For Good or Not for Good

For good or not for good…that is the question?

Romans 8:28 Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose;

Life is full of happenings and because our view is limited to a degree in this present reality we often miss, that our heavenly father is working all of our good times and (what we consider) bad times together for our good.  This is not a new realization but it is one that we often times ignore.

It is easy to immediately identify a good or bad circumstance as valuable, yet at other times we must wait for the progression of time to pass before we can see the benefit of a difficult or trying circumstance.  As human beings we tend to “sweat the small stuff” and in so doing we often miss the good that God is doing in our lives.  The other day, my wife and I drove 30 miles to keep an important appointment.  We made work and home arrangements to leave town after work to be at the meeting location on time (if not a bit early).  We waited, and waited, and waited.  We knocked on the door and double checked our information by reading through the emails to be sure we had the right day, time, and location.  After a while we discovered that the meeting had been cancelled via phone message that we never received.  Do to the nature of the meeting we could have been upset, disappointed, mad and a whole host of other non-helpful emotions but in that moment we had clarity. We had a choice to recognize that God was working for us through this inconvenience.  The meeting was rescheduled but what about the fuel expense, the time we spent in vain making arrangements at work and our home schedule?  We both looked at one another and had the same thought…”God is working through this circumstance and what He is doing is good.”

With God there is never any waste.  The writer of Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us that “For everything there is a season, a right time for every intention under heaven.”

Recognizing God’s love for us and being aware spiritually can help us live in much more joy.  We do not have to react like the world, we can act and accept all things with joy and love.

James 1:2-4- 2 Regard it all as joy, my brothers, when you face various kinds of temptations; 3 for you know that the testing of your trust produces perseverance. 4 But let perseverance do its complete work; so that you may be complete and whole, lacking in nothing.

I pray that you can see that this awareness actually frees you from a lot of pain and suffering in this world.  Your awareness of all things being made to benefit you whether minor irritations like being stood up for a meeting to major pain and suffering in your life is all easier to endure.  You can decrease suffering and distress and plain misery simply by engaging your free will and choose to view your life in the light that God is letting nothing go to waste and all things will (eventually) benefit you, His child.

Back to the question…”For good or not for good?”  Prayerfully you understand that every circumstance in your life is positive.  God is working in the background to make it so and He never fails.

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Stay Focussed!

STAY FOCUSSED!

“We have found this man a pest. He is an agitator among all the Jews throughout the world and a ringleader of the sect of the Natzratim. He even tried to profane the Temple, but we arrested him. By questioning this man yourself, you will be able to learn all about the things of which we are accusing him.” The Judeans also joined in the accusation and alleged that these were the facts.   Acts 24:5-9

When Paul appeared in court he heard these outlandish charges leveled against him. It was a trap set by Paul’s opponents. Yet Paul saw an even bigger trap. HaSatan himself was trying to get Paul off his message of Yeshua being central and to embroil him in the Jews bitter conflict with their Roman enemies.

As a skilled debater, Paul easily could’ve engaged his opponents. But he refused to become entangled in their political fight. He made the choice for the sake of the truth to preach Messiah.

Eventually, Paul was taken before King Agrippa to defend himself. But in the Royal Court, Paul again chose to preach Messiah. He boldly told Agrippa his dramatic story, even at his own peril:  “On one such occasion, I was traveling to Dammesek with the full authority and power of the head cohanim. I was on the road, and it was noon, your Majesty, when I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, shining around me and my traveling companions. We all fell to the ground; and then I heard a voice saying to me, in Hebrew, ‘Sha’ul! Sha’ul! Why do you keep persecuting me? It’s hard on you to be kicking against the ox-goads!’ I said, ‘Who are you, sir?’ and the Lord answered, ‘I am Yeshua, and you are persecuting me!   Acts 26:12-15

The king was stirred by Paul’s message and refused to rule, instead decreed that Paul be sent to Rome to appear in Caesar’s court. Paul accepted this readily because he accepted his Calling: “The following night, the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage! For just as you have borne a faithful witness to me in Yerushalayim, so now you must bear witness in Rome.”   Acts 23:11

Today, Satan is attempting to get us off the message of the centrality of Messiah Yeshua. We must stay focused!

It’s all about God and the Messiah!

