In Awe of Your Neighbor?

Psalm 49:16-17

Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases. For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him

We need not worry about what others do or what they have, for we may not receive riches here on earth, but neither is our home here on earth. We must not get too comfortable on this side of heaven by focusing on riches or by striving to “keep up with the Jonses”, as this will only take away our longing for our eternal home. The rich cannot take all tissue accumulated “stuff” with them when they die. Our splendor, “riches”, await us in heaven.

Matthew 6:19-34— the Sermon on the Mount (the cure for worry is to transfer every “treasure” here on earth to heaven, for we tend to worry about these “treasures” while here on earth.) ––JD Farag

Advertisements

Be Still

Exodus14:13 (TLV)

But Moses said to the people, “Don’t be afraid! Stand still, and see the salvation of Adonai, which He will perform for you today. You have seen the Egyptians today, but you will never see them again, ever!

This verse incorporates both “do not be afraid ” and “be still and see.” When God commands anyone to “be still” , this always precludes an awesome wonder, or miracle. This miracle about to be performed is one we all know as “The Parting of the Red Sea.” Imagine being chased by the entire Egyptian army, assembled by the most powerful ruler in all the land . This would have been a powerful, professional army composed of “horses and chariots, charioteers and strong fighting men”, while the Israelites were a ragtag group of about 6,000 men, women, children, including elderly folk. The odds wouldn’t seem too good….But God. He is about to step into the situation in a mighty way by pulling the waters back and allowing each and every Israelite to pass safely. But, He doesn’t leave it at this. God goes even bigger!!! He is proving His power as He knows they still have a long road ahead of them.

I picture the last Israelite being an elderly man or woman shuffling along, just trying to keep up. But God is so patient and kind, and everything is “in His timing.” That last person to touch the other side got to witness the waters start to close in again and rush over the entire Egyptian Army. No man or horse was left standing, or breathing. He completely wiped them out.
If our God is capable of such a feat, why do we continue to question Him and worry that our situation is “too big?” Absolutely nothing is too big, because God is always bigger, always!! He saved over 6,000 Israelites, thus, He can and He will save you and me. You know why? Because He loves us!!

Zephaniah 3:17.

“He will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Dance For Joy

Zephaniah 3:15-17

The King of Israel, Adonai, is in your midst. Never again will you fear harm.On that day, it will be said to Jerusalem, ‘Have no fear, O Zion, do not let your hands fall limp. Adonai your God is in your midst— a mighty Savior! He will delight over you with joy. He will quiet you (your fears) with His love. He will dance for joy over you with singing.’

The first part of this chapter touches on the punishment that must take place on the Jewish state for their sins, but the second half of the chapter (as seen above), clearly represents the “pure and happy state of the church in latter days.” (Matthew Henry, commentary) Cause and effect is demonstrated here: by removing sin (purification), suffering is thus removed.

Although this is prophesy for Israel in the last days, leading to the new earth, it still absolutely applies to every single one of us. All who accept Christ as their Saviour and pick up their cross and follow him will find salvation. Adonai is always in our midst–“a mighty Saviour!” And “He delights over us.”

Because He is in our presence, we need not fear anything or anyone. Those of us who follow Him and heed His word actually “bring God joy.” We bring God joy!! That is amazing! That means, we are capable of making the God of the universe happy!! We are, on the other side of the coin, it’snot capable of also causing Him grief with our sins. Let’s stay aware of every action we take, every word we speak– basically every move we make. Let’s make our God proud of us, so that He in turn can bless us. Bless us with goodness, health, and love in every moment of our brief time here on earth, and for the rest of eternity.

Prince of Peace

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans that I have in mind for you,” declares Adonai, “plans for shalom and not calamity—to give you a future and a hope.”

I know there is no specific “fear not” in this scripture, but it is absolutely implied. Our Adonai has specifically set aside special plans for each one of us. Each person has a separate, individual plan for them, but they DO NOT include harm, or calamity. What He does say they include hope in our future and “shalom“. In Western culture, the only way we tend to explain the meaning of the word shalom is to say it means “peace”or that it is used as a greeting in Jewish culture. While this is true, the word has meaning beyond just peace, or comfort; this is merely a small piece of the word’s meaning. Hebrew words usually go beyond their spoken pronunciation.

“‘Shalom‘ is taken from the root word shalam, which means, ‘to be safe in mind, body, or estate.’ It speaks of completeness, fullness, or a type of wholeness that encourages you to give back, to generously re-pay something in some way.”(Doug Hershey)

And from Strong’s Concordance: “Shalom means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord. In modern Hebrew, the related word, Shulam means to be fully paid, which leads into what Christ did by paying for our sins with his death on the cross.” Thus, true shalom can only be reached through a relationship with Yahweh.

Proverbs 18:21 tells us there is life or death in the power of the tongue. Therefore,whenever you employ the word “shalom” you are speaking into someone’s life all the wonderful things that shalom means!” (therefinersfire.org) Shalom is a blessing!

