealth and has crowned the labor of our workingmen in every department of industry and abundant rewards. Moreover, He has been pleased to animate and inspire our minds and hearts with fortitude, courage, and resolution sufficient for the great trial of civil war into which we have been brought by our adherence as a nation to the cause of freedom and humanity, and to afford to us reasonable hopes of an ultimate and happy deliverance from all our dangers and afflictions:

Now, therefore, I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November next as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow-citizens, wherever they may then be, as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the Universe. And I do further recommend to my fellow-citizens aforesaid that on the occasion they do reverently humble themselves in the dust and from thence offer up penitent and fervent prayers and supplications to the Great Disposer of Events for the return of the inestimable blessings of peace, union, and harmony throughout the land which it has pleased Him to assign as a dwelling place for ourselves and for our posterity throughout all generations.

Done at the city of Washington, this 20th day of October, A.D. 1864, and of the Independence of the United States the eighty-ninth.

(From <https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/abraham-lincolns-thanksgiving-day-proclamation>)

—-

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.

A Time to Give Thanks To YHWH – Not Just Football, Feasting, and Family

Most of the widely recognized cultural holidays in the USA have many elements of pagan beliefs and practices wrapped up inside. Christmas and Easter are two prime candidates which are filled with pagan origins but were later adopted by Christians as an alternative for people to celebrate in place of the pagan celebrations. The result is a mix of pagan and Christian traditions wrapped up so tightly together most do not even realize the origin of many of the traditions and to suggest a Christian stop participating in the pagan traditions is not often well received by them. Halloween is even worse, with scarcely any trace of actual Christian focus.  Commercialism (heavy marketing shifting the focus of the holidays toward spending lots of money on stuff you don’t need) has also grown to an out-sized presence for these holidays.

Thanksgiving has a lot of potential if we focus on our Lord instead of football, feasting, and family… and more recently, shopping. Perhaps it is overly obvious, but people still miss it. It is nonsense to be thankful without clearly focusing on and relating to the one who provided what we are thankful for. In other words, it is even silly to say we are thankful but not complete the thought that we are thankful to whom and have that be a major / primary focus as we celebrate.

Though it is not a Biblical holiday, it was clearly founded as a holiday in the USA by a Christian president, George Washington, who wanted to call the people to a time of thanksgiving to our Lord for all the blessings poured out on this nation and its people. (Text of Thanksgiving Proclamation)

Actually studying this history and the contents of the Thanksgiving Proclamation, for people who will take time to do so, deals another blow to the lies of separation of church and state. We were founded a Christian nation, by the grace of God. That’s just an historical fact, despite how many people want to erase that history and replace it with “separation of church and state” nonsensical interpretations of our founding government documents. The original intent was simply that the state would not choose which Christian doctrine someone would believe or follow. It was never intended to limit someone in government freely expressing their Christian faith.

I encourage all of you to go back to the roots of Thanksgiving to truly come together in thanks and prayers to God. Build this into your traditions and celebrations. Do not let God be erased from yet another holiday, this time in favor of football, feasting, visiting with family, or shopping. Though the Pilgrims were godly people, do not even let them be placed as the centerpiece of the holiday but rather YHWH Himself. I suggest even doing a quick history lesson for your family and sharing the Thanksgiving Proclamation and start including that as a new tradition to celebrate annually.

I have included the text of the Thanksgiving Day Proclamation from George Washington below.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

Washington.

*reference: https://wallbuilders.com/proclamation-thanksgiving-day-1789/

As a side note for conclusion and your additional thought… Congress asked the President to present this proclamation to the people of the USA very recently after founding our nation. Could there be any more obvious evidence that the founding fathers and the documents they created (with God’s help) did not intend to shut down people in government from freely expressing their faith?  There are many more examples for those who wish to study them and educate their children properly on what actually happened and how our government is actually intended to work.

Final thoughts on Thanksgiving… what do you want your family to associate with Thanksgiving? football? big meals? a family dinner? Where does our submission and thankfulness to YHWH fit in? What do you want to be the primary focus? Plan your celebration consistent with the desired outcome.

—-

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.

Love YHWH and Love One Another (In Deeds, Not Words)

The closer we get to YHWH, the less the world will recognize or know us. As we become children of YHWH, they reject us more because they do not know him. Those of us who abide in him, strive to sin no more. We do not remain in sin and expect him to forgive us despite intentional, repeated rebellion against his ways. Practicing righteousness is akin to obeying YHWH’s law and sinning is akin to practicing lawlessness. Words alone are empty. Let us love in word and deed… both love YHWH and love our brothers and sisters in Christ. We show love by obeying his instructions rather than the ways of men.