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Test of Loyalty

TEST OF LOYALTY

Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with His purpose. Romans 8:28

Only mature Believers can believe that God engineers blessings in all our circumstances. We give little thought about our circumstances, as far as God is with us, although we say we do. We treat things that happen as if it’s just us and the world. To be faithful in every circumstance means that we have only one loyalty; and that is to God. Suddenly, God breaks up a particular set of circumstances and the realization comes that we have been disloyal to Him by not recognizing that He has been with us. We are distracted and do not see Him working through us all the days of our life. The test of loyalty always comes just there. If we learn to trust in God and those trying circumstances, He will alter them as He chooses.

Loyalty to the Messiah Yeshua is the thing that we should focus on every day. We are willing to be loyal to our work, to our job, to anything, but do not ask us to be loyal to the Messiah Yeshua! Many of us are intensely impatient of talking about loyalty to Yeshua. Messiah is dethroned more emphatically by us than those of the world. God is focused as a machine for blessing us and Yeshua the Messiah is made a Worker among the workers.

The idea is not that we do work for God, but we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us! God wants to use us as He used His own Son.

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Procrastination

PROCRASTINATION.

Those who trust in him are not judged; those who do not trust have been judged already, in that they have not trusted in the one who is God’s only and unique Son

John 3:18

The English word “procrastinate” comes from a Latin word made of 2 parts: Pro (“forward”) and crastinus (“belonging to tomorrow”). When we procrastinate, we move forward to tomorrow something that should be done today. Procrastination gives the illusion of neutrality. For instance, if we put off making a decision, it is easy to think we have said neither “yes” nor “no”; that we have remained neutral. In reality, however, the failure to say “yes” means, by default, that we have said “no.” We have remained in our original negative state by a failure to say “yes” and moved to a positive state.

When people put off making a decision about Messiah; or when Believers put off making a move to go forward to a deeper level of spiritual maturity – they have not remained neutral. The failure to say “yes” to Messiah is the same as saying “no.” Why? Because we are born into this world saying “no” to God (“since all have sinned and come short of earning God’s praise.” Romans 3:23). We remain condemned by sin until the day we say “yes” to Messiah.

Don’t put off until tomorrow what should be accomplished today.

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What you expect from G-d?

WHAT YOU EXPECT FROM GOD?

Miryam stood outside crying. As she cried, she bent down, peered into the tomb,  and saw two angels in white sitting where the body of Yeshua had been, one at the Head and one at the feet. “Why are you crying?” they asked Her. “They took my Lord,” she said to them, “and I don’t know where they have put Him.” As she said this, she turned around and saw Yeshua standing there, but she didn’t know it was He.    John 20:11-14

Miryam did not recognize Yeshua. She was one of the women who followed Him and ministered with Him throughout his earthly ministry. She knew Him well and had heard Him teach many times. Yeshua honored Miryam  by choosing her to be the firstt person He appeared to after His resurrection, yet she supposed He was the gardener.

Certainly, one of the principal reasons Miryam didn’t recognize Yeshua was that she wasn’t expecting to see Him alive! The thought that Yeshua could be alive hadn’t yet entered her mind. This illustrates how her expectations dictated her experience; and all of us are no different. What we expect from God is usually what we get from Him.

God is Who He is regardless of what we think about Him. As far as our experience goes, we will only experience Him in the way we think He is. For instance, if you don’t believe God heals today, you won’t be healed until you begin to believe differently. If you don’t believe in the infilling of the Holy Spirit, you won’t receive it. Those who don’t believe Yeshua rose from the dead will not recognize the risen Messiah, even if He stood before them.

Miryam recognized Yeshua when He called her by name. It was the personal relationship between them that finally opened Her eyes. What do you believe about Him today? If you think He’s angry with you, you won’t experience His pleasure, even though Scripture says you are accepted and beloved (Ephesians 1:6). If you believe He’s forsaken you, you won’t experience His Presence, even though He said He would never leave or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5.) Believe everything the Bible says He is in and He will be all that to you and more.

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Another Yeshua?

ANOTHER YESHUA?

 “for I had decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Yeshua the Messiah, and even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.” 1 Corinthians 2:2

Consider how Paul described his own times to his young associate Timothy: “Accept your share in suffering disgrace as a good soldier of the Messiah Yeshua. No soldier on duty gets involved with civilian affairs, since he has to please his commanding officer.” We are at war. Don’t get caught up in any cause, any transaction, any concern, anything – that could disrupt your focus on Messiah.