“Yeshua is called Sar Shalom, (Prince of Peace) which perfectly describes the ministry and personality of our Messiah.” (Isaiah 9:5-6): His Name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, My Father of Eternity, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and shalom there will be no end—

By fully understanding the true meaning of just one verse, we can now visualize the true nature of God and just how much He truly loves us. So fear not my friends, you are greatly loved!!

I Will Cast My Cares

Cast all our cares.!! Not just the one that just came up this evening, not the one resting on the back burner, but ALL of them. Each and every one, big or small, He’s got them. And you know why? Because He cares for us. Us! The tiny little peons running around destroying the beautiful earth He created. The human beings who fight wars, who are selfish, who don’t always follow His commandments. We, who are sinners. Yes, US!!

We may not humble ourselves as often as we should, but this, right here my friends, is the perfect reminder. 1 Peter 5:6-7, “Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, so that He may lift you up at the appropriate time. Cast all your worries on Him, for He cares for you.

Why wouldn’t we want to be humbled “under His mighty hand” if it means that we will be lifted up? If it means He will take on all our burdens? If it means that the King of the Universe will become our best friend and will hold our hand through the wind and the waves? If it means we don’t have to do it ourselves anymore?!

Isn’t that worth sacrificing your pride for? I know it is for me. “His grace is sufficient” after all, 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Search, Test, And Lead

Psalm 139: 23-24 TLV
Search me, O God, and know my heart.
Examine me, and know my anxious thoughts, and see if there be any offensive way within me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

“When David asks God to ‘search him and know his heart’ he is recognizing that God knows him better than he knows himself. Self knowledge is the most difficult knowledge to attain, so we must turn to God who knows our comings and goings, our thoughts, our hearts (which are so easily deceived), and also knows our ultimate destiny. David understands and acknowledges, that these inner most feelings cannot be hidden from God, for He knows all our thoughts, which many times include our worries and fears. David is asking God to seek all of this out, because even worry is an offense against Him, since it demonstrates that we’ve lost trust in Him. This ‘search’ is likened to a flashlight (which is the Spirit) being shone into the darkest places of our nature, and once these dark corners are located, they must be swept out. Will we allow God’s light to illuminate our lives completely and shine on anything unworthy in our lives?

Not only is David asking for his thoughts to be searched, he is pressing for a divine testing of his heart, where all thoughts are elaborated. Once we are tried, we just be ‘put through the furnace’ in order to refine our thoughts.

By verse 24, the Psalmist is submitting to total removal of all evil thoughts and ways, and to be ‘led in the way everlasting’. ‘This prayer is an expression of absolute willingness to submit to God’s will’ (MacLaren). We, as humans, naturally incline to evil, so we need the Spirit to do this searching, trying, and removing. It cannot be done by self will alone. Walking in the way everlasting is walking in the footsteps of Christ, which cannot be done until all the evil ways have been searched, tried, and cast out. The path of Christ is a straight, continuous course, with no veering left or right, ‘only with a swifter upward gradient’ (MacLaren),through all the ages of eternity & we must stay this course, for then & only then can we have the ‘peace that surpasses all understanding’ (Phil. 4:7)”

Turning Fear into Faith

“Tonight’s #fearnot #day25 ties in with #day23, on Phillipans 4: 6-7 by tying in Romans 10:17: So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah.
Again, the focus is on prayer to God and trust in God in order to allay our fears.

This verse tells us exactly how to turn fear into faith, since faith is the antithesis of fear. When God hears from us in prayer and we, in turn, hear from him in His word, fear is replaced by faith.

The problem comes when we make prayer too complicated. We think we have to say just the right words in just the right way, but God really just wants to hear what’s on our hearts. What about ‘liquid prayers’? When all we can do is cry out. Do you think He doesn’t hear those prayers and know exactly what we need? He is just looking for us to come to Him. We also need a dialogue with Him, when we tend to have a monologue instead. When we pray our request and move on, not allowing God to answer, to have His Spirit move within us, showing us where to search in His word, we miss out on the other side of the conversation. It’s just like leaving a voicemail and getting no return call.

These are important aspects in our prayer life if we ever want to combat and eliminate fear for good. And yes, it is possible. I have not accomplished it yet, but I am on the road. I’ll let you know when I get there.

In Psalm 56:3-4, David exhibits just how putting our trust fully in God, by laying down our burdens before Him, will leave us fearless. We have to work continuously on this issue, as I can assure you, giving in is not an option if we want to conquer fear.”

“Thank you Jesus for conquering the ultimate fear, death, for all of us. You have taken it on, and you have won. Death does not have a hold on us, since our eternal place in heaven is already set aside. So, what shall we fear here on the earthly side of things? Mere mortals cannot harm me when I have you on my side. My immortal King. Power and glory to you forever, Amen!”

My Purpose; His Glory

If you’ve ever wondered why you were created, look no further than Isaiah 43:6-7. “I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back.’ Bring My sons from far and My daughters from the ends of the earth.
Everyone who is called by My Name, whom I created for My glory. I formed him—yes, I made him!”