1 John 3

Children of God Love One Another

     1See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

      4Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness. 5You know that He appeared in order to take away sins; and in Him there is no sin. 6No one who abides in Him sins; no one who sins has seen Him or knows Him. 7Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous; 8the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil. 9No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

      11For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; 12not as Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous.

      13Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. 14We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. 15Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 16We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth. 19We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him 20in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. 21Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

      23This is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as He commanded us. 24The one who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. We know by this that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

Note the repeated emphasis on keeping his commandments as loving and abiding in him. Let us not fall prey to new and sadly increasingly accepted false teaching that says we can do whatever we want because we have “freedom in Christ”. He never made us free with the intent that we should sin more. We are free from the penalty of sin and forgiven. If we are truly in Christ, we will want to obey the instructions of the Father.

Grace is how YHWH shows love to us. Obeying and living according to his instructions is how we show love to him and each other. All the law and the prophets are based on this principle according to Yeshua.

Matthew 22:34-40

    34But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ 38“This is the great and foremost commandment. 39“The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ 40“On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

—-

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.

Look To God Instead Of Government

It is not the LORD’s will that a king, or any sort of government would take his place in our lives as leader and provider. He is our leader. He and his word directs our path. Sometimes he uses prophets to help communicate that, but the emphasis should be on him and his word. Whatever form of government we have should be directly pointing back to YHWH and obeying his instructions and laws. He does not want us looking to how others that do not follow him govern as an example for us. He wants us to look towards him. It is the sinful nature of man that tries to establish government separate from YHWH and then submits to the laws of man where he would not submit to the the law and instruction of the Father.

1 Samuel 8

Israel Demands a King

      1And it came about when Samuel was old that he appointed his sons judges over Israel. 2Now the name of his firstborn was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judging in Beersheba. 3His sons, however, did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after dishonest gain and took bribes and perverted justice.

      4Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah; 5and they said to him, “Behold, you have grown old, and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations.” 6But the thing was displeasing in the sight of Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the LORD. 7The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them. 8“Like all the deeds which they have done since the day that I brought them up from Egypt even to this day—in that they have forsaken Me and served other gods—so they are doing to you also. 9“Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”

Warning concerning a King

      10So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king. 11He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. 12“He will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. 13“He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. 14“He will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves and give them to his servants. 15“He will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards and give to his officers and to his servants. 16“He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys and use them for his work. 17“He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. 18“Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

      19Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, 20that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.” 21Now after Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the LORD’S hearing. 22The LORD said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice and appoint them a king.” So Samuel said to the men of Israel, “Go every man to his city.”

Be careful what you ask for as a nation with regards to separating the Father from our government. He will allow it if we reject him, but it will be to our own peril as a nation.

A few more interesting points of consideration… just like Eli, Samuel had children that did not follow in his ways. Samuel was a righteous man. Was it his fault as a father? or did his sons make their own choice to rebel against YHWH? or was it simply that the LORD had not chosen them to be faithful followers? There is always a bit of the second part in every situation like this. We all have personal accountability for following or rejecting YHWH. We do not get any information about Samuel as a father, but one might reasonably conclude that if he had failed as a father, it would be highlighted in the historical record like it was for Eli. Also, we see that Samuel was not rebuked by YHWH for his failure to discipline his sons, or at least it is not recorded here. If it comes down the the third option, the LORD not choosing them to follow, then we must simply trust in the LORD even if we don’t understand.

To make this more personal, imagine it is your children that are not following in his ways. What would you do differently as a parent? Do it now. Pray for him to help your children to follow obediently and faithfully. Learn the ways of the Father in his word and don’t simply accept the teaching and ways of man. Then teach your children. Live out the example for them, admitting when you are wrong and changing behavior to follow YHWH more closely even when it is hard.

Perhaps worth a comment also is the dire warning about a king includes the fact that he will take 1/10th of your stuff. That was considered high apparently for that culture and time. Now look at us. Our obese federal government clamors for 25, 33, 50% and more of what we earn and squanders it on many corrupt and ungodly or mismanaged programs they should never operate in the first place. Clearly in comparison to God’s word, the taxes we face are much too high and instead of looking to what other failed nations are doing as an example, we should look to God and his word for guidance in all things.

—-

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 Day Of Judgment Will Come For All Of Us

The coming day of judgment will be difficult for those that rebel against and do not submit to YHWH now. Of course, some will face judgment when they die, before he returns and their fate is equally grave should they not have submitted to the LORD. Judgment comes for all of us. Each of us should ask ourselves, “Am I prepared? Am I preparing my children? my household?”

The LORD is ever merciful, though and the answer is quite simple. Turn to him. Repent. The only way to the father is through the son, Yeshua.  (John 14:6)

Joel 2

     1Blow a trumpet in Zion,
And sound an alarm on My holy mountain!
Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble,
For the day of the LORD is coming;
Surely it is near,

      2A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness.
As the dawn is spread over the mountains,
So there is a great and mighty people;
There has never been anything like it,
Nor will there be again after it
To the years of many generations.