Where do we see this demonstrated Paul’s life? 1st, Paul refused to get caught up in the theological arguments of his day. He lived in a time when factions abounded on the left and right, and they fought bitterly. These parties were even willing to kill for their doctrine’s sake. Paul responded to the conflict by saying, “I have nothing to do with this. I’m here for one purpose: “I would forget everything except Yeshua the Messiah, and even him only as someone who had been executed on a stake as a criminal.” “As a servant of Messiah, I refuse to get entangled in any other affairs.”

There are many things to complain about in the Body of Messiah today. There are many false doctrines and beliefs being promoted by those who call themselves “Believers.” How should we handle this? “Even if we-or, for that matter, an angel from heaven!-were to announce to you some so-called “Good News” contrary to the Good News we did announce to you, let him be under a curse forever! Galatians 1:8. This is the end result of losing focus on the Yeshua of the Bible.

Today, the Body of Messiah, which we see is not as it should be. All things are not under authority. What is our response to this travesty? We focus on the real Yeshua – the unchangeable Messiah – standing in triumph over it all! All other human, invented gospels do not offer one iota of comfort in the hour of need.

As Paul instructs we can’t let even this kind of issue distract us. “And I fear that somehow your minds may be seduced away from simple and pure devotion to the Messiah, just as Havah was deceived by the serpent and his craftiness.”

2-Corinthians 11:3

Stand FIRM in your Faith of Yeshua our Messiah!

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We must see Yeshua

WE MUST SEE YESHUA

“But he, full of the Ruach HaKodesh, looked up to heaven and saw God’s Sh’khinah, with Yeshua standing at the right hand of God.  ”Look!” he exclaimed, “I see heaven opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”  Acts 7:56

Stephen was a Messianic Jew who stood unmoved as a mob of Messiah haters surrounded him armed with stones and ready to put him to death. Stephen knew he only had a matter of minutes to live, yet he was filled with peace and calm. What was the secret of this man’s endurance?

In that moment, Stephen testified, “I see heaven opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” He kept his eyes focused on Yeshua. He could face a cruel death knowing Yeshua was with him in it all.

There is something of great importance in these examples for all of us who love and serve the Messiah. It is this: when we truly see Yeshua in the midst of our afflictions and hardships, we will always hear Him tell us, “Don’t be afraid!”

So it was with John. In his later years, he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos. This was in effect punishment of solitary confinement. John had no human contact on Patmos except with his jailers. It was a time of extreme cold, hunger in excruciating isolation for this elderly servant. Yet in the midst of his trial John had a powerful vision of Yeshua: “When I saw him, I fell down at his feet like a dead man. He placed his right hand upon me and said, I am the First and the Last, the Living One. I was dead, but look! – I am alive forever and ever! And I hold the keys to Death and Sh’ol. Revelation 1:17-18.

Today I try to imagine being in these situations. A time of great confusion and questioning, even for these godly men. Notice the 1st thing that Yeshua said: “Don’t be afraid!”

When we find ourselves in difficult situations; we must see Yeshua! I can tell you, Yeshua is there with you.

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Our Desperation

OUR DESPERATION

And there is a place where someone has given this solemn testimony: “What is mere man, that you concern yourself with him? or the son of man, that you watch over him with such care? You made him a little lower than the angels, you crowned him with glory and honor, you put everything in subjection under his feet.” In subjecting everything to him, he left nothing unsubjected to him. However, at present, we don’t see everything subjected to him – at least, not yet. Hebrews 2:6-8

God tells us he is put everything created under the feet of man. This passage refers to everything having to do with moral life on this earth. Simply put, everything having to do with daily living: such as agriculture, commerce, the government, etc. – has been put under our charge.

The Psalmist refers to this when he writes:

“You had him rule what your hands made, you put everything under his feet –  sheep and oxen, all of them, also the animals in the wilds, the birds in the air, the fish in the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas. Psalms 8:6-8

Many scholars say this on primarily refers prophetically to the Messiah. Indeed, Yeshua was made human and suffered in the flesh though He was crowned with glory and honor. While Scripture does tell us that the Father has put all things under His Son’s feet; how do things today look under our authority?