As Joni Eareckson Tada puts it: “our purpose is to showcase His glory, to enjoy it, display it, and demonstrate it every day to all those we encounter. ” We are to live like Jesus, to ‘highlight his attributes and characteristics.’ Like the famous catch phrase. WWJD (what would Jesus do?) This is how we should approach each and every decision that comes up in our lives, big or small, so as to exhibit our Lord through our actions. This behavior is what will catch the eyes of those who are seeking. They will want to know what we have that they need. Then we can share just that.

Having been chronically ill with Lyme disease and many complications from it for a long time, I spent too much of it losing my sense of “purpose”. Once I had to stop each “normal” thing I used to do, I would lose a sense of who I was— until I realized that the job I did, the fun I had, the workouts, the socializing, wasn’t me, those were merely things I enjoyed. Yes, it still hurts to have lost many things I used to enjoy doing, but in the meantime, I gained my purpose. Now that I have been physically forced to slow down, God could finally speak into my life and show me what He wanted me to know all along. “Slow down, be still my child. Look at the what I have in store for you.” My future is exciting, because I don’t know what it is, but I do know it will be spent sharing the unending love of my Heavenly Father, and more and more writing.
Praise God, now and forevermore!

#purposefilled #shineyourlight #glorytogod #heformedmeinmymotherswomb
#heknowsme #hehasplansforme
#aprayingchild #writing #awriterslife #showmetheway #mypath #iwillserveyouforever

His Righteous Right Hand

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you,
be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you.
Surely I will help you.
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

This verse cannot be repeated enough in my opinion. It is a timeless go-to when we are in distress, or even just as a reminder of God’s goodness to His people. This is consolation to all God’s faithful worshippers. And in a time at least 700 years before the Messiah came to earth to die for our sins, God makes this promise. Yet, Isaiah foretold of this coming. Christ was a promise that was kept, thus when God tells us that He will ‘strengthen us, help us, uphold us with His righteous right hand’, we cannot take this to be any less of a promise. God is so good, and He always keeps His promises. Praise be to God!!

Dear Lord,
When the night is wrapping its dark arms around me and I cannot see the light, will you please be the lamp to my feet? Illuminate my path with your brilliance, your abundant blessings, and your grace. Take my hand and pull me out from the murkiness. You never intended for my life to be dim, so please shine from my heart and fill my life with hope and laughter.
In Yeshuas’s name I pray,
Amen

Jesus: Our Friend and Companion

“Here, we are told, ‘do not be anxious’, which is a command. You can be 100% assured that anytime that we are given a command in the Bible, God is going to equip us with the tools necessary to obey it. He also gives commands only for our good, not just because He wants to tell us what to do. He knows how harmful worry, fear, anxiety and stress are to our bodies and minds, and He is trying to spare us from this damage. It has been scientifically proven that stress causes stomach problems, such as ulcers and colitis, depletes the immune system, causes increased heart rate, along with palpitations and missed beats, chronic headaches and migraines, along with many neurological issues. God doesn’t want any of this for His children. He wants us healthy.

So, that partly covers the why we shouldn’t worry, if only for health reasons, but more importantly, we shouldn’t worry because if our God is good (which He is: Psalm 107:1) and He’s promised to always be with us and protect us (which He has: Hebrews 13:5) then we can conclude that we can trust Him in all things. 1 Peter 5:7, Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Now, let’s look at how we are to do this through the tools we’ve been given. This can be answered very simply by using prayer. (Philippians 4:6-7) Prayer and petition is all we need to fend off the all too familiar what-ifs, how-comes, or if- onlys that are always bound to niggle their ways into our minds. These thoughts come from the enemy. His objective is to get us away from focusing on, and enjoying, the moment and to, instead, start worrying about the future.
He feeds these thoughts into our minds (e.g. why is God doing this to me, or allowing this to happen?) Sometimes he will even send others to compound these worries bywhat they say. If he can get us to question God and His love for us, it makes it that much easier to paint a vivid picture of all the things that could possibly go wrong and the next thing you know, he has us on a crazy roller coaster ride of anxiety and doubt.

The good news is, have have the power right at hand to fend off the enemy. Just saying the name of Jesus out loud will stop him in his tracks. Next time you feel the enemy knocking at your door, don’t open it, instead start praying out loud, shout it out if you need to, in order to drown out the evil one’s lies in due order.

Prayer releases God given calming/relaxing miracles , like seratonin and dopamine.
It’s not just a spiritual feeling, it causes a neurological, physiological affect in the body. Sure sounds a lot better than staying in the vicious cycle of constant adrenaline pumping, fight-or- flight response, when stress is present.

What King David is saying in Psalm 55:23, can be summed up by the words, “when I’m afraid, I’m going to cast all my cares upon the Lord. But when I cast all my cares upon the Lord. I am no longer afraid.” King David knew all about prayer and supplication as this was always his first response when in a sticky situation. After all, most of the 150 Psalms are prayers and worship to the Lord.

This well-known hymn, by Joseph M. Scriven, is a beautiful example for turning all our cares and woes to the Lord.”

What A Friend We Have in Jesus

All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.”