      3A fire consumes before them
And behind them a flame burns.
The land is like the garden of Eden before them
But a desolate wilderness behind them,
And nothing at all escapes them.

      4Their appearance is like the appearance of horses;
And like war horses, so they run.

      5With a noise as of chariots
They leap on the tops of the mountains,
Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble,
Like a mighty people arranged for battle.

      6Before them the people are in anguish;
All faces turn pale.

      7They run like mighty men,
They climb the wall like soldiers;
And they each march in line,
Nor do they deviate from their paths.

      8They do not crowd each other,
They march everyone in his path;
When they burst through the defenses,
They do not break ranks.

      9They rush on the city,
They run on the wall;
They climb into the houses,
They enter through the windows like a thief.

      10Before them the earth quakes,
The heavens tremble,
The sun and the moon grow dark
And the stars lose their brightness.

      11The LORD utters His voice before His army;
Surely His camp is very great,
For strong is he who carries out His word.
The day of the LORD is indeed great and very awesome,
And who can endure it?

      12“Yet even now,” declares the LORD,
“Return to Me with all your heart,
And with fasting, weeping and mourning;

      13And rend your heart and not your garments.”
Now return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and compassionate,
Slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness
And relenting of evil.

      14Who knows whether He will not turn and relent
And leave a blessing behind Him,
Even a grain offering and a drink offering
For the LORD your God?

      15Blow a trumpet in Zion,
Consecrate a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,

      16Gather the people, sanctify the congregation,
Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and the nursing infants.
Let the bridegroom come out of his room
And the bride out of her bridal chamber.

      17Let the priests, the LORD’S ministers,
Weep between the porch and the altar,
And let them say, “Spare Your people, O LORD,
And do not make Your inheritance a reproach,
A byword among the nations.
Why should they among the peoples say,
‘Where is their God?’”

Deliverance Promised

18Then the LORD will be zealous for His land
And will have pity on His people.

      19The LORD will answer and say to His people,
“Behold, I am going to send you grain, new wine and oil,
And you will be satisfied in full with them;
And I will never again make you a reproach among the nations.

      20“But I will remove the northern army far from you,
And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land,
And its vanguard into the eastern sea,
And its rear guard into the western sea.
And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up,
For it has done great things.”

      21Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad,
For the LORD has done great things.

      22Do not fear, beasts of the field,
For the pastures of the wilderness have turned green,
For the tree has borne its fruit,
The fig tree and the vine have yielded in full.

      23So rejoice, O sons of Zion,
And be glad in the LORD your God;
For He has given you the early rain for your vindication.
And He has poured down for you the rain,
The early and latter rain as before.

      24The threshing floors will be full of grain,
And the vats will overflow with the new wine and oil.

      25“Then I will make up to you for the years
That the swarming locust has eaten,
The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

      26“You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied
And praise the name of the LORD your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
Then My people will never be put to shame.

      27“Thus you will know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the LORD your God,
And there is no other;
And My people will never be put to shame.

The Promise of the Spirit

28“It will come about after this
That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind;
And your sons and daughters will prophesy,
Your old men will dream dreams,
Your young men will see visions.

      29“Even on the male and female servants
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

The Day of the LORD

30“I will display wonders in the sky and on the earth,
Blood, fire and columns of smoke.

      31“The sun will be turned into darkness
And the moon into blood
Before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes.

      32“And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD
Will be delivered;
For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem
There will be those who escape,
As the LORD has said,
Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.

—-

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.

Love YHWH, Not The World

Again we see encouragement from John in that we should focus on and love the Father rather than the world or the things of the world. We are reminded that we can not have relationship with the Father except through the Son. We are also reminded to abide in what we have known since the beginning. We are not to keep coming up with new interpretation and recasting of scripture. The LORD does not change. For this audience, the beginning of what they have known does not start with Yeshua in the flesh, but rather as Jews they would have already known the Father through his law and instruction. I believe this is another encouragement to not start making up new doctrine because the Son has come, but rather to continue to abide in what we knew before he came in the flesh, which did in fact prophecy his coming and is consistent with his coming. We should take great care in validating in God’s word what has changed or been fulfilled in Christ and what we are still called to obey. Common church teaching gets much wrong. Study and pray to verify what you are taught against God’s unchanging word in the Bible.

1 John 2:15-24

Do Not Love the World

     15Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

      18Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. 20But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you all know. 21I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24As for you, let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.

—-

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.

Sharing God's word through devotionals and other resources. Helping you study the Bible and apply it to your life. Helping young children to enjoy the Bible at our Kid Zone.