“However, at present, we don’t see everything subjected to him – at least, not yet.” Hebrews 2:8

What we see in the world today? How do things look in our own society? Here’s what we see: a broken government. Out-of-control schools. Confused leaders. Widespread unemployment. Unmanageable social programs. A complete breakdown of moral values.

This is all happening in the most developed and affluent nation in the world. There is but one conclusion to draw from this: man has totally lost control.

It is time for us to sell out and focus on God. It’s all about God and the Messiah!

There is hope nowhere else!

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Yeshua Heals

YESHUA HEALS!

 Yeshua was teaching in one of the synagogues on Shabbat.  A woman came up who had a spirit which had crippled her for eighteen years; she was bent double and unable to stand erect at all.  On seeing her, Yeshua called her and said to her, “Lady, you have been set free from your weakness!”  He put his hands on her, and at once she stood upright and began to glorify God.

Luke 13:10-13

When Yeshua was at this Synagogue, I assume there were many women there. Yet, Yeshua did not call them all forward. He saw this woman, which most probably didn’t notice. She was hurting, and wounded with a difficult past. He called to this one whose value self-esteem had been destroyed by the intrusion of vicious circumstances. She had many things to overcome. She was handicapped. She was probably filled with insecurities. Yet, Yeshua still called her forward to receive His touch.

Some of you can identify with the feelings of this helpless woman. I want you to know that He’s waiting on you because He wants you. He sees your struggle. He knows about all your pain. He knows what happened to 18 years ago, or 10 years ago, or last week. He waits for you as the father waited for the prodigal son (Luke 15:11 – 32). She was waiting to hobble back home after the Service.

But Yeshua was there, as He is there in our Services. He wants to deliver you heal you; to renew and release you.

When that woman came to Yeshua, He proclaimed her freedom. Now she stands erect for the 1st time in 18 years. When you come to Yeshua, He will cause you to stand in for strength. You will know how important you are to Him. Part of your recovery is to learn how to stand up live in the “now” of today instead of the “then” yesterday.

By faith, I speak life to you. I speak deliverance to you. I speak healing to you. I speak restoration to you. All through the mighty name of Yeshua – the invincible all-powerful everlasting name of Yeshua!

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Shavuot

SHAVUOT

“‘From the day after the day of rest -that is, from the day you bring the sheaf for waving -you are to count seven full weeks, until the day after the seventh week; you are to count fifty days; and then you are to present a new grain offering to ADONAI.  You must bring bread from your homes for waving-two loaves made with one gallon of fine flour, baked with leaven -as firstfruits for ADONAI. Leviticus 23:1717

We are now counting the Omer to get to Shavuot. Shavuot means “weeks,” referring to a 7 week following Passover. Omer is a measurement of grain. In Acts 2 we see the Holy Spirit descended upon the people and about 3000 people came to Yeshua on that day.

Follow this story line: Beginning at Mount Sinai

Then 1500 years later on the same day.

Exodus 19:10

ADONAI said to Moshe, “Go to the people; today and tomorrow separate them for me by having them wash their clothing;

Acts 1:5

For Yochanan used to immerse people in water; but in a few days, you will be immersed in the Ruach HaKodesh!”

Exodus 19:2

After setting out from Refidim and arriving at the Sinai Desert, they set up camp in the desert; there in front of the mountain, Isra’el set up camp.

Acts 2:1

The festival of Shavu’ot arrived, and the believers all gathered together in one place.

Exodus 19:16-18

On the morning of the third day, there was thunder, lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain. Then a shofar blast sounded so loudly that all the people in the camp trembled. Moshe brought the people out of the camp to meet God; they stood near the base of the mountain.  Mount Sinai was enveloped in smoke, because ADONAI descended onto it in fire -its smoke went up like the smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain shook violently.

Acts 2:2-4

Suddenly there came a sound from the sky like the roar of a violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then they saw what looked like tongues of fire, which separated and came to rest on each one of them. They were all filled with the Ruach HaKodesh and began to talk in different languages, as the Spirit enabled them to speak.

Exodus 32:7

ADONAI said to Moshe, “Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt!

Acts 2:13

But others made fun of them and said, “They’ve just had too much wine!”

Exodus 32:28

The sons of Levi did what Moshe said, and that day three thousand of the people died.

Acts 2:41

So those who accepted what he said were immersed, and there were added to the group that day about three thousand people.

Shavuot – see the similarities?

What you hope for this Shavuot?

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